New SEA Executive Coordinator
I’m pleased to announce that Professor Kelly Wisecup, Associate Professor of English at Northwestern University, has been elected to serve on the SEA Executive Committee. She will begin her 2-year term as Executive Coordinator on July 1, 2021.
We look forward to working with Professor Wisecup.
Kelly Wisecup’s Platform Statement
From my time as a graduate student through my early career as a junior scholar and beyond, the SEA and its members have been a vital intellectual community. The bi-annual conferences have been engaging spaces that have broadened my scholarly horizons and allowed me to learn from established and emerging scholars. I would be honored to serve as Executive Coordinator and to build on and extend the work of previous society officers.
I am an associate professor of English at Northwestern University, where I am also affiliated with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. Before coming to Northwestern in 2015, I was an assistant professor at the University of North Texas for six years. My scholarship brings together early American literary studies with Native American and Indigenous Studies and histories of science. I am the author of Medical Encounters: Knowledge and Identity in Early American Literatures (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013) and the editor of “Good News from New England” by Edward Winslow: A Scholarly Edition (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014). My monograph Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Native American Literature is forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2021, as is the volume I co-edited with Lisa Brooks for the Library of America, Plymouth Colony: Narratives of English Settlement and Native Resistance from the Mayflower to King Philip’s War. I am the co-editor with Alyssa Mt. Pleasant and Caroline Wigginton of a special issue on the relations between Native American and Indigenous Studies and early American studies, published in Early American Literature and the William and Mary Quarterly in 2018. I am the board of American Literature (2020-2023) and am an associate editor for The Broadview Anthology of American Literature. In recent years, I’ve engaged in several collaborative projects, with an eye to considering how early American studies might be a foundation for conversations with other fields and historical periods and with communities outside the university. With faculty and graduate students from the Mellon-funded Humanities Without Walls consortium, I am part of a three-year, collaborative project on “Indigenous Art and Activism in Changing Climates: The Mississippi River Valley, Colonialism, and Environmental Change.” With support from an NEH grant, I collaborated with the American Indian Center of Chicago to build the AIC Community Archives. And with my undergraduate students, I am building Indigenous Chicago, a website where students research and write about Chicago’s past and present Indigenous artists. At Northwestern, I served as co-director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research in its second and third years of operation, helping to launch the Center’s initiatives and hire staff while also managing budgets and planning programs. I would draw on this administrative experience to manage the Society’s finances and plan meetings, and I would bring to all of my responsibilities my experience facilitating and participating in collaborative research projects.
I have already served SEA as the chair of the essay contest committee (2013-2015), and I recently ended a term on the executive committee of the Early Caribbean Society. I helped to organize the Native American and Indigenous Studies panel streams for SEA conferences in St. Louis (2018), Eugene (2019), and Atlanta (now virtual, 2021). If elected to serve as Executive Coordinator, I would seek to build on this prior experience and my predecessors’ work by ensuring that the Society’s conferences and publications advance studies of early American literature and culture that reflect the period’s full range of modalities, languages, experiences, and identities and that account for the contexts and afterlives of colonialism and slavery in which early American literatures were written and circulated. Relatedly, I would seek to ensure that conference panels and Society committees reflect and engage diverse participants and communities. As we face a future in which our lives, students, research, and campuses are shaped by the pandemic, political upheaval, white supremacy and anti-blackness, I hope the Society can expansively and creatively support its members while cultivating relationships with diverse communities and laying pathways for the future of our field.