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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty News

english department

Caroline Bicks

Gave two talks in the UK: " 'The Change of Fourteen Years' ": Rethinking Early Modern Girls" at the University of Bristol; and "Accounting for Adolescence in the Life of Mary Ward" at the University of Warwick.

Bicks gave the keynote lecture for Ohio Wesleyan’s Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies speaker series. Her talk was entitled, "Incited Minds: Rethinking Shakespeare's Girls."  She’s also pleased to report that her humorous book, Shakespeare, Not Stirred: Cocktails for Your Everyday Dramas, has been spotted in the Globe Theatre bookstore and other Bard-ish sites across the globe. It was named a best book of 2015 by The Australian, a recommended “culture Christmas gift” by the Guardian, and a top gift for book lovers by The Huffington Post. 

Bicks gave the Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies at Keene State College on April 24th. Her talk was entitled, "Shakespeare's Brainy Girls: Seeing Beyond the Hysterical."

Caroline was an invited speaker at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Her talk, “Trifles for Holy Writs,” was part of a symposium, “Honest Villains, Noble Killers.” She also received the Ruth and Lillian Marino Award for Excellence in Teaching this summer from the Bread Loaf School of English.

Amy Boesky

Boesky published an article, "From Diagnosis to Gnosis: Writing, Knowledge and Repair in Breast Cancer and BRCA memoirs," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (Special Issue: Diagnosis, ed. Annemarie Jutel), Vol 58, No. 1, Winter 2015.

Boesky appeared on the BBC's Healthwatch to discuss The Story Within and the role of genetic mutations in people living with heritable disease. 

The Story Within: Personal Essays on Genetics and Identity, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2013.

Amy is among "the leading campus celebrities who are filling real and virtual classrooms this year," identified on "The Hottest Seats in Class" list by Time Magazine.

Amy published an essay, "The Ghost Writes Back," on Kenyon Review Online.

Boesky published "Tae Kwon Do" (creative nonfiction) in Gulf Coast, Vol. 25, Issue 1, 117-122.

Mary Crane

Crane gave a keynote, "Shakespeare and Innovation," in Detroit at a conference to celebrate the Michigan host sites of Shakespeare's first folio, March 10-11, 2016.

At the 2013 MLA Conference, Mary participated in a roundtable discussion on "The Past, Present, and Future of Cognitive Literary Studies." Mary also gave a talk, "Science as Magic, Magic as Science" in a session on "Supernatural Shakespeare."

Crane gave a talk, "Spenser's Problem with Endings," at the Durham University Balzan Workshop on "Literary and Cognitive Ends."

Mary Crane co-directed a seminar on "The Past, Present, and Future of Shakespeare Studies" with Emily Bartels of Rutgers at the recent Shakespeare Association of America conference in Boston.

Paul Doherty

Professor Emeritus of English Paul Doherty is this year's winner of the University's Community Service Award, given each year to an employee whose actions exemplify the Jesuit spirit of service to others.

Rhonda Frederick

Frederick presented at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference (“Feminist Transgressions”) held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Friday, November 14, 2014. Her paper, "Fantastic Possibilities: Thinking Canadian Multiculturalism through Nalo Hopkinson’sBrown Girl in the Ring,” was part of the "Rethinking the [Trans]Nation: Gender and Mobility in Caribbean Texts" panel.

Elizabeth Graver

Graver will spend the fall 2014 semester at Brandeis as a Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Graver's novel, The End of the Point, will be out in paperback and audiobook on 4/22. She has upcoming readings around New England, including ones at the Melrose Public Library (4/24); Newtonville Books, with Jamie Quatro (5/1); Walden Woods Project in Lincoln (5/15); Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough (5/18); Parker Hill Branch of the BPL (5/22), Aha! New Bedford, with Amy Brill (5/13); and elsewhere. Schedule of events

Graver gave a reading at Grinnell College on February 6 and at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City on February 7. On February 7, she gave a videotaped craft talk for a new MOOC, "How Writers Write," at the International Writing Program at the U. of Iowa.

Graver read from her work and discussed setting in fiction on 9/19 at "Americana: Readings in the Forum" at the Boston Book Festival. She spoke on a panel at the Swampscott Public Library on 9/23 about combining a career as a teacher and writer. On October 5, she gave a talk, "Writing Past Self," at "Music and More: Award Winning Authors" in New Marlborough, MA.

Lori Harrison-Kahan

Harrison-Kahan's essay "Nella Larsen and the Racial Mountain: Teaching Black Musical Aesthetics in Passing and Quicksand" was published in Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Nella Larsen, ed. Jacquelyn Y. McLendon (MLA, 2016).

Lori Harrison-Kahan is the recipient of an NEH Summer Stipend Award.

Gave a paper, “Utopia Lost: Miriam Michelson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the Future of Feminist Recovery,” at the NeMLA convention in Hartford, CT.

Presented a paper “‘A Grave Experiment’: Intermarriage Plots in the Fiction of Emma Wolf and Bettie Lowenberg” at the Association for Jewish Studies conference in Boston.

Published a review of M. Alison Kibler's Censoring Racial Ridicule: Irish, Jewish, and African American Struggles over Race and Representation,1890-1930 in The American Historical Review (February 2016) and a review of Eliza McGraw’s Edna Ferber’s America in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature (Fall 2015). 

Harrison-Kahan’s essay, “Passing for Black, White, and Jewish: Mixed-Race Identity in Rebecca Walker and Danzy Senna,” was published inPassing Interest: Racial Passing in U.S. Fiction, Memoir, Television, and Film, 1990-2010, ed. Julie Cary Nerad (SUNY Press, 2014). In June, Lori gave a talk “It Just Makes Beauty: Black-Jewish Relations in the Early Civil Rights Movement” at Brandeis University’s American Studies conference on Blacks, Jews, & Social Justice in America, and her paper, “‘As ‘catchy’ as ragtime’: Miriam Michelson, New Womanhood, and the Politics of Ethnic Recovery,” co-authored with Karen Skinazi, was presented at the University of Oxford’s conference on Cosmopolitanism, Aestheticism, and Decadence, 1860-1920.

Dayton Haskin

At the 2016 MLA conference in Austin, Texas, Dayton served as the respondent at a session sponsored by the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society called "Hawthorne and Milton: Remapping Intertextuality."

In June Dayton Haskin gave the Hilda Hulme Memorial Lecture, on John Donne, at London University’s Institute for English Studies. This year’s lecture was lodged within the University’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of Heythrop College, founded by the Jesuits in Belgium in 1614 and incorporated into London University as a constituent college in 1970.

Haskin gave a paper called "Paradise Lost at an Inhospitable Moment" at the Hospitable Text Conference held at Notre Dame's London Centre in July.

Aeron Hunt

Hunt's book Personal Business: Character and Commerce in Victorian Literature and Culture was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015.

Hunt gave a talk "Military Relics: Thomas Hardy's Soldiers and Sailors at Home," at the Mahindra Humanities Center October 29, 2015.

Tina Klein

Klein presented a webinar lecture, "American Cultural Encounters with East Asia During the Cold War," for the National Humanities Center's America in Class program, on March 3, 2016.

Klein was an invited referee at a manuscript workshop seminar hosted by the University of California’s Institute of East Asia Studies, October 16-17, 2015.

Elizabeth Kowalski Wallace

On the 20th anniversary of the death of Garth Williams, a leading illustrator during what many consider to be the golden age of children's literature, Kowaleski-Wallace reflected on his contributions in a piece for Boston Globe "Ideas." She and her husband, Associate Professor of English James Wallace, are co-authors of a new biography of the artist.

An essay by Wallace entitled "The Things Things Don't Say: "The Rape of the Lock," Vitalism, and New Materialism" has been accepted for publication by The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.

At the annual meeting of the American Society for 18th Century Studies in Williamsburg, Virginia, Beth chaired a panel entitled “Reconsidering Women in the Public Sphere” and gave a paper entitled “Jane Austen and Italy.”

Robert Lehman

Lehman presented a paper, "The Poetry and the Prose of the Future," in a three-day seminar titled "Twists of the New Aesthetic Turn: Contemporary Continental Thought and the Sense of Place," at the ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association) Conference in Toronto, on April 6, 2013.

Paul Lewis

At MLA 2016 Lewis chaired the Poe Studies Association's panel on Poe biography and biographical approaches to Poe.

“Who Let ‘The Pigs’ Out? Or Why Edgar Allan Poe Wouldn’t, or Couldn’t, or Almost Certainly Didn’t Write the Most Snarky American Poem of 1835,” New England Quarterly 88:1 (March 2015): 126-40.

At the Fourth International Conference on Edgar Allan Poe, New York, NY, February 26–March 1, Paul Lewis chaired a panel on Poe and New York and presented a paper entitled, "From the Poe Bicentennial to the Installation of the Rocknak Statue: Poe's Return to Boston."

Paula Mathieu

Mathieu's review of Writing as a Way of Being: Writing Instruction, Nonduality and the Crisis of Sustainability by Robert Yagelski appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Composition Studies. (42:2) 175-181.

Mathieu was a Keynote Presenter at the 2013 Thomas R. Watson Symposium in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Louisville. One of seven scholars chosen from across the profession, Paula presented work on inner rhetoric and teacher preparation that will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Journal of Advanced Composition (JAC) on rhetoric and responsivity.

Suzanne Matson

Matson has a new story, “Convention Center,” in Harvard Review 48.

Matson’s short story, “Manger,” appeared online at and will later appear in the Pangyrus print issue.

Matson’s story, “Your Best Yet,” was published in Harvard Review 45. Her story, “Pie,” was published in the Ploughshares Solo series, for sale as a Kindle Single. Free Kindle reading app

Matson was elected the Creative Writing delegate to the MLA Delegate Assembly for a three-year term.

Matson gave a fiction reading as the invited speaker at the Women and Gender Studies special event at NeMLA, and also conducted a creative writing workshop at the conference.

Maia McAleavey

McAleavey gave a paper at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, at Harvard University, entitled "Realism vs. Plot," Friday, March 18, 2016.

McAleavey delivered a paper at the North American Victorian Studies Association annual conference in Pasadena, CA October 25: "'The True Literary Patent': Plot as Evidence."

James Najarian

"The Dark Ages," an evocative poem by James Najarian, has received the Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry. He will be a featured reader at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, N.H., on June 17, kicking off its annual poetry conference. BC News

Najarian read a paper, "Matthew Arnold and the Rivalries of Central Asia," for the Victorian Literature and Culture seminar series at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University.

Najarian published a short essay, "Keats and the Bible" (2700 words), in  The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Oxford and New York:  Oxford University Press, 2015). 

Najarian published a poem, "Black Walnuts, November" in Southern Poetry Review 53.1 (2015), p. 17, and another, "Kleptomania," in Literary Imagination 17.3 (2015) p. 333. 

Review of Keats, Modesty, and Masturbation, by Rachel Schulkins. Review, The BARS [British Association of Romantic Studies] Review, No. 46 (Autumn 2015), online at

Joe Nugent

Joseph Nugent and a team of students have added an extra dimension to the McMullen Museum of Art's new exhibition "Making It Irish": an interactive digital guide that provides historical, social and artistic background to the Arts and Crafts-era items on display. BC News

Nugent and a team of students have added an extra dimension to the McMullen Museum of Art's new exhibition "Making It Irish": an interactive digital guide that provides historical, social and artistic background to the Arts and Crafts-era items on display. BC News

Won the Teaching with New Media award this year. This is his second year winning!

iPhone app JoyceWays won the Gold Medal for design and production at the recently-announced "Appy" Awards. It's available from iTunes.

His article Clerical Errors: Reading Desire in a Nineteenth-century Painting was published in the recent edition of Éire-Ireland.

The Third Annual D'Arcy Magee Lecture at St Mary's College, Halifax, NS, was given by Joe Nugent on March 1. His presentation was called "Dirty Irish: Olfaction and the National Stereotype."

Kevin Ohi

"Res Ipsa Loquitur," Review of Valerie Rohy's Lost Causes: Narrative, Etiology, and Queer Theory, in Papers on Language and Literature 52, no 1 (Winter 2016): 91-102.

Frances Restuccia

Presented a paper, "Saint Teresa's Psychoanalytic Mystical Journey," at the Kristeva Circle Conference in Stockholm, Sweden (October 13th-16th), at Södertörn University.  

Gave a plenary address, "What Lies Beneath Zizek's Veil?" at this summer's Zizek Studies Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 26-29, 2016.

Frances also presented a paper, "The Political Virtue of Agambenian Nudity vs. Bare Life," at the First International MLA Conference, “Other Europes:  Migrations, Translations, Transformations," Düsseldorf, Germany, June 26-28, 2016.

Chaired a panel, arranged by the forum TC Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Literature, at this year's MLA (in Austin, Texas) titled "Heidegger and Lacan."

Restuccia gave a talk on Saint Teresa of Avila as her mystical experience is read psychoanalytically by Julia Kristeva in Teresa, My Love at the Psychology and the Other Conference in Cambridge, MA on October 10, 2015.

Alan Richardson

Richardson was invited to Neuchatel, Switzerland, to serve as external examiner in the doctoral defense of Markus Iseli, "The New Romantic Unconscious: Thomas De Quincey and Cognitive Science," at the University of Neuchatel.

Richardson gave an invited lecture, "Sympathy Theory in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Neural Perspective," at the Huntlingon Library conference, "Aesthetic Englightenments: Cultures of Natural Knowledge."

"Reimagining the Romantic Imagination," European Romantic Review 24.4 (August 2013). This essay also serves to introduce a special "cluster" of related essays on imagination in the Romantic era that Alan guest-edited.

National Jesuit Book Award: Alan has received a National Jesuit Book Award for The Neural Sublime: Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts.

Carlo Rotella

Rotella gave a talk, "Lost Cities: Chicago's South Side in the 1970s," at Columbia's Society of Fellows on March 5; on March 3 he gave a talk, "Boston Movies," at Harvard.

Rotella presented a paper, "Profiling 'Money': Boxing and Celebrity Culture," on November 1 at NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge. Along with Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe, he read from Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love at Newtonville Books on November 13, 2013.

Kalpana Seshadri

Seshadri was invited to present a lecture by The Humanities Center at Lehigh University as a part of their ongoing speaker series on Post-Humanism. Her talk on Thursday Feb. 19, drawn from her current book project, was titled: "What is Post-Human Economics?"

Was invited to give a lecture at Princeton University by the Postcolonial Studies Colloquium in the English Department. Her talk was titled “Opting Out: A Marginal Ethics.”

Has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the PMLA for a two year term beginning July 2013 to July 2015.

Kalpana was invited to participate April 5 and 6 in a two day symposium on "Life: In-Between Discipline and Control" organized by The Humanities Center at Syracuse University where she presented her new research on Bio-Politics in a Global Frame. The symposium was the inaugural meeting of The Society for the Study of Bio-Political Futures.

Maxim D. Shrayer

LEAVING RUSSIA by Professor Maxim D. Shrayer is a finalist of the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards.

Published "Dunes of Happiness: Fifteen Summers in Estonia" in "Baltic Worlds" and "Sites and Sounds of Pomerania in Nabokov's World" in "Nabokov Online Journal."

Selected for 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship; to support a research project designed to bring a new perspecitve to Holocaust studies through exploration of the experience of Jewish-Russian poets during World War II.

James Smith

James Smith reflects on the death of an inspirational survivor of Ireland's Magdalene laundries, who helped spark both a successful campaign for redress and his own advocacy role with the Justice for Magdalenes Research group. Irish Times

Reflected on Taoiseach Enda Kenny's apology to victims of the Magdalene laundries in an op-ed in the Irish Times, and in interviews with the Los Angeles Times.

A new report that sheds light on the extent of state involvement with Ireland's Magdalene laundries ultimately will be remembered for whether the government responds with measures that bring justice, writes English Associate Professor James Smith, long-time advocate for the victims, in the Irish Times | He was interviewed by numerous news outlets about the report, including the New York Times 1 & 2 | BBC Radio 4 | BBC Radio 5 | Irish Central | Scotsman and AP.

The advocacy group seeking justice for survivors of Ireland's Magdalen laundries, represented by English Associate Professor James Smith, has filed a report alleging widespread state involvement with the notorious workhouses. Irish Examiner | the Irish Times | Belfast Telegraph | Time Magazine

Andrew Sofer

Sofer gave a keynote talk on "The Vanishing Object in English Renaissance Theatre" at the graduate student conference "Performance and Materiality in Medieval and Early Modern Culture" organized by the Early Modern Colloquium at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor on March 11. He also led a publication workshop on March 10, 2016.

Sofer gave an invited talk, "Hamlet's Dark Matter," at the Free University of Berlin on May 16th. He taught at the Mellon Summer School for Theater and Performance Research at Harvard in June; this year's theme was "Locations of Theater." Andrew's bookDark Matter: Invisibility in Drama, Theater, and Performancereceived Honorable Mention for the 2014 Outstanding Book Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Sofer’s article “Absorbing Interests: Kyd’s Bloody Handkerchief as Palimpsest” has been reprinted in European Theatre Performance Practice 1580-1750 (Ashgate, 2014), a volume that presents “foundational and representative essays of the last half century” on theatre performance practice during the period. Andrew’s article “How To Do Things With Demons: Conjuring Performatives in Doctor Faustus” was recently cited by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) for having been downloaded on JSTOR at least 500 times over the past two years:

Min Hyoung Song

Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award, Song has won a 2014 Alpha Sigma Nu Award recognizing excellence in publishing in the humanities for his book The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American. BC News Release

Song’s The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American received Honorable Mention in the 2014 ASAP (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present) Book Prize.

Song gave the keynote address at the symposium Marvels and Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in US Comics, 1942-1986, held at Stony Brook University on Weds., April 23. It was entitled, "Korean Americans and the Visual Field of Asian American Graphic Narratives.”

Robert Stanton

Gave a talk entitled "The Monsters and the Animals: Theriocentric Beowulfs," at the symposium "Beowulf for Younger Readers" at Texas A&M University on September 22, 2016.

Laura Tanner

Tanner's essay, "Concrete Sensations: Imagining Feeling in A Farewell to Arms," appears in Modern Fiction Studies 62.3 (Fall 2016).

"Living Breast Cancer: The Art of Hollis Sigler" in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Spring 2014, Vol. 33, No. 1, 219-239.

"Uncomfortable Furniture: Inhabiting Domestic and Narrative Space in Marilynne Robinson’s Home." Contemporary Women's Writing 7.1 (2013): 35-53.

Recently recorded an interview on 9/11 that is serving as the inaugural podcast for a new program at Brandeis called Literature Lab, which is designed to introduce the broader public to the work of literary scholars.

Lad Tobin

Published two new essays: "My Fifty-Minute Hour" in the August 2013 issue of The Sun and "After a Fashion" in The Rumpus.

"Let the Bad Times Roll" has been reprinted in the current issue of Utne Reader; that essay, which was originally published in The Sun in August 2012, has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Presented a paper, "Narrative Transitions: Taking and Teaching the Reflective Turn," at AWP (The Conference of the Associated Writing Programs) in Chicago.

Eric Weiskott

Weiskott's scholarly note, "An Overlooked Excerpt from Thomas of Erceldoune," appears in Notes & Queries. In February 2016, Eric presented a paper at the Medieval Academy of America meeting in Boston; in March, he gave an invited lecture for the MIT Ancient & Medieval Studies Colloquium on "Early English Meter as a Way of Thinking."

Weiskott's article, "Prophetic Piers Plowman: New Sixteenth-Century Excerpts," appears in Review of English Studies (online); his note, "A Plea for Pronunciation," appears in "Old English Across the Curriculum: Contexts and Pedagogies," ed. Haruko Momma and Heide Estes, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 22 (2015). Eric presented a paper on "Quantity in the Alliterative Tradition" and organized a panel on English Metrical Cultures before 1800 at MLA in Austin.

Visited Stanford University in October as a Text Technologies Fellow. Eric gave a lecture, "The Old English Exeter Book and the Idea of a Poem," workshopped a paper, "Before Prosody: Early English Poetics in Practice and Theory," recorded a video interview on alliterative poetry for Roland Greene's digital project Prosody Online, and guest-taught in a seminar on medieval literature. Eric also attended the October meeting of the New England Medieval Conference, where he spoke on "The English Alliterative Tradition: A Cultural Formation in Slow Motion."

Chris Wilson

"A Rumor of Noir:  Calvin Trillin About Town(s)," in Journalism:  Theory, Practice, & Criticism, 1 (2016): 1-16.

"When Noir Meets Nonfiction," Twentieth-Century Literature 61:4 (December 2015): 484-510.

"Going to Ground(s): The War Correspondent's Memoir." Journal of Transnational American Studies 6.1, online at

Judith Wilt

Was guest scholar on November 1, 2015 at after-play program following the new play by Winnie Holzer, "Choice," now at the Huntington Theater.  Judith spoke both about the play and about her book, Abortion, Choice, and Contemporary Fiction, published 25 years ago.

The BC Association of Retired Faculty has awarded Judith Wilt a $500 grant for developing and teaching the one-credit discussion based 8-week course "Fictions About Catholics."