Participants 2019

Keynote Speaker

Kate Marshall is Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She is a teacher and scholar of American fiction from the late nineteenth century through the contemporary period. Her work engages with media theory, narrative, the philosophy of science, and related modes of critical attention that illuminate how novels work as aesthetic and communicative systems and cultural agents. In her first book, Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (2013), she developed a systems-theoretical account of how media and infrastructure become the self-referring formal sites of communication in the fiction of the early twentieth century, transitioning from the corridors of power to the postwar open plan. Narrative mediation is also the gravitational center of her current manuscript, Novels by Aliens, which is a study of nonhuman narrative sentience and its genre lives in contemporary fiction, critical theory, and the novelistic history that informs them. She teaches literature, media, and contemporary thought in a variety of contexts, ranging from transhistorical encounters with genre to graduate writing workshops dedicated to work in the public humanities. She serves on the faculty of the History and Philosophy of Science at Notre Dame, and is a member of the steering committee for the Westville Education Initiative, a transformative prison education program run in partnership with Holy Cross College. She has also joined the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, teaching at the Vermont mountain campus. She is committed to the future of serious literary and cultural analysis and dedicates a good deal of her energy to its support. In addition to lecturing extensively in the US and abroad, she co-edits the Post45 book series at Stanford University Press and serves on the steering committee of the Post45 Collective.

Featured Speakers

Photo Credit: Annette Hornischer

Robyn Creswell is assistant professor of comparative literature at Yale University and the author of City of Beginnings: Poetic Modernism in Beirut. His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and Harper’s Magazine, among many other publications. He is the translator of Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Tongue of Adam and The Clash of Images, as well as Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and “Notes from Prison” (all published by New Directions). A former poetry editor of The Paris Review, he is currently an editor-at-large for poetry at Farrar, Straus and Giroux book publishers.



Sara Powell is Research Librarian at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, where she supervises the provision of reference services and serves as curatorial liaison to Beinecke Library research fellows. Sara holds an MS in Library & Information Science (Archives Management) from Simmons College and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York. She has previously worked at Swarthmore College Libraries and the MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections.



Anna Shechtman is a PhD Candidate in English Literature and Film & Media Studies at Yale University, where she is working on a history of the media concept in the United States. She is a Senior Humanities Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and managing editor of Post45. She also writes crossword puzzles for The New Yorker.



Graduate Student Panelists

Manuel Azuaje-Alamo is currently a PhD. candidate in Comparative Literature at Harvard University. After obtaining a BA from the University of Alberta (Canada), he was as a visiting researcher at the University of Waseda (Japan). He holds Masters degrees from the University of Tokyo’s Department of Contemporary Literary Studies and from Harvard University’s Department of Comparative Literature. He has received multiple fellowships for study and research in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwanand Brazil. He specializes on world literature and translation studieswith an emphasis on the relationship between East Asian and Latin American literatures.


Douglas Basford is Assistant Director of the Academic and Professional Writing Program at the University at Buffalo, where he is completing his PhD. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Santa Fe Art Institute, Center for Book Arts, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Summer Literary Seminars. His critical work and translations have appeared in Artis Natura, SubStance, The National Poetry ReviewMetamorphoses, the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching the Works of Italo Calvino, Formes Poétiques Contemporaines, and Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.


Daniel Bergman is a PhD student and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, where he is a member of both the English department and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. His research focuses on literary representations of childhood in relation to questions of immigration and belonging – exploring the potential for non-linear narratives of maturation and displacement to interrupt state-sanctioned timelines of citizenship acquisition.



Devin Choudhury is a PhD student in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the relationship between agricultural practice, science and technology, and understandings of space, place, and nature in postcolonial literature, with a special focus on South Asia and, in particular, Bengal. He currently co-coordinates the Theories of the Global South working group at UC Berkeley’s Townsend Center for the Humanities.



Nate Duke is working toward a PhD in Poetry at Florida State University, where he is a poetry editor and book reviewer for The Southeast Review. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana. His poetry has won an Academy of American Poets College Prize and has appeared in Driftwood Press, The Hunger, and elsewhere.


Jacqueline Krass is a PhD student in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with interests in American literature, women’s writing, and genre-crossing. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where she wrote a dissertation on literary influence in the work of Simone Weil, Chris Kraus, and Fanny Howe. She co-convenes the Americanist Colloquium at Wisconsin and interns for The Millions.


Chelsea Latremouille is a PhD student at the University of Toronto. Her research focusses on nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century American literature, with particular interests in poetry and visual culture. She earned her Master’s from University College London with a thesis on the work of Marilynne Robinson. 


Ian Litwin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the English department at the University of California, Irvine. His research and teaching explore the fraught relationship between imperial nationalism and the literatures and cultures of the transnational antislavery movement. His dissertation, “Ambiguous Figures: Fugitive Slaves in an Inter-Imperial Atlantic,” examines the cultural work performed by fugitive slaves and the texts written by and about them as they circulated among competing empires in the Age of Revolution.



Cole Morgan is a Ph.D. Candidate in English at Brown University, where he is at work on a dissertation concerned with the relationship between photographic practice and African American literature across the 19th and 20th centuries. Cole’s research interests turn around questions of how history, memory, space, and language constitute and complicate narrative form. In addition to matters of textuality and black visual culture, Cole is also committed to thinking through the challenges and possibilities continually presented by developments in new media studies and digital humanities methodologies.


Nikolaj Ramsdal Nielsen is originally from Kolding, Denmark, and is now a first-year PhD student in Comparative Literature at Stanford University. He received his BA in the same field from New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus in 2018, where he studied under Werner Sollors and developed a fascination with Toomer and Cane. His interests center on race and ethnicity, activism, and transnationalism in American, German, French, and Danish literatures.



Noah Warren studies 19th and 20th century American literature at U.C. Berkeley. His poetry appears broadly, and he is the author of The Destroyer in the Glass (2016), which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He was a 2015-17 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford.




Tymek Woodham is a final year PhD student at University College London. His thesis is provisionally titled ‘Writing for Agency: Mapping the Material Imaginations of Charles Olson, Langston Hughes and Frank O’Hara,’ which explores how these poets use material processes as inspirations for experimental poetic form, and how this linkage of material process and form contributes to anxieties surrounding individual and collective agency in the politically fraught topographies of post-war US culture. Tymek also edited the 2018 edition of Moveable Type and is a regular theatre reviewer for the London Student.



Andie Berry is a second-year PhD student in English and African American Studies at Yale University. Her research focuses on contemporary Black Diasporic dramatic literature and the intersections among trauma, memory, race, and the speculative. Specifically, she is curious about the ways that performances and rituals of death are written into or out of the play text.



Anna Hill is a PhD candidate in English at Yale. Her research examines literary and visual engagements with the global climate concept that consolidated in new ways in and around the United States at the end of the twentieth century. She is particularly interested in how histories of empire accumulate within small environments, inflecting the present both materially and affectively, and shaping imaginations of possible futures. She serves as the co-editor-in-chief of Palimpsest: Yale Graduate Literary and Arts



Jeong Yeon Lee is a second-year PhD student in African American Studies and English at Yale University. His research interests cluster around the history of violence in African American rhetoric and the ways in which that history raises questions about the co-constructions and intersections of race, politics, and Christian theology in American literature. Jeong Yeon also co-convenes Yale’s Americanist Colloquium.



J. Kirkland Rice is a third year student in the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale. He is currently at work on a dissertation project on translation, philology, and the creation of vernacular literature in Renaissance Italy and the contemporary Anglophone Caribbean. Other areas of interest include classical reception, comparative poetics, critical race theory, transgender theory, the development of the novel, and the graphic novel.



Organizing Committee

wai-cheeWai Chee Dimock teaches English and American Studies at Yale University. Her web-and-print anthology, American Literature in the World (2017), coedited with Jordan Brower, Edgar Garcia, Nick Rinehart, and Kyle Hutzler, was published by Columbia University Press in January 2017.


brandon menke photoBrandon Menke is a poet and Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at Yale University. Before commencing his doctoral studies, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing at NYU and a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. His dissertation, “Slow Tyrannies,” examines lyric form, regionalist aesthetics, and networks of queer intimacy in American literature and visual art in the twentieth century. In addition to being this year’s conference coordinator, he serves as co-editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Palimpsest: Yale Graduate Literary and Arts Magazine, co-organizes the Graduate Poets Reading Series and Contemporary Poetry Colloquium, and has served as a Guest Critic in the Yale School of Art. Waste Plates, a collaborative book project with artists Kyle Goldbach and Martin Bek, is forthcoming.

Carlos PortraitCarlos Alonso Nugent is a PhD candidate at Yale University. He works at the intersections of English, Latinx Studies, and the Environmental Humanities. He is writing a literary and cultural history of the “imagined environments” that transformed the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the twentieth century. By analyzing Anglo American and Mexican American authors, artists, and culture-makers, he tells the story of environmentalism as a series of struggles over what environments are, whom they can contain, and how they should be used. At Yale, he convenes the 20th- and 21st-Century Studies Working Group and co-organizes this conference.


Ben Pokross is a third-year graduate student in the English PhD program at Yale University. He is interested in nineteenth century American literature, popular literature, and media studies. He also serves as a co-convener of the English Department’s Americanist Colloquium.


Helen Yang is a third year PhD student in English at Yale University. She received her B.A. in English with a certificate in American Studies at Princeton University. She is interested in the intersection of literature and the environment, and the emergence of a sense of place and self in spaces that resist fixed national and geographical boundaries. She is particularly interested in narratives of embodied experiences of waterscapes, especially as sites of healing and rebirth. She also co-convenes Yale’s Literature, the Arts, and the Environment Colloquium.

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