Department of English Newsletter April 2018
Upcoming Department Events
Publications & Acceptances
Marco Abel published “Clouds over Berlin: A Few Remarks about German Cinema at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival” in the latest Senses of Cinema.
Wheeler Winston Dixon has an article on François Truffaut’s “Shoot The Piano Player” in issue 86 of Senses of Cinema. Dixon also published a review of “Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes by Annette Insdorf,” in Choice (May 2018): #55-3154.
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster published two essays in the March issue of Senses of Cinema, including an overview of the life and career of the late Belgian lesbian feminist director Chantal Akerman, and an essay on Kinuyo Tanaka’s The Eternal Breasts (1955), based on the life story of tanka poet Fumiko Nakajo (1922–1954). Kinuyo Tanaka was one of Japan's first women to direct feature films.
Patrick T. Randolph’s poem, “Swedish Farmer & Wisconsin Winter Woods,” was accepted for publication in the 2019 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Calendar.
Ilana Masad recently published two pieces of flash fiction, “Only Lilian” and ”Wedg.wood” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse; an English translation of a short story in Hebrew, “Drowned” and an interview with its author, Dana Heifetz, at SmokeLong Quarterly; at NPR, a review of Go Home!, an anthology of writing by members of the Asian diaspora; at the LA Times, a review of Anne Raeff’s novel, Winter Kept Us Warm; at the Los Angeles Review of Books, an essay on the political fabulism in Ramona Ausubel’s new collection of short stories, Awayland; at the Portland Press Herald, a review of 3 Nations Anthology, which collects the writing of American, Canadian, Native and First Nations people; and at the Washington Post’s women’s vertical, The Lily, a list of ten recommended new books and five older ones relevant to our current time and clime.
Bret Shepard (PhD UNL 2015), who is teaching at the University of Puget Sound, has shared with Steve Behrendt, his PhD supervisor here at UNL, the good news that his chapbook collection, Compass for Hands, has won the 2018 Chapbook Contest sponsored by College Press at Wells College, Aurora NY, beating out nerarly 400 entries. Bret will receive 15 copies of the fine-press letterpress chapbook as well as a very handsome honorarium. Wells College is also bringing him to campus for a reading from this and his other work.
Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations
Rachel Azima chaired the 2018 Midwest Writing Centers Association conference, “Social Justice in the Writing Center: Opening the Center for All,” from March 1-3 in Omaha. The conference drew over 140 participants from across the Midwest, including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Upper Michigan, and Wisconsin.
12 undergraduate and graduate students from UNL, nearly all of whom are current or former Writing Center consultants, presented at the conference: Grace Stallworth, Aryn Huck, and Keshia Mcclantoc led a roundtable titled “Creating Queer-Friendly Writing Centers,” and Keshia also presented an individual paper titled “Gender and Consultation in the Writing Center”; Wyn Andrews Richards, Madeline Moore, and Clara Edwards led a roundtable titled “I’d Like to Buy a Vowel: Socioeconomic Status in the University Writing Center”; Simone Droge, Stevie Seibert Desjarlais, Katie McWain, and Anne Johnson led a roundtable titled “Toward a Queer Feminist Ethic for Writing Center Work”; Regan Levitte presented “‘Y’all Better Listen’: Gendered Power in the Writing Center”; and Alexandra DeLuise presented “Write as You Are: Allocating Space for Ritual.”
Rachel also co-led a pre-conference workshop titled “Structuring and Staffing the Intersectional Writing Center” with Katie Levin from the University of Minnesota.
Crystal Bock Thiessen, instructor in PIESL, gave five presentations at the international Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Conference in Chicago, Illinois, March 27-30: “More Than Words: Infographics for Language Teaching and Learning” and “But, Wait--There’s More! The English Language Infomercial Project,” focused on two creative technology-based projects that teachers can incorporate into their English language classrooms. The “Trans-Siberian Railway English Language Programs Outreach Tour” was presented in conjunction with the U.S. State Department’s English Language Specialist Program and highlighted Bock Thiessen’s 2017 summer trip across Russia as an English Language Specialist. “Read, Write, Cite: Discussing Research Methods at the Lower Levels,” presented with Timothy Janda, provided a brainstorming session for instructors on when and how to incorporate research methods for language-learners. Finally, “Keep Your Students Tuned In: Use Music,” presented with Emily Herrick, Timothy Janda, and Ann Bouma, gave attendees practical ideas and projects that use music to enhance English language-learning.
On March 25th, to celebrate International Women’s Day, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster and Wheeler Winston Dixon’s documentary on women film directors, The Women Who Made the Movies ran at the Dallas Video Festival in a program of films directed by women, curated by Shilyh Warren called Women and the Movies They Make. As The Women’s March, #metoo, #TimesUp and #blacklivesmatter generate new waves of feminist activism, this festival highlights the power and persuasion of feminist cinemas across the ages and across the globe. Presented by Dallas Videofest with Women in Film Dallas and Flicks by Chicks.
Wheeler Winston Dixon was interviewed for a half-hour discussion on the NPR radio program Inquiry with Mark Lynch from affiliate station WICN in Worcester, MA, March 15, 2018, on the book The Films of Terence Fisher: Hammer Horror and Beyond.
Several of Gwendolyn Audrey Foster’s films are invited to be shown at the Experimental Film Festival Atrabilious held at Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam, and curated by Ronald V Bijleveld. The festival is a vanguard of both new and established experimental filmmakers: a showcase of experimental film-video art by over 16 international artists. This year the focus is on social-political films. Refugees, Child’s Play, Say / Nothing, Decades, Machine, Desire Market, Mass, Membership Has its Privileges, Film for Chantal Akerman, and other films made by Foster will be screened on March 31 and April 1st.
Curator Katya Sanna of Rome, Italy has also invited Foster to exhibit a solo exhibition of her experimental films at Lys D’or Art Web Gallery from March 22 until April 6th, at which time they will be permanently archived at Lys D’or.
English MA students Anne Johnson and Gina Keplinger, undergraduates Tina Le and Celie Knudsen, and faculty Stacey Waite and Rachael Shah recently co-presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Their presentation, “Disruptive Failures: Community Engagement and the Impossibility of One Voice,” incorporated slam poetry, narrative, and scholarship.
Patrick T. Randolph was an invited speaker at the 2018 CoTESOL Spring Conference in Grand Junction, Colorado. He presented on: Observation Journals: Inspiring ELLs to Appreciate the Moment and Embrace Life and Research and Practice: The Powerful Effects of Exercise on Language Learning.
In March, Ilana Masad was able to attend the AWP 2018 conference with the help of the Joy Currie Graduate Student Travel Fellowship, where she read shared a stage with five incredible poets at Queer Magic - A Reading and Celebration organized by Lambda Literary and Copper Canyon Press. Masad also presented her nonfiction essay, “What Isn’t Mine is Mine: Accepting Intergenerational Trauma,” recently published at Catapult, at the You Are Here conference organized by Creighton University.
Activities, Accolades, & Grants
The Department of Communications Studies at UNL has elected to offer Marco Abel and Roland Végső Courtesy Appointments in their department. Their chair, Dawn Braithwaite, writes that these “are our first, and our faculty are so appreciative of what [Marco and Roland] have brought to us and our students to date. Courtesy Appointments recognize substantive contributions of campus colleagues to our students and foster important collaborative interdisciplinary relationships. We recognize their important role as a faculty member and committee member for some of our Rhetoric and Public Culture graduate students and we encourage their students to take our seminars. We will invite Drs. Abel and. Végső to department events and they will be listed on our departmental website. Welcome Marco and Roland!” Marco and Roland are grateful to their colleagues in Communication Studies and are looking forward to intensify their collaboration with them and their students.
Maureen Honey has been granted the 2018 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA) by the College of Arts and Sciences. Marco Abel initiated the nomination and Steve Behrendt wrote the successful nomination letter. Maureen’s most prominent research is in the Harlem Renaissance and World War II Studies, with an emphasis on African American women writers in the modernist era and images of women in wartime propaganda. Her latest book is Aphrodite’s Daughters: Three Modernist Poets of the Harlem Renaissance (Rutgers UP 2016), and she gave a presentation on her anthology, Bitter Fruit: African American Women in World War II, at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans on April 19, 2018.
11 graduate students and faculty successfully partnered with local teachers to launch the public writing collaborative Husker Writers this year: Visnja Vujin, Nicole Green, Matt Guzman, Anne Johnson, Alexandra DeLouise, Katie McWain, Adam Hubrig, Rachael Shah, Stevie Seibert Desjarlais, Matt Whitaker, and Robert Brooke. Participating teachers crafted joint curricula with secondary teachers that involved students in writing for audiences beyond the classroom to promote critical and creative literacies.
Patrick T. Randolph received the 2018 TESOL Professional Development Scholarship Award. This is a selective International TESOL award presented by the TESOL Awards Professional Council.