OGSCL Newsletter 

Fall 2000

In this issue:
OGSCL Accomplishments
From There to Here, Jana Evans Braziel
A New Student's Perspective, Bunkong Tuon
Notes from the Department Head
Remarks on Remarx, Anita Mannur and Dale Hudson
Distance Ed:  The Battle of the Bulg(er)
Student Profiles and News

OGSCL Accomplishments

The OGSCL website has been greatly expanded, and many of the previous pages have been redesigned to make them more user friendly. Students from other universities have also begun using it as a model for creating their own graduate student organizations and web pages. Our site now includes an extensive archive on teaching resources, a new directory page complete with mug shots, continually updated pages on the Graduate Reading Group, and, of course, lists of relevant links. Orientation information for new students (compiled by OGSCL) has also been posted. We hope to soon begin including a page with graduate student CV's as well. Questions, suggestions and submissions can be emailed to Beverly at bweber@complit.umass.edu. Check it out online at http://www.umass.edu/complit/ogscl !

In response to suggestions by several graduate students, OGSCL has begun a graduate reading group. Our first semester is functioning as a general introduction to various issues in the field, including feminist theory, queer theory, issues of nation and nationalism, diasporic issues, and landscape in literature. In addition, we have incorporated workshop sessions on graduate paper writing, conference paper writing, and preparing papers for submission to publications. We hope to make this a regular part of graduate life in the department. Our goal is to provide a regular forum for sharing our interests, supporting each other's work, and getting helpful professional information. Graduate students are welcome to join us for any session which looks to be of interest. For more information, see our web page at http://www.umass.edu/complit/ogscl (click on OGSCL reading group).

Enrique has also been busy complementing our academic life with a new series on Cuban cinema. After a successful research trip to Cuba this summer, Enrique has begun sharing his finds through an open film series. Films are shown on Thursday evenings in Herter 205. Contact Enrique for more information; we hope to have the web site up soon.

OGSCL wishes to thank Jennifer Rodgers for all of her work! Jennifer has been busy collecting discarded computers and making them usable to the graduate students. Before this semester, neither grad student office had access to computers. Thanks to Jennifer, we now have network connections as well as word processing capabilities in both offices -- major steps towards making our offices places where we can actually work!

From There to Here

by Jana Evans Braziel

My transition from doctoral candidate to new faculty member has been one marked by excitement, challenge, at times confusion, and of course, end-of-the-week exhaustion. It is a transition, however, that I am happy to have made. As a new faculty member in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, I am learning the ropes, so to speak, about balancing the demands placed upon new faculty members. In addition to teaching four courses, I have been asked, and I have agreed, to serve on the departmental writing committee.

Despite the rigorous teaching schedule and the duties required for departmental service, I have actually been pleasantly surprised to find that I DO have the time AND the resources necessary to research, read, write, and submit papers for presentation and publication.

Since the beginning of the semester, I have completed many projects:

How is this productivity possible with a 4/4 teaching load?

Although the teaching responsibilities are taxing, I feel confident in my ability to meet the demands of these responsibilities as well as those of researching, presenting conference papers and publishing articles.  The opportunity to independently teach courses through the Comparative Literature and Women's Studies departments at UMass, I think, prepared me well for the teaching responsibilities that new faculty members often face.

Also, many of the impediments to research, presentations, and publications are rooted in problems outside of time-related factors: low income; frugal personal budgets; lack of adequate working space; and other material constraints.  Although the Comparative Literature Department at UMass has always been very generous to its students, the costs of graduate education are high, and students often live hand-to-mouth (and occasionally, foot-to-mouth!, as you well know).

The benefits of new faculty member status have cured many of these ills.  I now have departmental access to many items that I once paid for out of my own personal family budget: computer equipment; paper; toner; pens; pencils; envelopes; postage and mailing costs.  More importantly, I now have a personal office space with a computer, a laser printer, a phone--in other words, "a room of my own," "a clean, well-lighted place."

These elements alone have dramatically increased my productivity, not to mention my clarity and tranquility of mind.

Jana feels less frenetic . . . she is still, of course, busy, busy.

So, there is a research life in the midst of a teaching institution.

I also feel more confident about the job market and future increases in the number of academic positions for new graduates.  I know, of course, that my perspective from HERE (Assistant Professor) is by definition intrinsically (perhaps) more positive than it was from THERE (Doctoral Candidate).  But from HERE, I know more, in some ways, than I did from THERE.  For example, I know that the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has hired two new faculty members each year for the past three years; I also know that the department plans to hire two new faculty members this year; most importantly, I know that 50% of the faculty at UWL have been hired in the last five years.

I expect that such trends are not unique to this department or this institution, but rather reflect national shifts that are occurring and will continue to occur in the Humanities. Like many universities and academic institutions which expanded in the late 1960s through the 1970s, UWL hired many of its faculty during this decade.  Consequently, the volume of retirees in the last five years has made it possible for the university to hire, to expand, and to grow.

Thus, given your intelligence, motivation, and strengths, I am confident about your own potential opportunities, career choices, and future academic positions.

So, there can be meaningful life after graduate school.  As a close friend of mine who also made the transition from THERE to HERE this year recently said to me, "I wasn't sure I'd ever say this, but I think it makes those years of grad school worthwhile.

Remember: she said it, not I! A New Student's Perspective
by Bunkong Tuon

After having left Malden to go to college in Southern California, I have now returned to Massachusetts pursuing graduate degree(s) at UMASS, Amherst. One of the many reasons behind my decision to study at UMASS, Amherst was because of my grandmother, who was excited by the prospect of me returning to Massachusetts, although she did not know how far Amherst is from Malden, the city in which she now lives. The phone conversations I had with Professor Moebius, who showed genuine interest in my research project, also played a significant role in my decision-making process.

Arriving at Logan Airport brought back memories of almost twenty years ago when my family first came to the United States and was welcomed by our American sponsor. We lived with our sponsor and his family for one month before he found us an apartment. At the time, I was too young to notice any cultural/linguistic barriers that my uncle, his family and my grandmother had encountered. The Malden in my memory, I further realized on my return, is very much different from the Malden grounded in reality. The Rat Trails where I used to race bikes with my friends, for instance, is a small piece of land near the cemetery. The lake that we went fishing at is just a small duck pond. The most striking change of all is that my Browne Junior High School is now a retirement home!

In the middle of June I visited UMASS campus with my uncle. On our way there I tried to explain to him about my project of translating Cambodian folklore being a personal and political act. The translation can be a powerful medium where our voice(s) can be heard. Furthermore, it is my gesture of thanks to those who inspire me through their honesty and hard work (specifically my uncle and grandmother) and a tribute to those who lost their lives, including my parents, to the 1975 revolution in Cambodia. This need to explain and justify to my uncle about my passion for literature was compelled by an earlier vivid memory of him giving me an architect's kit for a Christmas present.

Professor Moebius was not what I expected when I first met him. After talking to the Chair of Comparative Literature at UMASS, Amherst, several times on the telephone before deciding to move to Massachusetts, the William Moebius in my mind resembled the great American poet Walt Whitman, with his white beard and brown hat. Professor Moebius, however, in real person was clean-shaven, cordial, and of course much younger than the Walt-Whitman Moebius of my own devise. During our talk in which I proudly introduced my uncle to Professor Moebius, I expressed a concern about looking for a place to rent. The Department Secretaries Linda and Alice immediately made several phone calls inquiring about apartment/studio for rent. Alice later handed me a note containing phone numbers of available apartments and studios in the area.

During a late lunch with my uncle in a Chinese restaurant at Amherst Center, I felt optimistic about attending UMASS and expressed this view to my uncle who seemed to agree. Later that day, we found an apartment in Sunderland that I could afford. (Thank you Linda and Alice!)

A month later, after my return from France, I received an email from Beverly Weber, a continuing graduate student, inviting the new students for a potluck at Yehudit's place. At first, I felt nervous about meeting fellow graduate students. But, after meeting the students and listening to them answer my questions concerning the new responsibilities bestowed upon a graduate student, I came to the conclusion that the graduate students here in the Comparative Literature department at UMASS, Amherst are very outgoing, supportive, and genuinely concerned for each other's success.

Later that week, I registered by phone for the Fall semester and found out that some of the classes I wanted to take were full. I emailed Beverly asking her advice on what classes to take and Beverly after advising me, in her goodness, also forwarded my message to other graduate students. The next morning, I received a slew of emails giving the ins and outs about the graduate classes and professors at UMASS, Amherst.

So what is my general impression of UMASS, Amherst? There are beautiful people here who are genuinely concerned about my well-being and success. (Another example of the philanthropic spirit of this school is when Professor Miller, who knew about my interest in folklore and fairy tales, gave me as a welcoming present a Chinese Cinderella book.) The overwhelmingly supportive environment here at UMASS will only nurture and infuse my passion for literature and love for people, and reinforce my personal and political reasons in deciding to pursue graduate studies in the first place.

Notes from the Department Head
by Bill Moebius

In case we haven’t noticed it, Fall is a season of change and renewal. In a short time we will be celebrating the 3Oth anniversary of the founding of the Department of Comparative Literature, which was formed at a time of upheaval in the social and political sphere, an upheaval that touched academic structures far and wide in the West. We have grown and matured and found stability as a department, and can now count and recount many success stories among our graduate students, some of whom will be returning to campus for the celebration. I have been struck again and again by how the devotion and effort of our faculty to the cause of Comparative Literature has benefitted many students who have learned from our former graduate students at universities around the globe, from India and China to Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Iceland, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and at many outstanding colleges and universities in the U.S., from Duke University to Willamette University to the Universities of Indiana and Wisconsin and Illinois, from Carleton College to Whitman, Dickinson, Smith, Hampshire, Amherst, Williams, Macalester, Reed, Queens... We can be very proud of our graduate program and of our former and future graduates.

But change is inevitable. When we were formed as a Department, through the intervention of faculty in four national literature departments, English, German, French and Spanish, the teaching of literature itself was taken for granted as the mission of their graduate programs. This is increasingly not the case, as each department reconfigures itself as a place for cultural studies, for a broader interaction with an English-speaking student. No longer can we always count on finding courses at any level in the new curriculum of departments of German Studies, French and Italian Studies, etc., that would take us where we would like to go. At the same time, the faculty in the Department of Comparative Literature have recognized and identified their intersecting circles of interest within Comparative Literature over the past year, circles that may widen in the next few months.

It is clear to me at this point that we in Comparative Literature have a pivotal role to play in the next year or so in determining and shaping the next generation of literary and cultural studies on this campus. We have always tried to listen to the needs of our graduate students, and to recognize the significance of their intellectual initiatives. For example, the course I have taught for almost 25 years, "Myth, Folktale and Children’s Literature" was a gift from Gillian Adams, one of our doctoral candidates, who invented it, then had to move to Texas the semester it was to be offered. We will need to work together to keep our graduate program what it is at its best, while making room for existing and impending changes in the shape and direction of language and literature studies in related departments. I welcome this challenge, and I hope we will all participate in this act of renewal.

The Battle of the Bulge[r]
Distance Education's effects on the UMass: a case study in prose form

by Craig Sinclair
Mr. Edward Learner, Sr. first attended UMass in 1962. To friends, faculty, family and the Community at large he was known as Distant Ed. He was the first of three E Learners to come here, followed by his son and grandson, continuing the fine tradition of the family in learning at UMass, Amherst. There had been a brief struggle in the late 70s, when E Learner, Jr. had wanted to move further away from the area with his new wife, out into the hinterlands of south central Mass. He feared that the commute would prove too much for his humble van, and looked into other options. Before the WWW he found salvation in the UWW. The University Without Walls allowed him to pursue a program tailored to both his needs and the University's requirements. His son faced similar problems.

Distant Ed III didn't feel that he was part of the regular system. He had heard his elders talk of UMass with such reverence and even experienced its wonders himself as a boy. But now that he was of age, he didn't know if he could accept the challenge of going there regularly himself. He didn't feel he connected with his peers, he felt out of the circuit. He had found it difficult to keep up with his studies while working at the family business and had hoped he could learn form a distance, especially after he and his new wife moved yet further afield than his father. He saw himself as a prototype for a new system. Never a typical student, he thought he could be a typical DE-er.

Ed travelled the great distance to UMass, to hear about his options for distance education up close. He wandered into the typical campus center and down into its typical basement. No less than the President and Chancellor themselves were speaking on this important topic. Ed learned about all the initiatives that had been put in place, exactly for a man like him.

As Ed relived the many things UMass had already taught him, he noticed how sour some of the comments being made towards the panel were. These regarded the need for close contact and human interaction, as essential parts of the learning process. The audience just didn't seem to understand that some people were unable to make the journey. He decided that he must speak out for those who couldn't even attend this meeting. The Chancellor was kindly offering to discuss matters with a questioner offline, to save the precious time of those who were present and online. Having finished talking to raucous jeers the Chancellor turned and pointed at Ed's upright arm. Ed rose. "Hello I'm E Learner, my family comes from Massachusetts, but I now live outside the state. Since my family settled here, it's been a tradition for us to attend UMass, and I have tried to do that too. I wanted to come here as an E Learner, but I can't make the commute. I've been paying attention to what's been said, and I hope you'll forego your usual rules and let me talk about the benefits of the face-to-face classroom and the advantages of learning at home." Ed's blunt, to-the-point moxy was greeted warmly and he surged powerfully into his oratory, as both nay-sayers and sycophants quietened down to hear his words.

He explained how he had first proudly crossed this campus as a young boy, and felt the palpable excitement and expectation of the learning environment. He explained the devotion of previous E Learners and the many Minutemen who came here. He retold how he had sat in on his father's and grandfather's classes, even as a young boy, and the magic he had felt, the excitement before the big day.

Classes were on Saturday afternoons in the Fall. They occasionally lasted into Wintersession, depending on how well everyone had done their assignments. The loyal students travelled from miles around, because learning was so important to them. Many journeyed even further afield when an invitation was accepted to give a guest lecture elsewhere. They were anxious not to miss a minute, or fail to see & hear any of the essential points, lest they fail the quizzes conducted afterwards. These quizzes were part of the informal seminars that served as impromptu postscripts, brought on by the fervour of the rabid audience. This was what education meant to Ed's elders, but he wasn't sure it was for him. Ed understood the importance of the University to the local community, and vice versa. And he felt that being there was an important part of the process, but also that times had changed. He'd dropped out before because of illness and family responsibilities. Religious beliefs had got in the way on occasion too, and then came the tumultuous move out of the state. Sure he knew there were other places to get an education, but it wasn't the same, it wasn't UMass. Fortunately with technological improvements he could now see the lectures on television. If he was out, he could even record them. Ed said that he always made sure to discuss the salient points with his buddies online, and sometimes meet up with them to talk in person. He agreed this wasn't the best way to learn, but he thought it was his only option. He praised TV newscasters for appreciating the importance of the lecture and showcasing highlights at regular intervals over the weekend. This way the diversifying E Learners could keep up with the Jones (who lived in Amherst). Yes, the television and the internet and the phone-line had made sure that all the E Learners; from Connecticut, New Jersey, and even Uncle Edwin in Texas, could find out all about what went on at UMass, without having to be there in person. He hoped that everyone else could grow to appreciate these new media and accept that they were a part of all our lives and that we should not be afraid of the many positive innovations that they had brought.

A hushed silence greeted the end of his speech and Ed stood up proudly. The crowd parted and he strolled off, out of the auditorium and into the distance.

Remarks on Remarx
by Anita Mannur and Dale Hudson

No doubt you noticed the beautiful posters with the 1935 painting of a social dance by Mexican artist and Communist Party member Diego Rivera that have been up in campus for the past few weeks. Part of the poster for the Rethinking Marxism 2000 Gala Conference, the image illustrated the theme of the conference, "The Party’s Not Over". Taking place in our very own campus center, the conference ran from Sept 21 -Sept 24 and was tremendously successful. The conference featured presentation by over 700 panelists, as well as speeches by notable scholars and activists like Angela Davis, Doug Henwood, Lisa Lowe, Gayatri Spivak, David Harvey, David Ruccio and J.K. Gibson Graham. Far more interesting of course is the fact that two of your fellow OGSCL members, Dale Hudson and Anita Mannur, (looking absolutely fabulous according to objective sources,) presented papers at the conference. Special thanks to alumni Liz Fitzpatrick and Ignacio Lopez, as well as students of the Junior Year Writing course for their support in attending these panels.

Dale’s paper, "Pasolini’s ‘Dream of Something’: Condensations and Displacements of Communism, Catholicism, and Homosexuality", examined the controversial writer, filmmaker, and ambivalent communist's continued and ever-changing commitment to confronting social ideologies that have been "naturalized" in postwar Italy under the Christian Democrats' regime of repressive tolerance. As historical North/South inequities in Italy are comparable to racial (black/white) ones in USA and South Africa, the paper worked well with one on Flannery O’Connor, by Deb Martin of Texas Women’s University, and one on Nadine Gordimer, by UMass alumnus Lingyan Yang of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in a panel entitled "Sexuality, Religion, Race, Class, and Gender: Embracing Alterities". In addition to presenting his paper, Dale was surprised with the great pleasure of chairing the panel.

Anita’s paper "Culinary-scapes: Where Asianness Meets the American P(a)late" focused on how to read fusion cookbooks (combining so-called ‘east’ and ‘west’ cuisine) in the context of the rhetoric around Asian American racialization the yellow peril and the myth of the model minority. The paper was part of a panel that she organized titled, "Of Cooks, Cola-Wars and ‘Indo-Chic’: The Commodification and Consumption of Asian Styles and Food in North America". Chaired by Sanda Lwin, assistant professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, the panel coalesced around the consumption and marketing of Asian cultures and styles within a transnational economy. Anne Ciecko, who teaches in the Department of Communication at UMASS presented a paper on the Hindi film industry in India and the diaspora titled "Planet Bollywood" and Sunaina Maira, who teaches in the English Department at UMASS. presented a paper titled "Karmic Style: The Politics of Indo-Chic and Late Capitalist Orientalism" focusing on the rising popularity of temporary tattoos, bindis and icons of Indianness in North America.

According to a report in Five College News, the Marxism 2000 Gala "was the fourth, and largest, international conference sponsored by the Association for Economic and Social Analysis, based at UMass, and the quarterly journal Rethinking Marxism." The first Gala conference was held in 1989 and featured 60 panels. This year, there were almost 200 panels at the conference. In the past, other OGSCL members including Kelly Faughnan, Shawn Smolen Morton and Aaron Walker presented papers at the Rethinking Marxism conference.

If you are interested in hearing more about what Dale or Anita presented on, please let us know. Anita can be contacted at amannur@mit.edu and Dale can be contacted at daleh@complit.umass.edu

Student Profiles and News

Bonaldo, Iris ibonaldo@aol.com

Deck, Letha ldeck@ibm.net

DiMaio, Alessandraalessandra@complit.umass.edu

Dothée, Carolinecdothee@complit.umass.edu Interests: Music and literature, verbal and visual representation, post-structuralism and literary theory, modernism/postmodernism

Faughnan, Kelly faughnan@complit.umass.edu Interests: Theories of the Body, past and present, philosophy of Mind-Body, Feminist Theory, Crime Literature, Chaucer, Montaigne, Literature and Medicine.

Feitosa, Lilian P.W.lilianf@complit.umass.edu

I’m from Brazil and after I finish my Ph.D. I will go back to teach there. My interests are: children's literature and gender studies (specifically the study of ‘classic’ books for girls in English, French and Portuguese); literature and music (Brazilian popular music and poetry, the way music represents national character), Brazilian women writers translated into English, Literature and the visual arts (the representation of women in picture books).

Fitzpatrick, Elizabethebf@library.umass.edu

Interests: Translation and Indonesian literature, especially Pramoedya Ananta Toer's writings

García, Enriqueenriquegm69@hotmail.com

Interests: German Expressionism in American comic books, imperialist mythology and the Aztec and Spanish cultures

News: I am organizing the Cuban Cinema festival this semester. I’m also presenting a paper on October 14th at the 2000 Annual Fall Meeting of NECLAS (New England Council of Latin American Studies) on a comparison between the Aztec and Spanish imperialist mythologies.

Gonzalez, Anna B.. abgonzal@ipo.umass.edu

Hartlen, Neil nhartlen@complit.umass.edu (currently in Paris) Interests: Queer Studies, Quebec Literature, French and Francophone Film, Urban Literature and Film, Postcolonial Studies

Heller,Yehudit yehudith@complit.umass.edu

Literature of exile, Hebrew, poetry, creative writing

Huang, Shu-Chen shuchen@complit.umass.edu

Hudson, Dale daleh@complit.umass.edu

Dale presented a paper, "Pasolini's 'Dream of Something': Condensations and Displacements of Communism, Catholicism, and Homosexuality" at the Marxism 2000 conference, hosted by UMass/Amherst, this September. He is currently taking his comprehensive exams, so please excuse his unfriskiness.

Korotkova, Nina korotkov@complit.umass.edu

Interests: French and Russian literatures; literature and philosophy; Romanticism and Decadence; French films. Sometime ago she presented a paper at the UMass French department conference on Stereotypes.

Legido, Mario R. mariolegido@hispavista.com

Mario is from Spain. He is on the translation track for the Comp. Lit. Department. His interests include the theory and practice of translation, specifically the relation between translation and cinema. He wants to return to Spain and work as a professional translator translating English-speaking films, television sitcoms and series into Spanish.

Li, Lu li@complit.umass.edu

Interests: Translation Theory and Practice, specifically exploring the functions of translation in the building up of Chinese nationalities in the late 19th and early 20th century; cultural exchanges between East and West.

Other interests: Reading Chinese poetry and the American poetry of Robert Frost. Love going to the movies!

Mannur, Anita amannur@complit.umass.edu

Interests:Asian American and South Asian literature and popular culture, critical race feminism, theories of diaspora, post nationalism, Caribbean literature, women of color, youth culture and youth lit

News: Anita is currently teaching a course on Asian American studies at MIT and working as a Teaching Fellow for a course at Harvard taught by David Eng.

Marks, Jeannine jmarks@complit.umass.edu

Mendez, Mariela mmendez@complit.umass.edu

Interests: Feminist theory and research; transnational feminisms; contemporary women writers from Latin America and the U.S.; women writers and journalism; women and film; gender and cultural identity

News: I presented a paper on the work of Alfonsina Storni at XII LASA Congress in Miami last March, and gave a talk related to that topic within the context of the Issues in Feminist Research seminar last semester, co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies at UMass. I'm currently Session Organizer for a panel proposal for LASA's next Congress, to be held in Chicago on September 6-8 2001. The title of the panel will be: "Ecos del Margen: los Lenguajes del Género y el Erotismo en la Literatura Latinoamericana"

Oster, Corinne corinne@ipo.umass.edu

Interests: Film (Dissertation proposal defended on the new representations of marginality in recent French women's film), Translation, Fantastic Literature, Psychoanalysis.

Padnos, Theotheophil@complit.umass.edu

Perez, Fernando fperezvi@complit.umass.edu

I got my bachelor degree en Hispanic Literature and Linguistics from the Universidad Catolica de Chile in 1997. After that I worked as a free lance translator (mostly from English into Spanish) and as a research assistant for two academic projects related to Chilean essay writers from 1930 to the present, examined from the perspective of Fredric Jameson's notion of national identity allegories in third world literature and the ideas of subalterity and hybridism (Spivak, Bhabha, Guja). I am one of the editors of VERTEBRA, a student's literary review back in Chile, whose 6th issue is about to appear. It publishes mostly criticism, poetry and translations. I have published (there and elsewhere) articles about Roland Barthes, Jorge Luis Borges, Roger Caillois, Adolfo Couve, Patricio Marchant, Luis Oyarzun, Octavio Paz, and Georges Perec (the unknown names in the above list are Chilean writers). They range from a very stiff academic paper style to a mostly journalistic or literary style. My current interests are translation theory and practice, literary theory and criticism, and contemporary literature (whatever that may mean). I am right now working on papers about Baudelaire and travel, Gabriela Mistral and Luis Oyarzun as a travel writers, and Translation theory in Ezra Pound/Walter Benjamin. Although my background is mostly on Latin American Literature, I am willing to expand it as much as possible, and that's why I chose to switch to comparative literature (I'm just beginning the MA/PhD courses). I like languages and I have studied quite a few, but I haven't been able so far to learn fully any of them (that includes Spanish) because of my lack of patience and self-discipline. I am presently the teaching assistant in Don Levine's Narrative Avant-Garde Course.

Paschkowiak, Alix apaschkowiak@complit.umass.edu

Medieval literature, feminist/queer/ psychoalnalytic theory, cross-dressing -- figurative and literal, food as a metaphor for language.

Rabins, Alicia fiddlerjo@hotmail.com

I went to Barnard College where I studied mostly poetry...then I studied in yeshiva (traditional Jewish learning community) in Jerusalem...now here I am, besides being at UMass, teaching elementary school Hebrew. My main interest is pretty much the text as holy - in a religious sense and a "secular" one - as concept and practice - and traditions of interpretation.

Rodgers, Jenniferjcclare@complit.umass.edu

Interests: Contemporary Latin American literature (mostly narrative, though I occasionally work in the realm of poetry and theater), translation (theory and practice), U.S. ethnic literatures (particularly Latino, African American, Native American, and Asian American lit), and science fiction and fantasy.

Shang, Yi shangyi@complit.umass.edu

I just got my B.A. in English from Beijing University this summer.

Interests: Late imperial Chinese novels, the renaissance of Chinese literature around 1919, East-West literary relations.

Enjoy reading: 18th century British novel writers, 20th century American dramatists, and the immortal Russians such as Dostoevsky! (same as you, BK)

Other interests: travel, cooking, and writing letters(the real letters, with pen and paper).

Sinclair, Craig craig@complit.umass.edu

Interests: Film, Culture and Conspiracy Studies

News: I've spent the start of this semester wrestling with broken hyperlinks on CFP sites, and finishing various journalistic tirades about the use of email and the perils of the upcoming election, from the perspective of a disgruntled non-voter. Although I doubt if anyone will ever publish How 21st Century Politics learnt its way from the Nightly Morphin' (Texas) Power Danger as its a tad too aggressive for the Hampshire Gazette. Nonetheless, if anyone wants to read it OR recommend a publisher, please get in touch. As part of my recent Pro-activity, I joined the UMass Academic Priorities Committee and started GEO-repping with Alix, in order to find out if we'll ever get dental care. (I have to make sure my teeth look as bad as possible to keep my Englishness fully charged so am purposefully postponing this). I have also been fortunate enough to resurrect a course for this Wintersession: "Foundations of Cultural Studies." This is thanks to the generosity of David Lenson for letting me bastardise his syllabus. To Elizabeth Petroff for fine tuning those syllabic mutations, and mainly to Bill Moebius for helping me guide it through the bureaucracy (and much nagging from me) to a place in the Wintersession roster.

Smolen Morton, Shawnbachmann@complit.umass.edu

Tuon, Bunkong (AKA BK) btuon@complit.umass.edu

Interests: Translation, East and West relation, comparative study of European folklore with Asian oral tradition (specifically Cambodian folklore), re-imagining past communities and tracing marks of identities through the process and product of literature, problems of representation and the other, positions of the translator and the critic, postcoloniality and the nomadic self.

Enjoy reading the works of American writers Bukowski, Carver, and Hemingway; French writer Camus; Russian great Dostoevesky and absurdist Daniil Kharms (my present favorite writer); and Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.

Other interests include: creative writing, playing guitar, and of course fishing.

Also would like to thank Beverly Weber and Lilian Feitosa for their kind help in making the transition from being an undergraduate to a graduate student a successful and pleasant experience for me!

Weber, Beverly bweber@complit.umass.edu

Interests: Feminist Theory, Theories of Identity and Subjectivity, Literature of Germany and the Americas since 1945, Turkish-German Literature, the Grotesque, Nationalism

Upcoming papers: "In/Out/Trapped: Reading Anne Duden's Übergang in the Shadow of the Wall." Pacific Modern Language Association, November, 2000.

"Embodied Nations: Shifting Nationalities and Sexuality in the works of Emine Sevgi Özdamar." Northeast Modern Language Association, March, 2000.

Current Chaos and Stresses: Teaching two classes, preparing for exams, organizing the reading group together with Yehudit, maintaining the web page, threatening students to turn in OGSCL profiles and updates, and living bicoastally!

Newsletter compiled by BK, Lilian and Beverly.

This newsletter can be viewed online at http://www.umass.edu/complit/ogscl