Student Publications & Conferences

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Anthony Chieffalo, “Poe, Lovecraft, and ‘The Uncanny’:  The Horror of the Self.”
Lovecraftian Proceedings No. 1., August 2015
Lovecraftian Proceedings collects new scholarship of the Dr. Henry Armitage Memorial Symposium.  Established in 2013 as a key part of NecronomiCon Providence, the Armitage Symposium is a forum for studies into the life and works of H.P. Lovecraft.  This paper examines parallels in the psychology of horror and self-loathing in the short fiction of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.

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Sarah Kruse, “On Reading Being and Time.”
Hotel Amerika, Issue 13
This creative-nonfiction essay on reading and friendship, chronicles the year and a half of experience of reading Heidegger’s Being and Time in the midst of the changing ordinary world. “On Reading Being and Time” examines how philosophy exists and finds a praxis in the everyday.

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Molly Hall, “J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Modernist Fantasy, Ecology, Trauma, and the Great War.”

Mythcon 45, August 2014

This paper examines J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary response to the Great War as a testimony to the divorce between subjective (human) and objective (ecological) reality in modern subjectivity which was actualized by WWI, as differentiated from traditional modernist literature. While this division has been addressed in many ways by modernist scholars, the discipline has ignored the aberrant nature of fantastic literary responses to this war. My essay seeks to correct that imbalance, as well as contribute an ecological perspective to the study of Great War literature which was hitherto absent.

Jenny Platz, “The Woman in the Red Dress: Sexuality, Femme Fatales, the Gaze and Ada Wong”

Unraveling Resident Evil: Essays on the Complex Universe of the Games and Films. MacFarland and Company Inc, 2014

Ada Wong, the mysterious figure in the games of Resident Evil, recalls the classic femme fatale from film noirs.  Like fatales from noirs, Ada is sexualized, hidden in mystery, and is repeatedly punished for her powers.  However, unlike the original fatales Ada’s strength lies in her intelligence and her refusal to be confined into the patriarchy’s gender norms, further empowering the meaning of cinematic role.


Gavin F. Hurley, “Contemporary Spirituality as Technology: Burkean Mysticism and Matthew Fox’s The Coming of the Cosmic Christ”

Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society, July 2014


Bridget Heaney, Critical Pedagogy and Rubric Design: Towards Responsive and Reflective Assessment of Multimodal Student Compositions.”

Computers & Writing, June 2014

This paper is part of a panel entitled “Complicating Assessment in the Digital Age.” The main research question I engage with is: How do we develop a responsive, reflective, reliable, and revolutionary assessment method in response to our students’ multimodal ePortfolio compositions that both informs our teaching and empowers our students as active agents of their own learning?

Jenny Platz, “Michel Foucault, the Patriarchy of the Shadow Men, and Buffy’s Parrhesiastic Act in ‘Conversations with Dead People’”

Slayage  June 2014

In the season 7 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Conversations with Dead People”, Buffy engages in parrhēsia  with the vampire Holden, and eventually exits from the lingering patriarchy system of the Shadow Men who victimized and demonized the original slayer.

Jenny Platz, “Tamara de Lempicka, Glorificus, and the Modern Woman”

Slayage 11.2/12.1 Summer 2014

Glorificus of season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer embodies qualities of the Modern woman of the 1920s Parisian cultural scene.  The character’s connection to Modernist Art and lifestyle is illustrated through her connection to the hyper sexualized, independent, fragmented, and eerie figures of the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka.

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Rachel Boccio, “’What Sort of Man Was Wakefield?’: Privacy, Surveillance and Selfhood in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tale”

American Literature Association 25th Annual Conference, May 2014

This paper considers the intersection of surveillance and privacy in competing theories of nineteenth-century personhood by using Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 tale “Wakefield.” The paper takes as one of its principal interlocutors David Rosen’s and Aaron Santesso’s recently published book The Watchmen in Pieces: Surveillance, Literature, and Liberal Personhood (New Haven: Yale UP, 2013).

Gavin F.
“Rhetorical transcendence: Mystical Speech at the Borders of Language and

Rhetoric Society of America Conference (roundtable), May 2014


Michele Meek, co-editor, The Independent’s Guide to Film Distribution, 2nd Edition

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, April 2014

The Independent’s Guide to Film Distribution, Second Edition is the definitive guide to North American independent film and media distributors and a crucial tool for filmmakers who want to find their audience. The updated edition features a directory of more than 200 distribution companies that acquire narrative features, documentaries, experimental films, shorts, and more. There’s also advice from experts, as well as conversations with principals at Oscilloscope Laboratories, Sony Pictures Classics, Drafthouse Films, New Day Films and other industry leaders. Available here at

Jenny Platz, “Post-Apocalyptic Survival Guilt and Female Adolescence in The Last of Us

Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, April 2014

Using theorists such as Christian Metz and Janet H. Murray the paper examines the immersive experience of video games that allows for recognition of self and formation of subject hood through the playable character of the game.  The immersive experience is illustrated in Naughty Dog’s 2013 video game The Last of Us, which challenges gender norms of video games by forcing players to identify with a 14-year-old girl without reducing her to a sexual object.

Michele Meek
, “The Politics and Aesthetics of Consent in A.M. Homes’s The End of Alice and Emily Prager’s Roger Fishbite

Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, April 2014

In this paper, I examine two novels―Emily Prager’s Roger Fishbite (1999) and A.M. Homes’s The End of Alice (1996)―that deal explicitly with the complexity of sexual consent between the young girl and older man. I interrogate how these novels participate in the conflicted discourse of a girl’s sexual consent and agency, as well as how the narrators (and perhaps authors) tacitly and explicitly elicit consent, or in some cases nonconsent, from their readers. Ultimately, I aim to show how these novels participate in not only the “politics” of consent but also in the development of an “aesthetics” of consent.


Bridget Heaney, Research Network Forum

The Conference on College Composition & Communication, March 2014

I presented as a Work-In-Progress presenter at the Research Network Forum at “4Cs” on my ongoing work with ePortfolio assessment and multimodal composition. I have been attempting to find the most valid, reliable, and ethical ways to devise a rubric that will assess students’ multimodal writing as submitted in their end-of-course electronic portfolios.

Kara Watts, “Miriam’s Waste Paper Basket: Reading Economies in Pilgrimage

Journal of Dorothy Richardson Studies, Issue 6: 2013-14

Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage is renowned for its length (thirteen volumes) and breadth, documenting nearly three decades of protagonist Miriam Henderson’s life. Inevitably then, the project of reading Pilgrimage raises new demands on our reading processes. This paper examines a critical juncture in Richardson’s text – an overlooked and seemingly innocuous exchange regarding a waste basket between Miriam and her editor Hypo Wilson – that presents us with a method with which to read Richardson’s temporally and materially complex text. While many critics cry boredom in reading Pilgrimage, these critiques miss the valuable point in Richardson’s project – that of teaching us how to read modern consciousness, and in turn, how to read an ‘economy’ of daily life, replete with accumulated inconsistencies, incongruities, and ‘wasted’ matter.

Ashton Foley, “Degeneration in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Mental Illness or Individual Choice?”

URI Graduate Student Conference, March 2014

Mental illness has long been a topic often avoided in public forums and polite conversation. Although much is more widely known and understood about mental illness today, this was not the case in Victorian England. Mental illness was used as a cover up or excuse for a variety of behavioral or social practices that the Victorians viewed as undesirable. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), the diagnosis of mental illness is used to cover up what was feared to be manifestations of degeneration: the mental and physical slide into animalistic and “uncivilized” tendencies.

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Anna Brecke, “Top-hat, Fashion Magazine, and Shoppiness: Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Material Culture, and the OED”
The Victorian, Vol 1.2 (2013)

Among the 1,478 OED entries that cite works by Braddon are multiple words pertaining to the language of commodity and material culture. This paper investigates Braddon’s engagement with the rapidly evolving material culture of the Victorian middle class through her use and coinage of language to describe their world. From the slang echoes of “towniness” to her use of “beauty specialist,” Braddon performs for her reader the language of commodity and exchange, while critiquing the fetishistic nature of Fashion and Society.

Charles Kell, “This spawning of multiple selves: Slippery Notions of Identity, Memory, and Irish Hybridity in John Banville’s The Newton Letter”
New England ACIS (American Conference for Irish Studies), November 2013

In relation to the author’s work, this is the first text where identity is slippery and fractured and where the narrator’s initial perceptions or willful self-delusions get in the way of reality. One can read the narrator as the literary progenitor to Freddie Montgomery, the failed mathematician and protagonist of the more often talked about Frames Trilogy. By misreading the Anglo-Irish experience, the narrator misperceives his world and substitutes a delusional grandeur for the painful tragedy of quotidian life; this isn’t simply overturning conventions, but a radical critique and investigation of what can be done with this form. And, even though Banville repeatedly disavows the notion that he is an “Irish” writer, this novel doesn’t plant him squarely in that category, but shows it is even more slippery than critics or the writer thinks.

Kara Watts, “A ‘Scissors and Paste Man’: Toward a Plagiarized Irish Identity in Joyce’s Ulysses”
New England ACIS (American Conference for Irish Studies), November 2013

James Joyce once admitted in a letter to George Antheil: “I am quite content to go down to posterity as a scissors and paste man, for that seems to me a harsh but not unjust description.” In comparison to what he perceived as Yeats’s originality, Joyce thought himself a “regurgitator,” a user of the found objects of language rather than purely composing them. But this plagiarism is not the “sin” some may think it. In fact, it actually echoes what “Irishness” itself consisted of in the early 20th century – an identity “plagiarized” from Roman Catholic, English, and hyperromanticized Celtic traditions. This paper reads Ulysses not only as an expression of Joyce’s Modernist technique of aesthetic “cut and paste,” but also as a “plagiarist” mode to overwrite the monumental history that has spoken for early 20th century Irishness – a mode that relies primarily upon an accumulation of histories, places, and memory.

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