Mullarkey-Reid Website Goes Live

The 2017 Mullarkey-Reid Departmental Forum on 'Linguistic Diversity in English' aroused much interest and included informative presentations concerning questions of what English teachers need to know about the following:

  • English and their students' multilingualisms

  • The sometimes very high stakes involved in linguistic difference

  • Linguistic justice

  • The relations and status of English and Hispanic

  • What classroom strategies we should have for language issues 

The presenters have contributed their papers to a new website in order to make a more permanent resource for the Department. The website is complementary to the  Reid teaching sites maintained by Sarah Gambito, who led the excellent collective discussion of the 2017 Reid book, Rigoberto Gonzalez's Autobiography of My Hungers (Wisconsin University Press, 2013), in the second session of the forum (see under the Faculty tab on English Connect for the Teaching Reid Books site).

You can access the Forum website from the English Department's front page at  Mullarkey-Reid 

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English Faculty, Students Engage at 2014 Mullarkey Forum

Fordham’s fifth annual Mullarkey Forum took place on Wednesday, November 19, 2014.  The talks by Fordham English faculty, which were organized around the theme of “Multimedia Texts and Performances,” spanned a wide range of topics and time periods, from plays to lectures to autobiographies, and from the medieval era to the present day.

Mullarkey Chair Jocelyn Wogan-Browne  on screen from across the pond. 

Mullarkey Chair Jocelyn Wogan-Browne on screen from across the pond. 

The event began with an introduction from English department chair Glenn Hendler.  Hendler lauded the forum as an opportunity for the faculty to share their research and ideas with their students and colleagues.  He also introduced the Thomas F. X. and Theresa Mullarkey Chair in Literature, Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, who organizes the event each year.  Although Wogan-Brown was out of the country and unable to attend this year’s Forum in person, she joined us via Skype, hovering over the proceedings on a small laptop screen like a benevolent ghost.  

The first of the afternoon’s two panels was chaired by Lenny Cassuto.  It began with Stuart Sherman’s talk “Do, Do, Do What You’ve Done, Done, Done Before: Theatrical Repetition and the Live Documentary.”  Sherman’s lecture took us to eighteenth-century Drury Lane, where competing playhouses put on elaborate re-imaginings of that year’s disastrous Shakespeare Jubilee.  These “live documentaries” enacted a “resurrection of the ‘real’” that had never actually taken place, and provided their audience with new iterations of this event every night.

Next Lea Puljcan Juric, who joins us from Croatia by way of NYU, presented her work on “An Illyrian Twelfth Night.”  Juric used extensive archival research to answer the question, “What does it mean to produce a real Illyrian play of Twelfth Night?”  By reading descriptions of Illyria—the actual place in the northwest Balkans—that were written by contemporaries of Shakespeare, Juric aimed to add more nuance to contemporary criticism of the play’s setting and to reveal the ways in which present-day Western stereotypes of Eastern Europe may influence our reading of this play.  

Sarah Zimmerman’s “William Hazlitt’s Lectures against Lectures” addressed the difficulty faced by modern literary critics studying lectures delivered prior to the invention of recording devices.  In researching Hazlitt’s lectures, Zimmerman turned to notebooks, letters, autobiographies, reviews, and newspaper articles as well as Hazlitt’s own notes to understand his lectures as a performance and not merely as a text.  Zimmerman showed us how Hazlitt used the medium of the lecture against itself in order to express his growing disillusionment with the “self-improvement culture” of the early 1800s.

The second panel was chaired by John Bugg.  The first speaker, Andrew Albin, presented “Communities of canor: Hearing Angelic Song in the Office of Richard Rolle of Hampole.”  In his reading of Richard Rolle’s Officium, Albin explored the way in which sound provided Rolle with access to the spiritual world.  As a text that attracted readers from the laity as well as from religious orders, Rolle’s Officium occupied a liminal status, straddling the boundaries between heaven and earth, inner and outer, learned and unlearned. 

The next lecturer, Trish McTighe, a visiting scholar from the University of Reading, gave a talk entitled “‘That bog’: Beckett’s Landscapes on the Irish Stage.”  Beckett’s depiction of the vague landscape in Waiting for Godot resists the easy consumption of the Irish landscape that the 1950s tourism economy encouraged.  Such tension is with us even today, as tourist attractions like the Beckett Festival attempt to familiarize an unfamiliar landscape, even as Beckett’s own work acts against this. 

Elizabeth Stone delivered the final talk of the day, “New Technologies Beget New Genres: Final Cut Pro and ‘Back for the Summer’: A Multimedia Autobiographical Essay.”  In this lecture, Stone described her own foray into a new form of autobiographical expression: creative video.  Stone explained how working in this new medium helped her to distinguish between her selves as author, narrator, and protagonist.

Each panel generated interesting discussion between the audience and the panelists, which then continued over delicious refreshments. The Fifth Mullarkey Forum--made possible once again by the generous support of Thomas F.X. and Teresa Mullarkey--was a great success in bringing together students and faculty, and we look forward to many more such events in the years to come. 

Written by Margaret Summerfield

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.