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C.W. Post English Professor Examines “The Isle of Pines”

New book is the first full-length study of important 17th century work


Rita Langdon,Associate Provost and Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University

The Isle of Pines BookBrookville, N.Y. — Dr. John Scheckter, a professor of English at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, has written the first full-length study of “The Isle of Pines,“ a short work of fiction by politician, author and satirist Henry Neville.

In “The Island of Pines, 1668: Henry Neville’s Uncertain Utopia,” (Ashgate, 2011), Dr. Scheckter discloses how Neville’s work offers a critique of scientific discourse, enacts complicated engagements of race and gender and interrogates the methods and consequences of European exploration. 

Dr. Scheckter offers a new critical model for applying post-colonial and postmodern examination strategies to an early modern work. Scheckter argues that the structure and publication history of the fiction, with its separate, unreliable narrators, along with its several topics – shipwreck survival, the founding of a new society, the initial phases of European colonization – are imbued with the sense of uncertainty that permeated the era.

Dr. Scheckter taught in Iowa and Montana before coming to C.W. Post in 1985. As a graduate student at the University of Iowa, he began comparative studies of American and Australian fiction, and the interplay of cultures has remained his primary interest. He has written articles and conference papers on American, Australian, Canadian, African and South Asian literatures, including novels, short fiction and autobiography. More recently, his work has been concerned with comparative cultural studies, and he has written on natural history illustration, the impact of material culture upon national expression and artistic representations of polar regions. In 1986, Dr. Scheckter was a founding member of the American Association of Australian Literary Studies; he was president of the group from 2000 to 2004 and continues to serve on its executive board. 

At C.W. Post, Dr. Scheckter teaches American literature, including the early period, along with Native American and other indigenous literatures, and post-colonial literature; in 2009, he developed and taught a class called “The Literature and Culture of Baseball.” 

Posted 12/13/2011

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