MemberSusan Hollis Merritt

I earned my BA with Honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and my MA and PhD in English from Indiana University Bloomington.  My PhD dissertation, “Fantasy behind Play: A Study of Emotional Responses to Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, The Caretaker and The Homecoming,” initiated my work in reader-response oriented theory, criticism, and pedagogy and developed into my broader scholarly and pedagogical interests in theory and criticism. For several decades I have taught courses in English and theater at universities and colleges in the United States and engaged in scholarly pursuits here and abroad. My research on the criticism of Harold Pinter’s work advanced significantly when I participated as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in the NEH Summer Seminar New Directions in Literary Study, directed by Professor Ralph Cohen, at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. Supported by an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, I began my work on my book Pinter in Play: Critical Strategies and the Plays of Harold Pinter (1990; Duke UP, 1995). Following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Harold Pinter’s support for Václav Havel, and subsequent political developments in the Czech Republic (discussed in chapter 8 on “Cultural Politics” and updated in my preface to the paperback edition of Pinter in Play), I studied Czech as a visiting scholar in the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University and traveled to Prague multiple times to do research on Czech productions of contemporary plays by Pinter and other playwrights writing in English. During the spring of 1997, I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar, hosted by the Czech Theatre Institute, and a research associate at Charles University, in Prague.  I also made many trips to London, to do research in the Harold Pinter Archive at the British Library and to attend theatrical productions and related events pertaining to Pinter and other playwrights. My teaching and research, including my regular participation in MLA Annual Conventions, led to my becoming a charter member of the Society for Critical Exchange (founded in 1975) and a founding Life Member of the Harold Pinter Society (founded in 1986; now called the International Harold Pinter Society), both Allied Organizations of the MLA. As founding Bibliographical Editor of The Pinter Review, I compiled the “Harold Pinter Bibliography” from 1987 through 2011, when it was published in conjunction with the Pinter Society by the University of Tampa and the University of Tampa Press. Having participated in MLA workshops on Digital Humanities (see my profile on DH Commons, linked below in “Projects”), I am exploring the feasibility of developing a searchable digital database for my “Harold Pinter Bibliography” compiled for The Pinter Review. A selected list of my publications (including 14 installments of the bibliography) appears below and in the CV section of my (archived) website, which I hope to update and re-locate to a new hosting service in the future. My academic interests include: Dramatic literature, criticism, and theory; Global politics and the cultural impact of contemporary drama and media; Human rights issues pertaining to cultural studies; Digital pedagogy and scholarship; Archival studies; and Critical bibliography.

MemberWhitney Chappell

At UTSA, I teach classes on language and gender, bilingualism, sociolinguistics, Spanish phonetics and phonology, introduction to Spanish linguistics, and language and identity, among many others. My teaching philosophy is grounded in engaged, active student learning where the classroom is a fun, dynamic, and student-centered environment. In addition to sparking my students’ interest in linguistics, my goal is to help students become more inquisitive individuals who are capable of thinking critically inside and outside of the classroom. I also conduct research, and my work has been published in Language Variation and Change, The Journal of Voice, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Spanish in Context, Heritage Language Journal, Hispanic Studies Review, Hispania, and many other peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. In my research I am particularly fascinated by the nexus of sound and social meaning, and my research attempts to answer the following questions: How do we index our social affiliations through our use of phonetic variables? How do we use them to create closeness to or distance from certain groups? How much social information do we pick up on when we hear someone produce a particular variant? My publications delve into these questions in Central American Spanish and, more recently, in native and heritage Mexican Spanish in the United States. In pursuing these questions, my work sheds light on how phonetic variables help us construct and negotiate social identities and social memberships in Spanish. Finally, I contribute to my university through service work at the department, college, and university levels. My philosophy of service is simple: through leadership, organization, and teamwork my colleagues and I can work together to continually improve our university.

MemberVictor Sierra Matute

My research focuses on the intersection of materiality, affect and history the senses in the early modern Iberian world. I worked for the Department of Incunabula and Rare Books at the National Library of Spain, where I catalogued a significant part of the early modern poetic and theatrical manuscripts. I am currently working on a book-length manuscript provisionally entitled Materia Poetica: The Affective Life of Texts in the Early Modern Iberian World.