Lytton Smith collaborates on essay exploring poetry in translation

Assistant Professor of English Dr. Lytton Smith has just published a collaboratively-authored essay, written with Dr. Katherine Baxter, on the poetry of Chamoru poet Craig Santos Perez and Maori poet Robert Sullivan.

“Writing in Translation: Robert Sullivan’s Star Waka and Craig Santos Perez’s from unincorporated territory” is the first comparative study of these poets’ works, and it makes an argument for translation as a “kinetic space” defined not by a movement from “source” to “target” language but as a means for allowing “multiple idioms and registers to co-exist, displaying a range of power structures and social hierarchies simultaneously.”

The article appears in Vol 2.2 of Literary Geographies, an interdisciplinary open-access e-journal that provides a forum for new research and collaboration in the field of literary/geographical studies.

Elizabeth Witherell to deliver 2016 Harding Lecture November 8

The 2016 Walter Harding Lecture will be delivered by Elizabeth Witherell on November 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Doty Recital Hall on the campus of SUNY Geneseo.

The lecture is entitled “Thoreau’s Manuscripts and the Prepared Eye.”

2551-1Witherell is editor-in-chief of The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, also known as the Thoreau Edition. Published by Princeton University Press, the edition currently comprises 17 volumes of a projected 28. Witherell is the project’s third editor-in-chief; its first, from 1966 to 1972, was Walter Harding, who taught at SUNY Geneseo from 1956 to 1982 and for whom the Harding Lecture is named. In 2003, the Thoreau Edition was named a “We the People” project by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which has funded the project continuously since its inception.

In 2015, Witherell made news for her transcription of a nine-page manuscript in the collection of Harvard University’s Houghton Library representing Thoreau’s notes on the 1850 shipwreck off Fire Island that killed the transcendentalist and feminist writer Margaret Fuller. (Boston Globe, UC Santa Barbara Currents.)

As always, the Harding Lecture is free and open to the public.

Join us at the 2016 Rochester Fringe Festival

Come to the Fringe Festival in Rochester, New York next weekend and see what the English department’s creative writers, filmmakers, and multimedia artists have prepared for your enjoyment! All events are free.

See page 35 of the print Festival Guide for a full listing, including free performances from 11:30 am to midnight on Saturday, September 24. Events include:

  • Guerrilla Art: (a student art collective) have prepared a site-specific installation. At the Spiegelgarden, corner of Main and Gibbs Sts, Friday 9/23, 5-11 pm, and Saturday 9/24, 12 noon to 11 pm. Faculty sponsor: Lytton Smith.
  • Heirlooms: creative writers reading their work: Sarah Steil, creative non-fiction Oliver Diaz, fiction Evan Goldstein, poetry 3:45 at the Lyric Theatre, 440 Main St at the corner with Prince. Faculty sponsor: Kristen Gentry.
  • Filmmakers: Saturday 9/17, 7:15 pm at Spiegelgarden, corner of Main and Gibbs Interaction by Wei Ying Ch’ng Run by Michael MacDonald Saturday 9/24, 7:15 pm at Spiegelgarden, corner of Main and Gibbs She Used to Be Mine by Anna Tailleur Overture by Jason Guisao Arrive early and turn in an ID for headphones. Faculty sponsor: Melanie Blood.

Concessions are available at both the Spiegelgarden and Lyric Theatre. Free parking at Lyric, garage and pay lots near Spiegelgarden.

Greenfield and Nolan co-author article on teaching with Arthur Miller journal

Professor Tom Greenfield and Geneseo English major alum Megan Nolan (’14) are co-authors of an article in the Spring 2016 issue of the Arthur Miller Journal. “All My Journals: The Arthur Miller Journal [AMJ] as Intro to Literature College Text,” is based on Greenfield’s and Nolan’s experiences, as professor and teaching assistant respectively, using the Journal as a required text in Greenfield’s ENGL 203 class on Arthur Miller’s plays. The Arthur Miller Society, headquartered in New York City, donated 25 volumes so that each student in the class could have a personal copy of the Journal to use throughout the semester.

Lytton Smith sound poem featured in online journal

“Dear World Service,” a new sound poem by Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith, is included in the second issue of ythm, an audio journal of contemporary poetry. Written in response to Robyn Schiff’s “Death of a Salesman,” Smith’s poem is one of five audio-only poems in the issue. A podcast can be found via Soundcloud. The issue also features work by Katie Peterson, Michael Joseph Walsh, and Sheila McMullin.

Taking its name from Nathanial Mackey’s gloss of “ythm” as “anagrammatic myth” in his 1993 poetry collection School of Udhra, ythm is an argument that “the spoken voice is central to both the praxis and appreciation of contemporary poetry,” and central, in particular, to the American tradition.

ythm editor Sean Pears found Smith through the blog that Smith maintains for Geneseo students in Literature and Creative Writing, The Contemporary Poem. Responding in a comment to student Nicole Pero’s post about “breaking from sound” via Benjamin Franklin, which neatly synthesized themes from Geneseo’s Western Humanities courses and the Advanced Poetry Workshop, Smith suggested “isn’t sound a form itself?,” offering Karen Volkman’s sonnets from Nomina, published by Rochester-based BOA Editions, as an example.

Smith credits the English department’s transition to four-credit courses with creating the space in his classes to incorporate student blogging.

Students at Duke Kunshan University Analyze Thoreau Across Cultures

[Editor’s Note: A version of this post appeared earlier on the blog of Digital Thoreau.]

This spring, about two dozen students in two sections at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China are taking “Walden International: Analyzing Thoreau Across Cultures” from Patrick Morgan, a Ph.D. candidate and Graduate Instructor in English at Duke University and a graduate of SUNY Geneseo (English, Geological Sciences, 2010). Morgan wrote about his experience as an English major at Geneseo for this blog back in December, 2013.

Morgan’s Kunshan students are discussing Walden in the margins of Thoreau’s work at The Readers’ Thoreau, the online community of Digital Thoreau, a collaboration among SUNY Geneseo, The Thoreau Society, and the Walden Woods Project directed by SUNY Geneseo Professor of English Paul Schacht.

Campus of Duke Kunshan University

Duke Kunshan University

The students are also “analyzing [Thoreau’s] writings from an international perspective, focusing primarily on his engagement with Asian thought,” according to Morgan’s syllabus, asking how Thoreau “‘package[s]’ ancient Asian philosophies in order to comment on nineteenth-century American culture” and what “cultural forces and contexts … allow scholars like Lin Yutang to claim Thoreau as ‘the most Chinese of all American authors.’”

In addition to meeting with Morgan for 300 minutes each week in class and exchanging ideas online in the margins of Walden, the Kunshan University students are taking a digital field trip to Walden Pond thanks to a website Morgan has created that links passages of Thoreau’s text to YouTube videos he made in which he reads aloud from Walden while capturing the pond’s sights and sounds.

patrick_morgan

Pat Morgan

Morgan has been active in Thoreau studies since his undergraduate days at Geneseo, where he presented on “Thoreau’s Bedrock: Emerson’s Influence and the Geomorphological Significance of Emerson’s Cliff, Concord, Massachusetts” for Geneseo’s day celebrating undergraduate research, GREAT Day, in 2010. That same year, his article on “Aesthetic Inflections: Thoreau, Gender, and Geology” appeared in the Thoreau Society’s scholarly annual, The Concord Saunterer. In 2015, Morgan participated in an NEH summer institute for college instructors on “Transcendentalism and Reform in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller” conducted in Concord by a roster of scholars that included Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Phyllis Cole, Jayne Gordon, Robert Gross, John Matteson, Wesley T. Mott, and former Geneseo Harding lecturers Laura Dassow Walls, Megan Marshall, and Joel Myerson.

In addition to his studies and teaching at Duke University, Morgan serves as an editorial assistant at the scholarly journal American Literature, published by Duke University Press.