English Department News Letter and Calendar

A .pdf version of this newsletter for printing is available here.

What's Happening

Ted Kooser, UNL's own Pulitzer Prize winner, read and discussed his poetry in the Nebraska Union on Feb. 9th. This event, organized by the Literary League (the English Department's undergraduate association), was free to faculty, staff and students. Over one hundred people attended–a huge success by all accounts!

Humanities on the Edge, a cross-disciplinary speaker series focused on humanities research, hosted its last lecture of the year on April 12. Professor Cesare Casarino, from the department of cultural studies and comparative literature at the U of Minnesota, discussed the concepts of "common" and "universal" as well as the idea that there actually may be no such thing as "individual thought."

Literary League Selling T-Shirts and TicketsThe Hunger Games film adaptation has been wildly popular, and so too the Literary League's March event which involved free Hunger Games tickets for League members. More than 100 students signed up!


ZZ PackerIn March, the English Department welcomed literary superstar ZZ Packer as this year's writer in residence. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Packer's writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Story – the list is long! During her stay, Packer gave readings, conducted craft workshops, and engaged in community outreach.  As Professor Kwame Dawes said, it was a "real coup to get a writer of that mettle here in Lincoln. Very exciting!"

The Literary League hosted an Open-Mic Poetry Session at Crescent Moon Café on April 16th. The event was free and open to poets of all levels of experience.

Nikola MadzirovAs part of his visit to UNL, award-winning Macedonian poet and translator Nikola Madzirov conducted a hands-on translation workshop on April 19th. This event was open to any student interested in the art and craft of translation.

Stacey Waite, Assistant Professor of English at UNL and author of three poetry collections including Love Poem to Androgyny, read her poetry at the Crescent Moon Coffeehouse on the evening of April 23rd.

Coming Soon

Nebraska Summer Writers Conference LogoOne of the Midwest's premiere literary events, the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference, now in its ninth year, will be held at UNL this coming June. Featured faculty include essayist Meghan Daum, novelist Lee Martin, and poet Aracelis Girmay, among others. Workshops are designed to benefit both the experienced and inexperienced writer.

English Majors At Large

UNL's Outstanding Student Leadership Award carries not only a substantial monetary prize, but also the distinction that comes from being selected from among a bright, motivated, and engaged pool of nominees. This year, UNL's Outstanding Student Leader is English major Micah Wullschleger. English major Katie Oltman was a finalist. We're so proud!

Career Corner

On February 7th, the English department hosted an event called Gaining Experience in English and Film Studies. Comprised of an interdisciplinary panel and moderated by Kelly Payne, Chief Advisor for English, the discussion focused upon the importance of internships for English undergraduates. Addressing not just why students should seek internships but also how and where, the forum offered vital information on how to make the most of the major and begin moving toward a satisfying career.

For students wondering what to do with a major in the Humanities or Social Sciences, Career Services and the College of Arts and Sciences hosted an alumni panel on April 11th called Career Spotlight: Humanities and Social Sciences. Recent and not-so-recent graduates discussed what they did with their humanities and social sciences majors and also offered helpful advice to current undergraduates. Topics ranged from internships to applying for graduate school to communicating skills to potential employers.

Career ZoomCareer Zoom - each of these newsletters will zoom in on one possible career path for English majors – a Career Zoom! This issue's career is Corporate Copywriting. A corporate copywriter is simply a staff writer for a corporation or business. Such writers might write for the business website, maintain a blog for consumers or clients, compose public relations documents, or even write guidebooks or ebooks for customers or employees. When a business needs a ready pen (or keyboard) with a knack for detail, organization, and the ability to distill lots of information, it turns to its copywriter!

In the Classroom

War of the Worlds CoverThe English Department will launch three exciting new classes next year – all on genre fiction: English 216, Children's Literature, English 206, Science Fiction, and English 208, The Mystery and Gothic Tradition. All promise to be quite popular, and can be taken by first-year students!

For more information, contact Kelly Payne at: (402) 472-3870 or kpayne2@unl.edu.