English Department News Letter and Calendar


FROM GUY REYNOLDS: “It's been a busy time in Cather land. Guy Reynolds's Bedford edition of My Antonia has just appeared, and the Cather Scholarly Edition has added The Song of the Lark (Nebraska) to its roster of volumes. Kari Ronning wrote the textual essay and handled the textual editing for this vast project (925 pp.), and Beth Burke played a key role in getting the book through the labyrinths of production. We were also pleased to welcome visiting scholars Matt Lavin (now a member of the library's Center for Research in Digital Humanities) and Charmion Gutske (Belmont University) to UNL this summer -- the Woodress scholars for 2012.”

Kwame Dawes's poems "Black Suits" and "News from Harlem" have been accepted for publication by Hayden's Ferry Review, his poem "Just Play the Damned Piece" by 32 Poems, his poems "Prelude," "Scent," and "The Separation/Retention" by Hunger Mountain, and his poems "Stop Time" and "Marriage" by The Chattahoochee Review.

Gwendolyn Foster has published the following essays: “Embracing The Apocalypse: A World Without People,” in Film International August 21, 2012 <http://filmint.nu/?p=5581>;   “Subverting Capitalism and Blind Faith: Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs,” in Film International July 29, 2012 <http://filmint.nu/?p=5417>; “No Fear, No Die by Claire Denis,” in Senses of Cinema 63 (July, 2012), <http://sensesofcinema.com/2012/cteq/no-fear-no-die/>; and “Teaching Film in the Age of Transformation” (co-written with Wheeler Winston Dixon), in Teaching Film, part of the MLA Options for Teaching Series, ed. Patrice Petro and Lucy Fischer (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2012), pp. 357 – 63.

Marianne Kunkel's poem "Homeschooled" has been accepted for publication by Cimarron Review. Her poem "In Praise of a Coworker" has been selected for inclusion in Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Blue Light Press, 2013), edited by Laura Madeline Wiseman.

Over the summer, Wheeler Winston Dixon published a new book, Death of the Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood" (Rutgers University Press).  An early review praises the book for its “lucid and penetrating account of the men who ran the old Hollywood studio system and the ultimate decline and fall of their empires."  He also published the following essays, articles and reviews: “Teaching Film in the Age of Transformation,” (co-written with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster), in Teaching Film, part of the MLA Options for Teaching Series, ed. Patrice Petro and Lucy Fischer (New York: Modern Language Assoication, 2012) pp. 357 – 63;
a critical essay on the career of director Robert Wise in Film Noir: the Directors, ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini (Limelight Press, 2012), pp. 460 – 70;  “Dark Humor in Films of the 1960s,” Film International (four part article), Part One, August 20, 2012, <http://filmint.nu/?p=5560>, Part Two, August 27, 2012, http://filmint.nu/?p=5675; “The Unguarded Moment,” Noir of the Week Aug 6, 2012, <http://www.noiroftheweek.com/>; “Mirage,” Noir of the Week July 1, 2012, <http://www.noiroftheweek.com/>; “On the Value of ‘Worthless’ Endeavor,” College Hill Review 8 (Summer, 2012), <http://www.collegehillreview.com/008/0080401.html>; “The Reward,” Noir of the Week May 29, 2012, at <http://www.noiroftheweek.com/>; “The Doomed and the Damned: When The Clock Strikes and The Films of Edward L. Cahn,” Noir of the Week April 22, 2012, at <http://www.noiroftheweek.com/>;  "Margin Call: An Interview with J.C. Chandor" in Film International 10.3 (Fall 2012): 6-15 (Chandor directed the 2011 sleeper hit which documented the 2008 financial meltdown); a review of Conversations at the American Film Institute with the Great Moviemakers: The Next Generation, ed. George Stevens Jr.,” Choice, July 2012: 2064; a review of Subjectivity: Filmic Representation and the Spectator's Experience, ed.  Dominique Chateau, Choice, June 2012: 1880-1881; and a review of Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image, ed. John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel, Choice, April 2012: 1880-1881.

Karen Babine's essay, "Grain Elevator Skyline," appeared in the spring issue of Natural Bridge.

Ken Price's essay on "Editing Whitman in the Digital Age" appeared in ACLS News: Focus on Research.

Joy Castro’s literary thriller Hell or High Water (St. Martin’s) appeared in July and has been optioned for film. Her new collection of essays, Island of Bones (U of Nebraska P), appeared this month.

Adrian Gibbons Koesters’ poem, “A Nun Wishes She Were Great at Her Job” appears in the current issue of Hotel Amerika. Her poems, “A Nun Takes Things Personally,” and “A Nun Eats Out of Turn on a Fast Day” appear in the Fall issue of The Gettysburg Review.

Ted Kooser has two new books this year, House Held Up By Trees, for children, from Candlewick Press, and Together, a limited edition of poetry from Brooding Heron Press in Waldron, WA.   Ted, with Pat Emile, continues to edit the column “American Life in Poetry,” which now appears in newspapers in 39 states; the online version reaches readers in 70 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe. From January through the end of July, there were roughly 48 thousand visits to the website--43 thousand from the U.S., 1100 from Canada, 900 from the UK, 342 from India , 231 from Australia, and 216 from Germany.  South Korea, Ireland, the Philippines, Portugal and Mexico each had over 100 visitors.  The credits section following each week’s poem notes our appreciation for the support of the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as that of The Poetry Foundation. 

Aubrey Streit Krug's co-authored article "Back on the Farm: The Trade-offs in Ecocritical Lives" was published in the summer 2012 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Ecocriticism. Her review of Writing in Dust: Reading the Prairie Environmentally, by Jenny Kerber, appeared in the spring 2012 Great Plains Quarterly. She thanks Tom Lynch and Fran Kaye for their help with these pieces.

Jill McCabe Johnson's poetry manuscript, Diary of the One Swelling Sea, has been accepted for publication by MoonPath Press, an imprint of Concrete Wolf Press.

Belinda Acosta will have a personal essay about traveling with the Librotraficante Caravan (which brought back to students important texts removed when Mexican American Studies programs were abolished in Arizona) earlier this year published in the October issue of Sojourners.

Claire Harlan Orsi's story "The Eternal Life of Dogs" will appear in the upcoming issue of Passages North. Her review of the National Book Award's "5 Under 35" selections appears in the Fall Issue of Prairie Schooner.

Laura Madeline Wiseman has poems in current issues of Interrobang?! Magazine, The Broad River Review, The Adroit Journal, ABZ, The Delinquent, Feminist Studies. Floorboard Review, Rose Red Review, The New Poet, The Lincoln Underground, and in the anthology Poetry in the Cathedral. She has poems forthcoming in Vermillion Literary Project, Sugar Mule, , Naugatuck River Review, New Purlieu Review, OVS Magazine, California Quarterly, and The Raintown Review. She has poetry or prose forthcoming in the anthologies After Dark (Diversion Press), When We Become Weavers (Handtype Press), Mercury Retrograde (Kattywompus Press) Beverage Anthology (Pirene’s Fountain), and On Our Own: Widowhood for Smarties (Silver Boomer Books). Spittoon nominated her short story “Potboiler” for Sundress Press’ 2012 “Best of the Net” anthology. Gold Quoin Press published her poem “The Pomegranate” as a limited edition broadside. Her new chapbook SHE WHO LOVES HER FATHER is now available from Dancing Girl Press.

Grace Bauer's poems "Seasonally Affected" and "Twilight" appear in the most recent issue of Platte Valley Review. "The Bat" and "Lip/Shtick" appear in the most recent issue of New Madrid, which also features work by Marianne Kunkel and Devon Murphy.

James Madison Redd's story "Planning a Painting to Remember Home and a Pink Dress," which was written in Judy Slater's workshop, will appear in Thumbnail Magazine. Three of his poems, "Boy's Night Out," "Our Fall Trip," and "You'll Get them Anyway" will appear in Subliminal Interiors.   His review of Gone With the Wind was published in Briefly Noted.

Kristi Carter has poems forthcoming in the following journals: Artichoke Haircut, 42 Magazine, and CALYX.  Another poem of hers will also appear in the upcoming edition of Open to Interpretation: Intimate Landscape.

Danielle Metcalf’s story, “Judgment Day,” has been accepted for publication by The Long Story, forthcoming in March.

John Philip Johnson’s poem, “Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town,” has been accepted by Rattle for their December issue.  He thanks Grace, Adam, Chris and Andrew for their workshopping!  His first short story publication is coming out around Labor Day in Daily Science Fiction, a professional genre venue.



Amelia M.L. Montes participated as one of the plenary speakers for the "Symposium on the Life and work of Professor Norma Elia Cantú, 'Doing The Work That Matters'" at The University of Texas San Antonio on Friday, August 24th.

Beverley Rilett presented her paper “Earthy Sensuality vs. Natural Reticence: Why George Eliot and the Victorian Literary Establishment Renounced Walt Whitman” in June 2012 at the 6th annual International Walt Whitman Symposium. This year’s international symposium was held at the University of Szczecin’s Pobierowo campus, Poland. Bev is especially appreciative of Dr. Kenneth Price’s support of this work.

Crystal S. Gibbins participated in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Ireland Literary Study Tour and presented her creative paper "Wild Forms: Into Lake of the Woods" at the ASLE off-year regional symposium in Juneau, Alaska.

Karen Babine presented her paper "Landscape as Text and Text as Landscape in Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea" at the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures conference in Montreal in August.

Ken Price spent a week in Pobierowo, Poland this summer, teaching a seminar for the Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association.  Following the seminar, he co-directed a symposium on "Whitman, the Earth, and Ecology." Near the end of the summer he travelled to Charlottesville, Virginia to speak on a panel about a report he and others have been asked to write to the President regarding the state of the nation's historical records.

Robert Brooke, Daniel Boster, Bernice Olivas, and Susan Martens presented papers at the Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference in Philadelphia in late May. Their panel, titled "Teaching Rhetorical Action in Local Community," included Brooke's "Teaching Rhetorical Action as Making Space for Kairos," Olivas' "Locating the Place of Kairos in Place-Conscious Teaching," Boster's "'Why Didn't We Know?': Students Respond to Kairos; Reading, Writing, Creating,and Teaching Their Community," and Martens' "'If People Ask You What You Are Doing, Tell Them You Are a Writer': Kairos and Rhetorical Space in the Writing Marathon."

Joy Castro taught creative writing for five weeks at the University of Seville in Spain this summer, May 2-June 1, and taught a workshop on writing as empowerment at the Latina Summer Academy at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha in June. In July, she gave lectures and readings at the Pine Manor MFA program in Boston and the University of Nebraska MFA program in Nebraska City.

Ted Kooser recently read poems and taught a workshop at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. 

Linda Pratt delivered an invited keynote paper, “What the System Administration Really Does,” at the 2012 summer meeting of the Association of Departments of English in Boulder, CO. The ADE is the MLA’s organization of chairs and graduate chairs of departments of English.  This year's meeting was attended by Marco Abel, our new Graduate Chair, and Sam Umland (PhD, 1987), recently appointed chair of the Department of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Beverley Rilett presented her paper “Earthy Sensuality vs. Natural Reticence: Why George Eliot and the Victorian Literary Establishment Renounced Walt Whitman” in June 2012 at the Sixth Annual International Walt Whitman Symposium. This year’s international symposium was held at the University of Szczecin’s Pobierowo campus, Poland. Bev is especially appreciative of Dr. Kenneth Price’s support of this work.

Laura White and Steve Ramsay presented the preliminary results of “Austen: CSI,” a data-mining project, to the participants of “Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries,” a NEH summer seminar led by Devoney Looser at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Laura’s morning talk described the project and its methods to the seminar, and Steve’s afternoon talk, “What is Data Mining?: Distant Reading, Digital Humanities, and Jane Austen,” was given as a public lecture to seminar members and interested members of the DH community at Missouri. “Austen: CSI” has received a $20,000 18-month grant from the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities to continue our investigations into dialogue and free indirect discourse in Austen’s novels. The “Austen: CSI” team includes Laura, Steve, Brian Pytlik Zillig (CDRH), Laura Weakly (CDRH), and Carmen McCue (English).

In July, John Philip Johnson went to the Campbell Conference at the University of Kansas, where he had been invited to present his long poem, “String Theory,” published in KU’s inaugural issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra.

Jack Vespa presented a paper, "Charlotte Smith and the Lyric Geography of Sussex," at the 20th-anniversary meeting of the 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference in Boulder, CO at the beginning of June.

Lindsay Mayo Fincher presented her paper, “From Dust to Decorum: Gaskell, Soap, and the Sanitary Movement,” also at the British Women Writers Conference in Boulder, CO.

In July, Julia Schleck delivered a paper at the Central Eurasian Studies Society's annual regional conference, which was held this year in the Caucasus at Tbilisi State University (Georgia). Julia spent most of the summer doing research at the British Library in London, supported by a grant from the American Philosophical Society.

Over the summer, Laura Madeline Wiseman was a writer-in-residence at the Prairie Center of the Arts, she presented at the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Toronto, she and Dancing Girl Press had a chapbook launch for She Who Loves Her Father in Chicago, and she gave readings in Peoria, Lincoln, and Omaha.



Matthew Jockers's recent work was profiled in the August 8 issue of New Scientist 
< http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528775.000-software-reveals-the-most-influential-victorian-novelists.html> and in Wired <http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-08/17/influential-literature-algorithm>.
The Amicus Brief (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2102542) that Matt co-authored with Matthew Sag and Jason Schultz has been admitted by Judge Chin in the Author's Guild case against Google.  A good, non-legal summary can be found here: <http://paidcontent.org/2012/08/17/google-books-judge-lets-librarians-eff-weigh-in-on-authors-guild-case/>.   Matt notes: “This later business is of far more import than the first.  The plaintiffs (Author's Guild) have until 9/17 to formally respond to our brief.  Judge Chin gives them 40 pages for their response.”

Wheeler Winston Dixon served as one of the critics voting in the “Ten Greatest Films of All Time” poll for Sight and Sound, 2012.  He has also just completed a 10 minute mini-documentary on the Hollywood Blacklist, as part of the Frame by Frame series posted on UNL Media Hub; he wrote and appears in the feature, which was directed and edited by Curt Bright.  Wheeler's documentary film The Women Who Made The Movies" (co-directed with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster) was screened and then purchased by the University of Houston, Tufts University, and Indiana University.

Crystal S. Gibbins has launched Split Rock Review, an online literary magazine featuring poetry, flash fiction, and graphic narratives.

Ken Price reports that the Walt Whitman Archive was recently awarded two grants: a $65,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to continue the editing of Whitman's correspondence and a $330,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for a project on "Walt Whitman as an Author Before Leaves of Grass." These grants are testimony to the ongoing good work of the entire Whitman Archive staff.

FROM MELISSA HOMESTEAD:  “An edition of Catharine Sedgwick's novel Clarence, co-edited Melissa Homestead, has been awarded an Honorable Mention by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers for its first Edition Award. The SSAWW Edition Award is given every three years at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers’ conference to recognize excellence in the recovery of American women writers. First published in 1830, Sedgwick's novel of manners is set in New York City in the 1820s. Co-edited by Homestead and Ellen A. Foster (Clarion University of Pennsylvania) and published by Broadview Press in 2011, the edition features an introduction authored by Homestead focusing on Sedgwick's place in transatlantic literary culture and her imaginative engagements with New York City and the Caribbean, as well as a selection of contextual documents and images.”

Benjamin Vogt has signed on with Houzz.com as a freelance writer, working as the Great Plains region gardening expert. His columns on prairie gardens and native plants appear a few times each month.  The Houzz website has over 7 million unique monthly users.  

Jill McCabe Johnson's poetry manuscript, Alula, was a semi-finalist for the Trio Award for First or Second Book of Poetry from Trio House Press. In June, Richard Hugo House in Seattle, WA, hosted a reading from the anthology Jill edited, Becoming: What Makes a Woman. Also, Jill was awarded a scholarship to the LiTFUSE annual poetry workshop in Tieton, WA.

Francis Davis has accepted a teaching position at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana.  He's very happy to return to the beautiful state of Montana, where he lived before coming to Lincoln in 2004 to earn his Ph.D.  He thanks the entire English Department for its support during the last eight years.  He especially thanks his dissertation chair, Jonis Agee, and the current and previous vice chairs of the department, Laura White and Deb Minter.

Over the summer, James Madison Redd established the Crooked Letter Interview Series to appear monthly in the Prairie Schooner Blog. It will feature contemporary Mississippi authors. Eleven writers, including T.R. Hummer, Olympia Vernon, and Angela Jackson have already agreed to appear in the series. The first interview, with poet Derrick Harriell, will appear on the Schooner Blog.

Christine Stewart's essay, "An Archeology for Secrets," was chosen as a Best American Essay 2012 "notable" essay.   Christine is a 2007 UNL Ph.D.

Tracy Tucker (MA 2011) has been named Educational Director of the Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud, Nebraska.The Willa Cather Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting understanding and appreciation of the life, time, settings, and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. The Foundation's historic site has the largest number of national historic designated buildings devoted to one author in the United States. In addition, the Willa Cather Foundation owns and manages the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, a 608-acre tract of unbroken prairie located five miles from Red Cloud. The Foundation's educational mission includes annual writers' workshop, book club, and conference, as well as the biennial International Cather Seminar.