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The New York University Graduate English Organization’s

Conference on Literature and the Mass-Produced Image

Friday, April 2, 2010
19 University Place, New York, NY
The Great Room, 1st Floor

9:30-11:30 Intersections Among Motion, Space, Word, and Image
   Moderated by Linda Dolan

  • Kathryn Bullerdick (New York University, English) – The Didactic Imperative, the Axe of Civilization, and the Significance of the Frontier
  • Silvia Ammary (John Cabot University, American Literature and Writing) – Futuristic Motion in the Poetry of e.e. cummings
  • Gerrit Roessler (University of Virginia, Germanic Languages and Literatures) – Shakespeare’s Ghost as Virtual Body and the Dramatic Theater as Cyberspace
  • Tomasz Stompor (John F. Kennedy Institute – Freie Universität Berlin, North American Studies) – “Precise Intersection Points”: Intermedial Constellations in the Word-Image Hybrids of William S. Burroughs

11:30-1:15 Aesthetics and Narrative after the Reproducible Image
   Moderated by Kathryn Bullerdick

  • Matt Barry (New York University, Cinema Studies) – Spectacle and Narrative in Early Film: “The Cinema of Attractions” in Silent French Film
  • Jonathan Foltz (Princeton University, English) – The Laws of Exchange: Cinematic Formalism
  • Yair Solan (New York University, English) –  Desperate, Broken-hearted, and Sick-of-it-all: Snapshots of Suffering in Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts
  • Luke O’Hara (New York University, English) –  Reinforced Passivity and Metonymic Perception in Works by Donald Barthelme

2:15-4:00 Wielding the Gaze: Optical Media and Subject/Object Disruptions
   Moderated by Blevin Shelnutt

  • Bastian Balthazar Becker (The City University of New York – Graduate Center, English) – Turning the Gaze Upon the Mob: James Baldwin’s Literary Response to Lynching Photographs
  • Miranda Mattingly (Florida State University, English) – Making Latimer Visible: Narratological Concepts of Vision, Perspective and Agency in George Eliot’s “The Lifted Veil”
  • Elizabeth Foley O’Connor (Fordham University, English) – “War Material,” Impressionism, and the Cinematic Gaze in Jean Rhys’s “Vienne”
  • Mike Dell’Aquila (Brooklyn College – The City University of New York, English) – The Making of an (Italian) American: Text, Image and Ethnic Caricature in Jacob A. Riis’s How the Other Half Lives

4:15-6:00 Problems of Authenticity
   Moderated by Yair Solan

  • Ji Hyun Lee (New York University – Draper, Humanities and Social Thought) – The Ontology of a Novel: Reading Dennis Cooper’s Period alongside André Bazin’s “The Ontology of the Photographic Image”
  • Nicholas Gamso (The City University of New York – Graduate Center, English) – A Thousand Points of Light: The Suburbanization of Aesthetics in the Age of Speculative Capital
  • Judd Staley (The City University of New York – Graduate Center, English) – The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Distribution & The American Novel at the End of the Millennium

About the Conference Panelists and Moderators:

Silvia Ammary has a Ph.D. in American Literature. She has published two books on writing: Building Skills for an English Proficiency Test: Practice Makes Perfect, 2005, and Top Twenty Writing Flaws, 2009. Ammary is currently teaching at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, as an assistant professor of American Literature and writing. She is also the Director of ENLUS: English Language for University Studies. Ammary is interested in world literature, American literature and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Matt Barry is a first-year MA student in the Cinema Studies program at NYU. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media and Film at Towson University (2007). He produces a blog, The Art and Culture of Movies ( focusing on film history and criticism. His research focuses on narrative in early cinema, Classical Hollywood, and emerging trends in digital media, and has also written extensively on silent comedy.

Bastian Balthazar Becker is a first year Ph.D. student of English Literature at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Before coming to New York he has pursued studies in Germany, Massachusetts, and Georgia, and has lived and taught in Egypt, Peru, and France. Balthazar’s primary academic focus is on postcolonial narratives, comparative approaches, and collective memories. He has previously published a monograph, Rope, Rape, and Faggot: Re-Signifying Lynching’s Memory (2009), and contributes on a regular basis to Kritikon Litterarum (DeGruyter, Berlin).

Kathryn Bullerdick is an MA candidate in the English department at New York University and a co-organizer of this conference. She graduated from Indiana University with a BA in English and Comparative Literature in May 2005. Kathryn studies successful and failed attempts at communicating plans for metropolitan development, thereby analyzing how we discuss and study walking, shopping, crime, service, pollution, traffic, civic ceremony, and housing. Kathryn maintains a professional blog, A Soapbox for this Inexact Science (

Mike Dell’Aquila graduated with a BA in English from Penn State University and is currently in his second year in the Graduate English program at Brooklyn College, The City University of New York. His writing has appeared in a variety of print and online publications including Italian-Americana: Songs of Affection (forthcoming Spring 2010), CommonLine Magazine, The Outdoor Channel Magazine, Buckmasters Magazine, The Riverside-Press Enterprise and Kalliope: A Penn State Literary Journal, among others. After completing his Master’s Degree at Brooklyn College, he plans on continuing his academic work at the doctoral level, focusing on ethnic and cultural studies.

Linda H. Dolan is a first-year M.A. candidate in English and American Literature at New York University.  She graduated from Roanoke College in 2006 with a Bachelors of Arts with Honors in both English and Theology.  Her studies focus on religious representations in postcolonial literature with particular attention to communal identifications and religious Othering in Latin American immigrant communities.

Jonathan Foltz is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at Princeton University. He is currently completing a dissertation entitled “Comparative Formalism: Modernism, Cinema, and the Aesthetic Subject,” which addresses the relays between literary and cinematic formalism in early twentieth century aesthetic discourse.

Nicholas Gamso is a first year doctoral student in the English program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His areas of interest include Globalization, Postcolonial Studies, Urban and Environmental Studies, Critical Theory, and the Left.

Ji Hyun Lee is a master’s student at NYU’s Draper Interdisciplinary Program in Humanities and Social Thought. Her interests include trauma studies, modern and postmodern European and American literature, and Continental philosophy. Her thesis is called “The Loss, Retrieval, and Creation of Memory in Post-Apocalyptic Fiction.” She will graduate this May.

Miranda Mattingly graduated from the University of Louisville in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and History. Mattingly is currently enrolled in the Master’s program with a focus on late nineteenth century British Literature at Florida State University.

Elizabeth Foley O’Connor is a teaching fellow and doctoral candidate in English at Fordham University. Her dissertation, “Perambulating the Metropolis,” investigates the relationship between women and commodity culture in works by Joyce, Rhys, and Kate O’Brien. She has contributed book chapters on fin de siècle little magazines and Rhys’s use of Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier in her first novel, Quartet.

Luke O’Hara is a Masters Student in the English Department at NYU. His primary interests are 20th century literature, cultural studies and experimental fictions.

Gerrit Roessler received his MA in German from the University of Virginia in 2009 and an MA in English and Music from the University of Dortmund, Germany in 2007. In 2009 he also received the graduate certificate in comparative literature from the University of Virginia. He has published on religious fundamentalism in punk rock, moral ambiguity in Battlestar Galactica and presented on Charlotte Roche’s Feuchtgebiete and Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Der Untergang.

Blevin Shelnutt is a second-year MA student in the Department of English and American Literature at NYU and a co-organizer of this conference. Her interests include nineteenth-century American literature, cultural studies, cultures of cities, history of the book, and gender studies. She is currently writing her MA thesis on Hot Corn: Life Scenes in New York Illustrated, a nineteenth-century collection of temperance tales which Henry James discusses in his memoir as a book he was forbidden to read as a child.

Yair Solan is a second-year MA candidate in the Department of English and American Literature at New York University. A co-organizer of this conference, his areas of specialization include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, transatlantic modernism, mass culture and modernity, early and classical cinema, and the interrelations between literature and visual culture. His paper is an excerpt from his master’s thesis, which examines the blurring of high and low culture in the work of Nathanael West.

Judd Staley is currently completing his second year in the Ph. D. program in English at the CUNY-Graduate Center. He has recently given conference papers on James Joyce, Don DeLillo, and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Earlier this year he co-organized the first conference in North America (second in the world) devoted to the work of David Foster Wallace. He is presently working on a project involving the object-relations theory of D.W. Winnicott and the aesthetics of reading.

Tomasz Stompor is a PhD-fellow at the Graduate School of North American Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin working on a thesis about intermedial relations in the work of William S. Burroughs. His work is concerned with questions of visual qualities of language, word-image relations, and also with the translatability and transgression of media.

Conference organizers: Yair Solan, Kathryn Bullerdick and Blevin Shelnutt.

This conference is sponsored by the New York University Department of English, with financial support provided by the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science.


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