Vanderbilt 2014 THATcamp


Registration for Vanderbilt’s 2014 THATcamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) it now open! THATcamp will be held from Friday, October 24 – Saturday, October 25, 2015, and is designed to bring together people from a variety of fields and with various skill levels with interests in Digital Humanities. Space is limited, so register now!

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Fall 2014 Rheney Lecture


The EGSA, in conjunction with the English Department, is sponsoring Dr. Eve Dunbar (Vassar College) as the Fall 2014 Rheney Lecturer. Dr. Dunbar’s talk, entitled “Monstrous Work: Zora Neale Hurston, Zombies, and the Art of Critiquing the Academy,” will be held on Friday October 24th. Dr. Dunbar specializes in African American literature and cultural expression, black feminism, and theories of black diaspora.  She is the author of Black Regions of the Imagination: African American Writers Between the Nation and the World (Temple University Press 2012), which explores the aesthetic and political ties that bind literary genre, American nationalism, and black cultural nationalism in the literary works of mid-20th century African American writers. See below for more information.

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Fall 2014 Conferences


As the semester grinds once more into gear, many of us Vanderbilt English graduate students will be traveling across and out of the country to share our work at conferences. Here is a list of the conferences we will be attending this Fall:

Petal Samuel will be presenting her research at the 33rd Annual West Indian Literature Conference at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill in Barbados, October 2-4, 2014.

Kirsten Mendoza will be presenting her research at the Rocky Mountain MLA Conference in Boise, ID, October 9-11, 2014.

Andy Hines will be presenting a paper on a panel that he organized at the Modernist Studies Association Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, November 6-9, 2014. The panel explores “African-American Criticism and the Institutionalization of Modernism” and his paper looks to Langston Hughes’s testimony before the McCarthy Commission for a model of critical reading.

Dan Fang and Stephanie Higgs will be presenting their research at the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) Conference in London, Canada, November 13-16, 2014.

DeGuzman Publication


Kathleen DeGuzman has an article entitled “The Pleasures of Excerpts: George Lamming, New World Quarterly, and the Novel” forthcoming in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.

Congratulations, Kathleen!

Hines Publications


Andy Hines has two publications forthcoming! The first article, entitled “Herman Melville’s Navigational Aesthetic,” will appear in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of English Language Notes. This issue is on the topic of “Imaginary Cartographies” and was edited by Karen Jacobs.

Hines’ second article, “Vehicles of Periodization: Melvin B. Tolson, Allen Tate, and the New Critical Police,” has been accepted at Criticism, and is forthcoming.

Congratulations, Andy!

Adam Miller wins the Robert Manson Myers Dissertation Award


Congratulations to Adam Miller for winning this year’s Robert Manson Myers Dissertation Award for his dissertation entitled “Enframing and Enlightenment: A Phenomenological History of Eighteenth-Century British Science, Technology, and Literature.”

Adam’s thesis pursues the counter-intuitive and entirely fresh claim that technology is not, as it is often thought to be, inherently progressive but rather is anti-regressive; or as Adam puts it, “techno-logic, even when imbricated with human achievement and progress . . . shores up the fragility of our human intentions against the unruly, uncaring, nature of things.” Drawing on Heidegger’s concept of “Enframing,” Adam articulates what he calls a phenomenological history that aims to combine materialist history and phenomenological essentialism in order to elucidate a logic of use underpinning eighteenth-century literature and culture. The thesis explores how the notion of the world as a kind of “standing reserve” – a world of things understood as ready to be drawn into use – structures, or enframes, such diverse cultural productions as Robinson Crusoe, patents for new inventions, Gulliver’s Travels, Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World, and the Gothic fiction of Ann Radcliffe.

Adam successfully defended his dissertation in May, 2014, and is currently working as a lecturer at Vanderbilt University.

Congratulations, Adam!

Welcome to the First Year PhD Candidates


As the first week of the semester draws to a close, the EGSA would like to take a moment to welcome the newest members of the doctoral program to our community.

Max Baumkel came to Nashville by way of Michigan, and while he’s sad to leave the Great Lakes, he’s thrilled to be living in a place that isn’t below freezing for half the year.  Max’s academic interests currently center around feminist, queer, and transgender studies, disability studies, affect, aesthetics, and contemporary poetry.  He can’t wait to be an active part of Vanderbilt’s English department!

Sari Carter’s emphasis is in 19th-century British literature, merging into modernism, with a particular interest in questions of aesthetics, ethics, and ontology. She wrote her MA thesis on Alain Badiou’s theories of being and John Ruskin’s Fors Clavigera, and is looking forward to continuing investigating other intersections in these areas branching out across different genres and authors. Another of her interests includes writing creative nonfiction essays. Much of her inspiration has been drawn from authors such as Annie Dillard, W. G. Sebald, and Barry Lopez. She also enjoys playing the piano, listening to music, watching sunsets, walking, hiking, and skiing.

Rachel Gould received her B.A. from Harding University (2008) and her M.A. from the University of Arkansas (2012). She works in 18th Century British Literature, Feminist Theory, and Postcolonial Theory, with a focus on performance, identity formation, and agency in 18th century literature and culture.

Kylie Korsnack is a first year PhD student concentrating in Postcolonial theory and contemporary American literature. Her research interests include global and transnational studies, utopian studies, theory of the novel and more specifically the development of genres such as the bildungsroman, cyberpunk, and postcolonial science-fiction in the post-modern era.

Claudia Ludwig is a first year PhD student in the English department. Her research interests include the intersections of gender, education, and religion in Early Modern literature, with a special focus on Shakespeare’s works. She graduated with a BA in English and Classical Civilizations from the University of Toronto in 2012 and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College London in 2014.

Lauren Mitchell comes from a clinical background, and works on narrative medicine, film and media studies, and 20th-21st century literature.

Jesse Montgomery received his B.A. from Oberlin College (2010). He works in the Long American 19th Century, Film and Media Studies, and Cultural Studies, with a focus on 19th century American literature.

Alex Oxner completed her MA in post-1900 literature at Florida State in 2014. At Vanderbilt, she hopes to continue working with twentieth-century literature, specifically modernism, elegy and mourning, archival studies, digital humanities, and a bit of post-colonialism.

Mariann J. VanDevere comes to Nashville from New Jersey.  She has a background in Communications and Creative Writing.  Her time as an English Teaching Assistant at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, inspired her to explore the possible connections and differences in Black American literature and Black South African literature especially such themes as mental illness, trans-nationalism, and religion.  Generally speaking she is interested in contemporary literature of the African Diaspora.  On a lighter note, she thoroughly enjoy watching animated kids films and since leaving her 5-year-old cousin behind, she am in search of another little kid she can use as an excuse to go to the theaters and see the latest G-rated movie.