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Lycoming College English professor selected as keynote speaker for international conference on jazz and literature

Lycoming College English professor selected as keynote speaker for international conference on jazz and literature

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Lycoming College English and creative writing professor Sascha Feinstein, Ph.D., has been selected as the keynote speaker for “Jazz in Word: European (Non-)Fiction,” an international conference presented by the University of Vienna that will be held at the Amerika-Haus in Vienna, Austria, May 22-24.

Feinstein has tentatively titled his keynote address “Jazz as a Liberator of Language.” The conference also will feature presentations on a variety of jazz-related topics, including the musicality of words, verbal sources for jazz, the problems of translating jazz slang and the patterns of jazz verbalizations. The conference is designed to broaden both the thematic and geographic scope of jazz in Europe in order to examine verbalizations of jazz in the 20th century up to the present.

Co-directors of the program Marc-Oliver Schuster, Ph.D., professor of new German literature at the University of Vienna, and Kirsten Krick-Aigner, Ph.D., professor of German at Wofford College, chose Feinstein as the keynote speaker after the U.S. Embassy in Vienna asked them to find an accomplished American author who specializes in jazz literature.

“We did not need to look any further than at Dr. Feinstein’s body of literary work which engages in the American jazz tradition in a dynamic and passionate way,” Krick-Aigner said. “We are honored that he has agreed to speak to a group of international scholars who work on jazz in literature and text written in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in countries from the former Soviet Union. We hope that in bringing Dr. Feinstein to Vienna we will unite a diverse group of people through the power of music, in this case jazz.”

An innovator in the field of jazz literature, Feinstein has published 10 books, including “Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present” and “Ask Me Now: Conversations on Jazz & Literature.” He has co-edited “The Jazz Poetry Anthology” and its companion volume “The Second Set,” as well as “The Jazz Fiction Anthology.” He also hosts “Jazz Standards,” a weekly radio program broadcast on WVIA-FM, and is the founder and editor of the only literary journal in the U.S. that focuses on jazz-related literature, “Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature.”

Feinstein teaches poetry workshops and advanced literature courses on 20th century poetry at Lycoming, where he has worked since 1995. He earned an MFA in poetry and a Ph.D. in American literature from Indiana University.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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