Artist-in-Residence: Artist’s Talk

Fenwick Gallery will present Diaspora Diction, an exhibition of photography from Adriana Monsalve, Mason Libraries’ first Artist-in-Residence. The exhibition will be on display from May 28 through July 26, 2019. Please join us for an opening artist’s talk and reception on Tuesday, May 28 at 2 p.m. in Fenwick 2001. As part of her artist’s talk, Monsalve will discuss the works included in Diaspora Diction as well as the research conducted during her residency at Mason, where she has continued her exploration of questions of identity.

Opening in Fenwick Gallery: J Carrier’s Elementary Calculus

Elementary Calculus, through a series of portraits, landscapes and still life photographs, observes the publicly private moments of migrants and refugees in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as they attempt to connect back to their homes. In photographing these peregrine foreigners, the project explores the distance between reality and desire – the want for what was and the hope for what will be – and traces the manner in which we navigate this desolate geography. The photographs resonate with the sense that in a foreign landscape distance loses its physical measure and home feels like a hazy memory, a half-remembered dream.

Elementary Calculus was published by MACK in September, 2012, and selected for numerous year end “best of” lists and was also included in the 2013 International Center of Photography Triennial. Work from J Carrier’s recent projects, Mi´raj  and In Circles, will also be published by MACK in the coming year.

Elementary Calculus will be on display April 24 – May 24, 2019, in Fenwick Gallery. Please join us on Tuesday, April 30, from 11am to 12pm in Fenwick 2001 for an artist talk with J Carrier.

About the artist: J Carrier (b. Biloxi, Mississippi) spent a decade living and working in Africa and the Middle East, and after a five year stint in Brooklyn, returned home to Washington D.C where he lives with his wife and kids.  Carrier is an assistant professor at George Mason University. He formerly taught at Cornell University, the International Center of Photography (NYC), and Western Connecticut State. He has a BS in wildlife & fisheries science and forestry from the Pennsylvania State University (1996) and an MFA from the Hartford Art School (2012).  Carrier’s commissioned work has appeared in the New York Times magazine, National Geographic, Time, Fortune, CNN, Newsweek, Men’s Journal, XXL, Dazed and Confused, Le Monde, and The Financial Times and has won many awards. He was nominated for PDN30 (2016), the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship (2013 & 2012), and the Santa Fe Prize for Photography (2011).

About Fenwick Gallery: Fenwick Gallery is located in Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The gallery is open during Library business hours; see the Library’s website at for the most accurate and up-to-date information. For additional information about the Gallery, visit For questions about this exhibition or Fenwick Gallery, contact Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian, at

Visiting Writers Events – this week at Fenwick Library

Monday, April 8, 7:30-9pm: Ed Roberson – Ed Roberson is the author of numerous books of poetry, including To See the Earth Before the End of the World, which was a runner up for the Los Angeles Times Poetry Award; The New Wing of the LabyrinthCity EclogueAtmosphere Conditions, which was chosen for the National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Award; Just In: Word of Navigational Change: New and Selected Work; and Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. His most recent publication is the chapbook Closest Pronunciation. His earlier collections include Etai-Eken and When Thy King is a Boy. Roberson’s honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2016, the Lila Wallace Writers’ Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Award, and the 2016 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. His work has been included in Best American Poetry. Roberson has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University.

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30-9pm: Special Event with Susan Richards Shreve and Susan Tichy – On the eve of her retirement, Mason’s Creative Writing Program celebrates one of its longest-serving and most celebrated professors, Susan TichyTichy’s most recent collection, The Avalanche Path in Summer, takes her “life-long experience of walking in mountains and stirs into it a mix of ideas about mountains from the European and Chinese traditions.” She is also the author of five additional collections of poetry, including A Smell of Burning Starts the DayThe Hands in Exile, which was selected for the National Poetry Series; Bone PagodaGallowglass; and Trafficke. Tichy will be joined by J.K. Daniels, whose book Wedding Pulls was selected by C.D. Wright for the New Southern Voices Poetry Prize and published by Hub City Press. A Mason MA and MFA graduate, she serves as the College Dean of Languages and the Annandale Campus Dean of Languages, Arts, & Social Sciences for Northern Virginia Community College.

Wednesday, April 10, 7:30-9pm: Jane Brox – Jane Brox’s fifth book, Silence, was published in January 2019. Her book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine. She is also the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American FarmFive Thousand Days Like This One, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American EssaysThe Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has taught at Harvard University and Bowdoin College, and is currently on the faculty of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA Program.

Friday, April 12, 5-6:30pm: Jamel Brinkley – Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories, a finalist for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018A Public Space, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Tin House, and other placesA graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His work has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.

The Creative Writing Program offers the Visiting Writers Series each semester. Mason Libraries is the new host this spring. All events will take place in Fenwick Library, Room 2001, and are free and open to the public.

Fenwick Fellows Lecture, April 17: Jennifer Ashley and Alok Yadav

All are invited to join us on Wednesday, April 17 at 2 p.m. in Fenwick 2001 for our annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture. This year’s lecture features our 2017-18 fellows: Jennifer Ashley, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Alok Yadav, Associate Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Professors Ashley and Yadav will discuss their research and updates on the projects they undertook over the course of their fellowship year, as well as their thoughts on the digital tools used in their explorations and research. A summary of each of their lecture topics follows.

“The Chilean Plebiscite and the Power to be Affected” by Jennifer Ashley: Plebiscites and referendums have played central roles in the political life of Latin America and Europe during the last few years. As I watch these political scenarios unfold around the world, I ask: What makes a campaign successful? How do media representations frame our understanding of these political processes in the moment in which they are happening, and how do they help shape our memory of these events years later? I explore these questions in a digital humanities project that takes as a case study the 1988 Chilean plebiscite. In this plebiscite, a “YES” vote meant eight more years of Pinochet in power, and a “NO” vote expressed a desire for the return to democratic elections the following year. On October 5, 1988, following an intensification of protests, a long process of political coalition building, and a well-executed television campaign, 54.71% of the Chilean population voted to end the dictatorship. With a slogan of “joy is on its way”, one of the most significant characteristics of Chile’s “NO” campaign was its promise of the good life to come. Drawing on fifty interviews with Chileans of different ages and political perspectives, I focus on this plebiscite campaign as a means of reflecting on the importance of affect and, in particular, the power to be affected in shaping political life.

“Anthologies of African American Writing: Literary History and Digital Scholarship: A Modest Proposal” by Alok Yadav: There’s been much interest in recent years about the new kinds of scholarship in literary studies made possible by digital resources and digital tools. There are also, however, possibilities for the renovation of older kinds of scholarship through the use of digital media. In this talk, I’ll present work I’ve been doing on a digital project that seeks to compile a comprehensive bibliography, index, and reception history of anthologies of African American writing in order to provide the basis for a range of literary historical investigations of African American culture. Questions about the circulation and status of particular authors and works, about the framing and interpretation of African American literature, about canons and canon-formation, and about anthologies themselves as a particular kind of text can all be pursued more effectively if adequate scholarly reference works exist to facilitate such inquiries. This project seeks to develop one such essential resource, using a digital platform to make the project possible and more useful for users. My talk will provide a progress report on the project and a discussion of how digital tools can help advance literary historical scholarship, not by seeking out brave new worlds of inquiry, but by helping us to address existing topics and terrains more effectively.

About the 2017-18 Fellows: Jennifer Ashley is a Term Assistant Professor of Global Affairs at George Mason University. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Brown University. Her work focuses on media and political subjectivity, and has been published in journals such as American EthnologistPopular Communication, and Television & New Media. Alok Yadav is an Associate Professor in the English department at George Mason University, where he teaches courses on eighteenth-century British literature and on various topics in literary research, literary analysis, and literary theory. His first book was titled Before the Empire of English: Literature, Provinciality, and Nationalism in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2004). He has been working, slowly, on a project on political criticism of literature focused on Rudyard Kipling’s Kim – a project that involves a bit of a stretch for a dix-huitiémiste, since Kim was published in 1901. His current project on Anthologies of African American Writing involves a further stretch, in at least a couple of directions.

About the Fenwick Fellows Program: The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to Mason faculty member(s) to pursue research project(s) that use and enhance the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in the faculty members’ field. Applications for the 2019-2020 fellowship are currently being accepted; the deadline is Monday, May 6, 2019.