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Department News & Events

Anna Brickhouse wins Early American Literature book prize
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Professor Anna Brickhouse has been awarded the inaugural book prize from the journal Early American Literature for her recent monograph The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945 (Oxford University Press). Read the full release from EAL below:

Early American Literature Announces Winners of Inaugural Book Prize

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--The editors of the journal Early American Literature are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural EAL book prize: Anna Brickhouse for The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945 (Oxford University Press); and Wil Verhoeven for Americomania and the French Revolution Debate in Britain, 1789-1802 (Cambridge University Press).

This year, in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, EAL launched an annual book prize to call attention to inventive and substantial scholarship about American literature in the period spanning the colonial era through the early republic. The books by Brickhouse and Verhoeven rose to the top of an impressive field of work by established scholars, and in some important ways they complement one another.

Brickhouse's The Unsettlement of America explores the phenomenon of motivated mistranslation to construct a speculative history of indigenous resistance to European colonization. Brickhouse argues that an Algonquian Indian captured by the Spanish in 1561 and christened Don Luis de Velasco deliberately unsettled the attempted Spanish colonization of his native Ajacán (now known as the Chesapeake Bay region) through his role as a translator. Spanning Spanish colonial writings from the sixteenth century through their reception in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this book offers a fascinating account of indigenous networks of resistance, conceptualized as a form of authorship. Unsettlement is both a tale of one man and his legacy across four centuries and a challenge to the field of hemispheric American studies.

Verhoeven's Americomania looks at the flip side of the settler colonial scene--that is, he explores the construction of an ideology of available land and shows how it affected political writing and imaginative literature in the age of revolution. The fruit of research that is at once capacious and meticulous, each to a rare degree, this literary history of the revolutionary Atlantic world shows how Jacobin and anti-Jacobin fiction of the late eighteenth century responded to a utopian discourse about America. Encompassing political philosophy, political and legal history, literature, economic history, print history, visual culture, popular culture, migration, demography, and more, Verhoeven's book traces how the fact and figure of American land--both as a material commodity and as a utopian ideal--operated at the center of a British debate over political identity ignited by the French Revolution.

In announcing the joint award, EAL editor Sandra M. Gustafson observed that "both Brickhouse's and Verhoeven's books demonstrate stunning research, creative methods, and compelling narrative arcs. The Unsettlement of America and Americomania will appeal to literary scholars and historians specializing in such fields as early modern and eighteenth-century literature, transatlantic, hemispheric, and colonial and postcolonial studies, and beyond."

Next year's prize will be awarded to a first book, with monographs published in 2014 and 2015 being eligible. The prize will then alternate between books by established scholars in odd calendar years and first books in even years. The prize is accompanied by a $2,000 cash award. Watch the journal's website for announcements, and contact editor Sandra M. Gustafson (Gustafson.6@nd.edu) with questions.

Early American Literature is published by the University of North Carolina Press. Founded in 1922, UNC Press is the oldest university press in the South and one of the oldest in the United States.

Michael Suarez's Lyell Lectures now available as podcasts
Saturday, May 23, 2015

The 2015 Lyell Lectures, delivered by University Professor and Rare Book School Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J. under the general title "The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century Texts," are now available as podcasts at www.rarebookschool.org/lyellpodcasts.

Martin C. Battestin
Saturday, May 23, 2015

The English Department mourns the loss of Martin C. Battestin, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English (Emeritus), a dear colleague, dear friend, eminent eighteenth-century scholar, and Henry Fielding specialist, who died Friday, May 15, 2015, at age 85. A service was held on Wednesday, May 20th at St. Paul's, Ivy. He is survived by his wife and research collaborator Ruthe Battestin.

His full obituary can be found at the Daily Progress.

Emily Ogden to receive Cory Family Teaching Award
Saturday, May 23, 2015

Professor Emily Ogden has been given the Cory Family Teaching Award for her "dedicated and innovative teaching of courses in English. The award comes with a $25,000 cash bonus," and she will be honored at Fall Convocation on Friday, October 23, 2015, at 2:00 in the John Paul Jones Arena.

Congratulations to our English majors
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The English Department has awarded its annual departmental scholarships to the following excellent undergraduate majors:

Michael Wagenheim Memorial Scholarship: Elizabeth Ballou, Kelsey Becker, Vanessa Braganza, Daniel Calem, Caelainn Carney, Zoey Dorman, Alexa Hazel, Claudia Heath, Andrea Mendoza Perez, and Alex Scheinman.

Peter and Phyllis Pruden Scholarship: Emily Blase, Hillary Hylton, Charlie Micah Jones, Christine Kim, and Tanner Pruitt.

William and Charlotte Savage Scholarship: Erik Moyer, Christina Paek, and Melanie Schmidt.

In addition, this year's new Phi Beta Kappa class included the following students from English: Forrest Brown, Nader Ahmed, Therese Codd, Matthew Diem, Shane Dutta, Ashley Shamblin, Alexandra Tilley, and Joanna Currey.

These students and many other undergrads and grads were recognized for their achievements at the English Department Awards Ceremony last Friday.