This collection features books and book contributions written by faculty in the Department of English at Fairfield University.
Craig E. Bertolet and Robert Epstein
In addition to co-editing, Robert Epstein and Craig Bertolet are contributing authors, “Introduction: Greet Press at Market” and Robert Epstein is a contributing author, “Summoning Hunger: Polanyi, Piers Plowman, and the Labor Market”.
This is the first collection of essays dedicated to the topics of money and economics in the English literature of the late Middle Ages. These essays explore ways that late medieval economic thought informs contemporary English texts and apply modern modes of economic analysis to medieval literature. In so doing, they read the importance and influence of historical records of practices as aids to contextualizing these texts. They also apply recent modes of economic history as a means to understand the questions the texts ask about economics, trade, and money. Collectively, these papers argue that both medieval and modern economic thought are key to valuable historical contextualization of medieval literary texts, but that this criticism can be advanced only if we also recognize the specificity of the economic and social conditions of late-medieval England.
Book description: Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the most celebrated literary work of medieval England, portrays the culture of the late Middle Ages as a deeply commercial environment, replete with commodities and dominated by market relationships. However, the market is not the only mode of exchange in Chaucer's world or in his poem. Chaucer's Gifts reveals the gift economy at work in the tales. Applying important recent advances in anthropological gift theory, it illuminates and explains this network of exchanges and obligations. Chaucer's Gifts argues that the world of the Canterbury Tales harbours deep commitments to reciprocity and obligation which are at odds with a purely commercial culture, and demonstrates how the market and commercial relations are not natural, eternal, or inevitable - an essential lesson if we are to understand Chaucer's world or our own.
Composition, Rhetoric and Disciplinarity: Traces of the Past, Issues of the Moment, and Prospects for the Future
Rita Malenczyk, Susan Miller-Cochran, Elizabeth Wardle, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Rita Malenczyk, Neal Lerner, and Elizabeth H. Boquet
Elizabeth Boquet is a contributing author (with Rita Malencyzk and Neal Lerner), "’Bunch of Nice Friends’: Bruffee and the Making of Knowledge in Writing Program Administration."
Edited by four nationally recognized leaders of composition scholarship, Composition, Rhetoric, and Disciplinarity asks a fundamental question: can Composition and Rhetoric, as a discipline, continue its historical commitment to pedagogy without sacrificing equal attention to other areas, such as research and theory? In response, contributors to the volume address disagreements about what it means to be called a discipline rather than a profession or a field; elucidate tensions over the defined breadth of Composition and Rhetoric; and consider the roles of research and responsibility as Composition and Rhetoric shifts from field to discipline. Outlining a field with a complex and unusual formation story, Composition, Rhetoric, and Disciplinarity employs several lenses for understanding disciplinarity—theory, history, labor, and pedagogy—and for teasing out the implications of disciplinarity for students, faculty, institutions, and Composition and Rhetoric itself. Collectively, the chapters speak to the intellectual and embodied history leading to this point; to questions about how disciplinarity is, and might be, understood, especially with regard to Composition and Rhetoric; to the curricular, conceptual, labor, and other sites of tension inherent in thinking about Composition and Rhetoric as a discipline; and to the implications of Composition and Rhetoric’s disciplinarity for the future.
"Rate your pain on a scale of one to ten. What about on a scale of spicy to citrus? Is it more like a lava lamp or a mosaic? Pain, though a universal element of human experience, is dimly understood and sometimes barely managed. Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System is a collection of literary and experimental essays about living with chronic pain. Sonya Huber moves away from a linear narrative to step through the doorway into pain itself, into that strange, unbounded reality. Although the essays are personal in nature, this collection is not a record of the author's specific condition but an exploration that transcends pain's airless and constraining world and focuses on its edges from wild and widely ranging angles."--Publisher description.
Matthew R. Tullis
In Running With Ghosts, author Matt Tullis reminds us that surviving childhood cancer can be a challenge as formidable as fighting for your life—and more enduring. The eldest of three sons born to a trucker and an office-worker, who lived in the idyllic village of Apple Creek, Ohio, Tullis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 15. In short order, the sports-mad teenager found himself on the cancer ward of Akron Children’s Hospital. One of the lucky ones, he walked out and kept on going.
Years later, as a journalist and college professor, Tullis began to wonder about all the friends and caregivers he’d left behind on 4-North. As his curiosity intensified, he decided to seek them out. Running With Ghosts is about friendship, loss, triumph, and closure: one man’s effort to understand more fully a life shaped by a random mutation in the code of his DNA.
Jessica Berman and Nels C. Pearson
Nels Pearson is a contributing author, "Woolf's Spatial Aesthetics and Postcolonial Critique".
Book description: A Companion to Virginia Woolf is a thorough examination of her life, work, and multiple contexts in 33 essays written by leading scholars in the field--Publisher description
Celeste-Marie Bernier, Judie Newman, Matthew Pethers, and Elizabeth A. Petrino
Elizabeth Petrino is a contributing author, “‘A Chain of Correspondence’: Social Activism and Civic Values in the Letters of Lydia Sigourney,”.
Book description: This comprehensive study by leading scholars in an important new field—the history of letters and letter writing—is essential reading for anyone interested in nineteenth-century American politics, history or literature. Because of its mass literacy, population mobility, and extensive postal system, nineteenth-century America is a crucial site for the exploration of letters and their meanings, whether they be written by presidents and statesmen, scientists and philosophers, novelists and poets, feminists and reformers, immigrants, Native Americans, or African Americans. This book breaks new ground by mapping the voluminous correspondence of these figures and other important American writers and thinkers. Rather than treating the letter as a spontaneous private document, the contributors understand it as a self-conscious artefact, circulating between friends and strangers and across multiple genres in ways that both make and break social ties.
Elizabeth H. Boquet
“When I was starting College Presidents for Gun Safety, one of the concerns I heard was the idea that there were just too many issues on which to articulate an opinion. Where would it stop? Where would we draw the line? . . . In light of this latest tragedy, on a college campus that could have been any of ours, I would say: ‘We are nowhere near the line yet.’” (Lawrence Schall, quoted in “Tragedy at Umpqua,” by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, October 2, 2015)
In this short work, Elizabeth Boquet explores the line Lawrence Schall describes above, tracing the overlaps and intersections of a lifelong education around guns and violence, as a student, a teacher, a feminist, a daughter, a wife, a citizen and across the dislocations and relocations that are part of a life lived in and around school. Weaving narratives of family, the university classroom and administration, her husband’s work as a police officer, and her work with students and the Poetry for Peace effort that her writing center sponsors in the local schools, she recounts her efforts to respond to moments of violence with a pedagogy of peace. “Can we not acknowledge that our experiences with pain anywhere should render us more, not less, capable of responding to it everywhere?” she asks. “Compassion, it seems to me, is an infinitely renewable resource.”
Nicole I. Caswell, Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Rebecca Jackson, and Elizabeth H. Boquet
Elizabeth Boquet is a contributing author, "Foreward."
The first book-length empirical investigation of writing center directors’ labor, The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors presents a longitudinal qualitative study of the individual professional lives of nine new directors. Inspired by Kinkead and Harris’s Writing Centers in Context (1993), the authors adopt a case study approach to examine the labor these directors performed and the varied motivations for their labor, as well as the labor they ignored, deferred, or sidelined temporarily, whether or not they wanted to. The study shows directors engaged in various types of labor—everyday, disciplinary, and emotional—and reveals that labor is never restricted to a list of job responsibilities, although those play a role. Instead, labor is motivated and shaped by complex and unique combinations of requirements, expectations, values, perceived strengths, interests and desires, identities, and knowledge. The cases collectively distill how different institutions define writing and appropriate resources to writing instruction and support, informing the ongoing wider cultural debates about skills (writing and otherwise), the preparation of educators, the renewal/tenuring of educators, and administrative “bloat” in academe. The nine new directors discuss more than just their labor; they address their motivations, their sense of self, and their own thoughts about the work they do, facets of writing center director labor that other types of research or scholarship have up to now left invisible. The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors strikes a new path in scholarship on writing center administration and is essential reading for present and future writing center administrators and those who mentor them.
Meredith L. Goldsmith and Emily J. Orlando
Emily Orlando is co-editor and a contributing author (with Meredith L. Goldsmith), "Introduction: Edith Wharton, A Citizen of the World," p.1-15.
Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism shows that Wharton was highly engaged with global issues of her time, due in part to her extensive travel abroad. Examining both her canonical and lesser-known works and including her art historical discoveries, her political writings, and her travel writing, the essays in this volume explore Wharton's diverse, complex, and sometimes problematic relationship to a cosmopolitan vision.-- Publisher's description.
Who is Hillary Clinton, beyond the right-wing smear campaign and the reputation of her husband? Sonya Huber’s short, accessible book takes a balanced look at Hillary, delving into the evolution of her image, her detractors and their attacks, and her policy decisions, offering an overview of the forces that have shaped her. From her role as Secretary of State to her commitment to women’s rights, her changing positions and charges of unreliability on issues of trade and the environment, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political agenda has changed over time. Do these changes make her a reptilian “shape-shifter” or just a politician? Will she be responsive to a changing Democratic Party in America, and how will she govern as President of the United States? -- Publisher description.
Nels C. Pearson
Looking at the writing of three Irish expatriates who lived in Trieste, London, and Paris, Nels Pearson challenges conventional critical trends that view their work as either affirming Irish anti-colonial sentiment or embracing international identity. In reality, he argues, these writers work constantly back and forth between a sense of national belonging that remains incomplete and ideas of human universality tied to their new global environments. For these and many other Irish writers, national and international concerns do not conflict, but overlap--and the interplay between them motivates Irish modernism. Joyce's Ulysses strives to articulate the interdependence of an Irish identity and a universal perspective. Bowen's exiled, unrooted characters are never firmly rooted in the first place. And in Beckett, the unsettled origin is felt most keenly when it is abandoned for exile. These writers demonstrate the displacement felt by many Irish citizens in an ever-changing Ireland unsteadied by long and turbulent decolonization. Ultimately, their work displays a twofold struggle to pinpoint national identity while adapting to a fluid cosmopolitan world. -- Publisher description.
Robbin Crabtree and David Alan Sapp
As American universities become increasingly diverse, instructors must know how to teach all their students effectively. ESL Students in the Public Speaking Classroom contains practical advice and specific techniques from experts Robbin Crabtree and David Sapp, help instructors to both understand linguistic diversity in the classroom, and to leverage it as a teaching asset. This guide contains helpful classroom activities at the end of each chapter, along with two new chapters (on technology and community-engaged public speaking) and an extensive annotated bibliography for further reading.
An irresistible novel set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and based on the real life of Tom Thumb, a young man only twenty-five inches tall, who became America’s first internationally recognized entertainer. By a writer whose previous work has been called “sprawling and elegant” (The New York Times Book Review), this novel weaves together a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at life during the Civil War and a moving tale of one misfit’s odyssey to find his place in the world. Discovered at age four by P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb soon finds himself traveling internationally, sitting on the laps of the queens of Europe, and entertaining the masses. He meets Czar Nicholas and the King of Saxony, and is invited to the Tuilleries by Louis Philippe. After marrying Lavinia Warren, Tom and wife are hosted at the White House by President Lincoln. With the country at war, Tom and Lavinia set out on their honeymoon tour and witness firsthand the fracture between the states, the heroism of young soldiers, and the unbreakable spirit of the American people. Written in a voice that is both witty and lyrical, and with a colorful secondary cast including Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, P.T. Barnum, and notable figures of the period, this is an evocative, poignant imagining of one man’s story at a unique moment in American history. - Publisher description.
Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Second EditionApproaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Second Edition
Peter W. Travis, Frank Grady, and Robert Epstein
Robert Epstein is a contributing author, “Students’ “Fredom” and the Franklin’s Tale.”
Book description: This second edition of Approaches to Teaching Chaucer's Canterbury Tales reflects the wide variety of contexts in which students encounter the poem and the diversity of perspectives and methods instructors bring to it. Perennial topics such as class, medieval marriage, genre, and tale order rub shoulders with considerations of violence, postcoloniality, masculinities, race, and food in the tales. The first section, "Materials," reviews available editions, scholarship, and audiovisual and electronic resources for studying The Canterbury Tales. In the second section, "Approaches," thirty-six essays discuss strategies for teaching Chaucer's language, for introducing theory in the classroom, for focusing on individual tales, and for using digital resources in the classroom. The multiplicity of approaches reflects the richness of Chaucer's work and the continuing excitement of each new generation's encounter with it.
Mary DeJong and Elizabeth A. Petrino
Elizabeth Petrino is a contributing author, “‘Language of the Eye’: Communication and Sentimental Benevolence in Lydia Sigourney’s Poems and Essays about the Deaf", pp. 69-88.
Book description: Sentimentalism emerged in eighteenth-century Europe as a moral philosophy founded on the belief that individuals are able to form relationships and communities because they can, by an effort of the imagination, understand one another’s feelings. American authors of both sexes who accepted these views cultivated readers’ sympathy with others in order to promote self-improvement, motivate action to relieve suffering, reinforce social unity, and build national identity. Entwined with domesticity and imperialism and finding expression in literature and in public and private rituals, sentimentalism became America’s dominant ideology by the early nineteenth century. Sentimental writings and practices had political uses, some reformist and some repressive. They played major roles in the formation of bourgeois consciousness.
The first new collection of scholarly essays on American sentimentalism since 1999, this volume brings together ten recent studies, eight published here for the first time. The Introduction assesses the current state of sentimentalism studies; the Afterword reflects on sentimentalism as a liberal discourse central to contemporary political thought as well as literary studies. Other contributors, exploring topics characteristic of the field today, examine nineteenth-century authors’ treatments of education, grief, social inequalities, intimate relationships, and community.
Eliza Richards and Elizabeth A. Petrino
Elizabeth Petrino is a contributing author, "British Romantic and Victorian Influences", pp 98-108.
Book description: Long untouched by contemporary events, ideas, and environments, Emily Dickinson's writings have been the subject of intense historical research in recent years. This volume of thirty-three essays by leading scholars offers a comprehensive introduction to the contexts most important for the study of Dickinson's writings. While providing an overview of their topic, the essays also present groundbreaking research and original arguments, treating the poet's local environments; literary influences; social, cultural, political, and intellectual contexts; and reception. A resource for scholars and students of American literature and poetry in English, the collection is an indispensable contribution to the study not only of Dickinson's writings but also of the contexts for poetic production and circulation more generally in the nineteenth-century United States.
Elizabeth A. Petrino, Jocelyn M. Boryczka, and Jeffrey P. von Arx
In addition to co-editing the book, Elizabeth A. Petrino and Jocelyn M. Boryczka are contributing authors, “’The Personal is Political’: At the Intersections of Feminist and Jesuit Education", pp. 75-85.
***2013 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award Winner***
Book description: This book explores how the principles and practices of Ignatian pedagogy overlap and intersect with contemporary feminist theory in order to gain deeper insight into the complexities of today's multicultural educational contexts. Drawing on a method of inquiry that locates individual and collective standpoints in relation to social, political, and economic structures, this volume highlights points of convergence and divergence between Ignatian and feminist pedagogies to explore how educators might find strikingly similar methods that advocate common goals--including engaging with issues such as race, gender, diversity, and social justice. The contributors to this volume initiate a dynamic dialogue that will enliven our campuses for years to come.--Publisher description
Laura Rattray and Emily J. Orlando
Emily J. Orlando is a contributing author, "Visual Art".
Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume provides the first substantial text dedicated to the various contexts that frame Wharton's remarkable career. Each essay offers a clearly argued and lucid assessment of Wharton's work as it relates to seven key areas: life and works, critical receptions, book and publishing history, arts and aesthetics, social designs, time and place, and literary milieux. These sections provide a broad and accessible resource for students coming to Wharton for the first time while offering scholars new critical insights. Of interest to English and American studies departments, the volume will also appeal to researchers in gender studies, film studies, book history, art history, and transatlantic studies. --Publisher description
Heewon Chang, Drick Boyd, Eileen R. O'Shea, Roben Torosyan, Tracey Robert, Ingeborg E. Haug, Margaret Wills, and Betsy Bowen
Betsy Bowen (with Eileen O'Shea, Roben Torosyan, Tracey Robert, Ingeborg E. Haug, and Margaret Wills) is a contributing author, "Spirituality and Professional Collegiality: Esprit de Core."
Book description: This collection of articles explores how a wide range of academics-- diverse in location, rank and discipline-- understand and express how they deal with spirituality in their professional lives and how they integrate spirituality in teaching, research, administration, and advising. The contributors also analyze the culture of academia and its challenges to the spiritual development of those involved. Twenty chapter authors--from a variety of faith traditions--discuss the ways in which their own beliefs have affected their journeys through higher education. By using an autoethnographic, self-analytical lens, this collection shows how various spiritualities have influenced how higher education is understood, taught and performed. The book will stimulate debate and conversations on a topic traditionally ignored in academia.
The “Backwards” Research Guide for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration
The "Backwards" Research Guide for Writers demystifies the writing process by inviting writers of all levels to focus on their passions, questions, and obsessions as the key to generating seeds for further exploration of the world around them. Writers then develop these questions into focused projects that explore the teller’s central role in the open-ended quest of unfolding a research topic. The boom in narrative journalism, memoir, and creative nonfiction has generated wonderful writing, but no resource for writers exists to bridge the gap between passionate research and the page. This book addresses that gap by turning the task of “research” on its head and by speaking to students who resist the idea of research as an objective and dry assignment. Students are invited to experiment creatively with collecting observations and information and then to step beyond their subjective realities to interact with the world around them and ultimately become vulnerable authors willing to change their perspectives as they research and write.
Developed with input from college student writers, The "Backwards" Research Guide for Writers is relevant as a text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in composition, creative nonfiction, literary journalism, and feature writing as well as for working journalists and other writers seeking a new way of approaching a writing project. It includes interviews with notable authors that focus not on the completed and intimidating project of a successful author, but on the project as it took shape and mystified a researcher. Another unique feature is a section in every chapter on ethics, as ethical questions are central to the writing process as well as a method for sparking interest in writing and learning. The guide includes extensive examples of research challenges and dilemmas, strategies for planning a research project, exercises for generating ideas, a guide for writing the research-based work, an appendix of on-line databases, a section in each chapter focused on ethics in research and writing called “gray matter,” a selection of recommended readings, and a bibliography of conventional research guides.
Robert Root, Michael Steinberg, and Sonya Huber
Sonya Huber is a contributing author, "Digital Suspicions" and "How Do I Write?"
Book description: The Fourth Genre offers the most comprehensive, teachable, and current introduction available today to the cutting-edge, evolving genre of creative nonfiction. While acknowledging the literary impulse of nonfiction to be a fourth genre equivalent to poetry, fiction, and drama, this text focuses on subgenres of the nonfiction form, including memoir, nature writing, personal essays, literary journalism, cultural criticism, and travel writing. This anthology was the first to draw on the common ground of the practicing writer and the practical scholar and to make the pedagogical connections between creative writing practice and composition theory, bridging some of the gaps between the teaching of composition, creative writing, and literature in English departments.
J. Brooks Bouson and Elizabeth A. Petrino
Elizabeth Petrino, is a contributing author, “Emily Dickinson and Her Culture", pp. 31-50.
Book description: This volume in the Critical Insights series, edited and with an introduction by J. Brooks Bouson, Professor of English at Loyola University in Chicago, brings together a variety of new and classic essays on Dickinson's life and work. Bouson's introduction reviews the unique challenges Dickinson presents to readers as well as the current state of Dickinson criticism, while a new essay by Paris Review contributor Jascha Hoffman celebrates Dickinson's compressive powers. A brief biography by Gerhard Brand then acquaints readers with the known details of the lives of Dickinson and her family and friends.
For readers studying Dickinson for the first time, a quartet of essays offers an introduction to her life, work, and critical reception. Elizabeth Petrino situates Dickinson within her historical and cultural context by exploring the influences of New England Puritanism, Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and the Civil War upon her work. Beginning with nineteenth-century newspaper and magazine reviews and ending with more recent studies of the Dickinson manuscripts and current postmodernist, feminist, psychoanalytic, and cultural studies, Fred D. White surveys the major trends in Dickinson criticism and points readers to especially helpful introductory texts. Margaret H. Freeman offers a close reading of a group of Dickinson's poems to show how experiencing their sound patterns and syntax can inform our understanding of them, as well as how their structuring metaphors demonstrate Dickinson's mental schemata. Finally, Matthew J. Bolton examines the trope of "the conscious corpse" in poems by Robert Browning, A. E. Housman, and Dickinson.
Alicia Christensen and Sonya Huber
Sonya Huber is a contributing author, "Excerpt from ‘The Promise of Power.'"
Book description: Memoirs are as varied as human emotion and experience, and those published in the distinguished American Lives Series run the gamut. Excerpted from this series and collected here for the first time, these dispatches from American lives take us from China during the Cultural Revolution to the streets of New York in the sixties to a cabin in the backwoods of Idaho. In prose as diverse as the stories they tell, writers such as Floyd Skloot, Ted Kooser, Peggy Shumaker, and Lee Martin, among many others, open windows to their own ordinary and extraordinary experiences. John Skoyles tells how, for his Uncle Fred, a particular “Hard Luck Suit” imparted misfortune. Brenda Serotte describes a Turkish grandmother who made her living reading palms, interpreting cups, and prescribing poultices for the community. In “Son of Mr. Green Jeans,” Dinty W. Moore views fatherhood through the lens of pop culture. Janet Sternburg’s Phantom Limb muses on the dilemmas of a child caring for a parent. Whether evoking moments of death or disease, in family or marriage, history, politics, religion, or culture, these glimpses into singular American lives come together in a richly textured, colorful patchwork quilt of American life.
Growing up in middle-class middle America, Sonya Huber viewed health care as did most of her peers: as an inconvenience or not at all. There were braces and cavities, medications and stitches, the family doctor and the local dentist. Finding herself without health insurance after college graduation, she didn’t worry. It was a temporary problem. Thirteen years and twenty-three jobs later, her view of the matter was quite different. Huber’s irreverent and affecting memoir of navigating the nation’s health-care system brings an awful and necessary dose of reality to the political debates and propaganda surrounding health-care reform. “I look like any other upwardly mobile hipster,” Huber says. “I carry a messenger bag, a few master’s degrees, and a toddler raised on organic milk.” What’s not evident, however, is that she is a veteran of Medicaid and WIC, the federal government’s supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. In Cover Me, Huber tells a story that is at once all too familiar and rarely told: of being pushed to the edge by worry; of the adamant belief that better care was out there; of taking one mind-numbing job after another in pursuit of health insurance, only to find herself scrounging through the trash heap of our nation’s health-care system for tips and tricks that might mean the difference between life and death.