Mar 29, 2005 — Dr. J. Ladin, PhD, assistant professor of English at Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University’s undergraduate school of liberal arts and sciences for women, received a research fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Ladin’s research will focus on American poetry, specifically the history of American poetry from 1850 to 1920 and the origins of modernist poetry.
The topic stems from Ladin’s doctoral dissertation comparing the authoritative language in the 19th-century poetry of Emily Dickinson with that of 20th-century modernist poetry. In both, the professor found that absolute statements – such as those on love or death – were combined with nonsense, or literally, language whose sense cannot be determined.
“Oddly enough, the nonsense strengthens their authority because it provokes readers to imagine out what they mean,” Ladin said.
Ladin’s current research sees that phenomenon as a symptom of the widespread effects of American democracy on language and authority in public discourse.
Ladin, who also directs the Writing Center at Stern College, received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a PhD from Princeton. Ladin has taught at University of Massachusetts, Princeton, and Reed College, as well as at Tel Aviv University as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, and at the Emily Dickinson Homestead, which included a series of seminars on Dickinson’s poetry at her birthplace.