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Fall 2021 Office HoursSpring 2021: By appointment only
“Aesthetic Ecologies and Romantic Poetics in the Anthropocene”
David LeBlanc is a third-year Ph.D. student in the English Department at The Pennsylvania State University. His research investigates poetry’s role in establishing aesthetic trends that either reinforce or rewrite conceptualizations of nature and human agency in the Anthropocene, particularly those that critiqued the Enlightenment concept of the free-autonomous-subject. His work utilizes Digital Humanities methods, and he has recently launched The Digital Gooden Diaries Project, a project intended to edit, encode, and publish the PSU Special Collection’s James Gooden Diaries in collaboration with PSU’s Open Publishing Department. David was a graduate assistant for The Digital Beaumont & Fletcher (1647) Project and encoded and helped edit, in conjunction with Claire M. L. Bourne’s undergraduate class Shakespeare’s Contemporaries, the Fletcher and Massinger play The Sea Voyage.
The Swallows of Rhodes: David’s current poetry book project is set in ancient Rhodes during the building of the Colossus. The poems leverage the texts, culture, and social practices of Rhodian antiquity to better understand contemporary cultural landscapes and problems. Issues of migrant crisis, authoritarianism, and resource disparity are all central to the book. These poems take an ancient Rhodian lyric fragment of a children’s ritual begging song as their wellspring. At its heart the book asks: “What does it mean to beg for food in the ever growing shadow of one of the great wonders of the ancient world?”
As a graduate teaching assistant at The Pennsylvania State University, David has had the opportunity to teach introductory rhetoric and composition courses, more advanced field-specific composition courses, and creative writing. His pedagogical approach prioritizes transparency in the classroom and challenges students to critically analyze textual objects as manifestations of and active agents in complex, dynamically shifting rhetorical contexts. He helps students improve their writing skills by first helping them become better readers.
For further details on David's research, pedagogy, and ongoing projects, please visit his website at https://sites.psu.edu/dpleblanc/.