May 28, 2023

Scanlon Gives Public Lecture on WWI Literature

Mara Scanlon, Professor of English, recently delivered a community lecture at the Fredericksburg branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library titled “The Great War from the Margins: WWI Literature by Women and African Americans.” Focusing especially on the novel Not Only War: A Story of Two Great Conflicts by Victor Daly (the only novel written by an African American soldier or veteran of that conflict), American medical worker Mary Borden’s experimental collection The Forbidden Zone, and African American playwright May Miller’s brief drama “Stragglers in the Dust” (which asks, what if the Unknown Soldier were black?), the lecture was presented in conjunction with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a Library of America program called “World War I and America.”

Scanlon Shares Paper on Great War Literature

Mara Scanlon, Professor of English, recently participated in the seminar “WW I: Reconsidering Rupture” at the 17th Annual Modernist Studies Association Conference. Her paper, “Mary Borden’s ‘Moonlight’: ‘A Crazy Hurting Dream,'” focused on the experimental war book The Forbidden Zone, written by Mary Borden, an American civilian who ran a hospital unit behind the front lines in World War I.  The paper theorized the traumatic encounter with beauty, defined as an “abraded adjacency” in a revision of Elaine Scarry’s terminology from On Beauty and Being Just, which can shock the self from its protective mechanization in a time of violence. The Forbidden Zone is also included in Scanlon’s English class called Literature of the Great War.

Mara Scanlon Publishes Edited Essay Collection

hi-res-jacketDr. Mara Scanlon, Professor of English, has published an essay collection entitled Poetry and Dialogism: Hearing Over. Scanlon co-edited the volume with Dr. Chad Engbers of Calvin College and wrote its introduction. The book, published by Palgrave MacMillan, extends the theoretical conversation on poetry that is oriented toward an Other and contributes as well to ethnic studies, translation studies, and the field of ethics and literature.