Bellevue Literary Review held a symposium called “Can Storytelling Prevent Gun Violence?” Professor Rachel Hall, alum Monica Wendel and Gandy Dancer contributor Edward Supranowicz have work online in conjunction with the symposium.
Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters will be publishing a special issue titled Unchaining Selves: The Power of the Neo-Slave Narrative Genre, co-edited by Professor Joan Anim-Addo (Goldsmiths University of London) and Geneseo Professor of English Maria Lima.
Lima has taught a course on the genre of neo-slave narratives at Geneseo for a number of years, and has been working on this special issue with Anim-Addo since 2015, when she chaired a panel at the Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Meeting on the topic.
Generally, the term neo-slave narrative refers to a genre of literature in which twentieth and twenty-first century writers take Atlantic slavery as the occasion for their literary texts. Neo-slave narratives often both draw on and depart from the earlier genre of slave narratives — autobiographical writing by enslaved and emancipated peoples of African descent addressing the experiences of living through slavery. Some examples of neo-slave narratives include Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada (1976), Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987), M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong! (2011), and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (2016).
In their original call for papers, Anim-Addo and Lima write, “The main reasons for this seemingly widespread desire to rewrite a genre that officially lost its usefulness with the abolition of slavery are to re-affirm the historical value of the original slave narrative and/or to reclaim the humanity of the enslaved by (re)imagining their subjectivity. No other genre has undergone such widespread creolization—both a process and a concept used to describe many forms of contact across a wide range of cultural and ideological formations—having become a mode shared by many cultures in an uneven yet interdependent world.”
Lima and Anim-Addo’s special issue brings fresh scholarship to this established literary genre, interrogating some of the ways recent currents in black and Africana studies theory and criticism open up new conversations about slavery’s afterlife through this literary genre.
The issue includes essays by two Geneseo English alumni from the class of 2012 – Jesse Goldberg and Stephanie Iasiello – and an essay by SUNY Geneseo Distinguished Teaching Professor of English Beth McCoy.
Since graduating from Geneseo, Goldberg earned a PhD in African American literature at Cornell University and is now Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Longwood University in Virginia, where, like Lima, he is teaching a course on neo-slave narratives. Goldberg’s essay is titled “The Restored Literary Behaviors of Neo-Slave Narratives: Troubling the Ethics of Witnessing in the Excessive Present.”
Iasiello earned a PhD in African Diaspora Literature at Emory University and is now Board President at Reforming Arts, a non-profit organization providing liberal arts higher education to people incarcerated in women’s prisons in Georgia. Iasiello’s essay is titled “Photographing A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby: Kara Walker’s Take on the Neo-Slave Narrative.”
McCoy’s essay, “Flights of Principled Fancy Dress: Steve Prince’s Katrina Suite and the Neo-Slave Narratives” extends the rich and ongoing collaborative work she has been engaging in with New Orleans artist Steve Prince.
The issue is in its final printing stages and is scheduled to be published by the end of 2018.
This post has been updated to reflect Iasiello’s and McCoy’s contributions to the forthcoming special issue.
Geneseo English major Jasmine Cui ’20 and recent English alumna Lucia LoTempio ’16 have been named finalists for Sundress Press’s Best of the Net 2017 anthology; they are on a short list of 31 poets, including several well-established writers with numerous books published. Congratulations to Jasmine and Lucia! They are included for their poems “When They Tell Me to Imagine the American Dream” from Breakwater Review and “Facsimile of a Bedroom in the Wheatfield” from Quarterly West respectively.
English major alum Evan Goldstein (’17) and Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith are both included in a new issue of the online journal BathHouse focused on ideas of collaboration. The nine poems were written as part of a back-and-forth poem exchange between Goldstein and Smith.
English major alum Chloe Forsell is the featured poet for the November 2017 “Poet’s Sampler” series at the Boston Review. Her six featured poems, take on themes of social justice and finding one’s identity in America today. Forsell graduated in May 2017 as an English (Creative Writing) and French double major. She was published several times in Gandy Dancer, the SUNY-wide literary and art magazine based at Geneseo. She also completed a prestigious Ambassadorship sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, Discovery, and Development. Her poetry selection in the Boston Review appears beneath a brief introduction written by poet and Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith.
Recent Geneseo graduate Zachary Muhlbauer (’17) has been awarded a six month writing internship with the national office of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honors society. As part of the internship, Zach will be writing articles for The Key Reporter, an integrative online newsletter run by Phi Beta Kappa.
During his time at Geneseo, Zach served as a Writing Learning Center tutor, a Writing Course Fellow, and president of Sigma Tau Delta. He graduated magna cum laude in May 2017 with a double major in English Literature and Philosophy.
Accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Genders is “’There is No Magic Here’: Saidiya Hartman, Percival Everett’s Zulus, and Slavery’s Archive,” an essay coauthored by Distinguished Teaching Professor Beth A. McCoy and Geneseo alumni Gregory J. Palermo (English/Literature, Physics), Jeremy A. Jackson (English/Literature), Danielle M. Ward (English, Geological Sciences), Timothy Moriarty (English/Creative Writing), Christina Broomfield (English/Literature, Art History), Melissa Ann Smith (Childhood/Special Education), Matt Huben (English/Literature), and Justin M. Turner (English/Literature).
The essay emerged from the collaborative final project in McCoy’s Fall 2013 ENGL 394 Black Apocalyptic Fiction seminar. You can view the full essay here.
Professor Tom Greenfield and Geneseo English major alum Megan Nolan (’14) are co-authors of an article in the Spring 2016 issue of the Arthur Miller Journal. “All My Journals: The Arthur Miller Journal [AMJ] as Intro to Literature College Text,” is based on Greenfield’s and Nolan’s experiences, as professor and teaching assistant respectively, using the Journal as a required text in Greenfield’s ENGL 203 class on Arthur Miller’s plays. The Arthur Miller Society, headquartered in New York City, donated 25 volumes so that each student in the class could have a personal copy of the Journal to use throughout the semester.
[Editor’s Note: A version of this post appeared earlier on the blog of Digital Thoreau.]
This spring, about two dozen students in two sections at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China are taking “Walden International: Analyzing Thoreau Across Cultures” from Patrick Morgan, a Ph.D. candidate and Graduate Instructor in English at Duke University and a graduate of SUNY Geneseo (English, Geological Sciences, 2010). Morgan wrote about his experience as an English major at Geneseo for this blog back in December, 2013.
Morgan’s Kunshan students are discussing Walden in the margins of Thoreau’s work at The Readers’ Thoreau, the online community of Digital Thoreau, a collaboration among SUNY Geneseo, The Thoreau Society, and the Walden Woods Project directed by SUNY Geneseo Professor of English Paul Schacht.
The students are also “analyzing [Thoreau’s] writings from an international perspective, focusing primarily on his engagement with Asian thought,” according to Morgan’s syllabus, asking how Thoreau “‘package[s]’ ancient Asian philosophies in order to comment on nineteenth-century American culture” and what “cultural forces and contexts … allow scholars like Lin Yutang to claim Thoreau as ‘the most Chinese of all American authors.’”
In addition to meeting with Morgan for 300 minutes each week in class and exchanging ideas online in the margins of Walden, the Kunshan University students are taking a digital field trip to Walden Pond thanks to a website Morgan has created that links passages of Thoreau’s text to YouTube videos he made in which he reads aloud from Walden while capturing the pond’s sights and sounds.
Morgan has been active in Thoreau studies since his undergraduate days at Geneseo, where he presented on “Thoreau’s Bedrock: Emerson’s Influence and the Geomorphological Significance of Emerson’s Cliff, Concord, Massachusetts” for Geneseo’s day celebrating undergraduate research, GREAT Day, in 2010. That same year, his article on “Aesthetic Inflections: Thoreau, Gender, and Geology” appeared in the Thoreau Society’s scholarly annual, The Concord Saunterer. In 2015, Morgan participated in an NEH summer institute for college instructors on “Transcendentalism and Reform in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller” conducted in Concord by a roster of scholars that included Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Phyllis Cole, Jayne Gordon, Robert Gross, John Matteson, Wesley T. Mott, and former Geneseo Harding lecturers Laura Dassow Walls, Megan Marshall, and Joel Myerson.
Geneseo English Department alumnus Nick Friedman has been awarded the highly prestigious Jones Lectureship at Stanford University. In March 2014, Nick was appointed a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. As a Jones Lecturer, Nick will teach courses in creative writing while also working to complete his first book of poetry. Previous Jones lecturers include Tobias Wolff, ZZ Packer, Nan Cohen, Ehud Havazelet, and Skip Horack. Two years ago this week, we reported on Nick’s selection for the Stegner Fellowship and reminded readers of his appearances in the New York Times’ T Magazine and on NPR’s Weekend Edition.