Keri Walsh

On Bloomsday, Some Thoughts from Keri Walsh on Translating Ulysses

James Joyce's Ulysses is set on one day: June 16, 1904. In honor of its main character, Leopold Bloom, the date is celebrated around the world as Bloomsday. Fordham English Professor Keri Walsh--editor of the Broadview Press edition of Joyce's Dubliners as well as of The Letters of Sylvia Beach--today published a piece on the Literary Hub site titled "The Horrors and Pleasures of Translating Ulysses: Finding the Polylingual Pleasures of Joyce's Prose in French Translation."  Professor Walsh's piece begins:

Bloomsday—June 16th, 1904—is the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses is set. Among the usual annual commemorations of the date in Dublin, New York, Trieste, Sydney, and beyond, Bloomsday will also be celebrated in Paris, the city where the book first appeared. The American Library in Paris, an institution that was founded two years before Ulysses was published in 1922, will play host to the 2016 festivities.
French speakers have been able to read modernism’s magnum opus in their native tongue since its first translation in 1929. The French Ulysses, called Ulysse, was produced by a team… [read more]

FCRH Senior to Begin Ph.D. at University of Chicago


This fall, English major Katherine Nolan will begin doctoral study at the University of Chicago, which has offered her a highly competitive, five-year fellowship to study eighteenth-century literature.

Nolan (FCRH 2015) researches the advent of the novel, a form that, in its earliest stages, she says reads like “the wild west of literature.”  While she finds that some of her peers “associate the 18th century with Jane Austen and this sort of prim style of writing,” her scholarship asserts that “eighteenth-century novels can be more violent and racy” than is often assumed.  For example, Nolan’s senior thesis, titled “The Grammar of Desire: Eliza Haywood and the Sex Plot,” analyzes the erotic charges throughout the writings of the eighteenth-century author and actress.

Nolan attributes her interest in eighteenth-century literature to Professor Susan Greenfield, whose "Early Women Novelists" course exposed her to various eighteenth-century female authors.  She also mentions among her most influential courses an illuminating course with Professor Corey McEleney: “I foolishly did not think I could learn anything new about Shakespeare, and he absolutely proved me wrong.

The mentorship of Fordham’s English department crucially shaped Nolan’s undergraduate career.  Nolan praises the generous and insightful advising of Professors Keri Walsh and John Bugg, who she says “have been two of the most wonderful advisors and teachers a person could ask for; I am absolutely indebted to them for their help and support with the graduate school process.”

As Nolan embarks on a new future, she will bring with her skills learned from her academic as well as professional experiences, which include an internship at Columbia University Press, a managing editor position at the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal, and four years as a writer—and two years as a copy chief—for The Fordham Ram.  Nolan will especially miss “the late Tuesday nights down in the newspaper office” and implores other English majors to consider contributing to The Ram: “I got to work with some of the greatest, most talented people. The Ram is such a great organization for English majors, especially . . .  I know I have learned so much and have become a better writer as a result.”

Story written by Kevin Stevens

Scholars Gather to Rethink Realist Acting

Tony-winning director Kenny Leon joined theater and film scholars from Fordham and around the world to discuss the prospect of “Rethinking Realist Acting” as part of a highly successful symposium in mid-September. The event was organized and hosted by Shonni Enelow and Keri Walsh, both assistant professors in the English Department at Fordham University, in partnership with Mary Luckhurst of the University of Melbourne in Australia, and administered by Callie Gallo, a doctoral student in the Fordham English department. The event, held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus from September 18-20, was very well-attended both by members of the Fordham community (faculty, administrators, graduate students, and a large number of undergraduates) and by members of the scholarly and creative communities of New York.

One of the paradigms for “rethinking” included the temporal boundaries of the subject, which is typically dated to the late nineteenth century (and the plays of Henrik Ibsen).  Speakers at the event helped re-frame the topic as something worth pursuing further back into the 19th and even the 18th centuries.  Fordham’s Stuart Sherman explored the use of prologues and epilogues on the eighteenth century stage to complicate our understanding of the topicality of these plays, and the ways they played with the boundaries between the real and the imagined (for instance in tragic death scenes followed by lively parting epilogues).  In “Partitur: Scoring the Role,” Yale’s Joseph Roach discussed the 18th Century practice of “scoring the role,” developing the term partitur to describe these proto-subtextual scores, which he described as the beginning of realist acting.  Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor of Humanities at Columbia University, used the career of Sarah Bernhardt to suggest that the appearance of realism emerges more from a break with the conventions of the preceding generations’ acting styles than it does with anything actually more essentially “natural” in the particular performances.  Sharon Marie Carnicke’s talk, “Acting Realism at the Moscow Art Theatre,” made a similarly relativizing claim, showing how in Chekhov’s The Seagull, scenes we recognize as bearing the hallmarks of “realism” emerge from the contrast with scenes performed in older theatrical styles, so that their realism emerges in dialectic with earlier melodramatic and declamatory styles.

In addition to reaching back further in history for the roots of realism, scholars at the conference also questioned common assumptions about the class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality of “realism” as a genre. Rosemary Malague’s paper, “Realism and the Feminist Actress” presented the career of Stella Adler (teacher of Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and many others) in the context of the pressures on mid-century women’s lives that would be diagnosed by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique, urging us to view Adler’s transformation from actor to teacher at mid-century in the social context of nascent feminism. 

The conference featured several contributions from practitioners and original research on the process of acting. Mary Luckhurst of the University of Melbourne drew on interviews with actors including Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep to understand the process of playing “real people” (that is, historical figures like Margaret Thatcher).  Kenny Leon, Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham for 2014-15 and director of the Tony Award-winning production of A Raisin in the Sun, performed a monologue from Fugard, Kani and Ntshona’s Sizwe Banzi is Dead and then discussed the exercises he uses in the acting classroom to help students understand the distinction between “realism” and “real life.”

Jacob Gallagher-Ross explored the relationship between acting and technology—especially audio recording technology—in Lee Strasberg’s work at the Actors Studio, demonstrating the centrality of audio recording to Strasberg’s ideas about realism and authenticitiy. To conclude the day’s talks, Cynthia Baron reflected on what constitutes realism on the screen, and studied some of the diverse realist styles to be found in American independent cinema since the 1970s.

Taken all together, the talks powerfully demonstrated what is to be gained from returning to realism to estrange or unsettle critical commonplaces about it.  The project of rethinking realism in acting benefits from new thinking about realism in literature and also recent work in feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, cultural studies, and interdisciplinary modernism.

Two related Film Studies events took place in the days leading up to the conference. September 19 featured a panel on the burgeoning field of “star studies” and the work of the British Film Institute’s (BFI) “Film Stars” series.  Students and faculty from various departments gathered to hear Fordham’s own Jacqueline Reich (Chair of Communication and Media Studies) as well as Martin Shingler of the University of Sunderland (UK) and series authors Cynthia Baron (Associate Professor of Theater and Film, Bowling Green) and Keri Walsh (Fordham), who spoke of their contributions and shared the various joys and difficulties of writing and publishing their scholarship. Martin Shingler opened the panel with a discussion of his role as the co-editor of the BFI’s film stars series.  He explained his goals to spotlight less frequently studied actors (from non-Western celebrities to animated characters like Donald Duck) and to rediscover many actors who have been largely forgotten over time.

Cynthia Baron, Keri Walsh, and Jacqueline Reich then each highlighted their work on one specific actor, beginning with Baron, who explored the difficulties of reconciling divergent opinions on Denzel Washington.  Walsh then described her Mickey Rourke “obsession” and the groundbreaking scholarship of Richard Dyer, which influenced Walsh not only by focusing on celebrity in a scholarly forum but also by writing in the “confessional” tone of a fan, with which Walsh immediately identified.  Lastly, describing her work on the prolific Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, Reich recounted the deceptively difficult task of writing about a celebrity as well as the insights Mastroianni’s work provides into notions of masculinity in early-twentieth-century Italy. Following these talks was an engaging question and answer period, which included questions about the changing legacies of deceased celebrities and the extension of star studies to include “low-culture” celebrities like Kim Kardashian. 

On Thursday, September 18 Martin Shingler delivered a lecture in Walsh Library entitled “The Acting Prince: John Barrymore at Warner Bros., 1924-1931” in which he explored the continuities between Classicism, Neo-romanticism and Realism, acting styles which Barrymore employed not in succession (ie. leaving one behind to embrace another) but rather, in perpetual rotation as the various roles he took demanded. Following Shingler’s talk, graduate students and faculty (Eve Keller, Corey McEleney) joined together for a discussion of Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet, a 1991 comedy about an actor visited by the ghost of John Barrymore while preparing to play the role of Hamlet in Central Park, and a work its author described as a “tribute to actors.” 


Sharon Marie Carnicke, Shonni Enelow, Cynthia Baron, Mary Luckhurst, and  Rose Malague

Sharon Marie Carnicke, Shonni Enelow, Cynthia Baron, Mary Luckhurst, and  Rose Malague

Sponsorship for all events came from Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, the English Department, Theatre Department, the Programs in Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies, and the University of Melbourne.

Mullarkey Forum Highlights English Faculty Research


Following is a snapshot of the 2013 Mullarkey Forum that featured six talks on a wide range of subjects. 

The event began with a generous introduction by the holder of the Thomas F. X. and Theresa Mullarkey Chair in Literature, Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, who was applauded for her efforts in organizing this event each year. Wogan-Browne argued eloquently that true innovation takes place in humanities research--not just in science--and the Forum proved her point.  

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

Edward Cahill

Edward Cahill

The first of the afternoon's two panels was introduced and chaired by Frank Boyle, and began with Edward Cahill's talk "Colonial Rising: Narratives of Upward Mobility in British America." Cahill's exhaustive research on these narratives is showing that much of what we think we understand about upward mobility is historically wrong: for instance, that what we call "the American dream" really originated in Britain. 



Daniel Contreras

Daniel Contreras


Next up was  Daniel Contreras, who spoke about his project “Falling in Love with Love: Latino Literary Studies and the History of Love.” Contreras argued for the cultural specificity of even the most basic forms of emotion, such as love, and drew on Sandra Cisneros's novel Caramelo to illustrate his point.  



Sarah Gamibto

Sarah Gamibto

Sarah Gambito's “Second Born:  Writing Race and Belonging" concluded the first panel.  Gambito, poet and Creative Writing Director, linked her poetry with her work on the nonprofit group Kundiman, and shared the video recently created for the organization as well as a video of one of its recent projects. 



The second panel, chaired by Eve Keller, opened with Susan Greenfield speaking about her op-ed writing on the Huffington Post. Her talk was titled “Vlog and Blog: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Public Exposure." Next came two faculty members who are working on the history and theory of Method Acting, and are planning a major conference on the topic for Fall 2014 at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus. First Shonni Enelow gave a talk titled “Identifying the Method,” which touched on several examples of how Method Acting has figured in popular culture, including at the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner. Then Keri Walsh's talk, “Acting Like a Hustler: The Films of Paul Newman," centered on a reading of a scene from the 1961 film 

The Hustler, featuring Paul Newman and Piper Laurie. 

From left to right, Keri Walsh, Shonni Enelow and Susan Greenfield

From left to right, Keri Walsh, Shonni Enelow and Susan Greenfield

Each panel resulted in lively discussion with the audience and everyone enjoyed the festive reception in between. Audience members and participants alike agreed that--as with the previous two Mullarkey events--the forum highlighted the strength, depth, and breadth of faculty research in Fordham University's English Department. 

English Class Goes Broadway for Richard III


Keri Walsh and her ENGL 2000 - Texts and Contexts:
The Art of Tragedy students attended the Globe Theatre's production of Richard III on October 30th.

They will be writing reviews of the production and engaging with topics such as the depiction of Richard's disability, the recent discovery of the remains of Richard III in a parking lot in Britain, and the practice of cross-gender casting.