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Jenna SciutoDr. Jenna Grace Sciuto

Associate Professor, English/Communications

 

About Me

In my literature and writing courses, students interact with a range of texts, cultural perspectives, and ideas and are active participants in the production of knowledge. I value the free exchange of ideas and work to make my classroom an environment in which even introverted students will feel comfortable expressing themselves. Through their active involvement in class discussions, my students develop the ability to engage with texts and with language on a deeper level and, as a result, to harness their power to affect change in their fields, the academy, or the world at large.

Research/Creative Interests

My research and teaching focus on Global Anglophone and Global South Literatures, African American and African Diasporic Literatures, and Postcolonial Theory. More specifically, my research analyzes representations of interracial intimacy, racial and gender hierarchies, and colonial inheritance in literature from throughout the hemispheric Americas. My current book project, under contract with the University Press of Mississippi, examines literary representations of sexual policing of the color line across spaces with distinct colonial histories and constructions of race: Mississippi, Louisiana, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

Special Projects/Activities

As MCLA’s Chair of Undergraduate Research, I both build in-depth research projects into my own courses and help students from across campus participate in academic discourse on a larger scale. As a Faculty Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion, I play a key role in the MCLA Day of Dialogue, as well as other initiatives, such as developing the campus’s Equity Action Plan.

My new community-based leaning course, “Open Up: Community Dialogue Workshop,” puts my antiracist scholarship into practice, bridging the gap between theory and social change. I collaborate with MCLA students to develop interactive workshops for local high school students that encourage dialogue on topics like race, racism, and identity through the use of media, such as the Netflix series Dear White People.

Publications

“Racial Ambiguity, Bootlegging, and the Subversion of Plantation Hierarchies in Faulkner’s South.” Southern Comforts: Drinking and the U.S. South. Ed. Matthew Dischinger and Conor Picken. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press (forthcoming).

“Postcolonial Palimpsests: Entwined Colonialisms and the Conflicted Representation of Charles Bon in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 47.4 (October 2016): 1-23.

“‘For fear of a scandal’: Sexual Policing and the Preservation of Colonial Relations in William Faulkner and Marie Vieux-Chauvet.” Faulkner and the Black Literatures of the Americas. Ed. Jay Watson and James G. Thomas, Jr. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2016. 183-193.

“‘My memory of the genocide stops here’: The Poetics of Traumatized Subjectivities and Colonial Inheritance in Tierno Monénembo’s The Oldest Orphan.” The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies 3.2 (Fall 2015): 16-33.

Talks and Presentations

Chair and Co-Organizer, “Experiences of Emerging Women, Trans, and Non-Binary Scholars in the Academy.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2020.

“Faulkner’s Families: Digital Yoknapatawpha in the Classroom.” The Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference: Faulkner’s Families. Oxford, Mississippi, July 2019.

“Sexual Violence, Unknowable Histories, and Textual Resistance in Dominican-American Literature,” Southeastern American Studies Association Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2019.

“Contextualizing State-Sponsored Violence in Dominican-American Literature,” Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, Illinois, January 2019.

Panel Co-Organizer, “Sexual Properties.” Presenter, “‘[S]omething akin to freedom’: Patterns of Subjection and Resistance in Harriet Jacobs and William Faulkner,” The Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference: Faulkner and Slavery, Oxford, Mississippi, July 2018.

Roundtable Chair and Organizer, “Ernest J. Gaines Society Roundtable: Boundary-Crossing Relationships in Ernest Gaines.” Presenter, “Louise’s Subversive Looking,” Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference, Austin, Texas, February 2018.

“‘My veins are centuries meeting’: Time, Space, and Collective Experience in Gayle Jones’s Corregidora,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2017.

Contact Information

J.sciuto@mcla.edu

Office: Mark Hopkins 108A

413.662.5470

https://www.linkedin.com

 

Education

Ph.D., Northeastern University, 2014

M.A., Boston University, 2008

A.B. with Honors, Brown University, 2006

 

Courses Taught

ENGL 150: College Writing II

ENGL 313: Global Anglophone Language and Literature

ENGL 381: African American Literature

ENGL 441: Community Dialogue Workshop

ENGL 441: Faulkner and the Global South

ENGL 441: Modern and Contemporary Black Literatures of the Americas