New publications by English faculty

Deep Time: A Literary History

In this interdisciplinary book, Noah Heringman argues that the concept of “deep time”—most often associated with geological epochs—began as a metaphorical language used by philosophers, poets, and naturalists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to explore the origins of life beyond the written record. Their ideas about “the abyss of time” created a way to think about the prehistoric before it was possible to assign dates to the fossil record. Examining stories about the deep past by visionary thinkers ranging from William Blake to Charles Darwin, Heringman challenges the conventional wisdom that the idea of deep time came forth fully formed from the modern science of geology. Instead, he argues, it has a rich imaginative history. 

The Origins of Missouri English: A Historical Sociophonetic Analysis

Alumnus Christopher Strelluf (PhD 2014) and Professor Matthew Gordon published The Origins of Missouri English: A Historical Sociophonetic Analysis (Lexington, 2023). The book describes the speech of a sample of Missourians born between the 1880s and 1930s with a focus on how pronunciations used in earlier generations correlate with historical settlement trends and regional accent patterns. Missouri English has changed dramatically over the last century, but this study shows that the state has long served as a linguistic crossroads and home to a variety of dialects.

What Jane Knew: Anishinaabe Stories and American Imperialism, 1815-1845

The children of an influential Ojibwe-Anglo family, Jane Johnston and her brother George were already accomplished writers when the Indian agent Henry Rowe Schoolcraft arrived in Sault Ste. Marie in 1822. Charged by Michigan's territorial governor with collecting information on Anishinaabe people, he soon married Jane, "discovered" the family's writings, and began soliciting them for traditional Anishinaabe stories. But what began as a literary play became the setting for political struggle. Jane and her family wrote with attention to the beauty of Anishinaabe narratives and to their expression of an Anishinaabe world that continued to coexist with the American Republic. Schoolcraft appropriated the stories and published them as his own writing, seeking to control their meaning and to destroy their impact in service to the "civilizing" interests of the United States. In this dramatic story, Maureen Konkle recovers the literary achievements of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and her kin, revealing as never before how their lives and work shed light on nineteenth-century struggles over the future of Indigenous people in the United States. 

“Kafka’s Drawings” in The Germanic Review 99/2

Carsten Strathausen recently published an article in a special edition of The Germanic Review 99/2 (Spring 2024) entitled “Kafka’s Drawings.” Strathausen was also the sole editor of the special edition journal and wrote the introduction to the volume. The special issue presents the first collection of scholarly articles on the newly discovered drawings by Franz Kafka first published in 2022. 

Chapters from the forthcoming FestZero

 This year Professor Trudy Lewis published two chapters from her speculative novel-in-progress FestZero, a book about a festival that offers contestants the opportunity to shed their identities and scrub their personal information from the public record. The first chapter, "FestZero," appeared in South Dakota Review; another excerpt, “Nullite," was featured in the most recent issue of NELLE. Trudy also published “Morado,” a story about testosterone, plant science, and climate change, in the summer issue of New England Review.