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MemberAndrew Tobolowsky

I study the Hebrew Bible, so far, primarily as someone interested in how it presents the history of ancient Israel, and how this vision may have been constructed. My work has often drawn, and I suspect often will draw, on comparisons from the study of Greek myth in order to interrogate existing models. So, for example, in my first book, the Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Herakles, I argued that the resemblance between the genealogical tradition that made Jacob the father of the twelve eponymous ancestors of Israel and Greek traditions about Hellen, the Panhellenic ancestor, and Herakles, suggests something quite different than most studies of biblical tribal discourse presume. Rather than efforts to preserve a very distant past, biblical tribal lists and descriptions may be, as they are in Greek myth, the medium through which later efforts to redescribe and redeploy that past were advanced. I have also published on the books of Samuel and Judges, and on comparisons with Ugaritic myth.

MemberJen Riley

Jeannette E. Riley currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. Professor Riley received her PhD in English in post-1945 American and British Literature and Literary Theory in 1998. Riley’s research interests focus on women’s literature, with an emphasis on contemporary women writers and feminist theory. She has published articles on Eavan Boland, Terry Tempest Williams, Adrienne Rich, and Toni Morrison. Her writings on Adrienne Rich have appeared in ‘Catch if you can your country’s moment’: Recovery and Regeneration in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich; From Motherhood to Mothering: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born; and Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She is the author of Understanding Adrienne Rich (2016), from the University of South Carolina’s Understanding Contemporary American Literature series. Riley’s work also includes publications on feminist pedagogy and online/blended teaching and learning. During her career, Riley has taught a range of courses including Post-1945 American Fiction, Contemporary Women Writers, American Poetry, Survey of American Literature since 1865, Critical Methods: Theory & Practice, and Introduction to Literature. In the field of Gender & Women’s Studies, Riley teaches Introduction to Gender & Women’s Studies, as well as courses in feminist theory (American feminist theory; Ecofeminism; 3rd Wave Feminism). Prior to joining the University of Rhode Island, Riley was a Professor of English/Women’s & Gender Studies at UMass Dartmouth (2002-2015). She also served as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences there (2012-2017). While at UMass Dartmouth, Professor Riley was recognized for her work in assessment (Assessment of Student Learning with Technology Leadership Award, May 2005); online teaching and learning (Sloan-C’s Excellence in Online Teaching Awards, 2008), and she served as the Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair (2011-2013).

DepositThe New Border

This course is a study of the literature of the U.S.-Mexico border from the 1980s to the present. We begin with Gloria Anzaldúa’s foundational texts, Borderlands / La Frontera, and her landmark feminist anthology, co-edited with Cherríe Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings by Women of Color. We then consider the legacies and afterlives of this body of work in more recent literature, from Roberto Bolaño’s obsession with femicide and the borderlands to Carmen Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft, Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World, and Valeria Luiselli’s The Lost Children Archive. We’ll also spend significant time with contemporary poets, including Daniel Borzutzky, Juan Felipe Herrera, Valerie Martínez, Wendy Trevino, and Javier Zamora. How does this literature understand the changing dynamics of what scholar John Alba Cutler calls “the new border,” a zone defined by an increasingly punitive regime of militarization, criminalization, mass detention and mass deportation? How does this literature disclose the structures of relation that underlie the mediation and spectacularization of the border? How does it respond to the ideologies of white supremacy and anti-Mexican and anti-Latino racism? More basically, what theories and methods of reading does the literature of the new border demand? Where does it direct our attention? While our main focus will be on how the literature of the new border asks us to think about the U.S.-Mexico border, we will conclude by examining how this literature has changed as the border zone has expanded into Central and South America—and beyond. With this final turn, we will extend our examination to recent work that explores the nature of the relationship between the United States and the Americas.

MemberSteven P. Millies

Steve Millies’s scholarship explores the Catholic church’s relationship to politics in a perspective that embraces history, theology, law, ethics, sociology, philosophy, and political theory.  As Pope Francis has called for a “politics which is farsighted and capable of a new, integral, and interdisciplinary approach,” Millies’s work resists seeing politics only as a conflict over individual interests. Instead, in Pope Francis’s words, politics expresses our “conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for each other and the world.” Millies studied political theory at The Catholic University of America, completing his degree with a study of religion in British statesman Edmund Burke’s political ideas.  Before coming to CTU, he was associate professor of political science at the University of South Carolina Aiken where he held the J. Strom Thurmond Endowed Chair in Political Science. Millies is a member of several learned societies, including the Association for Political Theory, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics.  As well, he participates in the International Thomas Merton Society, the Eric Voegelin Society, and he is the secretary for the Edmund Burke Society of America.  His book, Joseph Bernardin: Seeking Common Ground (Liturgical Press, 2016), won first place in the biography category for the Catholic Press Association’s 2017 Book Awards, and he has contributed to several periodicals and journals that include AmericaCommonweal, and the National Catholic Reporter, and he writes a monthly online column for U.S. Catholic magazine.  His most recent book, Good Intentions:  A History of Catholic Voters’ Road from Roe to Trump, was published by Liturgical Press in 2018.

MemberJason S. Farr

Jason S. Farr (Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2013) researches and teaches courses in British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century, disability studies, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, deaf studies, and the health humanities. His book, Novel Bodies: Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature (Bucknell UP 2019), examines how fictional representations of physical disability, deafness, and chronic illness shape the literary history of sexuality. Novel Bodies shows that Enlightenment authors employ variably embodied characters in their fiction to intervene in debates ranging from courtship to education, from feminism to medicine, and from kinship to plantation life. At the same time, these novelists, some of whom were themselves disabled, offer keen insight into the lived experiences of disability and non-normative genders and sexualities in the eighteenth century. Dr. Farr’s research has appeared in venues such as Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, and the edited collection, The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century (Bucknell UP, 2014). His public-facing writing appears in ProfessionThe Rambling, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Before arriving to the Department of English at Marquette University, Dr. Farr served as Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi in South Texas (2014-18), and prior to that, he taught in the Literature Department at the University of California, San Diego. His courses routinely challenge students to think more expansively about disability, sexuality, gender, race, and variable bodies. Attuned to ongoing conversations about accessibility, he is constantly seeking innovative ways to establish more inclusive classrooms and communities. He has been hard of hearing for more than ten years, and his atypical experience of sound and speech directly informs his research and teaching practices.