The English department is in the process of searching for its next J. O. Eidson Professor of American Literature, a chair held by Dr. James Nagel. Jim retired last year after serving in that position since 1991. He taught courses in 19th- and 20th-century American literature and specialized in Hemingway. Jim was a particularly successful mentor of graduate students, many of whom published their dissertations and took jobs in schools throughout the nation. He will be hard to replace, but we have received strong applications from major scholars and hope to hire the new Eidson Professor this year to start next fall.
The English department continues to produce notable scholarship and art. Eighteenth-century literature specialist Dr. Chloe Wigston Smith published her first book this year, Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel with Cambridge University Press. The book studies the clothing of laboring women of the century and the roles that clothing played in the fiction of the period.
Dr. Michelle Ballif was chosen to edit the selected essays of the Rhetoric Society of America’s 2012 conference in Re/Framing Identifications. The collection represents the best current work being done in rhetoric and communication studies in a series of carefully edited essays.
Dr. Ed Pavlić, professor of creative writing, published his sixth book of poems, Visiting Hours at the Color Line, a collection that was one of only five selected during the National Poetry Series Open Competition and published by Milkwood Editions. The poet Adrienne Rich writes of Ed’s poetry that it “is a language-cable wrought to swing you out over unnerving spaces, let you see and hear what they really hold, and bring you back up more alive than you were before.”
I invite you to read more about the accomplishments of our faculty and students in this edition of the Park Hall Monitor.
Michael G. Moran, Head
For more, please read the latest version of the Park Hall Monitor, the department's newsletter.
In August 2013, Dr. Chloe Wigston Smith, assistant professor of English, published her first book, titled Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Cambridge University Press). While much scholarly attention has been devoted to aristocratic silks and masquerade balls (not to mention lush period films and BBC dramas), Dr. Wigston Smith’s book takes the unusual route of studying the non-elite dress of laboring women in her examination of how fiction emphasized durable, practical garments as a means of marketing its own staying power.
In spring 2013, graduate students Maria Chappell, Benjamin Fuqua, Joshua King, Laurie Norris, and Dorothy Todd created an exhibit in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library Gallery of the Russell Special Collections Library. The project contributed to a biannual symposium jointly organized by assistant professor Miriam Jacobson and Anne Myers DeVine, bibliographic coordinator for Rare Books at the Hargrett Library, on the history of the book. The exhibit, “Unbound in Time: Futures of the Book,” showcased books and objects that represent innovations in book making and conveying stories and information. Each housed in its own case, the exhibit’s sub-themes— “Anachronistic,” “Prophetic,” “Reproducible,” and “Trans(form)ative”—explore aspects of the imagined future of the book.