CV

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Alaina Kaus

University of Connecticut / Department of English / PhD Candidate
215 Glenbrook Rd, U-4025 / Storrs, CT 06269 / alaina.kaus@uconn.edu

EDUCATION

Ph.D., English, University of Connecticut, 2018
M.A., English, University of Connecticut, 2012
B.A., English, summa cum laude, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 2010

DISSERTATION

“Humanitarian Coercion: Literature of War, Violence, and Migration”
Committee: Cathy J. Schlund-Vials (chair), Katharine Capshaw, Jerry Phillips, and Christopher Vials

RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS

Twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature, multiethnic U.S. literature, Asian American literature, Latinx literature, immigrant and refugee narratives, transnational American studies, comparative ethnic studies, human rights, political economy

PUBLICATIONS 

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Reimagining the Southern Gothic: The Two Souths in Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth.” MELUS, vol. 42, no. 3, Sep. 2017, pp. 84-101.

“A View from the Vietnamese Diaspora: Memories of Warfare and Refuge in GB Tran’s Vietnamerica.” Mosaic, vol. 49, no. 4, Dec. 2016, pp. 1-19.

“Liberalities of Feeling: Free Market Subjectivities in Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, vol. 56, no. 4, Aug. 2015, pp. 369-82.

Peer-Reviewed Article in Progress

“Literary Legacies of U.S. Militarism in Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones and Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Invited to revise and resubmit at Contemporary Literature.

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION

“Making Legible / Making Credible: Narrating ‘Lost Boys’ Experiences in Dave Eggers’s What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng” (panelist). American Literature Association (ALA) Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA: May 2018.

“Redemptive Hospitality? Examining Revisionist Histories of the U.S. War in Vietnam in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer” (panelist). Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) Annual Conference. Las Vegas, NV: May 2018.

“Capitalist Disposability and Complex Personhood in Lan Cao’s The Lotus and the Storm” (panelist). Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) Annual Conference. Miami, FL: April 2016.

“Literary Legacies of Cold War Violence in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” (panelist). Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Annual Convention. Hartford, CT: March 2016.

“The Language of American Warfare after World War II” (chair). Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Annual Convention. Hartford, CT: March 2016.

“Memorializing Brutalities in Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones” (panelist). British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies (BCPS) Annual Conference. Savannah, GA: February 2016.

“Remembering the American War in Vietnam: GB Tran’s Vietnamerica” (panelist). Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Annual Convention. Toronto, Canada: May 2015.

“‘I write the broken line’: Discursive Truth Telling in Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull” (panelist). Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention. Chicago, IL: January 2014.

“How Ghostly Renderings Shatter: Challenging Southern Histories of Asian America in Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth” (panelist). American Literature Association (ALA) Annual Conference. Boston, MA: May 2013.

“Florens’s ‘Confession’: Reading Community in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy” (panelist). Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) Triennial Conference. Denver, CO: October 2012.

“Questions of Art, Language, and Life in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!” (panelist). Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (RMMLA) Annual Convention. Albuquerque, NM: October 2010.

COURSES TAUGHT

I served as the sole instructor of record for the following courses at the University of Connecticut:

American Literature since 1880-W (1 section). This course provides an overview of literary production in the United States from 1880 to the present. Emphasizing the relations between literature and nationhood, the course considers U.S. literary history as a contested narrative that maps a nation’s unease over its own identity and history. Authors include William Dean Howells, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Zitkala-Ša, José Martí, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Carl Sandburg, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Díaz, and Sherman Alexie.

Literary Study through Reading and Research: Class in U.S. Culture (1 section). Through an intersectional approach, this honors-level course examines representations of social class alongside considerations of race and gender in U.S. culture. The course investigates the concept of class in U.S. origins narratives before exploring literary and critical depictions of class since World War II. The course fulfills the first-year writing requirement for honors students, and it devotes significant attention to writing and revising critical essays. Authors include Karl Marx, Henry Luce, Lizabeth Cohen, Grace Kyungwon Hong, David Harvey, Studs Terkel, Margaret Atwood, and Dave Eggers.

Seminar in Writing through Literature (6 sections). This first-year writing course introduces students to academic writing. Regarding literature as a point of entry into critical conversations, the course emphasizes discussion, writing, revising, and responding to peer work. There is extensive one-on-one work with students to address specific concerns. Sections focus on a particular theme, such as “Trauma and the Politics of Memory” or “Stories of Movement and Migration.” Authors include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ariel Dorfman, Antjie Krog, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Primo Levi. As part of a grant-funded program, one section is designed for students in the Pre-Pharmacy House.

Seminar in Academic Writing (7 sections). This first-year writing course introduces students to academic writing. Students participate in critical inquiry through engagement with a variety of readings. The course emphasizes discussion, writing, revising, and responding to peer work. There is extensive one-on-one work with students to address specific concerns. Sections focus on a particular theme, such as “Language, Knowledge, and Power” or “War, Conflict, and Memory.” Authors include Jenny Edkins, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Marita Sturken. As part of a grant-funded program, one section is designed for students in the Pre-Pharmacy House.

AWARDS

Pre-Doctoral Summer Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2016.

Graduate Travel Award, University of Connecticut Graduate School, 2016.

Graduate Travel Award, University of Connecticut English Department, 2016.

Pre-Doctoral Summer Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2015.

Spring Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut Graduate School, 2015.

Graduate Travel Award, University of Connecticut English Department, 2014.

Graduate Travel Award, University of Connecticut English Department, 2012.

SERVICE

Member, Diversity Committee, English Graduate Student Association, University of Connecticut, 2017-18.

Outside Speaker Coordinator, English Graduate Student Association, University of Connecticut, 2015-16.

Member, Committee on Seminars, Symposia, and Scholarly Development, English Department, University of Connecticut, 2015-16.

Member, Oversight Committee, First-Year Writing Introduction Week for New Instructors, University of Connecticut, 2015.

Member, Aetna Graduate Teaching Award Committee, University of Connecticut, 2015.

Member, Implementation Committee, First-Year Writing Introduction Week for New Instructors, University of Connecticut, 2014, 2015.

Teaching Practicum Group Leader, Freshman English, University of Connecticut, 2013.

Member, Professional Development Committee, English Graduate Student Association, University of Connecticut, 2011, 2014.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Modern Language Association (MLA)

American Studies Association (ASA)

Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS)

American Literature Society (ALS)

LANGUAGES

Italian, reading proficiency

REFERENCES 

[Available upon request]