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MemberAnke Finger

Anke Finger’s teaching and research focus on modernism, media studies, digital humanities, literature and other arts, aesthetics, and interculturality. Based on her early interests in art connections and multi-media, she specializes in the idea of the total artwork in modernism (Das Gesamtkunstwerk der Moderne, 2006), and she edited (with Danielle Follett) a collection of articles entitled The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments (2011). Her discussion of the total artwork ranges from conceptual art and atmospheres to architecture and design (The Death and Life of the Total Work of Art, 2015), including e-literature and multi-modal publishing. A co-founder and co-editor (2005-2015) of the multilingual ejournal  Flusser Studies, Anke Finger’s closely related scholarship in media studies and theory originates from her work on the Czech-Brazilian philosopher Vilém Flusser. She is co-author of the 2011 Introduction to Vilém Flusser (with shorter versions available in German and Portuguese) and serves on the advisory board of FlusserBrasil. Her latest Flusser project goes digital again, a cross-art collection composed with Scalar. The introduction to this multimodal publication is available on Vimeo. Her most recent publication in intercultural communication, a collection of essays entitled KulturConfusão: On German-Brazilian Interculturalities, was published by Walter de Gruyter in 2015. She also co-authors a blog on intercultural tool sets, “PracticingDifference,” with Manuela Wagner. Anke Finger serves as the Assistant Director of Digital Humanities and Media Studies (DHMS) at the UCONN Humanities Institute.

MemberJohn Lihani

Transitional English (TE) is that phase of English acquisition which lies between no knowledge of the language and knowledge of its standard form.
We are interested in helping to spread simplified Transitional English as universal speech in one decade of the 21st century. All of this is to be done by bilingual volunteers. At present, the TE text is available freely on the Internet for speakers of Spanish (450 million, or 6.4% of the world’s population) at /www.uky.edu/Projects/Globlec/, and soon it will be ready for speakers of Chinese (1,000m-14.3%). We have plans to prepare TE also for speakers of Russian 320m-4.6%, and ultimately for speakers of fourteen other languagaes, namely: Arabic 250m-3.6%, Bahasa-Indonesia 163m-2.3%, Farsi 70m-1%, French 130m-1.9%, German 125m-1.8%, Hindustani 1,000m-14.3, Japanese 130m-1.9%, Korean 75m-1.1%, Malay 200m-2.9%, Portuguese 200m-2.9%, Punjabi 100m-1.4%, Thai 125m-1.8%, Turkish 160m-2.3%, Vietnamese 75m-1.1% = The result being that the Total projected population for English exposure (1,000m-14.3%, English speakers also included in Total) and eventual usage could be: 5,573 million—or 79.9% of the global population.
Volunteer translators of the simplified TE text (and particularly emeriti faculty) are sought from the MLA multilingual membership to help bring the Earth’s peoples together for everyone’s benefit. Those interested in translating the TE text for a specific language group, named above, may contact us by email: lihani.prof@prodigy.net. –Thank you.

MemberCharles L. Leavitt IV

I am Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Notre Dame and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Reading (UK), where I served for six years as Lecturer in Italian Studies. My research interests include modern and contemporary Italian literature and cinema, post-war Italian history, and the intersections between the Italian and African-American experience. I am currently completing a monograph on Italian neorealism. I have contributed to several books, including World Film Locations: Florence (Intellect Books, 2014); Transmissions of Memory: Echoes, Traumas, and Nostalgia in Post-World War II Italian Culture (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2018); and The Total Art: Italian Cinema from Silent Screen to Digital Image (Bloomsbury, 2019). My work has also appeared in leading scholarly publications including Modern Language Notes, Italian Culture, the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, California Italian Studies, Tre Corone, and the Italianist. A fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy, I have received an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Reading and a Kaneb Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award from the University of Notre Dame.  

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

MemberJohn E. Drabinski

John E. Drabinski is Charles Hamilton Houston 1915 Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Black Studies at Amherst College. In addition to authoring four books, most recently Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minnesota, 2019) and Levinas and the Postcolonial: Race, Nation, Other (Edinburgh, 2012), he has written over three dozen articles on Africana theory and French philosophy, and has edited books and journal issues on Frantz Fanon, Jean-Luc Godard, Emmanuel Levinas, Édouard Glissant, and the question of political reconciliation. He is currently finalizing a translation and critical introduction to Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Raphael Confiant’s Éloge de la créolité, and is completing a book-length study of the philosophical dimensions of James Baldwin’s non-fiction entitled ‘So Unimaginable a Price’: Baldwin and the Black Atlantic.

Memberbonnie lenore kyburz

An aspiring minimalist, I do all the things! My many roles constellate within a clarifying praxis of supporting creative vision. I teach writing and rhetoric with an emphasis in digital multimodality. I enjoy making short films as digital scholarship. My book on all of this is due out later this year from the #writing series, Colorado State University Open Press. I’ve listed my disciplinary identitification @ Left. Thankfully, the field in which I identify my presence, Rhetoric and Composition, is gloriously capacious. Within the field, I’ve found ways of engaging a range of studies and practices that invite me to explore my interests in:

  • Affect
  • Composition
  • Design
  • Digital Media
  • DIY Digital Filmmaking
  • Film
  • Multimodality
  • Performance
  • Rhetoric
  • Visual Rhetoric
  • Writing Program Administration