Department News

Spring 2013 events:

As a culmination to his three-year term as the Robert Ryan Professor of the Humanities, Professor Hugh Egan delivered a lecture on Friday, May 3, in the Handwerker Gallery. His talk was entitled, "Slavery and Self-Reliance: Douglass, Emerson, and the Limits of Metaphor."

Professor Katharine Kittredge's article, "Considering Female Masculinities in Eighteenth Century Britain," will be published in the collection Developments in the Histories of Sexualities In Search of the Normal, 1600–1800, edit. Chris Mounsey (Bucknell UP 2013).

Professors Kittredge and Bleicher co-organized the Pippi to Ripley Conference at IC. Pippi to Ripley began in 2011 as an act of "Guerilla Academe" created by Katharine Kittredge and three of her undergraduates: Adam Ellerson, Ryan Ende, and Giovanni Colantonio. Today, Pippi to Ripley is a comprehensive community outreach event that includes four components: a professional development conference for middle and high school teachers; a science fiction and fantasy quiz competition; an academic conference for scholars of science fiction and fantasy, and a series of critical thinking and creative workshops for youth.

Professor Chris Holmes's article "The Novel’s Third Way: Zadie Smith’s ‘Hysterical Realism’", will be published in the collection Zadie Smith:
the First Decade and Beyond
edit. Phillip Tew (Bloomsbury 2013).

Professor Christopher Matusiak has been awarded a prestigious Short-Term Fellowship for 2013-2014 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.  It's a month-long term in residence, and Professor Matusiak will be using the fellowship to complete a critical edition of Robert Greene's play Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay for the Queen's Men Editions series and Broadview Press.

--additionally, Professor Matusiak chaired a panel entitled "Managing Shakespeare and the Early Modern Theater Business" at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America in Toronto this past March 28th.

Professors Chris Holmes and Eleanor Henderson (Writing) co-organized a three-day literary festival highlighting emerging writers. The New Voices Festival brought poets, novelists and short-story writers, and a YA novelist to the Ithaca College Campus for a series of readings, panels, and classroom visits. The Writers were accompanied throughout their stay by student guides from the English and Writing Departments.

Fall 2012 events:

Professor and Chair, Claire Gleitman, will chair a panel on the value of the Humanities at the Modern Language Association's (MLA) annual conference entitled: “Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg: The Current 'Crisis' in the Humanities."

 

Professor Christopher Matusiak will publish his article: "Elizabeth Beeston, Sir Lewis Kirke, and the Cockpit's Management during the English Civil Wars" in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England. It is forthcoming in 2014.

 

Professor Dan Breen's article, “The Resurrected Corpus: History and Reform in Bale’s Kynge Johan" is forthcoming iRenaissance Retrospections: Tudor Views of the Middle Ages, ed. Sarah Kelen.  Kalamazoo (MI): Western Michigan University Press. 

 

Professor Kevin Murphy has published an article on the recent poems of Seamus Heaney: "'It's not that I can't imagine still': The Reprise of Imagination in Seamus Heaney's Human Chain, The Recorder, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring 2012), 104-119.

 

To launch the 2012-13 First-Year Reading Initiative, Professor Chris Holmes delivered the opening address to the first-year class, all of whom had read Ithaca College faculty member Eleanor Henderson’s novel, Ten Thousand Saints.  Professor Holmes’s talk was entitled: “The Families We Choose: Reading Ten Thousand Saints.”

 

The English department honor society sponsored a pizza gathering for students and faculty to welcome Assistant Professor Derek Adams to the department. Professor Adams received his Ph.D from the University of Arizona and specializes in African American literature.


The English honor society launched a magazine for student publications, to be edited by students, named ZoetIC.  The magazine will publish fiction, poetry and literary criticism by English majors.

 

In November, the On the Verge play-reading series will produce a staged reading of Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class, featuring a cast of students and faculty members as well as Tony-award winning Broadway actor Frank Wood.

 

Elizabeth Bleicher has been named the first Academic Director of the Exploratory Program. In conjunction with the Exploratory Advisory Committee, Elizabeth will be developing academic curriculum, recruiting faculty to teach and advise in the program, and assessing the effectiveness of the new academic and co-curricular structures Ithaca College is piloting over the next three years. 

 

Four English majors are engaged in honors projects, all of which they expect to bring to completion this spring: Christopher Accardo (on Ernest Hemingway), Brianna Gobetz (on Brian Friel) Amanda Goldman (on Bertolt Brecht), and Lisa Villamil (on David Mitchell).

 

Fall and Spring 2011-2012 events:

Professor Elizabeth Bleicher sponsored “Dickens in Ithaca,” a semester-long celebration of Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday that involved IC students, faculty, and members of the community. Events included lectures, readings, theatre, and a social gathering that featured Miss Havisham’s wedding cake (complete with cobwebs and rats). As a culmination of the celebration, Professor Bleicher brought a group of students to London, where they explored Dickens-related sites.

 

Professor Chris Holmes delivered a lecture at the Handwerker Gallery entitled, “No Museum Piece: The Paradox of South African Literature.”

 

Professor Claire Gleitman directed a staged reading of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, sponsored by the On the Verge play-reading series. Four English department faculty members, one Theatre department faculty member, numerous Ithaca College students, and a local professional actor and IC alumnus all participated.

Sigma Tau Deltas sponsored a poetry reading featuring Professor Kirsten Wasson, who shared selections from her recently published book, Almost Everything Takes Forever. In addition to Professor Wasson, numerous English majors shared their original poetry.

Professor Hugh Egan, the current Robert Ryan Professor in the Humanities, presented a paper entitled, “Thrice-Told Tale: Frederick Douglass and the Art of Autobiography.”

Five English majors completed honors thesis projects: Julia Catalano (on Ernest Hemingway), Addie Davis (on Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Allison Hamilton (on Evelyn Waugh), Tyler Norieka (on William Butler Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney) and Adrienne Petro (young adult science fiction novels).

 

 

Fall 2011

Prof. Elizabeth Bleicher was selected as the Oracle Honor Society Faculty Inductee for 2011. This award recognizes a faculty member's outstanding impact on the college experience of new Oracle Society members, who comprise the top 10% of students in each school who have completed a full year at IC.

On December 1, Sigma Tau Delta sponsors a poetry reading featuring Prof. Kirsten Wasson, who will share part of her recently published book, Almost Everything Takes Forever. The reading takes place at Buffalo Street Books, and will include poetry readings by other English department students and faculty.

On November 30, Prof. Hugh Egan, the current Robert Ryan Professor of the Humanities, presents "Thrice-Told Tales: Frederick Douglass and the Art of Autobiography," a talk based on his research for the Ryan Professorship. The event is sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta honor society.

On November 17, Prof. Lily Sheehan presents "'their best selves: Fashion, Fantasy, and Race in the Harlem Renaissance" as part of the inaugural IC Faculty Colloquium. 

Prof. Claire Gleitman directed a reading of Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come!, as part of the On the Verge play reading series and Thursdays at the Handwerker Gallery on November 10th. The reading took place at 6pm at the Handwerker Gallery and readers included Profs. Hugh Egan, Chris Holmes, and Kevin Murphy. 

Pre-Doctoral Fellow Shauna Kirlew discussed her dissertation research and teaching as part of a panel discussion with Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellows, which was sponsored by the School of Humanities and Sciences and took place on November 8th.

On November 1, Prof. Lily Sheehan led a discussion on "Hair in the Jazz Age: A Conversation about Sex, Gender, and Race in the 1920s and Today" as part of the Handwerker Gallery's Tuesday Salon Series.

On October 26, Prof. Kirsten Wasson read from her recently published book of poetry, Almost Everything Takes Forever (Antrim House Books, 2011). The event was sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta honor society.

Spring 2011

On April 14, Claire Gleitman directed an On the Verge reader's theater presentation of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" on the Hoerner Main Stage.  On April 4, Kushner visited IC as the year's Distinguished Humanities Lecturer and was interviewed by Claire Gleitman in the Ford Hall auditorium.

On April 13, M. H. Abrams, Cornell professor emeritus and founding editor of the the Norton Anthology of English Literature, spoke with Prof. David Kramer's Honors seminar, "The Art of the Place," about literature written in Ithaca and Ithaca's contribution to literature.  Photo: See Photo Galleries.

On March 24, Robert Volpicelli, class of 2009 and Ph.D. candidate in English at Penn State University, delivered a lecture titled "What a Fine Thing" about the poetry of Marianne Moore.  Bob's visit was sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta honor society.

Spring 2010 

On March 5-6 Professor Katharine Kittredge traveled to Dublin, Ireland, with students Samantha Hewitt and Hannah Hjerpe-Schroeder to present papers at the “Sound, Image, Text” conference sponsored by the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature.  The conference featured participants from nine countries, and the paper topics ranged from Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to Italian translations of Sylvia Plath.  Samantha’s presentation, “Speaking Volumes through Visuals: Two Graphic Novels Depicting the Trauma of War,” arose out of her current English Honors project.  Professor Kittredge and Hannah presented on the preliminary findings of their Spring 2010 Fred L. Emerson Collaboration project; their presentation was titled “Thomas Dermody, Eighteenth-Century Alcoholic Child Poet: ‘Irish Chatterton’ or Juvenile Delinquent?”

 

 

Spring 2009

 

The On the Verge players presented a staged reading of John Millington Synge's comedy, "The Playboy of the Western World," on Thursday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the Handwerker Gallery.  The cast, directed by Prof. Claire Gleitman, included English/Theatre major Nicole Intravia as Pegeen Mike Flaherty, English major Anthony Derrick as Philly, Prof. Michael Twomey as pub owner Michael James Flaherty, and Prof. Kevin Murphy as the father of Christy Mahon, the "playboy" of the title. Click here to see a video clip.

Indian novelist Kiran Nagarkar delivered two lectures: "A Glimpse of Bombay/Mumbai" (a reading and discussion of his novel Ravan and Eddie) on Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m. in the Handwerker Gallery; and "Violent and Non-Violent Change" on Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. in the Klingenstein Lounge.  Mr. Nagarkar's visit was part of CSCRE's lecture series "Chaos or Community? MLK and the Politics of Resistance."  His visit was co-sponsored by DIIS, CSCRE, the Departments of Writing, Politics, History, and English, the H&S Honors Program, the H&S Educational Grant Inititative, the Linden Center for Creativity and Aging, and the Gerontology Institute.

English majors presenting at the Whalen Symposium on April 16th: Nicolette Bucciaglia, "Morgan and Morgause in Modern Retellings of Malory"; Robert Volpicelli, "Stripped to the Waste: D. H. Lawrence, Postcoloniality, and Mimesis"; and Danielle O'Reilly, "'What Ought to Be True': Tennessee Williams and His Pursuit of the Ideal."  

Thursday, April 9: Laura Murphy, Department of English, Ithaca College: "Narrating 'White Slavery!': Unionized Labor, Organized Crime, and Commodified Women in The Wire."  Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta.

Tuesday, March 31: Kimberly Huth, Ph.D candidate, University of Wisconsin/Madison: "Private Justice, Public Sport: Laughter and Revenge in Shakespeare's Comedies." Sponsored by the English Department, Sigma Tau Delta, and teh H&S Dean's Office.

Fall, 2008

Monday, Dec. 1: Kevin Bales, author of Disposable People:  "Ending Slavery," sponsored by the English Department, School of H&S, and IC Chapter of Free the Slaves.  For more information, click here.

Tuesday, November 18: Heather Dubrow, Department of English, Fordham University:  "Rethinking Lyric Immediacy," sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium.

Spring, 2008

Friday, April 18:  The English Department Alumni Career Panel, sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, featured former English majors Rosie Barki (2007), David Corvi (2007), Liz Fox (2006), Sylvie Larsen (2007), and Brandi Remington (2006).

Monday, April 7:  Wendy Hyman, Department of English:  "Enchantment via Techne: The Renaissance Trope of the Mechanical Bird," sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium.

Friday, March 28:  Lauryl Tucker, Department of English:  "'Writin' Home: Linguistic Slippage in Louise Bennett's Epistolary Creole Poetry," sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society.

Monday, March 17:  Catherine Batt (Fordham University and the University of Leeds, England):  "Headless Ladies and Female Suicides:  Repetition of Motifs in Malory's Morte Darthur," sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium.    

Student News:

Christa Calkins (2009, M.A.T. grad student) was awarded an H&S Educational Initiative grant in October to fund her participation in the 27th Annual Conference of the Association of Third World Studies at Elmina Beach Resort, Cape Coast, Ghana, on November 21-14, 2009.  At the conference, Christa presented her paper, "Finding Her 'Unseen Soul': The Voioces of Buchi Emecheta and Ama Ata Aidoo," in a panel titled "The Creative Arts: Literature and the Social Imagination." Following her visit, Christa spoke with two 9th-grade classes at Ithaca High School.

Sue Schwartz, M.A.T. candidate, spent five days learning about best practices in English Education at the NCTE convention November 19-23. She attended workshops with topics that ranged from how to use essential questions to discovering how visual art and music can improve student reading.  Sue reports that the best advice she gained was from Jeff Wilhelm, who said, “The one who does the work is the one who does the learning.”  She looks forward to incorporating this recommendation, along with other things she learned, into her student teaching experience in the spring semester.

English majors completing honors theses and graduating with honors in English in 2009 are (mentors' names in parentheses): Nicolette Bucciaglia (Michael Twomey), Christa Calkins (Anjali Nerlekar), Danielle O'Reilly (Claire Gleitman), and Robert Volpicelli (Lauryl Tucker). 

Bob Volpicelli (2009) has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in English, with six years of full funding, at the Pennsylvania State University.  In 2008, Bob presented a paper titled "Mythopoetics: The Fringes of Academia" at the 22nd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research on April 11th at Salisbury University in Maryland.  Bob was one of a group of 12 Ithaca College students at the conference, and he was the only student from IC in the humanities.  The conference featured oral presentations and posters by 2800 students from sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts.

Christa Calkins (2009) and Fiana Muhlberger (2009) each won Emerson Humanities Collaboration Awards for research projects with members of the English Department.  Christa worked with Anjeli Nerlekar on a new course in Anglophone Caribbean Literature, and Fiana worked with Elizabeth Bleicher on an article about 19th century British novelist Anthony Trollope.  Read the full story in Intercom.

Peter Messmer (2010) won an Emerson Humanities Collaboration Award for Summer 2008.  Pete's project was titled "Ye Olde American 'Ye.'" It studied the use of the "open thorn," a medieval letter represented by modern "th"and found frequently in documents and headstones in colonial America.  Pete's faculty collaborator was Michael Twomey, Department of English. 

Alumni / -ae: Click here for Graduate Profiles

Faculty News:

In 2011-12 the department welcomed Chris Holmes (Ph.D., Brown University), who teaches Postcolonial and Anglophone Literature, and pre-doctoral fellow Shauna Kirlew (Ph.D. expected, Georgia State University), who teaches African and African American Literature.

In 2010-11 the department welcomed Lily Sheehan (Ph.D., University of Virginia), who teaches modern British literature, Christopher Matusiak (Ph.D., University of Toronto), who teaches early modern drama and literature, and Cameron Leader Picone (Ph.D. Harvard University), who teaches African-American literature.

Dan Breen has published an essay, "Thomas More's History of Richard III:  Genre, Humanism, and Moral Education," in Studies in Philology (2010), 465-92.  Previously he published "Early Modern Historiography," in the online reference work Literature Compass (June, 2005), published by Blackwell's in Oxford, England. Read it at literature-compass.com. On April 10, 2006, Dan gave a presentation on "Shakespeare-aphernalia" to faculty and students. The talk was sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta honorary.

Hugh Egan published an article, co-authored by David DeVries of Cornell University, in Leviathan, a journal whose focus is upon Melville scholarship.  The article is entitled, "'The Entangled Rhyme': A Dialogic Reading of Melville’s Battle-Pieces"; it was originally presented at the Modern Language Association convention in Philadelphia in 2005. 

Claire Gleitman has an article in the spring 2009 edition of the New Hibernia Review. It is entitled, "Three Characters in Search of a Play: Brian Friel's Faith Healer and the Quest for Final Form." She also presented a paper at the March 2009 College Language Association convention; its title is "'Parading daily in thuh Great Hole of History': Foraging for Selfhood in Suzan-Lori Parks' Two 'Lincoln' Plays."

Katharine Kittredge has published an article, “The Poetry of Melusina Trench: A Growing Skill at Sorrow,” in British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 28 (2005), 201-13.

Kevin Murphy traveled to Seoul, South Korea, as the guest of the Korean government for a reunion of Peace Corps volunteers in July, 2009. Read about it in the Korean Herald, South Korea's English-language newspaper.

Lily Sheehan gave a presentation, "'the connection between dress and war is not far to seek': Virginia Woolf and the Politics of Fashion," to English Department faculty and students on November 4, 2010. 

Jim Swafford's article, "Jump-Starting Honors Community with Introductory Biographies," has appeared in the inaugural (2005) issue of Honors in Practice, a journal devoted to "nuts and bolts" issues in honors education.

Michael Twomey has published an article about his recovery of a previously unknown text in the legend of King Arthur in the 2008 issue of Arthurian Literature (Cambridge, England).   Read the story by English major Meredith Farley in IC Fuse.  In April 2007, he was appointed the Charles A. Dana Professor of Humanities.  He is currently part of a team based in Germany that is producing the first modern edition of a medieval book known to modern scholars as "Shakespeare's encyclopedia":  Baudouin van den Abeele, Heinz Meyer, Michael W. Twomey, Bernd Roling, and R. James Long, eds., Bartholomaeus Anglicus, De Proprietatibus Rerum, vol. 1, De Diversis Artibus 78 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007). 

Staff:

Gail Belokur, departmental administrative assistant, is one of two 2006-07 JJ Staff Scholar Award winners.  The award, started in 1997, is given to staff members enrolled in a degree program at the college who demonstrate excellence in their academic and administrative work.  Read about it in the October 30, 2006 Ithaca Journal.
 

 

News to share?

Want to share good news about an English major, alum, or faculty member? Please send a note or an e-mail to Claire Gleitman or Lily Sheehan at the Department of English, IthacaCollege, Ithaca, NY 14850.

 

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