Dr. Kathleen Alves - English
B.A. Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, 2005.
M.A. English, St. John's University, New York, 2007.
D.A. English, St. John's University, New York, 2011.
My research and teaching interests include British 18th-century literature and culture, the novel, sexuality and gender studies, history of the book and reading, and history of medical writing.
Body Language examines the complex intersections of British eighteenth-century comic fiction and medical discourse. Engaging medical writings of renowned and widely read physicians of the Enlightenment, such as John Friend, Thomas Sydnham, Albrecht von Haller, and William Cullen, with popular works of comic fiction by Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne, Charlotte Lennox, and Frances Burney, I explain how medicine shaped comic language by fictional dramatization of medical phenomena of women’s bodies, such as menstruation, hysteria, and pregnancy. Body Language reveals that major political and social anxieties broadly centered on women’s sexuality, like their sexual aggression, sexual incontinence, and linguistic intemperance, are problematized within the body and expressed through it, suggesting that comic works subversively criticize the pure objectivity of the sciences. The problem each novel lays out is the conflict between medical discourse and social expectations—the former claims that female excess under certain circumstances can be uncontrollable, while the latter requires that this can be controlled in every circumstance. The appropriation of medical elements in the comic novel, then, is a critique of the irreconcilable conflict between medical discourse’s contention of women’s psycho-physiological excess and societal expectations of women’s strength of sexual virtue.
Review, “Aiming for Total History in Eighteenth-Century Medicine,” Eighteenth Century Studies. 50. 1 (Fall 2016): 122-125.
“What Pleasure We Scullers Have”: Humor, Menstruation, and Literacy in Smollett’s Humphry Clinker.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 38. 3 (September 2015): 349-360.
Review, “Chasing Literacy: Reading and Writing in an Age of Acceleration.” Daniel Keller. Teaching English in the Two-Year College. 42.4 (May 2015) :414-416.
Review, “Medicine and Narration in the eighteenth century.” Ed. Sophie Vasset. Eighteenth Century Fiction. 27. 2 (Winter 2014-2015): 315-317.
Review, "Air's Appearance: Literary Atmosphere in British Fiction, 1660-1794.” Jayne Elizabeth Lewis. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 37. 4 (December 2014): 541-42.
Review, “Transatlantic Feminisms in the Age of Revolutions.” Eds. Lisa L. Moore, Joanna Brooks, and Caroline Wiggington. Women: A Cultural Review. 24. 4 (2013).
"Transgressive Language: Comic Literacies of the Maidservant in Tobias Smollett’s Humphry Clinker." Academic Quarter 3 (2011): 281-289.
Review, “Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader.” 3rd Edition, Eds. Victor Villanueva and Kristin Arola. Teaching English in the Two Year College, March 2012: 314-316.
Review, “The Child Reader.” M.O. Grenby. Eighteenth Century Studies. 45.3 (2012): 461-463.
Swift’s Mock Virtuoso: The hubris of learning and print culture in “A Lady’s Dressing Room.” Literary and Cultural Interpretations of the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Marianna D’Ezio. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008.
“Shakespeare: Thirsty, F**kboys, Goals, Netflix and Chill.” Poetry Across the Curriculum Symposium. Queensborough Community College. Bayside, New York, 2017.
“I Like Big Books (and You Will Too):” Engaging Two-Year College Students with the Eighteenth Century.” Community College Humanities Association Eastern Division Conference. Providence, Rhode Island, 2016.
Chair and Organizer. “Feminist Pedagogy in the Two-Year College.” 47th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, Hartford, Connecticut. 2016.
“‘Excites a Thousand Disorders to their Tender Frame’: Shamela’s Parody of Menstruation Discourse.” The 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and The Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society. Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania, 2016.
“‘Reading This is Worth It, I Promise’: Engaging Two-Year College Students with the Eighteenth Century.” The 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and The Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society. Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania, 2016.
Chair and Organizer. “High Impact Practices as Dialogic Pedagogy in the Two-Year College.” Consortium for Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking. Berkeley College, New York, 2015.
“Disorderly Heap of Phenomena:” Hysteria and Feminine Language in Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones.” The 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Los Angeles, 2015.
“Teaching the Eighteenth Century in the Two-Year College.” Canadian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Montreal, 2014.
“Teaching Neoclassical Satire in the Two-Year College.” Consortium for Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking. St. John’s University, New York, 2014.
“Teaching Swift, Sex, and Race in the Two-Year College.” The 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Williamsburg, Virginia, 2014.
Chair and Organizer, “Medicine and Literature in the Eighteenth Century.” Northeast Modern Language Association, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2014.
“Body-Centered Writing and the Medicalization of Humor in Humphry Clinker.” East-Central American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2013.
“Biopolitics and Humor in Humphry Clinker.” North-Eastern American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Yale University, Connecticut, 2013.
“Decentralizing the Family: Maidservant Poets and Sensibility.” East-Central American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Baltimore, Maryland, 2012.
“The Impossible Convergence of the Courtesan and the Mother in Roxana.” North-Eastern American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Middletown, Connecticut, 2012.
Chair and Organizer, “Obscenity, Humor, and the Eighteenth Century Novel.” Northeastern Modern Language Association, Rochester, New York, 2012.
“That’s Punny:” Comic Literacies of the Maidservant in Humphry Clinker,” Hunter College English Graduate Conference, New York, New York, 2011.
“Servants’ Usurpation of Language in Roxana and Caleb Williams,” Graduate English Conference at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, 2011.
Chair and Organizer, “Servants and the Text.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010.
“Reading into their Consciousness: Servants, Oral Literacy and Print Culture in Eighteenth-Century England.” St. John’s University English Graduate Conference, Queens, New York, 2010.
“Swift’s Mock-Virtuoso: The hubris of learning and print culture in “A Lady’s Dressing Room.” Paper Accepted at the Canadian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Convention, Montreal, Canada, 2008.
“Swift and the Feminine Vehicle.” Paper Accepted at the North-eastern American Society Conference for Eighteenth Century British Literature, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 2008.
“Swift Re-Fashioning: Private Women in the Masculinist Public Sphere.” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Convention, Alberta, Canada, 2007.
“Productions of a Democracy: The Displacement of Subject-Formation in Young Citizenship.” St. John’s University English Graduate Conference, Queens, New York, 2007.
“Sexual Stimulus and its Subsequent Gender Implications in Rochester’s ‘A Song [Faire Cloris].” St. John’s University English Graduate Conference, Queens, New York, 2006.