Author Archives: Donna Malak

Ekphrasis Working Group Invites Members


“Particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there is a good deal of Ekphrastic poetry, addressing a wide range of good and bad, great and obscure, unglossed or overinterpreted works of art, and taking up a range of stances toward their objects,” wrote John Hollander in The Gazer’s Spirit, a collection of ekphrastic poems and the artworks they confront. Some of the ways modern poets have faced works of art, Hollander wrote, “include addressing the image, making it speak, speaking of it interpretively, meditating upon the moment of viewing it, and so forth.”

The Ekphrasis Working Group will study the body of Ekphrastic writing that exists, examine the ways in which writing can be based on art, look at theoretical discussions of this practice, and write Ekphrastic work ourselves.

Questions? E-mail Janet McCann.

For more information about other support humanities working groups, please visit the Humanities Working Groups page.

Announcement and Call for Interest for “Making Sense: handwriting and print” Symposium

We write to announce our planned symposium “Making Sense: handwriting and print,” which will be held 17-18 October 2014.

This two-day symposium will explore the ways handwriting, print, and the body work together to make sense, intellectually and physically. Today, we often hear debates about whether the printed page will become an outmoded technology replaced by the digital, supposedly in the same way that print replaced handwriting. Historically, however, handwriting and print have shaped each other, and usually involve working in a variety of media; Aldus Manutius (1449-1515), for example, based the font he used on his 1503 edition of Virgil on his own italic writing, while the double-column format, the red letter highlights, and the enlarged capital letters that start chapters in many modern Bibles continue the conventions used in medieval manuscripts. Even today’s electronic texts that are “born digital” rely on multiple conventions and techniques borrowed from both handwriting and print to make sense to the viewer/reader visually, emotionally, and intellectually.

The task of this symposium is to bring together a variety of practitioners of contemporary book arts and scholars of handwriting, print, and textual production to think about the many ways that media work together, whether in cooperation or in competition for our attention. Our goal is to complicate the too-simple understanding of new media based an idea of “replacement” by looking historically, interdisciplinarily, and cross-culturally at the many ways in which media interact. “Making Sense” will bring together six experts–including creators and designers at work in multiple media as well as scholars of paleography, graphic novels, and British, American, and Japanese literatures–to present plenary addresses. (See brief descriptions of our invited speakers below.)

We are also planning two roundtable sessions showcasing work being done at Texas A&M that intersects with the symposium topic. Roundtable participants will make brief presentations highlighting key elements in their research, followed by open discussion of shared questions and concerns with audience and guest speakers. We invite faculty, staff, and graduate students who would like to make 8-minute roundtable presentations to let us know of their interest by submitting a working title and brief description, not to exceed 250 words. Please send these by 31 May to any one of us; contact us with queries at any time.

Margaret J.M. Ezell, Department of English
Mary Ann O’Farrell, Department of English
Todd Samuelson, Cushing Library

“Making Sense: handwriting and print”
A symposium at Texas A&M University
17-18 October 2014

Dr. John Bidwell — Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, N.Y. He has published extensively on American papermaking and nineteenth-century book arts and is presently curating an exhibition of Henri Matisse’s illustrations of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Dr. Vera Camden — Professor of English at Kent State and Clinical Assistant Professor Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to publications on seventeenth-century English spiritual narratives, she works on contemporary “auto-graphic” narratives by writers/artists including Alison Bechdel.

Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey — Professor of English, New Jersey City University Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (2013) which looks at making meaning through scrapbooking by women and African Americans during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Dr. J. Keith Vincent — Toyota Visiting Professor, University of Michigan and Associate Professor of Japanese, Boston University. Author of Two-Timing Modernity: Homosocial Narrative in Modern Japanese Fiction (2012), he translated the Lacanian critic Saito Tamaki’s study of Japanese anime and “otaku” culture, Beautiful Fighting Girl (2011), and is working on a study of the early twentieth century genre of literary sketching called “shaseibun.”

Julian Waters — calligrapher and type designer, he has designed alphabets for Adobe, custom lettering for Barry Moser’s Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, logos for the US Postal Service, and was the typographic advisor to Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Dr. Heather Wolfe — Curator of Manuscripts, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C. She has edited multiple volumes focusing on early modern English handwritten texts, including The Pen’s Excellencie (2002) and “hybrid books,” personalize mixtures of print texts and handwritten ones, The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608 (2007).

Glasscock Center Announces Internal Faculty Residential Fellows for 2014-15

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research has named four recipients of Glasscock Internal Faculty Residency Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Recipients of the four annually awarded fellowships receive a one-course teaching release in the fall or spring semester of the fellowship year, a $1,000 research bursary, and an office in the Glasscock Center for the fellowship semester. These fellows will present and participate in the Faculty Colloquium Series during their fellowship semester.

Olga Dror is an associate professor in the Department of History. While in residence during the spring 2015 semester, Professor Dror will work on her monograph Raising Vietnamese: Youth Identities in North and South Vietnam during the War (1965-1975). This book considers the war-time problem of preserving Vietnamese identity in a new generation in a country flooded not only with foreign soldiers but also with foreign culture. It also poses a broader question about the importance of identifying who or what was considered an enemy of the Vietnamese. While youth are important for any society, their often unacknowledged role increases when a society is under stress, as it is through their participation in the present that the future is made. Consequently, bringing children into historical analysis is a way to understand what is most important in how adults think of the possibilities of their own lives. Professor Dror’s examination of youth identities during war time Vietnam will fill a significant gap in the pre-existing literature, offering new perspectives on the impact of American culture and the war on Vietnamese national identity.

Susan Egenolf is an associate professor in the Department of English. During her fall 2014 semester residence, Professor Egenolf will complete her monograph Josiah Wedgwood and the Cultivation of Romantic Taste. This book examines the contributions of Josiah Wedgwood, a master potter and entrepreneur, to the construction of late-eighteenth century and early nineteenth century aesthetics, and it argues that Wedgwood’s wares and his methods of marketing them influence the rise of neo-classicism and notions of the picturesque in British literature and art. The argument of this project depends heavily on illuminating the cultural and political contexts of Wedgwood’s life and work by uncovering specific historical details and artifacts related to that work, and this interdisciplinary study employs aesthetic theory, thing theory, gift theory, and art history to frame that argument. In the field of eighteenth century studies, this book will be the first extended study of the symbiotic relationship between Wedgwood’s methods and products and the literary productions of the late eighteen century.

Linda Radzik is a professor in the Department of Philosophy. During her spring 2015 semester residence at the Glasscock Center, Professor Radzik will finish her monograph, titled Moral Bystanders: On the Social Enforcement of Morality, which focuses on a common set of moral problems in order to explore deeper issues about the nature of responsibility and the meaning of community. The problem centers around a particular character—the moral bystander—who witnesses a wrongful act. While the moral bystander judges the act to be wrong, she is neither the perpetrator nor the victim, and she has no authority with regard to the situation. What should she do? What is she permitted to do? What might she be required to do? Using the standard methodology of analytic moral theory, Professor’s Radzik’s work poses a challenge to prevailing views about moral responsibility, and suggests that many of our practices for holding one another responsible are neither well understood nor justified. By considering the justification of informal, social forms of punishment and systematically addressing the role played by third parties to conflicts, this book will contribute in new ways to the literature on the issues that arise in the aftermath of wrongdoing.

Shelley Wachsmann is a professor in the Department of Anthropology. While in residence in the spring 2015 semester, Professor Wachsmann will continue researching and editing a book-length final excavation report on his work at Tantura Lagoon, Israel. This site and its surroundings have been inhabited almost continually for the past 4,000 years, and it has proven to be an ideal environment for shipwreck archaeology of the ancient world. The report, titled Dor/Tantura Lagoon: The Ancient & Medieval History of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea Written in Shipwrecks, will detail the findings of three extensive seasons of underwater exploration in Tantura Lagoon. The book-length report is envisioned as an innovative hybrid excavation report that will include a book linked to an open-access companion website allowing readers to explore the wrecks and artifacts in situ on their computers. This book will contribute significantly to our knowledge of Mediterranean history and archaeology, particularly during the critical period of the mid-first millennium AD.

The Glasscock Internal Faculty Residency Fellows will discuss work completed during the fellowship in the Glasscock Center’s Morning Coffee Hour in in the 2015-16 academic year. The Glasscock Center accepts applications for Glasscock Internal Faculty Residency Fellowships each spring semester. Applications will be accepted again in spring 2015 for the 2015-2016 academic year. For further information visit or contact the Glasscock Center at or (979) 845-8328.

The College Station Society of the Archaeological Institute of America to Host Lecture

“Archaeologist Spies: the Truth behind the Myth”

Dr. Susan Heuck Allen
Brown University
2013-2014 Richard H. Howland Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
J. Wayne Stark Galleries
Memorial Student Center
Texas A&M University

This lecture is free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact: Prof. Kevin Glowacki, Texas A&M University (

*Dr. Allen’s visit to College Station is co-hosted by the College Station Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, the J. Wayne Stark Galleries, and the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M.

Lecture Abstract: Archaeologist Spies: the Truth behind the Mythallen_classical_spies
I offer a unique perspective on an untold story, the first insiders’ account of the American intelligence service in WWII Greece.  Archaeologists in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean drew on their personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain to set up spy networks in Nazi-occupied Greece. While many might think Indiana Jones is just a fantasy character, American archaeologists with code-names like Thrush and Chickadee took part in events where Indy would feel at home: burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep-school connections to establish spies, and organizing parachute drops into Greece. These remarkable men and women, often mistaken for mild-mannered professors and scholars, hailed from America’s top universities and premier digs, such as Troy and the Athenian Agora, and later rose to the top of their profession as AIA gold medalists and presidents. Relying on interviews with individuals sharing their stories for the first time, previously unpublished secret documents, diaries, letters, and personal photographs, I share an exciting new angle on archaeology and World War II.

Dr. Allen’s book:
Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece

About the Speaker:
Susan Heuck Allen is Visiting Scholar in the Department of Classics at Brown University. She received her Ph.D. in Classics and Classical Archaeology from Brown University, after earning degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Smith College. Her areas of expertise – Troy and the history of archaeology – were combined in her book, Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik (University of California Press — Berkley, 1999). She is also the author of Excavating Our Past: Perspectives on the History of the Archaeological Institute of America, which is a part of the 2002 AIA Monograph Series, and recently published Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece (University of Michigan Press, 2011).  Dr. Allen has held positions at Smith College, and Clark and Yale Universities, and has done fieldwork in Cyprus, Israel, and Knossos. She was named a Mellon Fellow in 2008, and has held a number of other fellowships.

About the Richard H. Howland Lectures:
Richard H. Howland, an acclaimed scholar and preservationist of classical archaeology and art history, established The Richard H. Howland Lectureship in 2007. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Dr. Howland received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1931. He went on to complete his master’s degree in art history from Harvard University in 1933 and his doctorate from Johns Hopkins in Classical Archaeology in 1946.

Dr. Howland taught art history at Wellesley College and held the same position at Johns Hopkins until 1956. Starting in the 1930’s and continuing through the 1970’s Dr. Howland participated in excavations and research in Athens and Corinth, making a name for himself at the American School for Classical Studies in Athens. In 1958 he published one of his more well known works, “Greek Lamps and Their Survivals.”

An accomplished scholar and author, Dr. Howland was more concerned with his work in preservation. Throughout his career he held the position of President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chairman of the Department of Civil History at the Smithsonian Institute, founder of the Society for the Preservation of Greek Antiquities, and co-founder of the Preservation Roundtable. He was also a trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America and a Franklin Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London.

Richard H. Howland leaves a long legacy of dedication and service to classical archaeology and art history. His generous contributions will support The Howland Lecturer, who is chosen by the AIA Lecture Program Committee, visits two local societies annually.

Event on Women in the Gulag in Stark Galleries on 1 March 2014

On Saturday, 1 March 2014 at 7 p.m., the Department of International Studies will host a one-act staging of writings by women imprisoned in labor camps in the Soviet Union, performed by Olga Nepakhareva and Elena Tokmakova-Gorbushina. The event entitled “The Roads We Did Not Choose: Women in the Gulag” will be held in the Memorial Student Center’s Stark Galleries at Texas A&M University. With support made possible by the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, the Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Liberal Arts, and the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute of International Awareness. A reception will follow Q&A. The performance is in Russian (English translation will be available). For further information, please contact Olga Cooke.

Event flyer →

Glasscock Center is Hiring Undergraduate Apprentices

The Glasscock Center is currently hiring undergraduate apprentices.  In addition to assisting with routine office tasks, apprentices are included in activities such as social events with visiting scholars, are encouraged to participate in the Center’s sponsored events as part of their work for the Center, and serve as liaisons with the undergraduate community on campus. Apprentices are encouraged to suggest programs, activities, projects, and funding opportunities that will benefit undergraduates. The Center’s staff is committed to involving the apprentices in the workings of the Center.

The Glasscock Center has three types of Undergraduate Apprentice positions. For more information about each position, please visit

Cushing-Glasscock Graduate Award Call for Submissions

The Cushing Memorial Library & Archives and The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research invite applications for the 2014 Cushing-Glasscock Graduate Award. This graduate research award is open to Texas A&M University graduate students in good standing. It supports projects in the humanities that are based on collections housed at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. One or two awards of up to $2,000 each will be made.

Applications will be evaluated by a faculty committee and judged in part on their effective use of materials housed at Cushing. Recipients are expected to spend at least one month in residence at Cushing Library between 1 June and 31 August 2014, and they must deliver a short presentation on their projects during the fall semester of 2014. A written copy of the project must be deposited in the Glasscock Center Libraryand Cushing Memorial Library & Archives.

Deadline for applications is 25 March 2014.

Applications should be no longer than three single spaced pages, and they must contain the following information:

  • Applicant’s name, address, phone number and email address;
  • Applicant’s major degree and department;
  • Names of applicant’s department chair and committee chair;
  • Applicant’s expected graduation date;
  • Proposed project title;
  • A statement describing the nature of the applicant’s research, its relationship to the humanities, and the materials at Cushing that will support the research;
  • A tentative bibliography of Cushing materials.

Submit applications via email to Rebecca Hankins ( in the form of an attached MS Word file or PDF (preferred) or to:

Cushing-Glasscock Humanities Research Award
c/o Rebecca Hankins
Cushing Memorial Library & Archives
Texas A&M University
TAMU 5000
College Station, TX 77843-5000

Please note that a No-Repeat Rule applies:

  • No one may receive more than one award in any three-year period.
  • If a graduate student who has won the Cushing-Glasscock Award submits another proposal after the three-year period has passed, the new project must be significantly different from the previous one.

Questions about papers and research can be directed to Rebecca Hankins at 979-845-1951 and We welcome your interest!

Digital Humanities Faculty Candidate Presentation

Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC) will host a faculty candidate presentation on Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 11 a.m. in 302 H.R. Bright Building. Dr. Bruce Gooch is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.  He is currently working on two digital humanities projects. The first, Weird Fiction, is an iPad-based anthology of the works of H.P. Lovecraft that contains criticism, artwork, photographs and audio. The second, Blooms Walk, is an iPad-based walking tour of Dublin featuring all of the places that the character Bloom visits in Joyces Ulysses along with criticism, interactive maps and a unique photo app.

Flyer PDF

Former Glasscock Undergraduate Scholar provides a glimpse into contemporary war

English graduate and 2012-13 Glasscock Undergraduate Scholar Stephen O’Shea’s essay on contemporary war was featured in the 5th volume of the undergraduate journal Explorations. Read more about his research from the College of Liberal Arts:–english-graduate-grants-readers-a-glimpse-into-contemporary-war.html