Jess Fenn story selected for special issue of Boston Review

Renowned writer Junot Díaz has selected English Department lecturer Jess Fenn‘s short-story, “Athena Dreams of a Hollow Body,” for the upcoming Boston Review print special issue, Global Dystopias, which also includes Nalo Hopkinson, Maureen McHugh, and an interview with Margaret Atwood.

From the Boston Review’s announcement:

If we have, as Junot Díaz says, reached peak dystopia, then Global Dystopias might just be the handbook we need to weather the storm.

Preorder your copy here.

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Maria Lima to deliver Lockhart lecture September 25

SUNY Geneseo Professor of English Maria Lima will deliver the James and Julia Lockhart Lecture on Monday, September 25 at 5 p.m. in Doty 300 (the Tower Room).

The talk, titled “Reclaiming the Human: from the Bildungsroman to Neo-Slave Narratives,” will explore questions of genre, language, institutional power, and literary production and reception, arguing that it is time for comparatists to stop invoking the German Bildungsroman as a point of origin for all seemingly autobiographical narratives.

Prof. Lima held the James and Julia Lockhart Endowed Professorship from 2014 to 2017. SUNY Geneseo’s supported professorships provide eligible faculty members with a $6,000 annual grant for the term of their three-year appointment, the privilege, as a part of their normal teaching load, to design and teach one course of their choosing during one year of the Professorship, and the responsibility of delivering one College-wide lecture on a topic of their choice during the third year of their Professorship. These faculty have demonstrated superior teaching and involvement of students in the learning process, superior advisement, both formal and informal, a visible and meaningful involvement in campus life, and an active scholarly life.

Photo credit: Keith Walters

Greenfield and Carlo essay to appear in Arthur Miller Journal

Professor Tom Greenfield and senior Erin Carlo are co-authors of a 3000-word essay that’s been accepted by The Arthur Miller Journal (Penn State University Press) for publication in Fall 2017. “Strange Stage Fellows: Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter” grew out of discussions that occurred over the course of a year during which Carlo took two classes with Greenfield: The Legacy and Influence of Arthur Miller (ENGL 203) and Anglo–Irish Absurdist Drama (ENGL 486). Their essay identifies a recent trend in comparative scholarship between the two playwrights, moving from early hard-edged contrasts toward later nuanced explorations of artistic similarities in their work.

Author and activist Bill McKibben to deliver 2017 Walter Harding lecture September 30

Author and environmental activist Bill McKibben will deliver The 2017 Walter Harding Lecture on Saturday, September 30 at 4 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium on the SUNY Geneseo campus.

[Download the 11 x 17 poster here.]

McKibben is the founder of 350.org, an environmental advocacy group that uses grassroots organizing and mass mobilization to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects; limit climate-warming emissions; support sustainable energy solutions at the community level; and educate governmental leaders and the general public.

McKibben is the author of more than a dozen books, including The End of Nature, widely regarded as the first book about climate change written for a general audience, and Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. He writes frequently for such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone.

The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, McKibben is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award and honored by the Thomas Merton Center with its yearly prize recognizing “activists who work on national and international issues that transform our world.”

McKibben’s annotated edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden gratefully acknowledges its “comprehensive and illuminating” predecessor, Walden: An Annotated Edition (1995), edited by Geneseo’s late SUNY Distinguished Professor of English Walter Harding. Harding’s annotations are available in an online edition of Walden from Digital Thoreau.

You can learn more about Bill McKibben on his personal website.

Photo © Nancie Battaglia

English Department Announces 2017 Writing Contest Winners

The English Department announced the winners of the annual Writing Contest for analytical and creative writing. Winners of the Writing Contest were recognized at the Department’s annual award ceremony held on Study Day. The Writing Contest is college-wide and students from all majors are encouraged to submit their analytical and creative writing for recognition.

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Kenneth Asher Publishes Book on Ethical Criticism with Cambridge University Press

Dr. Kenneth Asher, who is jointly appointed in English and Philosophy departments at Geneseo, recently published a book on literary criticism titled Literature, Ethics and the Emotions with Cambridge University Press. His monograph examines the longstanding connection between literature and our interpersonal ethical understanding of emotions. According to Cambridge University Press, “Asher argues that literary scholars should locate this question in the long and various history of moral philosophy. On the basis of his own reading of this history, Asher contends for the centrality of emotions in our ethical lives and shows how literature – novels, poetry, and drama – can each contribute to crucial emotional understanding.” Asher’s analysis is supplemented by chapters on T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and George Bernard Shaw to provide a detailed exploration as to how modernist authors approach the issue of ethical understanding and formation of self.  You can find more information on Asher’s publication here.

Professor Asher has been a member of the English department since 1986. His previous publications include T.S. Eliot and Ideology (Cambridge University Press, 1995)  and “Emotions and the Ethical Life in D.H. Lawrence” (Cambridge Quarterly, 2011).