The PAMLA 2010 Election ballot has been emailed to all members who are current in dues for the 2010 calendar year.  Voting must be completed by midnight, October 30, 2010.  If you were expecting a ballot but did not receive an email, please contact [email protected].

In November, the terms of three of our Executive Committee members will expire: Catherine Montfort of Santa Clara University and Stanley Orr of the University of Hawaii, West Oahu will be stepping down from the Executive Committee. Lorenzo Giachetti of Stanford University, our fine Graduate Student Representative on the Executive Committee, will also be stepping down after having served his two-year term. Additionally, Roswitha Burwick of Scripps College will be leaving her position in order to become co-editor of PAMLA’s journal, Pacific Coast Philology.  We would like to express our sincere gratitude for Catherine’s, Stan’s, Lorenzo’s, and Roswitha’s excellent service to PAMLA.

We are fielding two candidates for each of these open Executive Committee positions: the two 3-Year Executive Committee positions, the 2-Year Graduate Student Representative position, and the 2-Year Executive Committee position opening up due to Roswitha’s move into a new position.  Please vote for one candidate for each of these positions.

We are also electing a new Second Vice President. After two years of vice presidential service, the person we elect will assume the PAMLA Presidency. We are fielding two candidates for this position; please vote for one of them.

Candidate statements appear below. 



VICTOR CASTELLANI is Associate Professor of Classics/Humanities at the University of Denver. Since 1971 in what is now its Department of Languages and Literatures, he has been chairperson on and off for over sixteen years—“on” again since 2007. His research embraces home fields of Greek and Roman epic and drama, on which he is well published and widely traveled as extramural lecturer (eleven countries in Europe), iconographic studies, medieval topics including Dante, modern and contemporary theater (Ibsen, August Wilson). Belonging to PAPC/PAMLA since 1979, he has presented numerous papers in eight different standing sessions, chairing several, and served on PAMLA’s Executive Board 2005-2008. He is also active in the Rocky Mountain MLA (President 1984, Sterling Member 2007).

He admires how PAMLA have directed our energies this past decade toward interdisciplinary scholarship, more so the Association’s cumulative, ingenious response to needs and convenience of graduate students, and especially our recent generous accommodation of untenurables and adjuncts (DU’s undergraduate department employs, alas, too many of both), of scholars “between jobs” and independent. He urges further outreach to these categories—which comprise, in so many cases nowadays, the same persons as we encouraged before they completed their terminal degrees. Appreciating the special plights of educators in tiny departments/sub-departments (he marshals seven faculties of 1-2 members), he advocates militant alliance with both rising LCTLs and embattled venerable programs.

LORELY FRENCH is Professor of German and Distinguished University Professor at Pacific University in Oregon. Her areas of research are women writers from the 18th century to the present and Romani “Gypsy” writers and artists. She has been a PAMLA member since 1985. For the past three years she has been co-editor with Pauline Beard of Pacific Coast Philology and was Executive Director of PAMLA from 2000-2005.

Personal Statement: PAMLA offers a prestigious venue for maintaining professional connections, experiencing innovative research, developing new ideas and methodologies related to teaching and discovery, and advocating for literature and language programs that are in peril. If elected, I want to continue and expand on these prodigious endeavors.


APRIL DAVIDAUSKIS is a graduate student in the English Ph.D. and Gender Studies certificate programs at the University Southern California, where is she a Provost’s Ph.D. fellow. A native of San Francisco, she received her M.A. in English from San Francisco State University after receiving her B.A. at University of California, Berkeley. Her interests include nineteenth-century American literature and culture, sentimentalism, gender studies, and cultural studies. If elected as Graduate Representative, April is interested in fostering relationships between graduate students and faculty who are members of the PAMLA, drawing upon her experience as the graduate student-faculty liaison for the Association of English Graduate Students at USC. One way she hopes to do this is by organizing local reading groups during the year, so PAMLA members could informally come together to discuss literature, academia, and the current state of the job market.

BRIAN GILLIS is a Ph.D. candiate in English at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation entitled “Native Tongues: Red English, Translation, and the Transnational in the American Indian Canon” examines transnational rhetorical connections between Dawes Era native writers. While at Berkeley, he has received a number of awards including the James Hart Prize in Colonial American research, the Chancellor’s Fellowship, the Dean’s Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Pre-dissertation Fellowship, the Maass Archival Research Grant, and library fellowships at Brown University, Brigham Young University, and the Newberry Library Chicago. He speaks Cherokee and Ojibwa, and has reading knowledge in Latin, Italian, and French. Finally, he is a member of the MLA, the PAMLA, and the Society for 18th Century Studies. As a representative on the PAMLA executive committee, he aims to maximize graduate student participation in the organization by emphasizing fundraising for graduate student travel fellowships.


MARY A. ARMSTRONG is Associate Professor of English at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, where she is also Chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She has published widely on intersections of Queer desire and Victorian fiction in journals such as Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth Century Studies, Studies in the Novel, and LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. She has additional scholarly interests in feminist theory, Queer pedagogy, and diversity in higher education. She is the recipient of numerous teaching and service awards and scholarly grants. Mary A. Armstrong taught at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo from 2000-2009, and has been a PAMLA member since 2000. As a member of the PAMLA executive committee, she would emphasize attentiveness to defending the significance of the humanities in higher education, promoting a diverse and international vision for our work, and fostering a sense of scholarly community among our many specialized fields.

DAMIAN BACICH is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the Spanish Program in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at San José State University. He is co-translator, with Rossella Pescatori of Leone Ebreo’s Dialogues of Love (U Toronto, 2009), nominated for the MLA’s Scaglione Prize for Translation. He currently teaches courses in Colonial Spanish American Literature, Translation, and Spanish Language. Damian first joined PAMLA in 2007, and is a member of other professional associations, including the MLA and the Renaissance Society of America.

Personal Statement: I believe that language and literary studies are a core component of university curriculum, one whose role is currently being questioned within and without academe. I am convinced that the challenges currently facing our discipline and the humanities in general call for a flexible and intelligent response and I would like to see PAMLA at the forefront of both conserving the role of language and literary studies and helping it adapt to the challenges it faces.


LESLIE CAHOON is Professor of Classics at Gettysburg College where she has taught since 1988. Her undergraduate (1971) and graduate degrees (M.A. 1976; Ph.D. 1981) were all conferred by the University of California in Comparative Literature and Classics. She taught at Stanford University from 1982-1988. Her first professional paper was delivered at the PAPC (former name of PAMLA) in 1977. Since then she has presented at or chaired (or both) 24 sessions and has previously served on the Executive Committee.

ELLEN FINKELPEARL has taught at Scripps College since 1988 and holds the Helen Chandler Garland Chair in Ancient Studies. At Scripps, she has been active in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Core curriculum as well as Gender and Women’s Studies. Within Classics, she has published widely on the Ancient Novel and she is a leading scholar on Apuleius, author of The Golden Ass. From 2004-2009, she served on the editorial board of Classical Antiquity. Finkelpearl has been an active member of PAMLA since the 1990s, contributing to or chairing the Latin Literature session as well as organizing two special sessions, one on approaches to ancient orality and the other on representations of the animal in ancient texts. What has particularly drawn her to PAMLA is its breadth and focus not just on a single literature or on many individual literatures, but on the interconnections and cross-currents among them. The session “Ancient-Modern Relations,” for example, has been a productive forum for thinking about Classical “reception” even before the topic was fashionable. PAMLA also serves a useful function for young faculty to test out their ideas and meet kindred professionals on the Pacific coast.


KIMBERLY DRAKE directs the writing program and teaches writing and American literature at Scripps College. Her book Subjectivity in American Protest Literature (in production at Palgrave Macmillan) concerns trauma theory, double consciousness, and topological constructions of identity in twentieth century American protest literature. Two more book-length projects are in the works: an edited collection of women’s writing about cooking in prison, and a monograph on social determinism and intellectual authority in the American detective novel. She has published on Toni Morrison’s fiction, on the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, and on punk rock music and memoir. She has also presented research on writing and technology as well as on first-year composition and writing program administration at various conferences (including PAMLA). In addition to administering Scripps’ Writing Program, she has served on and chaired many committees and successfully organized many academic projects since her first tenure-track position in 1997. Upon returning to California in 2005, she began chairing sessions and/or presenting at PAMLA, including on the Forum, and her work was recently published in Pacific Coast Philology. Election to the PAMLA Executive Board would allow her to serve an organization whose support for research on literature, language and writing, film/visual media, and the internet has consistently embraced and encouraged her own similar set of interests.

SHIRIN A. KHANMOHAMADI has been teaching as an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University’s Comparative and World Literature department since 2005. She specializes in comparative medieval literature and culture, and has published recent work on medieval travel and ethnography in New Medieval Literatures and Exemplaria. She has been a member of PAMLA since 2006, in which time she has participated at PAMLA as both presenter and session chair. Should she be elected, she looks forward to supporting comparative and transnational approaches to modern and premodern literatures at PAMLA and its participating colleges and universities.