Projects & Profiles

Back To Projects

"Transnational Encounters: World-Renowned Authors at the University of Delaware

Fall 2011-Fall 2012 (WOMS, ENGL, FLLT

We are inviting six internationally known authors over a four-semester period beginning in the fall 2011 semester. Each author will spend two days on campus. During this period she/he will present a public lecture, a reading, and interact with students, faculty, and others. The thematic and conceptual focus of the series is on transnationalism and diversity, and the authors will be selected on the basis of their contributions to this topic.

One hallmark of an intellectually vibrant campus is the opportunity to hear and engage with leading scholars and artists of diverse national and international communities. Our high-profile authors series seeks to create a forum for such an engagement at UD, using the medium of world literature in order to discuss and reflect upon such issues as new forms of migration, the role of the nation state, identity politics, or gender and family structures. The series will bring significant attention to UD and highlight its commitment to all aspects of diversity. It will also engage large segments of the campus and broader community with current core intellectual issues related to transnationalism and diversity.

There will be six events: One is scheduled for fall 2011 and one for spring 2012; two writers will be invited for fall 2012 and two for spring 2013. Information about the first event in the series, a talk by Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, can be found at the Common Reader web site.

Iain Crawford holds a B.A. in English and Greek Civilization from the University of Leeds and a Ph.D. from the University of Leicester. His articles have appeared in journals including Dickens Quarterly, The Journal of Narrative Technique, Studies in the Novel, and SEL: Studies English Literature 1500-1900, and his most recent work is forthcoming in Victorian Periodicals Review. His current book project, “Editing Scheherazade: Dickens, Household Words, and the Formation of the Victorian Woman Writer,” is a study of Dicken’s editorial practice and his working relationships with a number of female authors. Before coming to the United States, he taught in his native England, Finland, and the former Yugoslavia.

Monika Shafi is Elias Ahuja Professor of German Literature, former Director of the Women’s Studies Program (2005-2010) and incoming Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware (September 2011-)). She is the author of three books, Utopische Entwűrfe in der Literatur von Frauen (1989); Gertrud Kolmar: Eine Einfűhrung in das Werk (1995); Balancing Acts: Intercultural Encounters in Contemporary German and Austrian Literature (2001), and the editor of Approaches to Teaching Grass’s The Tin Drum in the Modern Languages Series Teaching World Literature (2008). She has written numerous articles on 19th, 20th, and 21st century German literature, with a specific emphasis on women authors (such as Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Irmgard Keun, Barbara Frischmuth, Anna Mitgutsch, Judith Hermann, Christa Wolf, and Monika Maron). Her areas of expertise also include Günter Grass, German-Jewish literature, travel writing, migrant and postcolonial literature. She is completing a book, entitled Housebound: Domestic Space and Selfhood which investigates the representation of domestic space in select contemporary German-language novels.

Richard A. Zipser, Ph.D., Professor of German and Chair (since 1986), Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures, University of Delaware.

Zipser’s field of specialization is literature of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). He has authored/edited or co-authored/co-edited eight books, editions, or edited compilations, published a large number of scholarly articles and book reviews, and served on various editorial boards. He is currently writing a book entitled “Remembering East Germany,” which focuses on his experiences in the GDR during the 1970s and 1980s.

Zipser is the recipient of numerous awards, including: Excellence in Service Award, College of Arts & Sciences, for outstanding contributions in the areas of foreign language education and study abroad, 2001; Order of Excellence Award, from the Delaware State Board of Education, for outstanding service as Co-chair of the State Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework Commission, 1997; Merit Award, from the State of Delaware Department of Public Instruction, for distinctive contributions to the program of public education in Delaware, 1997; Foreign Language Advocate of the Year Award, selected by the Delaware Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 1995. In 1987, he served as President of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages Executive Committee, Modern Language Association.