Department of English Newsletter July/August 2019
Upcoming Department Events
Publications & Acceptances
The title of the new Danish language edition of Ted Kooser’s 2019 children’s book, Mr. Posey’s New Glasses, is Mr. Olsen’s nye briller, which leads Ted to suspect that in Danish, Posey is not a nice word.
Wheeler Winston Dixon has published the review essay “Early Women Filmmakers 1911 – 1940” (Four disc Blu-ray set, BFI) in Quarterly Review of Film and Video July 22, 2019.
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster published “Sexy Smart Women in Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)” in Senses of Cinema in July. Foster’s brief blog on Dee Rees’s Pariah was published on the #directedbyWomen Crucial 21st Cinema page.
Foster was delighted to learn that Film For Barbara Hammer screened in the 90 Second section of the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival. Two of Foster’s avant garde short films Dada Ship and Kiki’s Film were Official Selections at the We Make Movies International Film Festival in Los Angeles, July 12 - 14. Kiki’s Film screened at O Meteoritis in Athens, presented by Pugnant Film Series who organize screenings of underground, dada & auteur cinema in Athens & Greece. Foster was also very honored to learn that her new hand-painted direct-animation 16mm film, Kitchen Sink Film, was selected to be screened at the Third Annual International Short Film Festival in Oakland and San Francisco, in August and September. Kitchen Sink Film is also playing in a number of film festivals in France and Belgium in a touring collection of films presented by Cinéma itinérant de La Bête Rousse.
Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations
Joy Castro participated in the NEH summer institute “José Martí and the Cuban Immigrant Communities of Florida” at the University of Tampa, June 17-July 13. She taught nonfiction at the Macondo Writers Workshop in San Antonio, July 23-27.
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster and Wheeler Winston Dixon each had one person shows of their new video work at De Nijverheid Theatre, Utrecht, The Netherlands, July 4, 2019; with introductions and Q&As after the screening; curated by Robert Muis. The experimental films of Gwendolyn Audrey Foster and Wheeler Winston Dixon evoke a dream space between film and video, analog and digital, ritual and occult, real and fabulist; a cinematic space that is both dead and alive, perhaps best described as liminal ethereal. Foster prefers to work in a liminal aesthetic, with chance as her collaborator. Says Foster, “I am interested in spaces ‘in between.’ I often use “chance editing” (surrealist automatism). I prefer limitations: restrictions are liberating.” Like the Surrealists, these two filmmakers allow ideas to slowly arise from found images and sounds, summoning liminal realities and ethereal spaces. As Dixon sees it, “There are already enough images in the world. I prefer to use existing imagery, but in the process of playing with it to the point of abstraction, to create an other-worldly experience.” These two programs included some of the most recent work by both artists; each program was about one hour in length. The filmmakers were present at the screening.
At the American Literature association in Boston in May, Melissa Homestead participated in a roundtable on Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s letters and presented a paper “What Willa Cather Learned from Sarah Orne Jewett: Queer Heterosexual Marriages in Jewett’s Dunnet Landing Stories and Cather’s O Pioneers!” At the Willa Cather International Seminar in Virginia in July, she presented a paper “‘We are the only wonderful things’: The Final Years of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis’s Partnership.”
Homestead also participated in a roundtable on Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s letters and presented a paper “What Willa Cather Learned from Sarah Orne Jewett: Queer Heterosexual Marriages in Jewett’s Dunnet Landing Stories and O Pioneers!” at the American Literature Association in Boston in May. In June at the Willa Cather International Seminar in Winchester, Virginia, she presented “‘We are the only wonderful things’: The Final Years of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis’s Partnership,” and in July at the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing in Amherst, Massachusetts, on “Property, Propriety, and Distinction: Edith Lewis and Alfred Knopf Manage Willa Cather’s Literary Estate.”
Timothy J. Cook, PhD student in English (Literary and Cultural Studies), traveled to Salamanca, Spain, to deliver a paper at the University of Salamanca on June 26, 2019, during the 28th Ezra Pound International Conference. As a part of the panel “English Influences on Pound’s Early Poetry,” Cook shared his work; “Ezra Pound, John Stuart Mill, and the Phantasmagoria of Literary Originality, and Romantic Individuality, in Late Victorian / Prewar London.” Cook is decidedly grateful for receiving UNL’s Joy Currie Fellowship awarded through the Department of English, which provided significant financial assistance while he attended the conference. Additionally, the 28th EPIC provided critical insights into the converging themes of modernist and epic poetics that are being considered by Cook as he moves into the dissertation phase of his doctorate.
Katie Marya’s multimedia art installation “A Yellow Silence” was accepted into the Lincoln PoPs placemaking exhibition and will be on display September 21st (10-5pm; 8-10pm) and on September 22nd (10-5pm) at Centennial Mall near P Street.
Activities, Accolades, & Grants
Steve Buhler was the Humanities Adviser and Guest Scholar for Flatwater Shakespeare’s three “Little But Fierce” programs for youth in July. The curricula included “Intro to Shakespeare: Sonnets” (Grades K-3), “Romeo and Juliet: Plot and Prologue” (Grades 3-5), and “Scenes and Swordplay” (Grades 6-9). The programs were developed with Summer Lukasiewicz, Executive Director of Flatwater Shakespeare, and funded by Humanities Nebraska.
Chigozie Obioma’s second novel, An Orchestra of Minorities, has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize 2019.
Jamaica Baldwin was awarded a Poetry Foundation Fellowship to attend the 2019 Furious Flower Summer Legacy Seminar with Nikki Giovanni, which took place from June 16-June 22 at James Madison University in Virginia.