Tag Archive for English Department

4 Faculty Speak at Diasporas Conference in France

Khachig Tölölyan, Typhaine Leservot, Ashraf Rushdy and Indira Karamcheti were invited to speak at a conference hosted by the Universite Paul Valery, Montpellier III June 20-23. The event is titled “Diasporas and Cultures of Mobility.” Rushdy and Karamcheti are invited visiting professors.

Tölölyan, professor of letters, professor of English, editor/founder of Diaspora will be the keynote speaker. He will speak on “Twenty Years of Diaspora Studies: Success through Confusion.”

Typhaine Leservot, associate professor of letters, associate professor of romance languages and literatures, will speak on “”Maghrebo-Quebecois and Franco-Maghrebi: towards Distinct Identities?”

Ashraf Rushdy, professor of English, professor of African American studies, academic secretary, will speak on “An Apology for the African Diaspora: Race, Regret, and Reconciliation.” He will examine how the social relations of people of African descent have been affected by the development of two competing discourses – one of ‘diaspora’ and the other of ‘apology.’

Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies, will speak on “Names and Global Habitations: the South Asian Diaspora and the Problem of the Proper Name.” It concerns the inability of the diaspora from India to claim its national origin in its name, and the effects of this on the kinds of claims it can make on history and its own ethical treatment.

In addition, Karamcheti presented her paper at Montpellier titled “Sex Messaging: Writing South Asian Diasporic Sexuality” on May 30. Her paper examined the representation of South Asian female diasporic sexuality through the films Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, and Sita Sings the Blues, examining the relationship between the Indian nation’s aestheticizing, the diaspora’s politicizing, and the U.S. feminist universalizing of that sexuality.

 

 

Cohen Organizes Reading of Fiction, Memoir Writer Sybille Bedford

In honor of the centennial of the writer Sybille Bedford, and in conjunction with The Paris Review, Lisa Cohen, assistant professor of English, organized an evening of readings of her work on March 24 in New York City. Cohen writes about Bedford in The Paris Review. Cohen’s writing has appeared in Fashion TheoryBookforumPloughsharesThe Boston Review, and other journals and anthologies. Her book, All We Know—portraits of the neglected modernist figures Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta, and Madge Garland—will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2012.

Sybille Bedford (1911-2006) was one of the great 20th-century stylists of the English language.

 

Garrett Researches Social History, Literary Form in 18th, 19th Centuries

Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, teaches his ENGL 209 course, From Seduction to Civil War: The Early U.S. Novel. He also teaches classes on transatlantic poetry between the 16th and 19th centuries and literature of the revolution.

Matthew Garrett brings research interests in American literature, narrative theory, literary and social history, and social theory to Wesleyan’s Department of English.

Garrett, an assistant professor, joined the department in 2008. He has a B.A. from Bard College, a M. Phil. from Cambridge University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

“I came to Wesleyan to work with superb scholars and to teach students who are famous as some of the best in the world. That combination of active scholarship and exciting teaching is truly exceptional, and I think it distinguishes Wesleyan from both its liberal-arts and big-university peers,” he says. “Every professor wants a robust environment for both their writing and their teaching, and Wesleyan has a tradition of sustaining these mutually nourishing and interdependent activities.”

Garrett focuses his research and writing on the relationship between social history and literary form, particularly in Anglophone culture in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Wesleyan University Press Publishes Willis’s Poetry Collection

Book by Elizabeth Willis.

Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, associate professor of English, is the author of a poetry collection titled Address, published by Wesleyan University Press in March 2011.

According to Wesleyan UniversiyAddress draws readers into visible and invisible architectures, into acts of intimate and public address. These poems are concentrated, polyvocal, and sharply attentive to acts of representation; they take personally their politics and in the process reveal something about the way civic structures inhabit the imagination. Poisonous plants, witches, anthems, bees—beneath their surface, we glimpse the fragility of our founding, republican aspirations and witness a disintegrating landscape artfully transformed. If a poem can serve as a kind of astrolabe, measuring distances both cosmic and immediate, temporal and physical, it does so by imaginative, nonlinear means.

Nisse, Garrett Awarded Humanities Fellowship

Ruth Nisse, associate professor of English, and Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, received a 2011-12 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.

The ACLS is a competitive fellowship for scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. Applications are peer reviewed by scholars in the applicant’s field. The fellowship is designed to provide scholars with devoted time for their research and writing. Seventy national scholarly organizations below to the ACLS.

Nisse will use her fellowship to complete her book called Jacob’s Shipwreck.

“The book focuses on Jewish-Christian relations and the transmission of ancient texts into both medieval Latin and Hebrew traditions,” Nisse says.

Garrett will use the award to complete his first book, Episodic Poetics in the Early American Republic. The book traces the evolution of episodic writing in early American culture, including prose, novels, memoirs and linked serial essays. Garrett shows how, in ways both magisterial and mundane, how episodic forms gave variegated shape to the social, political, and economic conflicts that defined the early U.S. republic.

“It’s a literary history of the episode, that odd little narrative unit that literary critics often ignore because episodes don’t always add up to proper plots,” he says.

Howe Awarded Bollingen Prize for Poetry

Susan Howe, the English Department’s Distinguished Visiting Writer for 2010-11, was awarded the prestigious Bollingen Prize in American Poetry at Yale University. Previous recipients include Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore and Adrienne Rich. Two of Howe’s most influential books, Singularities (poetry) and The Birthmark (essays), were published by Wesleyan University Press.

Of Howe’s most recent book, the three-member judging committee said: “Susan Howe is a fierce elegist. That This, prompted by the sudden death of the poet’s husband, makes manifest the raw edges of elegy through the collision of verse and prose, visionary lyricism and mundane incident, ekphrasis, visual patterning, and the reclamation of historical documents. The book culminates in a set of luminous and starkly condensed lyrics moving increasingly toward silence.”

Born in 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts, Susan Howe is the author of numerous previous volumes of poetry, including The Midnight (2003), Kidnapped (2002), Pierce-Arrow (1999), Frame Structures: Early Poems 1974-1979 (1996), The Nonconformist’s Memorial (1993), The Europe of Trusts: Selected Poems (1990), and Singularities (1990). Howe is also the author of two books of criticism: The Birth-Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993), named “International Book of the Year” by the Times Literary Supplement, and My Emily Dickinson (1985). She was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2000; she has been a fellow at The American Academy in Berlin and a distinguished fellow at the Stanford Institute of the Humanities. Howe held the Samuel P. Capen Chair of Poetry and the Humanities at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and has recently taught at Princeton, University of Chicago, University of Utah, as well as Wesleyan.

The Bollingen Prize in American Poetry, established by Paul Mellon in 1949, is awarded biennially by the Yale University Library to an American poet for the best book published during the previous two years or for lifetime achievement in poetry.

Duke’s Baucom Discusses Relationships Among War, Empire, Republicanism

Oct. 6, Duke University Professor of English Ian Baucom gave the first lecture in the English Department Lecture Series, titled "Reading a Letter: Republicanism, Empire, and the Archives of the Atlantic."

Baucom met with Wesleyan faculty and fellows on Oct. 7 to discuss his current book project, "The Disasters of War: On Inimical Life." Pictured at right is Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, who organized the event.

Tölölyan Interviewed by French Publication

Khachig Tölölyan, professor of letters, professor of English, founder and editor of Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, was interviewed by the French weekly publication L’Express about Thomas Pynchon on Oct. 6. The article is online, in French.

Tölölyan Keynote Speaker at International Diaspora Conference

Khachig Tölölyan, professor of letters, professor of English, editor of “Diaspora,” was one of two keynote speakers at a conference on “Diaspora as a resource: Comparative Studies in Strategies, Networks and Urban Space.” The international event was held in Hamburg, Germany June 4-6. Tölölyan’s interests include diasporas, transnationalism, the world/globe polarity and the Armenian diaspora.

English Graduates Speak About Experiences in the Field

The English Majors Committee and the English Department sponsored English Major Grads Take on the World Dec. 10 in Downey House. The event's panel included, from left, Jim Kubat, associate director for career development; Amy Tang, assistant professor of English, assistant professor of American studies; book author Sophie Pollitt-Cohen '09 and <em>New Yorker</em> staff writer Ariel Levy '96. The audience watched a video clip of Levy, who was recently interviewed on The Colbert Report.

The English Majors Committee and the English Department sponsored "English Major Grads Take on the World," Dec. 10 in Downey House. The event's panel included, from left, Jim Kubat, associate director for career development; Amy Tang, assistant professor of English, assistant professor of American studies; book author Sophie Pollitt-Cohen '09 and staff writer of The New Yorker, Ariel Levy '96. The audience watched a video clip of Levy, who was recently interviewed on "The Colbert Report."

 

Joel Pfister, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and chair of the English Department, holds a copy of Levy's book, <em>Female Chauvinist Pigs</em>. Pfister introduced the speakers and moderated the event.

Joel Pfister, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and chair of the English Department, holds a copy of Levy's book, Female Chauvinist Pigs. Pfister introduced the speakers and moderated the event.

 

Kubat shared statistics and information on what Wesleyan English majors have done, and currently do. The even focused on how literature is equipment for living, and making a living.  Tang worked in several different fields before switching gears and earning her Ph.D from Stanford in 2009. Pollitt-Cohen is a book author and independent writer for The Huffington Post, The New York Times Book Review and other publications.

Kubat shared statistics and information on what Wesleyan English majors have done, and currently do. The even focused on how literature is equipment for living, and making a living. Tang worked in several different fields before switching gears and earning her Ph.D from Stanford in 2009. Pollitt-Cohen is an author and independent writer for The Huffington Post, The New York Times Book Review and other publications.

 

More than 70 students attended the event. Pictured in back are Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference and adjunct professor of English; and Andy Szegedy-Maszak, the Jane A. Seney Professor of Green, professor of classical studies and chair of the Classical Studies Department.

More than 70 students attended the event. Pictured in back are Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference and adjunct professor of English; and Andy Szegedy-Maszak, the Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies and chair of the Classical Studies Department.