January 23, 2020

Blevins Presents at Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English, recently presented at the 2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics conference her project “Composing New Public Rhetorical Possibilities Using Augmented and Mixed Reality.” Blevins analyzed installations of traditional epideictic rhetoric, such as memorial statues and artwork, at institutions that began as schools for women, and, after examining other Augmented Reality (AR) projects, contended that AR compositions, such as class assignments, could offer additional means for expanding campus historical interpretation.

UMW ‘Keeps the Light On’ Banned Books Week

Born in Russia, UMW sophomore Katia Savelyeva has called America home for most of her life. But the English major sometimes wonders what it would be like had she stayed in St. Petersburg. “I hope I’d still do things that don’t require as much bravery here in the United States,” said Savelyeva, who read aloud […]

Fallon Presents Research at Georgetown Conference

Associate Professor of Linguistics Paul D. Fallon

Associate Professor of Linguistics Paul D. Fallon

Associate Professor of Linguistics Paul D. Fallon presented a paper, “A Survey of Reduplication Types in Blin” at the 2019 Georgetown University Round Table in Washington, DC, on March 31, 2019. This paper examined the various types of word formation involving the copying of all or part of a word root in both nouns and verbs in the Blin language of Eritrea.

Haffey Publishes Book on Literary Modernism and Queer Temporality

Associate Professor of English Kate Haffey

Associate Professor of English Kate Haffey

Kate Haffey, Associate Professor of English, has just had her book, Literary Modernism, Queer Temporality: Eddies in Time​, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Per the summary on the back of the book, “This book explores the intersection between the recent work on queer temporality and the experiments of literary modernism. Kate Haffey argues that queer theory’s recent work on time owes a debt to modernist authors who developed new ways of representing temporality in their texts. By reading a series of early twentieth-century literary texts from modernists like Woolf, Eliot, Faulkner, and Stein alongside contemporary authors, this book examines the way in which modernist writers challenged narrative conventions of time in ways that both illuminate and foreshadow current scholarship on queer temporality. In her analyses of contemporary novelists and critics Michael Cunningham, Jeanette Winterson, Angela Carter, and Eve Sedgwick, Haffey also shows that these modernist temporalities have been reconfigured by contemporary authors to develop new approaches to futurity.” Details are available at https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9783030173005.

Foss Presents at Popular Culture Association National Meeting

Professor of English Chris Foss

Professor of English Chris Foss

Professor of English Chris Foss presented a paper entitled “My Favorite Comic Is Monster Girl: Helene Fischer’s Crip Re-appropriation of Monstrosity” as part of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association national conference at the Wardham Park Marriott in Washington, DC. In his paper, Foss argued that for all the well-deserved accolades that have greeted Marjorie Liu’s Monstress and Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Helene Fischer’s humble and unheralded Monster Girl most fully realizes the transformative potential of a crip re-appropriation of monstrosity. Monster Girl features an autistic artist’s rendering of an autistic protagonist. It not only is explicitly engaged in illuminating the lived experience of disability, but it further constitutes a generative starting point for the further exploration of the metaphorical assumptions about disability and monstrosity while reaffirming the crucial role of the genre’s own hybridity in foregrounding such considerations. Even though it is only a short four-page comic, Monster Girl offers a complex tapestry of the nexus of disability and monstrosity, suggesting various enabling possibilities for a crip re-visioning of disabled monstrosity. Embodying the particularly promising potential such a hybrid genre holds for the deconstruction of traditional templates and the (re)construction of empowering alternatives to said monstrosity, it speaks to the wonderful extent to which such a comics text may productively produce excitement and empathy instead of hatred and horror.

Richards Presents at Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Professor Gary Richards, chair of the Department of English, Linguistics and Communication

Gary Richards, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication

Gary Richards, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, recently facilitated the discussion of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces at the Books and Beignets program of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival held March 27-31 in New Orleans, LA. This program has become a tradition at the festival, and Richards has been leading it now for over a decade, since 2007.

Mathur Presents on Shakespeare at MLA Conference

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English

Maya Mathur, Associate Professor of English, presented the paper “Twelfth Night in Tragic and Comic Registers” for a panel on “Shakespeare and South Asian Cinema” at the 50th Annual Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference in Washington, DC. Her paper examined two cinematic adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1601), Tim Supple’s Twelfth Night (2003) and Atul Kumar’s Piya Behrupiya (2012), that are set partially or wholly on the Indian subcontinent. In the paper, she considers the changes that both directors make to Shakespeare’s play in order to address local contexts and concerns.


Lorentzen Presents on Wordsworth and Dickens at MLA Conference

Eric Lorentzen, Associate Professor of English

Eric Lorentzen, Associate Professor of English

Eric Lorentzen, Associate Professor of English, gave the talk “‘Spots of Time’: Wordsworthian Spirits and Dickensian Hauntings” for the special Dickens Society panel at the 50th Annual Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference in Washington, D.C. Lorentzen examined this Romantic influence in Dickens’ work as a part of the panel “Dickens and the Influences of the Past.” In his paper, Lorentzen traced the ways in which Dickens’ incorporation of the Wordsworthian philosophies of time, memory, and continuity transformed over the length of the Victorian novelist’s career.  He detailed the many echoes of “We Are Seven” (Dickens’ favorite Wordsworth poem) in the early novels, and the darker cooptation of the poet’s ideas in moments of traumatic memory in the latter novels, as Dickens transformed Wordsworth from the poet of Nature, to a much more haunting figure that informs some of the more deeply psychological “spots of time” in Victorian fiction.



Subramanian Publishes Story in Hakai Magazine

Assistant Professor Sushma Subramanian, Department of English

Sushma Subramanian, Assistant Professor of English teaching journalism, has published a story in Hakai Magazine about the Bajau, a people of Indonesia known for their special swimming and diving abilities, and how they might reveal something about our evolutionary past. The story is available at https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/born-to-swim/​.

McAllister Gives Talk on Speaking Intensive Pedagogy

Marie E. McAllister, professor of English and 2016-18 Waple Professor, presented a paper titled “Performance and Improvisation: Speaking Assignments in the 18th-Century Classroom” at the annual conference of the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.