Graduate Literature Program Newsletter - September 2017

Department of English

Graduate Literature Program


September 2017

special catch-up-and-get-back-on-track issue

(some of this news isn’t so new anymore; apologies to those who contributed items a while ago)



Welcome to our new Graduate Literature Program Students:

New PhD Students:

Laura Kim (BA SUNY-Empire State College, MA Valdosta SU)

Andrew Negin (BA Whittier, MA Claremont)

Mary Rosenberry (BA Pepperdine, MA CSU-Sacramento)

New  MA/PhD Students:

Nathaniel Harrison (BA UA)

Alexander Johnson (BA Montana)

Colleen Kenney (BA Loyola Chicago)

Jane Stringham (BA Utah, MA Utah [Languages and Literatures], MA Universidad De Alcalá [Bilingual and Multicultural Education])

Amanda Zhu (BA Southeast University in Nanjing, MA Duke [Liberal Studies])

AMP Students:

second year in program, first year with graduate standing:

Vic Elliott (BA UA)

Rachel Lowry (BA UA)

Sydney Modder (BA UA)

first year in program  (undergraduate standing):

Maggie  Guinan


Bill Epstein (Emeritus) reports on 2016: “My book, Invented Lives, Imagined Communities: the Biopic and American National Identity, co-edited with R. Barton Palmer, was published in hardcover by SUNY Press in June. In late September I performed my one-person play, My Life in Sports, for the United Solo Festival in NYC, at Theatre Row just off Times Square. In late October I gave a keynote lecture, "Strategic Patriotic Memories: the Biopic and American National Identity," for an international conference, "Life Writing and Film Biography in the Trans-Cultural Context," at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in Shanghai, China. In early November I gave an invited lecture on the same topic at Nanchang University, Nanchang, China.”

 Jennifer Jenkins published Celluloid Pueblo: Western Ways Film Service and the Invention of the Postwar Southwest (UA Press, 2016), in conjunction with the Visions of the Borderlands: Myths and Realities  exhibit at UA Special Collections. The project received a Provost’s Author Support Award. Her forthcoming publications include: "Archiving the Ephemeral Experience," in Recent Advances in Archival Knowledge (Rowman & Littlefield); “Exhibiting America: Moving Image Archives and Small Libraries,” in Rural and Small Public Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities (Emerald Insight Publishing); “Golden-Age Cinema and Revolutionary Government” [Mexico] for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History; “Sounding Modern Identity in Mexican Film,” with Janet L. Sturman, in Cultural Nationalism and Ethnic-Popular Music: Indigenous Opera, Dance Dramas, Popular Songs, and Movie Soundtracks (University of New Mexico Press). In July, Jennifer presented on “Re-Framing the Native Image: Tribesourcing Midcentury Educational Films” at the Archival Educators Research Institute (AERI) at the University of Toronto.  That project was awarded a three-year NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant in March 2017 to repatriate and record new Native narrations for Southwestern  midcentury educational films in the American Indian Film Gallery, hosted by UA. She received a CERCLL grant in 2016 to do a similar project with Old Pascua Yaqui community and a National Geographic film made in 1972. The Tribesourcing NEH grant was developed with support from SBS Research Institute (SBSRI). Jennifer was invited in January 2017 to lead a funded NEH Challenge Grant project to create a Southwest and Borderlands-focused humanities center on the Tankersley ranch on the east side of Tucson. She will be founding Director of the Bear Canyon Center for Southwest Humanities, and will oversee programming, symposia, and research residencies at the site. She is Director of the Northeast Historic Film Archive Summer Symposium, an international three-day symposium held in Bucksport, Maine. The 2016 topic was “Screening New England;” this summer’s focus is “Regional Moving Image Collections and Archives in the 21st Century,” drawing scholars from the UK, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands and the US. Jennifer continues to organize Home Movie Day Tucson, a celebration of amateur film-on-filmmaking, now hosted by the Loft Cinema each October. She joined the American Indian Studies GIDP and was appointed to the Southwest Center in 2017. Jennifer was promoted to Full Professor in 2017.

Fred Kiefer has  three essays forthcoming: "'Accidental Judgments' and 'Casual Slaughters' in Hamlet: Horatio's Eyewitness Account"  in Shakespeare Studies; "Discourses of Print" the Oxford Handbook to Shakespearean Comedy; and "Hamlet's 'What a Piece of Work Is a Man,'" which identifies the source of Hamlet's most famous speech, in Notes and Queries.

Leerom Medovoi is co-editing a special issue of the journal Social Text on “Race/Religion/War” that will be appearing this coming February.  He also received an advance contract for an edited collection on “Religion, Secularism and Political Belonging” with Duke University Press.  His book chapter in Postmodern/Postwar—and After has now been published by the University of Iowa Press. He was an invited speaker this last summer at the "Futures of American Studies" meeting at Dartmouth College and at the "Biopolitics of America" symposium at the University of Würzburg in Germany.  Working with Professor Adela Licona and a committee of faculty from six colleges, he is launching a new Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Social, Cultural and Critical Theory that offers a Ph.D. minor.  He affiliated this Fall with the Institute for LGBT Studies.

Homer Pettey reports:

            From May 2016 to June 2017, I completed final page proofs and illustrations for a contracted chapter on “Curtiz’s New Western Aesthetic,” which deals with new cinematic technologies in color and sound of 1930s-40s, for a forthcoming, collection on The Films of Michael Curtiz (University of Texas Press, 2017).  I also completed final page proofs and illustrations for a chapter on “Liam O’Flaherty’s The Informer and the aesthetics of terror,” which examines his I.R.A. novel and its three film adaptations, for a forthcoming collection on Screening Modern Irish Literature and Drama (Palgrave Macmillan, published 2016).  

            In June 2106, my chapter, “Topography and Typology: Wyatt Earp and the West,” was published in a collection on Biopics and American National Identity on State University of New York Press.  That month, I also sent two contracted book manuscripts, which I co-edited with R. Barton Palmer, to State University of New York Press for production.  For Hitchcock's Moral Gaze, which was published in January 2017, I wrote a chapter on “Hobbes, Hume, and Hitchcock: the case of Frenzy.”  For Biopics and British National Identity) also co-edited with R. Barton Palmer, I co-authored the "Preface" on the Brexit and national identity, as well as writing my own "Introduction" to the volume on “The Kray twins and biographical media" and a chapter on “Elizabeth I and the Life of Visual Culture."  That collection is currently in production at SUNY.

             At the end of June 2016, I received a peer-reviewed contract from Rutgers University Press to serve as General/Founding Editor for a new book series on Global Film Directors.  For this series, I solicited five outstanding scholars to commit single-authored books to this new series: Yingjin Zhang (UC San Diego) on Chinese director Zhang Yimou; Joanne Bernardi (Rochester) on Japanese director Juzo Itami; Barton (Clemson) on Irish Lenny Abrahamson; Shelley Cobb (Southampton, Great Britain) on Australian Gillian Armstrong; David Desser (Illinois) on Korean Lee chang-dong; and James Leach (Brock, Canada) on Québécois director Denys Arcand. This contract represents my third editorship for a university press series.

      My two book series at Edinburgh University Press produced several contracts during the 2016-2017 year.  For the Global Film Studios, I edited and promoted the book proposal that received a contract for Vivian Lee’s (City University of Hong Kong) The Other side of Glamour: Hong Kong’s Left-wing Studios.  I also solicited a forthcoming book proposal on Nollywood Studios by Onookome Okome (University of Alberta).  In Spring 2017, I solicited forthcoming book proposals from Eva Novrup Redvall, Nordic Studios; Pietari Kääpä, Finnish Studios; and, Bjorn Nordfjord, Icelandic Studios.  For International Stars, I solicited and edited book proposals for the following: Murray Pomerance and Kyle Stevens, eds. Close Up: Great Cinematic Performances: Volume 1: American; Murray Pomerance and Kyle Stevens, eds. Close Up: Great Cinematic Performances: Volume 2: International; Tiffany Gilbert, Anna Magnani and the World; R. Barton Palmer and Julie Grossman, Hollywood Noir: Major Performers; R. Barton Palmer and Julie Grossman, Hollywood Noir: Headliners and Featured Performers; Steven Rybin, Geraldine Chaplin: The Gift of Film Performance; Dorothy Lau, Chinese Stardom in Global Cyberculture.  For the Close-Up volumes, I agreed to write and completed chapters on Katharine Hepburn performances with performances in The Lion In Winter; and, on Victor Sjöström in Bergman’s spectatorship and actor in Wild Strawberries.  That Close-Up volume is currently in production. 

            In July 2016, I completed a contracted chapter that was peer-reviewed and accepted for a collection on Heist Films at Wayne State University Press.  For “Economic sentiments in Kubrick's The Killing and Furukawa's kenju zankoku monogatari (Cruel Gun Story),” my analysis was based on behavioral economic theory.  That collection will be forthcoming in fall 2017.

            In the second week of June 2016, I sent a book proposal to edit a collection on The Films of Costa-Gavras for Manchester University Press.  During the second week of August, I received the two peer-reviewers’ reports, both of which strongly recommended the book’s publication, so I received an advance contract for 2018.  This collection on Costa-Gavras will be my tenth peer-reviewed book. 

            For an August 30, 2016 deadline, I completed a contracted chapter on “Japanese avant-garde and the moga (‘modern girl’)” for the flagship volume for an Adaptation and Visual Culture series on Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming fall 2017).  I also signed a contract for a chapter on “Criminal Biopics” for a Wiley-Blackwell collection, A Companion to the Biopic (2018), edited by Deborah Cartmell, for a March 2018 due date.

            At the end of September, I gave a paper at Oxford University on biographical media and the Kray twins, the psychopathic, homosexual gangsters who ran East London in the 1960s.  In Fall 2016, I was elected a Trustee for the Association for Adaptation Studies, which includes the peer-reviewing duties of articles for the Oxford University Press journal, Adaptation.  My paper on "Financial Returns and Heist Films," was accepted for the Association's fall 2017 Conference.

            For June-July 2017, I will send out two contracted collections.  Cold War Film Genres (Edinburgh University Press) expands the film history and theory of cinema during this period.  My contributions, beyond editing the collection, include an "Introduction" on Cold War genre theory and the rock-and-roll film and a chapter on suburban comedies.  Also for an end of June 2017, I have in progress a chapter on “Silent and Early Sound Proto-noirs” for Noir Prototypes, edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini. In March 2017, my chapter on "Crossfire and Homeland Insecurity" was published Film Noir--Light and Shadow, edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini.

          For early July 2017, I am finishing a chapter on “Idols of the Sexual Marketplace: Balzac’s La Cousine Bette” for a peer-reviewed, contracted collection that R. Barton Palmer and I are co-editing on French Literature on Screen for Manchester University Press.  For this volume, I am also writing the "Introduction" on Paul Verhoven's Elle (2016) adaptation of Philippe Djian's novel, and their dialogues with French literary and cinematic theories.

            In August 2017, with my co-editor Daniel Crumbo, we will send out a peer-reviewed, contracted collection on Psychopathology on Screen (SUNY Press), with my contribution being the co-authored "Introduction" and a chapter on histrionic personality disorder in Beautiful Creatures and The House of Yes.

Scott Selisker published Human Programming: Brainwashing, Automatons, and American Unfreedom (Minnesota) in fall 2016. The book examines the roles that a literary figure—what Erich Fromm called the “human automaton”—has played in American scientific and popular conversations about totalitarianism, extremism, and fundamentalism. In 2015, Scott published two articles, both of which were awarded prizes: “The Bechdel Test and the Social Form of Character Networks” (New Literary History; Ralph Cohen Prize 2015) and “Stutter-Stop Flash-Bulb Strange: GMOs and the Aesthetics of Scale in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl” (Science Fiction Studies; SFRA Pioneer Award 2016). A short essay of his, “Digital Humanities Knowledge,” was included, by nomination, in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 (Minnesota, 2016), the new annual publication of record for the subfield. He’s currently working on a book project that considers how fiction models social networks, in conversation with social network analysis, media studies, privacy law, and political theory.

Tom Willard presented a paper entitled “Goddess, Guide, or Nurse?: Early Modern Images of Nature” at the Sixth Biennial Conference of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism in Erfurt, Germany, in June 2017. His paper from an earlier ESSWE conference, “Dream and Symbol in The Chemical Wedding” has been published in Lux ex Tenebris: The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017). Tom has given two presentations to mark the five hundredth anniversary of the publication of Johannes Reuchlin’s De Arte Cabalistica (1517), the first in the Early Books Lecture Series at the University of Arizona Library, the other at the 14th Annual Symposium on Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Other recent book chapters include “Hard Places: Paracelsian Neologisms and Early Modern Guides,” Multilingualism in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age: Communication and Miscommunication in the Premodern World  (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2016) and “Testing the Waters: Early Modern Studies,” Bodily and Spiritual Hygiene in Medieval and Early Modern Literature (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2017).  His recent book reviews have appeared in Magill’s Literary Annual, 2017; Mediaevistik; and University of Toronto Quarterly



Sarah Fredericks’s article “‘A great law of human action’: Playing at Work and Working at Play in Mark Twain’s Writings” (coauthored with Alan Gribben) is forthcoming in Routledge’s Children’s Play in Literature: Investigating the Strengths and the Subversions of the Playing Child (2018). Her edited collection Critical Insights: Lord of the Flies will be released by Salem Press this fall. Her essay “‘Make Savings, Not Children’: Malthus and Population Control in Emma and Mansfield Park” will be published in Salem’s Feminism (fall 2017). Ssarah has also written several chapters for volumes in the Critical Insights series, including “Pow-wows of cussing”: Profanity and Euphemistic Variants in Huckleberry Finn” in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (2017; “Maya Angelou and Zora Neale Hurston as Authors of Autobiographies” in Maya Angelou (2016; and “An Overview of Contemporary Guides to LGBTQ Literature” in LGBTQ Literature (2015).

Carie Schneider’s essay “Queer Shoulder to the Wheel: The Pervasive Politics of Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance” was published in the blog of the LA Review of Books (BLARB) in February:



Pete Figler successfully defended his dissertation, “Signifying Ruptures: Violence and Language at the Intersections of Identity, directed by Lee Medovoi, earlier this year.

Pavan Reddy successfully defended his dissertation, “Return to the Eternal Recurrence: Coleridge and the "Echo or Mirror Seeking of Itself", directed by Charles Sherry, in 2016.

Ryan Winet successfully defended his dissertation, “Vulgar Grandeur: Literature and the American Monument during the Long Nineteenth Century,”  directed by Suresh Raval, earlier this year.



Stephen Barker (PhD 1987) has been appointed Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC-Irvine.

Mary Bell (PhD 2014) has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Office of Digital Initiatives and Stewardship at the UA Libraries. She will be supporting a research study on campus research data management.

Donovan Gwinner (PhD 2001) is an Associate Professor of English at Aurora University, in Aurora, Illinois, where he teaches composition, literature, and general education courses. At the last two Western Literature Association conferences, Donovan presented “A ‘Borderlands’ Life of Affirmation and Critical Engagement: Luther Standing Bear’s Bicultural Belonging” (October 2015) and “‘Stupid Fucking­­ White Man’: Western Settler Praxis as Pathological Profanation in Life and Literature” (September 2016).

Ruth Reiniche (PhD 2014) has a book on Flannery O' Connor, Sign Language: Reading Flannery O'Connor's Graphic Narrative, forthcoming from Mercer University Press in Georgia.








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