Month: July 2019

Congratulations to Abby Fagan

The Graduate School has chosen Abby Fagan’s dissertation, “Bloated: Power and the Body in American Temperance Literature,” as UConn’s nominee for the CGS/Proquest Dissertation Award.

Abby’s dissertation also won the English Department Milton Stern Dissertation Award, which recognizes the best dissertation submitted for a PhD in English or Medieval Studies. The committee noted that Abigail’s dissertation, “Bloated: Power and the Body in American Temperance Literature,” makes clear and creative interventions in multiple fields of study, providing a new understanding of women’s history in the nineteenth century and indeed of the idea of political activity in the broad time period she considers. Abigail’s claims are based on sweeping archival work and expressed in elegant, readable prose.

Congratulations to Abby, and thanks to her committee: Anna Mae Duane, Margaret Breen, and Wayne Franklin.

Congrats to Amanda Greenwell

Amanda Greenwell has just accepted a tenure track position in the Department of English at Central Connecticut State University. Amanda’s dissertation is titled “Confronting America: The Child Gaze in American Literature, 1930-2018.” Her major advisor is Kate Capshaw; her associate advisors are Victoria Ford Smith and Anna Mae Duane.

One-on-one with Justin Torres

Graduate and Undergraduate student fiction writers are invited to participate with acclaimed fiction writer Justin Torres, the Inaugural Mark Twain Distinguished Writer-in-Residence.

Justin Torres will spend two days at UConn this fall (October 8 and 9). Five student fiction writers will be selected to participate in one-on-one tutorials with Torres. Students interested in participating should submit via e-mail a 10-page double-spaced manuscript of fiction to Professor Sean Frederick Forbes ( Each manuscript must be accompanied by a cover sheet with the student’s name, preferred e-mail address, and phone number. Manuscripts must be received by Monday, September 16, 2019 for consideration. 

Mr. Torres will give a public reading of his work on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the UConn Bookstore in Storrs Center. 

Justin Torres has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt and other publications, as well as nonfiction pieces in The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he is the author of the novel We the Animals has been translated into fifteen languages and was recently adapted into a film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 under 35. He lives in Los Angeles where he is Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.


The Mark Twain Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program is sponsored by the Bloom Endowment Fund which was established by Lynn and Martin Bloom. Lynn Bloom is the former Aetna Chair of Writing and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in English and Martin is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at UConn. This generous donation allows UConn’s Creative Writing Program to invite a nationally or internationally-known prose author to campus for a residency every other fall semester. Each author gives a public reading of their work, spends two-three days on campus offering tutorials for students, and shares meals with students and faculty. As a result of the Mark Twain Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program, UConn graduate and undergraduate students can participate in an intense hands-on learning experience with some of today’s most exciting authors.

Kate Norako to speak

Professor Leila K. Norako, this year’s Charles A. Owen Jr Visiting Professor of Medieval Studies, will present  “Recovering Richard Coeur de Lion.” (Friday, 6 September, 4 pm, Stern Lounge, Austin 217).

Professor Norako will speak about her digital edition of this little-known romance of the Crusades.