2014 Roundtable

Literature and Media in the 19thC United States

Session 414:  Friday 10 Jan. 2014, 5:15-6:30 pm.;  Chicago A-B (Marriott)

A roundtable of scholars will discuss how media history and media theory have transformed the study of nineteenth-century American literature.  Participants won’t deliver papers in the usual way;  rather, they have posted brief position papers here so that the speakers and the audience can use our allotted panel time to best advantage.

Jonathan Elmer (Indiana University), “Poe’s Ear”

Teresa Goddu (Vanderbilt University), “Antislavery Media”

Naomi Greyser (University of Iowa), “A Paper Trail of Tears:  Sympathetic Grounds, the History of Emotion, and Affect Studies as Media Studies”

Brian Hochman (Georgetown University), “The Invention of Tribal Man; or, Life Before Media”

Christopher Lukasik (Purdue University), “The Image in the Text”

Lauren Neefe (Stony Brook University), “Learning from Romantic Media Studies:  Communication, Mobility, Genre, Vocality, Scale”

Meredith L. McGill (Rutgers University), Chair

– – – – –

Biographical information:

Jonathan Elmer is Professor of English and Director of the College Arts and Humanities Institute at Indiana University.  His first book, Reading at the Social Limit (Stanford, 1995),  focuses on Edgar Allan Poe and mass culture in America, but his research and teaching increasingly considers colonial and early national eras, and writers of the anglophone Atlantic world from Aphra Behn to Thomas Jefferson to Herman Melville. Some of this research animates On Lingering and Being Last: Fictions of Race and Sovereignty in the New World (Fordham 2008).  He is currently working on a project exploring the nature of play as a social, aesthetic, and interpretive phenomenon.

Teresa Goddu is Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.  The author of Gothic America: Narrative, History, and Nation (Columbia UP, 1997) she is currently completing a book project titled, “Selling Antislavery: Corporate Abolition and the Rise of Mass Culture in Antebellum America,” which studies the extensive print, material, and visual culture produced by the antislavery movement.  During the 2013-14 academic year, she is serving as Program Chair for the C19 conference.

Naomi Greyser is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and English at the University of Iowa. Her work — on nineteenth-century U.S. literatures; critical race, gender, and sexuality studies; affect; and the rhetorical arts —has appeared in American Literature, American Quarterly, and Feminist Studies. Greyser is currently completing her book, “On Sympathetic Grounds: Race, Gender, and Affective Geographies in Nineteenth-Century North America.”  She also works as a writing coach at the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, and is researching the psychic, sociopolitical, and institutional dimensions of writer’s block.

Brian Hochman is Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, Ethnic Studies, and Film and Media Studies.  He is the author of Savage Preservation: The Ethnographic Origins of Modern Media (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming Fall 2014), as well as journal articles and review essays in American Literature, African American Review, Callaloo, and Notes and Queries.  He is currently beginning work on a second book that considers the history of wiretapping and communications intelligence in the United States, tentatively titled “Signals, Ciphers, and Wiretaps: An Intercepted History.”

Christopher J. Lukasik is Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Purdue University, where he also serves as a faculty fellow in the College of Technology.  He is the author of Discerning Characters: The Culture of Appearance in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) and is currently working on a new book project entitled “The Image in the Text: Intermediality, Illustration, and Nineteenth-Century American Literature.”

Lauren Neefe received her Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University (SUNY) in December 2013. Her dissertation, titled “Romantic Relays: The Epistolary Condition of Imagination in Coleridge, Byron, and Poe,” reconsiders the role of letters in the interaction of manuscript practice and print publication at the turn of the nineteenth century. Her essay “‘Rook’ Errant: The Sophistications of Sylvia Plath’s Early Voice” appears in the most recent issue of Textual Cultures 7:2 (2012); her poetry can also be found in the current issues of 1913: a journal of forms and Kenning Journal.

Meredith McGill is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, where she teaches American literature, poetry and poetics, book history, media history, and literary and cultural theory.  She recently published an overview of “Copyright and Intellectual Property” in Book History 16 (2013), and a born-digital edited collection, Taking Liberties with the Author:  Selected Essays from the English Institute, that explores the place of the author in literary discourse from ancient rhetorical traditions to the Disney-Pixar merger.  She is currently completing a book on the circulation of poetry in the antebellum United States.

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