Department of English Newsletter July 2016

Upcoming Department Events

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Publications & Acceptances

Cover of Prairie Schooner Summer 2016 issuePrairie Schooner continues celebrating our 90th year of continuous publication with the Summer 2016 issue, now available!

Marco Abel and Roland Végső published essay "Biopolitical Education: The Edukators and the Politics of the Immanent Outside" in Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature 40.2 as part of a special issue on "Neoliberalism and the Undoing of Time."

Wheeler Winston Dixon has published a new article on filmmaker Kelly Reichardt - “Kelly Reichardt – Working Against the Grain,” in Quarterly Review of Film and Video June 9, 2016. Again, the article is behind a paywall, but you can gain access through Love Library.

As Dixon writes, in part, "'Born in 1964 in Florida, Kelly Reichardt has slowly but surely established herself as a major force in contemporary cinema, even as her films get almost no mainstream distribution, and she is thus forced to continually work with miniscule budgets from one film to the next.

Kelly Reichardt behind the camera"As she told critic Iain Blair, 'Insiders are already well-covered. I’m far more interested in the inherent drama of everyday life, the small beats you’re constantly up against. It’s more comfortable territory for me. I’m in my fifties and I don’t even own a house . . . Florida was a cultural void growing up there in the seventies. My parents were in law enforcement, and I didn’t really have any movie influences until I got out of Florida and went to college in Boston. Then I was suddenly exposed to Hitchcock and noir, and I took a [Rainer Werner] Fassbinder class at art school – by accident – and one in Indian cinema – which completely overwhelmed me. It was this whole new world to me.

"Almost immediately, Reichardt was struck by the meditational tone of the films and filmmakers whom she really admired, especially Robert Bresson. From the start, she wanted to strip film down to its essentials, to make films that were designed to please herself alone, rather than aiming for a mass audience. As she said in 2014 of her cinematic style, one that exists in direct opposition to the dominant Hollywood model, 'a movie is a series of reveals, essentially, and then you're supposed to sit in a room and tell someone what it all means. That goes against everything that I just worked for. So I have no interest in summing it all up. It's all out there.'"

Wheeler Winston Dixon has published a review of Guy Westwell's “Parallel Lines: Post 9/11 American Cinema" in the Journal of American Studies 50.2 (May, 2016). Dixon has also published a review of “Éric Rohmer: A Biography by Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe. Translated by Steven Rendall and Lisa Neal,” in Library Journal May 1, 2016: 69-70.

Kwaidan poster of man in a small boatGwendolyn Audrey Foster has published an essay on Masaki Kobayashi’s classic Japanese film Kwaidan (1964) in the June, 2016 issue of Senses of Cinema.

As she wrote, in part, "'Kobayashi’s mise en scene is deliberate and proceeds with the assurance of dream-like logic, or the lack thereof; the world of Kwaidan is one in which the supernatural atmosphere is very real, often intertwined with scenes that conjure everyday life, a fact that several of the film’s protagonists ignore at their peril. Kwaidan is a psychological horror film for those who are seeking an utterly immersive experience, in which the viewer is gradually seduced by the deeply saturated color, the expressiveness of the seemingly vast hand built studio sets, and the sheer time factor. This is a film that takes the viewer out of the real world into another realm altogether. In its visual and thematic structure, Kwaidan is ultimately an expressionist fairy tale for adults, in which all is artifice, and yet at the same time mesmerizingly real.'"

Ashley Strosnider published a short story, “What Will Make it Last,” in Joyland Magazine.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Rachel Azima presented "Leading Across Difference: 'Sticky' Discourse for Writing Center Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Collaborations" at the International Writing Across the Curriculum conference in Ann Arbor.

Steve Buhler was an invited panelist and workshop presenter for "Teaching Shakespeare to Undergraduates" at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, June 13-14, 2016.

Matthew Jockers presented "Sentiment Analysis as Proxy for Plot" at the UCLA Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. The lecture was part of the institute's week-long Workshop on Mathematical Analysis of Cultural Expressive Forms (May 23-27, 2016).

Julia Schleck attended the national meeting of the American Association of University Professors in Washington DC from June 15-18. She joined colleagues at many other institutions from across the country in lobbying our congressional representatives on educational policy, and voting to censure institutions that have seriously violated faculty members' academic freedom and right to due process, or undermined or ignored the principles of shared governance. Highlights included the University of Missouri-Columbia, for the summary dismissal of Melissa Click, and the University of Iowa for the Board of Regents' conduct in the hiring of their new president. You will be happy to learn that there are no institutions in Nebraska currently on the AAUP's censured or sanctioned lists, however, job seekers may wish to consult this list before accepting a new position.

Roland Végső was invited to be a plenary speaker at the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College. His presentation, "Perpetual Civil War," was part of the "Postracial U.S. Cultures?" panel.

Gabriel Houck has been given a full scholarship to attend the Tin House Summer Workshops this July.

On May 20, Aubrey Streit Krug joined her collaborators Rory Larson and Bryan James Gordon in presenting “Development of a Native Language Textbook: An Update on the Omaha Language Textbook of UNL & UNPS” at the 2016 Siouan-Caddoan Language Conference.This year’s conference was hosted by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in Oklahoma. Aubrey is grateful for the support she received from a Joy Currie Graduate Student Travel Fellowship.

Cory Willard attended the 33rd Annual Conference of the Sport Literature Association in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada from June 22-25 where he served as Program Chair and presented an essay entitled "'The Anarchist Fly Box.'" Additionally, Cory is now serving a term as President of the Sport Literature Association.

The Sport Literature Association is an international organization devoted to the study of sport in literature and culture. It is an affiliate of the American Literature Association and is indexed by the Modern Language Association and the American Humanities Index.

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.