MemberWeihsin Gui

I am Associate Professor of English at the University of California-Riverside, where I am a member of the Southeast Asian Studies program, SEATRiP (Southeast Asia Theater, Ritual, and Performance). I research and teach global anglophone literatures (South Asia and Southeast Asia) from a postcolonial perspective and also work on contemporary British literature. I am the current contributor for Southeast Asia in the “New Literatures” section of the Year’s Work in English Studies. If you would like a copy of any of my journal articles or book chapters, please do not hesitate to contact me by email (

Topic#HCSummerRefresh: Profiles

Welcome to the first round of the Humanities Commons Summer Refresh Workshop, which will run from today, July 8th to Friday, July 12th. Each day, we will focus on a different component of your online professional presence and encourage each other to make any necessary updates. By participating in this workshop, you will give yourself a week […]

DepositConsumption and Choice in Ancient Sicily

Research has been carried out since 2002 on domestic material of the 5th century BC from the site of Morgantina, located in the hills of east-central Sicily. Two settlements have been uncovered at Morgantina: one on the Cittadella hill, reportedly destroyed in 459 BC (according to Diodorus), and the other on the adjoining Serra Orlando ridge, founded by at least 430 BC. Since the site features two well-dated and discrete sets of artefacts, it presents an excellent opportunity to track the behaviour of ancient populations over time. Among the results of this research is the discovery that choices made by consumers at Morgantina from the array of available imported pottery, particularly the black gloss ware made at Athens, varied widely between the first and second halves of the century. While consumers have often been ignored by archaeologists and historians in favour of concentrating on groups that are easier to identify, such as manufacturers and merchants, consumption of imported products has been explored in anthropological terms by Michael Dietler, among others, and in economic terms – albeit to a lesser extent – by Lin Foxhall. Their approaches have focused on the meanings of objects in foreign cultures, leaving aside the decision-making process that leads to the purchase or rejection of a consumer good. This paper seeks to develop an interpretative model of consumption in the ancient world derived not only from the work of the above-mentioned scholars, but also from buying habits and the notion of consumer choice. By examining the ability of consumers to choose, and the choices they made, a better understanding of the role of imports within Mediterranean societies can be formed.

DepositDrowning Winter, Burning Bones, Singing Songs: Representations of Popular Devotion in a Central European Motet Cycle

In 1587 the Flemish composer Carolus Luython, employed by Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, published an unusual motet collection in Prague. Titled Popularis anni jubilus, the collection describes the sounds and rituals beloved by Central European peasants, recasting them as the ecstatic songs of rustic laborers (jubilus) famously celebrated by Saint Augustine in his Psalm commentaries. Highlighting the composer’s collaboration with the Czech cleric who wrote the motet texts, this study serves as a corrective to the interpretative frameworks that have broadly shaped discourses on Central European musical and religious practices in the early modern period. To make sense of the print’s raucous parade of drunken revelers, mythological figures, honking geese, and the Christ child, this analysis sets aside the hermetic lens typically used to account for the cultural products of the Rudolfine court and turns instead to contemporary theological tracts and writings by Augustine and Ovid that were foundational to the literary worlds of Renaissance humanists. Doing so brings into focus an ordered sequence of motets that offers some of the earliest and most vivid documentation in Central Europe of lay practices associated with the major feasts of the church year, from the bonfires on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist to the drowning of winter on Laetare Sunday. At the same time, this study shows the extent to which such ‘‘folk’’ traditions, parsed along national lines since the nineteenth century, had in fact long occupied common ground in the diverse territories of Habsburg Central Europe.

DepositThinking in Stats: A Study of Sports Writing

In the world of writing, many aspects of it are studied through different lenses. These lenses create various aspects for the readers to understand and think further about the topic of writing. However, the one that is hardly looked at is the realm of sports journalism. Sports journalists, writers, correspondents all play a role in writing the Friday night football game using their own techniques to record the stats (pen and pencil primarily), sending out updates via social media (Twitter), and implementing those statistics into the story printed in the morning paper or sent out to the companies’ various social media accounts. Technology has certainly played a role in expanding the mediums that a sports story can be accessed aside from the print edition of the newspaper. These avenues are great for reaching a more diverse age group than those who read the morning newspaper, but these avenues come at the expense of the shrinking attention spans and public commentary. Yet with technology rapidly changing and adapting to meet the current trends, so too does the writing. This change should open up the possibility on writing studies to meet this transference from pen and paper to a key board and blank word document. The culmination of all of these factors leads to the point that sports writing and other genres of writing should have its own curriculum among the likes of Biology, Business, or Nursing. This study opens the audience to the prospect that there is more to writing of any kind than what people think.

MemberSusan Hollis Merritt

I earned my BA with Honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and my MA and PhD in English from Indiana University Bloomington.  My PhD dissertation, “Fantasy behind Play: A Study of Emotional Responses to Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, The Caretaker and The Homecoming,” initiated my work in reader-response oriented theory, criticism, and pedagogy and developed into my broader scholarly and pedagogical interests in theory and criticism. For several decades I have taught courses in English and theater at universities and colleges in the United States and engaged in scholarly pursuits here and abroad. My research on the criticism of Harold Pinter’s work advanced significantly when I participated as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in the NEH Summer Seminar New Directions in Literary Study, directed by Professor Ralph Cohen, at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. Supported by an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, I began my work on my book Pinter in Play: Critical Strategies and the Plays of Harold Pinter (1990; Duke UP, 1995). Following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Harold Pinter’s support for Václav Havel, and subsequent political developments in the Czech Republic (discussed in chapter 8 on “Cultural Politics” and updated in my preface to the paperback edition of Pinter in Play), I studied Czech as a visiting scholar in the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University and traveled to Prague multiple times to do research on Czech productions of contemporary plays by Pinter and other playwrights writing in English. During the spring of 1997, I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar, hosted by the Czech Theatre Institute, and a research associate at Charles University, in Prague.  I also made many trips to London, to do research in the Harold Pinter Archive at the British Library and to attend theatrical productions and related events pertaining to Pinter and other playwrights. My teaching and research, including my regular participation in MLA Annual Conventions, led to my becoming a charter member of the Society for Critical Exchange (founded in 1975) and a founding Life Member of the Harold Pinter Society (founded in 1986; now called the International Harold Pinter Society), both Allied Organizations of the MLA. As founding Bibliographical Editor of The Pinter Review, I compiled the “Harold Pinter Bibliography” from 1987 through 2011, when it was published in conjunction with the Pinter Society by the University of Tampa and the University of Tampa Press. Having participated in MLA workshops on Digital Humanities (see my profile on DH Commons, linked below in “Projects”), I am exploring the feasibility of developing a searchable digital database for my “Harold Pinter Bibliography” compiled for The Pinter Review. A selected list of my publications (including 14 installments of the bibliography) appears below and in the CV section of my (archived) website, which I hope to update and re-locate to a new hosting service in the future. My academic interests include: Dramatic literature, criticism, and theory; Global politics and the cultural impact of contemporary drama and media; Human rights issues pertaining to cultural studies; Digital pedagogy and scholarship; Archival studies; and Critical bibliography.

MemberLauren Curilla

Lauren M. Churilla practices public history at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania as Curator/Director of the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery, a position she has held since 2010. She teaches several courses in Public History and has lectured within the College’s Department of History since 2013. Her research interests focus on American women’s history, the Progressive Era,  and gender and sexuality. Ms. Churilla’s publications focus on issues of social movements, women in politics, local history, and material culture. Her current research explores street harassment  and self defense in Progressive Era Pittsburgh.