My classes at Villanova focus on literary modernism, 20th-century British and Irish Fiction, and the relationship between philosophy and fiction. I am currently fascinated by the fact that James Joyce thought it was a good idea to translate a section of Finnegans Wake into Basic English, C. K. Ogden's 'simplified' English language, and the translation actually appeared in 1932. How could a language with only 850 words, mostly nouns, designed to facilitate international communication and favored by Winston Churchill and Henry Ford, possibly translate Joyce's puns and word-play? My book manuscript, entitled Modernist Fiction & Vagueness, which examines the intertwined history of 20th-century British fiction and philosophy, grapples with this translation, as one of many works where philosophical and literary ideas about language's possible precision collide. I focus on the general modernist dream of precision in figures such as Bertrand Russell, Ezra Pound and James Joyce as well as its converse, the praise of the 'vague,' the blur, and the fuzzy, in writers stretching from William and Henry James, to Virginia Woolf, Ludwig Wittgenstein and T. S. Eliot.
My work has appeared in The Cambridge Companion to European Modernism, Modernism / Modernity, Philosophy and Literature, and the James Joyce Quarterly. In 2011-12, I was at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin to look at the James Joyce Papers. and in Spring 2013 I will be a fellow at the Huntington Library in Los Angeles. In July 2013, I will be lecturing at the T. S. Eliot International Summer School in London.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
|Evan Radcliffe reading the Times Literary Supplement while |
traveling in Brazil, where he grew up.
Much of my scholarship considers questions of narrative, questions that are also becoming more important in my teaching. Along with Romantic literature I teach Greek classical literature, and my interest in literature in relation to moral philosophy has (together with the collaboration between the English department and Villanova Law School in hosting two Law and Literature conferences) resulted in my regularly teaching a session on literature, narrative, and ethics in a course at the Law School.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I have also published two full-length collections and a chapbook of poetry, which won the Keystone Award. My poems have appeared in journals such as the Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Paris Review and most recently, Harvard Review and Drunken Boat (an on-line journal). I have also received grants and awards for my work, including a Leeway Foundation grant and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. I just completed the manuscript for my third book of poems and hope to begin work on two more projects in the coming months: a collection of poems about endangered species and a mixed-genre memoir.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Having studied harpsichord performance and comparative literature as an undergraduate (Oberlin College BA 1986, B.Mus. 1987), I received my graduate degrees in English from Brown University (MA 1992, Ph.D. 1995). My work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Shakespeare Association of America, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, the Bogliasco Foundation for Humanistic Study, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. I’m the first holder of Villanova’s endowed Luckow Family Professorship in English.