The PAMLA 2015 Election ballot will be emailed on October 14 to all members who are current in dues for the 2015 calendar year.  Voting must be completed by midnight, November 1, 2015.  If you were expecting a ballot but did not receive an email, please contact [email protected].

The time has come for the 2015 PAMLA elections for new members of our Executive Committee. Your PAMLA Executive Committee is the body that makes major decisions regarding PAMLA on a day-to-day basis, helping to plan the future of PAMLA so that we may continue to serve our members’ needs. So, we need your help in choosing the best officers possible.

Happily, six of our colleagues—very qualified candidates indeed—have kindly agreed to serve by running for these important offices. I know I speak for us all in thanking all six of our nominees for agreeing to serve PAMLA, should they be elected! Now we need your help. Please take a moment to read through the candidates’ statements and click the link in your email to cast your vote by midnight November 1, 2015.

You will vote for one candidate for 2nd VP, and up to two for Executive Committee members. Whoever is elected to serve in 2016 as 2nd VP will move up automatically to serve as 1st VP in 2017 and then to President in 2018. And the two Executive Committee nominees who receive the most votes will each serve three-year terms.

I’d like to thank and acknowledge the fine work of the Nominating Committee, Chair Cheryl Edelson, and Lorely French and Heidi Schlipphacke, for their beautiful job of coming up with an amazing slate of potential officers, and most of all the willingness of our candidates to serve PAMLA. Now, let the democracy begin!

All my best, and happy voting,

Craig Svonkin, PAMLA Executive Director



PAMLA 2015 Nominees for Executive Committee: (You may vote for two)


Yolanda A. Doub, California State University, Fresno

As an associate professor of Spanish at California State University, Fresno, my area of specialization is 20th and 21st Century Spanish American narrative, with an emphasis on the Bildungsroman and additional research interests in Southern Cone and Mexican literature, adaptation studies, and Latino literature. I am the coordinator for the Spanish MA program as well as an active member of the Latino Faculty and Staff Association and the larger Spanish-speaking community. Since my first PAMLA conference experience six years ago, I have been hooked on this vibrant organization, participating regularly as presenter, moderator, and presiding officer. The breadth and depth of topics at PAMLA conferences and in Pacific Coast Philology highlight our lively community of scholars as well as the growing appeal of our organization. We are a regional group, but we attract members from all over the world by combining rigorous standards with a collegial, consistently welcoming atmosphere that encourages intellectual exploration and thoughtful feedback. These qualities make us stronger as an organization, and I would like to see them continue to be priorities as we move forward.


Andrew Howe, La Sierra University

I teach courses in film history and popular culture at La Sierra University in Riverside, California.  My recent scholarly work has focused upon fan culture, identity politics in popular film/television, and the rhetoric of fear employed during the 1980s “Killer Bee” invasions of the American Southwest, with recent publications including “Audrey Hepburn and the Popularization of the ‘Little Black Dress,’” “That Shirt Really Ties the Room Together: The Lebowski Legacy of Cultural Artifacts,” “The Owls Are Not What They Seem: Cultural Artifacts of Twin Peaks,” and “Star Wars in Black and White: Race and Racism in a Galaxy Not So Far Away.” I have long benefitted from my participation in PAMLA and in the community it engenders, having chaired sessions, delivered papers, and assisted as a member of the Site Committee for the 2014 PAMLA conference in Riverside, CA. If elected to PAMLA’s board I would do my best to continue the tradition of excellence while helping lead out in new initiatives.


Brian Reed, University of Washington, Seattle

Brian Reed is Professor and Chair of English at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has written three books—Hart Crane: After His Lights (2006), Phenomenal Reading: Essays on Modern and Contemporary Poetics (2012), and Nobody’s Business: Twenty-First Century Avant-Garde Poetics (2013)—and co-edited two essay collections, Situating El Lissitzky: Vitebsk, Berlin, Moscow (2003) and Modern American Poetry: Points of Access (2013). He has also published more than twenty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters; his work has appeared in venues such as the African American Review, Boundary 2, Callaloo, Contemporary Literature, Modernism/modernity, and Postmodern Culture. He currently serves on the boards of Contemporary Literature, the Journal of Poetics Research, Modern Language Quarterly, and Profession, and he is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the MLA’s Poetry Forum. A new monograph, A Mine of Intersections: Writing the History of Contemporary American Poetry, is forthcoming in 2016.


Richard Sperber, Carthage College

Richard Sperber is Associate Professor of German and Spanish, as well as Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. His research interests include the German colonial period in the South Pacific, the Spanish Civil War, and contemporary literature. Focusing on primitivism and colonialism in early twentieth-century German popular fiction and travel writing, his essays have appeared in Colloquia Germanica and edited volumes. He is also interested in contemporary Spanish literature. His book, The Discourse of Flanerie in Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Texts, was published by Bucknell University Press this year. His current comparatist project examines early twentieth-century German, Spanish, and French colonialist literatures about northern Africa.

Personal Statement: Having presented in (mainly) German and (less so) Spanish sessions at PAMLA conferences since 2000, I have enjoyed learning about the scholarship of PAMLA members. As a member of the Executive Committee, I would like to align the members’ scholarly interests with the goals of the organization more closely.


Nominees for Second VP (Vote for one candidate)

Leonard Koff, UCLA

I am an Associate of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and have degrees from Columbia and Berkeley. I have taught and developed courses at UCLA, on campus and online, including Homer and James Joyce, the Literature of Existentialism, Technology and Human Values, and Banned Books, and courses in Comparative Literature’s humanities sequence: Western Literature from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century and World Literature from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. I have written Chaucer and the Art of Storytelling (University of California Press), published essays on medieval literature and medievalism, and lectured in this country and Europe on such subjects as literature and philosophy, the Hebrew Bible, the shared texts of Western religious identity (Jewish, Christian, Islamic), religious conversion, theories of translation, Cicero, Freud, and Emmanuel Levinas. In addition, I have lectured on distance learning for the Ministry of Higher Education, Iraqi Kurdistan; my essay on the seventeenth-century Kurdish court poem Mem u Zin is forthcoming in Essays on Kurdish Narratology and Folklore: Oral Tradition, History, and Nationalism from Harrassowitz Verlag.  I was co-editor of The Decameron and the Canterbury Tales: New Essays on an Old Question, for which I wrote “Imagining Absence:  Chaucer’s Griselda and Walter without Petrarch,” and I am co-editor of two volumes in the Brill Presenting the Past series: the first called Mobs (2012) in which my essay on Elias Canetti appears; the second called Time: Sense, Space, Structure (forthcoming 2016) in which my essay “No-Time in Non-Places” will appear. I organized the PAMLA 2014 standing session (“Ancient-Modern”) and three special sessions (“The Bible in Literature”) at PAMLA 2015. My work has been published in two MLA collections:  Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower and Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In 2009, I received a Distinguished Instructor Award from UCLA Extension.


Katherine Kinney, University of California, Riverside

Katherine Kinney is Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities and Associate Professor of English at the University of California Riverside, where she teaches courses in 20th century American literature and film. She received her B.A. in English and History from the University of Washington and her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. The author of Friendly Fire: American Images of the Vietnam War (Oxford 2000), she is currently writing a book entitled The Shock of Freedom: Acting, the Movies and the 1960s. Her most recent publication, “The Resonance of Brando’s Voice,” appears in Postmodern Culture (2014). She was Associate Editor of American Quarterly from 2003 to 2007 and on the editorial board of American Literature from 2002-2005.

Katherine Kinney has been an active participant of PAMLA for many years. She has organized and moderated panels and presented a number of papers at PAMLA conferences. In 2013, Katherine Kinney was selected as one of the speakers for the Special Forum: “Stages of Life: Age, Identity, and Culture” at the 111th Annual PAMLA Conference in San Diego, California.