PhD Candidate Wins Two Prestigious Awards

English Ph.D candidate Olivia Badoi has recently been awarded two prestigious awards: the Swann Foundation Fellowship at the Library of Congress and the Princeton University Library Research Grant. These highly competitive fellowships are awarded to scholars who make use of the two Libraries' extensive collections.

Badoi will use these research opportunities to conduct archival work for her dissertation, Picturing Modernity: Modernism and Graphic Narrative, which establishes a conversation between the woodcut novel (a book-length work of fiction composed entirely of sequential wood engravings), the contemporary graphic novel, and the modernist novel. Badoi argues that, taken together, these three genres can alter our understanding of both modernist and contemporary fiction and visual culture.  

Picturing Modernity is also a project of recuperation, as it aims to bring the all-but-forgotten genre of the woodcut novel back into the public eye. As such, during her time at the Library of Congress and the Princeton Library, Badoi will look at previously unexamined works by the American graphic artist Lynd Ward. Acclaimed by many as precursors to today's graphic novels, Ward's 'novels in woodcuts' (which he produced between 1929 and 1937) are sophisticated, entirely wordless explorations of complex themes such as labor unrest and urban alienation. Drawing on these archives, Badoi's aim is to show that woodcut novels both echo the anxieties that populate the works of established modernists such as Virginia Woolf and T.S Eliot and look forward to the contemporary genre of the graphic novel.

2017 - 2018 Reid Writer: Rigoberto González

We are thrilled to announce that Rigoberto González has been selected as next year's Reid writer. We have also chosen his memoir Autobiography of My Hungers as the Reid book. Rigoberto will be joining us at this Fall's Mullarkey Forum and will give a reading and craft class this Spring. More on the Reid events can be found here.

Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children's books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Autobiography of My Hungers and Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He also edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista's new and selected volume Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and writes a monthly column for NBC-Latino online. Currently, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, and the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).
 

Reid Book: Autobiography of My Hungers

Rigoberto González, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, takes a second piercing look at his past through a startling new lens: hunger.

The need for sustenance originating in childhood poverty, the adolescent emotional need for solace and comfort, the adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body—all are explored by González in a series of heartbreaking and poetic vignettes.

Each vignette is a defining moment of self-awareness, every moment an important step in a lifelong journey toward clarity, knowledge, and the nourishment that comes in various forms—even “the smallest biggest joys” help piece together a complex portrait of a gay man of color who at last defines himself by what he learns, not by what he yearns for.

Farewell and Congratulations to Graduating Seniors

All of us on the English Department faculty are proud to have had you as students. You’ve thrilled us with your critical and creative writing; you’ve challenged and stimulated us in class discussion; you’ve impressed us with your imaginations, your drive, your social engagement, your political activism. In the four years you’ve been here—and especially in a year that has been difficult and divisive both locally and nationally--having you in our classrooms has kept us sane and reminded us why we chose the academic profession.

So, while we congratulate you and wish you well, we also want to thank you for all of this and more. We hope you use the critical thinking skills you’ve honed as English majors, along with the knowledge you’ve developed of diverse cultures and different historical periods, to make the world a better place. 

And keep in touch with us! Whether it’s by sending us news through English Connect, or by writing your favorite English professors, we want to know what you’re doing. We are especially interested in hearing, as you move forward in life, about moments in your lives and careers when you realize how things you learned as English majors are serving you well, and are helping you to serve others well.

Enjoy this weekend…and the rest of your lives!

Sincerely,

English Department Chair Glenn Hendler

On behalf of the entire English faculty

Fordham English Students Win Awards and Prizes

Congratulations to Fordham English undergraduate and graduate students who have won the following prizes in Spring 2017. No, we don't offer any of the awards shown to the right, but we think our award-winners are pretty special, too. :

  •  ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS: Aaron Pinnix for "Autobiographic, Thanatotic, Poetic"
  • AMASSIAN PRIZE FOR ENGLISH: Gabriella Costa
  • BERNICE KILDUFF WHITE & JOHN J. WHITE CREATIVE WRITING PRIZE (FICTION): Alexandra O'Connell for "Tightrope Walkers"
  • BERNICE KILDUFF WHITE AND JOHN J. WHITE PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE STUDY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE: Rachel Sternlicht
  • CHARLES J. DONAHUE PRIZE Elizabeth Light - $250.00
  • ENGLISH ALUMNI PRIZE: Molly Shilo
  • GRADUATE ESSAY PRIZES: Matthew Lillo, Clarissa Chenovick
  • GRADUATE SYLLABUS PRIZES: Sharon Harris, Aaron Pinnix
  • MARGARET LAMB WRITING TO THE RIGHT-HAND MARGIN (FICTION): Anna Maria Voitko for "Matryoshka"
  • PETER AND KITTY QUINN SCHOLARSHIP: Elodie M. Huston
  • THE REID FAMILY PRIZE: Emily Mendez for "1996"
  • ULLY HIRSCH / ROBERT F. NETTLETON POETRY PRIZES: Heath Hampton for "bienvenidos a nueva york" and "UN SELECCION DE SUS OTROS HIJOS.” AND Danni Hu for "Stomach"

Boss Level Challenge: Monument

In 2013, the artist Thomas Hirschhorn constructed a monument dedicated to the philosopher Antonio Gramsci in the South Bronx. Unlike most monuments which are made of inert stone or metal and meant to endure, Hirschhorn’s monument was designed to be temporary, to be taken down and to interact strongly with community. Inspired by this work, students in Sarah Gambito's Writer in New York creative writing workshop designed monument projects that articulated the values/people/events that they deemed most important. Here are two representative projects.

 

Dylan Hollingsworth: Nude Lipz

To me, black voices are music.
Hip-hop
Jazz
R&B
I need those voices. In all their variations.
It's that impenetrable street banter you hear when you walk pass the dope boys
It's that loving firmness you hear after you see a mother pop her little one in public
It's the crunchy melody that plays when the middle schoolers eat their flaming hots
with cheese and ground beef
It's the hissing and sucking of teeth you hear when a tender headed little girl is
conquered by a heavy handed hair braider
...
It's the pure agony that you hear in a grandmother's cry for God to bring her baby
back
Another taken by the police
Either systemically or permanently
Gone too soon
It's that inimitable soul you hear in the voice of a black woman singing her truth
...
And she will not be silenced


Inspiration Playlist
Strange Fruit - Billy Holiday
The Corner - Common
Children's Story - Slick Rick
Seigfried - Frank Ocean
All I Got - Amel Larrieux
Neighbors - J. Cole
DNA - Kendrick Lamar
Terrorist Threats
Mad - Solange
Never Let Me Down - Kanye West ft. Jay Z & J Ivy
We Don't Care - Kanye West
Casket Pretty - Noname
Aquemini - Outkast
REVOFEV - Kid Cudi


Thus this monument honors the blossoming of black voices
Just as flowers bloom in spring.
Black lips
Big and small
Supple and wrinkled
"Masculine" and "feminine"
Loud and reserved.
To force Black visibility onto White campuses
And to remind
Black students, faculty, and staff
Who, too often, are misunderstood, misrepresented
And made to bear a heavy burden
That they belong there.

Jessica Mannino: The Curve

“The Curve” is an art installation in Central Park that aims to reinvigorate a deep, insatiable love for New York City through mediums of poetry, prose, and photography. The installation will deeply draw upon art as a catalyst for creative thought beyond the bounds of the exhibition. It will stand for a brief period of time to marry arbitrary works of poets and photographers from various time periods, contexts, neighborhoods, boroughs, and socioeconomic standings to show how the fluidity and timelessness of art can make the experience of the city relevant and accessible to anyone, at any time. Its brief presence in New York will be symbolic of just how rare and beautiful the city is to grasp. Defying time and place liberates the art to exist within several contexts at once, perhaps speaking to many at a time. The transient nature will impart a sense of urgency within the community and naturally warrant attention. The main focus of the art across all mediums is the experiences of a NY native. The location, Central park, is critical, in that in it’s open, malleable surface area provides the perfect platform. While NYC is traditionally comprised of the squares, the circles, (Herald Square, Times Square, Washington Square, Columbus Circle), the park’s refreshing “nature,” so to speak, will engage this symbolic installation in a way that no other landmark could. The images on the curve, as well as the texts, will be transposable and alter daily, a symbolic nod to the malleable, fluid, and interchangeable potential of the interaction between art and city. These changes will also instill a sense of urgency, as no experience will be the same, but each will be unique and important in it’s own way - much the same in the way we all experience the city daily. The curve, or “infinity sign,” rich with symbolism, relevance, and just the right dose of cliché, will be the perfect emblem to represent how the city is forever in motion. This monument will offer a new spectrum of meaning to those visiting NYC for the first time, or even simply seeking art in their daily, hectic city lives. While the works showcased will predominately be art of professionals, there will be an opportunity for prospective artist contributions. Providing an outlet for incentivized participation will be a great way to engage the community in a fashion that particularly resonates with our generation. While the physical monument will come to an end, it is my hope that the impact will transcend the contained exhibition and manifest in different artistic renderings throughout the city – perhaps subway art, an online page, sharable stickers, etc. All in all, it is my hope that “The Curve” will be an exhibit that gets people excited to be a New Yorker, a subliminal lesson in history and art that sparks a dialogue between the most renowned works of city life. It will be an amazing opportunity to defy context, experience culture, and experiment with art in a unique, accessible manner. 

On Power Between Women: The Handmaid’s Tale Revisited

 

We know the damage of othering. What about the ravages of Same-ing?
~ In
Catapult, Professor Stacey D'Erasmo writes on The Handmaid's Tale, now showing on Hulu.

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, was first published in 1985, when I was twenty-four years old. I read and loved it then; I reread it at least once in the next three decades and loved it; I recently reread it again, and still loved it. The book was made into a film starring Natasha Richardson in 1990, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter, and directed by Volker Schlöndorff. On April 26, Hulu will release a miniseries based on the book, starring Elisabeth Moss.

The premise of Atwood’s speculative novel is that the United States has been taken over by a fundamentalist Christian theocracy and is now known as The Republic of Gilead. Women, people of color, and non-Christians have lost all their rights; many have been exiled or killed. There have been various environmental disasters, uncontrollable diseases, and a war is ongoing. Infertility is rampant. In this system, if you are a surviving woman, you can be a Wife (a woman married to one of the men in power); a Martha (an older servant-woman); an Econowife (a woman married to a lower-class man); an Aunt (an enforcer and trainer of the Handmaids); and, what the heroine is, a Handmaid (a fertile woman whose job it is to bear children for the Commanders and their Wives). You can also be a Jezebel, i.e., a prostitute; or an Unwoman, and be sent to the Colonies to clean up toxic waste until your skin falls off. This is, moreover, a world of strict gender binaries. Queer people of any kind are known as Gender Traitors and hanged....