Assistant Professor of 19th Century American Literature at Seton Hall University

Position Available: Assistant Professor of 19th Century American Literature

The English Department at Seton Hall University invites applications for an Assistant Professor of Nineteenth-Century American Literature with an emphasis on the post-bellum period and an additional expertise in either media studies or transatlantic studies, to begin August 2015. The standard teaching load for faculty who are research and service active is 9 credits per semester. Course assignments will be balanced between first-year writing, university core, American Literature I and II, literature electives, and graduate classes. We seek candidates with a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Candidates must have the Ph.D. in hand by the time of appointment.  Send a letter of application and current vita to Mary Balkun, Chairperson,English Department ( <>) by *December 5, 2014*. Indicate “19^th -Century Americanist Position” in the subject line. Preliminary interviews will take place at the MLA convention in Vancouver in January; prior to that interview candidates will be asked to submit a writing sample and three letters of recommendation. Seton Hall University is a Catholic diocesan university and an EO/AA employer.

New Books: The Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion by Claudia Stokes

stokesThe Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion
Claudia Stokes

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“Claudia Stokes presents a more textured account and provocatively mixed assessment of the sentimental tradition of American women’s letters than we have yet encountered.”—Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University

“This is an excellent book—well researched, innovative, and beautifully written. Claudia Stokes shows a mastery of both literary sentimentalism and religious history, which she uses to bring out compelling new insights about what it meant for women to draw on sentimental codes as they forged new ways of participating in religious culture and public discussions.”—Nancy Bentley, University of Pennsylvania

Displays of devout religious faith are very much in evidence in nineteenth-century sentimental novels such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Little Women, but the precise theological nature of this piety has been little examined. In the first dedicated study of the religious contents of sentimental literature, Claudia Stokes counters the long-standing characterization of sentimental piety as blandly nondescript and demonstrates that these works were in fact groundbreaking, assertive, and highly specific in their theological recommendations and endorsements. The Altar at Home explores the many religious contexts and contents of sentimental literature of the American nineteenth century, from the growth of Methodism in the Second Great Awakening and popular millennialism to the developing theologies of Mormonism and Christian Science.

CFP SSAWW 2015 Proposed Panel: “A Self in Relation”: 20th Century American Women Writers Imagine and Write Female “Family” Relations (Deadline: 12.15.14)

CFP: “A Self in Relation”: 20th Century American Women Writers Imagine and Write Female “Family” Relations Panel Description:

In her groundbreaking text The Reproduction of Mothering (1978) feminist psychoanalytic theorist Nancy Chodorow explores how women “come into being as a self [...] in relation to our primary others.” In Chodorow’s schema, the “primary other” for females is the mother, and it is through girls’ and women’s imagined and real relationship to the mother that we “experience a self in relation,” a self that is both like and unlike the female other/mother. Feminist scholars such as Jessica Benjamin and Ann DuCille trouble the waters of Chodorow’s theory of the “primary other,” interrogate what they and others regard as a race and class solipsism, and insist on a consideration also of the mother’s/daughter’s materiality. Addressing the conference theme of “Liminal Spaces/Hybrid Lives,” this panel considers how twentieth-century American women writers imagine and write materialist as well as psycho-emotional difference between girls and women who function as family. Current papers for this panel address mother-daughter conflict in the work of Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Fannie Hurst, and Toni Morrison. Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a brief bio to Cheryl R. Hopson at no later than December 15, 2014.

Assistant professor of African American literature (Virginia Commonwealth University)

The Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University seeks a tenure-eligible assistant professor of African American literature after 1900. The successful candidate will be required to have an established research agenda and a clear potential for external funding, and potential for scholarship or creative expression to complement and expand existing expertise in the department. The successful candidate will have a record of effective teaching and must demonstrate experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment, or show a commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU. Faculty members teach in our undergraduate curriculum as well as our MA in English program and our interdisciplinary PhD program in Media, Art, and Text. Candidates must have PhD in hand no later than August 15, 2015. (more…)

CFP: Kate Chopin International Society (ALA; Deadline 1.10.15)

The Kate Chopin International Society is seeking individual proposals for two sponsored panels at the 2015 American Literature Association conference in Boston, MA, May 21-24, 2014.

The first panel, a roundtable on “Teaching Kate Chopin in Different Contexts,” seeks short (seven-to eight-minute) papers/remarks that address either teaching Chopin juxtaposed with works/genres or in courses with which she is not always associated or in educational settings such as continuing education programs, prisons, women’s shelters, literacy programs, etc. Proposals should include a title, your name and affiliation, and a paragraph about your proposed remarks.

The second panel seeks proposals relating to any aspect of Chopin’s life or work. Proposals (for presentations no longer than twenty minutes) should include a title, your name and affiliation, and a 200-400-word abstract.

Send submissions for both the roundtable and the open session to both Kathleen Nigro ( and Kelli Purcell O’Brien ( by January 10, 2015.

CFP: Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society for SSAWW 2015 (Deadline 12.15.14)

CFP for SSAWW 2015: Married and Single Life in Sedgwick’s Writing (Deadline: 12.15.14)

The Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society seeks proposals for a panel on the question of marriage vs. single life in Sedgwick’s writings for the SSAWW Conference in Philadelphia, Nov. 4-8, 2015. This panel topic honors the 2015 publication of Deborah Gussman’s new edition of Sedgwick’s final novel, Married or Single?, which was originally published in 1857.

From early in her career until her last full-length novel, Sedgwick and her characters consider the question of whether it is preferable to marry or remain single—for what reasons and under what circumstances. Beyond the decision of whether to marry at all, Sedgwick and her characters—both male and female—explore issues of parenting, spousal abuse, divorce, widowhood, friendship, emotional fulfillment, financial dependence and independence, and women’s vocations and contributions to society beyond marriage and motherhood.

Proposals on these or other aspects of the issue of marriage vs. single life in any of Sedgwick’s writings are welcome, but the Society particularly encourages proposals that view marriage and/or single life in relation to the overall conference theme of liminality. Is it useful to consider either marriage or single life as a liminal state in relation to the other—or in relation to some other social category? Is long-term single life a liminal state, and, if it is, does it empower or disenfranchise those who inhabit it? If a society views marriage as the desirable, “normal,” human state, is it still possible to view married women as occupying a liminal space between her own individual identity and her husband’s identity?

Send proposals of no more than 250 words to by December 15, 2014.

Assistant Professor, American Literature to 1800 (Texas Tech University )

Texas Tech University seeks an Assistant Professor with a specialization in American Literature to 1800. Tenure-track. 2/2 load guaranteed during first two years; then 3/3 with opportunities for reduction to 3/2. Ph.D. required. The successful candidate will teach undergraduate and graduate courses, provide service to the department, the college, and the university as necessary, and pursue scholarship or creative activity that attracts outside funding. (more…)

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