A Conversation with Poet and PhD candidate, Charles Kell

Charles Kell is a PhD candidate at The University of Rhode Island and associate editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, Kestrel, Columbia Journal, The Pinch, and elsewhere. Cage of Lit Glass, chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize, is forthcoming toward the end of 2019. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Heather J. Macpherson: First of all, congratulations on your manuscript, Cage of Lit Glass winning the 2018 Autumn House Poetry Prize judged by Kimiko Hahn! And thank you for participating in an interview for the URI Graduate Blog.

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Faculty Profile: Dr. Christine Mok

Dr. Christine Mok is the newest faculty member in the English department. After three semesters teaching at the University of Rhode Island, she is able to honestly say that it was the easiest transition that anyone could imagine and that it is wonderful being in our department. Before she joined us, she was a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio for four and a half years. One of the things that made her transition seamless was moving from one state institution to another. However, Mok is quick to point out that our department is extremely collegial and that class sizes tend to be much smaller than other state institutions. One of the few things that was difficult in the transition was this issue of scale. Rather than teaching to a large lecture hall with 150 students and 6 graduate teaching assistants, classes are smaller and offer the chance for meaningful interaction between instructors and students. Though this required Mok to adjust her projection and classroom presence, it was far outweighed by her excitement to return to Rhode Island. Another reason this transition was simple was that Mok completed her PhD at Brown in Theatre and Performance Studies.

If you had asked Christine Mok if she planned to be an academic up until partway through her MFA, her answer would have been no. Continue reading “Faculty Profile: Dr. Christine Mok”

Reflection on working with the New Bedford Whaling Museum

In the Spring of 2017, the URI English Department hosted a group of professionals from various cultural institutions in the greater Rhode Island area. People affiliated with  the Providence Public Library, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Mystic Seaport, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum formed a panel to discuss the ways in which students in the English Department can partner with these institutions in a collaboration aimed to bring the work we do as scholars to the public. This panel wasn’t simply an event about the hypothetical, but the introduction to a cultural institutions partnership in which teaching assistants could elect to spend one semester working with one of these groups in place of teaching a course, allowing us to explore ways in which the work we do as scholars may be translated to the public; how might we make it both palpable and meaningful? This program gives us opportunities to do work outside of academe so that we may be exposed to the various career paths a PhD student in the humanities might pursue as alternatives to that of tenure-track professor.

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Student Spotlight: Ashton Foley-Schramm

Ashton Foley-Schramm is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the English department focusing on the Reader in the Victorian Novel. Ashton recently received a tuition scholarship from the Graduate School and will be devoting the coming year to work on her dissertation, “Reading the Reader: Shifting Representations of Readers in Nineteenth-Century Fiction.” This project will explore changing depictions of reading in Victorian novels, including the disappearance of the male reader within fiction as well as contemporary concerns about time spent reading and what is being read.

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Student Spotlight: Adrienne Jones Daly

 

 

Adrienne Jones Daly is a fourth year PhD student in the English department, specializing in Rhetoric and Composition. Before coming to URI, Adrienne earned a BA in linguistics from William & Mary in Virginia, taught English in Japan, completed her Masters in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, and worked in a variety of positions in New Orleans, such as Admissions at a law school and in Loyola University’s Writing Program. Her background is in sociolinguistics and writing program administration. She is currently using translingualism to consider how language is treated in the writing classroom, and specifically how the teacher interfaces with language. She received a Dissertation Fellowship from the URI Graduate School for the coming academic year to work on her project Practicing Translingualism: Faculty Conceptions and Practices.

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Student Spotlight: Molly Volanth Hall

Molly Volanth Hall is a fourth year PhD candidate with the English department at URI and a force to be reckoned with. Molly joined the URI department after receiving a masters in Humane Education from Cambridge College in 2010 and a masters in literature from the University of New Hampshire in 2014. She focuses on ecocriticism, trauma, war literature, and modernist literature and is currently worked on her dissertation entitled “Ecologies of Materiality and Aesthetics in British Modernist War-Time Literature, 1890-1939.” She also very recently received a Dissertation Fellowship from the Graduate School for the coming 2018-2019 academic year and a NeMLA Summer Fellowship.

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New PhD Student, Heather J. Macpherson, awarded EGRA

Heather J. Macpherson is a first-year PhD student in Literature in the English department with interests in Poetry, Animal Studies, Modernism, and Creative Nonfiction. Her writing, mostly essays and/or poetry, have appeared in Pearl, Spillway, Clare Literary, The Broken Plate, Parlour, Niche, Gravel and other fine places. She has thrice been features editor for The Worcester Review. Heather’s poem “Sestina Lot #41994” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016 by RadiusLit.

Heather received an Enhancement of Graduate Research Award (EGRA) this fall to work on a project regarding Marianne Moore. The EGRA is offered by the Provost, the Vice President of Research and Economic Development, and the Dean of the Graduate School at URI to to support research, creative or artistic projects. These awards, of up to $1000, are competitive and offered only once a year. In addition to the application, graduate students applying for the EGRA must include a proposal and budget for their project as well as a letter of support from a faculty member (Heather is working with Dr. Mary Cappello on this project). The applications are then reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee based on the writing, benefit to the student conducting the research, and the anticipated benefit of the research to the field and wider community.

We asked Heather a bit more about how she found out about and applied for the EGRA and to tell us more about her project.

How did you learn about the EGRA?
I first learned about the Enhancement of Graduate Research Award (EGRA) at our graduate orientation. Faculty members from the science department presented a workshop on proposal and grant writing with a focus on the EGRA; this particular award has, or had, a fall deadline so there was about six weeks, I think, between the workshop and the proposal deadline.

What is your current project and how did you come to this topic?
When I was a Master’s in English student at Worcester State University, I focused my thesis on the relational discourse in three pairs of animal poems by Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore. During that time I was fortunate to receive university grant funding to do archival research at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia. My current project stems from those interests.
As I continued studying and reading Moore’s poetry and letters, I became intrigued by the influence of animal studies and biology in her work. I saw the EGRA as a great opportunity to further explore Moore’s visits and research at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. My aim is to create a sound essay replicating aspects of her July 5th, 1932 visit to the museum when she was writing her poem, “The Jerboa.”

We look forward to hearing more about Heather’s project as it comes to fruition!

Professor Spotlight: Ryan Trimm

Dr. Ryan Trimm has been in the English department at URI since 2001. During his tenure here, he has served as the department chair and the director of graduate studies. He currently has a joint appointment in Film Studies and serves on the board for the Center for the Humanities on campus. Trimm received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked at Florida International in Miami before coming to URI. His main area of research is contemporary British literature and film, including postcolonial theory and literature. He recently published Heritage and the Representation of the Past in Contemporary Britain, which uses a broad range of British film, television, literature, as well as political theory and historic conservation texts. We had the chance to talk to him at the start of this spring semester to hear more about his recent book, other projects, and his current graduate seminar, Cultural Capital and Financial Fiction.

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A Conversation with Laura Marie Marciano

Laura is a 4th year PhD student working on a creative dissertation in Poetry in the English department at the University of Rhode Island. She came to pursue her PhD having completed an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media from CUNY Brooklyn. Laura is involved both on-campus and off in fostering a creative writing community, as well as teaching and publishing her own poetry and that of others. She curates Gemstone Readings in the NYC area, incorporating performance elements in non-traditional venues and heads the Literary Arts Committee at URI, which hosts readings among other projects focused on students pursuing the creative dissertation option. [br]

We reached out to her to talk more about her work and specifically LAMM presents at Artbook @ MoMA PS1, an exhibition series she is co-curating, which premiers Sunday, December 10 at 4pm at MoMA PS1.

You have an experiential poetry event at MoMA PS1 this month, what are the aims of this event? In this vein, how does experiential poetry differ from a reading or other live event? [br] 

The event at MoMA PS1 and Artbook is part of a new venture project, LAMM, in which my long time friend and fellow poet, Monica McClure, and I explore what it is like to create immersive poetry events within an institutional space, and also, consider how capital, commerce, and popular culture can effect the way poetry is experienced.[br]
Monica and I came together through my project gemstone readings. We want to evolve from the project, and transition to a different model that negotiates with mainstream culture rather than resists it altogether. We both come from humble, down-home backgrounds, have an affinity for fashion and design, and share very similar aesthetic tastes, which make the project easier to navigate with little conflict.

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