Department of English Newsletter December 2017

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Publications & Acceptances

Due to its relevance vis-à-vis workplace sexual harassment, Joy Castro’s essay “Hip Joints”, which originally appeared in a print issue in 2010, was selected by Indiana Review to run as their current Online Nonfiction Feature. Her op-ed defending the Department of English appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Abstract red, blue and yellow in a screenshot from Foster's film JOYGwendolyn Audrey Foster has been chosen as the featured video artist for the multi-media “Festival X-12,” in Gainsborough UK on December 2. Curated by Fenia Kotsopoulou and the Slumgothic Artists Resident Curators, “Festival X-12” is held in an abandoned 19th Century Gothic church, now used as a Youth Art Center for underprivileged and at risk youth, under the direction of Marcus Hammond.

The goal of Festival X-12 is to actively engage with the community and make art - not “for,” but “with” young people and artists. Ten of Foster’s short experimental films played in a loop during the 12 hour cross-disciplinary arts festival, which included music, arts, video, poetry, and performances. Foster’s films screened for the festival include “Joy,” “Pre-Raphaelite Falls,” “Natural / Abstract,” “Tenderness,” “Amphitrite,” “Virtual Reality Placemat,” “Fairy Tale,” “Earth Chi” and Impermanence.

Gabriel Houck’s story, “When the Time Came,” has been selected by the New York Public Library curators for the Subway Library project, and will be featured on New York public transit when the program re-launches.

Ted Kooser’s poem “Landing” appears in the current Atlantic Monthly, and an interview with Ted and two of his poems appear in World Literature Today.

Patrick T. Randolph published “Examining the Language-Based Components of the Head-to-Toe Method of Associations for Vocabulary Acquisition” in the Fall Issue of College ESL Quarterly. This insightful piece looks at four major parts of his Language-Based Components of his Head-to-Toe Method of Associations. These include: 1. Understanding Words as Friends: Personalizing English Vocabulary; 2. Pronunciation & Mindfulness: Feeling the Sound and Soul of Words; 3. Definitions: Eliciting the Meaning of Words; and 4. Parts of Speech: Determining a Word’s Psychology.

Kristi Carter and the cover of her new poetry chapbookKristi Carter is pleased to announce the release of her poetry chapbook Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem from Porkbelly Press. She will give a reading from the book on December 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Francie & Finch. She has poems in Yes, Poetry and forthcoming in NILVX (Divine Androgyne Issue).

Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s poem “Kept” appeared in the November 2017 issue of POETRY. She has poems forthcoming in Pleiades and Kenyon Review.

Maureen Daniels has two poems, “Triolet at the B Cafe” and “Detonations” in the current issue of The Slag Review, and Minetta Review will be publishing her poem “Prayer Over the Mother’s Body” in an upcoming issue.

Ángel García’s manuscript Teeth Never Sleep has been named the winner of the annual 2018 CantoMundo Poetry Prize. Rafael Campo, guest judge for the prize, described the manuscript as “sometimes ferocious, and always ferociously honest. Ángel García’s poems address themselves to the cycle of violence that arises at the many borders, both enforced and inhabited, in the U.S. Latino experience: between macho stereotypes and sensuous masculinity, between painful alienation and penitent acceptance, and ultimately, between loss and love.” Teeth Never Sleep will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in the Fall of 2018.

Ilana Masad’s essay on Eliza Hamilton, the musical Hamilton, and the new book I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott was published in Broadly. Masad also published a review in The New York Times of UNL’s very own Devin Murphy’s debut novel, and was interviewed by LitHub on the contemporary state of book criticism.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Rachel Azima and former UCARE student Ruobing Zhao presented “Double Agents: How Educators and Students from Asia can Learn from One Another in the Writing Center and Beyond” at the International Writing Centers Association conference in Chicago. Rachel also filled in on a roundtable with current and former Writing Center consultants Wyn Andrews Richards and Grace Stallworth titled “Factual and Emotional Truths: Writing Center Consultants Revealing Personal Identities.”

Joy Castro served as a visiting writer at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in November.

On November 9-12, Amelia Montes participated at the American Studies Association (ASA) Conference in Chicago. She gave her paper, “Gloria Anzaldúa, Rhetorical Plasticity, and the Means of Agency” on the panel, “Diabetes and Latinidades: Cultural Production in a Health Crisis.” The next week, after returning to Novi Sad, Serbia, she traveled to The University of Szeged, Hungary to participate in the International Congress, “Transnational Americas: Home(s), Borders and Transgressions” She gave her paper “In a State of Movement at All Times: Anzaldúa’s Writings on the Body” on Saturday, November 18.

Patrick T. Randolph presented four talks/workshops at the 2017 CoTESOL Conference in Denver, CO. The presentations included the following:

  • “The Effects of Exercise on Language Learning” (with Mike Berman of Montegomery College) — This high-energy session examined physical exercise’s powerful effects on the brain. Language learning benefits were discussed and participants practiced six fun and effective exercises guaranteed to help strengthen their ELLs’ attention and memory. Two academic-based activities were offered that focus on a metacognitive awareness of exercise’s impact on learning.
  • “Observation Journals: Inspiring ELLs to Embrace Life” – This motivational session looked at how observation journals can help create acute observers, critical thinkers, better writers, and inspire a clearer understanding of the ELLs’ host culture. Common challenges to this type of writing were identified and effective solutions were given.
  • “Using Body-Based Components to Effectively Teach Vocabulary” – This interactive session offered a fun and effective neurolinguistics-based method proven to help ELLs successfully acquire and confidently use vocabulary. Participants learned about and practice several body-based components like embodied-semantic associations and body-based associations.
  • “ELL Read-a-Thons: Actively Performing the Written Word” – This energy-filled session helped participants discover the fascinating world of drama-based read-a-thons. Through these read-a-thons, participants saw written word comes to life: Words and content were personalized and learners analyzed language in a new light.

Guy Reynolds gave a paper at the 9th ASAP (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present) conference in Oakland, California (October 26-28). His paper, “A Clockwork Orange, Brexit and Pop: Anthony Burgess’s Quarrel with Mass Culture,” formed part of a panel which he also chaired: “Crisis, Community and the Idea of ‘Europe.’”

Kristi Carter gave a reading October 27 at Francie & Finch to launch her book Cosmovore.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico gave a reading and workshops at Bennington College in Bennington, VT.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

As one of the University of Nebraska's four DEO fellows this year, Marco Abel participated in the Big Ten Department Executive Officers seminar at the Big Ten Center in Chicago from November 9-11.

Album art for Tupelo Springfield's new EP featuring silhouettes of geese and an old carLove Lies West is the first EP released by Tupelo Springfield, the semi-official house band for the Department of English. The band members are Kelly Stage, Jack Vespa, and Steve Buhler. The EP has six original songs — three from Jack and three from Steve — of rocking Americana (and other musical styles, including calypso and dreamsong) and highly allusive lyrics.

Joy Castro will serve as the Writer in Residence at Vanderbilt University for the spring 2018 semester. She will teach creative nonfiction in Vanderbilt’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, which is ranked in the top nine MFA programs nationwide.

NUtech Ventures recognized University of Nebraska-Lincoln innovators and their promising technologies during a November 9 celebration of their accomplishments and achievements at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The Breakthrough Innovation of the Year award went to Associate Professor Matthew Jockers for the technology he developed for his research with Jodie Archer on their recent book, The Bestseller Code.

Dr. Ng’ang’a Mũchiri was accepted into the 2017-2018 Research Development Fellows Program. The RDFP is an Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) initiative designed to provide full-time, pre-tenure faculty with the information, resources and approaches necessary to prepare competitive grant proposals.

Kristi Carter has received a Pushcart Nomination for her poem "One Orange Streak of Day" which earned the 2nd Place Prize in Naugatuck River Review's Eighth Annual Narrative Poetry Contest.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico won a 2017 Lannan Foundation Fellowship.

Katie Schmid Henson’s poem “Turning 32” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Southern Indiana Review.

Ilana Masad's story "Sand Running" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by StoryQuarterly.

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.