This is the inaugural issue of a newsletter that will be published every semester detailing news and matters of interest concerning the graduate students in the Department of Comparative Literature. We hope this will function as a forum to keep each other posted on new developments and to share information of interest to all graduate students in Comparative Literature.
The Organization of Graduate Students in Comparative Literature
The Organization of Graduate Students in Comparative Literature (OGSCL) was formed in Fall, 1997 by a group of graduate students in the department. OGSCL was formed to create a network of support and camaraderie among graduate students in comparative literature. While no formal "membership" structure exists, a member of OGSCL is defined as a graduate student in comparative literature. We aim to serve as a liaison between graduate student and faculty in the department. Since its inception, OGSCL has been represented on the Graduate Studies Committee and the Undergraduate Studies Committee. We have also had observers at departmental meetings. OGSCL has maintained a commitment to working as a collective group and therefore does not have the formal structures of hierarchical leadership. We generally try to meet three times a semester and have found that sharing responsibilities has worked well so far!
Over the course of the last two years, OGSCL has worked with the department to host workshops (led by Comp Lit faculty) about resume writing, publication strategies, and job letter writing; most recently Prof. Bill Moebius offered a workshop about the process of hiring a new tenure -track assistant professor in Asian American Studies at UMass. We hope to offer versions of these workshops and new workshops in up coming semesters.
OGSCL has recently decided to seek institutional recognition by filing for status as a Graduate Student Organization. Provided this petition is accepted and we have at least one senator on the Graduate Student Senate, OGSCL will become eligible to compete for partial funding for events (lecture series etc). We will keep you posted on new developments in that area!
New Web Site and List-Serve
OGSCL now has a new List-Serve that will allow graduate students to communicate easily with each other. A members-only list, this list-serve is available to all interested graduate students in comparative literature. Although only graduate students may subscribe to the list, faculty, staff and others may post messages to the list by sending an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. This list-serve is linked to a web site -- accessible only to members -- which maintains links to relevant information about conferences, upcoming events, publications and so on. For further information, contact Anita Mannur, who is the list manager.
An additional OGSCL web site is available for public access at http://www.umass.edu/complit/ogscl. Among other things, we envision this web site as a space to share professional news and information as well as resources for teaching assistants and graduate students.
We would appreciate your help with this page. Please check the directory information and make sure it is accurate. Any resources you would like to share should be emailed to Beverly Weber at email@example.com or placed in her box. Things submitted electronically would be especially helpful. At this time, we are looking for sample syllabi, sample paper guidelines, sample editing sheets, etc. References for sites to add to the links page as well as messages/announcements to be posted on the bulletin board should also be mailed to Beverly.
Please note that so far this site IS available to the public. Information you want to be circulated only to OGSCL members should be submitted to the list-serve.
We began the new school year with two new offices for the Teaching Assistants. Bartlett 15 has been a graduate student office since Spring '99, and this semester we also have a new home in 309 So. College. Bartlett 15, which has now been our home for almost a year, has begun to feel more comfortable thanks to gradual additions. We have added a small refrigerator to the office and a microwave, which we plan to leave for future graduate students. This space has provided much needed relief from having to travel nomadically around the campus in search of a place to study, hold OGSCL meetings, read, and meet with students. We are most grateful to the department -- especially Bill Moebius and Bob Rothstein -- for having helped us to resolve this problem.
We have begun to revive the Career Development Committee this year. Past activities have included workshops on topics such as syllabus design, publishing strategies, resume writing tips and drafting a letter for job applications. On November 19th Bill Moebius offered a tremendously useful workshop/ presentation that detailed his experiences as co-chair of the Search Committee for a new faculty hire in Asian American Studies. We hope to offer a series of workshops in the spring. For more information, contact Jana Evans Braziel.
Part of the reason we chose to begin this newsletter was to help us stay in touch with each other as well as to be aware of our interests. The information which follows is based on a short survey circulated this semester; we have included the information in the format in which it was submitted to us In the future, we hope this space will serve as a way to communicate news about the individual graduate students.
Note that Shu-Chen Huang and Roger Stritmatter were inadvertently ommitted from the first paper copy of this newsletter. Our apologies!
The 1999-2000 academic year finds me completing the final draft of my dissertation manuscript entitled Nomadism, Diaspora and Deracination in Contemporary Migrant Literatures, which I hope to defend in the late fall or early spring. In December, I will be presenting a paper entitled "La langue-cette inconnue: Nomadism, Language and Paternity in Linda Lê's Calomnies" (for the panel L'Asie francophone, chaired by Jack A. Yeager) at the 1999 Convention of the Modern Language Association in Chicago, where I also plan to interview for academic teaching positions. One dissertation chapter ("'Becoming-Woman-dog-goldfish-flower-molecular' and the 'non-becoming-Quebecois': Dissolution and Other Deleuzian Traversals in Flora Balzano's Soigne ta chute") of the manuscript was published last year in Tessera: Feminist Interventions in Writing and Culture (Summer 1998), and a second chapter ("De Port-au-Prince a Montreal: Nomad-Exile in Dany Laferriere's Chronique de la dérive douce") will be published in a volume entitled Nomadic States, edited by Ronald Bogue (SUNY Press, forthcoming). Surprisingly, this last chapter was also nominated for the ACLA Horst Frenz Prize, for which I was chosen as first runner up and 'Honorable Mention.' Another article, "Being and Time, Non-Being and Space . . . (introductory notes toward an ontological study on 'woman' and chora)," addressing the gendered and sexuated constructions of spatiality through a queer theoretical lens, has also been accepted for publication in a proposed volume entitled Beliefs, Bodies, and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment, edited by Eileen Kahl (under review by Indiana University Press).
Anita Mannur and I have collaboratively conspired toward much evil in the last year (but ooh!, what fun! Wink-wink, nudge-nudge). With Anita, I have recently co-edited Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader, which anthologizes contemporary and comparative theorizations of diaspora (such as those by Boyce Davies, Clifford, Gilroy, Radhakrishnan, Spivak and others). The edited collection is currently under review by Duke University Press, and we are anxiously awaiting the reviewer's comments. In February, I will be co-chairing (with Anita) a panel called "Comparative Diasporas/Interdisciplinary Approaches" at the American Comparative Literature Association annual conference (to be held at Yale University). In addition to co-chairing, I will also present a paper entitled "Comparative Diasporas, Migratory Intensities, Nomadic Becomings" for the panel.
On a different note, Bodies Out of Bounds, which I co-edited with Katie LeBesco, has finally!! been approved by the Editorial Board at the University of California Press, and the final contract has been mailed to us!! Yeah!! Not all accomplishments are quick and easy to say the least!!
My most arduous duties, of course, have been my parental ones, involving an array of thankless responsibilities-such as dishwashing, cooking, attending teacher-parent conferences, making Halloween costumes, and (my personal favorite; note the sarcasm here) refereeing multi-sibling free-for-alls and occasional knock-down-drag-outs, as well as nursing the post-conflictual wounds-and, the gods are merciful, a few thankful ones (such as reading handmade cards, receiving hugs and kisses, and helping Dylan learn to read).
Deck, Letha firstname.lastname@example.org
66 Woodfield Road, Woodbridge, CT
music and literature, verbal and visual representation, post-structuralism and literary theory, modernism/postmodernism
Kelly Faughnan email@example.com
Research interests: Theories of the Body, past and present, philosophy of Mind-Body, Feminist Theory, Crime Literature, Chaucer, Montaigne, Literature and Medicine.
Lilian P. W. Feitosa firstname.lastname@example.org
Research interests: Children's Literature and gender studies (specifically the study of books for and about girls), literature and music (the relationship between Brazilian popular music and poetry), translation studies (Brazilian women writers translated into English), Literature and the visual arts (the representation of women in picture books)
Interesting things you have been doing this year: I went to France to 5 weeks to study French, and before that I went to Brazil to visit my family (and to buy books too!)
Conference papers - I'm planning to present my paper on translation sometime soon.
Ways you have been involved with things at UMASS: I have been teaching for a year. This is my third semester, actually. I've taught and am currently teaching Spiritual Autobiography with Elizabeth, and I taught Good and Evil with Lucien.
Interests: translation and Indonesian literature, especially Pramoedya Ananta Toer's writings
I come from Puerto Rico, and I did my bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Puerto Rico.
Interests: German Expressionism in American comic books, imperialist mythology and the Aztec and Spanish cultures
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian
Additional Umass Activities: taught Avant-Garde film, Brave New Worlds, Vietnam War and Film
Neil Hartlen email@example.com 413-584-9026 (email preferred)
Areas of Interest: Queer Studies, Quebec Literature, French and Francophone Film, Urban Literature and Film, Postcolonial Studies
Interesting things you have been doing this year: COMPS!
Vacations: end of May in San Francisco, early June in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick, summer (preparing for comps...) in Montréal
Conferences: "Nation-stakes in Nancy Huston's L'empreinte de l'ange," ACLA Annual Conference in Montréal (April 1999); "Solitudes in Motion: Traversals of Urban Space in Mid-Century Montréal," American Council for Québec Studies Biennual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina (Nov 1998).
Publications: "'Chorégraphie affriolante': Sexuality and Urban Space in Jean-Paul Daoust's 111, Wooster Street", Québec Studies 26 (1998/1999).
Other related activities: Grad Studies Committee, Comp. Lit. Dept. 1997-9.
Yehudit Heller firstname.lastname@example.org
Shu-Chen Huang email@example.com
Publication to come: (the 4 authors are Monin Chiang, Chiang Yee, Cynthia Chou and Ling-Ai Li.); others are still not certain because I am waiting for the editors to reply (e.g. a book review on The Victorian Travelers and the Opening of China)
presentation to come: ACLA 2000
other plans: I have been married for 13 months and hope that some time soon Qian (pronounced as "Chian", my hubby) and I can have a "get-away" somewhere not so close to New England. I hope that I can finish my dissertation prospectus some time very soon (otherwise a baby is fine, too, just kidding!) Speaking of babies, I hope I can revise a couple of my papers presented in conferences for publication soon. They are like born children that need to be taken care of. I feel that I have abandoned them because I have not believed that they are good enough to be published.
Dale Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org
Modern (postmedieval) European art, esp. 19th- & 20th-century avant-garde; 20th-century French & Italian literature, poetry & film; Critical theory, visual and textual studies, psychoanalysis and deconstruction
Korotkova, Nina email@example.com
Lu Li firstname.lastname@example.org
international student from Chile
Interests: Modernist fiction, Latin American "Boom" and contemporary fiction, James Joyce, J.L. Borges, Marxian theory.
-Student Representative to G.S.C.
-Member of Planning Committee for Graduate Student Conference for Latin
-American Studies Consortium of New England--organized through Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, UMass.
-I am currently working on finishing up coursework and drafting the six areas for my Comprehensive Exams.
-I may be presenting a paper at A.C.L.A. next year, on politics and literature in Cortázar.
-I have been interested in the politics-literature question for a while, and already presented a paper on Borges and politics at A.C.L.A. last year.
Ignacio is leaving the department in January 2000 to transfer to the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh for his M.A. and Ph.D. He reminds us that he is not giving up comparative literature, but rather looking for an academic space in which he can bring questions of comparative literature and interdisciplinary approaches to bear on Hispanic-American literature and culture. He is considering coming back to take his M.A. exam in comparative literature sometime next year.
Anita Mannur email@example.com
Research Interests: Diaspora studies, Women of color, Race Feminism, South Asian literature and popular culture, Caribbean women's narratives (Anglo, Franco and Hispanophone), Asian American Studies, British and French colonial literature.
"At 'Home' in an Indian World: Constructions of Ethnicity in the Works of Farrukh Dhondy and Malcolm Bosse" Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature. 37.2 (1999). 18 - 23.
Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Greenwood CT: Greenwood P, 2000.
"Hindu-scapes, Comic-scapes: Negotiating the Popularity of Amar Chitra Katha" Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature. 38.2 (2000).
Review of Youth Cultures: A Cross Cultural Perspective. Eds. Vered Amit-Talai and Helena Wulff (Routledge, 1995) in ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature. Special Issue "International Youth Cultures." 2000.
"Arjun Appadurai" and "Edouard Glissant." Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Ed. John C. Hawley. Greenwood CT: Greenwood P, 2001.
"Mary Paik Lee." Asian American Autobiographers. Ed. Guiyou Huang. Greenwood CT: Greenwood P, 2001.
"Bapsi Sidhwa" South Asian Novelists. Ed. Premila Paul. Greenwood CT: Greenwood P, 2000.
Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader (co-edited by Jana Evans Braziel). Currently under review by Duke University Press. Projected Publication date. Fall 2001.
APRIL 1999. "Bridging Representation in Vikram Seth's Golden Gate: The
Role of the 'Indian American' Novel" (PANEL: Reinventing Asian America in the 90's) Annual Convention of the Association of Asian American Studies, Philadelphia.
Asian American Five College Taskforce. 1999 - present. Coordinate activities in the Five Colleges (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Smith, Amherst, Mt. Holyoke and Hampshire Colleges.
Jeannine Marks firstname.lastname@example.org
Corinne Oster email@example.com
Areas of Interest: Film (esp. French and American film), Translation, Fantastic Literature, Psychoanalysis.
Interesting things you have been doing this year: Spent lots of time in France and Spain. Will do it again. Any time.
Publications "Dead Ringers: A case of Psychosis in Twins." American Imago, Summer 1999 issue.
Pending publication of the translation of Jacques Ranciere's _The Philosopher and his Poor_ (translation of the last third of the book and proofreading of the first parts) in collaboration with Andrew Parker, prof. at Amherst College.
Ways you have been involved with things at UMASS: Been teaching (in the French department and then in the Comp-Lit department) since 1994. Been working at the Translation Center since 1995. Office work and translations.
Theo Padnos firstname.lastname@example.org
Interests: Medieval literature, feminist/queer/ psychoalnalytic theory, cross-dressing -- figurative and literal, food as a metaphor for language.
Languages: Old and Middle English, Old Norse, Middle High German, Old French, Medieval Latin
Dissertation topic: Eloquence as employed by women authors/characters in medieval texts
"Spiritual Fruit and Flowers: Language that Produces in Piers Plouman," The Intl. Congress on Medieval Studies at WMU, 2000.
"Diffused Light" (a poem), The Midwest Quarterly, Jan. 2000.
Lynn Prince email@example.com
Taissia Rumynina firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Rodgers email@example.com
Jennifer Rodgers is a 7th year graduate student, finishing up (okay, mild exaggeration) her dissertation on magic realism and social protest in the Americas. Her multifarious interests include 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. In her studies within these areas, she has been influenced by various feminist and queer theories, as well as post colonial approaches to both writing and translation in the Americas.
Jonathan Sadow firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduated UEA, England
Lives in Winchester, England
Interests: Conspiracy Studies, Film Studies (European Cinema, US Art Cinema), Popular Culture, Cultural Studies
Languages: English, German
Interesting things done in 1999: Moving to America and attempting to stop being an Anglophile/Cultural Empiricist by finding an interesting daily paper
Other Interests: creative writing, filmmaking
Shawn Smolen Morton
Roger Stritmatter RogerStritmatter@prodigy.net
Interests: history of the Shakespeare Authorship question, the Renaissance emblem book tradition, texts and Pretexts, the role of Latin in the hermetic traditions of the late Renaissance censorship and interpretation
Most recent publications include several short articles and reviews in Notes & Queries (Oxford University Press) and The Oxfordian.
Aaron Walker email@example.com
Beverly Weber firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm originally from Minnesota, though I arrive at Amherst via Germany and Pennsylvania. This is my first semester here, but since I'm transferring from another PhD program I'll likely be taking Comps next fall. My interests include: European/American literary relations, gender studies, 20th century literature, German literature, and theories of subjectivity.
I always think it's a little unfair to ask graduate students to come up with "interesting details" about our lives, but I did spend a month homeless this summer after having traveled to such random locations as San Diego, Irvine, Frankfurt, Berlin, Minneapolis, and, most importantly, Stanley, Idaho! (Next destination, Amherst...) My other interests? Creative writing, and the difficult task of combining sanity with graduate study. As for being involved with things at UMass, I haven't been here that long, but I am the guilty party responsible for all the mistakes you see in this newsletter! I'm also maintaining the OGSCL web site.
This newsletter compiled by Jennifer,
Anita, and Beverly
last revised 12/13/99