Department of English Newsletter Jan/Feb 2018

Upcoming Department Events

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Publications & Acceptances

Most Wanted posterThe latest issue of Senses of Cinema (Dec. 2017) includes a new essay by Marco Abel: “Dissent and Its Discontents: Five Decades of RAF in German Film and Television at the moving history film festival (Potsdam, Germany, 20-24 September, 2017).” 

Grace Bauer's poem “Eve Recollecting the Garden” from her book The Women At The Well, along with an explication/discussion by Rebecca Faust, was featured on the Poetry Sunday edition for January 7th on the Women's Voices for Change website. An interview with Grace and her co-editor on the Nasty Women Poets anthology is featured (January 15th) on the VIDA: Women in Literary Arts website. The interview was conducted by Creative Writing grad Sarah Fawn Montgomery.

Steve Behrendt's essay, The Relevance and Resiliency of the Humanities, was published in the MLA online journal Profession on 8 December 2017. Steve reports this publication with a mixture of satisfaction and relief, since MLA managed to lose track of the submission (and their notice of its acceptance) not once but TWICE in the long and circuitous course of its passage through their corporate structure(s).

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster and Wheeler Winston Dixon’s series of books for Rutgers University Press, entitled Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture, presenting new work by leading authors on cutting-edge themes and issues in film and media studies, continues apace. Nineteen books have been commissioned and contracted for the series, and to date seven volumes have been published: Disney Culture by John Wills; Zombie Cinema by Ian Olney; New African Cinema by Valérie Orlando; Digital Music Videos by Steven Shaviro; Film Remakes and Franchises by Daniel Herbert; The Modern British Horror Film by Steven Gerrard; and Rock ‘n’ Roll Movies by David Sterritt. All have received excellent reviews. More volumes will be forthcoming as the series continues to add new titles.

Quick Takes book series covers

Melissa Homestead had three scholarly essays on Willa Cather published in late 2017 and early 2018. Her essay “‘Live Property’: Willa Cather’s 1926 Revisions to the to the Introduction of My Ántonia and the Specter of Nineteenth-Century Women's Regionalism” appeared in “Something Complete and Great”: The Centennial Study of My Ántonia, published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in December 2017; her essay “Yet More Cather-Knopf Correspondence,” about a cache of 32 Cather letters to her publishers she discovered last December, appeared in the Winter 2017 Willa Cather Review; and her essay introducing a reprint of a previously unknown Cather essay on Martin Andersen Nexø's novel Pelle the Conqueror, “Willa Cather on ‘A New World Novelist’: A Newly Discovered Essay from Vanity Fair in 1920,” appeared in the winter 2018 issue of American Literary Realism.

The Complete Letters of Willa Cather: A Digital Edition began publication in January 2018 with a release of 428 letters. Phase One, encompassing publication of about half of the known 3,000 letters, is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2018. Many people currently and formerly associated with the Department of English contributed to this effort. Andrew Jewell, Editor of the Willa Cather Archive and Professor of Digital Projects in the libraries and a UNL English Ph.D., is editor; Melissa Homestead, Professor of English, is associate editor; Kari Ronning, Research Associate Professor of English, is contributing editor; and Emily Rau, Assistant Editor of the Willa Cather Archive and doctoral student in English, is Assistant Editor. Current and former graduate students who have served as editorial assistants are Caterina Bernardini, Gabrielle Kirilloff, and Jessica Tebo, and undergraduate students Samantha Greenfield and Lori Nevole.

Patrick T. Randolph (of PIESL) has published “Elevating the image of ESL by establishing program exposure” in TESOL International’s PAIS Newsletter. This article is the third in a series of three parts. (See Parts I and II at Elevating the Image of ESL by Enhancing Faculty Bios on Program Websites, and Elevating the Image of ESL by Promoting Professional Development.) This article focuses on five examples of student-and faculty-centered programs and activities that have helped elevate the image of ESL departments on their respective U.S.-based campuses. Randolph also published “Using observation journals to awaken observation skills and become comfortable with writing” in The ITBE Link, (Vol. 45, No. 2). This looks at how Randolph’s version of observation journals can help ELLs assimilate into their host culture, learn about their target language, and improve the quality of their lives.

Guy Reynolds published a review of Russell Roberts and Keith Foulcher, eds., “Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Wright and the Bandung Conference” (Duke UP, 2016) in The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies, 36 (Fall 2017). His essay, “Modernist Fiction: Women’s Writing and Cultural Emergence” appeared in American Literature in Transition, 1910-1920, ed. Mark Van Wienen (Cambridge UP).

Kristi Carter's poem “Of the Daughter who Spoke” has been selected for Magma's issue 71 Edinburgh film collaboration. She has two poems forthcoming in WSQ's Beauty Issue, “Congratulations:” and “Now I will crack my sternum”, and a poem in Crab Orchard Review. She contributed to the Plath Poetry Project with her poem and a brief discussion of Plath's “Lady Lazarus” as an influence on her poem.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico has five poems forthcoming in Waxwing.

Maureen Daniels' poem “Prayer Over the Mother's Body” was recently accepted by Minetta Review. Maureen also has two poems, “The Keyhole” and “Scorpio” in Issue #3 of The Mystic Blue Review.

Ángel García has two poems, “Portrait of an Unarmed Man” and “I Smoke My Last Cigarette While Andres Montoya Preaches to the Willow Tree,” forthcoming in Tinderbox: Poetry Journal. He was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his poem, “Blood,” in Spillway: A Poetry Magazine.

David Henson had an excerpt from his unpublished novel, Went Out Laughing, appear in the most recent issue of Every Pigeon. His story “Yellow Water” appears at Queen Mob's Tea House.

Ilana Masad recently wrote about the death of an online friend for Medium's editorial branch. She also glowingly reviewed recent visitor Morgan Jerkins's essay collection, This Will Be My Undoing, for the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, Masad wrote about bisexuality in contemporary fiction for Condé Nast's new publication dedicated to queerness, them.

Anne Nagel's post, “Enthralling Expectations: The Dark Dreamscape of Satis House,” was recently featured on the Dickens Society blog.

Cover of McSweeney's QuarterlyXavier Navarro Aquino has his story/novel excerpt appearing in the latest McSweeney's Quarterly Concern

Katie Schmid Henson's poem “Apple Glory” was a finalist in The American Literary Review's annual contest and will be published in the journal. Her poems “Polaroid” and “Loving an Addict” were published in issue 4 of Under a Warm Green Linden.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

In early February, Marco Abel gave an invited lecture, “Is School Out?; or, The Berlin School as Event,” at Vanderbilt University as part of their Film Theory and Visual Culture Seminar.

Readings for the anthology Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse co-edited by Grace Bauer continue across the country (with and without the editors). Recent readings have been held in New Hampshire, Idaho, New Orleans, and Shreveport, LA, with more readings coming up in Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Tampa, and possibly, Paris.

Patrick T. Randolph (of PIESL) presented on exercise's benefits of language learning with two talks given at the UNL PIESL Professional Development Friday. The talks given were: “Research cases regarding exercise's effects on the body and the brain” and “The benefits of physical exercise on language learning.” He also presented two talks at the 2017 Kansas/Nebraska Professional Development Day in Manhattan, KS. The titles of the talks at Kansas State University were “Exercise's positive effects on language learning” and “Making peer review a ‘Life Worth Living.’”

Kristi Carter gave a reading from her chapbook Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem (Porkbelly Press)  on January 21 at the Word series.

Gabriel Houck has won a VSC Written in Prose Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, where he will spend a two week residency in the summer of 2018.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Marco Abel has been asked (and he accepted) to serve on the German Studies Association's committee that awards the DAAD Prize for best book published in German Studies in 2016 and 2017. The three-person committee's selection will be announced at the GSA meeting in Pittsburgh in late September.

The prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award was presented to Jane Hanson, Lecturer in the PIESL program for her work in gifted education as a Mensa Foundation trustee. Dr. Hanson has been a trustee since 2013 and is responsible for the Mensa Foundation’s national scholarship program, as well as a member of their Gifted Advocacy initiative. She was Chair of Strategic Planning and later, Chair of New Projects. The Foundation has rewritten and strengthened their mission and vision statements, doubled the dollar amounts of all scholarships, and increased their endowment threefold. Jane is most proud of the Foundation’s new STEM class scholarships and the first two Graduate Fellowships for a master’s degree in Gifted Teaching. Dr. Hanson is a UNL Regent’s Scholarship winner, a Lifetime Alumna of UNL, and a member of the Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network.

Melissa Homestead was awarded an NEH Fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year to complete work on her book The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Patrick RandolphPatrick T. Randolph (of PIESL) received the “Best of CoTESOL Award” for his 2017 presentation, “Observation journals: Inspiring ELLs to embrace life” at the CoTESOL (Colorado TESOL) Conference in Denver, CO. He is the first UNL faculty to receive this prestigious award. The award will pay for his expenses at the International TESOL Convention and English Language Expo in Chicago, IL, in March. His talk was selected from 139 conference presentations at CoTESOL.

Kristi Carter has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Porkbelly Press for “My Mother is Certain,” a poem from her chapbook Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem. This poem previously appeared The Comstock Review (Spring/Summer 2017). She was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “One Orange Streak of Day” which earned the 2nd Place Prize in Naugatuck River Review's Eighth Annual Narrative Poetry Contest. Her full-length manuscript placed as a finalist in the 2017 Hillary Gravendyk Prize poetry book competition.

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.