Jeffrey Cassvan

Klapper Hall, Room 706

Research Interests

My research interests include the work of Walter Benjamin, the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, the poetry of W.B. Yeats, and the study of ekphrasis and intermediality.

Teaching Interests

I teach undergraduate courses on Irish literature (365, 366, 367 & 368W), literary theory and twentieth-century poetry. Irish literature offerings include courses focused on the work of writers like James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Seamus Heaney, and James Joyce, as well as survey courses, and “Celtic Mythology and Literature,” a course that explores the figures of the king, the goddess, the warrior and the poet, as well as the relationship between storyteller and scribe, in Irish and Welsh texts of the Middle Ages. I often teach the department’s “Theory” course for undergraduates (244) as well as the course on “Literary History” (242) and on “Genre” (243).

I’ve taught a number of courses for our MA program, including the required History of Criticism and Theory (636) course and the following special topics offerings: The Art of Elizabeth Bishop (781); Counterparts, Painful Cases, and Little Clouds: Dubliners, Theories of Literature, and the New Century (681); Despicable Theory: Reading de Man Again (736).

Selected Talks

“Benjamin’s Mimetic Faculty and Contemporary Theory,” Walter Benjamin in the 21st Century (chaired panel), 51st Annual Convention of Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, March 6, 2020.

“‘Every discolouration of the stone, / Every accidental crack or dent’: Yeats’s “Lapis Lazuli” and Ekphrastic Poetry,” lecture at A Taste of Ireland’s Yeats Summer School in New York, NYU Glucksman Ireland House, February 29, 2020.

“Wallace Stevens, Painting, and ‘The Nothing That Is,’” lecture at the Brand Library & Art Center for an exhibit of the work of 15 contemporary artists titled The Nothing That Is, Glendale, CA, January 12, 2020.

“‘He loves / that sense of constant re-adjustment’: Bishop’s Constructions of Masculinity,” Non-Essentialist Masculinities and Literary Interventions (co-chaired panel), 50th Annual Convention of Northeast Modern Language Association, Washington, DC, March 22, 2019.

“Infant Sight: Derangement, Re-Arrangement, and Inescapable Hope in Elizabeth Bishop’s Poetry,” Domestic, Global, and Textual Spaces in the Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop (chaired panel), 49th Annual Convention of Northeast Modern Language Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 14, 2018.

Panelist, “Storytelling & Celtic Mythology,” Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, April 5, 2018.

“Tradition and Mediality in Shakespeare’s Sonnets,” The Afterlives of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (co-chaired panel), 48th Annual Convention of Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, Maryland, March 24, 2017.

“Maculacy Cherished: Elizabeth Bishop’s Profane Illuminations,” Aesthetics after Theory: Politics, History, and the Pied Space of Literature (co-chaired panel), 47th Annual Convention of Northeast Modern Language Association, Hartford, Connecticut, March 20, 2016.

Selected Publications

Cheshire, S. and Jeff Cassvan. “Submission; or Thither in the Night.” The Scofield 1.1, (Summer 2015): 128 – 139.

Cassvan, J. “Notes on the Air.” Rev. of Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, by John Ashbery, Ecco Press, 2008. American Book Review. Vol. 29 (6), September/October 2008: 16.