Category Archives: Archive

2016 Program and Speakers


Words for Social Change: Empathy & Literature

Olivia Loksing Moy (Lehman College): Introductory Remarks: “Shooting an Elephant”

Talia Schaffer (Queens College & GC): Critical Care: Relationality, Ethics, and Literary Studies

Emanuele Castano (New School): On Literary Fiction and Its Effects on Theory of Mind

11:30-12:30    Faculty Roundtable     Moderator: Eva Chou (Baruch)

Diversifying the Curriculum: A Conversation with English Department Chairs

Eva Chou (Baruch College), Renata Kobetts Miller (City College), Joyce Harte (BMCC), Ellen Tremper (Brooklyn College), Allison Pease (John Jay), Paula Loscocco (Lehman College)

12:30-1:00   Lunch Reception

1:00-2:30    Student Panels     Moderator: J. Bret Maney (Lehman)

Activism, Authority, and Ethics in the Black-Authored Text

C. Lionel Spencer (Lehman): The Moment to Act: Why I Choose to Write about Hip Hop instead of Traditional Literature

Nadia Floyd (Lehman): So, Can You Hear Me Now? Probing Racial Self-Awareness through Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Religious Representation & Secularism in the Classroom     

Alegna Santos (Lehman): Reading Paradise Lost as a Jehovah’s Witness

Sheema Alamari (Lehman): “By Virtue of Being a Muslim, I am by Default a Feminist”: Revisiting the Feminist-Muslim Paradox

Ndeye Fatou Coundoul (Lehman Muslim Students Association): “A Letter to My Future Daughter”


Activist Histories & Pedagogies

Jorge Matos Valldejuli (Hostos): The Invisible History of Race at the Willowbrook State School, New York: 1947-1975

Andrea McArdle & Maria Brinkman (CUNY Law School): Enacting Social-Justice Values through our Pedagogy and Curriculum: Land Use and Community Lawyering

Joseph North (Yale): What’s the Relationship between Academia and Activism?


Maria Brinkmann, J.D. candidate, CUNY Law School

Emanuele Castano, Professor and Chair of Psychology, The New School of Social Research

Eva Chou, Professor and Chair of English, Baruch College

Joyce Harte, Professor and Chair of English, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Paula Loscocco, Associate Professor and Chair of English, Lehman College

J. Bret Maney, Assistant Professor of English, Lehman College

Andrea McArdle, Professor of Law, CUNY Law School

Renata Kobetts Miller, Associate Professor and Chair of English, City College

Olivia Loksing Moy, Assistant Professor of English, Lehman College

Joseph North, Assistant Professor of English, Yale University

Allison Pease, Associate to the Provost for Faculty & Former Chair of English, John Jay College

Talia Schaffer, Professor of English, Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center

Ellen Tremper, Chair of English, Brooklyn College

Jorge Matos Valldejuli, Assistant Professor & Reference Librarian, Hostos Community College

Dhipinder Walia, Lecturer in English, Lehman College

Sheema Alamari, Ndeye Fatou Coundoul, Nadia Floyd, Alegna Santos and C. Lionel Spencer (Student panelists, Lehman College)


Maria Brinkmann is a second year law student and Graduate Fellow at CUNY School of Law. While working for Edible Schoolyard NYC, a food justice nonprofit organization working within the New York City public school system, Maria witnessed the need for systemic change in the food system. She is pursuing her law degree to advocate for just and sustainable food policy, particularly concerning the issues of access and affordability. Currently, Maria has an internship with Earthjustice, and looks forward to spending her summer working at Natural Resources Defense Council on these issues.

Emanuele Castano is Professor and Chair in the Psychology Department of the New School for Social Research. He conducts research and writes about topics such as violent intergroup conflict and reconciliation, nationalism and international relations, and the existential motives of human behavior. His work appears in over fifty publications in top tier scientific journals. His latest work on the consequences of reading literary fiction for mentalizing processes, published in Science, has received worldwide media attention, including the front page of the New York Times. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the European Union, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Italian by birth, he is fluent in French and English, and has been named by his young nephew, a citizen of the world.

Eva S. Chou, Professor and Chair of English at Baruch College, received her B.A. from Harvard College in English Literature and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in Chinese Literature. She is interested in works of art both as creative works and in their relation to China’s sense of identity. She has published in three scholarly areas: classical poetry, modern literature, and most recently, ballet in China. For the classical period, Professor Chou published a study of the towering Tang-dynasty poet Tu FuReconsidering Tu Fu: Literary Greatness and Cultural Context (Cambridge University Press, 1996), as well as many articles on other classical poets and on literary history in journals such as Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. For the modern period, she published a study of the key modern writer Lu Xun, Memory, Violence, and the Queue: Lu Xun Interprets China(Association for Asian Studies Publications, 2012), as well as many articles in journals such as The China Quarterly and Asia Major. Both Tu Fu (Du Fu) and Lu Xun are often taught in Baruch’s Great Works of Literature syllabi. Her current project turns to the topic of ballet in China, which like many aspects of Chinese culture, draws heavily from its literary past. She is writing a history of ballet in China.

Joyce C. Harte obtained her B.A. cum laude in English from Brooklyn College, CUNY and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Education from New York University. She is Professor and Chairperson of the English Department of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY where she teaches courses in Children’s Literature, Postcolonial Literature, as well as a range of introductory literature and composition courses. Her book, Come Weep With Me: Loss and Mourning in the Writings of Caribbean Women Writers was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2007. In 2001, she received a PSC/CUNY Faculty Research Award for And Dances with the Daffodils: The English Education of an African-Caribbean Teacher, and in 2003-2004 held the Andrew M. Mellon Faculty Fellowship for Divided Loyalties at the Center of the Humanities of the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Paula Loscoccoreceived her B.A. in English from Smith College and her Ph.D. in English from Boston College. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Lehman College, where she teaches early modern and eighteenth-century literature; she has also taught at Barnard College and Sarah Lawrence College. She is the editor of the three-volume Katherine Philips (1631/32-1664): Printed Works 1651-1729(Ashgate 2007), and the author of scholarly articles on Philips, psalmic poetry and polemics in 1650s England, John Milton’sSamson Agonistes, and Lawrence Sterne’sTristram Shandy, published in the Renaissance QuarterlyMilton Studies, and The Eighteenth Century, among other venues. She has also published teaching essays on Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (forthcoming), and early women writers with the MLA and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and teaching awards from Barnard and Lehman Colleges. She is currently at work on two book-length manuscripts, The Miltonic Wheatley and Milton, Royalist Writers, and the Opening of English Literature.

J. Bret Maney is an assistant professor of English at Lehman College, where his areas of interest are American literature and culture, the practice and theory of translation, and the digital humanities. He is currently at work on a book-length manuscript about material plenty in U.S. literature entitled Novels Wrecked by Success: The Moneyed American Good Life from the Gilded Age to the 1929 Crash. He is also completing a translation of Guillermo Cotto-Thorner’s novel Manhattan Tropics (Trópico en Manhattan, 1951), which, as the first novel of the Puerto Rican mass migration to New York City, can be considered one of the founding texts of U.S. Latino literature. Maney’s criticism and translations from the French and Spanish have appeared in Gulf Coast, Lunch Ticket, The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Modern LiteratureSmall AxeThe F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Newsletter, and PEN America.

Andrea McArdle, Professor of Law at City University of New York School of Law, teaches a variety of experiential courses, including seminars she designed in judicial rhetoric and in urban land use and community lawyering. Andrea begins her sixth year as chair or co-chair of the Law School’s Curriculum Committee, and, as Director of Legal Writing, has shaped the development of CUNY’s writing-intensive curriculum. In 2013 she received a teaching award from the graduating class. Before joining the CUNY Law School faculty, she taught in the Lawyering Program at NYU School of Law, served as Lawyering Faculty Coordinator and, as NYU Lawyering Theory Workshop Coordinator, developed an interdisciplinary faculty workshop series to provide a framework for thinking about how lawyers work. McArdle’s published articles and essays are at the intersection of law, narrative, and rhetoric, on pedagogy, and on urban land use and community studies. She has co-edited, and is a contributor to, the anthologies Uniform Behavior: Police Localism and National Politics (Palgrave Macmillan 2006) and Zero Tolerance: Quality of Life and the New Police Brutality in New York City (NYU Press, 2001). She has also been a Senior Assistant County Attorney for Westchester County and counsel to the Mount Vernon Urban Renewal Agency. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law, an LL.M. from Columbia Law School, an M.A. in literature from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the Department of Cultural and Social Analysis, NYU Graduate School of Arts & Science.

Renata Miller, Associate Professor and Chair of English at City College, is currently completing a book manuscript titled “Playing Her Part: The Victorian Novel, Theater, and the Actress,” and her essay “Nineteenth-Century Theatrical Adaptations of Novels: The Paradox of Ephemerality” is forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies, edited by Tom Leitch.  She is also engaged in research on the Independent Theatre Society and its avant-garde influence in English fin de siècle culture, and some of her students’ research pertaining to this subject can be found at Before becoming chair of English at City College of New York, she served as director of the MA in Literature, director of Freshman English, associate academic director of the Kaye Scholars Program, and deputy chair of English. This summer, she will become deputy dean of Humanities and Arts at City College.

Olivia Loksing Moy is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Lehman College, CUNY where she serves as director of the English Honors Program. Her research interests include Romantic, Victorian and Modernist poetry, poetic theory, and Gothic literature. She is currently at work on a monograph that investigates the influence of Ann Radcliffe and the 1790s gothic novel on the major Victorian poets. Moy is also collaborating on a translation project that explores the Latin-American reception of John Keats. She is an organizing member of the Victorianist Collective and, along with Dhipinder Walia, serves as a coordinator for this year’s Activism in Academia symposium.

Joseph North is Assistant Professor of English and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies at Yale University, where he focuses on 20th and 21st century literature in English, the history of literary criticism, the history of universities, critical methodology, theories of the literary, and the politics of aesthetic education. His research is primarily in the literature of British modernism, with a special interest in the history and theory of criticism throughout the 20th century.  His book Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History tracks the history of Anglo-American literary criticism from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, focusing particularly on the question of its political character.

Allison Pease is Associate to the Provost for Faculty and Professor of English and is also affiliated with the Gender Studies Program. She specializes in nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature and culture, gender and sexuality, and aesthetic theory. She is the author of Modernism, Mass Culture, and the Aesthetics of Obscenity (Cambridge UP, 2000), Modernism, Feminism, and the Culture of Boredom (Cambridge UP, 2012), and the editor of the Cambridge Companion to To the Lighthouse (Cambridge UP, 2014).  In addition, her work has appeared in a number of venues, including Modernism/Modernity, English Literature in TransitionVictorian Poetry, Criticism, Palgrave Advances in Oscar Wilde, and the Cambridge Companion to Modernism.  With co-author Celia Marshik, she is currently writing a book on modernism, gender and sexuality for the New Modernisms series published by Bloomsbury.

Talia Schaffer is a professor of English at Queens College CUNY and the Graduate Center CUNY, where she specializes in Cultural Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist/Queer Theory, History of the Novel, and Victorian Literature. Her most recent book is Romance’s Rival: Familiar Marriage in Victorian Fiction, published by Oxford University Press in February 2016. Romance’s Rival argues that the marriage plot worked through anxieties about the emergence of romantic marriage by putting a ‘familiar’ suitor (a trusted neighbor, cousin, etc) into competition with a ‘romantic’ suitor (a dashing but perhaps untrustworthy stranger). She has also written Novel Craft: Victorian Domestic Handicraft and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (2011); The Forgotten Female Aesthetes; Literary Culture in Late-Victorian England(2001); co-editor with Kathy A. Psomiades of Women and British Aestheticism (1999); editor of Lucas Malet’s 1901 novel, The History of Sir Richard Calmady (2003); and editor of Literature and Culture at the Fin de Siècle (2006). Shaffer has published widely on Victorian familial and marital norms, disability studies, noncanonical women writers, material culture, popular fiction, aestheticism, and late-Victorian texts.

Ellen Tremper, Professor and Chair of the English Department at Brooklyn College, specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British poetry and fiction. She has published many articles on Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and children’s literature and is the author of “Who Lived at Alfoxton?”: Virginia Woolf and English Romanticism (Bucknell University Press) and I’m No Angel: The Blonde in Film and Fiction, which was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2006.

Jorge Matos Valldejuli is an Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian at Hostos Community College at The City University of New York (CUNY). He specializes in reference service and provides support to the Accessibility Resource Center serving disabled students on campus. A former recipient of disability services within CUNY, his personal history and current library work have influenced his interests in the intersections between race, class and gender within Disability Studies. Formerly serving as reference librarian at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives -Hunter College, exposed him to historical materials linking Africana Studies and Latin American & Latin@ Studies. As such, his research is aimed at understanding the silences and neglect of the disabled within both fields as well as Disability Studies. He holds a BA in Political Science from Hunter College-CUNY, an MLS from Queens College-CUNY and an MA in Modern European and Latin American History from The Graduate Center-CUNY. In addition, he’s a member of the Puerto Rican Studies Association, the Latina/o Studies Association and is involved with the CUNY Disability Scholars network. Lastly, he’s a founding member of the newly founded National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities.

Dhipinder Walia is a full-time lecturer at Lehman College CUNY with a specialization in English Composition and Asian-American literature. Her research/teaching interests include: digital composition, English acquisition post-trauma, quantitative writing, and democratic grading processes. She has received her MFA in fiction from Adelphi University and is currently working towards a Masters in Women/Gender Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. Walia has published a piece on diversity in the workplace for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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