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Category Archives: Conferences


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.


New York has three main airports through which millions of people pass each year.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

JFK is located in Queens at the south end of the Van Wyck Expressway. This airport primarily handles international flights; it has a one mile long “international zone”, which is run not by the U.S. Government, but by the United Nations. The airport has a Ground Transportation Desk where you can get information when you arrive.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

LaGuardia, in Queens (on the Grand Central Parkway), mainly handles domestic flights. If you’re flying in from anywhere in the U.S., chances are you’ll come through here.

Newark International Airport (EWR)

Newark, in Newark, New Jersey, handles both domestic and international flights. It’s a bit further from the city than the other two airports, but it is generally less crowded and has more modern facilities.  The airport has a Ground Transportation Desk where you can get information when you arrive.

Driving takes 30-90 minutes depending on traffic.  There are tolls depending on your route.

Taxis into the city take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.  They cost $25 – $60  to Manhattan NOT including bridge tolls and tip.  Taxis accept cash and credit/debit cards.  Make sure to hail a cab in the designated areas or ask a uniformed airport employee to help you.  Generally, drivers will assist you with your luggage and it is always polite to tip your driver 15% to 20%.

The New York City subways and buses run for $2.25. If you have large quantities of luggage, you may find it difficult to manage this long trip.  For more information and to plan your trip, please visit the MTA website or see the public transportation below.

The Department of English at New York University promotes the rigorous study of English-language literature from the variety of periods and places in which it has been produced.  Understanding “literature” to encompass such matters as textual production and circulation, societal reading practices, generic differentiation, and aesthetic attitudes–as well as discrete bodies of work by recognized authors–the Department strives to elucidate literary significance in all its manifestations.  Departmental faculty accordingly work and train students in textual analysis, archival research, theoretical critique, and cultural historiography, among other scholarly methods.  In addition to awarding B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in literature, the Department offers both an M.A. and an M.F.A. degree in creative writing, through its affiliated program in that field.

Learn More about NYU by Visiting the English Department’s Website:

Also, please visit the University’s Website:

Visit the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Website and use their plan and ride tool (powered by Google) to plan your subway or bus trip.  See:

Here is a link to the most current subway map:

New York University is located in Greenwich Village, just north of SoHo, in an area full of restaurants, galleries, and stores.

The cheapest rooms in the city are available at Youth Hostels. A listing of Youth Hostels in the New York City area can be found at the following link. Please remember that not all Hostels will accept reservations from non-Hostel members, or may quote substantially higher rates to non-members.

Youth Hostels in New York

Our own friends have had pleasant experiences with Jazz on the Park, just a block away from Central Park, a 20-min subway ride from NYU.

There are limited lodging options in the immediate NYU area, so you may want to consider staying further uptown, or even outside of the city.

The most convenient bus lines to NYU are the M1, M2, M3, M5, M6, M8, M10, and the M21. Nearby subway lines include the A, B, C, D, E, F, or V to West Fourth St., the 1 or 9 to Christopher St., the N or R to Eighth St., or the 6 to Astor Pl.

No matter where you stay, we hope you enjoy your visit to New York University and take advantage of the wonderful resources the City has to offer.

NYU Hotel Accommodations

Club Quarters Downtown

52 William Street, New York, NY 10036
Reservations: (212) 575-0006

Club Quarters Midtown

40 West 45th Street, New York, NY 10005 Reservations: (212) 575-0006

Club Quarters Downtown, a 280-room, private, first-class business hotel, is located in the Wall Street area of Manhattan. By special arrangement with NYU, it offers moderately priced, quality accommodations for University-affiliated guests. Features include a customized NYU floor and lounge decorated to highlight the University’s presence in New York. Rates are well below those for comparable accommodations in Manhattan. On weekends, visitors are welcome to use Club Quarters Midtown. Near Fifth Avenue, it is close to shopping, Broadway theatres, and Rockefeller Center.

Other Hotels

Best Western Seaport

33 Peck Slip at Front St.
NY, NY 10038-1706
(212) 766-6600

The Carlton on Madison Ave

22 East 29th Street
New York, New York 10016
(212) 532-4100

Clarion Collection The Solita Soho Hotel

159 Grand Street (between Lafayette & Centre St )
(212) 925-3600

Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Chelsea

160 West 25th Street (between 6th & 7th Ave)
(212) 627-1888

Gramercy Park

2 Lexington Ave. at 21st St.
(212) 475-4320

Holiday Inn Downtown

138 Lafayette Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 966-8898

The Iroquois

49 West 44th Street
New York, New York 10036
(212) 840-3080

The Marcel

230 East 24th Street
New York, New York 10010
(212) 696-3800

Roger Williams

131 Madison Avenue (at 31st St)
New York, New York 10016
(212) 448-7000

The Roosevelt Hotel

Madison Avenue at 45th Street
New York, New York 10017
(212) 888 TEDDYNY

Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, New York 10013

The Thirty Thirty Hotel

30 East 30th Street
New York, New York 10016
(212) 689-1900

Thompson Lower East Side

190 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 460-5300
Reservations: 1-877-460-8888

W New York Union Square

201 Park Avenue South
New York, New York 10003
(212) 253-9119

Washington Square Hotel

103 Waverly Pl. at Washington Square West

Hotel Wolcott

4 West 31st Street
New York, New York 10019
(212) 268-2900


Conference Date: Friday, April 2, 2010

Deadline for Abstracts: February 1, 2010

New York University’s English Department will host a graduate student conference exploring the fate of literature in the age of the reproducible image. The nineteenth-century emergence of photography, a medium which Walter Benjamin referred to as “the first truly revolutionary means of reproduction,” coupled with the subsequent development of the motion picture, irrevocably shook not only the art world, but also the literary. This conference aims to uncover the affinities, negotiations, and interrelations between literary texts and visual media like photography, cinema, and the more recent medium of digital imaging and video. Investigating these issues from the perspectives of both literary and visual culture, this one-day event aims to bring together new work being produced by graduate students studying literature, cinema studies, visual culture, the history of media, and social historiography.

We will be focusing on a number of related questions including (but not limited to): How has the development of visual media affected literary aesthetics? In what sense has the vocabulary of film and photography been appropriated from and by literary culture? How do motion and pacing – elements inherent to cinema – reveal themselves in creating and staging action, plot, and character development in literary narrative?

Other possible topics include:

  • Photographic representation in literary texts
  • Literature as motion: imagery and the mind’s eye, storytelling and motion
  • Cinema, literature, fragmentation and non-linear chronology
  • Descriptions of photographs within literary works
  • The ‘urban’ and its centrality to cross-media works
  • Modernist critique/appropriation of visual culture
  • Art, the avant-garde, and experimental motion/stop-motion
  • The function of written text in a visual medium
  • Depictions of movies and movie-going in literary narrative
  • Film vs. Literature: ‘high art’ in the era of mass culture

Please send abstracts (400 words) to by FEBRUARY 1, 2010. Abstracts should include your name, contact information, paper title, and a short bio with your institution & department affiliation and year in graduate school. Please specify any audio-visual requirements. Panel proposals are also welcome for panels comprised of 3-4 participants; in your proposals, please include panel title and brief description (limit 500 words) as well as a list of papers with corresponding abstracts and speaker information.

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.