Faculty Profile

Claire Seiler

Associate Professor of English (2010)

Contact Information

seilercl@dickinson.edu

Denny Hall Room 312
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

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ENGL 321 War, Race, & US Lit Since 1945
This course studies the inextricable literatures of war, race, and rights in the United States since 1945. Moving from the end of the Second World War to the post-9/11 “war on terror,” the course explores how—and to what ends—US writers depict both geopolitical conflicts and the ideals of equality and progress in the US. We will read classic and cutting-edge work on race, the historiography of war, and citizenship. Our primary readings include poetry, fiction, memoir, and journalism by writers such as John Hersey, Lawson Fusao Inada, Yusef Komunyakaa, Toni Morrison, John Okada, Solmaz Sharif, and Toyo Suyemoto.

ENGL 403 Meth/Models of Lit Schol
In preparation for the Senior Writing Workshop, students in this seminar will: (1) strengthen their grasp of the history and current configuration of literary studies and related fields; (2) frame and begin to pursue the questions that will motivate their senior theses; and (3) hone their critical self-awareness as readers and writers. During the first ten or so weeks of the semester, we will devote a significant portion of our class time to Ralph Ellison’s touchstone novel Invisible Man (1952), as well as to readings of the novel enabled by a range of literary methodologies, cultural and institutional contexts, historical and theoretical vantages, and research strategies. Throughout the semester, we will make our collaborative discussion of Invisible Man into a model for thinking in broader terms about the questions, practices, and habits of mind that inform the most generative literary scholarship, including and especially students’ own.

Spring 2019

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.

WGSS 101 Women Write 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 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 321 Celtic Revival/Harlem Renaiss
This course studies two major art movements of the modernist period, both of which tie formal innovation to questions of national citizenship, racial equality, and political autonomy. How did these “minor” literatures challenge majority national or imperial cultures? What events and forms galvanized the social and aesthetic work of the Celtic Revival (Ireland) and the Harlem Renaissance (US)? Primary readings cover several genres (fiction, drama, poetry, and essays); primary authors include, among others: Langston Hughes, James Joyce, Nella Larsen, Alain Locke, J.M. Synge, Jean Toomer, and W.B. Yeats.

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.