MemberPaul Ilie

I am a maverick scholar and literary critic who, despite academic habits and values ingrained during the 1950s, also lives a non-specialist second life by reading across the humanities, sciences, and political history. I relish analytically disputing issues with other introspective, driven readers of Western literature and lovers of art and classical music. If the topic is broad, I demand supportive detail, and if narrow, I want to understand the wider context. To make sense of it all and to air occasional exasperations, I also write short stories. You can google my name for a professional profile.

MemberSusan K. Harris

I’m a 19th-century Americanist whose major work has been in two areas: Mark Twain, on the one hand, and the study of 19th century American women writers, on the other. Most recently, though, I have become interested in American imperialism–in 2011 I published God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898-1902, a study of the role of religious rhetoric in the debates over the annexation of the Philippines. To my surprise (and relief), it’s been well received by historians, on whose turf I had feared to tread. Pedagogically, I’ve thrown myself into U.S. immigrant lit in the last few years, teaching courses that begin with “classic” turn-into-the-20th century texts and then jump to very recent writings–Junot Diaz, Bich Minh Nguyen, and others. The response has been fantastic; many of my students have never traveled outside of their region, and the presentations I have them do in conjunction with the reading brings the world into the classroom. I’m very excited about both these turns in my scholarly and pedagogical life.