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MemberJohn E. Drabinski

John E. Drabinski is Charles Hamilton Houston 1915 Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Black Studies at Amherst College. In addition to authoring four books, most recently Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minnesota, 2019) and Levinas and the Postcolonial: Race, Nation, Other (Edinburgh, 2012), he has written over three dozen articles on Africana theory and French philosophy, and has edited books and journal issues on Frantz Fanon, Jean-Luc Godard, Emmanuel Levinas, Édouard Glissant, and the question of political reconciliation. He is currently finalizing a translation and critical introduction to Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Raphael Confiant’s Éloge de la créolité, and is completing a book-length study of the philosophical dimensions of James Baldwin’s non-fiction entitled ‘So Unimaginable a Price’: Baldwin and the Black Atlantic.

MemberAntonio Luciano Tosta

Luciano Tosta is Associate Professor of Brazilian Literature and Culture at the University of Kansas. Before joining the faculty at KU, he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his graduate studies at Brown University, Dr. Tosta taught at Harvard University, Boston University, and Rhode Island College. He received Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching, and featured on the University of Illinois’s List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent. In Brazil he taught at the Federal and State Universities of Bahia.

MemberJohn Mcaleer

I am a historian of the British Empire. My work focuses on the British encounter and engagement with the wider world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, situating the history of empire in its global and maritime contexts. I am interested in the relationships, interactions and patterns of exchange created by the British Empire, and in assessing the impact of these experiences on both British and colonial societies. Before joining the University of Southampton, I was Curator of Imperial and Maritime History at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. During my time at the museum, I worked on the development and delivery of two gallery projects, focusing on Atlantic and Indian Ocean history respectively. I continue to be interested in the role of material culture and museums in representing the history of empire.

MemberPratik Chakrabarti

My research specializations are in the history of medicine, science and global and imperial history, spanning South Asian, Caribbean and Atlantic history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. I am currently completing my next research monograph, titled Inscriptions of Nature: Geology and the Science of Antiquity. The manuscript is based on the major Leverhulme trust funded project; ‘An Antique Land; Geology, Philology and the Making of the Indian Subcontinent, 1830-1920’, of which I was the Principal Investigator. The project investigates the history of the discovery of the geological past of Indian subcontinent in its philological, anthropological and cultural dimensions and its links with the discovery of Indian antiquity. In doing so, the project highlights the unique convergence of mythology and science in India. I have published four sole-authored monographs. My first book, Western Science in Modern India: Metropolitan Methods, Colonial Practices (2004) was based on my PhD dissertation. Beginning in the eighteenth century, this book reveals a process of knowledge-transfer that involved European surgeons, missionaries and surveyors and Indian nationalist scientists. In the process, it demonstrates how modern science became the idiom of Indian nationhood and modernity. My second monograph, Materials and Medicine: Trade, Conquest and Therapeutics in the Eighteenth Century was published in 2010. Through a study of the expansion of British colonialism in the West Indies and South Asia, it explores how medicine was transformed in the eighteenth century in the context of war and commerce and acquired new medical materials as well as a distinct materialism. My third monograph, Bacteriology in British India: Laboratory Medicine and the Tropics, (2012) is based on the research for a major project; the  Wellcome Trust University Award  on ‘Laboratory Medical Research in Colonial India 1890-1950’ at the University of Kent, 2006-2011. The book provides a social and cultural history of bacteriology and vaccination in colonial India, situating it at the confluence of colonial medical practices, institutionalization and social and cultural movements. While teaching history of medicine and imperialism, I realised that although there has been prolific new research on colonial medicine in recent years there was a need for a synoptic and thorough analysis of the field. Consequently, I wrote Medicine and Empire, 1600-1960, which was published in 2014 by Palgrave MacMillan. The book provides a global history of imperial medicine focusing on British, French and Spanish empires in Africa, Asia and America from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

MemberStacey Balkan

Stacey Balkan is assistant professor of Environmental Literature and Humanities at Florida Atlantic University.  Her research focuses on postcolonial ecologies and the politics of representation in the Global South; landscape aesthetics and counter-pastoralism; Anthropocene studies; radical materialism; and environmental justice.  Stacey’s recent articles for The Global South and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment examine the legacy of uneven and combined development in Nigeria and India; and she is now at work on two book-length manuscripts–Rogues in the Postcolony: Developing Itinerancy in India and Oil Fictions: World Literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere. Critiquing development policies in colonial and postcolonial India, Rogues in the Postcolony  foregrounds the intersection(s) between landscape ideology, agricultural improvement, and historical trauma as each obtains in British-occupied Bengal, post- independence Mumbai and New Delhi, and late-capitalist Bhopal. From the transformation of commonly held land for agriculture, whether in the form of plantation regimes or contemporary agribusiness, to the emergent slum ecologies of India’s premier urban enclaves, modern improvement schemes have hinged on the removal of figures who have lately found expression in novels that replace the neoliberal fictions of the “new India” with the itinerant narratives of the postcolonial pícaro. These stories constitute what Balkan calls an “aesthetics of indigence,” which brings into sharp focus what picaresque enthusiasts have long characterized as la vida buscóna–translated loosely as the “low life” of the working-class protagonist. Stacey is also co-editing a forthcoming collection entitled Oil Fictions: World literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere–an anthology situated within the emergent field of Petrocultures. Oil Fictions presents an attempt to grapple with the pervasiveness of this often-invisible biocultural agent through the cultivation of a robust petro-aesthetic practice. Her recent work also includes essays on the Anthropocene and its relationship to Empire for Global South Studies and Public Books; and her earlier research, born of several years teaching Contemporary Latin American Literature and Anglophone World Literature at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, has been published in The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and Culture.  At BCC, she also served as the co-director of the college’s Literary Arts Series and as a fellow for the Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation.

MemberCaroline Edwards

20th and 21st Century Literature Science Fiction, Utopian Literature, Utopian Studies Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School Philosophy of Time Environmental Humanities, Petrocultures, Energy Humanities Open Access Publishing Dr Caroline Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature in the Department of English & Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is actively involved with Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Literature. Her research focuses on the utopian imagination in contemporary literature, science fiction, apocalyptic narratives, and Western Marxism. She is author of Utopia and the Contemporary British Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which examines temporal experience and utopian anticipation in contemporary texts by British writers including Hari Kunzru, Maggie Gee, David Mitchell, Ali Smith, Jim Crace, Joanna Kavenna, Grace McCleen, Jon McGregor and Claire Fuller. Her work on contemporary writers has also led to two co-edited books: China Miéville: Critical Essays, co-edited with Tony Venezia (Gylphi, 2015) and Maggie Gee: Critical Essays, co-edited with Sarah Dillon (Gylphi, 2015). Caroline is currently working on her second monograph, Arcadian Revenge: Utopia, Apocalypse and Science Fiction in the Era of Ecocatastrophe, which considers how fictions of extreme environments (such as Mars, Antarctica, the deep sea, and the centre of the Earth) have allowed writers to imagine creative responses to real and perceived disasters about climate change, from the late 19th century to the present day. Caroline has written a number of journal articles for publications such as TelosModern Fiction StudiesTextual PracticeContemporary LiteratureASAP/Journal, the New Statesman and the Times Higher Education Supplement. Her book chapter contributions on science and utopian fiction and contemporary literature include chapters for The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction, 1980-2018 (ed. Peter Boxall), The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, 2nd edition (ed. Niall Harrison, Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James), Science Fiction: A Literary History (ed. Roger Luckhurst, for the British Library Press), The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction (ed. Daniel O’Gorman and Robert Eaglestone), British Literature in Transition, 1980–2000: Accelerated Times (ed. Eileen Pollard and Berthold Schoene, Cambridge University Press, 2019) and the Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literature (ed. Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Fátima Vieira and Peter Marks). In addition to her public engagement work, Caroline has also been invited to lecture at a number of academic and public institutions, including Harvard University, the European Commission in Brussels, the LSE, King’s College London, the National Library of Sweden, the University of Durham, the Academy of the Fine Arts in Vienna, UCL, the University of Cardiff, the Royal Irish Academy, SOAS, the University of Warwick, the Literary London Society, the British Library, Queen Mary, University of London, and the Institute of English Studies. She has given media interviews for the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Times Higher Education, the Austrian national broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) and the Guardian. She is regularly involved in public speaking and has been invited to share her research in events at the Wellcome Trust, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, Hillingdon Literary Festival, the Museum of London, BBC One South East, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and the LSE Literary Festival. Caroline is known for her advocacy in open access publishing. She is Founding and Commissioning Editor of the open access journal of 21st-century literary criticism, Alluvium, and is Founder (with Prof. Martin Eve) and Editorial Director of the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) – a leading open access publishing platform for humanities journals, which is also working with numerous international partners including: Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Open Book Publishers, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Public Knowledge Project, the Wellcome Trust, the British Library, the Creative Commons, RCUK, Jisc Collections, and the Modern Languages Association. As part of her campaigning for open access and work in publishing, Caroline regularly gives invited keynote talks and lectures at open access conferences and publishing events. Caroline supervises several PhD research students working on contemporary literature and science fiction, as well as digital humanities, projects. She welcomes PhD applications on the following topics: 21st-century literature, utopian and dystopian narratives, science fiction (particularly feminist SF, ecocatastrophe narratives, the New Weird, and contemporary slipstream), apocalyptic literature and culture, literary and critical theory, Western Marxism and the philosophy of the Frankfurt School. Caroline was on grant-funded leave from teaching for 2015-2018. Between 2013 and 2015, she was Director of the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture and taught on the BA English, MA Contemporary Literature and Culture, MA Modern and Contemporary Literature and MA Cultural and Critical Studies. Caroline joined the department in September 2013, having previously worked as Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln (2011-2013), Tutor in English Literature at the University of Surrey (2010-2011) and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Nottingham (2008). She was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2016 and was a founding Secretary of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS). Contact details: Email: caroline.edwards@bbk.ac.uk Twitter: @the_blochian Website: http://www.drcarolineedwards.com/

MemberJacqueline Vayntrub

Interests Hebrew Bible; wisdom literature; instruction transmission; biblical poetry and poetics; philology; the history of biblical scholarship. I founded the Philology in Hebrew Studies program unit, which I now co-chair with David Lambert, and chair the Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology program unit at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. I am an editor of Studies in Cultural Contexts of the Bible, a new English, German, and French language monograph series with Brill. Together with David Lambert, Eva Mroczek, and Laura Quick, I run Renewed Philology, an international working group of scholars in biblical studies whose work reflects critically on the intellectual frameworks of the reader that are brought to bear in philological practice. Research My research focuses on the formation of the Hebrew Bible, its various genres and modes of discourse against the broader background of ancient Near Eastern literary production, and its reception in and impact on Western scholarship. Broadly, my work seeks to recover the values of ancient literary culture through the language of the texts and examines how these values were reshaped in their reception. On my first book: “Central to understanding the prophecy and prayer of the Hebrew Bible are the unspoken assumptions that shaped them–their genres. Modern scholars describe these works as ‘poetry,’ but there was no corresponding ancient Hebrew term or concept. Scholars also typically assume it began as “oral literature,” a concept based more in evolutionist assumptions than evidence. Is biblical poetry a purely modern fiction or is there a more fundamental reason why its definition escapes us? Beyond Orality: Biblical Poetry on its Own Terms changes the debate by showing how biblical poetry has worked as a mirror, reflecting each era’s own self-image of verbal art. Yet Vayntrub also shows that this problem is rooted in a crucial pattern within the Bible itself: the texts we recognize as “poetry” are framed as powerful and ancient verbal performances, dramatic speeches from the past. The Bible’s creators presented what we call poetry in terms of their own image of the ancient and the oral, and understanding their native theories of Hebrew verbal art gives us a new basis to rethink our own.” See the book on the Routledge page. A special offer of the book at the Yale Divinity School Bookstore can be found here. My next book is currently underway. Reframing Biblical Poetry (under contract with Yale University Press in the Anchor Bible Reference Library series), takes the central insight of my first book—that poetry’s narrative and non-narrative frames shape its meaning—to present fresh readings of well known texts. The book has three sections, where I will explore how poetry is framed by narrative, in character voices; how poetry is arranged in anthology, not in a character’s voice, but by the names and personages of legendary characters; and how some of these ideas manifest as literary features. Yet another project involves theorizing  knowledge transmission and its gendered dimensions through the lens of human mortality. For what will eventually be a book, tentatively titled Seeking Eternity: Transmission and Mortal Anxiety in Biblical Literature, I have already produced a number of essays examining the depiction of lineage and succession as strategies for transcending individual death in wisdom and narrative texts. One article forthcoming in the Pardee Festschrift, entitled “Transmission and Mortal Anxiety in the Tale of Aqhat,” shows how the Ugaritic tale of Aqhat constructs a father-daughter alternative to succession. A second forthcoming essay in a collected volume, “Ecclesiastes and The Problem of Transmission in Biblical Literature,” examines Ecclesiastes against ancient Near Eastern instruction and Platonic dialogues, recovering an ancient question about the stability of transmission: Is speech reliable when it is detached from the living speaker’s voice? A third essay, forthcoming in a volume on Ben Sira, “Wisdom in Transmission: Rethinking Ben Sira and Proverbs,” re-examines the evolutionary framework in the study of biblical wisdom literature, and presents an alternative framework, in which instruction can be read as a discourse of trans-generational survival. A fourth essay, “Like Father, Like Son: Theorizing Transmission in Biblical Literature,” forthcoming in an issue of the journal Hebrew Bible Ancient Israel, considers how literary techniques such as “command and fulfillment” manifest broader social and intellectual values and can give us hints as to what biblical authors understood by “transmission” in their depiction of the passage of objects, responsibility, instruction, and text from one generation to the next. These inquiries also intellectually situate the text editions I am currently producing with Matthew Suriano for the SBL Writings of the Ancient World Series, Hebrew and Aramaic Writings about the Dead from Judah and Judea: Eighth cent. BCE through First cent. BCE.

MemberJulian C. Chambliss

  Julian C. Chambliss is Professor of English with Joint Appointment in History at Michigan State University. In addition, he is a core participant in the MSU College of Arts & Letters’ Critical Diversity in a Digital Age initiative. His research and teaching interests focus on race, community, and identity in real and imagined urban landscape in the United States. His articles have appeared in journals such as Rhetoric Review, Boston Review, Florida Historical Quarterly, Studies in American and the Journal of Urban History. An interdisciplinary scholar he has designed museum exhibitions and curated art exhibits that explore community, identity, and power in the American South. He is co-recipient of an Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) & Research 1 University Mellon Foundation Collaborative Project grant for Digital Literacy and Collaborative Learning Workshop (2017) to develop faculty digital pedagogy and Digital Collaborative Diaspora Spaces Workshop (2014) to explore the creation of digital collaborative ventures to enhance undergraduate engagement with African Diaspora topics and texts. He is co-recipient of an ACS Mellon Foundation Faculty Renewal Grant for Project Mosaic: Zora Neale Hurston: A Multidisciplinary Exploration of African-American Culture (2010), a digital project exploring African-American experience and an ACS Faculty Advancement Grant for Urban Dreams and Urban Disruptions: Transforming Travel Study and Undergraduate Archival Research with Collaborative Interdisciplinary Digital Tools (2012). He is co-editor and contributor for Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: Superheroes and the American Experience, a collection examining the relationship between superheroes and the American Experience (2013). His forthcoming edited collection, Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domain will be published in 2018. A public intellectual he has published opinion and commentary in forums such as the Frieze Magazine, Black Perspective: The Blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio (NPR). He has been recognized for his community engagement work with a Florida Campus Compact Service-Learning Faculty Award (2011) and the Rollins College Cornell Distinguished Service Award (2014-2015). He is the 2017 recipient of the Hampton Dunn Internet Award from Florida Historical Society for “new media” utilizing computerized production and distribution techniques to expand knowledge of Florida history for Advocate Recovered, a digital history project focused on recovering the contents of the Winter Park Advocate, an African-American newspaper published in Winter Park, Florida during the 1890s.

MemberBrian W. Ogilvie

I am an intellectual and cultural historian of Europe, with special interests in the history of science, scholarship, and religion from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment. I am currently Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Chair of the History Department. I have previously served as Graduate Program Director and Associate Chair/Scheduling Officer in History, as Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and as Director of the university’s Oxford Summer Seminar. I am engaged in several research projects in cultural history and the history of science. I teach Renaissance and early modern European history, history of science, and history of religion.