Department Research and Publications

Faculty members in the Department of Languages and Letters maintain active research programs, contributing to knowledge in a range of areas. Here are just a few examples of what some of our faculty are up to.

Bernard Mulo Farenkia’s research areas include language contact, interlanguage, postcolonial and variational pragmatics and contrastive genre analysis. He has published on speech acts, address forms and (im)politeness strategies in Cameroon / Canadian French and German and some of his articles have appeared in Journal of Pragmatics, Linguistik online, Linguistica Atlantica, Le Français en Afrique, Speech and context, Deutsch als Fremdsparche, Zielsprache Deutsch and Nordic Journal of African Studies. His most recent book on Address forms in Cameroon French was published by Presses Universitaires Européennes (2011). He is currently working on a number of projects on pragmatic variations in different varieties of French (Cameroon, Canada, France, etc.), politeness in French L2 and politeness in Cape Breton. He is also working with Martina Drescher on a volume on Politeness in French-speaking Africa, and Eric Anchimbe on a volume on Inter-lingual variations in postcolonial pragmatics.

Jane Farnsworth is currently working on a number of articles, including one on gender and violence in Henry Roberts’s Honors Conquest (1598), one on women and time in Thomas Heywood’s Emblematicall Dialogue (1637), and one on women, politics and religion in Alice Sutcliffe’s Meditations of Man’s Mortality (1634). She is also working with her co-editor, Mary Silcox, on an anthology of criticism on George Wither’s A Collection of Emblemes (1635).

Nat Leach has been researching how concepts of nation (and trans-nationalism) were performed on the Romantic stage, and has recently published an article on this subject, “The Shame of the Nation: Performing History in Schiller, Manzoni and Byron,” in the European Romantic Review. He also contributes an entry on Romantic audiences to the forthcoming authoritative reference work, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Romanticism. He is currently researching Romantic theories of acting and of spectatorship, and is particularly interested in how performing bodies were observed, interpreted, and theorized during this period.

Dana C Mount does research in the environmental humanities. She is currently completing a dissertation on the concept of everyday environmentalism in postcolonial ecocriticism. In addition, she is working on a project examining the discursive treatment of water issues in UN Declarations in collaboration with the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). Look for her article on ecofeminism in Kamala Markandaya’s ‘Nectar in a Sieve’ in the journal Postcolonial Text.

Todd Pettigrew recently contributed the “Medical Practices” chapter in The Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia. He is currently completing a book on the figure of Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and is working with a team of scholars to produce the first modern edition of the works of the early modern physician and social critic John Cotta.

Scott Sharplin is an active playwright and director. His recent work includes his production of The Tempest for the Boardmore Theatre. The production is unique in its adoption of 18th century Cape Breton as its setting, and thus Sharplin has been working with a diverse team of local creative artists–not only actors, but musicians, composers, singers, language experts, and video artists–who will represent the many cultural layers of Cape Breton’s early history.

Mark Silverberg’s first book, The New York School Poets and the Neo-Avant-Garde: Between Radical Art and Radical Chic, was published by Ashgate Publishers. Recently, he has been focusing on artistic partnerships and is editing a collection of essays on New York School Collaborations. He has also recently completed a collection of poetry based on the drawings of Toronto immigrant artist Jack Siegel. Siegel (1915-2007) lived in poverty most of his life and spent his days walking the streets, sketching people in parks, cafes, hotel lobbies, and train stations.These sketches are paired with original poems.