1-19-2012 Michelle B. Gaffery, Emad Mirmothahari, and Judy Shu

Presentation Archive

Academic Year 2011-2012

Meeting Date: Thurs, Jan. 19, 2011, 4:30-6:00PM, 207 College Hall, Berger Gallery, Duquesne University.

Next event for our year-long theme of Migrancy (see attachment)

Teaching the Literature of Immigration and Migrancy

Presenters: Michelle B. Gaffery, Emad Mirmothahari, and Judy Shu:

Michelle B. Gaffey is a PhD candidate in the Department of English. Since 2008, she and Joel Woller, Professor of History at Carlow University, have been co-teaching their 300-level interdisciplinary history and women's studies course, Women v. Sweatshops, which they developed together.

Title: "Immigrant experience in New York's 'Rag-Trade' Industry in the Early-Twentieth Century."

Abstract: Michelle's presentation will address how and why this course focuses on the "immigrant experience" in New York's "rag-trade" industry in the early- twentieth century. She will explore how she uses historical and literary documents to investigate questions about working-class resistance to sweatshop labor, contemporary anti-sweatshop activism, and the concept of worker/consumer solidarity throughout the twentieth century.


Emad Mirmotahari is an assistant professor in the English Department. His interests are African and Latin American fiction, the relationship of literature to history as a discipline, literature's relationship to religion, as well as translation theory. His new monograph is Islam in the Eastern African Novel.

Title: "Comparative Immigrant Narratives."

Abstract: Emad will discuss immigrant narratives in a comparative global context and the importance of reading American immigrant narratives along with British, French, and Canadian ones. This is crucial pedagogically because it underscores immigration as a global phenomenon and not an "issue" or a "problem" that is unique to the United States. Moreover, the presentation will emphasize those literary works that narrate the margins and fragments of immigrant communities--those groups who are imperceptible to nationalities, citizenship, and racial/ethnic categories.


Judy Suh is an associate professor of English, specializing in modern British and postcolonial literature and theory. She is the author of Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Twentieth-Century British Fiction, and her teaching interests include modernist and popular genre fiction between the wars, colonial and anti-colonial literature, British film, and women's writing.

Title: "Jean Rhys Storytelling and Caribbean Immigrant Utopianism"

Abstract: Judy will discuss the fiction of the Caribbean writer, Jean Rhys, in the context of courses on modernism, British literature, and Women's and Gender Studies, focusing on Rhys' critiques of imperial dichotomies of race and gender from the perspectives of immigrant women. She will focus on how Rhys' strategies of fragmented and ironic storytelling offer glimpses of a future cross-racial, anti-colonial community, and demonstrate interdisciplinary teaching through visual examples of Rhys' wry allusions to English genre painting and imperial advertisements.

All interested faculty, graduate students, and other parties are invited. Refreshments will be served.

About CIQR

The Center has been officially approved by the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, The Graduate Council of the College, and the Council of Deans for the University.  It is based in the College but open to members of all the schools of the University.  It includes interpretive and qualitative research in both the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences (including the practice of the latter in Nursing, Education, Occupational Therapy and other professional schools).