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Department of English

News and Events

Welcome to our News & Events Page. We publish the professional accomplishments of our Faculty and Graduate Students on a regular basis. Please find our most recent announcements as well as the archive of previous announcements here. There will also be announcements of guest lectures, poetry and fiction readings, and other events happening in the URI English Department here, so do check back for information on these events.

English Department Publicity Announcements
Fall 2009-Spring 2010

Awards and Honors

Professor Kathleen Davis has been awarded a full fellowship for the academic year 2010-11 by the Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Social Science in Princeton, New Jersey. She will participate in the School's research seminar on "Secularism," and work on her current book project, tentatively titled "Is Secularism Modern?" Professor Davis also received a URI Council for Research Grant in support of her essay “Lyric Time,” forthcoming in the Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature edited byClare Lees. Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Professor John R. Leo was selected to receive the Hugh le Mays Research Fellowship in an international competition sponsored by Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, and he will be resident there from late May to early September. For more on Rhdoes go to  Professor Leo’s research project focuses on concepts and critiques of “visual literacy.”  His goal is to appraise concretely how ways of reading, writing, seeing, and interpreting multiple “presents” and “pasts” have also created shifting “publics” and “counter publics.” His project will have him looking at pre- and post-Apartheid art, at art “vernaculars” as these emerge out of and recombine in South Africa’s complex postcolonial and “national” histories.

Professor Naomi Mandel is currently Visiting Professor at Hebrew University, Jerusalem through the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies for Spring, 2010 where she is teaching a course on "The Canadian Extreme" in the Department of Comparative Literature. The course includes novels by Québécoise authors Nelly Arcan and Hélène Rioux, short stories by Anne Dandurand and the members of the performance group "Taste This," and Canadian authors Margaret Atwood and Douglas Coupland, that participate in the current global phenomenon of the contemporary extreme. 

Professor Naomi Mandel received a URI Career Enhancement Grant in support of her work on Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, and Lunar Park, forthcoming from Continuum, 2010.

Professor J. Jennifer Jones is the recipient of a URI Center for the Humanities Junior Scholar Fellowship in the Humanities.

Professor Travis D. Williams is the recipient of a URI Center for the Humanities Junior Scholar Fellowship in the Humanities. Professor Williams was also awarded a scholarship to attend a course at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He expects to attend a course at RBS in the summer of 2011.

Ph.D. candidate Benjamin D. Hagen was admitted to a six-week course of study at Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory (June 13 to July 22, 2010). He will be attending Professor Saba Mahmood’s course, entitled “Politics of Religious Difference.” In addition to admission, the school has awarded him a $2200 tuition grant.

Professor Peter Covino secured a $7500 grant from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts to support our department’s work for both the Read/Write Series (see March events) and the Summer Writing Conference, schedule for June 24-26, 2010.  The grant will provide funding for community interns to help coordinate the programs, as well as 10 scholarships for community participants to attend the Summer Conference, for free or at a reduced rate. The URI Department of English Read/Write Program will host a reading and discussion series featuring writers of local, national, and international importance at the Kingston and Providence Campuses. All events are free, open to the public, and followed by a reception. The Ocean State Summer Writing Conference is a three-day event featuring lively interaction between writers of all levels and backgrounds with opportunities for workshops, one-on-one critiquing sessions, panel discussions, readings and performances led by nationally and internationally known writers, editors, agents, and publishers. Additionally, Professor Covino recently received a 2009 editing award from the Publishing Triangle, NY, NY, for his work on Ely Shipley’s Boy with Flowers, Barrow Street Press: NY, 2008.

Ph.D. candidate Jamie White-Farnham received the 2009-10 URI Graduate Dissertation Fellowship. Jamie's dissertation is entitled Women, Writing, and Housework, and her project is under the directorship of Professor Libby Miles.

In December 2009, Ph.D. candidate, Steven Brown, received his first Pushcart nomination for his poem, "Defection of the Seraphim." The poem is forthcoming in Measure.

Soloists of the Erie Philharmonic performed a chamber work titled Suite from Whippoorwill Road, in Erie, PA in October 2009. Composer William Alexander based this, and a number of other vocal, choral and symphonic works, on poems by MA alum, Brett Rutherford.

Professor Alain-Philippe Durand was awarded a Strategic Partnership Grant for creating and teaching the new gen ed course “Franco-American Relations” (URI Office of the Provost, $2,500.00) and a Robert Stevens Faculty Research Grant (URI Center for the Humanities, $550.00) for an article on Jorge Amado and Albert Camus. Additionally, Alain-Philippe Durand was unanimously elected as Associate Member of the Research Group GRIC (Groupe de recherche indentités et cultures) at the University of Le Havre, France.

Professor Mary Cappello’s book, Called Back is currently a Finalist for three distinct, prestigious awards: a Lambda Literary Award, a Publishing Triangle Award, and a ForeWord Book of the Year Award. Winners of the Publishing Triangle Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at the New School in New York ( The event is free and open to the public, with a reception afterward. The 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards will be held Thursday, May 27th at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York ( And ForeWord Book of the Year Awards will be announced at Book Expo in June (  Cappello will take part in a reading of Lambda Literary Finalists in New York City on April 22nd. Called Back was also named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Guerilla Girls On Tour, and by the new literary arts group, WILLA: Women in Literary Arts and Letters.

Cappello has accepted invitations to join the Advisory Board of the new literary journal, The Tusculum Review, and to evaluate Rockefeller Foundation applications in the field of literary arts. This year Cappello’s essays have again garnered Notable Essay of the Year citations in Best American Essays. A new essay by Professor Maria Vittoria D’Amico of the University Catania, Sicily, on the subject of Cappello’s experimental prose entitled, “An awkward detour dal percorso dei padri: una lettura eccentrica della dissidenza di Mary Cappello,” appears in Dissidenze: Testo, Metodo, Elaborazione Elettronica,” Lippolis, ed., (Messina), 2009: 73-84.

Books Abounding

So many books have appeared or are appearing from our faculty, instructors, and graduate students this year that I’ve decided to put them together here rather than separate them by field.

Professor Carolyn Betensky's book, Feeling for the Poor:  Bourgeois Compassion, Social Action, and the Victorian Novel, will be published in fall 2010 by the Victorian Literature and Culture series of the University of Virginia Press. 

Professor Kathleen Davis's co-edited volume (with Nadia Altschul, Johns Hopkins) titled Medievalisms in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of the Middle Ages Outside Europe, has been published by Johns Hopkins University Press. This volume is the first to bring medievalists and postcolonial scholars into conversation about the shared histories of their fields and the potential for mutual endeavor. Discussing medievalism in regions as wide-ranging as the United States, India, Latin America, Australia, Japan, and Africa, this volume demonstrates the ways alternative conceptions of medieval and modern history can provide new insights into the idea of the Middle Ages and the origins and legacy of colonialism.

Professor John R. Leo is co-editing, with his University of Warsaw colleague Professor Marek Pary? (Chair of American Literature in the English Institute), an international collection of original essays on American cultural studies in literature and poetry, graphic fiction, photography and related visual media, and film.  The volume, Projecting Words, Writing Images: Intersections of the Textual and the Visual in American Cultural Practices, will be forthcoming in the fall 2010 with Cambridge Scholars Press. Its contributors are mainly from the EU and the US and include Professor Josie Campbell, Film Media Lecturer Rebecca Romanow (URI PhD in English), and Ph.D. candidate Stephen Marchand. The volume’s premise is that just as dissonances and ruptures within area and comparative studies have generated controversies, so too have they created new critical objects—sights and sites—irreducible to a single perspective. Individual essays work like case studies to make “sights” and “sites” visible, literate and accessible. The essays’ shared international interdisciplinarity problematizes already what we mean by “public spheres” and “mediascapes.” Comparatist critiques of contemporary and historical texts, images, and literacies engage novels, film and adaptations, concepts of gender and spectacle, ethno-“graphis,” issues such as representation and power, “citizenship” and civic “rights,” and more. All of these exciting topics conjoin Polish, other European and North American scholars, in a common effort to push American cultural studies in provocative new directions. 

Instructor Kate Schapira
published her first book of poetry: TOWN (Factory School, Heretical Texts), and two chapbooks, The Saint's Notebook (Flying Guillotine Press) and Heroes and Monsters (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs). She had poems published in Ecopoetics, Little Red Leaves, The Concher, and Calaveras, and accepted to Aufgabe, Drunken Boat, Foursquare and why are we not in Paradise? Her reading series, Publicly Complex, is about to celebrate its third birthday, and she is shortly to read in Providence, Boston, New York, New Hampshire and Raleigh.

21st Editions, a major fine art publisher, recently released a $25,000 limited edition entitled, Moth and Bonelight, which marries ten silver gelatin prints by world-renowned photographer, Jerry Uelsmann, to twenty poems by Ph.D. candidate, Steven Brown. The book, which sold out the day of its release, is introduced by the photography critic and poet, John Wood, who discusses in depth the aesthetic relationship between Uelsmann and Brown. More info can be found at Brown also has two poems forthcoming in Measure, three in Unsplendid, and one in the Asheville Poetry Review.

Professor Mary Cappello’s third book of literary nonfiction, Called Back appeared in October from Alyson Books under the new directorship of Donald Weise. Cappello gave fifteen readings from the book during the Fall semester at places ranging from Yale University’s Medical Humanities Program, Columbia College’s Creative Writing Program in Chicago, University of Vermont’s School of Medicine, and Jersey City University’s memoir seminars, to bookstores in Philadelphia, New York, Maine, and Rhode Island, and community organizations like the Five Bridges Inn healing center in Rehobeth, Massachusetts, and the GLBT Center in New York. Cappello was interviewed about the book for the Wisconsin Public Radio Program “Here on Earth” with host, Jean Faraca (“The Language of Cancer”); by journalist, Julie Bolcer in the Here TV studios in New York; by scholar/writer, Regina Marler for The Advocate and shewired; and by Alyson Books ( all of which can be accessed from Cappello’s website: Reviews of Called Back to date include Jesse Kornbluth’s for Head Butler, Dr. Howard Spiro’s for the Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, and Janet Mason’s for “This Way Out” radio. Excerpted chapters from Called Back appear in The Georgia Review, and The Seattle Review.

Professor Naomi Mandel’s edited volume, Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, Lunar Park is forthcoming from Continuum Press. This collection of nine critical essays on U.S. novelist Bret Easton Ellis focuses on the writer’s mature period: American Psycho (1991), Glamorama (1999) and Lunar Park (2005). The volume is composed of three sections, each devoted to a key text, presenting newly-commissioned essays from scholars based in the U.S. and Europe; each section is accompanied by a short introduction.The collection reflects Ellis' uneasy positioning between the literature of Generation X and Blank Fiction, and treats American Psycho as his definitive work. American Psycho elicited unprecedented public debate and remains one of the most controversial novels of the contemporary period. Ellis' subsequent novel Glamorama foreshadowed the centrality of terror and the ubiquity of cyberculture in the 21st century, and Lunar Park offers a retrospective, quasi-biographical account of the author and his work.The objectives of the volume are to examine the alchemy of acclaim and disdain that accrues to this controversial writer, and to establish Ellis's centrality to scholarship and teaching of contemporary American literature in the U.S. and in Europe.

URI Faculty Presence at the Annual SCLA Conference: October 2009

Professor Naomi Mandel was an invited speaker in the conference's Plenary Roundtable
on "Epistemologies of Deceit" at the SCLA Annual Conference in Arizona, October
2009. Her travel to the conference was supported by a URI Beapre Hope and Heritage

URI Faculty Presence at the Annual MLA Convention,
December 2009:

Professor J. Jennifer Jones organized and chaired a panel sponsored by the Keats-Shelley Association of America entitled Romanticism and the Ethics of Aesthetics. Panelists included Julie A. Carlson (Professor of English, UC Santa Barbara), Joel Faflak (Associate Professor of English, University of Western Ontario), and Bo Earle (Assistant Professor of English, University of British Columbia). Professor Naomi Mandel presented "Fidelity to fact or fiction: Frédéric Beigbeder on being true" on a panel about literatures of 9/11. Professor Karen Stein participated in a round-table discussion of Margaret Atwood's recent novel, The Year of the Flood. Professor Peter Covino presided on a panel titled, “Italian American Poetry: Trends, History.”

URI Faculty Presence at the Annual SCMS Convention,
March 2010:

Professor Jean Walton presents “Mudflat Turf Wars: Eviction Documentaries and the NFB in Vancouver in the early 1970s” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Los Angeles, CA in March, 2010.  The paper examines two short NFB (Canada's National Film Board) films, "Mudflats Living" (Fresco and Paterson, 1972) and "Some People Have to Suffer" (Pinney, 1976), each of which dramatizes a community's battle with municipal authorities over land use rights on Vancouver's coastal fringes.  In "Mudflats Living," artist and hippie squatters bring attention to developers' (and the Mayor's) plans to pave over precious mudflat marshlands in North Vancouver; in "Some People Have to Suffer" a municipal government drags its feet over installation of sewers for a working-class community on the banks of the Fraser River South of Vancouver, while land speculators (including relatives of council members) profit on deals as the area industrializes. The second film was part of the NFB's "Challenge for Change" program (1967-80), a federally sponsored radical innovation in documentary film practice, using video for social animation, to promote community awareness and help disenfranchized groups take greater power in systemic decision-making processes. A collection of essays has just been published on the Challenge for Change movement, and Walton has been invited to present her paper on these "Eviction" films at the Book Launch for this collection in Vancouver in March, directly after the SCMS conference in LA.


URI Faculty Presence at the Annual AWP Convention,
April 2010:

Professor Mary Cappello will be presenting on the panel, “Mock-Docs, Fakes, and Hoaxes,” with David Lazar, Jeff Porter, Patrick Madden, and Catherine Taylor, Friday, April 9th, 3:00 PM to 4:15 PM, Granite Hyatt: “Although a spate of false memoirs has recently rocked the mainstream press, we shouldn't be too startled given the long history of aesthetic forgeries. Fakes and hoaxes, especially involving works of art, have a curiously abiding appeal which often supersedes any debates about their authenticity or truth value. This panel will explore our culture's romance with fakery across media, from Orson Welles's notorious radio hoax and Christopher Guest's sham documentaries to Nabokov's literary spoofs.”
Cappello will also be chairing and presenting on the panel, “Writing Intimacy, Writing Sex,” Saturday, April 10, 1:30 PM to 2:45 PM 110 - Colorado Convention Center, with Barrie Jean Borich, Alexander Chee, James Morrison, and Professor Peter Covino. “What's at stake for the contemporary queer writer in the mainstream culture's equation of sex with gay identity? What is the difference between crafting a literal sex scene and cultivating a queer aesthetic? What is meant by an erotics of writing or of reading for writers of any sexuality? Five accomplished queer writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry discuss and offer examples from their work.”

At the Bookfair at AWP, Cappello will be signing copies of Summer 2009 issue of The Georgia Review in which an excerpt from Called Back appears, Saturday 10-11, Georgia Review exhibit, and giving readings at two off-site events, On Thursday, April 8th, 6-8 pm, at The Living Room, 1055 Broadway, Denver, CO, Professors Cappello and Walton will participate in a reading featuring SUNY/Buffalo alumni, headlined by Charles Baxter and Donald Revell, and also featuring James Morrison, and Gwen Ashbaugh. On Friday, April 9th, Cappello will read for WILLA (Women in Letters and Literary Arts)  Goes Live: A Benefit Evening of Burlesque, Literature and Roller Derby,  9:00 – 12 midnight, The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place, with Burlesque Performers Vivienne VaVoom & Cora Vette, both of Black Box Burlesque, and writers, Kim Addonizio, Mary Akers, Erin Belieu, Ana Bozicevic, Jami Brandli, Barrie Jean Borich, Nickole Brown, Kara Candito, Ashley Capps, Jennine Capó Crucet, Carolyn Forche, Ru Freeman, Lara Glenum, Cathy Park Hong, Olivia Johnson, Lynn Kilpatrick, Amy King, Dorianne Laux, Roxanne Banks Malia, April Manteris, Cate Marvin, Carol Muske-Dukes, Antonya Nelson, Danielle Pafunda, Ann Pancake, Jennifer Park, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Patricia Smith, Susan Steinberg, Cheryl Strayed, Ann Townsend, Emily Warn, and Leni Zumas.

American Studies

Professor Martha Elena Rojas’ essay, “Negotiating Gifts: Jefferson’s Diplomatic Presents” appears in The Old Word and the New: Exchanges Between America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson, ed. Peter Onuf, et al. University of Virginia Press, 2010.

Professor Martha Elena Rojas will be presenting To the Beach: Re-thinking the Littoral, Rewriting the Line Between Land & Sea” at the Early American Borderlands Conference, Biennial Summit of Society for Early Americanists, St. Augustine, FL, this May 2010. Professor Rojas was the Chair and Respondent for the panel, “Early America, Asia, and the Pacific” at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 2009, and she will be the Chair & Respondent of another panel, “All at Sea” at The Inaugural Conference of C19: The Society of Nineteenth Century Americanists, State College, PA, May 2010. In February 2010 Professor Rojas presented, "Teach me the Woes of Slavery to Paint: David Humphreys, Poetic Authority, and Sovereignty in the Early Republic" for the URI English Department Faculty Colloquium at the Providence Feinstein Campus.

Professor John R. Leo was a guest and visiting scholar while on sabbatical in October 2009 at two Polish schools, the University of Warsaw’s English Institute and UW’s American Studies Center, and at the Maria Curie-Sk?odowska University’s English Institute, Lublin. In addition to meeting with faculty and graduate students and consulting with them on current research projects, and exploring possible exchanges and collaborations with URI in American cultural studies, Professor Leo gave several presentations on American cultural studies methodologies and “keywords” for faculties in literature, history, economics and political science, undergraduate and graduate students, at both institutions. At the American Studies Center he conducted an Open Forum on the topic “Gay Marriage vs. Registered Partnership and ‘Citizenship’” which explored the many historical layers and cultural meanings and privileges attending the key concepts in the title, but also their overlaps with others, e.g. “bodies,” “rights,” and “publics.”

Professor John R. Leo was the Chair and Respondent for the panel, “Visual Readings,” at the (Mis)Reading America: American Dreams, Fictions and Illusions Conference, the October 2009 annual meeting of the Polish Association for American Studies, in Pu?awy. Professor Leo was also Chair and Respondent for another film panel, “Reading American Fantastic” at this PAAS meeting.

Film Studies: Publications

Professor Jean Walton's chapter “Donald Sutherland: The Politics and Erotics of Submission,” will offer analysis of the only Canadian celebrity in Hollywood Reborn: Movie Stars of the 1970s, edited by James Morrison and due out from Rutgers UP in summer of 2010.  "As the studio and star systems declined," the book copy reads, "actors had more power than ever, and because many had become fiercely politicized by the temper of the times, the movies they made were often more challenging than before. Thus, just when it might have faded out, Hollywood was reborn—but what was the nature of this rebirth?" Other stars include Fonda, Pacino, Dunaway, Beatty, but also unexpected figures like Shelley Winters and Divine.

Film Studies: Conference Presentations

Ph.D. candidate Robert LeBlanc will present a paper entitled "Critiquing the 'Daxumentary': Documentary Modes of Self-Representation in Online Video" at Caught in the Act: Performance and Performativity, the 2010 UMass English Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on April 17 in Amherst. Building on his dissertation work in documentary filmmaking, LeBlanc's paper discusses the public perceptions of anonymity and interactivity inherent to amateur documentary filmmaking on sites like YouTube, arguing that these perceptions have enabled new ways of representing the self as a performer of truthfulness, rather than just a conduit of unquestionable information.

Visual Publications

A new collection by acclaimed photographer, Arthur Tress, is to be released in March 2010 by the German publisher Galerie Vevais and with an introduction by Steven Brown.

Victorian Literature:  Conference Presentations

Carolyn Betensky will be giving a paper titled "Oliver's Two Families:  The Do-Over Rescue in Oliver Twist" at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference at the University of Texas, Austin, in March.

Feminisms and Rhetorics: Conference Presentations

In October 2009, graduate students Rosaleen Greene-Smith, Nicole Myers, Timothy Amidon, and Jamie White-Farnham presented papers at the 7th Biannual Conference of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric at Michigan State.  Their papers ranged in topic from menstruation, sexting, birth control, and housework, and were derived from their work in Prof. Kim Hensley Owen's recent seminar entitled Rhetorics of/and Reproduction.

Utopian Studies: Conference Presentations

In October 2009, Steven Brown presented his paper, "Re-Imaging Utopia: Crises of Temporality in Robert ParkeHarrison's The Architect's Brother" at the 34th Annual Conference of the Society for Utopian Studies, held in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The abstract can be found online at Discoveries: A Bibliography for the Utopian Inclined. Here you can also find a link to photographer Robert ParkeHarrison's website to view images from his book, The Architect's Brother.

Writing & Rhetoric:  Conference Presentations

Graduate student Valerie A. Vancza will present her paper titled “Faculty Voices Matter:  Instructors’ Judgments in Writing Assessment Practice and Progress" at the 41st Annual College English Association Conference to be held in San Antonio, TX in March 2010.  Her paper explores instructor-evaluators' collective attitudes and values as they engage in assessing writing course outcomes. 

Cultural Theory:  Conference Presentations and Publications

Professor Carolyn Betensky gave a paper at the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society Conference at Rutgers University in October. 

Ph.D. candidate Robert LeBlanc gave a paper on intertextuality in American roots music cultures at Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium 2009 at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.

Professor Stephen M. Barber’s essay, “Addressing HIV” appears in the McMaster University Medical Journal.  Volume 5 (1): 2008.

Professor John R. Leo gave a presentation, “‘Cultural Studies,’ ‘Keywords,’ and ‘Concepts’: Some Thoughts on Mapping,” for the English Institute faculties and students at the University of Warsaw and Maria Curie-Sk?odowska University, Lublin, Poland, October 2009. 

Modernist Studies: Publications and Talks

Jean Walton's chapter “Modernity and the Peristaltic Subject,” will appear in Neurology and Modernity: A Cultural History of Nervous Systems, 1800-1950, edited by Laura Salisbury and Andrew Shail, due out from Palgrave Macmillan in Spring 2010.  Laying out the neurological understanding of the autonomic nervous system that controls digestion, Walton's chapter explores modern visceral disciplinary systems, such as toilet training, designed to promote regularity and efficiency in the young citizen. Other chapters treat such modern neurological phenomena as organology, menstruation, railway spine, aphasiology, paranoia, dyspepsia, nerve-vibration, phantom limbs, and shell-shock.

Professor Stephen M. Barber’s essay, “States of Emergency, States of Freedom: Woolf, History, and the Novel,” appears in NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction.  42: Summer 2009. Professor Barber delivered the talk, “Out of Duty: Virginia Woolf’s Aesthetics of Existence” for the Dana Shugar Colloquium, University of Rhode Island, February 18, 2010.

Kathleen Davis's chapter “The Sense of an Epoch: Periodization and Sovereignty from Schmitt and Benjamin to Blumenberg and Koselleck” appeared in The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages, ed. D. Vance Smith and Andrew Cole. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. Pp. 39-69. 

Ph.D. candidate Benjamin D. Hagen will present his paper entitled “It Is Almost Impossible That I Should Be Here: Wordsworthian Nature and an Ethics of Self-Writing in Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Sketch of the Past’” at the 2010 International Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf to be held June 3rd to the 6th at Georgetown College, in Georgetown, Kentucky. Also, Benjamin’s essay “A Car, a Plane, and a Tower: Interrogating Public Images in Mrs. Dalloway,” which was announced as “forthcoming” in last year’s newsletter, now appears in Modernism/Modernity 16.3 (September 2009): 537-51.

Modernist Studies Association: Seminar Paper

At the 11th annual Modernist Studies Association Conference in Montréal (Nov 5-8th), Michael D Becker contributed a paper titled “Potential Activist New Formalism(s) and the Problem of the Reader” at the seminar Modernism and the Politics of New Formalism.  The paper explored how the role of the reader might be problematic to new formalism's demand to read literature's form alongside its historicity.

British Romanticism: Conference Presentations

Graduate student Stefanie Head presented her paper, 'Wordsworth at Speed: The Pace of (City) Life' at the 2009 International Conference on Romanticism. Exploring the conference theme, Romanticism and the City, through a focus on pace and activity, this paper theorized a Wordsworthian 'active inactivity' or strenua inertia in an effort to trouble strict oppositions between city & country and mind & body.

Medieval Studies: Publications

Kathleen Davis's chapter “Boredom, Brevity and Last Things: Ælfric’s Style and the Politics of Time” appeared in A Companion to Ælfric. Ed. Hugh Magennis and Mary Swan. Leiden: Brill Press, 2009. Pp. 321-344.

Medieval Studies: Invited Lectures

Kathleen Davis gave a lecture titled “‘Laws and Times’: Questions of Precedent and History in Old English Texts”at  Harvard University, October, 2009.

Postcolonial Literature: Conference Presentations

NeMLA 2010: Conference Presentations

Ph.D. candidate Mihaela Harper will contribute a paper titled “Naming the Visible: Progress and Egress in Georgi Gospodinov’s Natural Novel” to the “After the Berlin Wall: Rethinking Contemporary Russian and East European Writing” panel at NeMLA’s 41st annual convention in Montreal, Quebec. The paper investigates the problem of measuring change in post-communist Bulgaria.

Karen F. Stein will chair a panel called "Margaret Atwood and Canada: Interventions, Influences, Interconnections.

Contemporary Literature and Culture

Professor Naomi Mandel will speak at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. April 13, 2010. Her
talk is titled "Being Nomadic with the Truth: Fact, Fiction, and Fidelity in the novels of
Jonathan Safran Foer."  

Professor Peter Covino's forthcoming publications in Spring 2010 include:
 “Innovation, Interdisciplinarity, and Cultural Exchange in Italian American Poetry” Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture. Eds. Giunta, Edvige and McCormack, Kathleen. Modern Languages Association, Fordham University Press: New York, 2010. And, “Close Reading Diane di Prima’s Poetry in a Global-Digital Age” Paterson Literary Review, Passaic Community College: Paterson, New Jersey, 2010.

Ph.D. Candidate Nancy Caronia’s essay, “The Exilic Immigrant” is going to be included in  Italian Passages: Selected Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the American Italian Historical Association, Denver, 2007 (AIHA), forthcoming in 2010

Instructor Elisabeth Ly BELL has completed her Ph.D., John F. Kennedy-Institute for Northamerican Studies, Free University of Berlin, Germany.  Her dissertation's title is A Voice of Disturbance - Robert Coover und Mythos.

Feminist Studies: Publications

Karen F. Stein published “The Cleavage Commotion: How the Press Covered Senator Hillary Clinton’s Campaign,” in Cracked but Not Shattered: Hillary Rodham Clinton's Unsuccessful Campaign for the Presidency  ed. Ted Sheckels, Rowman and Littlefield, 2009, pp. 173-187.

Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies: Publications and Talks

Professor Naomi Mandel will deliver a public address on "Canadian … Extreme" at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in May, 2010. Her talk is hosted by the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies.

Karen F. Stein has an article in press: “Problematic Paradice: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake,” in Margaret Atwood: The Robber Bride, The Blind Assassin and Oryx and Crake ed J. Brooks Bouson, Continuum Press.

Karen F. Stein's essay "Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale: Scheherazade in Dystopia" was reprinted in Critical Insights: The Handmaid's Tale edited by J. Brooks Bouson, Salem Press, 2010.

Creative Writing

Poetry Publications and Readings

Professor Peter Covino's recent publications include poems in Cimarron Review, No 168, Summer 2009; in Quarterly West #66 Winter 2009-2010Lo Ball, Spring 2010, in roger Spring 2010, and in the anthology, It’s Not You It’s Me: Break-up Poems, Ed. Williams, Jerry. Other Books: New York, NY, 2010.

Professor Peter Covino's recent presentations and readings include: the Roger Williams University, September 2009; Stonehill College, December 2010, Giovanni’s Room Bookstore, Dec. 2009; Modern Language Association Convention in Philadelphia, PA “Italian American Poetry: Trends, History,” December 2009; Barnes & Noble 82nd & Bdwy, NYC, Jan. 2010; KGB Bar, NYC, Feb. 2010; PEN New England Discovery Night, Lesley University, March 2010; Colrain Poetry Conference, Colrain, MA, March 2010;  URI Inauguration of David M. Dooley, 11th President, Inaugural Poem, April 2010; St Joseph’s College, Hartford, CT, April 2010; Hofstra University Conference, “For a Dangerous Pedagogy: A Manifesto for Italian and Italian American Studies,” LI, NY, April 2010;  Mi Alma, Italian Cultural Arts Festival, Sunset Junction, Los Angeles, CA, May 2010.

Instructor Talvikki Ansel has poems published in The Yale Review, vol. 98, No.1 and forthcoming in Poetry. She will be reading and visiting classes at the Olney Friends School in Ohio, April 2010.

Instructor Kevin McLellan has recent poems in: 42Opus, Barrow Street, Inman Square Review, Queen City Review, Town Creek Poetry, and wicked alice.  He has poems forthcoming in: Arch Literary Journal, BLOOM, Colorado Review, Dirty Napkin EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts, poemeleon, Southern Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, Versal, and the anthology Spaces Between Us (Third World Press, 2010). The co-written poem "After Phosphorescence" — from Kevin’s chapbook Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, March 2010), a collaborative series with numerous poets— is the monthly featured poem on Verse Daily:

Mary Cappello’s queer poem in prose, “Objective Correlatives: A Trialogue on Love,” is forthcoming in the Spring 2010 issue of Hotel Amerika

Steven Brown's essay, "Be-Longing: Translating Leslie Norris's Meaningful Distance," will appear in an upcoming issue of Literature and Belief. "Be-Longing" examines two translations of Rilke's Duino Elegies: one literary, by Norris, and the other visual, by New Orleans photographer, Josephine Sacabo.

MA alum, Brett Rutherford’s poem, “All I Know About My Father,” will be published in the anthology, Literature and Gender. Elizabeth Primamore, ed., Longman, 2010.
Brett’s poem, “F” has been accepted for an anthology, Dreams of Fear: Poetry of Terror and the Supernatural. S.T. Joshi and Steven J. Mariconda, eds. 2010/11. Poplar Bluff, MO: Mythos Books, and "Monday Miss Schreckenghost Reads Us Little Black Sambo" has been selected for The Rhode Island Writers' Circle Anthology 2010, edited by Rose Pearson. Additionally, Brett's poems, "An Exeter Vampire, 1799", "At the Wood's Edge," (a translation from an Iroquois funeral rite), and an essay, "Niobe's Tears and Naval Gentlemen: The Classical Poetry of Phillis Wheatley" appeared in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Sensations Magazine devoted to works about 18th Century America.

Fiction and Nonfiction Publications and Readings

Instructor Kathryn Kulpa recently published short fiction in The Pedestal and Stone's Throw and has work forthcoming in Monkeybicycle, Northville Review and Foundling Review. She was also featured in the anthology “It All Changed in an Instant" : More Six-Word Memoirs (HarperPerennial, 2010).
Professor Celest Martin has published, "Not Just Another Pretty Classroom Genre: The Uses of Creative Nonfiction in the Writing Major," in What We Are Becoming: Developments in Undergraduate Writing Majors. Utah State University Press. (2010), and has another piece forthcoming entitled, "Perfection by Any Other Name: A New Paradigm for Parental Dreams" in the 2010 RI Writers' Circle Anthology. The Poets Press ( 2010) A reading from this work will take place on Sunday March 21 at the Borders Bookstore in Providence Place Mall.  Because Celest will be attending 4 C's in Louisville, her daughter, Katie Lamson, will perform the reading for her.

Professor Celest Martin will be presenting " Mom, Do You Remember March 15, 1992? Living with the Marvelous Mind of Autism," at the June 2009 Society for Disability Studies Conference in Tuscon, AZ, and presenting, "Beyond Classroom Genres: The Uses of Creative Nonfiction in the Writing Major." Presentation at Roundtable Discussion with fellow contributors to the above named volume at the College Composition and Communication Conference in Louisville, KY, March 17-21 2010. Celest will be editing the forthcoming newsletter of the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning officially in the Fall of 2010.

Daniela Ragusa, Ph.D., ’09, will be presenting, "The Lonely Hearts Clean Plate Club: Learning and Teaching Creative Nonfiction" at the College Composition and Communication Conference in Louisville, KY, March 17-21 2010.

French and Francophone Literary and Cultural Studies

Alain-Philippe Durand. “Don’t Bother With French.” 3 Oct. 2009.  Plenary Lecture to the AATF section of the Rhode Island Foreign Language Association.  RIFLA Annual Conference, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI, and “The French Jorge Amado." Dept. of Languages, Clemson University. 25 February 2010.
Alain-Philippe Durand was invited as Scholar in Residence at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in the Erasmus Mundus Master in Cultural Landscapes ( on December 4-January 25. He lectured on the non-places in the contemporary French novel. In Bordeaux, France, he presented, “Kiosques à journaux, salons de coiffure et fromageries chez Jorge Amado.” International Colloquium L’esprit des lieux. 11 March, 2010. Maison des Sciences de l’homme, LAPRIL, Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3, Bordeaux, France. And, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he presented, “Un brésilien à Paris – Représentation d’un nouvel espace discursif chez Jorge Amado.” 16 Sept. 2009. International Colloquium Representações recíprocas nos discursos francófonos e lusófonos, State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).Alain-Philippe Durand is permanent Visiting Professor in the Department of French at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianópolis, Brazil every spring break since 2008. In 2010, he will give a short seminar on contemporary French pop culture and will attend several Master theses defenses as he serves on Master theses committees.

Alain-Philippe Durand published the article “Jorge Amado and Albert Camus: Formative Literary Visions and Prewar Politics” (Co-Authored with Ralph Schoolcraft III). PMLA 124.3 (2009): 918-25.

Alain-Philippe Durand published the book review: Marcyliena Morgan.  The Real Hip Hop: Battling for Knowledge, Power, and Respect in the LA Underground.  Duke UP, 2009. Choice Aug. 2009.

Virtual Projects

Alain-Philippe Durand and his students in ENG 394 (2009-2010 crew: Thomas Barkman, Alex DeCiccio, Brigid Flynn, Jackson Izzo, Bianca Scartabello) maintain the official web sites of French and Belgian novelist and filmmaker Marie Darrieussecq ( and Jean-Philippe Toussaint (

Departmental News Archive