03.16.2014

“You never know exactly what’s going on there”: the old adage about other peoples’ marriages applies equally to the academic job market.

02.21.2014

Elizabeth Bishop’s most impactful letter of the summer of 1947 was the first substantive one she ever wrote to Robert Lowell.

11.12.2013

Reaction to the roll-out of healthcare.gov has taken many predictable forms, among them the false equation whereby Grand Tech Failure = Evidence of the Unconstitutionality of the Affordable Care Act itself.

05.30.2012

To read Wilfred Owen as anything other than an English war poet might seem like sheer, anachronistic willfulness.

05.19.2012

Youth is wasted on the young. Except when it’s wasted for them—by, for example, war.

02.08.2011

Virginia Woolf eats two big meals in the first chapter A Room of One’s Own (1929). The first is just big. The second is big in its impact.

12.13.2010

I have to finish my lab report! In the last week, I’ve come to love this genre. It’s built to describe surprising discoveries, and O’Hara was all about making “a poem a surprise!” (“Today”).

11.30.2010

Here’s a genre in which I haven't written for some time: the lab report (thank you, biologycorner.com, for the template).

10.24.2010

Nauman walks the walk. Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968) does the work of envisioning Watt’s “way of advancing” for you.  I have cast Beckett’s description of Watt’s walk as creating a series of imperatives for the reader: you have to envision Watt’s “way of advancing,” then you have to edit that vision to account for unbending knees and feet, then again for position of head and arms. But really, it’s your prerogative (cue Bobby Brown).

10.19.2010

One of the challenges of reading the works of Samuel Beckett, novelist, versus seeing the works of Samuel Beckett, dramatist, is, in fact, seeing. Or envisioning what you’re reading. Bruce Nauman’s film, Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968), both reminded and relieved me of that difficulty.

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Claire Seiler
Assistant Professor of English, Dickinson College

Claire Seiler's research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary literature and culture in the U.S., England, and Ireland. Her work makes an inquiry of inconspicuous terms that inform twentieth-century literary criticism, among them "midcentury" (which she investigates in her first-book-in-progress, titled "Midcentury Suspension") and the "generation" (the problematic category that organizes her next project, on twentieth-century poetics). Her work has been published in Twentieth-Century Literature, Comparative Literature, Modernism/Modernity, and elsewhere.