English Department News Letter and Calendar

Recent Publications, Awards, and Other Achievements

Reviews of Timothy Schaffert's novel "The Coffins of Little Hope" ran in more than 30 newspapers and magazines nationwide, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Kansas City Star, St Louis Post-Dispatch, and Time Out Chicago. The novel was a pick of the week in the Boston Globe, selected as a top 10 summer read by NPR's "Morning Edition," received 4 out of 4 stars in People magazine, and was featured on World Public Radio's "Studio 360."

Tom Lynch kept busy at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) conference in Bloomington, Indiana, held the final week of June. He participated in the Executive Committee meeting before the conference began. During the conference, he chaired a session on "Agrarianism and Its Discontents" at which he presented a paper titled "The Lilac by the Door: Settler Colonial Women's Agrarian Narratives in the U.S. and Australia." He also co-chaired a round-table session titled "The Bioregional Imagination," which featured contributors to his forthcoming edited collection of the same name. Finally, he had the honor of presenting the ASLE awards at the Authors' Reception.

In August, his co-authored book The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture was published by the University of California Press. (Available now to discerning readers from Amazon and other fine booksellers.)

He also earned several credits toward a degree in nursing, but would prefer not to pursue that line of study in the future.

Melissa K. Kleindl presented her paper "Connecting Place, Food, and Cycles of Birth and Death in Linda Hasselstrom's Land Circle: Writings Collected from the Land" at the Food and Agriculture Under the Big Sky: People, Partnerships, Policies conference held June 9-12, 2011, at the University of Montana, Missoula. This was the joint conference for the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS), the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), and the Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (SAFN).

Lesley Bartlett's essay, "Drawl," will appear in Crab Orchard Review in September.

Bret Shepard's poem "Arctic Interpreting" is in the current issue of Hobble Creek Review. And his poem "Words for Snow" is featured on LEVELER.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery's essay "God or Something like That" will appear in DIAGRAM, her essay "Weather I've Known" will appear in South Dakota Review, and her essay "Missing the Apocalypse" will appear in The Los Angeles Review.

Crystal Gibbins presented at ASLE's biennial conference in Indiana this summer and received Honorable Mention for her creative paper "Come Hell and High Water: Poems of Natural Hazards, Disasters, and Survival in the Red River Valley." Two of her poems were also accepted to be included in The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets (Backwaters Press 2012).

Tamy Burnett's 2010 dissertation, "'Just a Girl': The Community-Centered Cult Television Heroine, 1995-2007" was recognized by the UNL Libraries for being in the top twenty most-downloaded dissertations or theses at UNL during AY 2010-2011. (It was #13 with 1,029 downloads.) Tamy wishes to thank her committee members Kwakiutl Dreher, Maureen Honey, Gwendolyn Foster, Joy Ritchie, and Carole Levin (History) for their support and guidance during the dissertation process.

In May, Marco Abel was an invited speaker at the "Making of the Now: New Berlin Cinema" symposium at Dartmouth. His lecture was entitled "Séance: A Prolegomenon to the Berlin School." Marco was joined by Eric Rentschler (Harvard) and the director of Séance, "Berlin School" filmmaker Christoph Hochhäusler, who, as some might remember, was one of the two German filmmakers who visited Lincoln in 2007. While at Dartmouth, Marco also guest-taught a seminar on the "Berlin School" in Professor Gerd Gemünden's course on contemporary German cinema.

Joshua Ware's first book Homage to Homage to Homage to Creeley, which won the 2010 Furniture Press Poetry Prize, was released in May and made SPD's best-seller list for the month of July. This summer, his work appeared in Dear Navigator, Ecolinguistics, No Tell Motel, and [out of nothing]. Additionally, alice blue published some collaborative poems written in conjunction with Natasha Kessler.

Over the summer, Wheeler Winston Dixon began a blog, "Frame by Frame," on film and pop culture, which has the same name as his ongoing series of videos, at http://mediahub.unl.edu/channels/105; he published two essays in the web theory journal Flow; "Some Notes on StreamingFlow 14.1 (June 9, 2011), and "Red Boxes and Cloud Movies" Flow 14.4 (July 21, 2011); his book A Short History of Film, co-written with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, went into a 5th printing in July, 2011 with Rutgers University Press, and was released as an audio book from University Press Audiobooks; his essay on the film Bodyguard  was published in Noir of the Week on August 1, 2011; his interview with director Gerry O'Hara, "Working Within The System," was published in Screening the Past 30 (Spring, 2011); his review of "Idols of Modernity: Movie Stars of the 1920s, edited by Patrice Petro," in Screening the Past 30 (Spring, 2011); his review of the DVD "Films by Gordan Ball," in Screening the Past 30 (Spring, 2011); his review of "The Chill by Romano Bilenchi. Translated by Ann Goldstein," in Prairie Schooner (Spring, 2011): 164-167; and he also gave interviews for news articles on film to the Associated Press, The Christian Science Monitor, the Gannett Newspaper Group, and the Canadian Broadcasting System – the CBC interview was a videotaped conversation on the impact of 9/11 on film.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster and Wheeler Winston Dixon have just published a new book, "21st Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation," from Rutgers University Press. The book examines the digitization of the moving image in contemporary American cinema. In early reviews of the book, Jan Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive, comments that "the paradigm shift from analog to digital media has completely changed the way Hollywood produces and distributes its business. '21st Century Hollywood' presents a perfect snapshot of the new digital present," while theorist Steven Shaviro adds that the book "is a significant and impressive work on the cutting edge of current critical discussion on the digitization of film . . . the sheer scope of Dixon and Foster's knowledge is dazzling."

Ken Price reports that the Walt Whitman Archive has received a grant of $86,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to continue editing Whitman's correspondence from the Reconstruction period. The grant is a testimony to the past excellent work of the Whitman Archive staff and has the good effect of providing funding for several graduate students in the department. This summer Ken gave two talks on Civil War-era literature and culture: at the American Literature Association meeting in Boston he spoke on "The Work of Recovery: Civil War Poetry in Washington D.C.'s Armory Square Hospital Gazette." And at the Digital Humanities conference in Palo Alto, he, Brett Barney, and Liz Lorang spoke on "Civil War Washington: An Experiment in Freedom, Integration, and Constraint." In July, Ken taught for a week in the fourth annual Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association meeting held in Araraquara, Brazil. Work on making the Whitman Archive an international resource was advanced both by the Brazil trip and by a week spent at the Obermann Humanities Seminar, "Walt Whitman International: Literary Translation and the Digital Archive," held at the Obermann Institute for Advanced Studies at University of Iowa. Whitman Archive associate and contributing editors Liz Lorang and Vanessa Steinroetter also attended the Obermann Seminar and will work with international scholars to present translations of Whitman's work on the Archive in six different languages. Additional languages will follow.

Nima Kian's poems, "A Persian Ripple," "After" (formerly "A Bent Woman"), and "Abandoned Tehran" appear in the "New Worlds" section of Mascara Literary Review. His poem, "A Semblance," was also mentioned in a review in Sabotage.

Susan Belasco participated in two panels at the American Literature Association meeting in Boston, May 26-29, 2011. As a contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism, she took part in a roundtable on current research on periodicals of the mid-nineteenth century. She also participated as a panelist in a session on new directions for editorial scholarship. At ALA, Susan enjoyed hearing compliments about members of our department. She reports that "A faculty member at the University of South Carolina informed me that we had hired away the "heart and soul" of their department in Kwame Dawes. A professor at SUNY Albany not known for casual praise stopped to tell me what wonderful work Amanda Gailey and Andy Jewell are doing with the new online journal of the Association of Documentary Editing. At a session on trends in editing women writers, two of the panelists spoke at length about the excellent mentoring they had received from Melissa Homestead. The publisher and an editor at Bedford Books, congratulated me on our hiring of Stacey Waite and Bree Owen, two 'terrific new talents.' "

On June 23, Susan gave the keynote address, "Stowe in Her Time and Ours" at "Harriet Beecher Stowe at 200: Home, Nation, and Place in the 21st Century," a conference celebrating Stowe's 200th birthday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Steve Behrendt has the opening article in a recently-published collection called Romantic Explorations, edited by Michael Meyer and published by the Trier Literary History Press, in Germany. His piece, which is called "The Romantics and Media" was developed from a media-enhanced plenary lecture that he gave in October 2009 at the Conference for the German Society for English Romanticism, at the University of Koblenz-Landau, in Koblenz. He also has the concluding essay,  "Placing 'Irish' and 'Romanticism' in the Same Frame:  Prospects,"  in a new collection called Ireland and Romanticism: Publics, Nations and Scenes of Cultural Production, edited Jim Kelly and published (2011) by Palgrave Macmillan. And in May 2011 Steve gave a plenary presentation called "Was There a Regency Literature?:  1816 as a Test Case" at a one-day symposium in New York organized by the Keats-Shelley Association of America, The Pforzheimer Library branch of the New York Public Library, and Fordham University. There are plans to publish the several plenary papers in the Keats-Shelley Journal.

This summer Jill McCabe Johnson taught two creative writing workshops, "Smell and Memory," and "Heeding Sound," and served as final judge for the Written Word writing contest. Her poem, "Honey, it's raining something terrible," was published in Floating Bridge Review, and her poem, "Apple Tree" was published in Iron Horse Literary Review.

Laura Madeline Wiseman has poems in the current issues of Compass Rose, Weave, Cake, Cider Press Review, Broad River Review, Pebble Lake Review, California Quarterly, Illya's Honey, Generations of Poetry, Haven, and Poet Lore. She's interviewed in The Suction Cup. During her six-week writing residency at the Prairie Center of the Arts, she collaborated with artist Kate Johnson to create a limited edition series of broadsides that combine poetry and graphic acrylic paintings.

The most recent issue of Poets & Writers Magazine features their annual ratings of Creative Writing Programs across the country. Our program here at UNL was rated #10 nationally (out of 32 eligible institutions). Ratings are based on a variety of criteria, including Selectivity, Departmental Job Placement, Creative Writing Job Placement, Departmental Reputation-Rank, etc. The same issue of P & W features an article on Emeritus Professor, Hilda Raz, and her new position as a Poetry Consultant with the University of New Mexico Press.

Marianne Kunkel's chapbook manuscript The Laughing Game was a finalist this summer for the 2011 Sow's Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Competition. Her poem "New Arrivals" has been accepted for the Spring 2012 issue of Birmingham Poetry Review and her poems "Keep Away," "Noah's Wife," and "To Pee or not to Pee" have been accepted for publication in The Portland Review.

Grace Bauer read this past June (with colleague, Joy Castro) as part of the Crescent Moon Reading Series (Lincoln). In August, she also participated in the "Stand With Randy/Stop the Pipeline" benefit reading, also held at Crescent Moon Coffeehouse. Grace is currently organizing another reading at Crescent Moon for September 24th, 2011 as part of a global "100,000 Poets For Change" event initiated by bigbridge. (more information on this international event can be found on-line; specifics on the local event tba soon).

Grace's poetry publications since last Spring include: "Make Mine Vera Wang" in GRIST, "Slacker's Prayer" in MIDWEST QUARTERLY, "Called Back" in ABZ, "What Beckons" and "Numerological" in PATERSON POETRY REVIEW, "Two For The Bard and Bob Wood" in MEASURE, and "Aubade with Simmermania" in NEW MADRID.

'It was a busy summer for the Cather community. At the 13th International  Cather Seminar (Northampton MA, June 20-25) a number of graduate students delivered papers: Arden Hill, Carmen McCue, Neelee Glasco, Amber Harris Leichner, and Lindsay Andrews-Mennenga. Melissa Homestead and Guy Reynolds gave plenary talks; Kari Ronning presented a paper and chaired a panel. And a large number of our graduates were involved too, presenting papers and chairing panels: Josh Dolezal, Mark Robison, Andrew Jewell, Derek Driedger, Rebecca Faber and Mike Schueth.  The summer also saw the visit to Lincoln of our first two Woodress scholars – visiting scholars who spend a month in Lincoln, working in the archive and visiting with the broader Cather community. This year we welcomed Sarah Clere (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) and Kelsey Squire (Marquette University).'

Steve Buhler published an essay, "The Psychology of Teen Hamlets: Edgar G. Ulmer's Strange Illusion," in the Quarterly Review of Film and Video 28 (2011).  Over the summer, Steve was the dramaturg for The Flatwater Shakespeare Company's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was staged at the Lincoln Foundation Garden and then taken on a tour of eight other outdoor venues around Lincoln.  Steve also adapted the play and was an adviser for Flatwater Shakespeare's youth production, which was presented at The Haymarket Theatre.  He's already preparing for two additional shows, this time as an actor: Flatwater Shakespeare's Othello at the Lincoln Community Playhouse in October and the Angels Theatre Company production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible at the Sheldon Museum of Art in November.

Upcoming Events

Friday, September 9, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Van Brunt Visitors' Center, 313 N. 13th Street:  University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries celebrates Ted Kooser and The Ted Kooser Collection (journals and correspondence dating from 1968 to present.  (RSVP 402-472-2526 or mhare1@unl.edu.)

Thursday, September 15, 6:00 p.m., University of Nebraska-Kearney:  Kwame Dawes, Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor's Professor of English at UNL, reads from his work.  For further information contact Allison Hedge Coke, hedgecokeaa@unk.edu.

Tuesday, September 20, 3:00 p.m., City Campus Union Auditorium:  "Psychology and Literature: A Discussion of Psychology and Creative Writing."  Timothy Schaffert will discuss the development of the characters in his new novel The Coffins of Little Hope and will read from the novel.  A panel discussion will follow on research and the psychology involved in characterization.  Panelists will include Professors David Hansen and Debra Hope from the Psychology Department. 

Thursday, October 13 – Saturday, October, 15, 2011, Omaha Public Library (W. Dale Clark Branch; 215 S. 15th Street) & KANEKO (1111 Jones Street), Omaha, NE:  OmahaLitfest.  The theme of this year's Litfest is "Silk and Sawdust: The Art and Mechanics of Literature."  Panel discussions, readings, an opening-night party, and an art exhibit: "Possessions: Literary characters and the things they carried." This exhibit will feature artists' interpretations of literary artifacts (think Hester Prynn's scarlet letter; Mrs. Dalloway's flowers; Sherlock Holmes' pipe; Willy Wonka's golden ticket; Proust's madeleines.)  For more information, go to http://www.omahalitfest.com

Thursday, October 27, 3:00-6:30 p.m., Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, City Campus, UNL:  Creative Writing/Prairie Schooner Celebration.  This event celebrates Prairie Schooner's 85th year of publication, and welcomes Kwame Dawes as the new Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor's Professor of English at UNL.  Afternoon readings by UNL creative writing faculty, followed by a reception.

Thursday, November 3, 7:30 p.m. Great Plains Art Museum, 11th & Q Streets.  Nationally acclaimed poet and human rights activist Carolyn Forché will read from her work .  Carolyn Forché is the author of four books of poetry: and is a past winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Fellowship.  She is the Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetry and Professor of English at Georgetown University.  In addition to her public reading, she will give a talk on the poetry of witness, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 3, in Bailey Library (228 Andrews Hall), University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus.