Spring 2015 Newsletter

News of Faculty


5 Flights Up, an adaptation of Jill Ciment’s Heroic Measures, will be in theaters May 8th.

Judith W. Page was elected to the Board of Directors of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association at the annual meeting last month in Boston.

Barbara Mennel organized a trip for undergraduates in the English department’s Film and Media Studies track to visit Visions 5, the undergraduate cinema studies conference and film festival at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. In addition to 19 undergraduates, Mennel, Maureen Turim, and Lauren DeFilippo attended the exciting one-day event. Students discussed academic presentations, watched films, engaged with filmmakers, made collaborative short films, and networked with other undergraduate scholars and filmmakers. The English Department and the Waldo W. Neikirk Professorship sponsored the trip in collaboration with Film Studies at UNC-W, which had invited UF as its partner school for this year’s conference and film festival.

Maureen Turim gave an invited talk, “Film, Perception, Lenses, and Impressionism,” for the Samuel P. Harn Museum's symposium “America and France: New Perspectives on Transatlantic Visual Culture” on March 20, 2015. She also presented a paper, “The Form of Memory, Delayed: French Auteurs’ Postwar Takes on Antisemitism,” for a panel on “How French Cinema Thinks Through Social History” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2015 international conference in Montreal, which ran from March 25–29.


In March, Kenneth Kidd was an invited panelist for an M.I.T. Communications Forum entitled “Coming of Age in Dystopia: The Darkness of Young Adult Fiction.”


Terry Harpold presented “Communications Interrupted: Pierre de Sélènes's Un Monde inconnu (1896) and the 19th-Century CETI Debate” at the 2015 International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL, March 18–22. Also at ICFA, he presented the 2015 Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic to Andrés García Londoño for his essay “A Time Without a Master: Proposals for an Alternative Future Present in Los pasos perdidos (The Lost Steps) by Alejo Carpentier.” (Harpold is the Miller Award Jury Chair.)

Barbara Mennel has received the 2015 Women in German Faculty Research Award to support work on her book Women and Work in Contemporary European Film.

Judith W. Page recently organized and chaired a session on “Sentimentality and Seduction: Love in the Eighteenth Century” at the 41st Meeting of the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. The panel was entitled “Love, Seduction, and Revolution in Late Eighteenth-Century England” and took place February 26, 2015, in Gainesville.
Presenters included: Eva McFadden (University of Florida, “Rewriting the Seduction Plot of the Eighteenth-Century Novel: Physical Autonomy for an Alternative Sentimental Heroine in Mary Robinson’s Angelina”), Kadesh Lauridsen (University of Florida, “The Duty of Woman by Woman: Women’s Friendship, Watchfulness, and the Male Gaze in Jane Austen and Frances Burney”), Katherine Peters (University of Florida, “Geography of the Heart: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Seduction of the Other”), Sara Dustin (Florida Southwestern State College, “Dress Was Her Passion: Fashion’s Seductive Force in Austen’s Works of the 1790s”), and Mandi Reed (University of Florida, “Idealized, Eroticized, Transformative: Shelley and Byron on Romantic Love in the Shadow of the French Revolution”).

Stephanie A. Smith was awarded a UF Summer Rothman Fellowship for her new novel in progress, Appledore. Her essay “Yankee Doodle Marvel: The Techno-carnality of Captain America” was delivered at this year’s ICFA in Orlando, March 18–22.


Jill Ciment’s new novel, Act of God, has just been published by Pantheon/Knopf.

Jodi Schorb delivered a talk, “Making Selves in the Americas: New Approaches to 18th-century Genre Studies,” at the 41st Meeting of the Southeastern American Studies Society for Eighteenth Centuries Studies, held in Gainesville, FL, Feb. 26–28.


In January, Kenneth Kidd presented a paper entitled “Literature for Beginners” at the Vancouver MLA.

Judith Page published two articles this month: “Wordsworth on Gender and Sexuality” in The Oxford Handbook of Wordsworth, ed. Richard Gravil and Daniel Robinson (Oxford UP, 2015), 647–661, and “Dorothy Wordsworth” in William Wordsworth in Context, ed. Andrew Bennett (Cambridge UP, 2015), 19–26.

Stephanie A. Smith’s short story “Winter Studio, 1901” was commissioned for and has been published in the Harn Museum’s catalogue for the “Monet and American Impressionism” exhibition, which will run from February to May 2015.


Barbara Mennel has published “From Utopian Collectivity to Solitary Precarity: Thirty Years of Feminist Theory and the Cinema of Women’s Work” in Women in German Yearbook 30 (2014): 125–137.

Phillip Wegner presented his paper “On Althusser’s Not-Unusefulness (Notes Toward an Investigation)” as part of a session, Ideology and the ISA (Ideological State Apparatus) Today: On Althusser’s On the Reproduction of Capitalism, at the MLA Convention in Vancouver.


Laurie Gries delivered a plenary speech titled “Circulation Studies, Visual Rhetoric, and the Study of Remix in a Digital Age” at the International Conference on Language, Literature, and Culture and led a two hour workshop on iconographic tracking at the Digital Humanities Winter School, both of which were held in Pune, India in December of 2014. Laurie also delivered a presentation at the 2015 MLA conference in Vancouver, BC titled “Visualizing Hope: Making Data Visualizations and Becoming Data Literate.”

Maureen Turim published a chapter, “French Neo-noir: An Aesthetic for the Policier,” in International Film Noir, edited by Homer B. Pettey and R. Barton Palmer, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 61–84.

Anastasia Ulanowicz presented a paper, “The Kozak as a Site of Memory in Post-Independence-era Ukrainian Children’s Literature,” at the MLA convention held in Vancouver, BC.

Phillip Wegner gave a talk, “Always Totalize, Forcing, Deep Listening, and Other Habits of Highly Effective Theorists,” at the invitation of the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University. Dr. Wegner also met with faculty and graduate students for a lunchtime discussion of his two recently published books, Periodizing Jameson and Shockwaves of Possibility.


Marsha Bryant presented an invited talk for an IMOS teaching workshop funded by the National Science Foundation. (IMOS = Impact of Materials on Society.) The workshop took place at the Fall meeting of the Materials Research Society in Boston on December 2, and Professor Bryant spoke on “The Power of Polymers: Tupperware and Domestic Design in Postwar America.” IMOS is part of the MRS Public Outreach Center. Bryant and students from her 2013 course “Sylvia Plath and Her Cultural Afterlife at 50” have published “Parody as Pedagogy, Plath as Style” in Plath Profiles 7. You can find a preview and link to the article on Marsha's blog.

Andrew Gordon gave a paper on “Envy: Cynthia Ozick Meets Melanie Klein” at the Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Symposium in Miami Beach November 10. His article “Red Scare: The Early Cold War in Novels by Mailer, Doctorow, and Roth” appears in The Mailer Review 8.1 (Fall 2014): 186–214.

Brandon Kershner’s poem “Our Lady of the Brilliant Sky” appears in the current issue of Subtropics.

Barbara Mennel published “Ming Wong’s Imitations” in Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration and Multiculturalism in the German-Speaking World 9.2 (2014) and “The Fantasy of Femininity among the Industrial Ruins of Communism: Teona Strugar Mitevska’s I am from Titov Veles (2007)” in Genre and the (Post)Communist Woman: Analyzing Transformations of the Central and Eastern European Female Ideal. Ed. Florentina C. Andreescu and Michael J. Shapiro. New York: Routledge, 2014. 133–47.


News of Current Students


Sarah Bean read her paper “From Zero to Chihiro: The Allegory of Sex Work in Spirited Away” at the Visions 5 Film Festival and Conference at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington on April 17. She was one of eight panelists selected to present her scholarship at this undergraduate conference, representing the University of Florida. Of the panelists, Sarah was awarded the “Excellence in Scholarship” recognition.

At the University Writing Awards Ceremony, Chris Gage and Gabriel Mayora were each recognized for Excellence in Mentorship, and both Jaquelin Elliott and Gizelle Scarabi received awards for Excellence in First Year Composition Instruction.

On April 17, Chris LeMaire presented a paper, “Betraying Dostoevsky: Robert Bresson and the Art of Faithful Film Adaptation,” at UNC-W’s Visions 5 Film Festival and Conference. Chris was one of eight scholars allotted fifteen minutes to present on an original work in film studies.

Yen Loh presented her “Disaporic Haunting and the Materiality of the Ghost in Chinese-American Women’s Fiction” at the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association conference in New Orleans, LA, held April 1–4. She also presented “Haunting Borders: Immigration and Exclusion in Lan Samantha Chang’s Hunger” at the 29th annual MELUS conference in Athens, GA, which ran from April 9–12.


The following students presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication March 18–21:

Norma Aceves, “Surviving the Graduate Application Process: How My Life Became an Academic Borderland”; Aaron Beveridge, “Writing eScience: Using Data Science Tools to Study Networked Writing Ecologies”; Shannon Butts, “Re:Re:Re:Mixing Tautologies and Technologies”; Jacob Greene, “Challenging the Aura of Textual Authority”; Anastasia Kozak, “Departures From the Source: Translation and Digital Media”; and Joseph P. Weakland, “Writing in the Cleanroom: The Molecularized Ecologies of Nanocomposition.”

Thomas Cole presented “Absence Makes the Critique Grow Stronger: Narrative, Genre, and (the Lack of) Women in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” in the Medical Humanities Division of the National Conference for the Popular Culture Association & American Culture Association in New Orleans, LA.

Sam Grenrock’s poem “Vasque Bleu” won first place in the Harn Museum’s Words on Canvas Writing Competition. Following a reading of the poem at the musem on April 9th, “Vasque Bleu” will also be posted on the Harn’s website and will appear in a booklet for museum visitors.


Scott Sundvall published his article “Clonetrolling the Future: Body, Space, and Ontology in Duncan Jones’ Moon and Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go” in Politics of Place. He also presented “Crises in Critical Pedagogy: Teaching Rhetoric as/and Activism” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa Bay, FL.

Trevor Weisong Gao presented his paper entitled “Documenting Feelings: Shame and Disability in the Dance Performance Thousand Hands Bodhisattva” at Disability Studies: Cultural Geographies without Hierarchy, organized by the College English Association’s Caribbean chapter, which was held at the University of Puerto Rico March 12 & 13, 2015.


Scott Sundvall’s flash theory piece, “Hegel’s The Master,” recently appeared in Interstitial. Additionally, his William Burroughs audio cut-up, “An Introduction and Conclusion to (Metaphysical) Writing Studies,” was published in the Responses section of Enculturation.


Alex Pickett’s story “Road Crew” appears online in Green Mountains Review. The story can be found here.


Gabriel Mayora published “Cover, Girl: Branding Puerto Rican Drag in 21st Century U.S. Popular Culture” as part of McFarland's The Makeup of RuPaul’s Drag Race.


News of Former Students


Matt Snyder presented “The Specter of Lancelot: Chronicle, Romance, and The Awntyrs off Arthure” on 4/11/15 at the 49th Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference at the University of Nevada, Reno.


Eric Otto has been appointed Director of General Education at Florida Gulf Coast University.


Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar was honored with the Early Career Researcher Award at the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), held at Qatar University in March 2015. Dr. Rajakumar and co-authors Tanya Kane and Jessica Hammam were recognized for their paper, “Great Expectations: Women, Education, and Marriage in Qatar,” which discusses their mixed-methods investigation into the effects of tertiary education on Qatari women’s marriageability.


Christine Poreba’s manuscript Rough Knowledge was chosen by poet Peter Everwine as winner of the 2014 Philip Levine Book Manuscript Prize with publication by Anhinga Press.


Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar’s chapter “I am Trayvon Martin: Obama and the Black Male in Cinema” appears in the recently-published Movies in the Age of Obama: The Era of Post-Racial and Neo-Racist Cinema, edited by David Garrett Izzo. The piece was co-authored with Alisha Saiyed, her undergraduate research assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.


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