Participants 2015

Guest Speakers

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).

Screen-Shot-2015-04-03-at-7.11.31-PMJill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker. The author of ten books, her works include New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan (Knopf, 2005), winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best nonfiction book on race and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Knopf, 2013), Time magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize, and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction; and her most recent book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Knopf, 2014), a New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2015 American History Book Prize. Lepore lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three sons.

Graduate Student Panelists

Screen-Shot-2015-04-01-at-4.25.09-PMPippa Eldridge is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate in the English Department at Birkbeck, University of London. Her thesis examines representations of suburbia and sprawl in 21st-century American literature, and interrogates the intersections between spatial theory, political ideology, urban planning and contemporary fiction. She is currently organising a conference entitled Action Writing: The Politics of US Literature, 1960-Present, to be held at Birkbeck University in July 2015.

suzannemaineSuzanne Enzerink is a Ph.D. student in American Studies at Brown University, where she studies twentieth century American literatures, film, and critical race theory, with a focus on African American and Asian American texts. She is especially interested in the ways in which miscegenation has been represented in literature and film, and how this construct has been mediated in an international and multiethnic context. The career of Dorothy Dandridge and Festac ’77 are both important points of entry in this project. Prior to her arrival at Brown, Suzanne taught history at Phillips Academy Andover.

Manuel-photoManuel Herrero-Puertas will receive his PhD in English (Literary Studies) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in September 2015. Entitled Crippling the Body Politic: Disability and Nation-Making in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, his dissertation realigns disability studies and American studies by arguing that U.S. identity is rooted in the centrality of the disabled body in the national sensorium. In his research, Manuel examines representations of disability in nationalist and imperialist contexts, recuperating the silenced subjectivities of people with disabilities whom political discourse has reduced to flat symbols. His work has appeared in ATLANTIS and Disability Studies Quarterly. His essay “Freak Bodies Politic: Charles Stratton, Dred, and the Embodiment of National Innocence” is forthcoming in American Quarterly.

philip Philip Kadish‘s dissertation is titled “Fictions of Whiteness: Transatlantic Race Science and the Construction of Race in Nineteenth Century American Prose, 1824-1867.” He will will receive his PhD in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center in May, 2015. In 2014-15, he has been a dissertation fellow at the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and Caribbean. Philip’s specialty is the influence of scientific racism on American literature and culture. He teaches at Hunter College in New York City.

derekDerek Lee is a first-year English PhD student interested in twentieth-century literature (modernism and contemporary fiction) and literary theory, particularly psychoanalysis. His fields of interest also include mythology, the fantastical, magical realism, science studies, theories of cognition, and graphic narratives.

ST-Marsh-ALITW-photoStephen Marsh studies in the Faculty of English at the University of Oxford. His current research concentrates on the ethical dimensions of the American postmodern novel, especially in relation to the interaction between individuals, grand narratives, and history in the work of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace. Recently, he presented “History, 9/11, and the Cycle of Post-Secularism in Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge” at the American Literature Association’s “God and the American Writer” symposium.

Jesse-McCarthyJesse McCarthy is a graduate student in English at Princeton University. His dissertation, The View from the Mountain: Black Interiority and the Novel at Midcentury, reevaluates the African American novel against the background of early Cold War culture, by arguing that novelists’ political commitments and activism are expressions and indexes of an ongoing aesthetic debate during this period over the literary representation of black interiority.

danDan Sinykin will receive his PhD in English from Cornell in May 2015. His dissertation, After the Boom: Apocalypse and Economics in American Literature of the Neoliberal Period, argues that late twentieth-century American literature adopted the apocalyptic mode to refigure neoliberalism. His essay “Evening in America: Blood Meridian and the Origins and Ends of Imperial Capitalism” is forthcoming in American Literary History.

ellen-song-photoEllen Song is a third-year Ph.D. student in English at Duke University. Her long-standing interests include 20th- and 21st- century American novels, experimental fiction, and the ethics of reading. Her research also focuses on critical race theory, examinations of identity in contemporary fiction, and debates on world literature.

maileMaile Speakman studies the emergence of North American queer theory in Havana in the early 2000s. Her research interests include contemporary queer and feminist literature in Cuba, gender and imperialism, borderlands and contact zones, post-colonial feminist theory, queer geographies, and the production of urban space​. Maile will return to Havana in the summer of 2015 to conduct ethnographic interviews with Cuban authors about their access to and use of queer theory texts. She is currently an MA candidate at Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

photo-1Adeline Tran will receive her PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley in December 2015. Her dissertation, “Hardboiled Aesthetics: High Art and Mass Culture in the American Detective Novel,” argues that 1940s American detective fiction fetishizes the work of art more perversely and self-consciously than high modernist texts. “Hardboiled Aesthetics” examines how certain hardboiled writers, such as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James Cain, and Vera Caspary, attempt to distance themselves from commercial modes of production by drawing on fin de siècle European aestheticism in order to legitimize the artistic merit of the detective novel.

hudson_vincentHudson Vincent is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University studying renaissance and early modern literature. His research interests include transatlantic literature, early modern mysticism and philosophy, the baroque, and 20th-century re-appropriations of the baroque in literature and philosophy. He works mostly on English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Latin literature.


Author-picturePhoenix Alexander is a second-year PhD student in the English and African American Studies departments at Yale, having previously completed a B.A. and M.A. at Queen Mary, University of London, specializing in postcolonial literatures and psychoanalytic theory.  His research traces the history of African American science fiction and focuses on speculative traditions and modes of writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  An article entitled ‘Spectacles of Dystopia: Lauren Beukes and the Geopolitics of Digital Space’, is forthcoming in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies.

jason-bell-amlit-in-the-world-photoJason Bell is a PhD student in the English department at Yale. His research concerns the political and ecological forms of early American frontiers. He is interested in how race, environmental management, and the law are mapped onto literary geographies.

palmerPalmer Rampell is a 4th year doctoral student in Yale’s Department of English.  His dissertation, provisionally entitled “The Moral of the Story” chronicles how a diverse group of postwar America novelists resist the ethical imperatives of literary criticism.  He also maintains an interest in transpacific studies, evidence of which can be found in New England Quarterly.  He regrets that he is, unfortunately, not Merve Emre.

courtney sato photo Courtney Sato is a second 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. At Cambridge, her dissertation focused on the aesthetics and intellectual thought of Rabindranath Tagore. Her current research examines transnational Asian and Asian American intellectuals and their lecture circuits in the early 20th century.  She is also part of the organizing committee for the American Literature in the World conference.

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 (Yale College ’14), is forthcoming from Columbia University Press (2016).

browerJordan Brower is a fifth-year graduate student in English and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. He is currently completing his dissertation, titled “A Literary History of the Studio System, 1911-1950,” which studies how social, economic, and legal phenomena in the Hollywood studio system influenced contemporaneous literary production, primarily in the United States. His writing has or will appear in ELHHistorical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and James Joyce

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. Raised between south London and Northern New Jersey, her academic research explores the intersections and intimacies between Asian and black subcultures in Britain, the United States, and the Caribbean. Her dissertation “Chiney Royal: Afro-Asian Intimacies in the Americas” provides a cultural history of the still unfolding afterlives of Chinese indenture and transatlantic slavery through an examination of a series of literary and photographic archives.

menkeBrandon Menke is a poet and second year Ph.D. student in English at Yale University. His work examines queer identities, space, temporality, and lyric form in transatlantic literature and visual art in the long 20th century. He is also deeply interested in the confluence of feminism, ethnic studies, and ecocritical thought.


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