September 2007

September 1, 2007

From Langdon Hammer, English Department Chair

—-Michael Warner joins our faculty this fall from Rutgers. An authority on Colonial American literature, who works in the History of the Book, Public Sphere Theory, and Queer Theory, Michael is one of the leading Americanists today.  He is the author of Letters of the Republic, Publics and Counterpublics, and The Trouble with Normal. He is currently working on a study of secularization in American society.

—-Amy Hungerford,Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, was tenured last spring as a full professor. The author of The Holocaust of Texts and a book nearing completion called Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since 1960, Amy becomes Yale’s first senior appointment in contemporary American literature.

—-Pericles Lewis, Director of Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature, was also promoted to full professor last spring. Pericles’s Cambridge Introduction to Modernism has just been published. He is now at work on a study of religion and the modern novel.

—-Paul Grimstad, a PhD from NYU, and Susan Miller, a PhD from Harvard, are new assistant professors of English this fall. Paul is writing about experience and experiment in American literature, and Susan about modern poetry and “the feeling of conviction.” Ray Malewitz, who received his PhD from the University of Virginia this spring, joins the faculty as a full-time lecturer teaching expository writing.

—-Louise Glück was a finalist for the National Book of Award for her book of poems, Averno. Wai Chee Dimock’s book, Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time, was awarded honorable mention for the Harry Levin Prize, given in alternate years by the American Comparative Literature Association.This July Claude Rawson received an honorary degree from the University of Kiel in Scotland honoring his service to literature. Hsuan Hsu’s “Mimicry, Spatial Captation, and Feng Shui: Han Ong’s Fixer Chao” was recognized as the best essay in Modern Fiction Studies last year.  Katie Trumpener received a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and she is spending the current year in California. 

—-Joseph Roach, now in the second year of the $1.5 million-dollar grant that comes with his Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has created an extraordinary “World Performance” program at Yale.  See a schedule of events, see the website: Joe, whose new book It (“a witty and engaging exploration of the elusive quality of charm, animal magnetism, or charisma possessed by extraordinarily interesting people through the ages”) appeared this summer, is currently presenting an introduction to performance studies in the DeVane Lectures at Yale.

—-Caryl Phillips is co-teaching with Caleb Smith a new senior seminar called “The Literature of the Middle Passage” that will take Caz, Caleb, and their fifteen students to Ghana for two weeks in November during which “they will meet and interact with students and faculty from the University of Ghana, attend readings by African writers they have studied in the course, visit the slave forts at Elmina and Cape Coast, and participate in a tour and program at the W.E.B. Du Bois Cultural Centre in the capital of Accra.” For more information about this remarkable course, see

—-Last spring my lecture course on Modern Poetry was recorded as one of seven Yale courses participating in the Yale Video Project, and this year John Rogers’s lecture on Milton will be recorded as part of the same program. This project makes streaming video of lectures, complete lecture transcripts, and a range of other course materials available for free public access on the worldwide web. For a story on the program from the Yale Office of Public Affairs, see

—-Karin Gosselink, a full-time lecturer teaching expository writing in English 114, was chosen as part of the Yale delegation to China last spring. Karin appears here with two Yale students on the Great Wall:


—-Two associate professors, Elizabeth Dillon and Matthew Giancarlo, left the faculty this summer, both after ten years at Yale, for new positions, Elizabeth at Northeastern University and Matt at the University of Kentucky.

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