Department of English Newsletter March 2020

Upcoming Department Events

Publications & Acceptances


Steve Behrendt’s book chapter, “The Letter and the Literary Circle: Mary Leadbeater, Melesina Trench, and the Epistolary Salon,” appears in Romanticism and the Letter, edited by Madeleine Callaghan and Anthony Howe, just out in print from Palgrave Macmillan. Steve’s review of Joanna Wharton’s Material Enlightenment: Women Writers and the Science of Mind, 1770-1830 appears in the recently released issue of The Wordsworth Circle (February 2020).

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster and Wheeler Winston Dixon are pleased to announce the publication of the 14th and latest book in their Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture series from Rutgers University Press, Sports Movies by Lester D. Friedman, emeritus professor and former chair of the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Friedman describes the traditional formulas that have made these movies such crowd-pleasers, including stock figures like the disgraced athlete on a quest for redemption, or the wise old coaches who help mentor the heroes to victory. In an early review, Samantha Noelle Sheppard notes that “this compact book packs a huge punch! Engaging and illustrative, Sports Movies deftly tackles the widely popular genre of sports films. Lester Friedman skillfully unpacks the history, themes, and cultural significance of the genre while attending to the consequential ways race, class, gender, and sexuality come into play on and off the field.” Though retiring, Foster and Dixon continue on as Series Editors for Rutgers University Press with numerous forthcoming volumes in the Quick Takes Series, including Black Women Film Directors by Christina Baker, The Femme Fatale by Julie Grossman, Star Wars Multiverse by Carmelo Esterrich, Haunted Homes by Dahlia Schweitzer, The Modern Musical by Desiree Garcia, Asian Pop Cinema by David Desser and Frances Gateward, and Alternative Realities by Carl Plantinga.

Wheeler Winston Dixon has published a new essay, “Into The Web: The Spider’s Stratagem in Senses of Cinema 93 (January 2020), on Bernardo Bertolucci’s mesmeric 1970 film. He was also quoted in The New York Times in an article on the failure of Universal Studios to create new films for their classic monsters.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster published an essay on Two Women, “Resisting War and Patriarchy: Two Women (Vittorio De Sica, 1960)” in Senses of Cinema.

Two of Foster’s avant-garde films screened at The Magikal Charm Experimental Video & Film Festival held at the Dolby Screening Room, 1350 Ave of Americas in Manhattan on February 20th. Foster’s Super 8mm film No Personal Checks was presented at the 2020 Super 8mm Film & Digital Video Festival held at her alma mater, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ on February 22 - 23.

Cover of WORLDLESSNESS AFTER HEIDEGGERRoland Végső’s book Worldlessness After Heidegger: Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction was published by Edinburgh University press. The publisher describes the book with the following words: “Roland Végső opens up a new debate in favour of abandoning the very idea of the world in both philosophy and politics. Opening with a reconsideration of the Heideggerian critique of worldlessness, he goes on to trace the overlooked history of this argument in the works of Hannah Arendt, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou. This critical genealogy shows that the post-Heideggerian critique of the phenomenological tradition remained limited by its unquestioning investment in the category of the ‘world’. As a way out of this historical predicament, Végső encourages us to create affirmative definitions of worldlessness.”

Katie Schmid Henson’s short story, “Caldera” appeared in the most recent issue of Anti-Heroin Chic.

Pascha Sotolongo Stevenson’s short story “Sad Bird” has been named a finalist for The Chattahoochee Review’s Lamar York Fiction Prize and was accepted for publication.

Claire Jimenez interviewed Marcelo Hernandez Castillo about his memoir Children of the Land for Remezcla.

Katie Marya’s first full-length collection SUGAR WORK was selected as the Editor’s Choice for the 2020 Alice James Book Award and will be published in June of 2022. Her poem “Force Dance” was published in Cotton Xenomorph and her poem “Marriage” is forthcoming in Ruminate. Also, her translations of Nicole Cecilia Delgado’s poems “de regreso queda,” “ya una podría quedarse aquí,” and “emilio dijo ‘dios nos lanzaba canicas” are forthcoming in Waxwing.

Alexander Ramirez has a personal essay (and scans of his childhood drawings) forthcoming in the pages of Full Bleed, a journal of art and design produced through a graduate practicum at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Jessica Poli’s poem Sorry Cento” was published in BOAAT Journal.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Poster for ROMEO AND JULIET eventRomeo and Juliet: A Kind of Hope” will feature presentations and discussion with cast members of Flatwater Shakespeare's upcoming production of the play, moderated by dramaturg Steve Buhler. The event, hosted by UNL's Medieval and Renaissance Studies program, takes place on Monday, March 9, 3:30 to 5 p.m. in 117 Andrews and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The play will be staged at Turbine Flats, 2124 “Y” Street. Performances are Wednesdays through Sundays, March 18-22 and 25-29 at 7 p.m.

Linda Garcia Merchant and Claire Jimenez presented on a Digital Public Humanities panel at the XV Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Conference a biennial conference held this year at the University of Houston - Downtown campus, February 20-22, 2020. Their talk on “Process as Product: The Puerto Rican Literature Project,” highlighted the importance of professional mentoring and the cultivation of collaborative relationships in the production of Latinx Digital Humanities.

Katie Marya will present her panel “The Poetics of Addiction,” featuring Gregory Pardlo, Airea D. Matthews, and David Tomas Martinez, on March 6th at 3:20 (rm. F256) at AWP.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Marco Abel will be at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on Tuesday, March 3, to discuss Berlin School filmmaker Angela Schanelec’s I Was At Home, But... after the 5:15pm screening.

Steve Buhler's Aaron Douglas Professorship has been renewed for a third five-year term. UNL's Weaver/Douglas Professorships are awarded in recognition of a sustained record of teaching excellence and national visibility for instructional activities/practice. Aaron Douglas was the first African American to earn a degree in art from the University of Nebraska; he became a leading arts educator and a major painter associated with the Harlem Renaissance. The other Weaver/Douglas Professors in the department are Grace Bauer, Robert Brooke, and Laura White.

Wheeler Winston Dixon served as an Executive Member, International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and juror in the Academy’s Webby Awards, 2020. The Webby Awards honor the best art, news, and culture videos and sites on the web.

Ted Kooser and Pat Emile’s American Life in Poetry has received new statistics from the Poetry Foundation, and worldwide circulation of the weekly column, in print and on line, is estimated now to be 4.6 million readers. That puts the name of our English Deptartment in front of a lot of people!

Cover of WRITER'S DIGEST featuring Chigozie ObiomaChigozie Obioma is on the cover of the April 2020 edition of Writer’s Digest, the national magazine for writers.

Katie Schmid Henson’s poetry manuscript was a finalist in Sundress Publications' open reading period.

Recently Adrian S. Wisnicki received news of two major accolades. First, he learned that the second edition of the new version of Livingstone Online as a whole had been awarded the prestigious Seal that indicates an edition approved by the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. This is the fourth such seal that Dr. Wisnicki’s work has received in the last year; in this particular case, it marks the final development in a project that first began in 2013.Second, in early February, Dr. Wisnicki learned the College of Arts and Sciences had awarded him the Outstanding Research and Creativity Award (ORCA), which “recognizes significant research and creative accomplishments of UNL faculty in the last five years.” He is honored to receive this award and grateful to colleagues in the department who nominated him and wrote in his support.

List of Mellon Grants represented at US Hispanic Literary Heritage ConferenceClaire Jimenez was one of seven recipients of a US Latino Digital Humanities (USLDH) Grants-in-Aid to continue to develop her digital humanities work on “The Puerto Rican Literature Project.” With the consultation of the Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Collective, Jimenez will work with a team of other Puerto Rican writers, including National Book Award finalist Raquel Salas Rivera and Managing Director of the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center Ricardo Maldonado in order to create a bilingual Omeka site that will digitize different Puerto Rican literary artifacts and feature the work of contemporary Puerto Rican writers. They will also cultivate open education teaching aids for the material presently available on the Omeka site.

Co-project directors Melissa Homestead and Emily Rau, in collaboration with project director Jessica Despain of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, recently received an NEH Digital Advancement Grant for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Digital Recovery Hub. The grant will fund a series of planning activities to create a network of feminist scholars actively recovering the work of American women writers through digital methods. The Recovery Hub will build a publishing platform for these projects, and will also provide support, mentorship, and peer-review services for women in the digital humanities.

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.