Faculty News and Updates
Congratulations to RYAN DOHONEY, who was named an Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Faculty Fellow in 2022-23! This competitive residency allows recipients to develop their research and teaching within the Kaplan Institute's interdisciplinary community. Read more about Ryan's project: Dissonant Coalitions: Julius Eastman’s New York City, 1968–1990.
Ryan Dohoney, Associate Professor of Musicology in the Bienen School of Music, and
Jeong Eun Annabel We, Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Culture in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
Below are core and affiliated faculty updates. A full list of Comparative Literary Studies Program faculty can be found here.
LINDA AUSTERN published two articles in 2021-22: “Anne Boleyn, Musician: A Romance Across Centuries and Media,” in Authorizing Early Modern Women: From Biography to Biofiction, ed. James Fitzmaurice, Naomi MIller, and Sara Jayne Steen (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2021): 140-154; and “'Sing Willow, &c.': Willow Songs, Cultural Memory, and the Establishment of an 'Authentic' Shakespeare Music Canon,” in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Music, ed. Christopher R. Wilson and Mervyn Cooke (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2022): 75-119. In terms of conferences and lectures, she gave a presentation on "Early Modern English Earworms" at the Shakespeare Association of America conference, and an invited lecture on "Music for Health and Healing in Early Modern England" for the University of Oklahoma's Humanity and Health Webinar.
In 2021-2022, LAURA BRUECK inaugurated the Race, Caste, and Colorism Project (RCCP) with Professor Ivy Wilson (English, CLS), supported by the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. RCCP brought a series of speakers throughout the year, sparked a new co-taught graduate course, and supported the creation of a new book series on Race, Caste, and Colorism at Navayana Publishers in India. Laura also published a book in 2022, Literary Sentiments in the Vernacular: Gender and Genre in Modern South Asia, co-edited with colleagues from India, Germany, and Canada, with Routledge. She also created a new course for the 1st year graduate theory sequence in CLS centered around the theory and practice of literary translation.
In the first half of 2022, CHRISTOPHER BUSH presented papers at the Modern Language Association, the conference “1922/2022—Total Modernism” in Torino, Italy, and the congress of the International Comparative Literature Association. In the fall, he will present at the European Avant-grade and Modernist Studies conference in Lisbon, and the symposium “Fugitive Proust” at New York University. He has articles forthcoming in Esprit créateur (on Proust) and the T. S. Eliot Studies Annual in fall 2022, and is currently working on a book project on the modernist haiku, supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
COREY BYRNES spent 2021-2022 in residence as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, where he continued work on his current book project, “Cultures of Threat,” which examines how discourses of environmental threat and anxiety operate between the United States and China and across the Pacific. He has most recently lectured on threat culture at Harvard, The Ohio State University, and Sydney University, and has published on the topic in Social Text and Verge: Studies in Global Asias. In 2022, he published “A Cheaper Machine for the Work,” in Proletarian China: A Century of Chinese Labour (Verso, 2022) and completed a draft of “Imagined Islands and the Potential Nation,” which has been solicited for inclusion in a special issue of Positions: Asia Critique in 2023. In July of 2022, Corey was awarded a Bogliasco Fellowship, which will allow him to spend one month in residence at the Bogliasco Foundation in Bogliasco, Italy in the spring of 2023. Corey returns to Northwestern this fall, when he will resume co-organizing the Kaplan Institute’s Environmental Humanities Workshop and take on the new role of Director of Graduate Studies for Comparative Literary Studies.
PENELOPE DEUTSCHER continued her role as PI, completing a large Mellon grant on critical theory in the global south. Workshops she organized focused on critical theory, decolonial and African philosophy. Her articles appeared in the Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Enrahonar, and in an anthology of the work of the French philosopher Sarah Kofman. She read papers at the University of New Mexico and SPEP (Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy). She is currently engaged in continuing research in the area of biopolitics and reproductive rights.
RYAN DOHONEY’s new book, Morton Feldman: Friendship and Mourning in the New York Avant-Garde, came out in February, 2022. He gave a virtual workshop on on “Friendship, Experimentation, & Collaboration” at Ruhr Universität-Bochum in March. A special issue of Tempo he guest-edited in honor of Joan La Barbara’s 75th birthday appeared in July. He organized the symposium “Everything was Designed to Make Us Sound: Hannah Arendt and Aesthetic Judgement” in May, which brought together scholars to discuss the relationship between art and politics through Arendt’s philosophy. He will be a fellow in the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities in the 2022-23 academic year.
HARRIS FEINSOD wrapped up his term as Director of Graduate Studies in CLS and is happy to now pass the baton to Corey Byrnes. He has a forthcoming essay on the poet and musician David Berman for Post45, and his article “Canal Zone Modernism” will be republished in the volume Central American Literature as World Literature. He recently gave invited lectures on maritime modernity at Stony Brook University, and on poetry and the theme of the commons at Rutgers University and University of Virginia. In winter 2022, he co-taught a hybrid course on Anticolonial Thought with Peter Kalliney (University of Kentucky) and Leah Feldman (University of Chicago), in preparation for a large-scale anthology project which they will co-edit on this topic. Along with Viola Bao (CLS), Anna Zalokostas (English) and Kalyan Nadiminti (English), he also initiated a new research group, the Workshop in Transnational Cultural History.
In 2021, a volume that PETER FENVES had been working on—on and off—for almost twenty years finally made its way into print: Walter Benjamin, Toward the Critique of Violence: A Critical Edition, ed. Peter Fenves and Julia Ng (CLS '12), trans. Lisa Marie Anderson, Peter Fenves, Austin Harrington, Markus Hardtmann, Dana Hollander, Julia Ng, Bruce Rosenstock, and Alberto Toscano (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2021). The volume contains a new translation of Benjamin’s 1921 essay ”Zur Kritik der Gewalt” as well as two sets of associated writings—twenty-some fragments Benjamin wrote in conjunction with the theme of violence or force and translations of all the contemporaneous works cited in the essay, only one of which had been previously translated. Fenves participated in three colloquia in conjunction with the publication of the volume: the first was held via the internet and hosted by Universidad Diego Portales (Santiago) and Pontificia Universidad Católica (Valporaíso), the second was also held via the internet and hosted by Simon Fraser University (Vancouver); and the third was held in-person in Evanston and sponsored by our German department and Program in Critical Theory. A segment of Fenves’ introduction to this volume was translated into German by Professor Jonas Rosenbrück (CLS '20) and published in Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie. Stanford University Press will publish a second volume of Benjamin’s writings co-edited and -translated by Fenves in 2023; this volume will gather together for the first time in any language all (or, more exactly, almost all) of Benjamin’s writings on Goethe. 2021 saw the publication of several other of Fenves’ writings, including a contribution to a Festschrift for Rochelle Tobias; the forward to Anthony Adler’s wonderful book on Hölderlin (which derives from a dissertation he completed in our German department); four entries in the recent Cambridge Kant Lexicon, stretching from Kant’s writings in the 1750s to those in the 1790s; and an essay in Routledge’s Thinking: A Philosophical History that represents a condensed version of the introduction to a forthcoming book, which is concerned with Benjamin’s idea of epistemic diversity. He also participated in sundry other internet-mediated colloquia, including most recently a discussion of Werner Hamacher’s contributions to the study of Walter Benjamin, which was hosted by Universidad Andrés Bello (Santiago).
During 2021-22, REGINALD GIBBONS completed a revision of his1995 novel Sweetbitter (which was first published in 1995 and won that year’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and another prize), and in early 2023 a new paperback edition will be published by JackLeg Press. He has been working with Ilya Kutik (Slavic Languages & Literatures) for a number of years on translating poems by Boris Pasternak (Selected Poems), Marina Tsvetaeva (A Portrait in Poems: Marina Tsvetaeva), and a volume of Ilya’s own work, Selected Poems: The Wasp of Time). All three volumes were submitted to publishers in 2021. And they have another collection in progress—an anthology of contemporary Russian poets in from what is called in Russia the Metarealist movement (of which Kutik was one of the leaders). In fall 2021, Reginald was given the Fuller Award--for lifetime achievement as a writer, editor and participant in literary culture--by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (see: https://chicagoliteraryhof.org/fuller/recipient/reginald-gibbons). He is currently working on translations of Hellenistic poems among other projects.
ALEJANDRA USLENGHI was granted the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Fellowship for 2020-2021 academic year to work on her second book project provisionally titled Modernism's Blind Spots: Exiled Women Photographers in Latin America, 1930s-1950s. This past year she was the recipient of the Provost Grant for Research in Humanities and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program's faculty subvention award for her forthcoming translation of Frederick Douglass' writings on early photography into Spanish. Her co-edited volume of essays on modern Argentine photography, La cámara como método: La fotografía moderna de Grete Stern y Horacio Coppola, came out in winter 2021 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and her contribution to The Routledge Companion to 20th and 21st Century Latin American Literary and Cultural Forms is coming out this summer. This past fall she taught a new undergraduate course, "Under Representation: Is There a Mirror for Me?" on racial and gender non-conforming photographic portraiture cross-listed by Kaplan Institute and in conjunction with Block Museum's exhibition. Who says, Who shows, What Counts: Thinking about History with the Block's Collection, contributing also to its catalog. She has recently been invited to present her current research on Latin American photography at The Daguerreian Society (2021), Museo de Arte Latinoamericano MALBA, Buenos Aires (2022), Princeton University PLAS program, and Harvard's DRCLAS Arts & Humanities Workshop Series (2022). In the coming year, Prof. Uslenghi will be director of Global Avant Garde and Modernisms graduate cluster program.
In Fall ’21, ANNABEL WE gave an invited talk on Korean-Latinx theories of knowing at the Asia, Africa, Latin America Literature Forum and the Institute for Global World Literature. In Winter, she completed a book chapter on decolonial thought and speculative fiction, and her translation of the book chapter “The Decolonial Turn” by Nelson Maldonado-Torres was published in the Korean anthology Orbis Tertius: Listening to Latin American Thinkers (Greenbee Press, 2021). In Spring ’22, she taught two new courses in CLS on disaster narratives and gender, sexuality, and disability in South Korea, presented her work in progress at AAS and ACLA annual meetings, and joined CLS as a core faculty member.
In 2021, SAM WEBER published “Singularity: Politics and Poetics,” at the University of Minnesota Press. And in September of 2022 another book, “Preexisting Conditions: Recounting the Plague” will be published by Zone Books. This book derives from two courses on the topic of plague narratives given at Northwestern in 2020-21. A French collection of essays, “Le Saut” (“The Leap”), will appear in 2022 in the collection of the International College of Philosophy. In the past two years he has lectured via zoom at the University of Dundee (Scotland), Brown University, Dartmouth College and has been a keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Conference organized by “Derrida Today” (June 2022).
After spending most of the year on leave, JENNIFER WEINTRITT had a triumphant return to the in-person(!) classroom with Latin 310, "The Young Achilles," in the spring quarter. She also conducted an independent study with Ethan Lipka, a classics-intrigued Political Science senior, on how the study of slavery in the ancient Mediterranean has changed over the last century. On the research front, she brought a new theoretical angle, seriality, to her book project in a chapter for a conference volume (And the Will of Zeus was Fulfilled: Prophecy and Seriality in the Epic Cycle and the Aeneid) and two conference papers. She’ll spend the summer putting these new ideas into her book manuscript with the help of her research assistants, Audrey Henry and Emmeline Murphy. Finally, she closed out the spring with the good news that the American Journal of Philology has accepted her article on the Epic Cycle’s reception in scholia.
ERICA WEITZMAN’s second book, At the Limit of the Obscene: German Realism and the Disgrace of Matter, came out in February 2021 with Northwestern University Press. This past academic year, she led a workshop on her book at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, and presented a paper on “Bluster, or Language Extra Cathedram” at the German Studies Association conference. She has been working on various articles about realism, ugliness, materiality, melodrama, blushing, and cars (!) for German- and English-language publications, and continues to serve as Director of Graduate Studies for the German department.
In 2021-22, TRISTRAM WOLFF co-taught an environmental humanities course to a wonderful group of Northwestern first-years through the Kaplan Humanities Scholars Program, with Professor Leslie Harris (History), called "Oil and Water in the Gulf of Mexico." In December 2021, "Romantic Poetry and Public Feeling," a special issue he co-edited with Lily Gurton-Wachter (Smith College), appeared in the online journal Romantic Circles Praxis Theory, and has already received an appreciative review in the 2022 issue of The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. In Spring 2022 his forthcoming book Against the Uprooted Word: Giving Language Time in Transatlantic Romanticism (Stanford University Press, October 2022) won the American Comparative Literature Association's Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Award. He looks forward to resuming his role as Director of Undergraduate Studies for CLS in Fall 2022.