Department of English Newsletter December 2018

Upcoming Department Events

2:30 pm
Bailey Library
4:30 pm
The Happy Raven

Publications & Acceptances

Tom Lynch’s review of Veer Ecology: A Companion for Environmental Thinking was recently published in American Literary History Online series 17.

Katie Schmid Henson has two poems, “The Boatman” and “Death,” forthcoming in the December issue of 32 Poems.

Crystal Bock Thiessen, instructor in Programs in English as a Second Language (PIESL), is published as an invited contributor on interactive media projects for all units in Level 2 of the Pearson English textbook series StartUP, a new multi-skills English language textbook course for adults and young adults.

Patrick T. Randolph published PART 4 of his series on “Examining the Language-Based Components of the Head-to-Toe Method of Associations for Vocabulary Acquisition” in the Fall Issue of the College ESL Quarterly. This piece looks specifically at the DNA of lexical items; i.e., words parts, and also explains collocations. He gives eight useful activities for ELTs that can help their students become “mindful noticers” for acquiring a higher awareness of roots, affixes, and collocations.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Marco Abel spent Thanksgiving week at the University of Oxford where he both served as external reviewer of a dissertation (on Wittgenstein and German genre filmmaker Dominik Graf) and gave an invited lecture, “Tätowierung, West-German Cinema around ’68, and the Joys of Violence; or: the Forgotten Case of the ‘Aesthetic Left’.”

On November 12 Tom Lynch gave an invited talk at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. The talk was titled “The Lilac by the Door: Ecocriticism, Grasslands, and Women’s Settler Colonial Narratives in the United States. and Australia.” The talk discussed the role of gardening as a settler colonial activity as portrayed in the writing of several Great Plains and Australian women authors.

Tom Lynch and Emily Rau presenting their work at the Happy RavenOn November 27 Tom Lynch and Emily Rau did a presentation on their “Loren Eiseley’s Nebraska” storymap for the Science Cafe program sponsored by the University of Nebraska State Museum. The event was held at The Happy Raven and was attended by about 50 only mildly inebriated people.

Lydia Presley participated in a panel with Dr. Margaret Jacobs, Michelle Tiedje, Ph.D., and Dr. James Riding In (Arizona State University) on the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project. This year marks the centennial closing of the Carlisle Industrial Boarding School. The conference was hosted by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and held in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Crystal Bock Thiessen of PIESL was invited by the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Program to be a guest panelist with them during a presentation at the international Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Convention, which will be held April 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Patrick T. Randolph gave 4 presentations at the 2018 Colorado TESOL Convention in Denver, CO. His talks included “Advocating for Our Students: Inspiring the 4Ms” (this focused on helping students embrace life through an acute awareness of miracles, muscles, mindfulness, and mirror neurons); “Engaging ELLs in Local Community Research Projects” (this looked at implementing ethnomethodology in writing and presentation classes); “Using Creative Writing to Enhance Academic Writing” (this centered on 4 creative writing activities that help ELLs develop their writing and thinking skills); and “Using Embodied Semantics to Acquire Vocabulary” (this focused on employing new concepts in neuroscience that help ELLs acquire and use English vocabulary).

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Poster for Gwendolyn Audrey Foster's show Crawling through the WreckageGwendolyn Audrey Foster will present two one-woman shows of her experimental film/video art over the Holiday Break. Foster has been invited to present a collection of her punk queer dada films at OT301 Cinema of the Dam’d in Amsterdam on December 15th. The Curators of Studio 44, a collective artist-run gallery in Stockholm, invited Foster to present “Fast & Furious”, a collection of her work, on December 21. Both screenings include brief lectures, as well as Q&A.

Foster was also invited to Curate a special event, “Crawling Through the Wreckage: Avant Garde Film & Video Artists Respond to the Trauma of the 21st Century” and give a lecture at Filmhuis Cavia with a lecture and Q&A, in Amsterdam on December 16. Foster will present a curated collection of film/video artwork of more than 25 artists from 15 countries, highlighting the work of under-represented artists alongside Emmy winners and Guggenheim fellows, all of whom respond to traumatic, shocking unprecedented global events and galvanizing international politics of this moment in the 21st century, with unique visual art. “Crawling Through the Wreckage” will present the audience with an evening of Surrealism, animation, political video art, highlighting punk, no budget, eco/feminist, LGBT+, post-structuralist, agit-prop, personal films, hand-painted, hand-processed, etched and scratched films, détournements, and 3D animation.

Last but not least, Foster’s video art was selected to be featured in the video installation “Chronophobie & Auto-Catastrophie” on the theme of Φύραμα. The installation took place at ΑΠΑΡÄΜΙΛΛΟΝ in Athens, Greece, on December 1.

Crystal Bock Thiessen of PIESL was elected as Chair to the Intensive English Program (IEP) Interest Section of the MidAmerica Teachers of English as a Second Language (MIDTESOL) regional professional organization. This interest section exists to serve the needs of those who work in IEPs that serve students who need to acquire proficiency in English in a relatively short time, usually for academic and career success. The concerns of the membership include methodology, curriculum design, materials development, placement, evaluation, program administration, technology-assisted instruction, English for specific purposes, culture, learners’ concerns, and members’ employment concerns.

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.