Danny O’Quinn (Univ. of Guelph) will visit UTK on Monday, February 22.

Danny O’Quinn (Univ. of Guelph) will give a talk entitled “Shylocks: Anti-Semitism, Pugilism and the Repertoire of Theatrical Violence” on Monday, February 22 at 3:30pm in the Lindsay Young Auditorium, Hodges at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This talk is part of The UT Humanities Center Fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture Series.

O’Quinn tracks the career of the great eighteenth-century Jewish fighter Daniel Mendoza, the “Star of Jerusalem,” and his triumphs over the conspicuously English boxer Richard Humphries both before and after the French Revolution. The lecture explores the degree to which Mendoza’s acts were both conditioned by and aimed at ethnic stereotypes found on the Georgian stage. In startling ways, Mendoza was locked in endless rounds with Shakespeare’s Shylock himself.

16-010 HC DistLec OQuinn

Daniel O’Quinn is the author of Entertaining Crisis in the Atlantic Imperium (Johns Hopkins, 2011) and Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770-1800 (Johns Hopkins, 2005).  Both are richly researched works of performance history that show how theatrical performance, in conjunction with newspapers, articulated the scripts of British liberty, masculinity, sociability, and sovereignty in a global colonial age.  He is currently at work on a third installment in this inquiry, After Peace, which turns to the interactions between Britain and the Ottoman empire.  This new study, enriched by his editorial work on The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, Lady Elizabeth Craven’s A Journey through the Crimea to Constantinople, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s The Turkish Embassy Letters, will be of great interest to scholars in English, Theatre, Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, and History.

Journal Article: Kat Powell

UTK graduate student Kat Powell‘s “Engineering Heroes: Revising the Self-Help Narrative in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cousin Phillis” was recently featured in a 2015 special edition issue of The Gaskell Journal.

GaskellPowell 72ppi
This insightful article examines how Elizabeth Gaskell adopted and reworked conventions of Samuel Smiles’s exemplar biography The Life of George Stephenson in her novella Cousin Phillis. It demonstrates the ways Gaskell tests the depth and boundaries of the ideological claims invested in Smiles’s figuration of the inventor hero and thereby draws attention to the logical fallacies of self-help and the potentially dangerous conclusions of the logic of self-interest. In her article, Kat Powell reveals the ways Gaskell reframes the narrative of the heroic invention to better match reality and give higher priority to community values within a capitalist economy, values that acknowledge the importance and proper use of networks and the dangers of self-interestedness.

Elsie Michie (LSU) will visit UTK on Thursday, Nov. 12

Elsie Michie, the chair of English at Louisiana State University, will give a talk at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville entitled “‘Counterparts and Prototypes in the Great World’: Martin Chuzzlewit and America” from 11:10 am-12:30 pm on November 12 in Melrose E-102.

Professor Michie has published on such topics as nineteenth-century women novelists, the Victorian canon, and issues of money, taste, and gender difference in the Victorian novel. Her books include Outside the Pale: Cultural Exclusion, Gender Difference and the Victorian Woman Writer (Cornell 1993) and The Vulgar Question of Money: Heiresses, Materialism, and the Novel of Manners from Jane Austen to Henry James (Hopkins 2011). She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Trollopizing the Canon about Francis Trollope’s relation to canonical Victorian Writers.

The event is free and open to the public.

Elsie Michie--Poster

Rita Felski (Virginia) visits UTK Nov. 5 & 6

The Limits of Critique CoverRita Felski will be on campus November 5 and 6, as part of this year’s Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies Speaker Series at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

On Thursday, November 5 at 3:30pm in McClung Tower 1210, Professor Felski will lecture on “Attachment Theory.” Drawing on arguments from Bruno Latour and Antoine Hennion and an essay by Zadie Smith, her lecture will explore forms of aesthetic attachment. How and why do we become attached to works of art, and how might “attachment theory” help us make sense of this process?

On Friday, November 6, from noon to 2pm in 1210, Professor Felski will lead a discussion of her most recent book, The Limits of Critique, just published last week by the University of Chicago Press.

Rita Felski is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia and the editor of New Literary History.  Her many publications include The Gender of Modernity (Harvard UP, 1995), Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture (New York UP, 2000), and Uses of Literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008).

All interested English faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend.

INCS 2016 Call for Proposals Deadline- Monday, November 2

The Call for Proposals deadline for the INCS 2016 Conference is this Monday, November 2. Individual or panel proposals should be uploaded via the INCS Proposal Submission page along with a one-page CV. For individual papers, send 250-word proposals; for panels, send individual proposals plus a 250-word panel description. Proposals that are interdisciplinary in method or panels that involve multiple disciplines are especially welcome. Questions? Contact Jill Ehnenn at incs@appstate.edu.

INCS 2016INCS 2016 is scheduled for March 10-13 at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with the theme, “Natural and Unnatural Histories.” The Keynote speakers are Kate Flint(University of Southern California) and Elaine Freedgood (NYU).

The University of Tennessee English Department is one of the sponsors of the event along with main sponsor Appalachia State, and Professors Nancy Henry and Amy Billone  of UT are members of the organizing committee.

For more information about this year’s conference, please visit the INCS 2016 website.

Nancy Henry attends the Trollope Bicentennial Conference in Leuven, Belgium

Recently, Professor Nancy Henry participated the Trollope Bicentennial Conference at the Irish College in Leuven, Belgium. This conference brings together leading Trollope scholars and other prominent Victorianists as well as promising younger researchers. Trollope’s work offers an extraordinarily powerful prism for the study of discursive regimes and cultural practices in the long nineteenth century, and the ambition of the bicentennial conference was to test that prism to the full by rereading his work in its diverse contexts.

Nancy Henry with Elsie Michie (LSU), Ellen Rosenmann (Univ. of Kentucky)

Nancy Henry with Elsie Michie (LSU), Ellen Rosenmann (Univ. of Kentucky)

While at the conference, Henry presented her paper “Trollope’s Women Investors” on the panel “Economic Trollope” with fellow panelist Tamara Wagner (Nanyang Technical University, Singapore).

Nancy Henry giving her talk at the conference

Nancy Henry giving her talk at the conference

2015 Dickens Universe

This summer, UT’s Professor Nancy Henry and graduate students Kat Powell and Alli Clymer attended Dickens Universe at the University of California-Santa Cruz. Nancy Henry, who just completed a term as the Professional Relations Director on the Executive Committee of the Dickens Project, has been taking two students with her to the “Universe” since 2009, when she joined the UT faculty.This year’s UT participants also attended a three-day conference prior to the Universe titled “The Long Wide Nineteenth Century,” which featured a series of talks, panels, and synthesis sessions discussing the spatial and temporal concerns of the field.

Dickens Universe brings together scholars from around the world and across multiple literary fields. This year’s event featured transnational scholarship inspired by the two Dickens works selected for 2015, Martin Chuzzlewit and American Notes. 

Left to right: Nancy Henry, Kat Powell, Alli Clymer

Left to right: Nancy Henry, Kat Powell, Alli Clymer

In-between the fascinating lectures that book-ended every day at the Universe, this year’s UT attendees also participated in nineteenth-century scholarship through a range of intellectual and professional activities.

Professor Nancy Henry taught a graduate student seminar with Joseph Lavery (UC Berkeley) on Martin Chuzzlewit and American Notes. She also presented a paper titled “Liverpool Connections” in a panel on “Exchanges and Networks” during “The Long Wide Nineteenth Century” conference. Henry is currently co-organizing the 2016 Universe on Dombey and Son with James Adams of Columbia University.

Graduate student Kat Powell attended a graduate student seminar led by Claire Jarvis (Stanford) and Michael Cohen (UCLA). Besides discussing this year’s texts, the faculty leaders also introduced the daily lectures into class discussion. Students had the opportunity to examine the lectures meta-critically, identifying the various methodologies and evaluating how evidence was selected, arranged, and presented. Kat also participated in a writing workshop directed by Jill Galvan (Ohio SU) and Renée Fox (UC Santa Cruz). A group of five students shared and discussed writing from a variety of academic genres including seminar papers, articles, and fellowship applications. Kat had this to say about the experience:

“The graduate seminar was helpful on multiple levels. The faculty leaders, Claire and Michael responded to the needs of the class, opening up discussion to include the lectures. They used the assigned primary texts to help us sort out the talks by characterizing the speakers’ choices in intervention, use of primary and secondary evidence, organization, and delivery. Re-engineering the class in this way allowed us to process the talks as a group. It also helped us to consider how and why we make the choices we do in our own work.

“The writing workshop was invaluable. Having a range of writing genres to discuss allowed us to think about the different requirements in a range of academic writing styles and what constitutes successful writing within those various genres. I received such helpful feedback on my work and enjoyed reading and responding to the interesting work of peers outside of my department. As a result, I established working relationships that will continue beyond ‘the Universe’.”

Graduate student Alli Clymer took part in a pedagogy seminar led by Priti Joshi (University of Puget Sound) and Susan Zieger (UC Riverside) and attended the “Publication” professionalization workshop given by Peter Capuano (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), editor of Nineteenth-Century Literature Jonathan Grossman (UCLA), and Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway, University of London), who serves as an editor for the Journal of Victorian Culture. Alli reflects on her experience:

“The pedagogy seminar gave me the opportunity to workshop a syllabus for a 19th-century literature course I’m hoping to teach in the near future. The seminar leaders, fellow graduate students, as well as a guest panel of professors in the field provided me with invaluable insights into what it is like to teach 19th-century literature at various types of institutions.”

“The publication professionalization seminar was an incredible experience. With an intimate group of 15 graduate students, I was able to talk to journal editors who answered questions about the practicalities of the submission process, demystified the article selection process, and opened up a dialogue about what they believe to be vital components of a successful article. This seminar was invaluable and left me energized to revisit my own projects with new knowledge about publishing in the field.”

The UT participants also made time throughout the week for the Universe’s festive activities, including PPPs (post-prandial potations), Victorian high teas, a Grand Party filled with extravagant cheeses and desserts (where even a power outage couldn’t darken the mood), and a Victorian dance (with period dress, music, and dancing!).

Jill Lepore (Harvard Univ) lectures on

Jill Lepore (Harvard) lectures on “Pickwick in America”

Students who attend the Universe will also be fully funded for attendance at the corresponding Dickens Project Winter Conference in Spring of the following year. This year’s Winter Conference will be held at the University of California-Davis on March 18-20, and will be organized by Kathleen Frederickson (UC Davis), Elizabeth Miller (UC Davis), and graduate student coordinator Michael Martel.

UT students need not be specialists in Dickens or even in Victorian literature to attend the conference, but students who have attended the Universe have also participated in the 19th C British Research Seminar. Applications to represent UT at the Dickens Universe are usually solicited in February by Dr. Henry.