Santa Clara University


News and Events


Find out what's going on in the English Department

  •  Outside Looking In: Readings in Fiction & Non-Fiction

    Come join Professor Mike Malone's event on February 12, 4:30pm at Kenna 102.

  •  Congratulations to Professor Burnham

    Michelle Burnham has been awarded the Richard Beale Davis prize.

    Michelle Burnham's essay, “Trade, Time, and the Calculus of Risk in Early Pacific Travel Writing,” has been designated the winner of the Richard Beale Davis Prize by the Modern Language Association.  The Davis Prize recognizes the best published essay in Early American Literature during a given time frame.  For this competition, essays published in the journal in 2011 and 2012 were eligible for the prize.

    The following is the Prize Committee’s citation:

    Richard Beale Davis Prize Citation 2011-12

    “Trade, Time, and the Calculus of Risk in Early Pacific Travel Writing” (EAL 46.3) by Michelle Burnham, Professor of English at Santa Clara University, has been awarded the Richard Beale Davis prize for the best article published in Early American Literature during the past two years.  Among a group of impressive essays, Burnham’s is remarkable for its path breaking orientation, archival richness, and theoretical subtlety.  Succinctly put, Burnham makes a powerful case for the need to make a Pacific turn in early American literary studies.  The essay surveys a range of Pacific travel narratives from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, texts that are often bulky and, for many readers, aesthetically dull and uninteresting, notwithstanding their relation to an important “period of international competition for scientific discovery and commercial profit” in the Pacific.  Along the way, Burnham urges somewhat counter-intuitively that the narratives’ expansiveness is precisely the point; sizeable profits and “new” knowledge Pacific voyages produced depended on narrative “patience and prolongation,” an effect—and affect—of the interdynamic between economics and aesthetics.  Short-term loss (as conceived in abstract terms by investors) could be “averaged and canceled out” across these patiently prolonged narratives in favor of long term gain according to their “calculus of risk.”  In turn, temporal and spatial prolongation “worked to mask or minimize the violence that accompanied such returns, including the violent transoceanic movements of goods (such as fur, and silver) and of bodies (especially the indigenous, women, and sailors).”  Such argumentative suppleness in Burnham’s essay operates alongside its appeal to scholars to expand the archive of travel writings they treat, away from an almost exclusive investment in Atlantic-centered texts and towards Pacific narratives with which the former are not infrequently intertwined and entangled.  Indeed, by provoking readers to redraw the boundaries of the transnational, transoceanic, and intercontinental from a crucial but heretofore overlooked Pacific vantage point, Burnham’s essay has broad implications for the future course of early American literary studies. 

    Congratulations on winning this prestigious prize!

  •  Congratulations to Cynthia Mahamdi and Tim Myers

    On being promoted to Senior Lecturer.

  •  English students work recognized on the de Saisset exhibit

    Congratulations to the following freshman whose reviews of current de Saisset Museum exhibits, written for CTW2: Art, Culture & Social Justice, have been selected for publication on the museum's website.

    "Dish Out Your (Metaphorical) Dough to See Some Clay"
    By Chris Iliff
     "Examining Shore: A Journey into a Rare Dimension"
    By Carlos Medina
     "Clay in the Bay: Breaking the Mold"
    By Allie Mitchell
     "Alien Objects"
    By Mirelle Raza

  •  Multimodal Writing Prize Contest 2013

    ATTENTION ALL SCU STUDENTS! The English Department is having a Multimodal Writing Prize Contest!

    ELIGIBILITY: Any SCU student.

    PRIZE: $100 and publication on the English department website. The prize will be awarded at the Senior Dinner & Awards Ceremony at the end of May.

    SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Entries that do not comply with the following procedures will be automatically disqualified.

    1. Entries should be multimodal compositions (works that combine words and sounds and/or images) in digital form that were created for an SCU course or campus organization. Examples might include a video, podcast, website, blog, or interactive story.

    2. Submit your work as a link or attachment to Use "Multimodal Writing Prize Contest" as the subject line and note your name, contact information, and SCU ID number within the body of the e-mail. Include the names of your collaborators, if any.

    3. Deadline is Friday, April 12th, 2013


  •  Congratulations to Professor Juliana Chang

    Professor Chang's latest book has been published by the University of Minnesota Press: Read More »

  •  New Members for 2012-13!

    We are delighted to welcome the following new members of the Department in AY 2012-13!

    Christine Montgomery is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English at Santa Clara University. Transnational in approach, her research and teaching explore discourses of race, gender, performativity, and freedom in nineteenth-and twentieth-century American and African-American literature along with contemporary Anglophone Caribbean literature. Christine earned the PhD in Literature at UC Santa Cruz and the BA in English at Santa Clara University. Courses taught include The Harlem Renaissance, Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and Contemporary Black Women Writers.

    Her current book project Arna Bontemps and the Neo-Slave Narrative: Comparative Freedom, Temporality, and Slave Revolt, argues for a revisionist periodization of neo-slave literature as well as a reorientation away from a US-based literary history that has been dominated by the mode of realism and toward a more comparative view defined by the geography and history of the Caribbean.

    Hanna Janiszewska is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Stanford University, where she has also taught writing and rhetoric courses for the past couple of years. She has an M.Phil in British Literature from Cambridge University and a B.A. in English from Yale. Her research focuses on the ways that thinking through and about literature both shapes and enables life. This year Hanna joins us to teach full-time, primarily teaching Critical Thinking and Writing courses.

    Roxanne Rashedi has recently taught Composition and Writing courses at De Anza Community College. She has an M.A. from Georgetown University and a B.A. in English from the University of California Berkeley, where she was a graduate of the English Honors Program. At Georgetown University, Roxanne was appointed as the Graduate Writing Fellow at the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship and she was also a Lannan Literary Arts Fellow and a teaching assistant in the Department of American Studies. Recently, her work has appeared in the Asian American Literature: Discourses and Pedagogies Journal, UCLA's eScholarship Repository Project, and an excerpt of her M.A. thesis will be published in the next issue of MP: An Online Feminist Journal. Roxanne is currently working on a collection of short stories. This year she joins us to teach full-time Critical Thinking and Writing courses at Santa Clara University.

    Loring Pfeiffer is a Quarterly Adjunct Lecturer who teaches Critical Thinking and Writing. She is a doctoral candidate in the English department at the University of Pittsburgh, from which she also holds an M.A. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Loring has taught Composition and Literature courses at the University of Pittsburgh and San Francisco State University. This year she joins us to teach Critical Thinking and Writing Class part-time.

    John O. Espinoza is a Quarterly Adjunct Lecturer who will teach Critical Thinking and Writing 1 & 2. He has previously taught rhetoric & composition, American & world literature, and poetry workshops at Arizona State University in Tempe and at The National Hispanic University in San Jose, CA. John holds a B.A. in both creative writing and sociology from the University of California, Riverside and an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University, where he was a recipient of a 2002 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans and a grant for emerging writers from The Elizabeth George Foundation. He has published three volumes of poetry including Gardeners of Eden (2000), Aluminum Times (2002), winner of the 2001 Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest, and most recently, The Date Fruit Elegies (2008), a finalist for the 2009 Northern California Book Award in Poetry. His poetry has been published in literary journals such as The American Poetry Review, New Letters, Quarterly West, Rattle, and ZYZZYVA, as well as several anthologies such as  Under the Fifth Sun: Latino Literature from California (Foreword by Juan Velasco) and Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California. Currently, John is the poetry editor of NewBorder: Criticism and Creation from the U.S./Mexico Border and the staff book reviewer for The Packinghouse Review. Originally from Southern California, he now resides in San Jose with his wife.

  •  Senior Reception/Honors & Awards Ceremony Dinner

    Date: Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
    Time: 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
    Location: Adobe Lodge

  •  Googlemaps and Critical Research Skills

    Date: January 30th, 2012
    Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Place: Weigand Room at Santa Clara University

    By Noel Radley and Gail Gradowski

    Web 2.0 mapping tools currently provide user-friendly platforms with unique affordances, such as visualizing places in literary texts, aggregating history, and embedding rich media. This workshop will feature both the benefits and challenges of Googlemaps, with a focus on critical research skills. How does mapping supplement skills in traditional research? What are best practices for citation?

    This workshop features recent Googlemaps projects in English studies, including a student map of California tuition protests, an assignment on mapping censorship histories, and a Googlemap of Joyce’s Dubliners.

  •  Join notable Bay Area poets

    Date: Friday, January 27, 2012
    Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
    Location: 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose, CA 95110

    Join notable Bay Area poets Gail Entrekin, Judy Halebsky, and Senior English major and current Canterbury Scholar Ainsley Kelly for a night of nature poetry hosted by Guadalupe River Park Conservancy.

    Corridors: Exploring the Urban Woodland will focus on the precarious border between nature and development, and the interesting questions and realities that arise in such a place. Following the poets’ performances, there will be an open mic session for all attendees to participate. Please bring a friend and some poems to read! The event is free, and refreshments will be provided.

    Pre-registration is required. Go online to to sign-up. Contact Stephanie at 408-298-7657, or, for more information.

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