Department of English Newsletter June 2019

Upcoming Department Events

Publications & Acceptances

Burt Lancaster in Elmer GantryWheeler Winston Dixon has published “Sinclair Lewis and the Failure of Hollywood” in the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, May 6, 2019.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is pleased to learn that her essay on Vera Chytilová’s Something Different was reprinted in Portuguese as “Algo diferente (O něčem jin.m, 1963),” in Věra Chytilov.: a grande dama do cinema, Julio Bezerra, Rosa Monteiro, and Jaiê Saavedra, eds., a catalog for a major Vera Chytilová film retrospective, Věra Chytilov.: a Grande Dama do Cinema Tcheco, held in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília, Brazil in April and May, 2019.

Still from Foster's DADA SHIPFoster’s short film for the queer Dada artist Kiki de Montparnasse, Kiki’s Film, played at Kino Moviementio in Berlin, on April 25. Kiki’s Film and Dada Ship (an anti-narrative film in which Dada gives Time its own reflection; its alterity, its Other,) are both Official Selections for the We Make Movies International Film Festival, sponsored by WMM collective. The festival is held at the Broadway Theatre in Los Angeles, July 12 - 14. Foster was very honored to have her queer experiment in surreal autoportraiture, Self Portrait [Détournement], selected for the group art exhibition, “Nosty Nostalgia,” held at the Manifest Destiny Art Gallery on May 4 - 5, in Barcelona, Spain. Gwendolyn is looking forward to presenting another one-woman show of her experimental films at De Nijverheid in Utrecht, on July 4, 2019.

Cameron Steele’s flash nonfiction essay “So Far” was published in the May issue of GRAVEL.

David Winter’s interview with poet and essayist Paisley Rekdal was published in the May / Summer issue of The Writer’s Chronicle.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Still from Dixon's THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLEWheeler Winston Dixon is having an invited screening of his films at The Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian Cinematheque, in Los Angeles on June 23, 2019 at 7:30PM. The filmmaker will be present for an introductory lecture and a Q&A afterwards. Film screened include Burn Area, Careering, L.A., Lost II, Look, Prison State, The Beautiful People, Take One, Life of Luxury, An American Dream and Neon Flag.

Dixon has also published two new reviews: American Eccentric Cinema by Kim Wilkins and The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood by Patrick Keating, both in the journal Choice (July 2019).

Crystal Bock Thiessen, of Programs in English as a Second Language (PIESL), was selected by Georgetown University and the U.S. Department of State to serve as an English Language Specialist in Ukraine and Moldova, June 7-22. During her assignment, she will conduct teacher trainings for English language teachers at the secondary and university level on the themes of 21st-century education, inclusive classroom instruction, best classroom management practices, and technology for language learning. She will also participate in the training of teachers who are a part of the English Access Microscholarship Program , one of the State Department’s leading educational exchange programs for economically disadvantaged students around the world.

Gretchen Geer attended the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She presented a paper on the panel “Hellscapes and Satan’s Chains: Hell and Damnation in Early Medieval Textual and Visual Culture II” entitled “Disguised as an Angel of Light: Repentant Demons in Caesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus Miraculorum.” Gretchen would like to thank the Joy Currie Graduate Travel Fund, which provided the funding for her to attend the conference.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Rachel Azima, Nicole Green, and Meredith Steck facilitated the first 4-day Writing Center Writing Retreat from May 13-16 in Andrews. 60 graduate students and faculty from across campus participated in writing development and wellness sessions and made progress on a wide range of writing projects, including journal articles, dissertations, grant proposals, and book manuscripts. Breakfast, lunch, and twice-daily snacks were provided for participants. The retreat was co-sponsored by CAS, CASNR, CEHS, CoB, and OGS, and it included special sessions for CAS associate-level faculty, in partnership with the IDEA committee.

Maureen Honey with her Spring 2019 Black Women Authors classMaureen Honey is retiring after 40 years of service at UNL. She thanks everyone who came to the joint retirement party for Maureen and LeAnn Messing on April 12, as well as those who contributed to the Joy Currie Fund for graduate student travel, and to the people who sent good wishes, cards, flowers, and other gifts. Many thanks especially to Marco Abel for organizing the beautiful joyful party at the Nebraska Club!! Maureen is remaining on her graduate student committees and will be coming to department lectures and other events. She and Tom will stay in Lincoln as well as maintain a second home in East Lansing, Michigan, where Maureen attended high school and Michigan State University. The photo depicts Maureen’s last day of class for Black Women Authors on April 25, which became a surprise party organized by the students to honor her retirement--a beautiful moment!

Four co-PIs, Joy Castro, Jeannette Jones, Ken Price, and Will Thomas, have received from ACLS a grant of $147,442 to support New Storytellers: The Research Institute in Digital Ethnic Studies.This two-week immersive workshop, scheduled for July 26-August 8, 2020, will bring together 25-30 scholars from minority-serving institutions (MSIs), faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska, and guest presenters from other universities who collectively are deeply invested in using digital technologies to explore race, ethnicity, and social justice. New Storytellers intervenes in the field of digital humanities by broadening the participation and inclusion of underrepresented groups, bringing more voices into the conversation and expanding the impact of digital interdisciplinary work on race and ethnicity.

Beth Burke and Guy Reynolds were pleased to be present at the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Prairie Songs, a symphonic arrangement of the art song cycle based on My Ántonia. The Cather Project provided seed money and research input for composer Brent Edstrom’s creation of this work. The event, held at the Lied Center (5/5), was attended by nearly 1000 music fans, and very well received.

Crystal Bock Thiessen at Global Ties US ProgramGlobal Ties U.S., a non-profit partner of the U.S. Department of State for international exchanges, selected Crystal Bock Thiessen, of PIESL, as one of two participants of their bi-annual Network DC program in Washington, D.C., May 6-9. The program gave Bock Thiessen the opportunity to visit the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Office of International Visitors as well as the top national exchange programming agencies in order to learn more about creating stronger communities and educational opportunities through international exchanges. She also presented local resources offered by the city of Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to these key organizations in order to welcome even more international visitors through future exchange programming to Nebraska.

Claire Jimenez received a summer fellowship from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City to create a digital map/timeline of Puerto Rican literature since the Jones Act.

Cameron Steele was named a Great Plains Graduate Fellow, a two-year appointment with the Center for Great Plains Studies beginning in August.

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.