Daniel Payne, attended a prestigious national professional development conference in Washington, D.C., July 19-20, 2017. The ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs is a 2-day workshop that prepares department chairs for their roles as institutional leaders who can advance their programs and contribute to the larger mission of their colleges or universities. Under the guidance of experienced college and university leaders, participants explore best practices for leading departments in times of change. The format includes case studies, tabletop discussions, simulations on key leadership issues, and peer-to-peer sharing about achieving departmental success.
Roger W. Hecht published a book through the Delaware County Historical Association. Freemen Awake!: Rally Songs & Poems from New York’s Anti-Rent Movement is an edited collection of nearly three dozen songs and poems written by farmers and their supporters during New York’s Anti-Rent War in the 1840s. The Anti-Rent War was a seven-year-long rent-strike staged by tenant farmers against the state’s most powerful landholding families. The poems, culled from Anti-Rent newspapers, offer insights into the emotional and imaginative foundation of the Anti-Rent movement. Professor Hecht edited the collection and wrote the historical/critical introduction.
Richard Lee, English/Arts and Humanities, published a book chapter in George Saunders: Critical Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017: pp. 77-104): "Hanging by a Thread in the Homeland: The Four Institutional Monologues of George Saunders". Lee also gave two national conference presentations on Saunders this spring at the College English Association (CEA) in Hilton Head (April) and the American Literature Association (ALA, May) in Boston, where he also served as panel chair/discussant. The first of those two presentations, "George Saunders’ ‘Floating Island(s)': The Four Institutional Monologues as Sequence and Exemplary Lens" He was awarded the Best in Section Presentation Award and has been solicited for publication in their journal, The CEA Critic.
Mark S. Ferrara, publishes the peer-reviewed article “(Re)Reading, Reflexivity, and Peak-Experiences in Cao Xueqin’s Honglou Meng” in Literature and Theology: An International Journal of Religion, Theory, and Culture (Oxford University Press).
Amie Doughty, presented the paper “‘Don’t ever forget the art’: Opposition, Intersectionality, and Syncretism in The Summer Prince” at the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in San Diego, CA, on April 14, 2017. She argues in the paper that the interest in ongoing cultural syncretism by characters is determined by how they are treated along the intersections of race, class, gender, and age, and she uses the linguistic theory of markedness to articulate how intersectionality works in the culture of the novel. In addition to presenting her paper, Doughty, as area chair of the Children’s and YA Literature and Culture area, organized and oversaw the five panels for the area.
Jonathan Sadow presented two papers in Minneapolis at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies’ annual conference. On March 30, 2017 he presented the paper “Legal Skepticism in The Parrot” as part of the panel “Eliza Haywood and the Law.” This paper examines Eliza Haywood’s dissection of injustices encoded into legal practice in her 1746 periodical that pretends to be narrated by a parrot and observes developments, trials, executions, and property seizures associated with the War of Austrian Succession. On March 31, 2017, he presented a shorter paper entitled “Dumplings, Puddings, and Genres: Henry Carey’s Learned Dissertation” as part of the roundtable “Generic Mixes: Eighteenth-Century Hybrids.” This paper examines the mockery of the debasement of formal understanding in the satirical treatise A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling, Its Dignity, Antiquity, and Excellence with a Word upon Pudding. And Many other Useful Discoveries, of great Benefit to the Publick (1726) that pretends to track the history and development of pudding in England.
Dr. Roger W. Hecht (English) has had five poems published in Poetry WTF!?, an on-line journal of experimental re-mix poetry. The five poems are selections from a series called Liner Notes. These are found poems whose source texts are taken from the liner notes of classic jazz and rock record albums http://poetrywtf.org/something-sweet/
Jonathan Sadow, published a peer-reviewed book chapter entitled “Moral and Generic Corruption in Eliza Fenwick’s Secresy” in Didactic Novels and British Women’s Writing, 1790-1820, ed. Hillary Havens (Routledge, 2017).The essay focuses on the relationship between Eliza Fenwick’s complex novel Secresy (1795)-a didactic novel in epistolary form about women’s education that is also a gothic-and her friend Mary Wollstonecraft’s critical essays about the morality of novels.Despite Secresy’s eccentricities (the heroine wanders through the forest at night with her fawn and meets a being who claims to be from another world), Sadow argues that both Fenwick and Wollstonecraft’s work possess a nuanced understanding the potential of fiction as a literary genre for women that is mediated through a critical re-evaluation of Rousseau as both novelist and social theorist.
Roger W. Hecht has published several poems in anthologies and on-line journals. "The Ornery Orrery”" was published in Shortest Day, Longest Night: Stories and Poems from the Solstice Shorts Festival (Arachne Press). His story will be performed by actors in London on Solstice night.Two poems-"Witness Report”" and "Sky Burial"were published in From the Finger Lakes: A Poetry Anthology (Cayuga Lakes Books). Four haiku poems were published in Undertow Tanka Review 9 http://undertowtankareview.blogspot.com/.
Akira Yatsuhashi, has been selected to serve on the Society for Classical Studies' (SCS) newly formed Committee on the Diversity in the Profession. Yatsuhashi has already served a three year term on the SCS's Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups from which the new committee was formed. The Society for Classical Studies, formerly the American Philological Association, is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations.
On November 15th, Akira Yatsuhashi, gave a talk entitled, "Nishiwaki Junzaburo’s Ambarvalia: Imagining a Classical World through a Modernist Lens," at the invitation of Tufts University's Classics department. The talk reassessed the translatory work of one of Japan's foremost Modernist poets and theorists, Nishiwaki, whose first major poetic collection had a classical focus with translations of the Roman poets, Catullus and Tibullus.
George Hovis, presented a paper entitled "Race Change and Revolution in Clyde Edgerton's The Night Train" at the 88th annual conference of the South Atlantic Modern Languages Association, Nov. 4-6, in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Hovis's paper applied Critical Race Theory, especially Derrick Bell’s theory of Interest Convergence, to Edgerton's novel, which addresses civil rights conflict in North Carolina in 1963.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "Franken-faeries, or the Conflation of Creator and Created in the October Daye and Merry Gentry Series" at the Northeast Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in Keene, NH on October 22. The paper compares the way in which the creature and his creator Victor Frankenstein are conflated with similar parent-child conflation in the October Day and Merry Gentry urban fantasy series and argues that just as the main characters are created (and recreated) by their parental figures, they become creators themselves and in the process act to recreate their parents.
Mark S. Ferrara, publishes a new book entitled Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis (Rowman & Littlefield): https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Bliss-Spiritual-History-Cannabis/dp/1442271914
On September 20, 2016, Daniel G. Payne, gave a tour of John Burroughs' writing cabin, Slabsides, to Professor Cheng Hong, the wife of Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China. Professor Cheng is a scholar of American nature writing, and has translated several classics of American nature writing into Chinese, including John Burroughs' "Wake-Robin" and Henry Beston's "The Outermost House," copies of which she presented to Dr. Payne at Slabsides.
Earlier in September, Fred Barbash of The Washington Post interviewed Bambi Lobdell on her ancestor, Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell. The recent presence of transgender lives, identities, and issues in current news and pop culture drove Barbash to investigate who the first transgender person in America might have been. Lobdell told him there was no way to know such a thing as what is now called transgender identity and gender non-conforming identities have always existed, and especially in North America before it was America. However, Barbash interviewed Lobdell on her ancestor's transition in the nineteenth century, which brought him much notoriety and trouble, as he ended up spending the last 32 years of his life in insane asylums for persistently presenting as a man and claiming manhood. Bambi will be speaking on this ancestor on October 12th at 5:30 in the Catskill Room in Hunt Union. To read The Washington Post article, follow this link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/09/08/he-paid-a-dear-price-for-it-the-19th-century-story-of-one-of-americas-first-transgender-men/
Daniel G. Payne, gave book talks on his new biography "Orion on the Dune: A Biography of Henry Beston" on September 16, 2016 at the Osterville Public Library and on September 17, 2016 at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall on Cape Cod. On Monday, September 19, 2016, he was interviewed by Robby McQueeney of WOMR Radio in Provincetown. The podcast for the interview is accessible at www.womr.org/podcast_category/the-dune-tramp.
Orion on the Dunes: A Biography of Henry Beston by Daniel G. Payne, was published on September 1, 2016. A book launch was held on September 3 at Henry Beston's Chimney Farm in Nobleboro, Maine, with about eighty people in attendance, including the publisher, David R. Godine and several Maine writers including Gary Lawless and Franklin Burroughs.
On August 6, 2016, Daniel G. Payne, took a delegation of diplomats from the People's Republic of China on a tour of John Burroughs' writing cabin, Slabsides, in West Park, New York. The delegation included 23 diplomats from the Chines Consulate in New York City, the United Nations, and visitors from Beijing on the tour.
Amie Doughty, English, has published an edited collection of essays called Children's and Young Adult Literature and Culture: A Mosaic of Criticism with Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The essays, based on 2015 presentations from the Children's Literature and Culture area of the Popular Culture Association, represent a range of topics in children's and young adult literature and culture. Topics include fairy tales and fairy tale revisions, intersectionality in African American Girls sports literature and in YA dystopian fiction, religion in Harry Potter (and Snape as a Judas figure), bullying in picture books, and the popularity of YA fiction with adults. The collection includes an essay by Doughty about environmentalism in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series.
Mark S. Ferrara, was interviewed about his new book, Palace of Ashes: China and the Decline of American Higher Education (2015), on May 30, 2016 by Ta Kung Pao, the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China: http://news.takungpao.com/world/exclusive/2016-05/3326746.html
Mark S. Ferrara, writes an article for History News Network on international higher education: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/162494
Roger W. Hecht, published an article,"Only Yesterday: Ecological and Psychological Recovery" in Resilience: A Journal of Environmental Humanities. The essay is included in a review cluster of essays investigating the environmental issues addressed in the films of Studio Ghibli, Japan's famed animation studio. Hecht's essay discusses the film;s critique of modern urban Japan and the main character's efforts to find personal fulfillment and authenticity in the working agrarian landscape of Yamagata. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5250/resilience.2.3.0166
Roger W. Hecht presented a paper, "To See With Eyes Unclouded By Hate: Environmental Ethics and the Art of Seeing in the films of Hayao Miyazaki," at the Popular Culture Association national conference in Seattle on March 23. He also chaired the Anime panel. His paper defined the"environmental gaze" and described its role in cultivating environmental ethics in audiences in three of Miyazaki's films: "Nausicaa, the Valley of the Wind," "My Neighbor Totoro," and "Princess Mononoke."
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "Unsustainable Hunger: An Examination of Sustainability in YA Dystopian Fiction" at the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in Seattle, WA, on March 22, 2016. The paper explores how sustainability is represented in two young adult dystopian novels, The Hunger Games and The Summer Prince, and argues that sustainability in these novels and other similar dystopian texts does not revolve around past environmental disasters but around the problematic social structures put in place to cope with those environmental disasters. This paper was inspired in part by the Sustainable Susquehanna Curriculum Workshop in which she participated in Summer 2015 and the texts that she is teaching in Children's Literature this spring. In addition to presenting her paper, as Area Chair of the Children's Literature and Culture area of the Popular Culture Association, she organized nine panels (31 panelists) at the conference.
Mark Ferrara, was interviewed by The China Daily newspaper, about his book Palace of Ashes: China and the Decline of American Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015). http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2016-03/09/content_23797608.htm
Mark Ferrara Interviewed by "Inside Higher Ed",
November 17th, 2015
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "Safe at Last in the Wood outside the Garden’: Classic Animal Fantasy and the Environment" at the Northeast Popular Culture Association Conference in New London, NH, on October 31. The paper explores the way in which Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit stories employ wild and cultivated places and argues that Potter's more realistic approaches to nature causes a reversal of the traditional nature tropes in the European folklore and literary traditions.
Bianca Tredennick published a chapter in Monsters and Monstrosity from the Fin de Siecle to the Millenium. (Ed. Sharla Hutchison and Rebecca A. Brown. McFarland, 2015). Her chapter "'I think I am a monster': Helen Oyeyemi's White is for Witching and the Postmodern Gothic," examines the way in which the paratexts of the 2009 novel act to transform the text itself into a kind of Gothic monster.
Richard Lee, has an article, "Flashy-y Fictions: The Implications and Constraints of Short Short Fiction," in a conference anthology recently published under the auspices of the Society for the Study of the Short Story. Unbraiding the Short Story: Selected Program Articles includes an expanded and revised version of Lee's 2014 conference presentation, one of "twenty three articles selected from the many that were presented at the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English, held at the University of Vienna, July 16-19 2014," according to the collection's editor.
Mark S. Ferrara, publishes in the peer-reviewed journal Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory (Penn State University Press). In his essay "Bao-yu and the Second Self," Ferrara demonstrates that numerous instances of pairing, mirroring, and doubling around protagonist Jia Bao-yu (in the eighteenth-century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber) serve to highlight a philosophical view of mutability grounded in Ying-Yang theory and Daoism, emphasize the dynamic process of acquiring self-knowledge, and subvert and problematize dualistic classification (truth/fiction, right/wrong, real/unreal).
Akira Yatsuhashi, English and Foreign Languages and Literatures, spent three months over summer break as an invited Senior Fellow and Guest Researcher at Excellence Cluster TOPOI: The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations. Topoi is a research network which draws on the strengths and resources of six universities and research institutions in Berlin, including two of Germany's top universities, Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin. Akira Yatsuhashi was part of Research Group which examines the epistemic networks through which the ancient world was transregionally connected. While in residence, he participated in several workshops, presented his research to the broader faculty and graduate students in residence, and continued his research on the Library of Alexandria, primarily working on his book project that links the creation of Alexandrian academic knowledge to new ways of performing Greekness.
Andrea Denekamp, Ph.D., Adjunct lecturer in the English department, published a chapter, "'Transform stalwart trees': Sylvan Biocentrism in The Lord of the Rings" in Representations of Nature in Middle-earth. The book, which offers considerations of how Tolkien portrays the natural world, was published by Walking Tree Publishers in 2015. Dr. Denekamp's contribution delves into post-war deforestation and forestry science and examines how Ents, being neither trees nor Men, demonstrate the biocentrism of the biotic Other as central components of Tolkien's model of ethical stewardship. The chapter further argues that, as separation of place and culture is a cornerstone of his mythos, Tolkien portrays Ents as a sustainable cultural community-one that cares less for humanity than the biotic and ecological environments.
Richard Lee, and Fida Mohammad, Sociology, co-authored a recently published, peer-reviewed article: "Evidentiary Standards for Sexual Offenses in Islam" appears in the Pakistan Journal of Criminology, Volume 7.1 (Jan. 2015), pp. 29-44.
Akira Yatsuhashi, English and Foreign Languages and Literatures, has been invited to be a Senior Fellow and Guest Researcher at Excellence Cluster TOPOI: The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations. Topoi is a research network which draws on the strengths and resources of six universities and research institutions in Berlin, including Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin. Akira Yatsuhashi will be part of Research Group D-5 which examines the epistemic networks through which the ancient world was transregionally connected. While in residence, he plans to continue his research on the Library of Alexandria, linking the creation of Alexandrian academic knowledge to new ways of performing Greekness.
Daniel G. Payne, Department, hosted the 89th annual John Burroughs Association Literary Awards Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History on April 6, 2015. The John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing in Book Form is the nation's oldest and most prestigious award for nature writing, and over the past eighty-nine years has been presented to such writers as Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Anne Zwinger, Peter Matthiessen, and Barry Lopez. This year's John Burroughs Medal winner was Sherry Simpson for her book Dominion of Bears: Living With Wildlife in Alaska (University Press of Kansas, 2013).
Bambi Lobdell, adjunct faculty from the Women's & Gender Studies/English Department gave a lecture titled "Claiming Manhood: The Transgender Journey of Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell" on Thursday, April 23, 2015 in Milne Library. The Alden Scholar Series celebrates SUNY Oneonta faculty members who have published scholarly books or produced book-length projects within the last five years.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "Gaea's Last Stand: Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus and Environmentalism" on April 1, 2015, at the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in New Orleans. The paper argues that the uneasy ending of the series reflects the uneasiness of the environmental message being presented. In addition to presenting her paper, Dr. Doughty, Children's Literature and Culture Area Chair, oversaw fifteen panels in the area.
Jonathan Sadow, presented the paper "Marivaux's Pharsamon and Cervantick Exhaustion" on March 21st at the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies' annual conference in Los Angeles. Sadow investigates the vexed relationship that early eighteenth-century self-conscious fiction had to revivals of Don Quixote, both repeating Cervantes' own anxieties and embodying the exhaustion inherent in being a parody of a parody. Pharsamon sets the stage for more well-known works by Fielding, Sterne, and Diderot.
Mark S. Ferrara, publishes a book chapter in the new edited collection entitled The Individual and Utopia: A Multidisciplinary Study of Humanity and Perfection (Ashgate, 2015). In his contribution, Ferrara argues for a mental utopia in literature that finds focus around the inner experiences of fictional characters. These experiences are focalized in order to convey to the reader the centrality and immanence of the lived moment as something ultimately divine. An analysis of literary texts from the Western and world traditions confirms the perennial and universal nature of the mental utopia in literature.
Richard Lee, has had an article reprinted by Infobase Publishing. The article, "Narrative Point of View, Irony and Cultural Criticism in Selected Short Fiction by George Saunders", was originally published in 2010, and is now included as a chapter in the e-book George Saunders, part of the Bloom's Literary Criticism series. Lee has also been invited to contribute a chapter to the first book-length treatment of contemporary American writer Saunders's work: George Saunders: Critical Essays, edited by Philip Coleman and Steve Gronert Ellerhoff (Palgrave/Macmillan), scheduled for publication in 2016.
Mark S. Ferrara, has been appointed Visiting Scholar in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, Ferrara is penning a third monograph about the religious, ceremonial, and medicinal uses of cannabis in world cultures. He explores that central role in Hindu asceticism, Sufi Islam, traditional Chinese pharmacology-as well as in African dagga cults, the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, and the Rastafari movement. A cultural critique of literary works by Western pioneers of consciousness-from Crowley to Yeats, Ginsberg to DeLillo-brings his book to a close.
Daniel G. Payne, presented a paper entitled "Children of the Mist: Crossing the Border between the Wild and the Civilized in Victorian and Early Twentieth-Century American and English Fiction" on November 6, 2014 at the Western Literature Association's Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, and another entitled "Friends in High Places: John Burroughs, Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt and the Value of Indirect Persuasion in American Nature Writing" on November 8, 2014 at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference in Atlanta Georgia. The SAMLA panel, "Teaching Sustainability/Doing Environmental Activism," was organized by George Hovis, Department of English, who chaired the panel and delivered a paper entitled "No Fracking Way: Encouraging Political Engagement in Lit 101."
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "'You're a trickster singular, Rachel Morgan': Collective and Individual Magic in Kim Harrison's The Hollows Series" at the Northeast Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference at Providence College on October 24. The paper examines how the different types of magic used by the main character of the series underscores the Otherness of the character.
Amie Doughty, has been named the Area Chair for the Children's Literature and Culture Area of the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. As area chair, she is responsible for soliciting and reviewing presentation proposals about children's literature and culture for the annual conference, as well as organizing panels for the conference.
Richard Lee was interviewed by Radio Austria (ORF) while in Vienna to participate in the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English from July 16-20, 2014. Lee moderated a panel, "Short Short Fiction," and presented an invited paper, "Flash-y Fictions: The Implications and Constraints of Short Short Fiction." Scholars and writers from 30 countries came together, hosted by the University of Vienna, for this biennial event, which this year included readings by Bharati Mukherjee, Sandra Cisneros, Robert Olen Butler, Kelly Cherry, Thomas Kennedy, Clark Blaise, Marjorie Kantor, Tamas Dobozy and many other established and rising stars in the field.
Daniel Payne, delivered the 2014 Roxbury Burroughs Lecture The multi-media presentation on "John Burroughs' Wild Places: The Catskills and Adirondacks" was given at the Historic Masonic Hall in Roxbury. Dr. Payne is a trustee of John Burroughs' Woodchuck Lodge, which sponsored the program. Those in attendance who made a free-will donation for the maintenance and upkeep of historic Woodchuck Lodge received a signed copy of Dr. Payne's Voices in the Wilderness: American Nature Writing and Environmental Politics. In the week prior to the lecture Professor Payne gave two interviews on John Burroughs which were aired on Roxbury's Public Radio Station WIOX. In April, Professor Payne was also named a member of the Board of Trustees of the John Burroughs Association, which was founded in 1921 to commemorate the life and work of John Burroughs (1837-1921). The JBA is headquartered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Mark Ferrara, was interviewed by the China Daily newspaper regarding the 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng). Ferrara has penned five peer-reviewed articles on the novel, and is co-editor of the book Between Noble and Humble, a biography of Cao Xueqin. http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2014-05/13/content_17502937.htm
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "Gaea Gone Bad: Mother Earth as Antagonist in Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus" at the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in Chicago on April 18. The paper argues that though Gaea is presented as an antagonist, if the Riordan's series is read as a continuation of his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and Gaea is seen through the lens of James Lovelock's Gaia Theory, The Heroes of Olympus presents a strong message about the need for cooperation to protect the environment.
Akira Yatsuhashi, was an invited participant at a workshop in Berlin on Ancient Greek and Roman Scientific, Medical and Technical Texts on March 21 and 22, 2014. The workshop was hosted by TOPOI Excellence Cluster and sponsored by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. Participants included scholars from Cambridge, St. Andrews, Mainz, Stanford, and Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Topoi is a research network with a focus on the study of the ancient world affiliated with the Berliner Antike-Kolleg. At Topoi, over 200 researchers from diverse disciplines investigate how space and knowledge were formed and transformed in ancient civilizations.
Roger Hecht published a book chapter, "'Mighty Lordships in the Heart of the Republic:' the Anti-Rent Subtext to Pierre," in A Political Companion to Herman Melville (University Press of Kentucky). The chapter examines the way Melville uses references to the Anti-Rent conflict as a platform to attack the emergence of aristocracy in antebellum America.
Richard Lee, published a book review of Short Story Theories: A Twenty-First-Century Perspective (Viorica Patea, ed.) in the journal Short Story (20.1: pp. 81-4).
Daniel G. Payne, recently published a new book, Why Read Thoreau's Walden with New Street Communications http://newstreetcommunications.com/new_street_literary/why_read_thoreaus_walden. The book examines why Walden is widely considered to be one of the greatest works in American literary history, Henry Thoreau's role in the development of modern environmentalism, and the relevance that Walden still has for modern readers. Jill Sisson Quinn, author of Deranged: Finding a Sense of Place in the Landscape and in the Lifespan, writes of the book, "Just as Henry David Thoreau was not the hermit in the woods he is sometimes made out to be, nor does the first-time reader need navigate Thoreau's Walden alone. Dan Payne's accessible, delightful companion to Thoreau's classic puts Thoreau's work in a cultural, historical, literary, and philosophical context. Sometimes personal, always informative, and often profound, Why Read Thoreau's WALDEN? is the perfect guide for the 21st century student of Thoreau.
Jonathan Sadow, published the article "The Puppet Show Conundrum: Haywood and the 'Fittest Entertainment for the Present Age.'" This article examines satirical reaction by Eliza Haywood and Henry Fielding to the rise of "debased" forms of entertainment such as puppet shows and novels in the 1730s and 1740s. Despite their condemnations in The Female Spectator and The Author's Farce, both writers display a subtle ambivalence about their own participation in commercial media; Haywood wrote popular novels and Fielding secretly ran a puppet theater. The piece appears in the "Public Intellectualism" issue of the refereed journal Digital Defoe (5:1, Fall 2013) alongside contributions by John Richetti and Maximillian Novak. It may be accessed at http://english.illinoisstate.edu/digitaldefoe
Jonathan Sadow, published the co-authored article "Dialogue, Selection, Subversion: Three Approaches to Teaching Women Writers" in volume 32 of the refereed Lumen, the journal of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. This piece, written with Martha Bowden and Karen Gevirtz, examines methods for incorporating recent scholarship on eighteenth-century women writers-work that has changed our understanding of the literary and cultural history of the period-into university teaching while providing intellectually coherent and useful courses for non-specialist students.
Amie Doughty, has published her second book, Throw the Book Away: Reading versus Experience in Children's Fantasy. The book, publish by McFarland & Company, explores the role of books, readers, and reading in children's and young adult fantasy books and film and argues that books play a secondary role to first-hand experience because children and young adults must move beyond the safety of adults, who are represented by books.
Mark Ferrara, publishes the book Barack Obama and the Rhetoric of Hope with McFarland, a small North Carolina press. It traces the historical and literary antecedents of the President's campaign rhetoric to the utopian traditions of the Western world. The "rhetoric of hope" is a form of political discourse characterized by a forward-looking vision of social progress brought about by collective effort and adherence to shared values (including discipline, temperance, a strong work ethic, self-reliance and service to the community).
Mark Ferrara, taught a two-week intensive course in South Korea for students who will matriculate to a SUNY campus in the spring as part of a "3+1" exchange program with Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS). Seven of his 54 students will attend SUNY Oneonta.
Roger W. Hecht was recently invited to be a featured presenter for an NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop, Clinton's Ditch: the Erie Canal in Western New York, held at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse on July 23 and August 6. Dr. Hecht's presentation, "Nature, Nation, Tourism: The Erie Canal and the Quest for America," discussed the role the Erie Canal played in the formation of national identity during the early republic, as reflected in travel writing and tourist guides.
On May 8, 2013 Daniel G. Payne, delivered a presentation entitled "John Burroughs's Wild Places: The Catskills and the Adirondacks" at the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College. The lecture was part of a week-long series on the Adirondacks held annually at Union College.
Jonathan Sadow, presented a paper entitled "The Puppet Show Conundrum: Haywood and the 'Fittest Entertainment for the Present Age'" at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies' annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio on April 4, 2013. This talk discussed the ways that popular entertainment like puppet shows and joke books held a mirror up to 1740s London and served as a model for the state of contemporary culture. On April 6, 2013, at the same conference, he chaired a panel entitled "Unromantic Charlotte Smith". This panel focused on aspects of Charlotte Smith's poetry of the 1790s-usually viewed as Romantic-that were rooted in eighteenth-century ideas.
Kathryn Finin, recently presented her paper "Gendered Displays: Lady Macbeth, Politics, and American Culture" at the national Popular Culture Association Conference (March 25-28, 2013) in Washington D.C. Finin examines how American popular culture (mis)uses Lady Macbeth to render female power and ambition as always already problematic, even malevolent. Where powerful women are concerned, then, our supposedly "postfeminist" 21st century harnesses Shakespeare's iconic status to authorize our own gendered stereotypes, limit female subjectivities and circumscribe female agency.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "'Mud People Had a Lot to Answer For': Environmental Messages in Children's Fantasy" at the national Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in Washington, DC, on March 28. The paper examines three children's fantasy series, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan, and Gaia Girls by Lee Welles. Doughty argues that environmental problems in the series are most effectively challenged through realistic rather than magical means and that the use of magic to solve environmental problems undermines the message that normal children can make a contribution to helping the environment.
Roger Hecht presented a paper at the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association conference in Albuquerque, N.M., in February. "Mei and Satsuki's Excellent Adventure: The Hybrid Pastoral in Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro" examines the way the famed Japanese director fuses elements of western pastoral tradition with Japanese spiritual and folk traditions to create a hybrid aesthetic and narrative structure to construct his environmentalist ethos. Hecht also recently published an entry, "American Pastoral," in the just-issued Encyclopedia of the Environment in American Literature, Ed. Brian Jones and Geoff Hamilton (McFarland 2013).
Daniel G. Payne, presented a paper entitled "Finding a Place for the Humanities in an Environmental Sciences Program" at the 128th Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association (MLA), held in Boston, Massachusetts from January 3-6, 2013. His paper was presented as part of a panel on "English and the Humanities in an Age of Accountability: Notes from the Small College Department," chaired by Dr. Mark Long of Keene State College in New Hampshire.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "Itchy Witch and Big Al: Kim Harrison's Demonic Mythology" at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference in Durham, NC, on November 11. The paper examines Kim Harrison's urban fantasy series The Hollows and argues that the protagonist Rachel Morgan, like many female-centered urban fantasy main characters, represents a merging of the innocent heroine and monstrous Other from the Gothic literary tradition.
Mark Ferrara, presented the paper "'Distinguishing Truth and Fiction: Jia Bao-yu and Zhen Bao-yu in Dream of the Red Chamber" at the Society of Utopian Studies Conference held in Toronto, Canada. In it, Ferrara argues that the protagonist Bao-yu's encounter with his second self is decidedly utopian in terms of his drive toward Daoist-Buddhist salvation over Confucian social obligation. Jia Bao-yu and Zhen Bao-yu therefore represent competing indigenous worldviews with very different ways of imagining a better way of being.
Roger W. Hecht, published an article, "'Rouse, Ye Anti-Renters:' Poetry and Politics in the Anti-Rent Press," in the Spring 2012 issue of the Hudson River Valley Review. The article discusses how tenant-farmers engaged in the Anti-Rent War of the 1840s employed poetry and song to make sense of their relationship to the landlords and their own economic positions, and to persuade others to join their cause.
Richard Lee, moderated a panel and presented a paper at the 12th International Conference on the Short Story in English, held in North Little Rock, Arkansas, June 26th-30th, 2012. Participants at the conference hailed from twenty-six countries and almost thirty states. The panel, "Anglophone African Currents in Contemporary Short Fiction," included panelists' presentations and an open-forum discussion on current practitioners of the short-story form in, especially, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. Lee's paper, "East African Short Fiction in English: Implications for Short-Story Genre Theory," focuses on several exemplary writers who are working/publishing within changing market dynamics in Uganda and Kenya. In particular, he noted several interesting recent opportunities for "new" writers, especially women writers, as they attempt to break into local, regional and international markets. His paper was solicited for inclusion in a forthcoming anthology.
Amie Doughty, has published the article "Finding the Fit: The Minutiae of the Academic Job Search" in Attaining an Academic Appointment by Bill McHenry, S. Kent Butler, and Jim McHenry (Atwood Publishing, 2012). The article is a personal reflection on the academic job search and the intangibles that go into the search process for both the job candidate and the college/university.
Richard Lee, published "Reflection as a Revision Technique," a learning module (pedagogical chapter) included in print and online versions of Writing about Writing: A College Reader. Elizabeth Wardle and Douglas Downs. Wadsworth/Cengage Press, 2011.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper "'You Are Not Allowed in This Story!': Reader-Character Roles and Attitudes about Reading in Children's Fantasy" at the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in Boston, MA, on April 12. The paper examines the apparent messages about reading in children's fantasy texts in which characters enter into books.
Kathryn Finin recently attended the Shakespeare Association of America's annual conference
Jonathan Sadow, presented a paper entitled "Moral and Generic Corruption in Eliza Fenwick's Secresy" at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies' annual conference in San Antonio Texas on March 22, 2012. This talk suggested links between the sentimental novels of the early eighteenth century and the didactic novels written by women in the 1790s. Many of those didactic novels, often about the subject of women's education, were more artistically nuanced and culturally savvy than they are given credit for.
Roger W. Hecht has published a new collection of poetry, Talking Picture, by Cervena Barva Press. Talking Pictures is a collection of formal, free-verse, and prose poetry that has been praised by poet Michael Burkard as a "vivid book" with "personal and impersonal worlds and factors that impinge on all of us." Novelist Michael Martone calls it "a vocal and evocative collection." To promote the release of the Talking Pictures Professor Hecht held a book-signing event a poetry reading at the Associated Writing Programs annual conference in Chicago on March 1. Talking Pictures will soon be available at local bookstores and through Cervena Barva Press (www.cervenabarvapress.com).
Bianca Tredennick, co-chaired a seminar session at the Northeast Modern Language Association's annual conference. The panel, entitled "The Undead," focused on there surgence of interest, in literature and popular culture, in zombies, vampires and other such "undead" creatures.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper “’Close This Book Right Now’: The Writer-Character in Children’s Fantasy” on November 12, 2011 at the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut. The paper examines the way that metafictional techniques in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Kane Chronicles series serves to make the fantastic elements appear realistic.
Mark Ferrara, published the essay "Rustic Fiction Indeed!”: Reading Jia Yu-cun in Dream of the Red Chamber" in the peer-reviewed New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 13.1 (2011). In that work, Ferrara argues that to interpret Jia Yu-cun as a stock depiction of the corrupt Mandarin in Chinese literature is to overlook his multivarious roles in the narrative. Like Wang Xi-feng who is too often regarded as a stereotypical shrew, Yu-cun is a complex and carefully developed character woven philosophically and typologically into the patterns of meaning in the novel.
Jonathan Sadow published the essay "Bagels and Genres" in the peer-reviewed Journal of New York Folklore (37:1-2, Summer 2011). This essay is a contribution to the study of material culture in the fields of folklore and ethnography. It suggests that "genre" is a subject that represents cultural discussions about objects, not objects in themselves. Genre rules--such as the distinction between a "real" and "fake" bagel--are best seen as a kind of enforcement of ethnicity, place, and nation. Bagels are a genre in distress, but it is primarily the distressed nature of a traditional genre that establishes something as a genre in the first place. In other words, the concern for bagels' "traditional" form only becomes important when cultural assimilation becomes objectionable rather than desired.
Amie Doughty, presented the paper “Living Characters and Life behind the Scenes in Roderick Townley’s The Sylvie Cycle” at the joint National Popular Culture Association/American Association and Southwest Texas PCA/ACA conference in San Antonio, Texas, on April 21, 2011. The paper examines the role of Reader, Author, and Writer in Townley’s trilogy and argues that Readers’ role in the trilogy is to pass on stories and keep characters alive.
Bianca Tredennick published Victorian Transformations: Genre, Nationalism and Desire in Nineteenth-Century Literature this Spring. It is an edited collection for which she served as editor (Ashgate) and "Some Collections of Mortality: Dickens, the Paris Morgue and the Material Corpse" (Victorian Review). She also presented at the Northeast Modern Languages Association conference as part of a composition roundtable entitled "Image as Argument." Her presentation was "‘What Would You Want with a Rabbit?': Teaching Gender and Sexuality through 'The Rabbit of Seville.'"
Mark Ferrara, published the essay "Blake's Jerusalem as Perennial Utopia" in the peer-reviewed journal Utopian Studies (22.1). In addition to giving us a new way to understand the well-documented distinctiveness of William Blake’s religious message, the Perennial paradigm shows Blake’s soteriology in the poem Jerusalem to be utopian rather than Salvationist (that is to say, individual-religious as opposed to collective-political). In Jerusalem Blake does not rally the reader towards some “ensuing peaceful millennium,” but rather to find enlightenment in the eternal moment.
Amie Doughty has published the article "'I Think You Are Not Telling Me All of This Story': Storytelling, Fate, and Self-Determination in Robin McKinley's Folktale Revisions" in Susan Redington Bobby's collection Fairy Tales Reimagined: Essays on New Retellings published by McFarland, Fall 2009. The essay examines several of Robin McKinley's novels and argues that there is a parallel between how closely the novels conform to the folktales upon which they are based and how self-reliant the main characters are. The more McKinley deviates from the traditional folktales, the more self-reliant her characters are.
Mark Ferrara co-edited the book Between Noble and Humble: Cao Xueqin and the Dream of the Red Chamber, a scholarly work by the famous mainland Chinese critic Zhou Ruchang. Written for the Western reader, it historicizes the life and times of the Chinese novelist Cao Xueqin (c. 1715-1763) and comprehensively introduces the origins of the novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng). This translation is unique because it offers the first book-length biography of Cao Xueqin in English, and in it Zhou also offers controversial theories about Honglou meng based on decades of careful research, for instance, that the famous commentator Red Inkstone was in fact a female relative of Cao Xueqin. This book appears as volume sixty-two in Peter Lang's Asian Thought and Culture Series.