Programs and Series

CALS Spring Symposium

Annual Spring Symposium

Each year, the CALS Spring Symposium brings together prominent scholars in American literature and culture with Penn State faculty, students, and the larger public to discuss a pressing issue in today’s academic world.

Spring Symposium 2024 – Field Work: Journal Editors on Shaping Intellectual Life in the Academy

Monday, March 18
Dewey Room, Collaborative Commons, Pattee Library

This year’s CALS spring symposium focuses on the perhaps underestimated ways in which editors of scholarly journals influence the trajectories of conversations in various literary fields. Five editors or co-editors of academic journals—including three Penn State colleagues and two external invited panelists—will remark upon the manifold ways in which they, and the journals they edit, impact the scholarly landscape. Each panelist will have ten minutes to deliver an opening remark on the symposium topic, to be followed by thirty minutes of Q & A with the audience.


  • Nathan Grant, Associate Professor of English, St. Louis University. The author of Masculinist Impulses: Toomer, Hurston, Black Writing, and Modernity, Nathan Grant has served as Editor-in-Chief of African American Review (Johns Hopkins University Press) for over a decade.
  • Sarah Chinn, Professor of English, Hunter College. Sarah Chinn is the author of several monographs including most recently the award-winning Spectacular Men: Race, Gender, and Nation on the Early American Stage, 1780-1830. She currently serves as Co-Editor of J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (Johns Hopkins University Press).
  • Janet Lyon, Associate Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State. Janet Lyon is Director of the Graduate Program in the Department of English and Faculty-in-Charge of the Disability Studies Minor. Co-Editor of the Journal of Modern Literature (Indiana University Press), she is currently completing a monograph on disability and modernism.
  • Benjamin Schreier, Mitrani Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of English, Penn State. Benjamin Schreier is the author of several monographs including most recently The Rise and Fall of Jewish American Literature: Ethnic Studies and the Challenge of Identity. Since 2012, Schreier has served as Editor of Studies in American Jewish Literature (Penn State University Press).
  • Tina Chen, Associate Professor of English and Asian American Studies, Penn State. Tina Chen is Director of the Global Asias Initiative and Editor of Verge: Studies in Global Asias (University of Minnesota Press), for which she was named the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Editor Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ). Her monograph Alien Form: Global Asias and the Speculative Genres of Academic Labor is forthcoming from Duke University Press.


  • Joseph Glinbizzi, Graduate Student, Department of English, Penn State.

For additional information, please contact Sean X. Goudie, director of the Center for American Literary Studies, at

CALS SP24 Spring Symposium