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  • Sean Silver
  • Associate Professor
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  • Office: Murray Hall, Room 044, College Ave Campus
  • Office Hours:

    Tuesday 8:20-10:20 and by arrangement. Please email in advance!

  • Primary Areas of Specialization: Literature and Science; Complex Systems; Cognitive Studies; Material Culture; Museum Studies; Craft
  • Field of Interest: Restoration & Eighteenth Century, Theory
  • About:

    I teach the literature and culture of the British Restoration and eighteenth century. Related interests include complex systems, the history of science, the origins of the museum, cognitive studies, and the history of ideas and craft practices. I am the author of The Mind Is a Collection, which traces the history of our most prevalent mental models. The book is the exhibit catalogue of a virtual museum,, which I hope you will visit. I am now working on a cultural history of complexity, a particularly modern way of thinking about the world. These interests find their way into my classroom. Two courses which I particularly enjoy teaching are a seminar on museums and literature, in which students become curators of literary objects, and a class I call “Reading With Your Laptop,” in which students learn the rudiments of the programming language “R,” and apply their new skills to unpack literary texts.

  • Book(s):
  • Other Publications:

    “Satirical Objects.” Oxford History of Eighteenth-Century Satire. Edited by Paddy Bullard. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2019).

    “Information and Irony.” Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1660-1714. Edited by Elizabeth Sauer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2018).

    “What Do We Mean by ‘Material’?” Afterword to Material Fictions, a special double issue of Eighteenth-Century Fiction, ed. Eugenia Zuroski-Jenkins and Michael Yonan (2018).

    “Making Weather: Communication Networks and the Great Storm of 1703.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction (2018).

    “Practice and Production.” The Cultural History of Hair: The Age of Empire. Edited by Joseph Roach and Margaret Powell. London: Bloomsbury (2018).

    “Contingency in Philosophy and History: 1650-1800.” Textual Practice 32.3 (2018): 419-36. "The Material of Material History: John Evelyn and Numismata," Word and Image, 2015. "Hooke, Latour, and the History of Extended Cognition," Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 2016. "The Prehistory of Serendipity: Bacon to Walpole," Isis, 2015 "Pale Fire and Johnson's Cat: The Anecdote in Polite Conversation," Criticism, 2011. "The Rape of the Lock and the Origins of Game Theory," Connotations, 2011. "Visiting Strawberry Hill: Horace Walpole's Gothic Historiography," Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 2009. "Locke's Pineapple and the History of Taste," Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 2008.

  • Education: University of California, Los Angeles – Ph.D. in English Literature, August 2008 Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA – B.A. in Literature, May 1994
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  • Evie Shockley
  • Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English
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  • Phone Number: (848) 932-7909
  • Office: Murray Hall, Room 202, College Ave Campus
  • Office Hours:

    Fall 2022: Th 2:30 - 4:30 & by appt.

  • Primary Areas of Specialization: African American and African Diaspora Literature, especially Poetry: Twentieth Century/Contemporary Poetry and Poetics; Black Feminist Thought, Gender and Sexuality; Black Study; Visual Culture
  • Field of Interest: African-American & Diaspora, Creative Writing Studies, Critical Race Studies, Gender & Sexuality, Poetry & Poetics, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century
  • About:

    "In my classroom, I make every effort to show students clearly how passionate I am about the texts and ideas I'm teaching—how much a poem, a novel, or a literary movement can mean to me and many others.  They appreciate this, I think, in part because it gives them permission to feel passionate about their own relationships to texts, in turn.  When that sense of the power of literature is circulating in the room, it makes it much easier for me to make palpable for them the historical and cultural significance of the works, on one hand, or to convince them of the importance of a line break or an element of plot, on the other.  What I appreciate most is that this becomes a feedback loop, wherein my own experience of texts that have become too familiar from frequent teaching is reenergized by the enthusiasms (or engaged resistance) my students express."

  • Book(s):
  • Undergraduate Courses Taught:
    • Black Poetry
    • Black Women Writers
    • Black Women's Experimental Writing
    • Blackness and Visual Culture
    • Contemporary Narratives of Slavery
    • Creative Writing (Poetry)
    • Domestic Ideology and African American Literature
    • The Black Fantastic: African American Speculative Fiction
  • Graduate Courses Taught:
    • The African-American Long Poem
    • Black Aesthetics in Theory and Practice
    • Black Power/Black Aesthetics (with Professor Donna Murch, History)
    • Slavery in the African American Imagination
    • Poetry, Poetics, and the (In)visibility of Race
  • Awards:
    • Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, 2019
    • Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship, 2018-2019
    • Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry (semiautomatic), 2018
    • Finalist, Pulitzer Prize in Poetry (semiautomatic), 2018
    • Finalist, LA Times Book Prize in Poetry (semiautomatic), 2018
    • Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry, African American Literature and Culture Society, 2015
    • Rutgers Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award, 2013-2014
    • Holmes National Poetry Prize, Princeton University, 2012
    • Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry (the new black), 2012
    • Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, Rutgers University, 2011
    • Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, Rutgers University, 2011
    • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2008
    • Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Program Fellowship, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 2007
    • Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship, 2007-8 (declined)
  • Visiting Professorships :
    • Bain-Swiggett Visitng Professorship in Poetry, Princeton University -- Fall 2021
    • Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar -- 2020-2021
    • Visiting Hurst Professor in Poetry, Washington University in St. Louis -- Spring 2019
  • Membership Affiliations:
    • Modern Languages Association (Executive Council, 2017-2020)
    • American Studies Association
    • Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
    • Langston Hughes Society
    • PEN American Center
  • Other Publications:
    • "Race, Experiments, and the Black Avant-Garde," in Furious Flower: Seeding the Future, ed. Joanne Gabbin, Northwestern University Press, 2020. 69-82.
    • "On Seeing and Reading the Nothing: Poetry and Blackness Visualized," New Literary History 50.4 (Autumn 2019): 499-528.
    • “Coloring Dickinson: Race, Influence, and Lyric Dis-reading,” in The New Emily Dickinson Studies, ed. Michelle Kohler, Cambridge University Press, 2019. 258-279.
    • "A Letter to David Drake from a Friend and a Relation," in Where Is All My Relation? The Poetics of Dave the Potter, ed. Michael A. Chaney, Oxford University Press, 2018. 51-57.
    • “Difficult Bees as Difficult Does,” in The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of Our Time, ed. Charles Altieri and Nicholas Nace, Northwestern University Press, 2017. 227-234.
    • “‘Please feel free to perform the text’: Making Slavery Work in Mendi + Keith Obadike’s Big House / Disclosure,” Special Issue on Black Experimental Poetry, David Marriot, guest ed., The Black Scholar 47.1 (2017): 38-52.
    • “Race, Reception, and Claudia Rankine’s American Lyric,” in “Reconsidering Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. A Symposium, Part I,” ed. Daniel Worden, Los Angeles Review of Books, 6 January 2016. 
    • “The Black Arts Movement and Black Aesthetics,” The Cambridge Companion to American Modernist Poetry, ed. Walter Kalaidjian, Cambridge UP (2014).
    • “Is Zong! Conceptual Poetry? Yes, It Isn’t.” Dialogues with NourbeSe Philip, ed. Janet Neigh, Jacket2, September 2013
    • “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Slave: Visual Artistry as Agency in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery,” Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon, ed. Lovalerie King and Shirley C. Moody, Indiana UP (2013).
    • “Going Overboard: African American Poetic Innovation and the Middle Passage,” Contemporary Literature 52.4, Spring 2012
    • “On the Nature of Ed Roberson’s Poetics,” Callaloo 33.3, Fall 2010
    • “The Haunted Houses of New Orleans: Gothic Homelessness and African American Experience,” Katrina’s Imprint: Race and Vulnerability in America, ed. Keith Wailoo, Karen O’Neil, Roland Anglin, and Jeffrey Dowd, Rutgers UP, 2010
  • Other Information of Interest:
  • Education: Duke University - M.A., Ph.D. University of Michigan - J.D. Northwestern University - B.A.
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  • Kristin Grogan
  • Assistant Professor of English
  • At Rutgers Since: 2019
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  • Office: Murray Hall, Room 007, College Ave Campus
  • Primary Areas of Specialization: Poetry and poetics, modernism, American literature
  • Field of Interest: Poetry & Poetics, Twentieth Century
  • About:

    My research focuses on poetry and poetics, modernism, and American literature; I'm also interested in Marxism and in gender and sexuality. At Rutgers I teach courses on twentieth-century poetry and on queer literature. I'm currently finishing my first book, Stitch, Unstitch: Poetry, Modernism, and the World of Work, which examines the relationship between poetry and labor in the first half of the twentieth century. I'm interested in how certain poets (Pound, Hughes, Stein, Niedecker) understood their artistic production in relation to the artisanal, mechanical, and domestic labors of others, and what this can tell us about the social role and value of poetry. 

    My essays have appeared in American Literature, Critical Quarterly, Post 45, Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory, and in several essay collections. I've written about, among other things, the idea of the poetic 'image'; Marxism and modernist poetry; Langston Hughes among the Russian Constructivists; contemporary Georgics; blues poetry; and homemade books. With David B. Hobbs, I am the editor of a special cluster of Post 45 Contemporaries on the poet Bernadette Mayer: I'm currently working on a new project on anarchist poetics, and I'm thinking more about the relationship between form and identity in post-war poetry. I have abiding interests in queer literature, especially in the modernist moment.

    Before coming to Rutgers I was a Junior Research Fellow at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. I took my DPhil at Oxford in 2018; before that, I studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where I'm originally from. 

  • Undergraduate Courses Taught:

    Modernist Poetry

    American Poetry Since 1945

    Queer Literature before Stonewall

    The New York School

    Queer Poetics

    The Great Depression

  • Graduate Courses Taught:

    American Literature and Working Life

  • Other Publications:


    “Langston Hughes and the Exemplary Blues Poem.” Critical Quarterly, Special Issue on Historical Poetics, eds. Sean Pryor and Ben Etherington. Vol. 61, no. 1 (May 2019): 54-66.

    “Langston Hughes’s Constructivist Poetics.” American Literature. Vol. 90, no. 3 (September 2018): 585-612.

    “Niedecker’s Gift: The Poetics of Work in ‘For Paul and Other Poems.’” Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. Vol. 28, no. 3 (August 2017): 255-274.

     “Money on My Mind: Gertrude Stein’s Meditations.” Dibur. Vol. 5: Special Issue on Poetic Currency, ed. Adriana X. Jacobs (Spring 2018): 7-19.

    “Three Ways of Looking at a Canto: Navigating Canto 108.” Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary. Vol. 10: Astern in the Dinghy: Special Issue on Ezra Pound’s Thrones, ed. Alexander Howard, (2018): 329-354.

    Book Chapters

    “Poetry.” Understanding Marx, Understanding Modernism, ed. Mark Steven, London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2020.

    “Stein’s Immaterial Labors.” Modernist Work: Modernity, Labor, and the Work of Art, eds. John Attridge and Helen Rydstrand, London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

    “Pound’s Lynxes: On Canto 79.” Readings in The Cantos, ed. Richard Parker, Clemson, SC: Clemson University Press, forthcoming 2020.

    “Ezra Pound and the Anarchist Economics of Silvio Gesell.” A Companion to Ezra Pound’s Economics, eds. Roxana Preda and Ralf Lüfter, Bautz, 2018.

    “Listening to the Late Cantos.” Sounding Modernism: Rhythm, Acoustics, and Sonic Mediation in Literature and Film. Eds. Helen Groth, Penelope Hone, and Julian Murphet, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.

  • Education: DPhil Oxford, 2018