Participants 2016

Featured Speakers

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.


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).


burt_si-303x335Stephen Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor of English at Harvard University with eight published books, including two critical books on poetry and three poetry collections. His essay collection Close Calls with Nonsense (Graywolf, 2009) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His next essay collection is The Poem is You: 50 or So Contemporary Poems and How to Read Them (Harvard, 2016). His other works include Advice from the Lights: Poems (Graywolf, 2017); Belmont (Graywolf, 2013); The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard, 2010); Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler (University of Virginia, 2009); The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry (Columbia, 2007); Parallel Play: Poems (Graywolf, 2006); Randall Jarrell on W. H. Auden (Columbia, 2005); Randall Jarrell and His Age (Columbia, 2002); and Popular Music (Center for Literary Publishing, 1999).


Graduate Student Panelists

Version 2Joshua Bartlett is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he specializes in early American literature, ecocriticism, and poetry studies. His article, “Anne Bradstreet’s Ecological Thought,” recently appeared in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

christopher berardino photoChristopher Berardino graduated with a degree in English Literature from UC Berkeley and is a PhD candidate at Cornell University in the English department. He plans to complete his degree in 2020. Chris works on modern and contemporary American and British Literature. His interests lie in conceptions of the middle class, violence, race, and gender in the post-war era.


Julia Cheng photoJulia Cheng’s research interests include 20th Century American Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Food Studies. Her recent work interrogates how visual and gastronomical frames might create elliptical possibilities within literary texts, as well as within the archive more generally. Just last year, Julia presented a paper on the connection between the theory of rememory and Carrie Mae Weems’s photography at a conference at UMass Amherst. As part of her research approach, she turns to forms not generally considered as legitimate objects of historical inquiry, such as cookbooks and graphic novels. Under the guidance of Marianne Hirsch, “Queering Lists” developed out of Julia’s M.A. thesis project at Columbia. This is her first year as a Ph.D. candidate at New York University.


Michele Chinitz photoMichele Chinitz is a first-year doctoral student in English at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Her interests include literature and the arts and comparative studies of the novel in the twentieth century. Illustrative of her theoretical and material concerns is her current project, which examines the nexus of nationalism, affect, and German opera in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

mollie eisenberg photoMollie Copley Eisenberg is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Princeton, where she is completing a dissertation currently entitled The Case of the Serious Novel: Aesthetic Legitimacy, Metatext, and Detective Fiction 1922-1955. Her research interests include modernism, the sociology of literature, and popular culture. She also holds two New York State powerlifting records.

nora eltahawy photoNora Eltahawy is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University, where she is working on a dissertation that traces the effect of military encounters between the United States and the Middle East on the development of Arab American literature. Prior to Northwestern, she earned a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in English and comparative literature from the American University in Cairo. She is the translator of Egyptian author and blogger Ghada Abdel Aal’s I Want to Get Married and the co-editor and co-author of Voices in Refuge: Stories from Sudanese Refugees in Cairo.


cynthia garcía photoCynthia García is a first-year PhD student in the Modern Thought & Literature Program at Stanford University. Her research interests include: Chicanx literary and cultural production, transnational American literature, (de)coloniality, space and place, and women of color feminisms. Her most recent work focuses on urban decoloniality and placemaking through street art and multiple modes of narrative with the Mission District of San Francisco as her focal point.

shawn higgins photoShawn M. Higgins is currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Connecticut. His dissertation, “Literary Soundscapes: Nationalism and U.S. Literature, 1890-1940,” is a multiracial, multiethnic sound studies project, which explores integral sites of “American-ness” as an unstable and dynamic concept in the works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Israel Zangwill, Irving Berlin, Raymond Egan, and Américo Paredes. He previously taught American studies and English language learning in Japan at Keio University and at Temple University’s Japan Campus. He received his master’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University in 2011.

mason jabbari photoMason Jabbari is a graduate student in English at the University of Michigan. His academic interests include 20th c. and contemporary anglo-American poetry, psychoanalysis, translation theory, and pedagogy. Besides literary translation, he is also fascinated by other kinds of translation—for example, how metaphors can shift our perceptions by rendering an entity in terms of another, perhaps leaving their tenor behind in the process. He is currently translating into English select poems by Persian poet, painter and translator Houshang Irani (1925-1973), an iconoclastic modernist poet whose work has mostly fallen into obscurity in his native Iran.


martin aagaard jensen photoMartin Aagaard Jensen is a doctoral student in the Department of Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he specializes in American studies, world literature, and contemporary global critical theory. He holds an M.A. in English from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Copenhagen.

sophia mao photoSophia Mao is a first-year PhD student in English at Harvard University. Her interests include contemporary transnational literature, British modernism (in particular Virginia Woolf), Asian American narratives, and popular culture.


Tim Sommer photoTim Sommer is a graduate student of English and American Literature at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), where he specializes in nineteenth-century American literature. He has studied, pursued research, or delivered conference papers at the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Boston, and Oxford. His research interests include New England Transcendentalism, Transatlantic Romanticism, and cultural sociology.


dept photoAnna Hill is a first-year PhD student in English at Yale University, where she studies contemporary global Anglophone literatures and visual arts. She is particularly interested in diaspora studies and decolonial/postcolonial aesthetic theory.




10393835_10152530694568594_966635789903760392_nAndrew Lanham is a 2nd-year PhD student interested in 20th- and 21st-century American fiction, the representation of warfare in literature and film, and the intersections of literature and philosophy. His current project tackles the history of American antiwar writing in the 20th century.



ShechtmanAnna Shechtman is a PhD student in English Literature and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. She studies 20th century American film and print culture and is the film editor at the LA Review of Books.



unnamedYuhe Faye Wang is a PhD student in American Studies at Yale University. She received her bachelor’s from Pomona College in Gender and Women’s Studies with a Focus in Economics. She works at the intersections of material and archival histories and understanding them through the frameworks of transnational and U.S. women of color feminisms, queer of color critique, and economic theory as intellectual history. Her current project focuses on the relationship between the history of corporate personhood and racial formations in the United States during the long 19th century.



Organizing Committee

wai-cheeWai Chee Dimock teaches English and American Studies at Yale University. Her web-and-print anthology, American Literature in the World, coedited with Jordan Brower, Edgar Garcia, Nick Rinehart, and Kyle Hutzler, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press (2016).


picture-93-1377869228Anusha 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.



brandon menke photoBrandon Menke is a poet and Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at Yale University. His work examines queer identities, lyric form, and regionalist aesthetics in American literature and visual art in the long 20th century. He is also deeply interested in the confluence of feminism, ethnic studies, and ecocritical thought. In addition to coordinating this year’s conference, he co-directs the Graduate Poets Writing Series and the Contemporary Poetry Colloquium, leads the Graduate Poets Writing Workshop, edits poetry for Palimpsest: Yale Literary and Arts Magazine, and co-convenes the Literature, Arts, and Environment Colloquium.


Carlos PortraitCarlos Alonso Nugent is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of English at Yale University. He works on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American fiction, particularly as it intersects with the history of U.S. imperialism and the transformation of the North American environment.



courtney sato photo Courtney Sato is a third year Ph.D. student in American Studies at Yale University. She received her B.A. in English from Wellesley College and an M.Phil. in Modern South Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her dissertation examines transnational Asian and Asian American intellectuals and their lecture circuits, travels, and writing that responded to Asia’s radical geopolitical repositioning during the early twentieth century.



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