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Robert Spoo

James Joyce Quarterly announces leadership transition

man in a plum-colored shirt and grey blazer gesturing upwards with this right arm
Sean Latham

After 21 years of service, Walter Professor of English Sean Latham has stepped down from the editorship of the James Joyce Quarterly (JJQ) to take on new a position with The University of Tulsa. He will be succeeded by Chapman Professor of Law Robert Spoo and Associate Professor of English Jeff Drouin, who will serve as co-editors.

Latham arrived at TU in 2001 to lead the journal after completing his doctorate at Brown University. As editor, he oversaw the transformation of JJQ from a print-only publication into an innovative, hybrid publication with a sprawling global readership of scholars, fans, teachers,and students. During this tenure, he hosted the North American Joyce Conference, marked the centenary of Bloomsday and created the journal’s 50th-anniversary issue. In addition to producing over 70 issues of the print journal, he revived the celebration of Bloomsday here in Tulsa and returned the headquarters of the International James Joyce Foundation to TU.

“The James Joyce Quarterly brought me and my family to Tulsa,” Latham remarked, “and the community of scholars, fans and students that have gathered around it have made the Joyce world a second home.” His work as editor has taken him to symposia and universities around the world, from Dublin, Zurich and Paris to the world’s largest book festival in Shanghai. During his editorship, he wrote or edited 10 books on modern literature and culture, including editions of Joyce’s Dubliners and Ulysses, as well as influential studies on literary magazines, libel law and snobbery.

man smiling and wearing a white shirt, blue tie and blue blazer
Robert Spoo

More than anything, Latham has valued the opportunity to help shape the work of developing scholars: both the students who have come to Tulsa to study Joyce and the writers and researchers whom he has mentored through the challenges of a rigorous peer-review process: “The arrival of each new issue is a joy because I know the huge amount of work that our entire team has put into maintaining the journal’s reputation for excellence.”

Latham’s successors also came to Tulsa to pursue work on James Joyce. In fact, he took over the journal from Spoo, who, while then a member of the English faculty, had served as editor from 1991 to 2001. “I’m in the amazingly unique position of having preceded Sean at JJQ and now returning to it as he embarks for new challenges and opportunities,” said Spoo. “In addition to my work in TU’s College of Law, I remain active as a scholar of Joyce, so the transition will be a natural one for me, and I greatly look forward to collaborating with Jeff in guiding JJQ into the future.”

man wearing glasses, black shirt and black blazer
Jeff Drouin

Spoo will share the editor’s chair with Drouin, an expert on modernism and digital humanities. Drouin describes it as “an honor to become an editor of the journal that has guided research in Joyce and modernism for so many scholars over so many years. Bob and Sean as the two more recent editors, have both made a lasting impact that will allow us to carry the journal forward as the world moves in new directions.”

Stepping down from a position that has defined almost his entire professional life is emotional, Latham admits. “I do so, however, knowing that the journal will be led by an outstanding team who are certainly far better qualified for the work than I was back in 2001. And they will be supported by Carol Kealiher, our managing editor, and the dedicated staff of graduate assistants who have always been the real keys to the journal’s ongoing success.”

Latham will remain at TU and move to a largely administrative role leading the institution’s public humanities initiatives while developing the fledging TU Institute for Bob Dylan Studies.

The JJQ was founded by Thomas F. Staley at TU in 1963 and began its life as a modest passion project in a midtown Tulsa garage. It has since grown into the internationally recognized flagship of Joyce studies and a leading publication in literary studies more generally. TU itself is home to one of the world’s leading collections of Joyce’s papers and has been a research leader in the field of modern literature for more than 60 years.

Three faculty named Outstanding Researchers for 2020

The University of Tulsa is honored to announce the recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Researcher Award – a lifetime distinction, received only once in an individual’s career. It is intended to honor achievements that have been validated in the scholar’s professional field.

The 2020 recipients are:
outstanding researchersJoanne Davis, Professor of Psychology: Professor Davis’ research is broadly concerned with trauma and its consequences. Particular focus of this work is on the development of sleep disorders following traumatic events, and the exploration of the effects of interpersonal violence. Notably, Joanne translates her research to make the findings useable for the broad, nonacademic community, providing seminars for organizations such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and NGOs in Tulsa including Family and Children’s Services and Domestic Violence Intervention Services.

outstanding researchersRobert Spoo, Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law: Professor Spoo conducts his interdisciplinary work at the intersection of copyright law, theories of the public domain, informal norms, publishing, modern authorship and law and literature. Robert combines these distinct disciplines in scholarship that is grounded in literary and legal history and nourished by his diverse roles as literature professor, law professor, attorney and journal editor.

outstanding researchersSean Latham, Professor of English: Professor Latham’s scholarly activities focus on modern literature and culture and have drawn inspiration from the likes of James Joyce and Bob Dylan. His work intertwines with a broad interest in the cultural context of modernist aesthetics and the meanings and uses of formal innovation in 20th century literature. Since 2001, Sean has been the editor of The James Joyce Quarterly, the pre-eminent journal of Joycean studies in the world, and he also serves as the director of the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities.

Candidates for the Outstanding Researcher Awards were nominated by deans from Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, Collins College of Business, Oxley College of Health Sciences, the College of Engineering & Natural Sciences and the College of Law. Nominees were selected for their recognition of outstanding research and scholarly achievements. Other considerations included pedagogical awards, honors from scholarly societies, grants, publication citation counts or other forms of public recognition. External recognition of a faculty member’s work also factored into the selection process.