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MemberKendra Leonard

Kendra Preston Leonard is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and music and screen history, particularly music and adaptations of Shakespeare; and a librettist and poet. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive (www.sfsma.org) and the founder and manager of Shakespeare in Early Film (https://sheaf.hcommons.org/).

MemberAlmas Khan

As an intellectual historian, I analyze how modernism in American law and literature has shaped the quest for equal citizenship. Drawing on my Ph.D. in English and my J.D. with a focus on constitutional history, I interrogate how creative forms of legal dissent – ranging from judicial opinions to lyric poems – have sparked constitutional reimagination in the context of African American, working-class, and women’s experiences. My current book project, An Intellectual Reconstruction: American Legal Realism, Literary Realism, and the Formation of Citizenship, construes legal realism (a progenitor of critical race theory) and literary realism as a major post-Civil War movements connecting disciplinary critiques to equitist politics. I have additional interests in British literary modernism and postcolonial studies, having composed articles on Joseph Conrad’s and Virginia Woolf’s texts. My literary and legal scholarship has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Critical Insights: Social Justice and American Literature; Critical Insights: Inequality; Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History; the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry; and the Chicago Journal of International Law. Recent and forthcoming articles include “Black Lives Matter and Legal Reconstructions of Elegiac Forms” and “Applied Legal Storytelling: Toward a Stylistics of Embodiment.” I have also published widely on writing studies pedagogy through the lens of critical theory, drawing on extensive experiences teaching literature, law, and composition. My pedagogical scholarship has appeared in the Washburn Law JournalPerspectives: Teaching Legal Research & WritingThe Law Teacher, and the anthology Writing as a Way of Staying Human in a Time that Isn’t. When not immersed in literature, law, history, and philosophy, I explore modernist-inflected alternative music, fashion, interior design, landscapes, gardens, and other aesthetic phenomena suiting my fancy.

MemberClaire Taylor Jones

CJ Jones is an interdisciplinary scholar based in German studies. Her research focuses on the reform of religious orders in late medieval Germany. Her first book, Ruling the Spirit (Penn Press 2018), reexamines the mystical literature of the Dominican order, arguing that strict adherence to the order’s rule was considered a source of – not an impediment to – spiritual experience. Her second book, Women’s History in the Age of Reformation (PIMS 2019), presents the first full-length English translation of Johannes Meyer’s Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens, the most important source for the role of German nuns in late medieval religious reform. Jones’s current research explores how communities used liturgy to negotiate gendered and religious structures of power and authority and how liturgical practice afforded flexible opportunities for creating and performing communal identity. In addition to Latin liturgical manuscripts, she examines German-language liturgical documents, such as ordinals, ceremonials, and chantresses’ handbooks. Her book project concerns the Dominican order’s ceremony for washing the altars on Holy Thursday, especially the practical problems it caused for reform initiatives and women’s enclosure. Jones has published numerous articles and essays on broader aspects of religious culture and literature in late medieval Germany. Her research has been supported by the DAAD, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

MemberMicah Robbins

I am Assistant Professor of English at the American University in Dubai, where I teach courses in Literature, Rhetoric & Composition, and the Humanities. My research interests are in contemporary literature, especially Cold War American fiction and its relationship to the culture of dissent that developed during the long Sixties. I am particularly interested in how key postmodern writers worked within a context of mass cultural discursive practices to develop overtly political and moral interventions on behalf of increased civil liberties and social justice. My work shows how writers such as William S. Burroughs, Ishmael Reed, and Kathy Acker, among many others, deployed a mode of aggressive satire to unsettle conventional notions of literary propriety and to expand in readers’ minds new ways of imagining radical social change in an age of civil rights abuses, routine censorship, mass surveillance, and perpetual war. Because my work focuses on points of intersection between literature and other related cultural expressions, including alternative journalism, street theater, popular music, and the visual arts, I draw on the methodologies of both contemporary Literary Criticism and Interdisciplinary American Studies. And because I am interested in language’s ability to create change during times of dynamic socio-political uncertainty, I also situate my work within current theories of rhetoric, most importantly Speech Act Theory and Performance Studies. I am currently revising a book manuscript that deals with these foci: Total Assault on the Culture! Cold War American Satire and the Rhetoric of Liberation. To learn more about my work, visit my personal website: micahrobbins.com