English Department News Letter and Calendar

Publisher: Susan Belasco


Susan Belasco is co-editor (with Linck Johnson, Colgate University) of The Bedford Anthology of American Literature (2 volumes plus a concise edition), which has been published this summer in a second edition. In addition, the project includes seven Bedford College Editions of American novels (one of which, My Ántonia, was edited by Guy Reynolds), a collection of essays on Teaching American Literature (edited by our former colleague Venetria Patton), and an extensive instructor’s guide. Amanda Gailey, Liz Lorang, and Kevin McMullen developed content for the companion website. A number of other faculty members, graduate students, and former students have been involved in the now ten-year history of this anthology. She and Linck are very grateful for the help and support of this department. Susan Belasco will also serve as Acting Co-Director of the CDRH for 2013-14, while Ken Price is on a Faculty Development Leave.

Jackie Harris recently published several book reviews including Courtney Weikle-Mills' Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640-1868 (Johns Hopkins, 2012) in the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Alison Byerly's Are We There Yet?: Virtual Travel and Victorian Realism (U of Michigan P, 2012) in the Rocky Mountain Review, and Liz Stephens' The Days Are Gods (Bison Books, 2013) and Ethan Rutherford's The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories (Ecco, 2013) in "Prairie Schooner: Briefly Noted." She has also been accepted to present portion of her dissertation at the upcoming 2013 North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) Conference with a paper titled "The Buried Life of the Facts of Life: Corporeal Coming-of-Age in Girls' School Stories."

The screenplay adaptation of Timothy Schaffert's first novel, written by Michael Sladek, will be a featured script at IFP Independent Film Week in NYC in September.

Mike Page's articles "Science Fiction Goes to College: Jack Williamson, James Gunn, and the Early Years of Academic SF" and "James Gunn and the Foundations of Academic Science Fiction Criticism" appeared in the June 2013 issue of Ad Astra. Mike will lead a James Gunn Tribute panel at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio over Labor Day weekend, where Gunn is Guest of Honor. In July, Mike interviewed 94-year-old science fiction writer Frederik Pohl and his wife Betty Hull at their home in the Chicago suburbs for his book on Pohl, under contract with the University of Illinois Press for their Modern Masters of Science Fiction series.

Grace Bauer's manuscript, Nowhere All At Once, won the Stephen F. Austin University Press book contest for poetry and will be published later this year. A chapbook, Café Culture, is also forthcoming from Imaginary Friend Press. Grace had poems in the Spring issue of Route 7 Review, and has poems forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Concho River Review, Gargoyle, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hobble Creek Review, and Hotel Amerika.

Joy Castro's literary thriller Nearer Home was published by St. Martin's in July. Her edited collection Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family, which will be released in October by the University of Nebraska Press, has been called a "must-read" by Publishers Weekly.

Sarah A. Chavez's poem, "Dear Carole: It's Dia de los Muertes," will appear in The Midwest Quarterly and her poem, "The Mexican American Parade," was accepted for publication in the anthology Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place, forthcoming in February 2014. Her poem "Dancing" was recently published in the U.K. journal Prole, Issue 11.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery's essay, "Lessons in Cartography," will appear in Crab Orchard Review, and her essay, "An Unseen Figure in Matisse's Le Bonheur de Vivre," will appear in Zone 3. Her poem, "The Astronaut and Red," will appear in Slipstream, and her poem, "Staring Me Down," will appear in The Quotable. Her poem, Leaving Tracks, appears in the latest issue of Midwestern Gothic, and recently her collection of essays, Dually Noted, was a finalist for the Pressgang Press prize.

Kwame Dawes's eighteenth book of poems, Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon P), is now out. Also, five of his poems were recently accepted by Passages North, two by Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and three by The Normal School. His poem "Death" appeared on Verse Daily on July 13, and his poem "Rope" will appear on Poetry Daily on Aug. 30. Lastly, he recently was awarded the Jerome J. Shestack Prize for best poetry in The American Poetry Review.

Marianne Kunkel's poem "Coretta Scott King as a Young Girl" was recently accepted for publication in Phoebe. Also, her poem "Jogging Downhill" will be featured in the anthology Bearers of Distance: Poems by Runners, edited by Jenn Monroe and Martin Elwell.


June Griffin participated in the Dartmouth Summer Seminar in August, a two-week international seminar on data-driven inquiry. While there she visited with fellow participant and UNL alum, Sandy Tarabochia.

At the end of March, Julia Schleck gave a talk at the Folger called "Credit Problems and Print: The Public Relations of the Virginia Company." In April, she organized the panel "Between pragmatism and prejudice: European representations of the Ottoman-Safavid conflict (ca. 1500-1650)" at Renaissance Society of America in San Diego. She presented on the panel a piece of a larger collaborative project on the topic that she's working on with I. Kaya Sahin, an Ottoman historian at the University of Indiana Bloomington. Also in April, she was invited to speak in Abu Dhabi at the conference Arab Culture and the European Renaissance - A New Perspective on a Neighbouring World, organized by the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe and hosted by NYU in Abu Dhabi. There, she gave a talk entitled "Experiential knowledge and the limits of merchant credit."

Aubrey Streit Krug's review of Fields of Learning: The Student Farm Movement in North America (ed. by Laura Sayre and Sean Clark) is forthcoming in the fall 2013 issue of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. She also presented a paper on a panel entitled "Revising Place-Conscious Composition" at the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE) conference in Lawrence, Kansas May 28-June 1 [along with Jeff Lacey, Cathie English, Susan Martens -- all alumni of our graduate program - ed.]. The panel, based on a developing book project edited by Robert Brooke, explored ways to connect suburban places with secondary and post-secondary writing classrooms. Aubrey also participated in an ASLE pre-conference seminar on "Vegetal Ecocriticism" led by ecocritics Joni Adamson and Catriona Sandilands.

Matt Jockers now has a book entitled, Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature under contract with Springer for publication of 2014. He also published "Testing Authorship in the Personal Writings of Joseph Smith Using NSC Classification." in the journal Literary and Linguistic Computing and filed a legal brief (one of several he's been involved with) entitled "Brief of Digital Humanities and Law Scholars as Amici Curiae in Authors Guild v. Hathitrust" http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2274832.

Niam Kian has two poems in the upcoming issue of Pilgrimage Magazine: "Miscommunication" and "Living in Imagined Air."

Courtney Lawton presented her paper "Willa Cather's Pueblo Indian Song: Solastalgia and Yearning for a Lost, Invented Landscape" at the 14th annual Willa Cather International Seminar in Flagstaff, AZ.

Benjamin Vogt spoke at Ignite Lincoln on August 29. His 5 minute, 20 slide topic is "Re-Prairie Lincoln." Proceeds benefit local nonprofits.

Ken Price reports that he gave a keynote address, "Finding Freedom in Pieces: Walt Whitman in the Federal City" at the Melville and Whitman in Washington, DC conference. He also co-coordinated a symposium entitled "Whitman North and South" held at Northwestern University. With Kay Walter, Ken served as co-local host of the Digital Humanities 2013 international conference held here in Lincoln. Finally, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has provided the Walt Whitman Archive with a $65,000 grant to continue the work of editing Whitman's Post-Reconstruction correspondence.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster published several articles, including: "Life with Betty White: Performing the Authentic Proto-Feminist in Pioneering Early Television" in Film International August 6, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=8819; "The Politics of Critical Reception and the Marxist Feminist Sublime in Carlos Reygadas' Post Tenebras Lux," in Film International July 8, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=8494; "Family Friendly Torture Porn," in Film International April 14, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=7458; and "Alice Guy's La Vie du Christ: A Feminist Vision of the Christ Tale" in Film International, September 3, 2013, at http://filmint.nu/?p=9219. She also presented "Family Friendly Torture Porn," for the panel, "Exhuming Horror: Gender, Genre, Excess, and Auteurs" at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association National Conference 2013, Washington D.C., April 29, 2013.

Adrian Wisnicki received two major NEH grants this year: a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant ($275,000) for a three year project: "The Livingstone Online Enrichment and Access Project (LEAP)" (2013-2016) and a Scholarly Translations and Editions Grant ($158,605) for a two year project: "Explorer David Livingstone's 1870 Field Diary and Select 1871 Letters: A Multispectral Critical Edition" (2013-2015). His spectral imaging work will be the subject of a documentary that is currently scheduled to be broadcast by National Geographic in December of this year and by PBS in the first quarter of next year. He also, of course, joined our faculty, which he considers one of his more important achievements this year.

Melissa Homestead spent most of the late spring and summer in the air and on the road, presenting at conferences. In May, her paper "Thomas William Parsons' Poem 'The Sculptor's Funeral' as Intertext for Willa Cather's 'The Sculptor's Funeral'" was read in her absence at the American Literature Association in Boston because she was stranded in Chicago for 24 hours because of weather. Her plane landed in Boston just as Q&A was wrapping up, but she was able to participate in person in a roundtable on New Approaches to Catharine Sedgwick, her topic being "Transatlantic Sedgwick." In May, she also directed the Willa Cather Spring Conference in Red Cloud, with the conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of O Pioneers! In June, she traveled to Florence, Italy, for the Transatlantic Women II conference, presenting "Views from Mt. Holyoke: Catharine Sedgwick as a Node in the Transatlantic Circulation of the American Sublime." She flew directly from Italy to Flagstaff, Arizona, where she presented a plenary talk "'Our wonderful adventures in the Southwest': Willa Cather and Edith Lewis's Southwestern Collaborations" at the Willa Cather International Seminar. On her return to Nebraska, she drove across the country and presented on her digital edition of Every Week Magazine at a pre-conference workshop at the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing in Philadelphia.

At the end of May, Tom Lynch attended the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference in Lawrence, KS. While there, he presented a paper titled "Continental Traverses, Whitefella Dreamings, and the Settler-Colonial Imaginary." He also had the honor of presenting the 2013 ASLE awards in ecocriticism and environmental writing to the respective winners. He was pleased to see so many UNL students and alums at the conference, and to have a beer together at the Free State Brewery. On July 1 he officially became the new editor of the journal Western American Literature, and subsequently made a road trip to Logan Utah, the former home of the journal, to load up his van with files and back issues. Also over the summer, his short piece "Paruku Awareness" appeared in the new book Desert Lake: Art, Science and Story from Paruku, published by CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. The book also includes three of his photographs. Related to that project, his creative-nonfiction essay, "Barefoot into Reality at Paruku," about his visit to Paruku (aka Lake Gregory) and the nearby aboriginal community of Mulan, in Australia's Tanami Desert, was accepted for publication in the journal EarthLines, and should be appearing sometime next spring.

Kristi Carter has poems forthcoming in poemmemoirstory and Sundress Publications' anthology Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place.

June Griffin and Debbie Minter's essay, "The Rise of the Online Composition Classroom: Reflecting on Material Conditions of College Composition Teach" appears in the current issue of College Composition and Communication.

Wheeler Dixon published a book Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access (University Press of Kentucky) this summer, continued to edit his book series New Perspectives on World Cinema, 2009 -- Present, (Anthem Press, London) -- a new series of books on film history, theory, and criticism co-edited with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Books in the series now include The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology, ed. by Ajay Gehlawat (2013) and Selected Film Essays and Interviews by Bruce Kawin (2013). He authored the essay "Precursors to Film Noir" for A Companion to Film Noir, edited by Helen Hanson and Andrew Spicer. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013: 79-93). He published several articles, including: "Andy’s Gang, or Saturday Morning of the Living Dead" for Film International, August 16, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=9004; "Inside The Asylum: The Outlaw Studio That Changed Hollywood" for Film International, July 25, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=8748; "Business as Usual: James Wan’s The Conjuring" for Film International July 20, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=8652; "Roger Corman’s The Intruder," for Senses of Cinema 67 (July, 2013), http://sensesofcinema .com/2013/cteq/the-intruder-2/; "Murder, Mayhem and The New Social Order: The Triumph of Violence in The Purge" for Film International June 18, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=8321; "The Second Century of Manoel de Oliveira," for Film Quarterly 66.2 (2013): 44-47; and "The Disquieting Aura of Fabián Bielinsky" for Film International April 29, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=7610. He wrote reviews of In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema by Gabriele Pedullà, translated by Patricia Gaborik for Film International August 18, 2013, http://filmint.nu/?p=9020; Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification by Kate Egan and Sarah Thomas, eds. for Choice (July 2013): 2021; The Frontier Club: Popular Westerns and Cultural Power, 1880-1924 by Christine Bold for Choice (June 2013): 1816; and The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV by Paul A. Cantor for Choice(April 2013): 1440. He was invited to screen The Women Who Made The Movies (Co-directed with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster - Invited Screenings) at University of Lethbridge, England, May 2013 and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, June 2013. Finally, he was interviewed a number of times: on KNPR 88.9 Radio, the NPR affiliate in Las Vegas, NV, on books made into films, for the special Before They Were Movies, with Rebecca Romney of Bauman’s Rare Books, August 12, 2013, http://www.knpr.org/son/archive/detail2.cfm?SegmentID=10371&Program ID=2848; for the article "Anatomy of a Bomb: What Went Wrong with Lone Ranger" by Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic August 9, 2013, http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/movies/articles/20130806lone-ranger-bomb-goodykoontz.html?nclick_check=1; for the article "Original Films Falling Flat with Summer Moviegoers" by Scott Bowles and Andrea Fuller, USA Today, August 7, 2013, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/08/07/original-films-flopping-box-office/2610813/; for the article "How Do You Like to Watch a Movie? Studios May Offer Fewer Options" by Bob Fischbach, Omaha World Herald* August 1, 2013, http://www.omaha.com/living/how-do-you-like-to-watch-a-movie-studios-may/article_ea71b6fa-ed9e-5aa0-88b7-eda287b56c79.html; for a half-hour discussion on the NPR radio program Inquiry with Mark Lynch, from affiliate station WICN in Worcester, MA, August 1, 2013; on the book Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access http://www.wicn.org/podcasts/audio/wheeler-winston-dixon-streaming; for the article "Streaming Directly from the Cloud to Your Brain" by Peter Monaghan, Moving Image Archive News July 11, 2013, http://www.movingimagearchivenews.org/streaming-directly-from-the-cloud-to-your-brain/; for the article "Miramax Chairman's Exit Adds Another Hurdle for Firm's Turnaround" by Daniel Miller, The Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2013, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-fi-ct-nanula-miramax-20130709-story.html#page=1; for the article "The Internship: One Long Ad for Google?" by Tom Brook, BBC News, July 4, 2013, [http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130704-the-internship-a-movie-or-an-ad]; for the article "Four Crazy Things Found in Drawers" by Paul Collins, about his discovery of the end of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s screenplay Infidelity at MGM in Mental Floss June 28, 2013, http://mentalfloss.com/article/51345/4-crazy-things-found-drawers; for the article "What's the Best Trailer Ever? Film Maestros Weigh In, and You Can Too" by Jason Kehe, Wired June 18, 2013, http://www.wired.com/2013/06/best-trailer-of-all-time/; for the article "The Internship, now starring ... Google" by Jessica Guynn and Dawn C. Chmielewski, The Los Angeles Times May 25, 2013, http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-76053200/; and for the article "What the Michael Lynton Contract Renewal Means for Sony" by Daniel Miller, The Los Angeles Times April 9, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/09/entertainment/la-et-ct-lynton-contract-renewal-sony-20130409#tugs_story_display. Wheeler maintains a blog called "Frame by Frame" at http://blog.unl.edu/dixon/, with posts appearing two or three times a week.

Editor: Steve Ramsay


In June, Julia Schleck participated in the NEH Summer Institute "Empires and Interactions Across the Early Modern World, 1400-1800," held at Saint Louis University. She also received a very positive review of her 2011 book in Sixteenth Century Studies over the summer (written by Sean Eric Clark, in volume 44.1).

With the help of a John C. and Nettie V. David Memorial Trust Fund Grant-in-Aid, Marco Abel spent two weeks this summer at the Munich film museum’s archive researching films by the “New Munich Group” -- a group of filmmakers that emerged in the second half of the 1960s in West Germany. Marco was also pleased to learn that his forthcoming monograph, The Counter-Cinema of the Berlin School, was recently nominated for the Theatre Library Association’s 2014 Richard Wall Memorial Award, which honors books on film and broadcasting.

This past summer Steve Behrendt directed a 5-week NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on the subject of "Reassessing British Romanticism." For five weeks (10 June-12 July) sixteen faculty colleagues from around the United States joined me to explore together the evolving landscape of British Romantic literary and cultural studies. They worked on a variety of scholarly research projects, pedagogical initiatives, and collaborative research more or less under my supervision (or orchestration, as it were). Much good work was done, many new friendships established, and everyone (including me) enjoyed the opportunity to recharge our batteries by working with like-minded colleagues. Along with an array of essays, chapters, prospectuses, and other professional productions set in motion or even completed, one immediately tangible result of the seminar's work is that one subset of participants has already had accepted a proposal for a special issue of the international journal, Women's Writing, in which a number of the seminar members will figure.

Amelia M.L. Montes was awarded the University of Texas at Austin Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) -- Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowship for summer, 2013. The CMAS-Benson fellowship provided Dr. Montes with a cash award for travel and housing. She spent the summer writing and conducting archival work on her creative non-fiction memoir, The Diabetes Chronicles

Crystal Bock Thiessen, instructor in the Intensive English Program, was invited by the U.S. Department of State to conduct English teacher training workshops as an English Language Specialist (ELS) in Ukraine and Azerbaijan from August 2-24. As an ELS, Ms. Thiessen organized and facilitated four separate methodology and skills training sessions for approximately 60 English language teachers in the two countries. In addition, she worked with both countries' U.S. embassies to create and facilitate a team-teaching training workshop for 25 Peace Corps volunteers and their Ukrainian and Azerbaijani counterparts.

Crystal Bock Thiessen, Ann Bouma, Nicole Menard, and Brooke David have had their discussion group proposal, "Saudi Women and the Integrated ESL Classroom," accepted for presention at the 2013 MIDTESOL Conference held in Lawrence, Kansas, October 11-12.

Kristi Carter served as ethnographer for the Oklahoma State University Writing Project's Open Institute in Woodward, OK.

Deola Morrell-Thompson, third year Ph.D. student in English at UNL, has been invited to present her paper "Cultivating Harmony Through Commonalities: Unraveling Rhetoric of Race" at the November Midwest Modern Language Association Conference.

Eman Hassan has some poems forthcoming in Illuminations Literary Magazine.

Pete Capuano and Lindsay May Fincher attended the 2013 Dickens Universe at the University of California, Santa Cruz in August. At the week-long conference, Pete taught a pedagogy course for graduate students from programs around the country. Some of the attendees included graduate students from Arizona State, Princeton, Ohio State, and NYU. Lindsay attended a Writing Workshop run by Michael Cohen of UCLA and Ellen Rosenman of the University of Kentucky. Her fellow graduate students in this workshop included students in the following PhD programs: Iowa, Miami (Fl.), and Yale. Lindsay also participated in the publishing seminar for graduate students, which was run by Carolyn Williams (Rutgers U). UNL looks forward to taking another graduate student in nineteenth-century British studies to the event next summer. Applications will be due in early January.

Raul Palma's short story "Sweet Hash" is forthcoming in Penduline Press' 10th issue: Seven Deadly Sins/ His My flash fiction story "The Rosemont Apartment" was published on Extract(s) on July 25th; and his poem "Palma-Falcon" is forthcoming in 82 Review, issue 1.4.

Gerry Shapiro's story, "In the Jewish Cemetery," appears in the current issue of Jewish Fiction http://jewishfiction.net [an announcement we can only greet with joy and sadness -- ed.]

Joy Currie’s essay, "'Mature Poets Steal:' Charlotte Smith’s Appropriations of Shakespeare," has been published in Shakespeare and the Culture of Romanticism, ed. Joseph M. Ortiz (Ashgate, 2013). Joy earned her doctorate in English from UNL in 2006 and was a lecturer in the department before her death in 2009. [again - ed.]

Adrian Gibbons Koesters' book of poems, Many Parishes, has been accepted for publication by BrickHouse Books.

Humanities on the Edge

On November 7, our second speaker this fall, Joshua Clover (Professor of English, University of California-Davis), will deliver a lecture entitled, "Is Crisis Theory? Global Crisis, Local Struggles, and the Fate of Ideas." An acclaimed poet (The Totality for Kids), Clover specializes in poetics, 20th century American poetry, critical theory, and film studies. In his Film Quarterly column, "Marx and Coca Cola," he offered some of the most trenchant analyses of contemporary film culture; his writings on music, including his many contributions to Spin magazine and his book, 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This to Sing About, reimagined how we understand both pop music and its social context; and in his contributions to The Nation he uses his distinctive critical point of view -- a mix of Pop and Marxism -- as a means to question, for example, the viability of the economic theories of many a liberal’s favorite Economist, Paul Krugman. Clover is also an indicted member of the "Davis Dozen" -- a group of eleven activist students and one professor (Clover) who were served with arrest notices one month after the US Bank on the UC-Davis campus closed its doors for good, following weeks of protests against the banks' role in increasing student costs and student debt.

We might still offer a second lecture this fall. Our second speaker this semester was supposed to be Deirdre McCloskey, but she had to cancel due to major hip surgery. We are working to bring her to UNL in spring 2014. In the meantime, we are exploring the possibility of finding a replacement for her for October 10, the date she was supposed to give her lecture. Please stay tuned.

As always, the lectures take place at the Sheldon Museum of Art at 5:30 pm. Marco Abel and Roland Végső, as well as their collaborators Jeannette Jones (History) and Damien Pfister (Communication Studies), hope that you will help us spread the word about these events and, of course, that many of you can attend them.