Faculty Notes (2015)

Kathy Beres Rogers

Keats's Grave: "Here Lies One whose Name is Writ in Water"

Dr. Beres Rogers at the grave of Keats

This summer, Kathy was busy with matters professional and personal.  She received a research and development grant from the College to research at the National Library of Medicine, where she worked on my introduction to my book, Scorpions in the Brain:  The Problem of Obsession in British Romanticism.  As you could imagine, she found some cool stuff, including a Latin tract about nymphomania, stories of obsession with the military, and sketches of monomaniacs. Her family also went on a Grand Tour through Italy, Salzburg, and Hungary.  In Italy, she finally got to see the Protestant Cemetery where Keats, Shelley, and Goethe are buried, as well as the Keats-Shelley house on the bottom of the Spanish Steps. On a completely non-professional level, Kathy got to spend a lot of quality family time with my husband and her four-year-old daughter, Julia. This year, Kathy has attended the International Conference on Romanticism in Park City, Utah, but have otherwise been working away on her book, which she intends to send to Palgrave and Rutledge presses.

John Bruns

Bruns (behind the camera) in Spoleto, IT

Dr. Bruns (behind the camera) in Spoleto, Italy

In March of 2015, Dr. Bruns organized a panel for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference in Montreal on cinema and the city, for which he presented a paper entitled “Confessions of a Streetwalker: Hitchcock’s Camera in Quebec City.” John was one of three judges at the 9th Annual Student Film Festival in April (it continues to be the oldest film festival in Charleston!). In May and June of 2015, he took advantage of the extraordinary opportunity to join Bret Lott and 17 students in Spoleto, Italy for the CofC in Spoleto Study Abroad Program. There he taught a course on global city cinema. He also imbibed capicola, prosciutto, sopressata, numerous types of Pecorino cheese, and a variety of Umbrian wines–often while watching classic Hollywood films on TV, dubbed in Italian. Among many other memorable adventures, he joined students on a tour of famous film locations in Rome and of the impressive sets and sound stages of Cinecittà, Italy’s famed movie studio. He continues to plug away at various writing projects.


Tim Carens



Tim Carens has been having a wonderful time this fall teaching a course on one of his favorite subjects: British imperial literature.  Kipling and Stoker, Conrad and Forster: what could be better reading? 2015 has been a busy year for conference presentations. In March Carens arrived in Boston (just in time for a minor blizzard) to give a paper on The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association. This novel formed the basis of his first scholarly publication, way back in 1995, and it is high time for another go at Wilde. April found him in Atlanta (during a drenching downpour) at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies conference, where he presented research on a relatively new topic: the representation of angling. In “Leaving the City: Angling and the Pursuit of Rural Masculinity,” an essay that ranges from Jane Austen to obscure fishing journals, he argues that middle-class urbanites in the nineteenth-century sought to present themselves as rural gentlemen by taking up the sport of fly fishing. In October, closer to home at Spartanburg, he gave yet another paper, this time at the annual conference of the Victorians Institute. “Subversive Fantasy and Domestic Ideology” discusses the wide-spread Victorian anxiety about the unhealthy effect of literature on the impressionable minds of young women. It should come as no surprise to learn that the weather was foul on the day of his presentation. The longer version of this last paper is scheduled to appear in the fall number of Nineteenth-Century Literature. While Carens was on the road, his springer-spaniel Nelly took liberties with his reading chair.

Bonnie Devet

folio photo DevetDr. Devet’s article “Using Metagenre and Ecocomposition to Train Writing Center Tutors for Writing in the Disciplines” was only one of six articles nominated nationally for the Outstanding Article of the Year (2014) by the International Writing Center Association. She and the peer Writing Lab consultant Mary Stamato also co-wrote “From Answer Key to Spirit Guide: Tutoring in a Secondary School and a College Writing Center” for the international Dangling Modifier A Newsletter for Peer Tutors published by Penn State University. And, Dr. Devet’s article “Writing Center Training through the Lens of Human Resource Management” was published by the refereed Southern Discourse in the Center: A Journal of Multiliteracy and Innovation. Finally,in October, at the 2015 Fall Tutors’ Retreat of the Palmetto State Writing Center Association conference, Dr. Devet presented “Filling the Gaps in the Foundational Scholarship on Writing Lab Training.”

This summer Dr. Devet presented papers at two prestigious Canadian Conferences: the Canadian Writing Centre Association and the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing; both conferences were held in Ottawa, Canada. One paper was titled “Writing Center Training through the Lens of Human Resource Management,” and the other was titled “Using Ecocomposition to Challenge Commonplaces about Writing in the Disciplines.”

Julia Eichelberger

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 9.39.34 AMIn Fall 2014 Julia Eichelberger taught a senior seminar on Charleston writers, and was delighted when some of them visited the class in person: Josephine Humphreys (Rich in Love), Harlan Greene (Why We Never Danced the Charleston), Joe Kelly (America’s Longest Siege), and Bret Lott (The Hunt Club). That semester she also helped the English department host an evening called “Inspired By O’Connor” where local musicians (The Harrows) and a collage artist (Linnie Trettin) presented music and visual art inspired by O’Connor’s writing, and students and faculty read O’Connor excerpts and personal tributes. In January 2015 she and other department faculty and students hosted a regional Poetry Out Loud competition, a high school recitation contest; one of the contest finalists was a student of Nick Geary, a C of C English major who now teaches English and Creative Writing at Goose Creek High School. Currently, she is working with several other C of C faculty to develop a new interdisciplinary minor in Southern Studies, and of course continues to study the work of Eudora Welty. She enjoyed speaking about Welty life and writings at the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson in August 2015; her panel was broadcast on the Book Channel on C-Span, pleasing her while also making her very nervous.  In her off time, she still keeps score for the Hacks softball team, sings occasionally in choirs, and has gained more than she’s given through her work with the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, an interfaith coalition of congregations looking for ways to solve systemic problems in our community. She enjoys kayaking, especially when the sun is setting and dolphins are surfacing. “This is why we live here!” a kayaking friend remarked to her on one of those happy afternoons. She couldn’t resist alluding to Absalom, Absalom!  in her reply, “This is why we live at all!”

Susan Farrell

Susan Farrell published three articles on Tim O’Brien last year.  The first one, “The Homefront and the Frontlines in the War Novels of Tim O’Brien,” argues that O’Brien undermines traditional gender dichotomies as his female characters often partake directly in war and as his male characters repeatedly imagine domestic spaces as alternatives to experiences on the frontlines.  O’Brien shows that, just as it is a mistake to easily and simply equate masculinity with a warrior mentality and femininity with a domestic one, it is also wrong to think that the domestic realm of the homefront is divided from the public world of global politics that brings us war.  The second article provides an overview of O’Brien criticism, from the 1970’s to the present.  The third article, “Witnessing Trauma in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried,” argues that O’Brien’s obsessive emphasis on telling, retelling, and especially on listening to stories illustrates the relationship that clinicians have observed between narrativization of trauma, sympathetic listening to trauma tales, and recovery from traumatic experiences.  Dr. Farrell is taking a year-long sabbatical in 2015-2016 to work on her book about 20th and 21st century American war literature.

Colleen Glenn

star-bodies-and-erotics-sufferingDr. Glenn, along with co-editor Rebecca Bell-Metereau, published an anthology of essays on movie stars, entitled Star Bodies and the Erotics of Suffering (Wayne State UP, 2015). The thirteen essays in the collection grapple with theories of the audience-star relationship, the (in)stability of celebrity bodies, gender and stardom, and issues of masochism and performance. Her essay on Mickey Rourke, “Beauty to Beast: the Rebirth of Mickey Rourke,” deals with how the volatile actor mined his drastic physical transformation in order to return to his acting career.

 Bret Lott

Sunset at the villa in Spoleto, IT

Sunset at the villa in Spoleto, Italy

This summer, Dr. Bruns and Lott took 17 students to Spoleto for the sixth annual Spoleto Summer Study Abroad Program; much fun was had by all. Dr. Lott also taught at the writer’s retreat in Kentucky for a week. In early October, he was featured speaker at the “Novel Affair” gathering at the Ragdale Foundation in Chicago, and later in October he gave a reading in New Orleans as as p of the 25th anniversary of Words and Music, an annual celebration sponsored by the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society. Lott has published two essays this year, one in Kenyon Review Online  and the other in Vanity Fair Online.

Works are coming out this fall in three anthologies, an essay in After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays (University of Georgia Press), two essays in Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres (Rose Metal Press), and a short story in Found Anew: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the South Caroliniana Library Digital Collections (University of South Carolina Press).

Scott Peeples

Scott Peeples continues to explore Edgar Allan Poe’s afterlife in two forthcoming articles: “‘That Name’ll Never Be Worth Anything’: Poe’s Image on Film” (in The Edgar Allan Poe Review) and “Unburied Treasure: Poe in the South Carolina Lowcountry,” with photographs by C of C photography professor Michelle Van Parys (in Southern Cultures). 

Emily Rosko

Emily Rosko was awarded the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing for excellence in publication by the Cornell Department of English Program in Creative Writing. The alumni prize comes with a $5,000 stipend and an invitation to read at Cornell in Fall 2016. New poems by Dr. Rosko were published in Cimarron Review, Elsewhere Magazine, Sycamore Review, The Missouri Review, and New American Writing. She also published a pedagogical essay on poetic voice that originated from a lesson in her ENGL 377: Poetry II course, “The Activated Voice” in The Working Poet II: Fifty Writing Exercises and a Poetry Anthology (Ed. Scott Minar). Dr. Rosko also wrote the new curriculum and graduate program proposal for MFA in Creative Writing and oversaw that proposal as it traveled through the College and state’s approval processes. She is elated that the MFA Program has been approved and that that work is done! She looks forward to developing the new MFA graduate courses and welcoming the new students in Fall 2016.

William Russell

William Russell was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the spring of 2015 and is looking forward to a sabbatical in the spring of 2016. He continues to think a lot about early modern literary criticism and was recently invited by Oxford University Press to write and manage an online research guide on that topic.

Myra Seaman

Myra Seaman returned from sabbatical in 2014 renewed and excited to be back in the classroom. She taught a course on medieval ecomaterialism (“Medieval Object Ecologies”) and a senior seminar on “Feeling Medieval” taking a History of Emotion approach, along with 201, 299, and a section of English Language: Grammar and History. In July 2014 at the meeting of the New Chaucer Society in Reykjavik, Iceland, she presented a paper called “The Book Abides,” responding to fears among some that the widespread digitization of medieval manuscripts harmfully dilutes the experience of encountering the material text. She co-organized the BABEL Working Group Conference on “On the Beach: Precariousness, Risk, Forms of Life, Affinity, and Play at the Edge of the World” hosted by UC Santa Barbara in October. She attended the MLA in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in May, she gave a talk at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan celebrating the 25th anniversary of Carolyn Dinshaw’s Chaucer’s Sexual Poetics. The journal she co-edits, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, published by Palgrave, published four more issues: “The Middle Ages and the Holocaust,” “Philology and the Mirage of Time,” “Making Race Matter in the Middle Ages,” and “Contemporary Poetics and the Medieval Muse.” CofC English alum Molly Lewis, currently a Ph.D. candidate at George Washington University, joined the editorial team as Editorial Assistant. To round out the year, Prof. Seaman ran one of her favorite races, the Chicago Marathon, in October and in May, the Vermont City Marathon with a medievalist friend from University of Massachusetts-Boston. She’s currently finishing up the manuscript of Objects of Affection and preparing to become the department’s Associate Chair.

Cassie Thomas

Catherine Thomas had her article “Looking for Richard in the Graphic Archives” accepted to the volume Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare’s English History Plays, forthcoming from MLA press. She gave the inaugural keynote address at the Georgetown (SC) Shakespeare Festival, “Shakespeare Rebooted: Adaptations and the Question of Authority,” in March, and presented her paper “Seven Ages Advertising in 19th Century Product Pamphlets” at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America in Vancouver in April. Dr. Thomas also completed the College’s Distance Education Readiness course and taught an online section of ENGL 190 Introduction to Shakespeare Summer 2015. She is teaching a course on masculinity in Shakespeare’s dramatic works this fall. This will, sadly, be Dr. Thomas’s last Folio blurb as she has accepted a position as Associate Dean for the School of Transitional Studies at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Anton Vander Zee

Dr Vander Zee published a biographical piece on George Oppen in American Writers Supplement XXVI, and an essay he co-authored with his colleagues in the Honors College that offers a descriptive analysis of the Honors First-Year Seminar (the project was based on a national survey of honors colleges and programs conducted in summer 2014) has been accepted in the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council. He is currently at work on essays and a book proposal related to his critical interest in Walt Whitman’s late work and that work’s influence. That book project is titles ‘The Final Lilt of Songs’: Late Whitman and the Long American Century.

As director of the College’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, Dr. Vander Zee was very pleased to help a record 32 Fulbright applicants–including few English majors–compete in this prestigious competition. After teaching academic writing this semester, Dr. Vander Zee is looking forward to teaching his first senior seminar, which will be on Walt Whitman and his influence.

Chris Warnick

Dr. Warnick was recently appointed the department’s First-Year Writing Coordinator, where he’ll work with English faculty and others across campus to develop English 110: Introduction to Academic Writing and English 215: Interdisciplinary Composition. Earlier this year he published the book chapter “Expressive Pedagogies in the University of Pittsburgh’s Alternative Curriculum Program, 1973-1979,” in the collection Critical Expressivism: Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom, edited by Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto. He continues to co-edit the open-access journal Literacy in Composition Studies, which most recently published a bonus summer issue featuring research on embodied literacy, sorority members’ literacy practices, and 19th-century debates about literacy tests and voting rights. He’s looking forward to teaching first-year writing courses this fall on writing across the curriculum and virus apocalypse movies.