Faculty Profile

Claire Seiler

Associate Professor of English (2010)

Contact Information

seilercl@dickinson.edu

East College Room 310
717.245.1921

Bio

Seiler's research and teaching span modern and contemporary U.S., British, and Irish literatures and cultures. Her recent writing has appeared in Contemporary Literature, Modernism/Modernity, Auden at Work (2015), Around 1945: Literature, Citizenship, Rights (2016), and elsewhere. She is currently completing her first book, "Midcentury Suspension," which offers a new literary history of the immediate postwar and rethinks period and political frames that broadly govern the study of 20th-century literature. Recent courses include: Celtic Revival/Harlem Renaissance; War, Race, and U.S. Literature since 1945; Women Write War; and a senior research seminar centered on Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. In 2014-15, she was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2016-17, she is serving as chair of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Education

  • B.A., Middlebury College, 2002
  • M.Phil., Trinity College, Dublin, 2004
  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 2010

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

WGSS 101 Modern Women Writing War
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-04.This course studies American women’s war writing from the Civil War through the “war on terror.” Our guiding questions include: what literary forms have women writers adapted or developed to represent war, as well as the social, political, bodily, and emotional effects of armed conflict? How has women’s war writing participated in debates about feminism, citizenship, civil and human rights, and the American project? How have women’s changing social roles impacted war writing, and vice versa? Primary texts include works of poetry, fiction, and autobiography by Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson, Siobhan Fallon, Elyse Fenton, Frances E.W. Harper, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leslie Marmon Silko, Toyo Suyemoto, and Natasha Trethewey, among others.

ENGL 101 Modern Women Writing War
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-02.This course studies American women’s war writing from the Civil War through the “war on terror.” Our guiding questions include: what literary forms have women writers adapted or developed to represent war, as well as the social, political, bodily, and emotional effects of armed conflict? How has women’s war writing participated in debates about feminism, citizenship, civil and human rights, and the American project? How have women’s changing social roles impacted war writing, and vice versa? Primary texts include works of poetry, fiction, and autobiography by Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson, Siobhan Fallon, Elyse Fenton, Frances E.W. Harper, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leslie Marmon Silko, Toyo Suyemoto, and Natasha Trethewey, among others.

ENGL 389 The Generational
It has long since been cliché to call a writer the “voice of a generation.” But this was not always the case, nor is the “generational” designation ever as neutral as it might seem. This course investigates the emergence and versatility of the category of the “generation” in modern and contemporary transatlantic literatures, as well as the effects of generational models on the study of those literatures. Beginning with poetry of the First World War and concluding with “Millennial” texts, we will ask: how have writers in various forms and contexts (cultural, historical, social, familial, and political) forged or resisted generational identities? What kinds of belonging do generational projects produce or complicate for writers and audiences? How do literary works variously envision the intersections of the generation with the categories of race, nationality/citizenship, class, and gender? What critical or canonical inclusions and exclusions are licensed by generational logics? Primary readings will include works by Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, Kazuo Ishiguro, John Okada, Wilfred Owen, Sylvia Plath, George Schuyler, and Zadie Smith, among others. For the final project in the course, students will choose, contextualize, and argue the generational claims of a post-9/11 text (in any medium).

ENGL 403 Meth & Models Lit Sch
In preparation for the senior thesis, this course aims: (1) to strengthen students’ grasp of the history, evolution, and current configuration of the discipline of literary studies; and (2) to engage students in conceptualizing and developing their own research questions. The first half of the semester will be anchored by Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952), a novel whose reception history intersects with almost every major development in literary studies and related fields since World War II. In the second half of the semester, primary and secondary texts will be determined with students’ input and based on their prospective thesis projects. Throughout the term, seminar meetings, workshops, and assignments will be geared toward engaging students with the critical skills, investigative methods, conceptual models, and writing practices that ground—and inspire—the most generative literary scholarship, including their own.

Spring 2017

WGSS 101 Women Write War
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-06. This course studies American women’s war writing from the Civil War through the “war on terror.” Our guiding questions include: what literary forms have women writers adapted or developed to represent war, as well as the social, political, bodily, and emotional effects of armed conflict? How has women’s war writing participated in debates about feminism, citizenship, civil and human rights, and the American project? How have women's intersectional experiences and changing social roles impacted the genre of war writing, and vice versa? Primary texts include works of poetry, fiction, and autobiography by Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson, Elyse Fenton, Frances E.W. Harper, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leslie Marmon Silko, Toyo Suyemoto, and Natasha Trethewey.

ENGL 101 Women Write War
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-01. This course studies American women’s war writing from the Civil War through the “war on terror.” Our guiding questions include: what literary forms have women writers adapted or developed to represent war, as well as the social, political, bodily, and emotional effects of armed conflict? How has women’s war writing participated in debates about feminism, citizenship, civil and human rights, and the American project? How have women's intersectional experiences and changing social roles impacted the genre of war writing, and vice versa? Primary texts include works of poetry, fiction, and autobiography by Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson, Elyse Fenton, Frances E.W. Harper, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leslie Marmon Silko, Toyo Suyemoto, and Natasha Trethewey.

ENGL 404 Senior Thesis Workshop
A workshop requiring students to share discoveries and problems as they produce a lengthy manuscript based on a topic of their own choosing, subject to the approval of the instructor. Prerequisites: 300 and 403.