2018 PAMLA Election Results

We wish to thank all of our fine nominees for agreeing to run for PAMLA office. And congratulations to the following new PAMLA Executive Committee members who were elected:

Jeremiah "Jem" Axelrod, PAMLA 2nd Vice President

Marta Albalá-Pelegrin, PAMLA Executive Committee

Brigitte Prutti, PAMLA Executive Committee

Emily "Emma" Butler-Probst, Graduate Student Representative

Jeremiah “Jem” Axelrod is Director of the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles [ISLA] at
Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he also serves as Associate Professor of Cultural
Studies, History, and Urban & Environmental Policy. In addition to a number of articles, he is
the author of Inventing Autopia: Dreams and Visions of the Modern Metropolis in Jazz Age Los
Angeles, published by UC Press in 2009. He is currently collaborating on a textbook, A Theory
Toolkit (under contract with W.W. Norton), designed to help humanities students employ critical
theory concepts to construct nuanced and compelling arguments in their writing.

He has been a member of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association since 2003,
serving from 2009 through 2011 on the Executive Committee. He has delivered papers at every
PAMLA annual conference for the past fifteen years, and has further supported the organization
by chairing panels at each of those conferences. Over the years, he has created and subsequently
helped usher to permanent status two special sessions: “Science Fiction in Literature and Film”
and “Disney and Its Worlds.” Most recently, he has organized a new session on “Los Angeles,”
which will be debuting at the upcoming Bellingham conference.
For more about his scholarly work, please consult his CV at inventingautopia.com/Axelrod-
CV.pdf.

Personal Statement: In 2003, I co-presented a paper that formed the basis of an article in
Pacific Coast Philology (“Reading Frederick Douglass Through Foucault’s Panoptic Lens: A
Proposal for Teaching Close Reading” in PCP 39). I’ve been hooked on PAMLA ever since.
Although I regularly attend a variety of academic conferences and symposia, and an increasing
number of public events beyond academia in my role as Institute Director, PAMLA is the only
conference I keep coming back to — as attendee, presenter, and panel chair — year after year
without interruption. One reason is that, to me, PAMLA is quite literally like an extended family,
and I’ve been thrilled to welcome many old friends, colleagues, and actual family members to
our PAMLA community over the years, just as I have been welcomed.

To advance this ethos of collegiality, I believe we can do more to support and encourage
graduate students and non-tenure-track scholars. When I served on PAMLA’s Executive
Committee, I tried hard to help champion both groups, and I believe one way we might advance
that cause is to experiment with bringing smaller, one-day satellite symposia, perhaps in
collaboration with organizations in allied humanities disciplines, to some of the vibrant localities
across the West which might not sustain our full annual conferences. New inter-institutional and
inter-disciplinary partnerships can also extend our reach. For instance, I have been able to
leverage my own institution’s resources across a range of departments to support PAMLA on a
number of special events, including the 2016 Pasadena conference’s very successful creative
session “Straight Out of …: Los Angeles and the Poetry of its Neighborhoods,” moderated by
Suzanne Lummis. This memorable poetry roundtable represented, I think, a great way to bridge
the scholarly and artistic communities within a specific local context. Similarly, at Portland in
2015, I was able to lead a public interview/discussion with Paul Collins, NPR’s “Literary
Detective.” It was a stimulating creative interchange to cap off the day’s sessions and suggested
ways to not only inculcate more collaborative and creative session formats, but also potentially
broaden the scope and reach of our conference without endangering its collegial and supportive
atmosphere. If elected, I will work diligently to innovate and collaborate, while fighting to
preserve those things we love about this intellectually stimulating and nurturing scholarly
community.

Marta Albalá-Pelegrín holds a doctorate in Spanish and Luso-Brazilian Cultures and
Languages from the Graduate Center, CUNY. She has taught at Queens College, and Princeton
University and is currently an assistant Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. She is also an Associated
faculty of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCLA and Affiliated faculty of
the Center for 17 th and 18 th Century Studies at UCLA, an associate of The Mediterranean Seminar
and a member of the Comedia in Translation Working Group at UCLA, which publishes
translations of Early Modern Hispanic Drama. She has been the recipient of several fellowships
and grants sponsored by the NEH, Fulbright HAYS Program, Mellon Foundation, Folger
Library, and McGill University, and she has been invited to present her work at Princeton
University, UCLA, the University of Barcelona, and CUNY, The Graduate Center. At PAMLA,
she has been part of the Local Organizing Committee of the 2016 Pasadena Conference, the
Presiding Officer for the Spanish Sessions at the 2017 Conference in Honolulu, has organized
numerous panels at PAMLA (8), and has published an essay as part of a Forum in Pacific Coast
Philology on Libraries and the fight for hegemony in Early Modern Iberia, which originated in
one of the double panels of the 2016 Pasadena Conference.

Her research focuses on the study of Spanish, Italian, and French Early Modern Theater,
Mediterranean Literary History, history of the Book, history of Diplomacy, and Visual Culture.
She has published articles and book chapters in Journal of Royal Studies, Revista Canadiense de
Estudios Hispánicos, E-Humanista, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Celestinesca, and Pickering
and Chatto.

She is currently working on her book project Entertaining the Pope: International Diplomacy
and Performance in the Roman Curia (1470- 1530), which explores the vital role of Spanish
patronage in the Roman curia, with a keen eye on the importance that theater came to have for
Mediterranean diplomatic enterprises. She is also co-translating with Mac Test the early modern
play La Monja Alférez (The Lieutenant Nun) by Juan Pérez de Montalbán, based on the life of
Catalina de Erauso, a transvestite nun-to-be that sailed to Latin America, became a soldier and a
colonizer by the beginning of the 17th century only to confess her identity at a later age and be
bestowed with a papal dispensation and a royal pension for her services to the Crown.

Personal Statement: I actively engaged in the organization of PAMLA panel sessions since
2016, soon after my arrival to the West Coast. As a literary historian, a comparatist, a translator,
and a multilingual speaker I am deeply engaged in the interconnection of culture, literature,
language and space, as well as in the exploration and reconsideration of our past. My ability to
work, do research in several languages, and my continuous commitment with dialogue and
intercultural research, that I brought into the classroom makes me appreciate the opportunities
that PAMLA offers as a forum in which both researchers of the West Coast and Graduate
Students can exchange ideas and enrich themselves from the opportunities that a
multidisciplinary conference brings, wide in the range on languages and variety of topics, but
disciplinarily attentive. The panels that I organized during the last years brought to PAMLA
specialized research in Early Modern Renaissance Studies, creative literature (by inviting literary
journals of the East Coast and suggesting inviting Librarians and curators), and translation
groups currently engaged in the reshaping of the literary canon both in K12, undergraduate and
graduate Theater Studies. I believe in the importance of fostering a dialogue across disciplines
and in the importance that both highly specialized research, and educational academic projects
have in the composition of a sound and well-informed society and in the formation of future
scholars. I conceive PAMLA as a privileged site and forum of discussion that promotes all these
initiatives, and exchanges.

Brigitte Prutti is Professor of German and chair of the German department at the University of
Washington, Seattle. She holds degrees in German literature and history from the Karl Franzens
Universität Graz, Austria, and the University of California at Irvine. Her areas of research and
teaching encompass modern Austrian and German literature since the 18th century, history of
drama, modern prose fiction, and gender studies. More recent publications include a monograph
on Viennese post-classical theatre and two book-length essays on the Austrian late modernist
Thomas Bernhard and the mechanisms of literary distinction as well as on 19th century
autobiographical prose. Current research interests include the recent surge of literary regionalism
in the context of older practices of regional writing and the theatrical imagination of place with
regard to 19th century Habsburg travel accounts to the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. She
serves as guest editor for a themed journal volume on Literary Vienna and is on the board of the
Austrian Studies Association.

Personal Statement: I have regularly attended PAMLA meetings since the 1990s and put
together many special sessions, including one on “Franz Kafka: New Readings for the 21 st
Century” last year and a panel on “The Personal and the Literary” this year. PAMLA meetings
are a great forum for engaging with colleagues from other disciplines and for testing new ideas.
The PAMLA is the one major West coast organization promoting the teaching of world
languages and literatures as an integral part of higher education; it is advocating for the
Humanities and fostering a productive scholarly exchange across disciplines and generations. As
a board member, I hope to support the key elements of its mission.

Emily “Emma” Butler-Probst is a Ph.D. student and Graduate Teaching Associate at the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her B.A. from Metropolitan State University of
Denver and her M.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In her program at UT Knoxville,
Emma studies the intersection of nineteenth-century American literature and religion. Her
research focuses on the ways that Herman Melville and other nineteenth-century authors
incorporate subversive biblical references in order to wrestle with the nature of belief and doubt.
In a larger sense, she is fascinated by questions of epistemology, especially the ways in which
faith, doubt, and delusion can dramatically alter that which individuals know to be true. Emma’s
undergraduate thesis focused on Melville’s use of madness as a warning for the obsessive pursuit
of absolute truth and her M.A. thesis explored Melville’s ongoing cyclical journey from
skepticism to faith and back to skepticism. In 2017, Emma published “Raciocultural Union and
‘Fraternity of Feeling’: Ishmael’s Redemption in Moby-Dick,” an article which explores
Ishmael's personal adoption of Queequeg's cultural identity as a mock conversion narrative
which results in multicultural salvation. Emma received the Trotsky Fellowship in recognition of
completing an exemplary first semester in her M.A. program at CU. She is also the recipient of
the Herman E. Spivey Humanities Graduate Fellowship which is reserved for the most promising
incoming graduate students at UT Knoxville.

Personal Statement: I have been an active presenter at PAMLA since 2014 when I was a Junior
in my undergraduate program. In the years since then, I have presented several papers, served as
a session chair, and even proposed my own special session on “Epistemologies of Sight and
Touch in American Literature.” I have also had the opportunity to assist with the logistical side
of PAMLA’s conference planning, and, through this experience, I have learned about the hard
work that goes into making this conference an exceptional annual event. I have thrived in the
welcoming atmosphere that PAMLA provides to student scholars, benefiting from the resources
this organization offers so that graduate students can come and share their research with other
scholars. PAMLA offers a beautiful picture of young scholars working alongside experienced
scholars, mutually enriching one another. While I have presented at other conferences, PAMLA
is the only conference I have attended that feels like a true family, one that I would be honored to
support and strengthen. If elected to the position of Graduate Student Representative, I would
love to advance current PAMLA Graduate Representative Raymond Rim’s worthy project of
creating a special Graduate Student-focused session. I would be particularly interested in
forming sessions around the subjects of Graduate Student pedagogical methods and the unique
position of graduate students who often teach undergraduate courses while also attending classesof their own as students. I believe it would be valuable to explore graduate student liminality and
the way that these dual roles may enhance approaches to both teaching and learning. I know that
a significant portion of PAMLA’s encouraging atmosphere comes from effective representation
and an excellent Executive Board. Because of this, I would cherish the opportunity to speak on
behalf of my fellow graduate students so that students like myself may continue to have a voice
and feel welcome.