The Seance of Reading. Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing (Event)

You are kindly invited to join us in welcoming Professor Thomas J. Cousineau on April 5, from 10am, in Sala de Consiliu (1st floor of our 7-13, Pitar Mos building). Professor Cousineau will be presenting his latest book, The Seance of Reading. Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing, whose second edition has recently come out from Editura Universitară. 

Thomas J. Cousineau is Professor of English (Emeritus) at Washington College, former visiting professor at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bucharest. He edited the newsletter of the Samuel Beckett Society for several years and co-directed the Presence de Samuel Beckett conference at Le Centre Culturel International de Cerisy-la-Salle in Normandy. He is the author of After the Final No: Samuel Beckett s Trilogy, Waiting for Godot: Form in Movement, Ritual Unbound: Reading Sacrifice in Modernist Fiction, Three-Part Inventions: The Novels of Thomas Bernhard and An Unwritten Novel: Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet (recipient of an ”Outstanding Title” citation from the American Library Association). 

We look forward to seeing many of you there!

You can order the book and find out more details about it by clicking on the link below:…/the-s%C3%A9ance-of…

The Seance of Reading is part of a three-book project titled The Manole Trilogy. Please find more information about each title (both published and projected) below. 

Ritual Unbound: Reading Sacrifice in Modernist Writing. University of Delaware Press 2004.

[René Girard, Violence and The Sacred. Michigan State University Press, 2021]

Introduction: The Oedipus Complex [aka The Manole Complex I – ritual scapegoating]

Ch. 1 Occulted Rivalry in The Turn of the Screw

Ch. 2 Heart of Darkness: The Outsider Demystified

Ch. 3 Borrowed Desire in The Good Soldier

Ch. 4 The Great Gatsby: Romance or Holocaust?

Ch. 5 Ending Rituals in To The Lighthouse

The Séance of Reading: Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing. Editura Universitara 2023.

[Mircea Eliade, Commentaires sur la légende de maître Manole. L’Herne 1994]

Introduction: The Manole Complex [aka The Manole Complex II – ritual building]

Ch. 1 Fixing Things in The Great Gatsby 

Ch. 2 Being Scrupulous in “The Sisters”

Ch.3 Rebuilding Lisbon in The Book of Disquiet

Ch. 4 Doing It in Waiting for Godot

Ch. 5 The Eliot Way: Turning Back in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Ch. 6 Playing It in Endgame

Ch. 7 Crafting Transfigurations in A Short History of Decay

Ch. 8 Being Misfits in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Ch. 9 Framing Things in Light in August

To Double-Business Bound: The Symmetrical Imperative of Writing (in progress)

[Cedric Whitman, Homer and The Heroic Tradition. W. W. Norton, 1965.]

Introduction: The Exekias Complex [aka The Manole Complex III – the doppelgänger effect]

Homer, The Iliad and Ezekias, Ajax and Achilles Playing a Board Game 

Ch 1: Setting It Right in Oedipus and Hamlet

Ch 2: Fixing Maimed Rites in Waiting for Godot and Endgame

Ch 3: Being Hamlet in The Book of Disquiet and A Short History of Decay

Ch 4: Forging Bonds in “Heart of Darkness” and “The Secret Sharer”

Ch 5: Blending Opposites in Murphy and Molloy

Ch 6: Longing for Another Country in “Eveline” and “The Dead”

Ch 7: Obtaining Relief in “Krapp’s Last Tape” and “Ohio Impromptu”

Ch 8 Balancing All in “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” and “Sailing to Byzantium”

Ch 9: Vanquishing Them Again in “A Rose for Emily” and “Dry September”

Ch 10: Going Back and Forth in Woodcutters and Wittgenstein’s Nephew

New Book: Thomas J. Cousineau’s The Seance of Reading. Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing

Thomas J. Cousineau, a former Fulbright professor with the American Studies Program at the University of Bucharest, has recently published the second edition of his book The Seance of Reading. Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing. This is the second of a planned three-part trilogy. You can order the book and find out more information about the Table of Contents by clicking on the link below:

America in the Global World (Student Conference)

The Center for American Studies at the University of Bucharest 

and the Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission

invite proposals for their annual student conference on the topic

America in the Global World 

to be held online and in person

at the Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission (2, Ing. Nicolae Costinescu St, Bucharest)

 on Wednesday, May 10, 2023

We invite proposals for 15-minute presentations from undergraduate and MA students whose research is relevant to the topic of the conference. Papers may come from the fields of literature, film, theater and performance arts, popular culture, visual culture and the media, history, politics, intercultural and interdisciplinary communication, and transatlantic relations and may address issues such as (but not necessarily limited to): the impact of U.S. culture, economy and politics on the rest of the world; American contributions to globalization; American perceptions of the post-pandemic global world; America, globalization and the environment; American democracy, U.S. minorities and global migration; America, gender roles and globalization; America, LGBTQ+ struggles for rights and globalization; the United States and global crises. The best presentation will be awarded the “Dan Grigorescu” prize (US$ 200). Doctoral students are welcome to present outside the competition for the “Dan Grigorescu” prize.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit the following: 

1. a 250-word abstract attached as an MS Word file. Your abstract must include the paper title and the name of the academic coordinator who has agreed to supervise your paper. Please note that, considering that each presentation will be 15 minutes long, final papers should be approximately 5-6 pages long/in length (Times New Roman, font 12, double-spaced). However, we strongly encourage participants to present and not simply read their papers. Please make sure you specify whether you will deliver your paper in person or online. 

2. 3-5 keywords from your essay;

3. Contact information (name, affiliation, phone number, and email address).

Please email your submissions to

Deadline for submissions: Friday, April 26, 2023.

Notifications of proposal acceptance: Monday, May 2, 2023 (earlier notifications available upon request).

For any questions, please contact dr. Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru ( 

Our partners: US Embassy | Fulbright Commission in Romania | English Department, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Bucharest