Introduction

Dear Scholars,

I am a first year PhD student studying twentieth-century American literature with an interest in the ways people grieve collectively for social losses. Lately I’ve written on modernist figures such as Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as later twentieth-century figures such as Bernadette Mayer and Graham Swift. I’ve been interested in how these writers navigate private and public losses, like the alienation produced by the explosion of capitalism at the turn of the century and the disorientation caused by modernity’s de-centering of religion and faith.

Previously, I have taken Greg Forter’s postcolonial course, so my eye continually catches on utopian issues and questions (as it did when I read Eileen Julien’s “The Extroverted African Novel”). As I read literature for this course, I will be attuned to the ways these texts work to envision or build alternative, utopian futures and ways of feeling as they work to ameliorate social problems.

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