Fairfield University
| November 2015 | Fairfield University News Channel

Fairfield University English Professor, Shannon Kelley, Receives Literary Journal

Fairfield University’s Dr. Shannon Kelley, assistant professor of English has been awarded the nineteenth Monroe Kirk Spears Award for her Winter 2015 article, “ Amber, the Heliades, and the Poetics of Trauma In Marvell’s ‘The Nymph Complaining” by the literary journal, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. 

The annual award, presented in honor and memory of Rice University Professor Monroe K. Spears, recognizes “clarity, economy and felicity of expression and discerning interpretation.”  Dr. Kelley’s article, which examines the historical and cultural significance of Baltic amber, “introduces a new, untragic model of female subjectivity and trauma in Andrew Marvell’s, ‘The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn’”. The article was voted “ the greatest pleasure to read” by the Studies in English Literature (SEL) editors. 

“I was honored to learn that my article received this award from the editors, and I look forward to attending the award’s ceremony with great delight,” said Dr. Kelley. In the article, she refers to renaissance poetry to discuss the understanding of mourning during the time period and to argue the ironic superiority of the Heliades’ amber tears that create an “imperishable resin that exceeds that of healthy, nonweeping trees.” 

Dr. Kelley hopes that people will continue to promote the research of trauma. “Because trauma affects so many, it will always be an important topic for critique,” she said. Dr. Kelley is currently working on a book manuscript inspired by her article that will analyze the literary trope of the wounded tree; investigate trauma theory, disability studies and literary ecocriticism. 

Dr. Kelley will be honored for her distinguished article at the MLA Conference reception and awards ceremony in Austin, Texas on January 8, 2016 where she will receive a certificate and prize. Her article can be read online at Fairfield’s digital commons

By Genevieve Brewer ‘17

Last modified:  Wed, 18 Nov 2015 09:44:00 EST


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