Month: March 2015

Fiona McCulloch: “Mapping Scotland’s Future”

Professor Fiona McCulloch, the 2015 Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor, delivered the Neag public lecture, “Mapping Scotland’s Future: Contemporary Children’s/Young Adult Fiction and Cosmopolitanism.” McCulloch has taught at the University of Liverpool, Edge Hill University College, and the University of Manchester, among others. At Manchester Metropolitan University she taught “Children’s Literature Since the Victorians.” From 2010-2014 McCulloch was employed at the School of Social and international Studies, University of Bradford, where she was the Head of English. In addition to delivering the annual Neag lecture, McCulloch taught a graduate course on British children’s fiction.

Colm McGinley Talk

Colm McGinley presented “Can you dig it? The influence of Irish on Spoken English” on April 9.

McGinley was UConn’s 2014-15 Fulbright Modern Irish Language Instructor. He is a recent MA graduate whose thesis considered the dialectal impacts of Irish in remote Gaeltacht (historically Irish-speaking) areas in which English is becoming the predominant language. His talk examined the influence of the Irish language on the English used in Ireland and in English-speaking countries with a large Irish immigrant population, with a focus on the Irish communities that came to North America.


THOMAS L. LONG: “AIDS and Culture at the fin d’Autre Siècle.”

Thomas Long’s talk was tailored for Prof. Mary Burke’s OSCAR WILDE class. It addressed the AIDS epidemic setting of Will Self’s DORIAN: An Imitation (2002), a novel inspired by Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).

Thomas Long is Associate Professor in Residence in the School of Nursing, with a dual appointment on the core WGS faculty. He is the author of AIDS and American Apocalypticism: The Cultural Semiotics of an Epidemic and co-editor of The Meaning Management Challenge: Making Sense of Health, Illness and Disease. He is a founding officer of the MLA’s Medical Humanities and Health Studies Forum and Associate Editor of Literature and Medicine.


Susan Stewart, Wallace Stevens Poet

susan stewartSusan Stewart, the 52nd Annual Wallace Stevens Poet, gave readings from her work on April 1 and 2, 2015.

Poet, critic, and translator Susan Stewart is the Avalon Foundation University Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University. Stewart’s most recent books of poems (all published by the University of Chicago Press) are Red Rover (2008), Columbarium, which won a 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Forest (1995). Her translations and co-translations include Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini (Princeton, 2009), Euripides’s Andromache (Oxford, 2001), and the poetry and prose of the Scuola Romana painter Scipione. In 2013 she published two co-translations with Chicago: Laudomia Bonanni’s novel The Reprisal and Milo De Angelis’s most recent books of poetry, Theme of Farewell and After-Poems. Stewart’s most recent books of criticism (also with the University of Chicago Press) are The Poet’s Freedom: A Notebook on Making (2011); Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (2002), which won the Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism in 2003 from the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in 2004; and The Open Studio: Essays on Art and Aesthetics (2005), a collection of her writings on contemporary art.

A 1997 MacArthur Fellow, Stewart recently served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, and four years later she received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has collaborated with contemporary artists Ann Hamilton and Sandro Chia, among others. In October 2009, Stewart’s song cycle, Songs for Adam, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony with music by composer James Primosch, was premiered by the CSO with baritone Brian Mulligan and Sir Andrew Davis conducting.

This year’s Program is sponsored by The Hartford. Additional sponsorship is provided by the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute, Creative Writing Program, Aetna Chair of Writing, and English Department, all in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Claire Kilroy: Gerson Reading 2015

Claire Kilroy gave a reading on March 31 at the Alumni Center. Kilroy is one of Ireland’s most prominent contemporary writers. She is the author of four novels, was awarded the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and has been short-listed for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award three times. Kilroy was the Gerson Irish Reader six years ago, and we are delighted to see her return!

Upcoming Irish Studies speakers include Thomas Long, Colm McGinley, Nels Pearson, and a play by Eamon Grennan. For more information, visit the Irish studies calendar for spring 2015.

Amber West’s Poems

Congratulations to Amber West (PhD ’14), whose first book of poems, Daughter Eraser, will be released this year by Finishing Line Press.

Yusef Komunyakaa writes that “Amber West’s Daughter Eraser surprises relentlessly, moving gracefully from heartbreak to humor. This poet delivers a playful theater of language, innuendo, and wit while teaching us how to assay the iron within irony. We can be thankful this new voice springs out of need and mercy.”

The collection features poems many of us enjoyed hearing Amber read while she was here in the PhD program, and her press is taking pre-orders now.