The Literature Program
Florida State University
405 Williams Building
Phone: 850 644 4230
Fax: 850 644 0811
Robin Goodman, Director
Caitlin Newcomer, Graduate Assistant
According to the 2010 National Research Council, FSU's English Department is among the top-ranked, Phd-granting English Departments in the country. Our faculty have earned their doctoral degrees at some of the best research universities in America and Europe, and we pride ourselves on offering innovative undergraduate and graduate courses that reflect the historical, cultural, and theoretical aspects of interpretation and criticism. Graduates leave our doctoral program as accomplished scholars, thoroughly prepared for the rigors of the current job market, and have often gone on to have their dissertations published by major publishing houses and academic presses.
Our literature faculty is notable for the diversity of its approaches to literary study, our expertise crossing literary criticism innovatively with a spectrum of extra-literary fields: from animal studies in the Renaissance to piracy, rock n' roll, ethnographies of the American south, and the science of reading. Our faculty is setting agendas in a number of fields, including Shakespeare and Early Modern studies, where we have a concentration of some of the most exciting scholars in the country, as well as in Beckett studies and Modernism. Our nationally-recognized History of Text Technologies Program (HoTT) extends from the History of the Book to Digital Humanities as a means of exploring how the history of the forms of texts is also a history of human culture in its largest sense, a history that speaks to how we use texts to establish ways of thinking, means of knowing, and practices of living. Other programs and areas of exploration, such as Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, African American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Performance Studies, and American Studies include interdisciplinary components that weave together fields as diverse as Archaeology, Art and Architectural History, Language and Literature, Popular Culture, Manuscript Studies, Music, and Musicology. Our faculty are leaders in interdisciplinary certificate programs in Critical Theory as well as in Publishing and Editing. The Critical Theory Certificate combines studies in literature and culture with a broad range of philosophical approaches that draw from other fields such as Art History, Film, Religion, and Modern Languages. This program is designed to ensure that our students have access to the most recent and cutting-edge scholarship in a number of fields. We also offer classes in university-wide inter-disciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs, including Middle Eastern Studies, Human Rights, Women's Studies, and Humanities and Science. Our faculty edit several scholarly journals, including Disputatio and The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies.
Events: our program is dedicated to providing student and faculty-led events that facilitate discussion of both professional and research-oriented aspects of the field.
A Teach-In Led By Dr. Celia Daileader, Prof. Erin Belieu, and Dr. Linda Saladin-Adams
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth, FSU will be reading aloud Bleak House, his most highly acclaimed novel. Over two days and in approximately 30 hours (from 10am on October 2nd to 4pm on October 3) more than 100 FSU students, faculty, and staff will read aloud for 15 minutes from this classic English text.
Wear your birthday party hat if you like, but invite your friends and come along to read with us. No previous knowledge of Dickens required!
Dr. John Marx's research focuses on contemporary fiction and the global adventures of Modernist fiction. His most recent book, Geopolitics and the Anglophone Novel, 1890-2011, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. In this project, Marx investigates a broad range of Modernist, colonial, and Post-Colonial works to show how literature can make an important contribution to political and social sciences by creating a space to imagine and experiment with social organization. Marx is also associate editor of Contemporary Literature.
Dr. Mark Cooper's research explores what it means that corporate institutions make movies, and, simultaneously, how movies have helped to define corporate institutions. His most recent book, Universal Women: A Case of Institutional Change, examines the rise and fall of women directors at the Universal Film Manufacturing Company between 1912 and 1919. He is also interim director of Moving Image Research Collections, a position in which he engages multiple initiatives to generate alternative histories from archival motion pictures.
A unique portrait of Jacques Derrida, one of the most polemical and influential theorists of the end of the 20th century. The film is composed of interviews shot by the filmmakers, Derrida's lectures and speaking engagements, and footage of Derrida's personal life. The filmmakers appropriately explore and push the limits of the documentary genre as they "deconstruct" the French thinker's private and professional life in an attempt to capture the processes of an inquisitive and iconoclastic mind whose theories have completely altered the way we look at history, language, art, and film.
This film investigates Bertolt Brecht's motives and politics through a Public Theater production of Mother Courage and Her Children. This performance of Tony Kushner's post-9/11 adaptation of Brecht's classic play was produced in downtown New York, just blocks from Ground Zero. The film cuts Brecht's experience of war and exile in the turbulent Europe of the 1930's, when the play was written, with its re-interpretation in the context of America's political and cultural trauma. The film also offers an exclusive look into the craft of actress Meryl Streep, whose performance of Mother Courage was widely acclaimed. Ultimately, the film provides unique critical insight into Brecht, 21st century America, and the craft of theater.
Dr. Clayton is a professor of English at Vanderbilt University. His current research involves the ethical and social issues raised by genetics as they appear in literature and films. His latest book is Charles Dickens in Cyberspace: The Afterlife of the Nineteenth Century in Postmodern Culture. It explores the literary and scientific links between contemporary American culture and the nineteenth-century heritage it often repudiates. For more information, please e-mail Scott Ortolano at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Documentary about the life, writings, and activism of Herbert Marcuse, one of the leading philosophers of the Frankfurt School. For more information, please e-mail Scott Ortolano at email@example.com
The event is free and open to the public. It will feature a lecture, "The King James Bible: The Book and Its Language," by world-renowned scholar Gordon Campbell, professor of Renaissance Literature at England's University of Leicester. Campbell is the editor of the new facsimile edition of the Bible, published by Oxford University Press, and author of the critically acclaimed book "Bible: The Story of the King James Bible, 1611-2011."
Shana Kimball is the Head of Publishing Services and Outreach & Strategic Development at MPublishing. She develops and promotes new digital publishing initiatives, in collaboration with scholars, publishers, librarians, and technologists. Kimball is the editor of The Journal of Electronic Publishing, and project director of digitalculturebooks, an open access monograph imprint of the University of Michigan Press. She is also a member of the steering group of Open Humanities Press, an international publishing collective in critical and cultural theory. She holds an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Cary Nelson is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of English at the University of Illinois, as well as the current president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). A critic and an activist, Dr. Nelson has written many acclaimed books, including: No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom (2010), Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (2001), and the forthcoming When Death Rhymed: Poem Cards and Poetry Panics of the Great Wars. He has also edited greatly influential volumes in literary and cultural studies, including Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (1988) and Will Teach for Food: Academic Labor in Crisis (1997).
It can come as a shock to hear that the information revolution is history. But the statement is true, and true in at least two senses. First, this is a revolution that has been proclaimed since at least the mid-1960s, so it is an event best understood as residing in past time. Secondly, and more interestingly, the revolution itself has been constituted by history. That is, its major shapers and participants defined it in part by rethinking the processes, timetables, and concepts of historical change itself. And this kind of work can, in fact, be identified as a characteristic element of other 'media revolutions' too, from the advent of the codex to the digital age. In this talk I want to investigate what it means to think of such events - which are normally seen as emerging from technological innovations - as made out of historical reconfigurations of this type. My major focus will be on an attempt to produce a digital revolution in modern Japan, but the implications extend to the way in which we should conceive of communications revolutions in general.
In the half-century which has elapsed since Albert Camus died in January 1960, his reputation as a writer and thinker has undergone marked changes of fortune. During his lifetime, Camus was associated initially with theories of the absurd and existentialism, subsequently hailed as an opponent of totalitarianism in Europe, then widely criticized for his stance on decolonization in his native Algeria. Following his death, he was overshadowed for a time by his former friend and ideological adversary, Jean-Paul Sartre. Since the end of the Cold War, Camus's writings have been re-evaluated in a new geo-political context that has brought radical forms of Islam to the fore. Camus's standing today will be addressed at this international symposium by Raymond Gay-Crosier (University of Florida at Gainesville), Edward Hughes (Queen Mary College, University of London), Pierre-Louis Rey (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle), and Adrian Van Den Hoven (University of Windsor, Ontario). For more information about this event (including the detailed schedule), please see the event homepage: http://www.fsu.edu/~icffs/camus_today.html.
The Middle East Center will be hosting its annual spring symposium. The focus of the symposium is "martyrdom and other mediums of violence." The content should prove to be extremely valuable for anyone studying or interested in the politics, culture, or history of the Middle East. Individual panels will focus on contemporary issues as well as topics in the area's recent and distant past.
9-10:00 Session I
"Remembered Martyrdom: Stephen's Relics and the Collective Memory of Suffering and Persecution at Minorca" Jennifer Collins-Elliott (Religion, FSU)
"Gender, Narrative, and Politics: Comparing Female Martyrs in Islam and Christianity" Shannon Dunn (Religion, FSU)
10:30-12:30 Session II
"They Were Absent From the Flesh: The Body and Pain in the Early Christian Martyr Texts" Stephanie Cobb (Hofstra)
"God Touched Me and All I Got Was This Withered Hand: Ancient Christian Narratives of Divine Punishment" Nicole Kelly (Religion, FSU)
"The Ascetic Life and Very Special Death of Abu Bilal: Shurat Narratives and Ibadi Identity" Adam Gaiser (Religion, FSU)
2-4 pm Session III
"Capitalism, Maritime Trade, and Violence: The Origins of Permanent War in Early Modernity" Daniel Vitkus (English, FSU)
"The Legacies of an Imperial Martyr: Britain's General Gordon and Sudan" Stephanie Laffer (History, FSU)
"Cautious Commemoration: Palestinian Martyr Monuments in Israel" Tamir Sorek (Sociology, University of Florida)
As a publisher at Ashgate Publishing, Erika Gaffney has extensive knowledge about the ever-changing nature of the publishing industry. She directs the overall growth and development of Ashgate's publishing programs in Literary and Visual Studies, overseeing the acquisition of approximately 100 titles per year in Literary Studies and 50-60 titles per year in Visual Studies. Ms. Gaffney is especially well versed in projects that deal with the Middle Ages and/or the Early Modern period.
What do you find mystifying about the publishing process?
Help shape the talk by voicing the questions or concerns you have about the academic publishing process. Simply send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 10th. All relevant questions will be sent to Ms. Gaffney and incorporated into her presentation.