Month: April 2019

Grad Landings

Wonderful news–Melissa Rohrer, Alaina Kaus, and George Moore have recently accepted some fabulous jobs.

Melissa has a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at Kansas Wesleyan University.

Alaina has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at Georgia Southwestern State University.

George has accepted a position as Development Writer for the Office of Advancement at the University of Bridgeport, CT.


Congratulations to Suli Serrano-Haynes (’20)

Suli Serrano-Haynes ’20 (English, CLAS; English Education, ED) has won a 2019 UConn IDEA Grant for her project, “Bridging the Gap: Empowering the Voices of Black Women in University Classrooms.

 Suli is examining Black female experiences as part of university-based classroom discussions. The goal is to participate in the greater conversation–supporting Black Women pursuing higher education–and provide university stakeholders with information to better serve their students.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, entrepreneurial ventures, research projects, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all campuses can apply. Applications are accepted from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project.

Honor for Cathy Schlund-Vials

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Cathy Schlund-Vials is a professor of English and Asian and Asian American studies. She is associate dean for Humanities and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and interim director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She served as the director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute from 2009-2018 and has been the chair of the UConn Reads committee since 2015. She was the recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies’ Early Career Award in 2013 and served as the organization’s president from 2016-2018.

A Cambodian-American scholar, Schlund-Vials’s work is rooted in a personal history marked by statelessness, migration, and diaspora, and her scholarship examines moments of dislocation, rupture, and movement. Schlund-Vials is recognized as one of the leading and most productive scholars in the fields of Asian American studies, ethnic American literary studies, critical refugee studies, Southeast Asian American studies, and comparative ethnic studies.

Schlund-Vials is the author of two monographs and has edited or co-edited 11 collections. Her first book, Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing, was a well-reviewed comparison of two “model minority groups.” Her second monograph, War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work, accentuated refugee subjectivity, international law, and human rights.

Schlund-Vials received the 2016 Faculty Excellence in Research Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the American Association of University Professors’ Teaching Promise award in 2011. She has supervised seven undergraduate university scholar projects and five IDEA grant initiatives; she has also served as the major thesis advisor for 13 honors students. At the graduate level, she has served as a major advisor for 17 graduate students and has been an associate advisor on 35 committees.

Aetna Celebration of Student Writing

Aetna Celebration of Student Writing

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Aetna Celebration of Student Writing will take place on Tuesday, April 30 (3:00 – 6:30 PM), Wilbur Cross North Reading Room.

For the Aetna Freshman Writing Prize — and poster presentations at the Celebration itself — we’re accepting student writing completed during any term from Summer 2018, Fall 2018, or Spring 2019.

Further information on the Aetna Celebration of Student Writing & Poster Fair is also available at the Aetna Chair’s website.

To give you a better idea of what such a poster fair/celebration looks like, you can also see a short video of last year’s Celebration of Student Writing & Poster fair.

Mary Burke: “Pagan Parcels”

Mary Burke:  “Pagan parcels”: Tom Murphy’s drama and the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Mass Grave”

The research that recently uncovered the unmarked and unregistered remains of hundreds of infants in an underground septic system on the former site of St. Mary’s religious-run institution for unmarried mothers in Tuam, County Galway (1925-61) was spurred by (inaccurate) local rumor of it as a ‘lisheen,’ or unconsecrated burial site for stillborns. The rarely-discussed ‘lisheen’ was a folk response to Catholic doctrine that the unbaptized could not be buried in consecrated ground and was practiced into the 1950s in alternative ‘sacred’ sites (e.g. ‘pagan’ forts). Playwright Tom Murphy was born in 1935 in St. Mary’s vicinity and emigrated in 1962, a near overlap with that institution’s years of operation. Murphy’s plays with Tuam settings are read for coded traces of these two quasi-secret containment regimes: Tuam’s church and state-endorsed carceral infrastructure for unmarried mothers alongside its potentially subversive lisheen custom, which arguably allowed women to circumvent the doctrinal rigidities that produced that carceral infrastructure.

Burke’s talk will read the drama of Tuam playwright Tom Murphy for coded references to both lisheens (the local folk practice of unconsecrated burial sites for stillborns) and the recently-uncovered mass grave containing the unregistered remains of infants in the town’s former institution for unmarried mothers.