Recent Faculty & Student Accomplishments

April 6, 2018

We are happy to report the following:

Nick Frankel’s latest book, The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde, was just published by Harvard University Press.

Three articles written by David Golumbia have appeared in multimedia publications: “Social Media Has Hijacked Our Brains and Threatens Global Democracy” in the January 2018 issue of Motherboard; “There are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia” with Chris Gilliard in the March 9 issue of Motherboard; and “Zealots of the Blockchain: The True Believers of the Bitcoin Cult” in the March/April issue of The Baffler. In February, David was interviewed about his book, The Politics of Bitcoin on Against the Grain (KPFA San Francisco) titled “The Libertarian Ideology of Bitcoin”; on Majority Report with Sam Seder; and on Hearsay Culture (KZSU Stanford).

Winnie Chan, along with Ryan Smith (History), Faedah Totah (School of World Studies), and Nicole Myers Turner (History), has been selected as a Humanities Research Center Residential Fellow for Spring 2019. The team’s joint project is Boundaries, Belonging, and the Spatial Turn in the Humanities. Of this project and others submitted, Richard Godbeer, Director of the HRC, writes, “I would like to emphasize how difficult a task the selection committee faced: all of the group applications submitted this year were truly impressive and together they testify to the remarkable quality of research underway in the Humanities at VCU.”

VCU News featured an article about a new program, Writing Your Way Out: A Criminal Justice Diversion Program, based on Dave Coogan’s book of the same title. The program offers low-level offenders and VCU students a transformational educational experience involving writing their life stories and seeking common ground. Low-level offenders are selected by Richmond’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office. To be eligible, participants need to have demonstrated a motivation to break the cycle of crime in their lives and have facility with writing and reading. For the VCU students, Dave interviews each prospective student, asking “Why do you want to sit…in a room with people that you don’t know and write like this? I’m trying to run a healing circle through writing. So if you have a hunger for that process, then this is the right class for you.”

Mary Caton Lingold was awarded an Alice E. Adams two-month residential fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island for research related to her book project, tentatively titled “Sounds of Archival Silence: A Literary History of Afro-Atlantic Music (1650-1850).”Mary Caton anticipates being in residence in May and June of 2019.

Annie Persons (graduate student, MFA and MA programs) received the 2017 Aphra Behn Society Graduate Essay Prize for her essay, “Ann Yearsley, Hannah More, and Human Commodification in the Literary Marketplace” presented at the Aphra Behn Society meeting in Pittsburgh in November 2017. The award carries a $150 prize.

April Sopkin, MFA student, won the Southampton Review's Frank McCourt Memoir Prize for a CNF essay.

Rivka Swenson is the recipient of the College of Humanities & Sciences’ Excellence in Scholarship Award for 2018. She will be honored at the Faculty and Staff Awards and Retirees’ breakfast on April 17, 8:30-10:30 in the Richmond Salons, Student Commons. Department retirees Marcel Cornis-Pope, Tom De Haven, and Ginny Schmitz will also be recognized at the breakfast.

David Wojahn was one of five finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the poetry category for his For the Scribe (U of Pittsburgh P, 2017). Winners received an all-expense paid trip to LA for the awards ceremony and a talk at the Times’ annual book fair. See more at L.A. Times Book Prize Finalists.