Recent Faculty Activities
Susan Bernardin (English; Chair, WGS) wrote the opening chapter for A History of Western American Literature, recently published by Cambridge University Press. Entitled, “Indigenous Memories and Western American Literary History,” the essay uses Indigenous Studies methodologies to challenge how we conceptualize the region of the American West. Through its attention to Indigenous mappings of place, history, and story, the essay reframes both the origin stories and the literary history of the West.
Susan Bernardin (English; Chair, WGS) has published an article in the Fall 2015 issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures (SAIL), the only journal in the United States that focuses exclusively on Native American and Indigenous literatures. Her essay “Acorn Soup Is Good Food: L. Frank, News from Native California, and the Intersections of Literary and Visual Arts,” addresses the collaborative interplay of literary and visual genres she locates at the heart of contemporary Native aesthetics. This essay examines the work of activist and mixed-media artist L. Frank, as featured in the magazine News from Native California and in her book Acorn Soup. In doing so, Bernardin considers how collaboration serves as both methodology and model for contemporary Native arts practices and literary studies.
Mark Ferrara Interviewed by “Inside Higher Ed”,
November 17th, 2015
Inside Higher Ed interviews Mark Ferrara, department of English, about his new book Palace of Ashes: China and the Decline of Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press).
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.
April L. Ford, Adjunct lecturer in the English department has won a Pushcart Prize for her short story “Project Fumarase.” The story, which was published in New Madrid Journal in summer 2014, will appear in the 2016 Edition Pushcart Prize anthology, due out Nov. 2. The Pushcart Prize is a literary prize honoring the best poetry, short fiction and essays published in non-commercial, small presses the previous year. Annual anthologies of the prize-winning works have been published since 1976.
Bianca Tredennick published a chapter in Monsters and Monstrosity from the Fin de Siécle 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.
Susan Bernardin (English; Chair, WGS) just finished her term as Co-President of the Western Literature Association. In that capacity, for the past two years she worked with Co-President David Fenimore, of University of Nevada, Reno to plan for this year’s 50th Anniversary conference, held in Reno from October 14-17. Her specific responsibilities included making two site visits; working with past presidents to plan major events around the Association’s 50th anniversary; writing proposals and securing grants; selecting the keynote presenters and facilitating all of the arrangements for their visit; engaging in community outreach to local tribal communities and members (who attended special events at the conference); working with UNR faculty, staff, and graduate students; reading all conference proposals; creating the conference program of about 100 individual sessions, roundtables, readings, and related events; reading essays submitted by graduate students for several Graduate Essay Awards; coordinating with Chairs of Award Committees; working with WLA officers and support staff during the conference. The conference, whose theme this year was “Visual Culture of the Urban West,” attracted 350 scholars from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, several European countries, Basque Country; the UK, South Korea, Japan, and North and South America. Keynote sessions featured performances by Arigon Starr, a musician, actress, comics artist, and playwright who is also an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma; LeAnne Howe, a Choctaw novelist, essayist, poet, and playwright; Willy Vlautin, a musician and novelist; Annick Smith, a renowned writer of the American West; and Basque writers whose work extends the literary legacy of the late Robert Laxalt, preeminent writer of Basque-American experience. In honor of the Western Literature Association’s 50th anniversary, Bernardin also organized a feature session on Photography, Gender, and Western Spaces, held at the Nevada Museum of Art as well as a Roundtable with several Latina/o writers who contributed to Desert Flats, the first anthology of Latino/a Writers in Nevada. In addition, she organized three interlinked plenaries and special sessions in honor of this milestone conference. The first, “Critical Genealogies,” focused on lesser-known histories of feminist, queer, and environmental interventions in Western American literary and film studies. The second, “Keywords,” was an interactive conversation on core concepts and “gateway terms,” featuring six leading scholars in the fields of Indigenous Studies; Latino/a Studies; Ecocriticism and Bioregionalism; U.S. popular culture; and Western American Cultural Studies. The third, “Methodologies,” featured a collaborative presentation by LeAnne Howe and Chad Allen on how Indigenous methodologies might engage and inform Western American Studies. Bernardin served as moderator and chair of the Keywords session, as a speaker on a “Legacy” special session honoring intergenerational mentoring in the Association, and as the introductory speaker for several performances and readings by keynote speakers and Association award recipients.
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, 红楼梦) 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.
Susan Bernardin, presented on a panel entitled “Indigenous Intertexts” at the American Literature Association conference, May 21-24 in Boston. Her paper, “Future Pasts: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Haida Manga,” detailed how Yahgulanaas, a Haida graphic novelist and artist, has forged a new visual language at the intersection of multiple lineages of visual storytelling: Pacific Rim manga, North American comics, and Haida formline. His innovations on iconography best associated with totem poles suggests new directions for contemporary Native visual and literary arts. Bernardin also organized, chaired, and presented on a panel, “Scenes of Indigenous Intervention: A Panel in Honor of Misty Upham,” at the annual conference of NAISA (Native American and Indigenous Studies Association), in Washington, June 3-6, 2015. This panel honored the cinematic activism and performative interventions of the late Blackfeet actress Misty Upham by identifying methodologies that activate transformative practices in Indigenous film work. In her presentation, “Pre-Occupied: Collaborative Interventions,” Bernardin addressed Heid Erdrich’s experimental digital films and their engagement with land occupation, gender roles, and environmental catastrophes such as fracking and Tar Sands.
Jill Carey Michaels, Adjunct English Professor, had her poem “A Wizard’s Hat”, published in the current issue of http://www.dressingroompoetryjournal.com/issue-ten.html
http://www.dressingroompoetryjournal.com/a-wizards-hat-by-jill-carey-michaels.html The poem was about traveling out west and was chosen out of 2,500 submissions.
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).
April L. Ford, adjunct faculty member, presented on a panel at the 2015 AWP conference in Minneapolis, MN on April 10. The panel was called “You’ve Been Telling Me You Were a Genius Since You Were 17: Six Writers Reel In Their Earliest (and Often Embarrassing) Efforts.” The other panelists were authors Libby Cudmore, Matthew Quinn Martin, Donna Minkowitz, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea.
Bambi Lobdell, adjunct faculty from the Women’s & Gender Studies/English Department gavea 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.
April L. Ford, adjunct faculty member, is served as Guest Editor for SmokeLong Quarterly, a literary journal internationally renowned for publishing flash fiction. Visit http://www.smokelong.com/april-ford-guest-edits-april-13-19/ for more information.
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.
April L. Ford, adjunct faculty member, had her award-winning debut story collection The Poor Children published worldwide by Santa Fe Writers Project on April 1, 2015. The Poor Children has been reviewed by New Madrid Journal, Philadelphia Review of Books, Chronogram, and Kirkus Reviews, and praised by New York Times best-selling author David Morrell, and 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist Jonathan Dee. April’s debut novel, Gentle, is under contract for publication in Spring 2016. Visit http://www.april-l-ford.com for more information.
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.
Neville Choonoo recently presented a paper at a conference on the new South African Constitution, held at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. His lecture was titled “Black Autobiography as Testimony”. In addition, his keynote presentation at University of Maine (Farmington) has been published as a volume of essays, “Autobiography as Political Strategy” (Cambridge).
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."
Susan Bernardin, chaired and presented a paper on a panel entitled, "Indigenous Performances: Embodied Histories and Living Genealogies," at the Western Literature Association conference, held November 5-8 in Victoria, BC. Her presentation identified practices of aesthetic collaboration in the development and dissemination of contemporary Native comic arts. At this conference, her term also began as Co-President of the Western Literature Association. She is currently co-organizing its next conference, which will be held in Reno in October 2015.
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.
April L. Ford, has signed an offer of publication with Santa Fe Writers Project for her debut novel, Gentle. The novel is set for worldwide release in Spring 2016. Since February of this year, Gentle has received honors as a Finalist for the Molly Ivors Prize for Fiction (Gorsky Press), and as a Semi-FInalist for the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society).
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.
April Ford, has published two new fiction and a poem in the past few months. Since May 2014 the publications are as follows: "Something Ugly" (short story) republished with –SAND: Berlin's English Literary Journal _http://www.sandjournal.com/news/sand-issue-9-here,, "Death Is a Side-Effect" (poem) published with the Mexico-based journal _The Ofi Press Magazine http://www.ofipress.com/fordaprill.htm, and "Project Fumarase" (short story) with _New Madrid Journal of Contemporary Literature_http://newmadridjournal.org/current_issue/,
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.
Susan Bernardin, has guest edited a recently published special issue of the journal Western American Literature: A Journal of Literary, Cultural, and Place Studies. The special issue is entitled, "Indigenous Wests: Literary and Visual Aesthetics" and features essays on emerging or lesser known contemporary Native writers and filmmakers notable for their innovations on form and methodology. For the Issue, Bernardin wrote the Introduction as well as an essay entitled, "It's a Good Day to Bike: Riding Indigenous Futures in Ramona Emerson's Opal." This essay addresses a short film by Navajo filmmaker Emerson that slyly recasts elements of the classic and spaghetti western through the contemporary perspectives of Navajo girls on a reservation in New Mexico.
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 Université 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.
Adjunct lecturer April Ford has won the grand prize in the Santa Fe Writers Project 2013 Literary Awards Program for fiction, judged by author David Morrell, for her short story collection, "The Poor Children," which will be published worldwide in spring 2015.
A barren widow fosters a set of orphanage twins and uses the children to attract guests to her haunted theater dinners; a young man decides he must leave his family and trailer park life before he can save his little sister from generational squalor; a child welfare officer discovers that her career ambitions do not supplant her unwillingness to separate children from their biological families. "The Poor Children" consists of seven stand-alone, stylistically different stories about the polarities of human behavior and the actions they compel. In February 2013, the collection was shortlisted for SALT Publishing's international Scott Prize.
A native of Quebec, Ford joined the SUNY Oneonta adjunct faculty in January 2010 with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She taught French courses until fall 2012, when she began teaching creative writing for the Department of English. She also serves as managing editor of Digital Americana Magazine.
Ford has published fiction and nonfiction in several literary journals, magazines and blogs. Three new publications are forthcoming, including her story "Namaste," which will appear in The After Coetzee Project, anthology of scholarly essays and creative works, in winter 2014. Her first novel, "Gentle," is under review.
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).
By combining his own personal story (as the biracial son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya) with national mythologies like the American Dream, Obama creates a persona that embodies the moral values and cultural mythos of his implied audience. In doing so, he draws upon the Classical world, Judeo-Christianity, the European Enlightenment, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, the presidencies of Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR, slave narratives, the Black church, the civil rights movement and even popular culture.
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.
Neville Choonoo, Africana & Latino Studies/English, recently delivered the keynote address at an international conference, "Autobiography as a Writing Strategy in Post-Colonial Literatures," which was held at the University of Maine May 2&3, 2013.
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.
Susan Bernardin, served as Interdisciplinary Scholar-in-Residence at Utah State University, April 1-3. Hosted by the Departments of English, American Studies, History, Women's Studies, and Art, Bernardin gave several public lectures on Native American literature and art, visited classes, and met with groups of graduate students.
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.
Neville Choonoo, English/ALS, presented a paper at the annual meeting of the African Literature Association in Charleston, SC, on 20 March 2013. His paper was on Literature, Liberation and the Law in contemporary Africa.
Susan Bernardin, recently gave two talks at the Native American Literature Symposium in Minneapolis, held March 20-23. Her first presentation identified intergenerational influences of the work of late 19th-century Mohawk writer Pauline Johnson on contemporary Mohawk artist and filmmaker Shelley Niro. She also served as invited respondent to a panel on Onondaga writer Eric Gansworth, in which she addressed a range of issues including tribal governance, reservation communities, and Indian humor.
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.
Susan Bernardin, has a book chapter in the newly released collection, The Poetry and Poetics of Gerald Vizenor from University of New Mexico Press. Her essay, entitled, "Almost California: Returning to Elemental Vizenor," traces the Anishinaabe elements of selected poems by Vizenor, a foundational intellectual and artistic figure in Native American Studies.
Susan Bernardin gave a presentation and chaired two panels at the Western Literature Association conference held in Lubbock, Texas, from November 7-10, 2012. Her presentation, "No Girls Allowed": Gendering Indigenous Futures in New Navajo Film," addressed how Navajo filmmaker Ramona Emerson strategically recasts the western to provide alternate narratives for girls both on and off the reservation. She also chaired the panel on Indigenous Westerns, on which she presented, as well as a panel on early 20th-century western women's popular narratives.
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.
Prof Neville Choonoo (ALS/English) recently participated in two conferences: Human Rights, Literature and the Visual Arts in Africa and the Diaspora (South Africa) and the annual conference of the African Literature Association (Dallas) where he presented a paper on White writing in South Africa.
Kathryn Finin recently attended the Shakespeare Association of America's annual conference
(April 5-7, 2012), where she presented her paper "'What means this my lord?': Ophelia, Love, and Ethics." As part of her ongoing research on gender and ethics in Shakespeare's tragedies, Dr. Finin's paper examines the layered complexities among which Shakespeare has situated Ophelia, especially her engagement with the key ethical questions of responsiveness and responsibility. The paper argues that Ophelia engages in a subversive kind of ventroliquizing and that her continual response to the call of the other marks her as a rare moral agent in this play.
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.
Eileen Morgan-Zayachek presented a paper, "Radio and the Revival: Austin Clarke's Poetry Broadcasts," at the annual meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) in New Orleans. As part of her ongoing research on the interplay between literary production and broadcasting in Irish culture, this paper examined Clarke's appropriation of verse drama, the genre W. B. Yeats had experimented with during the Irish Literary Revival. By co-founding (with Robert Farren) the Dublin Verse Speaking Society in the late 1930's and using the fledgling medium of radio as his primary outlet, Clarke sought to awaken public interest in this hybrid genre. Radio proved a highly suitable medium for poetic dramas, and Clarke's broadcasts became weekly staples for listeners. He succeeded, then, in extending the imaginative aims of the Revival. In exploiting the natural affinity between drama and broadcasting, Clarke also demonstrated Radio Éireann's potential as a medium for sophisticated literary productions at the exact moment the service was self-consciously professionalizing in order to better compete with international rivals and prepare, more generally, for an era of greater international involvement.
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.
Susan Bernardin, has facilitated a new edition of the book, In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country, 1908-09, just published by University of Nebraska Press. A regional classic in northern California, and a text claimed by Karuk tribal members as their own, the book recounts Mary Arnold and Mabel Reed’s experiences as field matrons employed by the Indian Service. The book shows their irreverence towards Victorian gender norms while recounting their respect toward and friendship with Karuks. Writing with self-deprecating humor, the women recall their misadventures as women “in a white man’s country” and as whites in Indian country. A story about crossing cultural divides, In the Land of the Grasshopper Song also documents Karuk resilience despite seemingly insurmountable odds. The new edition features an introduction by Susan Bernardin as well as a foreword and afterword by Karuk tribal members André Cramblit and Terry Supahan. Together, Bernardin, Cramblit and Supahan provide rich biographical, cultural, and historical contexts for understanding the continuing importance of this story for Karuk people and other readers.
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.
Susan Bernardin, recently presented a paper at the annual meeting of NAISA, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, held in Sacramento, May 18-21, 2011. Her paper addressed the relevance of tribal genealogy and affiliation as a primary methodology in Native literary studies.
Susan Bernardin, has published a book chapter in the groundbreaking collection, Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art, just out from Michigan State University Press. Her essay, entitled, "Seeing Memory, Storying Memory: Printup Hope, Rickard, and Gansworth," examines the interrelation of literary and visual expression in the work of these three contemporary Haudenosaunee artists.
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.
Jonathan Sadow, presented the paper "'Hunted by Dogs and Men': Bird Migration in Charlotte Smith's "Beachy Head" and Oliver Goldsmith's History of the Earth and Animated Nature at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies' annual conference on March 18, 2011 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This paper addressed the connections between conceptions of natural history and poetics in the late eighteenth century. He also chaired a panel entitled "Critical Misidentifications" at the same conference on March 19, 2011 investigating the affective links between scholars and their subjects.
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.
Susan Bernardin, English, gave two presentations at the Native American Literature Symposium in Albuquerque, held March 16-19, 2011. Her first presentation, "Extending the Rafters: Ted Williams' The Reservation, Tuscarora Literature, and Native Studies," used Haudenosaunee concepts of affiliation to address aesthetics and activism within the field of Native literary studies. The second presentation charted the relationship between literary and visual arts in the work of several contemporary Haudenosaunee artists.
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.