English Department Attracts Top Faculty Members

Contact: Ralph Derickson

 

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“I'm inspired and excited by the many ways faculty come together to share resources, intellectual and otherwise, well beyond the call of department duty. This willingness to collaborate means the humanities are much stronger at UK than at many other places.”

- Michael Trask

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Photo of Michael Trask
Michael Trask

 

Photo of Jeoffrey Clymer
Jeoffrey Clymer

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 6, 2004) -- The English department of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences has employed two new associate professors considered outstanding in their fields.

“Attracting two new faculty members with their credentials and background is a real coup for us,” said Ellen Rosenman, department chair. “They will bring a new dimension to an already superb UK faculty,” she added.

The new faculty members are Jeoffrey Clymer, an assistant professor of English with a secondary appointment in the American studies department at Saint Louis University, and Michael Trask, an associate professor of English at Yale University.

Clymer, a native of Decatur, Ill., earned his bachelor’s degree in English cum laude with high honors from the University of Illinois and his doctorate in English from Duke University. At UK, he will teach courses focusing on 19th and 20th century American literature and its historical context.

“My pedagogical and research interests include the literature of class conflict, the transnational contexts of American literary works, relationships between economics and literature, and critical race theory,” Clymer said.

Clymer’s first book is titled “ America ’s Culture of Terrorism: Violence, Capitalism and the Written Word.” The book was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2003. He is working on a second book tentatively titled “Property and Its Discontents,” which examines the legal, historical and literary paradoxes generated by notions of property in the 19th century.

“I am really looking forward to working with my new colleagues, to teaching UK students, and to living in such a beautiful area,” said Clymer, whose wife, Brandy Anderson, is an attorney specializing in antitrust and medical communications litigation with the law firm Dow Lohnes & Albertson.

Trask, who was born and raised just outside of Boston, Mass., earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and his doctorate in English from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

From 1997 to 2004, he was on the English faculty at Yale University. In 2003, Cornell University Press published his book, “Cruising Modernism: Class and Sexuality in American Literature and Social Thought.”

Trask said he works mainly in 20th century American literature, social theory, and the history of sexuality. He comes to Lexington with his longtime partner, songwriter and composer Stephen Trask.

“The thing that attracted me to UK more than anything else was the strong interdisciplinary spirit of the humanities in general and of the English department in particular,” Trask said. “I'm inspired and excited by the many ways faculty come together to share resources, intellectual and otherwise, well beyond the call of department duty. This willingness to collaborate means the humanities are much stronger at UK than at many other places – even schools with a lot more money and larger operating budgets.”

Rosenman said both new faculty members will teach a core American literature course in English and a graduate American literature course each semester.


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