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.

Ellen Carillo and Jason Courtmanche in Review of “Deep Reading”

Chapters written by Ellen Carillo and Jason Courtmanche were featured prominently in a Higher Education Research & Development 38.1 review of Deep Reading: Teaching Reading in the Writing Classroom.

 

Reviewer Jessica Gildersleeve notes that Ellen’s chapter, “Preparing College-Level Readers to Define Reading as More Than Mastery,” emphasises the practice of “mindful reading” as a “holistic framework to encompass a range of reading practices.”

 

Jason’s chapter, “Why Read? A Defence of Reading and the Humanities in a STEM-Centric Era,” Gildersleeve finds “particularly striking.” The STEM students Jason surveyed “valued reading for pleasure in a way that college English majors did not, but … they still considered it to be intellectual work, and for this reason it tended to be abandoned when in competition with other studies and social media. However, throughout their study with Courtmanche, these STEM students did recognise through the content of their reading—including Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Lois Lowry’s The Giver—that engagement with the arts is critical in contemporary society. “According to one student, ‘In the books we read, we saw the disastrous consequences of a mentally lazy society: that as people choose to think less, create less, feel less, and form less meaningful relationships, the less of a choice it becomes.’” Jason’s intention to recruit some students to the English major gave way to a more powerful outcome: “‘future scientists, engineers, businesspeople, actuaries, pharmacists, and dentists came to the conclusion that reading literary fiction not only could offer them pleasure, recreation, and escape, but could actually improve their critical understanding of the world, deepen the emotional experience of their relationships, and foster empathy with other human beings. … Far from simply converting English students themselves to ‘the cause,’ Courtmanche’s approach emphasises the power of valuing reading for those outside the discipline and, later, the academy.”

https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1537966

Translation Prize for Brian Sneeden

For translating Phoebe Giannisi‘s poetry from the Modern Greek,  PhD candidate Brian Sneeden has been awarded the World Literature Today Translation Prize in Poetry.

Sneeden was sponsored by Dr. Peter Constantine, director of the university’s Program in Literary Translation. Sneeden’s translations of Giannisi’s work also recently received a 2018 PEN/Heim grant.

Robert Con Davis-Undiano, World Literature Today’s executive director, applauded the skill of the winning entries, remarking: “it’s no surprise that these translators are emerging from some of the finest translation programs in the world. As a pioneer in the field of literature in translation and translation studies,” he added, “World Literature Today takes pride in fostering great talent emerging from the international world of translation studies.”

See the full prize announcement and World Literature Today‘s web site.