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In the past year Drs. Tricia Lootens and Michelle Ballif have retired, as did our front-office secretary Barbara Bendzunas. They will be missed!


Dr. LootensDr. Tricia Lootens (Ph.D., Indiana University, 1988), is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of English emerita. The author of Political Poetess: Victorian Femininity, Race, and the Legacy of Separate Spheres (Princeton, 2017), Lootens has devoted much of her career to Transatlantic explorations of nineteenth-century poetry's racialized relations to larger cultural fantasies of patriotism, nationalism, femininity, and feminism. Such explorations, which began shaping her work with the publication of "Hemans and Home: Romanticism, Victorianism, and the Domestication of National Identity" (PMLA 1994; rpt 1995, 1999), have now expanded to encompass more clearly transimperial projects of "undisciplining" Victorian studies. Anong her current projects, for example, is a study of the afterlives of early anti-slavery poetics in the writing and reception of Toru Dutt, Mark Twain, and Rudyard Kipling. (Lootens is co-editor, with Paula M. Krebs, of the 2011 Longman Cultural Contexts edition of Rudyard Kipling's Kim.)

In 1996, Lootens published Lost Saints: Silence, Gender, and Victorian Literary Canonization (University Press of Virginia), which was awarded the University of Georgia's Creative Research medal in 2000. Further criticism includes writing on Victorian patriotic poetry (in the Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry, 2000); on Felicia Hemans, Lydia Sigourney, and Frances E. W. Harper (in Women's Poetry, Late Romantic to Late Victorian, 1999); and on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point."  Her essay on Letitia Elizabeth Landon, in Romanticism and Women Poets (1999), won the Keats-Shelley Association of America Award. Lootens has also published on Victorian feminist appropriations of Shakespeare as well as gothic modes of social criticism. 


Dr. Michelle Ballif (Ph.D., The University of Texas at Arlington, 1994), taught courses in rhetoric, composition and contemporary literary and cultural theory. Her recent research focuses on the historiography of rhetoric.  She is the author of Women's Ways of Making It in Rhetoric and Composition (Routledge, 2008), which details success strategies for women academics in the field, and Seduction, Sophistry, and the Woman with the Rhetorical Figure (SIUP, 2000), which examines the relationship between Woman and Sophistry and their mutual exclusion from the rhetorical tradition. Dr. Ballif is also co-editor (with Dr. Michael G. Moran) of Twentieth Century Rhetoric and Rhetoricians (Greenwood Press, 2000) and Classical Rhetorics and Rhetoricians (Greenwood Press/Praeger, 2005), and editor of Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric (SIUP, 2013). Formerly the Associate Editor for Special Issues of Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Dr. Ballif is currently the President of the Rhetoric Society of America.

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