English

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2024

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger was invited to contribute to the Antisemitism Studies program at Gratz College. In pioneering its new Masters program in Antisemitism Studies, Gratz College joins the expertise of its own faculty with experts from around the world.





March 2024

  • Professor and Austin Term Chair in English Eileen Cleere presided over the 39th meeting of INCS (Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies) in Cincinnati, OH, March 21-24, under the theme of “Trans-Turns in the Nineteenth Century.” In addition to whipping Board votes for a successful overhaul of the organization’s bylaws and constitution and announcing prizes and initiatives at the membership banquet, Cleere chaired a panel on “Theorizing Trans-historically.”





  • Professor and Austin Term Chair of English Eileen Cleere published an article in the most recent issue of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly. The essay, “Girls on Fire: Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1861), Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (1943), and the Adolescent Sublimation of Victorian Sensation” was reworked from a Paideia Lecture, and can be read here.





February 2024

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger co-authored an op-ed in the Times of Israel with David Mikics, Moores Distinguished Professor in the Department of English and the Honors College, University of Houston. The article “Trouble at the Modern Language Association” opposes academic antisemitism and extremism and advocates for dialog and diversity in American campus life.





  • Assistant Professor of English Sonia Del Hierro gave a public talk in a Modern Language Association webinar where she co-presented her recent collaborative publication, “Radical Collegiality and Joy in Graduate Education,” included in the edited collection Graduate Education for a Thriving Humanities Ecosystem.





  • Part-Time Faculty Member in the English Department Chelsey Clammer ’05 and had her recent lyric essay, “The Ruins of What Never Was,” published in Volume 4 of iO Literary Journal, available here.





  • Professor of English Michael Saenger published “The University after October 7” in TELOSscope, which is part of Telos: Cultural Theory of the Contemporary.





January 2024

  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere has been elected to the Presidency of INCS, the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association. Effective January 1, 2024, Cleere will lead the international organization for a two-year period, convening the annual convention in Cincinnati, OH, in 2024 and Genoa, Italy, in 2025. The organization has hundreds of active members who write and publish in multiple languages, ranging from English, History, and Art History to Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Learn more about the organization here.





  • Professor of English Michael Saenger presented a paper at the Modern Language Association Convention in Philadelphia. His paper, “Double Tongue: Multiple Languages in Shakespeare,” examines the theoretical status of linguistic mixture in the early modern period. At the convention, Saenger also advocated for social justice and academic freedom at the Delegate Assembly of the Modern Language Association, and his activism was covered in the national press. Saenger published an op-ed on the struggles of the organization, which was presented as a Featured Post in the Times of Israel. He then presented an invited talk on Academic Engagement Network’s Short Course in Phoenix, “A Break in Discourse after October 7.”





November 2023

  • On October 26th and 27th, Assistant Professor of English Sonia Del Hierro participated in the U.S. Latino Digital Humanities’ Mellon Grants-in-Aid Showcase, a public presentation by 2023 recipients of a digital humanities grant, funded by the Mellon Foundation and supported by Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage/Arte Público Press and the University of Houston. She co-presented “Señora Power: Updates and Challenges” with her research collaborators, Gaby Barrios of the University of California-Los Angeles and Sophia Martinez-Abbud of Rice University.





October 2023

  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere gave a talk entitled “Grooming Habits: Revisiting Victorian (Child) Marriage in the Age of #MeToo” at the annual meeting of VISAWUS (Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States) at the Seattle Public Library on October 19-21. She also participated in a pedagogy workshop dedicated to “Bringing the Climate Crisis into the Classroom.”





  • Professor of English Michael Saenger co-authored with Professor of American Studies and Humanities Nancy Koppelman at The Evergreen State College an essay entitled “Before the War: Educators in Israel / Palestine” for the Times of Israel. Their essay relates their experiences leading a group of American university professionals through encounters with different perspectives in the Middle East.





  • Professor of English Michael Saenger delivered an invited keynote lecture at Waseda University in Tokyo at an international conference entitled “Translation of Shakespeare as Cultural Exchange.” Also presenting was Nick Baylor ’25, who traveled to Japan with Dr. Saenger.





June 2023

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger represented Academic Engagement Network on a trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The Signature Seminar Series participants – senior and mid-level DEI and Student Affairs administrators from U.S. universities and colleges – traveled to West and East Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Ramallah between June 6 and June 14 for an experiential learning opportunity. They engaged with prominent figures at Israeli and Palestinian universities and NGOs to see how people from various perspectives, including Druze, Jewish, Muslim, and secular backgrounds, are working to build bridges of understanding and how that can be relevant to improving campus climate in the US.





May 2023

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger completed a three-week residency at the department of European, American, and Intercultural Studies, Sapienza Università di Roma. He led seminars, gave lectures, and collaborated with Iolanda Plescia, Associate Professor of English in that department, as well as Laetitia Sansonetti, Senior Lecturer in English at Université Paris Nanterre, both of whom are leading figures in the study of Shakespeare’s use of multiple languages and the question of translation. His final lecture was entitled “Accidental Multilingualism in Shakespeare.”





Feburary 2023

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger and Associate Professor of Theatre Sergio Costola collaborated on a book titled Shakespeare in Succession: Translation and Time (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023). The edited collection brings together scholars from eight different countries and five continents.





January 2023

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger co-authored an essay with Cary Nelson, who is Professor Emeritus of English and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as president of the American Association of University Professors between 2006 and 2012. The essay, entitled, “When Discourse about Israel Becomes Antisemitic: A Guide for the Perplexed.” Fathom is a prominent British journal that focuses on the Middle East. Read the essay here.





  • Professor of English Michael Saenger delivered an invited talk at the Academic Engagement Network’s Short Course in Miami on January 9. The talk was entitled “Addressing Challenges in the Humanities & Social Sciences: Toward a Better Understanding & Use of Key Terms in Combating BDS and Israel Delegitimization.”





October 2022

September 2022

  • Professor of English Michael Saenger published a review of  Hamlet Translations: Prisms of Cultural Encounters across the Globe , edited by Márta Minier and Lily Kahn. The review appeared in  Translation Studies,  a leading international academic journal.





August 2022

May 2022

  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans took part in the symposium The Aesthetics of Infrastructure/The Infrastructure of Aesthetics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which was held April 21–22. An interdisciplinary group of scholars shared their work on infrastructure and the environmental humanities at the event.





April 2022

  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere has had an article accepted for publication by Children’s Literature Association Quarterly.The essay, “Going Downtown: ‘Right Reading,’ Mental Hygiene, and the Adolescent Sublimation of Victorian Sensation,” was first presented as a Paideia Connections Lecture in 2015.





  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere presented a paper at the 2022 Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) Annual Conference, held March 24–27 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her paper, “The Stratified Family Story: Dinah Mulock Craik’s The Head of the Family (1852) and the Problem of Pedophilia,” is part of a larger project about the discourses of rape, grooming, and sexual assault within the genre of fiction known as the Victorian family story. Cleere also chaired a panel titled “Queer Studies, Performance, and Desire.”





  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere has been promoted to first vice president of Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS), an international group of scholars dedicated to interdisciplinary discussion and research.





March 2022

  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere’s article “Rape in Public: Overlooking Child Sexual Assault in Charlotte Mary Yonge’s The Daisy Chain was published in Victorian Literature and Culture. Morgan Mosby ’20, Cleere’s former undergraduate research assistant, helped frame the initial ideas for the essay around issues of rape’s historic invisibility within literary and feminist criticism.





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans was featured in conversation with American Book Award-winning and Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Ruth Ozeki on an episode of the podcast Novel Dialogues.The episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere online.





Feburary 2022

  • Recently retired Professor of English and holder of the McManis University Chair Helene Meyers recently published two reviews of films that focus on reproductive justice. Her review of Aftershock, a documentary on the epidemic of Black maternal mortality, appeared on the Lilithblog, and her review of My So-Called Selfish Life, a documentary on childfree women, was published by the Jewish Women’s Archive blog.





  • Recently retired Professor of English and holder of the McManis University Chair Helene Meyers talked about her new book Movie-Made Jewson the Revealerpodcast, hosted by New York University’s Center for Media and Religion. An excerpt from her book was also published in the February issue of the Revealer online magazine.





January 2022

  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans delivered two papers at the 2022 Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, held virtually and in person January 6–9 in Washington, D.C.. The first was part of an environmental humanities roundtable titled “Apocalyptic Realisms”; the second was part of a panel titled “The Unforeseeable,” sponsored by the Prose Fiction Forum.





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans published a review of Neal Stephenson’s latest novel, Termination Shock,in the Los Angeles Review of Books





  • Professor of English and Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere delivered a paper at the 2022 Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, held January 6–9 in Washington, D.C. Her paper, “Pivotingand Other Words I’ll Never Use Again,” was delivered remotely when infection rates and travel conditions shifted most of the conference online. The paper was part of a panel commemorating the forthcoming publication of “Unprecedented Disruptions: Nineteenth-Century Scholars Reflect on 2020,” an issue of Nineteenth-Century Contexts Cleere coedited.





December 2021

  • Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers published “7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2021” in Lilith Magazine’s blog.





  • A profile of Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers appeared in The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa’s online publication.





November 2021

  • An excerpt from Movie-Made Jews: An American Tradition, a recent book by Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers, was published in the fall issue of Lilith Magazine.





  • Professor and Austin Term Chair in English Eileen Cleere reviewed My Victorian Novel: Critical Essays in the Personal Voice,edited by Annette R. Federico, for the journal Nineteenth-Century Contexts. The review appeared in volume 43, issue 4.





  • Professor and Joanne Powers Austin Term Chair in English Eileen Cleere coedited a volume of Nineteenth-Century Contextsdevoted to the unprecedented disruptions of 2020. Her introduction to the special issue, cowritten with Professors George Robb (William Paterson University) and Narin Hassan (Georgia Tech), is titled “Zooming In: Epidemic, Pandemic, Endemic.”





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans and Southwestern students Coleen Roche ’22 and Elena Welsh ’23 presented a paper titled “Public Humanities Pedagogy for the Present” on the panel “Social Media and the Public Sphere” at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present. The paper detailed the methods and findings of the team’s summer 2021 faculty-student research project and reflected on how the project changed their perspectives on collaborative humanities research and public-facing literary scholarship.





  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger published an article titled “Shakespeare and Linguistic Change” in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Shakespeare. Saenger also presented a talk titled “Addressing Challenges in the Humanities & Social Sciences: Toward a Better Understanding and Use of Key Terms in Combating BDS and Israel Delegitimization”





October 2021

  • At the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans presided over the Environment and Culture Caucus’s professional development panel, “Teaching for Justice: A Pedagogy Working Session,” and chaired and presented on a session titled “Extinction Rebellion: A Roundtable on the Performative Politics of Revolt,” where she discussed both the disruptive and the theatrical elements of Extinction Rebellion and other environmental justice movements and the popular and media attention paid to each.





September 2021

  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans and Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Joshua Long were interviewed for a story for the online magazine Grist. The story, “Can Climate Fiction Deliver Climate Justice?” by Maddie Stone, was published on September 28. Among other subjects, the article discusses a Southwestern summer 2021 faculty–student research project, “Climate Literature and Climate Literacy,” led by Evans with two current Southwestern English students, Coleen Roche ’23 and Elena Welsh ’23.





  • Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers was interviewed by Alma, a Jewish culture website that prides itself on being “feminist and full of chutzpah,” about her new book Movie-Made Jews: An American TraditionRead the interview.





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans  published an article in the journal American Literature titled “ Geomemory and Genre Friction: Infrastructural Violence and Plantation Afterlives in Contemporary African American Novels .” The article is drawn from the fourth chapter of her current book project and is part of a joint special issue of American Literature and Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities  titled “The Infrastructure of Emergency.”





June 2021

  • Professor Emeritus of English David Gaines read his poem “Changing Course” at the Poets of the Northland reading on May 26, 2021. It received the grand prize in the Duluth Dylan Festival Poetry Contest, a celebration of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday hosted by the Nobel laureate’s fans and scholars in his hometown.





  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger gave two invited talks recently. On April 15, he delivered the keynote, titled “Shakespeare’s Fathers,” at the distinguished lecture series Unravelling the Bard: Through Global Perspectives hosted by Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College, in Chandigarh, India. On May 25, he was an invited discussant responding to Alexa Alice Joubin, professor of English, theatre, international affairs, and East Asian languages and cultures at George Washington University. This event was hosted by Haun Saussy, university professor of comparative literature at the University of Chicago. The topic was Joubin’s recent book, Shakespeare and East Asia(Oxford University Press).





March 2021

  • Professor of English and Holder of McManis University Chair Helene Meyers was an invited participant on the panel “Helping Humanities Majors Tackle a Tough Job Market from a Position of Strength” at the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance.





Feburary 2021

  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger  published an entry in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Shakespeare  on “ Scotland, PA  (dir. Billy Morrissette, USA, 2001),” which can be viewed here .





January 2021

  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger organized and hosted a webinar titled “Terms, Language, and Translation: Palestine and Israel.” The event featured Jessica Emami, adjunct professor of sociology at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and Ghaith al-Omari, a senior fellow in The Washington Institute’s Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.–Israel Strategic Relationship and former executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine.





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans presented twice at the 2021 Modern Language Association Annual Convention, speaking as part of the roundtable “Infrastructures of Emergency” on January 7 and giving a talk titled “Apocalypse Now, Then, Ongoing: Genre Friction and Anthropocene Literature” as part of the panel “Post-Apocalypse Now” on January 9.





  • Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers published “7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2020” in Lilith Magazine’s blog.





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans  was elected to a five-year term on the executive committee of the Modern Language Association’s Science and Literature forum. Her coedited volume The Palgrave Handbook of 20th- and 21st-Century Literature and Science  was released at the end of 2020.





December 2020

  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger  published a featured post on the Times of Israel  website titled “Texas Saves Progressivism.” See the article here .





November 2020

  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger  published a featured post on the Times of Israel  website titled “Texas Saves Progressivism.” See the article here .





October 2020

  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger presented “Interlinguistic Shakespeare in East Asia” at the virtual 49th Southwest Conference on Asian Studies, October 23, 2020.





September 2020

  • Professor Emeritus of English David Gaines had his article “I Climbed Up Friday Mountain and Down Barsana Hill” published in the Wall Street Journal. Read it here.





August 2020

  • Professor of English and Joanne Powers Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere has had an article accepted for publication in Victorian Literature and Culture.Initial research for the essay, “Rape in Public: Overlooking Child Sexual Assault in Charlotte Mary Yonge’s 1856 The Daisy Chain,” was conducted in 2019 by Cleere’s summer research assistant, Morgan Mosby ’20, a position funded by the Powers Austin endowment. The final article was inspired by the #MeToo movement and is situated methodologically within the developing academic field of new rape studies.





  • Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers reviewed R. L. Maizes’s Other People’s Petsfor the Washington Independent Review of Books. Read her review here.





  • Assistant Professor of English Rebecca Evans published a review of N. K. Jemisin’s newest novel in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Read it here.





July 2020

  • Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger, in his capacity as chair of the section for faculty in the humanities at Academic Engagement Network, cochaired an electronic conference with Ayal Feinberg, assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M University–Commerce and senior fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. The panel, “Scholarly Perspectives on Jews and Social and Ideological Space across the Academy,” took place on June 24, 2020. The speakers included Simon Bronner, dean of the College of General Studies and distinguished professor of social sciences and business at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Albert Cheng, assistant professor at the Department of Education Reform in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; André Villeneuve, Catholic biblical scholar and assistant professor in the Honors College at Azusa Pacific University; and Ken Stern, director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate at Bard College.





June 2020

May 2020

  • Professor Emeritus of English David Gaines  reviewed Baron Wormser’s novel Songs from a Voice: Being the Recollections, Stanzas, and Observations of Abe Runyan, Songwriter and Performer  (Woodhall Press, 2020) for The Midwest Review . You can read the review here .





April 2020

  • Professor of English David Gaines  contributed a chapter titled “Dylan’s Literary Fans: The Economy of Prestige and Reading with One Hand Waving Free” to the conference volume New Approaches to Bob Dylan  (Southern Denmark University Press). The chapter grew out of his spring 2018 capstone course, American Nobelity, and his conference presentation in Denmark that semester.





  • Professor of English David Gaines  published “His Back Pages” in The Bridge  (vol. 66, spring 2020), the leading journal of Bob Dylan studies in Europe. Therein, he reviewed “History of a Voice” poet Bryan Wormser’s new Dylan-inspired novel.





March 2020

  • Joanne Powers Austin Chair and Professor of English Eileen Cleere delivered a paper titled “Ecopsychology and the Greening of Jane Eyre” at the annual Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) Conference in Los Angeles, CA, March 4–8, 2020. She also participated in a pedagogy workshop called  “How to Teach Victorian Literature Online.” Cleere currently serves on the governing board of INCS as second vice president.





  • Associate Professor of English and Chair of Early Modern Studies Michael Saenger has been named chair of the section for faculty in the humanities at the Academic Engagement Network (AEN). AEN is a national organization of faculty members and staff on American university and college campuses that seeks to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel; to support robust discussion, research, and education about Israel in the academy; to promote campus free expression and academic freedom; and to counter antisemitism when it occurs on campus.





  • Professor of English David Gaines reviewed Sam Wasson’s The Big Goodbye, a book about the making of the 1974 film Chinatown, in the February 25th Austin Chronicle. Read his review here.





Feburary 2020

  • Associate Professor of English and Chair of Early Modern Studies Michael Saenger has been named chair of the section for faculty in the humanities at the Academic Engagement Network (AEN). AEN is a national organization of faculty members and staff on American university and college campuses that seeks to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel; to support robust discussion, research, and education about Israel in the academy; to promote campus free expression and academic freedom; and to counter antisemitism when it occurs on campus.





  • Professor of English David Gaines reviewed Sam Wasson’s The Big Goodbye, a book about the making of the 1974 film Chinatown, in the February 25th Austin Chronicle. Read his review here.





January 2020

  • Professor of English and Joanne Powers Austin Term Chair Eileen Cleere has been elected second vice president of Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS), an international organization. Her term will run 2020–2021.





  • Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers published “7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2019” in the Lilith Blog. Read it here.





  • Professor of English and McManis University Chair Helene Meyers was an invited participant on the roundtable “Building Bridges: Feminist Mentorship, Collaboration, and Coalition Building” at the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies. Meyers talked about diverse forms of mentoring, including public scholarship.