Rachel Nolan to University of Manchester, UK

Rachel Nolan has secured a 1-year Research Fellowship followed by 3-year Fixed-Term Lectureship at the University of Manchester.  The Lecturer role in the UK is equivalent to Assistant Professor in the US so this can be seen as a 4-year Visiting Assistant Professorship with a focus on research during the first year.

Congratulations, Rachel!

Sara Austin’s Dissertation Defense

Sara Austin’s Dissertation Defense is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm in AUST 217, Stern Lounge. Interested members of the faculty and graduate students are invited to attend.

THESIS TITLE: “The Evolution of Monsters in Contemporary American Children’s and Young Adult Literature”


Major Advisor: Victoria F. Smith

Associate Advisor: Kate Capshaw

Associate Advisor: Anna Mae Duane

Associate Advisor: Dawn Heinkein


Outside Representative: Nancy Naples

Kerry Driscoll: Book Launch

Book Launch on June 20:
 Dr. Kerry Driscoll’s
Mark Twain Among the Indians

UConn grad and Twain scholar Dr. Kerry Driscoll, recently retired from the St. Joseph University English Department, will introduce her newly published work Mark Twain Among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples at a book launch at The Mark Twain House & Museum on Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. The event is free.

The release of this painstakingly researched and elegantly written book is a historic occasion in the world of Mark Twain studies, filling definitively a blank spot in the narrative and analysis of Twain’s attitudes about race and culture.

The event will be preceded by a reception in Hal Holbrook Hall, followed by a presentation by Dr. Driscoll in the Lincoln Financial Auditorium and a book-signing.

Mark Twain Among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples is the first book-length study of the writer’s evolving views regarding the aboriginal inhabitants of North America and the Southern Hemisphere, and his deeply conflicted representations of them in fiction, newspaper sketches, and speeches,” according to press materials issued by the University of California Press, the book’s publisher.

The book has garnered pre-publication praise from Mark Twain scholars along with encomiums from Native American scholars. Philip Deloria, the first professor of Native American Studies at Harvard University, calls the book “a brilliant and comprehensive assessment of Twain’s contradictory feelings toward indigenous peoples.”

Driscoll is an internationally renowned Mark Twain scholar and Immediate Past President of the Mark Twain Circle of America. For two decades she has been a loyal friend of — and frequent lecturer, exhibition consultant, and teacher-workshop organizer at — The Mark Twain House & Museum, and she was recently appointed to the museum’s Board of Trustees.

Mark Twain Among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples retails for $95; the Museum Store will offer one-time discounts EXCLUSIVELY for those attending the book launch: 30 percent for members of The MTH&M, 20 percent for all other attendees.

The event is free, but pre-registration is strongly suggested.

The Mark Twain House & Museum is the restored Hartford, Connecticut home where American author Samuel Clemens — Mark Twain — and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works, including Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, during the years he lived there. In addition to providing tours of Twain’s restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and education programs that illuminate Twain’s literary legacy and provide information about his life and times.

Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign.

The house and museum at 351 Farmington Avenue are open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information call 860-247-0998 or visit marktwainhouse.org. 


Grad Landings: Congratulations!

Congratulations to three of our grad students for landing new jobs:

  • Sara Austin (anticipated ’18), Visiting Assistant Professor in children’s literature, Miami University (Ohio)
  • Tara Harney-Mahajan (’16), Assistant Professor in world literature, Caldwell University (NJ)
  • Laura Wright (’18), Visiting Assistant Professor in writing, Berry College (GA)

Photography and Poetry Exhibit

“Photographs from a Poet’s Eye” exhibit by Pegi Deitz Shea runs from May 4 to May 30. The opening on May 4 was open to the public from 6-8pm, and included wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres.

Date: May 4

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Location: Tolland Arts Center (22 Tolland Green)



Dissertation Defenses

Patrick Butler defended his dissertation, “Unsettling the Exceptional Hero: Recognition & Vulnerability in Middle English Romance,” on April 26, 2018 at 8:30 am in Austin 217.

M. Breann Leake defended her dissertation, “Rewriting the Historian of the English People: The Afterlife of Bede in Early English Texts,” on April 26, 2018 at 12:00 pm in Austin 217.

“The Black Avenger: A Western Tradition of Novelty”

Brown Bag talk with Professor Grégory Pierrot: “The Black Avenger: A Western Tradition of Novelty” on May 2, 2018 from 1:30-3:00 pm in Austin 217.

Grégory Pierrot is an Assistant Professor of English at UConn, Stamford. He has recently translated the French treatise Free Jazz/Black Power by Philippe Carles and Jean-Louis Comolli (Mississippi UP: 2015), and edited a scholarly edition of Marcus Rainsford’s An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti (Duke UP: 2013; co-edited with Paul Youngquist). His articles have been published in Studies in American Fiction, the African American ReviewCriticism, and Notes and Queries. He is currently working on a monograph tentatively titled One in a Million: Black Avengers in Atlantic Culture.