Announcing New Journal Editor Gary Totten

We are excited to announce that as of July 1, MELUS will have a new journal editor, Gary Totten.

Gary TottenProfessor Gary Totten comes to us from North Dakota State University, where he is currently chair of the Department of English and interim head of the Criminal Justice & Political Science Department. Gary is a scholar of 19th and early 20th century US literature. His scholarship has included articles on Native American literature such as Zitkala Sa and indigenous sovereignty as well as an article titled, “Southernizing Travel in the Black Atlantic: Booker T. Washington’s The Man Farthest Down,” published in MELUS in 2007. His current research includes a book on African American travel narratives. Gary Totten’s previous editorial experience includes a special issue on travel writings for the peer-reviewed journal Studies in American Naturalism as well as a special issue of the Edith Wharton Review, also a peer-reviewed journal. He has edited a collection of scholarly essays on Edith Wharton and material culture, and he is a member of the editorial board of the Edith Wharton Review. Gary Totten comes highly recommended by his colleagues and has the confidence of the MELUS Executive Committee that the award winning journal of the MELUS Society is in capable hands.

Congratulations to Professor Fred Gardaphe

Prof. Fred Gardaphe received the 2014 MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies during the MLA 2014 Convention in Chicago on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Fred Gardaphe is Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies at Queens College/CUNY, the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, and one of the most prominent scholars of Italian American literature and criticism in the academy. He directs the Italian/American Studies Program at Queens College and formerly directed the programs in Italian American and American Studies at SUNY at Stony Brook. He is editor of the Italian American Culture Series at SUNY Press, and co-founding editor of Voices in Italian Americana. Prof. Gardaphe has published seven monographs: Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative; Dagoes Read: Tradition and the Italian/American Writer; Moustache Pete Is Dead!; Italian/American Oral Tradition Preserved in Print; Leaving Little Italy: Essaying Italian American Studies; From Wiseguys to Wise Men: Masculinities and the Italian American Gangster; and The Art of Reading Italian Americana. His edited books include: New Chicago Stories, Italian American Ways; and From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana and Anti-Italianism. His most recent book is Importato dall’Italia, a collection of short fiction, translated into Italian. A former President of MELUS from 2007-2009 and 2003-2006, Prof. Gardaphe is a highly accomplished MELUS scholar on Italian American and American multiethnic literary and cultural studies, an outstanding, dedicated, and beloved leader of MELUS, a terrific colleague, and a generous mentor to junior scholars in MELUS.

Publishing partnership with Oxford University Press (OUP)

MELUS is pleased to announce a publishing partnership with Oxford University Press (OUP). The OUP press will publish the MELUS Society’s quarterly journal, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States <>. A prestigious and rigorously peer-reviewed journal, MELUS has been a vital resource for scholarship and teaching for more than thirty years, illuminating the national, international, and transnational contexts of US ethnic literature. By including interviews with established authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Richard Rodriguez, as well as more recent writers such as Junot Díaz, Ruth Ozeki, and Diana Abu-Jaber, MELUS remains on the cutting edge of literary and cultural scholarship. The journal plays a pivotal role in the field of US Ethnic Literature and is an indispensable resource for any library or any scholar of US Ethnic Literature.

Niko Pfund, President of OUP USA, commented: “Too often in history, American literature has, by default, been limited to overly restrictive interpretations of what qualifies as such. Among its many other valuable contributions, MELUS forcefully corrects this myopic perspective by examining the many contributions of multi-ethnic literature to the American cultural landscape. We at OUP couldn’t be more pleased to be joining forces with MELUS in this important mission.”

OUP will publish MELUS beginning January 2013. For more information about the journal, including subscriptions, article submission guidelines, and how to register for free content-alerting services, please visit<>.

Also, feel free to contact the membership chair Karen Skinazi at or the journal at if you have any questions. We very much look forward to this transition and believe it has many benefits for the society and the journal.

Congratulations to Professor Lisa Lowe

Professor Lisa Lowe of Tufts University received the 2013 MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution in Ethnic Studies, at a reception at the Boston Public Library (Courtyard Restaurant) on Saturday, January 5, 2013.