Visiting Assistant Professor (Eureka College)

Position— a one-year position as Visiting Assistant Professor of American Literature starting Fall 2015. The successful candidate may also be eligible to apply for a possible tenure track position that is pending approval to begin Fall of 2016.

The College— Eureka is a small residential liberal arts college located in rural Illinois. Eureka currently has almost 700 students enrolled in 30 degree programs. It is associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more information about the College, please visit (more…)

New Books: A Kiss from Thermopylae: Emily Dickinson and the Law by James R. Guthrie

thermopylaeA Kiss from Thermopylae: Emily Dickinson and the Law 
James R. Guthrie
University of Iowa, 2015

Born into a family of attorneys, Dickinson absorbed law at home. She employed legal terms and concepts regularly in her writings, and her metaphors grounded in law derive much of their expressive power from a comparatively sophisticated lay knowledge of the various legal and political issues that were roiling nineteenthcentury America. Dickinson displays interest in such areas as criminal law, contracts, equity, property, estate law, and bankruptcy. She also held in high regard the role of law in resolving disputes and maintaining civic order. Toward the end of her life, Dickinson cited the Spartans’ defense at Thermopylae as an object lesson demonstrating why societies should uphold the rule of law. [. . . ]

A Kiss from Thermopylae reveals a new dimension of Dickinson’s writing and thinking, one indicating that she was thoroughly familiar with the legal community’s idiomatic language, actively engaged with contemporary political and ethical questions, and skilled at deploying a poetic register ranging from high romanticism to low humor.

New Books: Married or Single? by Catharine Maria Sedgwick, ed. and introd. Deborah Gussman

marriedMarried or Single?
Catharine Maria Sedgwick
Edited and with an introduction by Deborah Gussman
University of Nebraska Press

Married or Single?, published in 1857, was Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s final novel and a fitting climax to the career of one of antebellum America’s first and most successful woman writers. Insisting on women’s right to choose whether to marry, Married or Single? rejects the stigma of spinsterhood and offers readers a wider range of options for women in society, recognizing their need and ability to determine the course of their lives.

Sedgwick’s touching, witty, and shrewdly observant novel centers on Grace Herbert, a New York City socialite who must negotiate the marriage market and also learn to develop her own character and take control of her own destiny. The story merges a wide range of popular American literary forms—including the seduction novel, the conversion narrative, the novel of education, and social reform fiction—and provides a window on many of the cultural and political anxieties of the 1850s beyond marriage, including immigration, slavery, and urban poverty. Sedgwick’s lifelong concern with women’s duties to the nation as citizens is demonstrated through her depiction of exemplary women of various backgrounds and circumstances who illustrate the idea that becoming a worthy human being is more important than becoming a wife, especially in a democratic society.,676316.aspx

New Books: Teaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture, edited by Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins

teachingTeaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture
Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins, eds.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015.
The 18 chapters in this book outline conceptual approaches to the field and provide practical resources for teaching, ranging from ideas for individual class sessions to full syllabi and curricular frameworks. The book is divided into 5 key sections: Curricular Histories and Key Trends; Organising Curriculum through Transatlantic Lenses; Teaching Transatlantic Figures; Teaching Genres in Transatlantic Context; and Envisioning Digital Transatlanticism.

New Books: Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory by Barbara McCaskill

9780820338026Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory
Barbara McCaskill
University of Georgia Press

How William and Ellen Craft’s escape from slavery, their activism, and press accounts figured during the antislavery movement of the mid-1800s and Reconstruction.

Reviews “Barbara McCaskill’s new book should be read by everyone interested in the spectacular story of the self-emancipating Crafts—one of antebellum America’s most compelling stories of bondage and of memory. McCaskill brilliantly builds on her edition of the Crafts’ Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom with new details gleaned from meticulous research. Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery illuminates McCaskill’s exemplary archival excavations into the lives of Ellen, William, their community of renowned formerly enslaved authors and activists, the whites who obstructed their life’s journeys and those who helped clear their paths, and ultimately, the Crafts’ outstanding progeny.” —Joycelyn Moody, Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio

New Books: The Western Captive and Other Indian Stories by Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Edited by Caroline Woidat

westermThe Western Captive and Other Indian Stories, written by Elizabeth Oakes Smith
Edited by Caroline Woidat
Broadview Editions

This edition recovers Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s successful 1842 novel The Western Captive; or, The Times of Tecumseh with many of Oakes’s Smith’s other writings about Native Americans, including short stories, legends, autobiographical and biographical sketches. The Western Captive is a captivity narrative portraying the Shawnee leader as an American hero and as the white heroine’s spiritual soulmate; in contrast to the later popular legend of Tecumseh’s rejected marriage proposal to a white woman, Margaret, the “captive” of the title, returns Tecumseh’s love and embraces life apart from white society.

New Books: Performatively Speaking: Speech and Action in Antebellum American Literature by Debra J. Rosenthal

Rosenthal_COVER COMP 2.inddPerformatively Speaking: Speech and Action in Antebellum American Literature
Debra J. Rosenthal
University of Virginia Press

In Performatively Speaking, Debra Rosenthal draws on speech act theory to open up the current critical conversation about antebellum American fiction and culture and to explore what happens when writers use words not just to represent action but to constitute action itself. Examining moments of discursive action in a range of canonical and noncanonical works—T. S. Arthur’s temperance tales, Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick—she shows how words act when writers no longer hold to a difference between writing and doing.. . . Through her comparative methodology and historicist and feminist readings, Rosenthal asks readers to rethink the ways that speech and action intersect.

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