Faculty News

Coming soon to a theatre near you.....Three to Get Ready, a mystery novel by Hans Ostrom is being made intoa Hollywood film titled Napa. View full story (10/11)

At the annual fall conference of the Western Literature Association, Ann Putnam was awarded the prestigious Wylder Award for outstanding service to the organization. In large part, the award was conferred for the conference Ann held in Tacoma in 2007.  Highlights of that conference included speakers such as Sherman Alexie, David Guterson, Tess Gallagher, and Charles Johnson.  Ann also holds the record for raising more money than any conference president in the association’s 45-year history, money that goes toward graduate student scholarships and other worthwhile programs.  Ann’s selection for this award was greeted with a standing ovation. (10/11)

Summer is for sun, fun, beaches, travel, recuperation.  And … research and writing!  Here is what some of our faculty will be doing this summer:  Denise Despres will be conducting research at the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, writing an article and a book review, as well as directing Jessica Spevak's summer research project on early modern representations of the Gunpowder plot. Priti Joshi plans to complete an article on Henry Mayhew, the Victorian journalist-proto-ethnographer, then spend three weeks in the British Library reading microfilm of the Australian John Lang’s English-language Indian newspaper; later in the summer she will present a paper on Bleak House at the “Victorians Futures” conference and then participate at the Dickens Universe in Santa Cruz where she will teach an undergrad seminar on Great ExpectationsBill Kupinse will give a paper on “A-Prizing Waste: Postcolonial Detritus and the Man Booker Prize” at the 2010 biennial conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) in Bloomington, Indiana, where he will also chair a roundtable discussion on ekphrastic poetry between poets and visual artists.  He also continues work on two poetry projects: a verse interpretation of the first Hardy Boys adventure book, and a collection of poems in which he attempts to come to terms with his recent diagnosis as a homeowner.  Mita Mahato will be delivering two conference papers on the impact of line style and artistic medium in narrating graphic illness memoir.  She will present the first paper, “His Cancer Year:  Harvey Pekar’s Alienating Identification,” at Comics and Medicine (hosted by Northwestern University).  The second, “Drawing Lines:  Identifying Health and Illness in Harvey Pekar’s Our Cancer Year and David Small’s Stitches” (for the Joint International Conference of Graphic Novels, Bandes Dessinées and Comics hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University), will give her the opportunity to travel to the U.KUpon returning, she will devote her time to the world of Alfred Hitchcock in preparation for a new course that she will be teaching this fall. (5/11)

The department recently celebrated – with heavy heart, but also happiness for him – Peter Greenfield’s retirement.  Peter has taught drama, Shakespeare, the History of the English Language, and many other courses at Puget Sound since 1983.  He also served at department chair or associate chair for some thirteen of his 28 years here.  With his leadership and sound counsel, Peter helped make the department what it is today.  We will miss him and wish him all the best in his new adventure in Houston! (5/11)

This year the department is seeing a few other retirements and departures as well:  Florence Sandler joined Puget Sound in 1970 and has taught students and led us for 40 years and Mary Turnbull grew up on campus, got her Ph.D., and then returned to teach here in 1979. (View more information on all of our retirees).  We wish them both a well-deserved retirement!  We also wave goodbye and best wishes to: Erik Ellis, Laurie Frankel, Tamiko Nimura, and Lynn Sokei.  Keep in touch and send us news of your next adventures! (5/11)

Ann Putnam's latest publication is a memoir, Full Moon at Noontide:  A Daughter’s Last Goodbye.  Forthcoming publications include,Full Moon at NoontideMemory, Desire and What's 'True at First Light,' for the WRITERS IN CONTEXT series published by Cambridge University Press, and along with Beverly Conner and Hans Ostrom, a collection of stories titled Nine by Three.  She is working with her editor on Cuban Quartermoon, a novel set in Cuba.  She gave a seminar to MFA grad students at Ohio State in May as well as a reading and book signing of her memoir. (5/11)

During her sabbatical (Spring 2011), Alison Tracy Hale travelled to Harbin and Beijing, China, as well as to research destinations like Philadelphia, where she presented a paper at the Society of Early Americanists’ Biennial Conference in March. Between travel opportunities, Alison’s at work on an article about Leonora Sansay’s semi-autobiographical novel, The Secret History (1808), which depicts the Haitian Revolution through the eyes of two American sisters. The article was largely inspired by the insightful discussions of her students in a Spring 2010 course on “Sex and Gender in Early America.”  Her co-authored essay, “Romantic Transports,” is forthcoming in Early American Literature. (4/11)

ProfTrauma and History in the Irish Novelessor Emeritus Rob Garratt has just published Trauma and History in the Irish Novel: The Return of the Dead (Palgrave).  The fruits of his retirement, the book examines traumatic memory in the fiction of Irish writers J. G. Farrell, Julia O'Faolain, William Trevor, Jennifer Johnston, John McGahern, Patrick McCabe and Sebastian Barry. Professor Garratt taught at Puget Sound from the early  1970s, served as English department chair several times, and played a key role in both the Honors and Humanities Program here.  Sláinte! (1/11)

Beverly Conner was recently named “Best Teacher” by the Tacoma Weekly in its “Best of Tacoma” feature. The winners for various categories were chosen through an online and paper poll of residents, with about 2,000 entries in total. (11/10)

Professor Emerita Rosemary VanArsdel’s Victorian Periodicals: Aids to Research, A Selected Bibliography (10th edition has just appeared online at http://victorianresearch.org/periodicals.html). Professor VanArsdel taught in the department from 1965 to 1987, serving as chair in the 1970s.  She is a scholar of 19-century literature, one of the leading lights in Victorian periodical studies, and the author or co-editor of numerous books, including the indispensible Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society (1995) and Periodicals of Queen Victoria’s Empire: An Exploration (1996).  Professor VanArdsel’s work has served as an inspiration to Professor Priti Joshi, the department’s latest Victorianist, who knew little about 19th century periodicals when she came to Puget Sound in 1999 but who is currently working on an English-language newspaper published in India in the 1840s by an Australian émigré. (9/10)

Julie Christoph spent 2009-2010 on sabbatical as a Fulbright Scholar in Zanzibar, Tanzania, where she did comparative research on the legacy of Tanzania’s internationally renowned adult literacy campaign of the 1970s and 80s.  She and her family wrote about their experiences at www.zanzibaryear.blogspot.com.  Professor Christoph gave presentations on her research at the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, as well as at the Israel Forum on Academic Writing in Tel Aviv. In 2010-2011, her first-year seminar students at Puget Sound will be corresponding via e-mail with first-year students at the State University of Zanzibar. (9/10)