Participants 2014

Guest Speakers

Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang (Yale College ’87), is the Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the first female and Asian-American writer to serve as Director of the Workshop. At Yale She was managing editor of the Yale Daily News. She has also served as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Creative Writing at Harvard, and was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her works include Hunger (1998), Inheritance (2004), which received the PEN Open Book Award, and All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost: A Novel (2010).


Richard Deming

Richard Deming is a poet and a theorist whose work explores the intersections of poetry, philosophy, and visual culture. His collection of poems, Let’s Not Call It Consequence (Shearsman, 2008), received the 2009 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. He is the author of Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading (Stanford UP, 2008), and he regularly contributes to such magazines as Artforum and The Boston Review. His poems have appeared in such places as Sulfur, Field, Indiana Review, and The Nation. He was the Spring 2012 John P. Birkelund Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.


hutner1Gordon Hutner is Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the Founding Editor of American Literary History (Oxford University Press). He is the author most recently of What America Read: Taste, Class, and the Novel, 1920-1960 (U of North Carolina Press, 2009). He has written numerous articles and edited several collections and anthologies, as well as an edition of Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt (Oxford UP, 2010).


Harry-picHarry Stecopoulos is Associate Professor of English at the University of Iowa, and editor of The Iowa Review. He has published Reconstructing the World: Southern Fictions and U.S. Imperialisms, 1898-1976 (Cornell UP, 2008), and articles on Edgar Rice Burroughs, William Faulkner, Leslie Fiedler, Lorraine Hansberry, and Mark Twain. He is currently completing “Telling America’s Story to the World: The Literatures of U.S. Diplomacy.”


Graduate Student Panelists


John Easterbrook is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at New York University, where he specializes in colonial and early American literature. He is at work on his dissertation, tentatively titled”Atlantic Ecologies: The Geopolitics of Early American Literature, 1600-1850.” His article on Adriaen van der Donck’s A Description of New Netherland (1655) recently appeared in Early American Literature.


Liz Jannsen

Liz Janssen is a PhD student in the English department at the University of Washington. Her research interests include 20th century and contemporary American literature, theories and histories of reception, reading communities, and print culture.



Corey Johnson

Originally from Hilo, Hawaii, Corey Masao Johnson earned an A.B. in English Literature from Harvard University and completed an M.St. in English and American Studies at the University of Oxford. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University, where he has completed a Ph.D. minor in Anthropology. He serves as the technical advisor for the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, a Digital Humanities initiative that explores the impact of Chinese “coolie” labor on the construction of the transcontinental railroad. At the Stanford Humanities Center, he co-coordinates the Interdisciplinary Working Group in Critical Theory.



KuhlStephan Kuhl is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He studied American Studies, Comparative Literature, and African and African American Studies at the Goethe University and Harvard University. He currently holds the German Fellowship at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. His dissertation examines the relationship between Richard Wright and the social psychiatrist Fredric Wertham.


MatherlySarah Matherly is a doctoral student in the History Department at Princeton University. She studies eighteenth and nineteenth century America, with an emphasis on the intertwined histories of exploration, education, and social reform.



kmoriahKristin Moriah is a doctoral candidate in English Literature at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. She researches African American literature and performance in transnational contexts. Her book reviews and articles have appeared in Callaloo, Theater Journal, TDR and “Understanding Blackness Through Performance” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013). She was born in Toronto but lives in Brooklyn.



Nowak Yale picAlexei Nowak is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA with research interests in Environmental Criticism and Translation Studies. His dissertation explores the role of food and agriculture in American and Chinese writers’ Transpacific imaginaries from the early twentieth century through the Cold War.



Nick RinehartNick Rinehart is a senior at Harvard College studying comparative literature and history. His work has appeared in Transition, and his research interests include African American literary history, world literature, and social and labor history.




Jenn Shapland

Jenn Shapland is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book-length project is titled Narrative Salvage: Repurposing Material, Place, and Environment in Contemporary Literature. It reveals sustaining affects in present-day fiction and essays by excavating material and formal practices of reuse. In addition to her scholarly work, Jenn writes nonfiction and serves as digital editor of Covered with Fur, a monthly magazine from Austin small press A Strange Object.


TSANK_HEADSHOT_REVISEDStephanie Tsank is a second-year doctoral candidate in English at the University of Iowa. She studies nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American literature with a focus on African American literature and empire. She received her MA in Liberal Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2012.



Valella picDaniel Valella is a Ph.D. candidate in English (with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, & Sexuality) at the University of California, Berkeley, where he focuses on 20th- and 21st-century U.S. minority literatures. His research investigates the ways in which marginalized subjects employ and revise “normative” or “dominant” aesthetic forms.



Jordan Wingate

Jordan Wingate is a third-year PhD student in UCLA’s Department of English. His research focuses on the connections between literary and political representation in 18th- and 19th-century America, “New World” epistemology, and the history of Nature.





From the Beinecke Library

Melissa BartonMelissa Barton (Yale College ’02) is the Curator of Prose and Drama for the Yale Collection of American Literature at Beinecke Library. She received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago, and has worked extensively with African-American collections.





Organizing Committee

wai-cheeWai Chee Dimock teaches English and American Studies at Yale University. She is coediting a web-and-print anthology, “American Literature in the World,” with Jordan Brower, Edgar Garcia, and Kyle Hutzler (Yale College ’14).



anusha allesAnusha Alles is a PhD candidate in the Departments of English and African American Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Yale University. She works on 20th century literature of the African diaspora and South Asian indenture diaspora, with a focus on environmental and feminist thought.




browerJordan Brower is a fourth year Ph.D. student in English and Film at Yale University, where he is writing a dissertation on the critical literatures (both in print and on film) of the Hollywood Studio Era. Jordan is also part of the organizing committee for this conference.



Edgar GarciaEdgar Garcia is a poet and scholar currently completing his dissertation at Yale University on the 20th-century circulation and reception of indigenous media of the Americas. His poetry, translations, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of publications, including The Antioch Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Big Bridge, Chicago Review, Damn the Caesars, Jacket2, Los Angeles Review of Books, MAKE Magazine, Mandorla, and Sous les Pavés. Author of Mayan Texts: A Galactic Birth Canal (Burnt Water Booklets, 2010) and Boundary Loot (Punch Press, 2012), he is also a semi-regular writer at Hydra Magazine and, with Jose-Luis Moctezuma, co-curates the blog As a collaborator in the American Literature in the World project, he hopes to focus attention in the expansion of the complex geography of American Literature on the polyphonous cultural voices of the Americas and the world.

taogoffe1Tao Leigh Goffe is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Yale University. Her dissertation looks at Afro-Asian intimacies in the Americas through photography and literature. From Islamic hip-hop to yellowface and postcolonial theory, her research explores the intersections between black and Asian subcultures in Britain, the Caribbean, and the US.



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