Faculty Profile

Claire Seiler

Associate Professor of English (2010)

Contact Information

seilercl@dickinson.edu

East College Room 310
717.245.1921

Bio

Professor Seiler's current book project is "Midcentury Suspension," a new literary history of the transatlantic mid-20th century. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Twentieth-Century Literature, Modernism/modernity, and Contemporary Literature. Her courses include Modern Women Writing War, Poetry of the Mad Men Era, and The Generational.

Education

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

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

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.

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.

WGSS 202 Gender/Sexuality in Mod S Asia
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of gender and sexuality in the South Asian region. It begins with examining the historical and contemporary significance of the region, and explores issues raised by feminist and LGBTQI movements and scholarship in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. It contextualizes specific events and conversations within the framework of globalization, capitalism and processes of neocolonialism. At the same time, this course also seeks to examine and complicate the conceptual categories of gender and sexuality in a transnational and postcolonial context. Using academic texts, fiction and autobiographical essays, this course explores the specificities of gender and sexuality in South Asia in a transnational framework.

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.