University of Mississippi

Ann Fisher-Wirth receives the 2014 Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teaching Award.

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The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series presents: Karen Raber Friday, Apr. 18th 3-4pm.

fpi14Department of English Professor Karen Raber will present “Animals at the Table:  Making Meat in Early Modern Europe” in the Hannah-Ford Room (Bondurant Hall 2nd Fl.) as part of the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Seminar Series.
Meat has become the monarch of the meal, surrounded by fawning courtiers (vegetables), often enthroned (on starches or other ingredients) and crowned (with cheeses or sauces).  Recent adventures in pink slime and petri dish meats have brought home how hard it is to decenter “real” meat from this sovereign position.  But it hasn’t always been this way: only at a fairly late date in its etymology did the term “meat” begin to signify specifically the flesh of a dead animal—until that time, it was simply a generic term for all food.  Meat’s etymology thus suggests that something happened in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, something beyond the economic and demographic changes usually cited in literature to date, to transform the role of meat in English and European culture.  This project takes up three ways early modern meat functions as a quasi-object engaged in complex interactions with human bodies, with other meats, and with the objects and subjects involved in its creation: the attempt to make meat a “performer” at the banquet table; the creation of “transgenic”  or masquerading meats; and the representation of meat as an architectural environment in the butcher shop genre paintings of the late sixteenth century. These I hope will provide new ways to think about the material, historical, and ethical dimensions of meat-eating.
Karen Raber is a professor in the Department of English here at the University of Mississippi. Some of her interests include Early Modern studies, ecocriticism, and animal studies. For more information on Dr. Raber’s publications and research including her new book, Animal Bodies Renaissance Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) please visit her faculty profile page: http://english.olemiss.edu/2011/10/16/karen-raber/#.

The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series is hosted by the English Graduate Student Body and open to all. The seminars consist of a thirty-minute presentation followed by a Q & A discussion where feedback and further suggestions by both faculty and other graduate students are highly encouraged! A version of the material to be presented on will be sent out to those on the English Department listserve closer to the event. Those not on the listserve who would like a copy, or for more information about this or other Works-in-Progress series events, please contact efielder@olemiss.edu.

Dr. Patrick Alexander, Professor of English and African American Studies, hosts conference: Rethinking Mass Incarceration in the South Conference THIS Sunday-Tuesday, April 13-15.

UMiss Rethinking Mass Incarceration Conference 2014

“The Modern Invention of the Medieval Executioner: Torture, Punishment, and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination” by Joel Harrington, Bondurant Auditorium, April 8, 7:00 p.m.

Harrington head shotAfter completing his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1989, Joel Harrington joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University where he now holds the rank of Professor of History. Harrington is a historian of Europe, specializing in the Reformation and early modern Germany, with research interests in various aspects of social history. His most recent book is The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013). His previous publications include The Unwanted Child: The Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany (University of Chicago Press, 2009), which was the winner of the 2010 Roland H. Bainton Prize for History; and Reordering Marriage and Society in Reformation Germany (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback 2005), one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles of 1996. Harrington is also the editor of A Cloud of Witnesses: Readings in the History of Western Christianity (Houghton Mifflin, 2001). His current projects include a study of the late medieval mystic Meister Eckhart and a comparison of the early modern prosecution of infanticide and witchcraft.

Harrington has been awarded fellowships from—among other institutions—the Fulbright-Hayes Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the American Philosophical Society. He has lectured widely in North America and Europe and he has resided as a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel), Institut für Geschichte der Medizin (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), and Clare College (Cambridge).

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The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series presents: Thomas Bullington, Friday, Apr. 4th 3-4pm.

T. BullingtonDepartment of English PhD candidate Thomas Bullington will present “Mrs. Malaprop’s Pineapple: Cultivation and Taste in Sheridan’s Rivals” in the Hannah-Ford Room (Bondurant Hall 2nd Fl.) as part of the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Seminar Series.

 

In one of the most famous malapropisms from Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals (1775), Mrs. Malaprop praises Captain Absolute as “the very Pine-Apple of politeness” (3.3.28). Usually glossed as “pinnacle of politeness,” this line features as one of many references to exotic botany scattered throughout Sheridan’s comedy; in fact, this line in particular turns out to have origins predating Sheridan.  British writers throughout the Restoration and early 18th century invoke the pineapple as a trope of both epitome and excess.  For every flavor good and bad, the pineapple’s connection to taste (both in a literal and Pierre Bourdieu’s sense of “cultural capital”) serves as a means for British writers to rhetorically naturalize the pineapple as its own literary trope.  Examining exotic flora such as the pineapple ecocritically, this presentation examines the ways in which exotic flora transgress boundaries both rhetorical and geographic: these plants invade literature through their naturalization as metaphors.

 

Thomas Bullington is in his fourth year in the Department of English at the University of Mississippi. He completed his   B. A. in English, A. B. in Classics, and M. A. in English at the College of Charleston, and taught at Trident Technical College in North Charleston, SC.  His areas of interest include ecocriticism, early gothic fiction, and the long 18th century.

The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series is hosted by the English Graduate Student Body and open to all. The seminars consist of a thirty-minute presentation followed by a Q & A discussion where feedback and further suggestions by both faculty and other graduate students are highly encouraged! A version of the material to be presented on will be sent out to those on the English Department listserve closer to the event. Those not on the listserve who would like a copy, or for more information about this or other Works-in-Progress series events, please contact efielder@olemiss.edu.

 

“Atlantic World in C19″ panel session with Dr. David Brown (U of Manchester) Monday, March 31, 6pm, Hannah Ford Room for Writers

Monday (31 March) evening, the department is hosting a cross-disciplinary seminar entitled “The Atlantic World in the Nineteenth Century.” We will be welcoming Dr. David Brown, a historian at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Manchester. Dave is coming to campus for a four-day visit during which he is looking to establish research and other link-ups in American studies between the U of Mississippi and the U of Manchester, partly by way of Manchester’s recently established link-up with the Center for Transnational American Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

Dave will present from his current research on British responses to emancipation during the Civil War. I’m pleased to say that Dave will be joined for a conference-style panel session by our own Peter Reed and Katie McKee: Peter and Katie will be presenting from their own current work on other aspects of the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. Naturally, I/we hope you can join us for this event: I know that Dave would be glad to meet as many U of Mississippi colleagues as possible, both in and beyond the English department.

“The Atlantic World in the Nineteenth Century: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives”

Monday 31 March, 6-7.30pm
Bondurant Hall, Hannah-Ford Room

Organized by the Department of English and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi, with the Center for Transnational American Studies, University of Copenhagen

Dr. David Brown (Department of English and American Studies, University of Manchester)

David Brown is Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Manchester. He is the author of _Southern Outcast: Hinton Rowan Helper and the Impending Crisis of the South_ (Louisiana State University Press, 2006), and the coeditor of two volumes: _Race in the American South: From Slavery to Civil Rights_, with Clive Webb (Edinburgh University Press, 2007); and _Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century South_, with William Link, Brian Ward, and Martyn Bone (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2013).

“‘Where are the voices of our former friends in England?’: British Responses to American Emancipation”

Harriet Beecher Stowe, incredulous at reports of British support for the Confederacy as the American Civil War began, famously asked how a nation dedicated to abolition could turn its back on the United States. “Where are the voices of our former friends in England?” Stowe complained. This paper takes up Stowe’s question in considering British reactions to emancipation during the American Civil War.

Dr. Kathryn McKee (Department of English and Director of Graduate Studies, Southern Studies, University of Mississippi)

“Whatever comes in sight or ken, that amuses or interests”: Sherwood Bonner and Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Travel

Mississippian Katharine Sherwood Bonner McDowell (1849-1883), who wrote as “Sherwood Bonner,” published regular travel columns between 1874 and 1876 in both the Boston Times and the Memphis Daily Avalanche.  This paper concentrates on Bonner’s final letter, “Reminiscences of a Visit to Bohemia,” in order to suggest that what the author ultimately claims in her transatlantic narratives is a desire to live life for herself and on her own terms.  In that most renegade—because culturally masculine—of emotions, she maps the outposts of gendered behavior for audiences accustomed to more conventionally linear accounts of how to get from place to plac

Dr. Peter Reed (Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, University of Mississippi)

“Symbolism and Sovereignty after the Haitian Revolution”

In nineteenth-century American culture, Haiti became a contested signifier, a fraught symbol of freedom poised between representation and self-representation.  This paper considers the ways in which Haiti’s political and cultural sovereignty played out in popular cultural forms such as blackface minstrelsy.

Chair: Dr. Martyn Bone (Coordinator, Center for Transnational American Studies, University of Copenhagen; visiting professor, Department of English, University of Mississippi)

The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series presents: Laura Godfrey, Tuesday, Mar. 18th 6-7pm.

Godfrey crop (1)Department of English M.A. candidate Laura Godfrey will present “Transubstantiation of the Cross in the York Play of the Crucifixion” in the Hannah-Ford Room (Bondurant Hall 2nd Fl.) as part of the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Seminar Series.

As part of a larger study of physical transformations of the Cross in medieval literature, this chapter sees the Cross in late medieval drama as a representation of heightened devotion to the Eucharistic. In the York cycle’s Play of the Crucifixion, the cross-as-prop can be understood using the laity’s understanding of Eucharistic ritual in order to see the devotional significance of the materiality of the cross on stage. This chapter provides a basic understanding of lay knowledge of the Eucharist and establishes the ways in which the lay audience would understand the cross on stage and its connection to Eucharistic theology.

 

Laura Godfrey is in her third and final year of the Master’s program in the Department of English. Before coming to the University of Mississippi, Laura received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Spanish from Louisiana State University. She plans to continue her work in late medieval devotional texts in a Ph.D. program.

The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series is hosted by the English Graduate Student Body and open to all. The seminars consist of a thirty-minute presentation followed by a Q & A discussion where feedback and further suggestions by both faculty and other graduate students are highly encouraged! A version of the material to be presented on will be sent out to those on the English Department listserve closer to the event. Those not on the listserve who would like a copy, or for more information about this or other Works-in-Progress series events, please contact efielder@olemiss.edu.

Ernesto Javier Martinez: “On the Queer Practice and Racial Politics of Intelligibility.” Thursday, 6 March, 6pm, Bondurant Auditorium

picture-52-024ee9967d1fcd59cc395c212ed26405Description: How do queers of color develop reliable knowledge about their lives and political possibilities despite being subject to the ideological violence of racist and homophobic societies? What importance do we attribute to the creative and subjective strategies queers of color employ to resist such violence and to negotiate levels of intelligibility, and what are the implications of such interventions for social theory?

 

Bio: Ernesto Javier Martinez is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon. He is an interdisciplinary literary critic interested in the ways that racial and sexual minorities in the United States acquire and produce knowledge in oppressive contexts. His research has been published in journals such as PMLASignsAztlán, and the International Journal of Diversity. He is the author of On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility (Stanford University Press, 2013). He is also the co-editor of two volumes: Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader (Duke University Press, 2011) and The Truly Diverse Faculty: New Dialogues in American Higher Education (Palgrave, forthcoming 2014).

The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series presents: Martyn Bone, Thursday, Feb. 20th 5-6pm.

Visiting Professor Martyn Bone will present “‘This Is the Place Where the New World Is’: Black Struggle from the U.S. South to the Global South in the Writing of John Oliver Killens” in the Hannah-Ford Room (Bondurant Hall 2nd Fl.) as part of the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Seminar Series.

 

In their 2001 special issue of American Literature announcing a “new southern studies,” Houston Baker and Dana Nelson cited John Oliver Killens’ definition of the United States as “Downsouth” and “Upsouth” alongside Malcolm X’s more well-known declaration that Mississippi is anywhere below the Canadian border in order to posit “the nuanced inseparability of North and South in any fruitful model of American cultural studies.” This presentation proposes that, in the years immediately before and through the publication of his second novel And Then We Heard The Thunder (1963), which narrowly missed out on that year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Killens not only put “the South” at the center of the nation, but also resituated it on transnational and black diasporic scales. As such, Killens’ writing not only has much to teach us about “the nuanced inseparability of North and South,” but also ways of situating both “Downsouth” and “Upsouth” within wider global–especially Global South—frameworks.

 

Dr. Martyn Bone is associate professor of American Literature at the University of Copenhagen, where he also coordinates the Center for Transnational American Studies. In the spring 2014 semester, he is a visiting professor in the Department of English at the University of Mississippi. He was previously an associate professor at the University of Mississippi (2011-2012) and lecturer in American studies at the University of Nottingham (2002-2003). He is the author of The Postsouthern Sense of Place in Contemporary Fiction (Louisiana State University Press, 2005) the editor of Perspectives on Barry Hannah (University Press of Mississippi, 2007); and the co-editor of a  three-volume mini-series with the University Press of Florida: The American South in the Atlantic World (2013), Creating Citizenship in the Nineteenth Century South (2013), and Creating and Consuming the U.S. South (forthcoming).

 

The Works-in-Progress Seminar Series is hosted by the English Graduate Student Body and open to all. The seminars consist of a thirty-minute presentation followed by a Q & A discussion where feedback and further suggestions by both faculty and other graduate students are highly encouraged! A version of the material to be presented on will be sent out to those on the English Department listserve closer to the event. Those not on the listserve who would like a copy, or for more information about this or other Works-in-Progress series events, please contact efielder@olemiss.edu.

 

Congratulations, Ben McClelland on your latest publication!

Wild-Rose-copy-168x300“Lifesaving Labradors: Stories from Families with Diabetic Alert Dogs,” a collection of stories edited by Ben Mclelland.  Get the full story here.