Department of English Newsletter April 2020

Upcoming Department Events

Publications & Acceptances

Marco Abel published critical review essays of Olivia Landry’s Movement and Performance in Berlin School Cinema (U Indiana P, 2019) and Barbara Mennel’s Women at Work in Twenty-First Century European Cinema (U Illinois P, 2019), both in the latest issue of German Studies Review (43.1), the journal of the German Studies Association.

Cover of REWILDING, edited by Crystal GibbonsGrace Bauer has poems accepted for several forthcoming anthologies, including “Highway Two Mirage” and “Not Quite Nirvana” in Rewilding: Poems for the Environment (edited by Crystal Gibbons); “Flicker” and “Dusting the Angel” in Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose (edited by Joel Peckham and Robert Viviene); and “Mary: A Confession & Complaint” in Mother Mary Comes to Me: Poems on the Virgin Mary (edited by Karen Head and Collin Kelly). Some readers will recognize many of those editors’ names as alums from our graduate Creative Writing program. Grace is proud to see the good work they are doing out in the world and happy to be part of these projects.

Wheeler Winston Dixon has published a review of “The Films of Spike Jonze by Kim Wilkins and Wyatt-Moss Wellington, eds.” in the May issue of Choice.

Ted Kooser has poems in current issues of Kenyon Review and Chattahoochee Review. He also has an essay in River Teeth’s anthology of published work from their past twenty years, published by University of New Mexico Press.

Katie Schmid Henson’s full-length collection of poetry eat the dream will be published with the University of New Mexico press in Fall 2021. Her short story, “Caldera,” was published at Anti-Heroin Chic in February.

Claire Jimenez interviewed Natalie Diaz about her book Postcolonial Love Poem for Remezcla. She also interviewed Marizol and Selenis Levya about their memoir My Sister.

Erika Luckert’s poem “Proof of Blurriness” was published in Newfound.

In March, Ilana Masad critiqued the latest season of The Bachelor’s handling of virginity, with a focus on the white Evangelical victim narrative and purity rhetoric, for Bitch Magazine; interviewed author Megan Giddings about her debut novel Lakewood, the price of staying alive in the US, and the surreality of anxiety for the LA Times; and interviewed Rachel Vorona Cote, scholar of Victorian literature, about her genre-promiscuous book TOO MUCH: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today and its deep relevance for so many of us for The Rumpus.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Advertisement for Atrabilius Film FestivalWheeler Winston Dixon presented an evening of new videos as part of the Atrabilious Amsterdam Experimental Film Festival on March 5–7, 2020 at Filmhuis Cavia, including You Are Not Alone, Picnic at the Beach, Definitions, Requiem for the Modern World, Corporate, Same Day Delivery, Parthenogenesis, Cruise Control, Left or Right, Speed Limit, Amazon Man, Inner Light, Get Into It, Cloud Formation, Perfect, Light Fire, True Heaven, Conscious Decision, Ancient History and Sisyphus. With 26 filmmakers and more than 70 short films, the festival has in recent years gained cult status within the range of experimental film, and is curated by the Zapruder Art Movement, in collaboration with the Istanbul Experimental Film Festival.

Chris Dunsmore and Crystal Bock Thiessen of Programs in English as a Second Language presented “Supporting Multilingual Learners of English in the Classroom for Academic Success” to faculty at Southeast Community College on February 28th as a part of their professional development series. The presentation focused on multilingual learners of English and how their linguistic and cultural differences often present challenges both inside and outside of the classroom as they navigate their academic studies and and life on the American campus. Ideas and strategies under the Universal Design for Learning framework that can easily be incorporated by instructors for the success of all students were also offered to participants in the session.

Timothy J. Cook, PhD student in English (Literary and Cultural Studies), delivered a paper at the University of Louisville on February 22, 2020 during the 48th Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900. As a part of the panel “Mythopoesis and the Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Poetry,” Cook shared his work, “Hymen and the Mythic Distillation of H. D.’s Post-Imagist Poetics.” Additionally, Cook delivered a paper at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on March 6, 2020, during The 51st Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. As a part of the panel “Shaping Identity in Ezra Pound’s Poetry,” Cook shared his work “E. Pound & J. S. Mill: A Phantasmagoria of Literary Originality in Prewar London.” He is exceedingly grateful to UNL’s Graduate Student Assembl for providing financial assistance through the Graduate Travel Award Program while attending the conference.

Claire Jimenez presented with Destiny Birdsong, Donika Kelly, Maya Marshall and Joy Priest about the importance of peer mentorship between writers of color at the 2020 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in San Antonio, Texas. She also was invited by the University of Tulsa to read at Magic City Books and lead a craft talk on the Art of the Short Story.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

On March 3, Marco Abel gave a movie talk at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on the latest film by Berlin School director Angela Schanelec, I Was At Home, But... (Ich war zuhause, aber..., 2019). Marco has written a bit about the film in Senses of Cinema.

Steve Buhler’s Aaron Douglas Professorship has been renewed for a third five-year term. UNL’s Weaver/Douglas Professorships are awarded in recognition of a sustained record of teaching excellence and national visibility for instructional activities/practice. Aaron Douglas was the first African American to earn a degree in art from the University of Nebraska; he became a leading arts educator and a major painter associated with the Harlem Renaissance. The other Weaver/Douglas Professors in the department are Grace Bauer, Robert Brooke, and Laura White.

Photo of the two leads in Flatwater Shakespeare Company's ROMEO AND JULIETFlatwater Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet very responsibly cancelled all public performances. With the help of Third Rail Content, however, the production (for which Steve Buhler served as dramaturg) was videorecorded. Streaming access is available for $15. Your purchase allows you to experience a beautiful take on a beloved masterwork—and benefits FSC at a time when all arts organizations could use our help. From FSC: “Presenting Romeo and Juliet: the final rehearsal/opening show/closing performance. Directed by Summer Lukasiewicz and featuring original music by Andrea von Kampen. Thank you for all your support through these unprecedented challenges.”

Film still from LEAVE HER TO HEAVENWheeler Winston Dixon was cited in a Wall Street Journal article on March 30, 2020, entitled “The Staying Inside Guide: Cozying Up to Film Noir Across the Spectrum” by Peter Tonguette on the classic film noir Leave Her To Heaven and the difficulties of shooting a film in three-strip Technicolor.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is fortunate to have her experimental shorts accepted to a number of avant-garde film festivals around the world including London Experimental, Moving-Image-Arts International Film Festival at Ryerson University School of Image Arts in Toronto, Athens International Film and Video Festival at the University of Ohio, Connect Video Art Festival at the University of Tampa Florida, The Black Mountain Experimental Film and Music Festival in North Carolina, FLIGHT/Mostra Internazionale del Cinema di Genova, in Genoa, Italy, and FilmArt Festival in Madrid. In response to the global pandemic, these festivals—normally held in the Spring—aim to reschedule in October.

Alchemy official selection laurelsFoster’s Kitchen Sink Film is playing in the prestigious Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, normally a five day program held in Hawick, Scotland. This year, for the first time, the festival will be live-streamed as a free live online event May 1-3. Foster’s film is in the shorts program, “Ghost Dwelling,” on May 1st at 11:00–12:05 UTC. Foster is also participating in another live streaming event sponsored by Analogica Film Festival in Italy. Foster’s short film No Personal Checks screens in program #2 on April 9th. Additionally, for a special online art initiative in these days of worldwide social distancing and the closing of film theaters, Foster’s No Personal Checks is featured in the online streaming festival CODEC Festival Internacional de Cine Experimental Y Video.

Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri was selected as a recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award.

Claire Jimenez was awarded a New York City Book Award of $5,000 from the New York Society Library for her short story collection Staten Island Stories.

Have news or noteworthy happenings to share?

The Department of English encourages our faculty and current students to submit stories about their activities and publications of note by filling out the Department Newsletter Submission Form.