Professors Jennifer Greiman and Claudia Kairoff were awarded Reynolds Research Leaves for academic year 2019-20. Below are excerpts from their reports about their achievements while on leave.
Click here to read a letter from Professor Jeff Solomon about his work while on leave this year.
Over the course of the year, I completed four chapters of Melville’s Ruthless Democracy, revising two chapter drafts and completing the research and writing of two additional chapters from scratch. In May, I was awarded a Book Development Grant from the Humanities Institute, which has enabled me to secure an outside reader for the full manuscript this fall. Over the next two-three months, then, I will write the introduction, complete small revisions, and prepare the full manuscript to send to the outside reader, at which point I will also begin preparing a proposal and sample chapters to circulate to several academic presses.
In December 2019, I secured a contract from Oxford University Press for The Oxford Handbook of Herman Melville, which I will co-edit with Dr. Michael Jonik of the University of Sussex. The volume will be a large and complex collection, assessing the major scholarly developments in Melville studies from around the world, with 35-40 essays.
The fall of 2019 saw the publication of my article, “Ruthless, Militant, Round: Herman Melville, William Connolly, and the Aesthetics of Radical Democracy” in REAL: Research in English and American Literature 35 (2019): 207-20. During the fall, I also wrote a lengthy review essay for American Literary Scholarship (forthcoming from Duke UP), surveying all of the scholarship published on Herman Melville in 2018. In April of 2020, I completed an essay entitled, “Ruthless, Radical Democracy” for the collection A Companion to Herman Melville, forthcoming from Wiley Press.
I traveled to Lille and Paris, France, in October 2019 for the “Melville’s Measures” conference, where I presented “Melville’s Gravity,” which was drawn from research on Herman Melville and Frederick Douglass for the fifth chapter of my book project.
Beginning in March of 2020, I became associate editor of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, which is published by Johns Hopkins University Press in collaboration with the Melville Society. Leviathan is a well-regarded journal in the field of American literary studies. It publishes three issues each year, including peer-reviewed articles; research notes; book reviews; and reports on conferences, performances, and other events on the life and work of Herman Melville. As associate editor, I work along with the editor-in-chief to read and evaluate all submissions, to secure external readers when necessary, to edit all accepted essays, and to help to prepare the journal for production.
In sum, despite the uncertainty and disruption of the past five months, my leave was one of great productivity, which has helped me to make essential progress on several projects – most importantly, a nearly completed monograph – and to establish my reputation as a Melville scholar. I learned recently that I will be invited to deliver a keynote address at the next biannual international Melville conference in Paris, which will (hopefully) be held in the summer of 2022.
I am very grateful to the College, the University, and to the English Department for the time and resources afforded by the Reynolds Leave program.
I applied for the leave in order to complete a monograph about Anne Finch, which I hoped to finish before the start of the 2020-21 academic year. I am so pleased to confirm that I finished the project ahead of my personal deadline, and the manuscript of “I My Rise To Morrow”: Religion, Politics, and Feminism in the Poetry of Anne Finch is under consideration for publication by the University of Virginia Press.
In addition to the book project, I also completed an article entitled “Anne Finch as Alexander Pope’s Mentor,” which will be published as a chapter in Alexander Pope in the Reign of Queen Anne: Reconsiderations of His Early Career, eds. Daniel Derrin and Tony Cousins (Routledge), forthcoming in 2020. I wrote an article entitled “Anne Finch, Anna Seward, and Women’s Changing Practices of Satire in the Long Eighteenth Century,” a chapter for British Women Satirists in the Long Eighteenth Century: The Politics of Gender, Lampoonery, and Literary Caricature, eds. Liz Tasker Davis and Amanda Hiner (Cambridge University Press), in production with a publication date in 2021. And this summer I wrote a third article about Anna Seward’s portraits by George Romney, based on a talk I gave in 2017 at the Forsyth County Public Library Central Branch where one of the paintings hangs. I am waiting for the results of a professionally made digital image of the local painting before sending the article out for review by an interdisciplinary academic journal.
Many thanks to the Dean of the College and her Office for awarding me the leave. As I approach the beginning of an exceptionally challenging academic year, having the past year to reflect and write is even more precious in retrospect.