Faculty Notes (2016)
In March/April of 2016, John Bruns attended the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference in Atlanta and presented a paper entitled, “Showtime! Under the Spell of Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success.” The paper was developed into a book chapter to be included in the forthcoming collection, Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances, Vol. 1: America (Edinburgh: Edinburgh U. Press). He’s working hard on two book projects, a film history textbook for Bedford/St. Martin’s and an original manuscript on Alfred Hitchcock. Both should be out late next year. He’ll soon undertake a new project, an edited collection entitled Misremembered Film. Since August, Bruns has been working with an Academic Magnet student, India Manigault, on her Senior Thesis project that deals with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
Tim Carens spent June in London and Edinburgh teaching a course on Victorian gothic literature. His class luckily included a group of smart, witty and very amusing students from the College and other universities. With Carens they visited a dizzying array of art museums, cultural sites, and literary landmarks. Highlights included an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert museum on Victorian underwear (most examples of which appeared to be frilly instruments of torture); a tour of Emily Brontë’s home and the Yorkshire moors where she set Wuthering Heights; and a daytrip to Oxford that featured a visit to Oscar Wilde’s college, a rowing excursion following the path taken by Lewis Carroll and the three Liddell daughters on the day he invented for them the first version of Alice in Wonderland, and a tour of the “Hogwarts” dining hall.
Returning to Charleston, Carens set to work on a chapter for a forthcoming handbook on the Victorian novel. His chapter analyzes Yeast (1851), a very odd but equally interesting novel in which Charles Kingsley offers one of his several contributions to the “Condition of England Question,” a mid-nineteenth-century debate about the problem of urban and rural poverty and how middle-class figures might head off revolution by guiding the nation toward reform.
Bonnie Devet spoke on a national Webcast for WCJ Live!, delivering a presentation and answering questions on her Writing Center Journal article “The Writing Center and Transfer of Learning: A Primer for Directors.” This Webcast received the highest number of viewers that the journal WCJ has ever had. She has also been a proposal reviewer for the International Writing Center Association Conferences held in Pittsburgh and Denver. In October 2015, she along with five CofC Writing Lab consultants did the “Data Dash” (a series of presentations on working in the Writing Lab) for their fellow consultants at The Citadel, meeting and exchanging ideas. At the Research Network Forum, College Composition and Communication Conference, Houston, TX, Devet also presented “Writing Center Consultants on Consulting: Benefits During College and After Graduation” while at the annual Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar Annual Conference, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, V.A., she talked to her fellow grammar teachers on “The Role of the Writing Center in the Grammar Revolution.” At the IWCA conference in Denver, she presented “Retaining Writing Center Consultants.” A special honor is that her article “The Writing Center and Transfer of Learning: A Primer for Directors” (Writing Center Journal) was nominated for the 2016 Outstanding Scholarship Award published. Finally, along with Dr. Dana L. Driscoll (IUP), she will guest edit a special issue of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship.
Lindsey Drager joined the faculty at the College of Charleston this semester, and learned quickly that she was not adequately prepared for the heat, the hurricanes, and the coastal flooding. Her first book, The Sorrow Proper, won the John Gardner Fiction Prize, which will take her to Binghamton University for a lecture and reading in February 2017, and her second book, The Lost Daughter Collective—the final edits of which were made this summer in the excellently air conditioned Addlestone Library—will come out in March. This spring she will present on the underappreciated genre of the novella at AWP in D.C. and in June she’ll moderate a panel and present on archival work in creative nonfiction at the NonfictioNow Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. In the meantime, she is thrilled to spend her time in Maybank 104, engaged in rich conversation about the limits and capacities of fiction. She is eager to delve deeper and wider into questions about what it means to write and be a writer in the world next term in Creative Nonfiction and Advanced Fiction Workshop.
After a stint as the English Department’s Associate Chair during the first half of 2016, Julia Eichelberger is now the director of the minor in Southern Studies, a program she developed last year with History professor Tammy Ingram. She delivered a conference paper, on the influence of 1930s and 40s radio and musical performances on Eudora Welty, at the American Literature Association in May. While at that conference, she was presented with the Phoenix Award for distinguished achievement in Eudora Welty scholarship. Much of her summer was spent completing the manuscript Teaching The Works of Eudora Welty: Twenty-First Century Approaches, a collection of essays she co-edited with Mae Miller Claxton (Western Carolina U). She looks forward to teaching a new course, Intro to Southern Studies, starting in Spring 2017, and a course on Charleston Writers in Fall 2017.
Susan Farrell was on sabbatical leave during the 2015-2016 academic year, working on her book, Imagining Home in the Face of War: Reconciling the Homefront and the Frontlines in American Fiction from Hemingway to 9/11. She is currently revising the manuscript for publication. She has also remained active in the International Kurt Vonnegut Society, for which she maintains an extensive website. She recently organized two panels on the work of Vonnegut at the 2016 American Literature Association conference, where she also delivered her own paper, called “American Fascism and Mother Night,” that examines the real historical underpinnings of the cartoonish fascists Vonnegut depicts in the novel. She’s enjoying being back in the classroom this year and is looking forward to teaching a course on Hemingway in Spain at the College of Charleston’s program in Trujillo, Spain in fall semester of 2017.
Joe Kelly organized the 25th Bi-Annual International James Joyce Symposium at the University of London in June 2016. A special volume of the James Joyce Quarterly will include selected essays from the conference, and Kelly is co-editing that book. He will be taking students to Ireland in Summer I 2017, teaching a class about Dublin through the novels of James Joyce and Roddy Doyle (Colleen Glenn is teaching Irish Film in that same program). He is hard at work on the 4th edition of the Seagull Readers, a series of introduction to literature anthologies for W. W. Norton. In February 2016, Kelly and CofC historian, Rich Bodek, organized a conference about Maroons and Marronage, and they are editing a volume based on that conference. And Kelly is working on a new book about the Jamestown colony, the wreck of the Sea Venture in Bermuda, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2018.
Simon Lewis’s article on “The Expatriate Novel in Africa” appeared in Volume 11 of the newly-published Oxford History of the Novel in English titled The Novel in Africa and the Caribbean Since 1950, edited by Simon Gikandi.
In June Lewis published issue 31 on Illuminations: An International Magazine of Contemporary Writing. The issue featured poetic and photographic work that responded to the shootings in Charleston and to questions of race and racism more generally. CofC alums Matthew Foley and Derek Berry were among the contributors to the issue. In addition to the print version of the magazine, Illuminations now has an enhanced web-presence where acclaimed New Orleanian poet Brenda Marie Osbey is editing a special feature entitled “Fallen at Charleston.”
Scott Peeples published an essay entitled “Poe, Brennan Farm, and the Literary Life” in Poe Studies’ Fall 2016 issue. The article explores a period of relative seclusion for Poe in 1844, when he lived in a farmhouse near what is now Broadway and West 84th St. in New York, writing some of his most successful satires and completing “The Raven.” Peeples also contributed a short essay to Edgar Allan Poe in Twenty Objects, a companion book to an exhibit currently on view at the Johns Hopkins University Library. His “object,” a letter written by Poe’s sister Rosalie, offers a window on her personality and relationship with her famous brother. In November, Peeples joined the board of directors of the Richmond Poe Museum. So yes, he’s still kind of obsessed with Poe.
Emily Rosko published poems in Cimarron Review and Visible Binary and has other poems forthcoming from Crab Orchard Review, Missouri Review, and West Branch. A short essay, “Post-Election Dispatch, Charleston, SC” appeared in The Rumpus. Her poem “Transit” was awarded first place in the 2016 Porter Fleming Literary Competition, and in the fall, she was granted Cornell University’s alumni award, the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing, for excellence in publication.
Myra Seaman published a collection, Fragments for a History of a Vanishing Humanism, which she co-edited with Eileen Joy, as part of the Interventions series at Ohio State University Press. At the end of 2015, a special issue of the journal postmedieval on “Critical/Liberal/Arts,” which she co-edited with Allan Mitchell and Julie Orlemanski, appeared. She and four colleagues in medieval studies became the editorial collective for a new project, the Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales, which will be available (free!) in 2017. Seaman enjoyed a summer of international travel, heading to Australia to see her daughter studying abroad and give a couple of invited talks: “Objects of Emotional Instruction,” part of the “Emotions in Middle English Literature V: Emotional Practices” workshop at the University of Melbourne, hosted by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions; and “Global Medievalism: Reading Reception,” at the “Cultures of Modernity in the Global Middle Ages” conference hosted by the University of Sydney.
After Australia, she headed to London for the biennial New Chaucer Society Congress, where she spoke on “Knowing Things,” a paper she is developing into a chapter for a book collection. Prior to that, she was an invited respondent to the “Natural Elements” session at the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, where she also co-organized a session with CofC alum Molly Lewis on “Posthuman Natures.” She gave a talk on “Everyday Ecologies” at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI. At the BABEL Conference at the University of Toronto, she was an invited respondent to a panel on “The Sweaty Scholar,” just as she was about to run her 10th marathon. At the MLA in Austin, she presented a paper on “Pursuing a Postsecular Posthumanism.” Editing duties continued at the quarterly journal postmedieval, which won the Codex Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. She also became the department’s Associate Chair, prepping her for the daunting challenge of becoming Chair upon Scott Peeples’ completion of his five-year term in July 2017.