Department of English Newsletter May 2017
Upcoming Department Events
Publications & Acceptances
Wheeler Winston Dixon has published a new article, "The Ghost of Frankenstein: The Monster in the Digital Age" in Quarterly Review of Film and Video, April 17, 2017, in which he notes that "this essay takes its title from Erle C. Kenton's 1942 film The Ghost of Frankenstein, one of the last credible films in the original Universal series, and asks the question, 'What are we to do with, or make of, the Frankenstein monster in the 21st century?' Tracing the monster in film from its beginnings to the present, we see a disturbing but not altogether unexpected trend. Newer iterations of the classic tale feature more special effects, but less real content. Universal is rebooting their stable of classic monsters with yet another version of The Mummy in Alex Kurtzman's 2017 film of the same name starring Tom Cruise, with revamped versions of Frankenstein and Dracula to follow if the film is successful. Significantly, the 2017 Mummy is more of an action film than anything else; it seems that mood and menace will no longer hold an audience. But will any of these versions have lasting impact, or value?"
L'ocell matinee; i altres poems, (The Early Bird) a collection of 31 of Ted Kooser's poems, translated into Catalan by Miquel Angel Llauger and Jaume Subirana, has been published in Mallorca by El Gall Editor.
Foreign rights to Ted Kooser's children's book House Held Up By Trees, already available in a German edition, has been sold to a Japanese publisher for translation there.
Patrick T. Randolph of PIESL published Examining the Body-Based Components of the Head-to-Toe Method of Associations for Vocabulary Acquisition in the Spring Issue of the College ESL Quarterly. This surveys the main body-based components in his Head-to-Toe Method of Associations for Vocabulary Acquisition.
Randolph published a second article in TESOL’s PAIS Newsletter calledElevating the Image of ESL by Promoting Professional Development. This investigates ways that English Language Teachers (ELTs) can promote their profession by participating in a number of professional development activities. The article also calls on ESL Program administrators to better publicize and highlight the crucial professional development work done by the teachers. Often times ELTs do as much—and sometimes even more—professional development than their cohorts in other departments, but the ELTs seldom get the recognition from the university or high level administrators.
Randolph’s third article, Observation Journals: Inspiring ELLs to Embrace A Life Worth Living, was published in the CATESOL News. This piece looks at a unique way to motivate students to put down their cell phones and take in the world around them. The observation journals require students to make daily observations about their local communities, classes, and themselves and record them in a concise paragraph. The activity naturally gets English language learners (ELLs) to develop their sense of detail in writing and work on their logical flow and cohesion within the English paragraph.
Stacey Waite's book, Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing. has just been released from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Please come out to celebrate on May 10th at Indigo Bridge Bookstore at 6pm.
Laura White's The Alice Books and the Contested Ground of the Natural World will come out in May from Routledge; for it she will be doing a book tour in the UK with stops/talks in Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds, Bristol, and London. She has been awarded a $5,000 ENHANCE grant from the College to support this travel. In February, she presented on Kipling's school stories at NCSA in Charleston; she was also elected to a three-year stint on the Board and named Chair of the Scholarly Article Prize Committee. In April, she gave an invited talk on Jane Austen in Berkeley.
Erin M. Bertram's poem "There Is a Wilderness, There Will Always Be" was a published finalist in Tupelo Quarterly's 2016 Call & Response Contest and nominated for inclusion in Best New Poets. An excerpt of their hybrid text "The Urge to Believe Is Stronger than Belief Itself" recently appeared in Bared: Contemporary Poetry and Art on Bras and Breasts. Their hybrid text chapbook from The Vanishing of Camille Claudel was recently published by Seven Kitchens Press. And their forthcoming hybrid text chapbook Relief Map was a winner of C&R Press's 2016 Summer Tide Pool Chapbook Competition. A fourth hybrid text, "Gender/Genre," is forthcoming in South Dakota Review.
Jaime Brunton's article “Biopolitical Masochism in Marina Abramović’s The Artist Is Present, is now available for download from Camera Obscura.
Kristi Carter has two poems forthcoming in The Comstock Review, the same publication where she placed as a finalist in their chapbook contest.
Daniel Clausen's review essay on a translation of an 18th century French woodworking book, anarchy, and Instagram is forthcoming from Full Stop Quarterly.
Ángel García's poem "Blood" is forthcoming in Spillway Magazine's summer issue. He also has two poems being published in the upcoming issue of The Normal School.
Cameron Steele's poem "A Gaze Is A Group of Raccoons" will be published in the May 2017 issue of Bluestem magazine.
Dillon Rockrohr's article "The Morals of Stories: Narrating Judgment in Carver, Borges, and Englander" will appear this month in volume 41, issue 1 of Philosophy and Literature. published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Ivan Young had two poems, "When We Meet Again Someday in the Past " and "Ceremony" accepted by Watershed Review.
Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations
Crystal Bock Thiessen, instructor in Programs in English as a Second Language (PIESL), has been offered a program appointment in Russia as an English Language Specialist by the U.S. Department of State's English Language Programs. Bock Thiessen will travel from Moscow to Vladivostock in June on a two-week outreach visiting State Department English language programs, teachers, and students along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. She will also conduct teacher trainings and workshops for incorporating photography, video, infographics, and other digital projects into their language teaching classrooms.
Joy Castro gave invited readings in March at Kansas State University and in April at the University of Missouri.
Kwakiutl Dreher, Amelia de la Luz Montes, and Hope Wabuke read a powerful selection of poetry by Gwendolyn Bennett, Angelina Grimke, and Mae V. Cowdery to a standing-room only audience at Love Library on April 5 to celebrate Maureen Honey's 2016 book Aphrodite's Daughters: Three Modernist Poets of the Harlem Renaissance (Rutgers UP). The event was sponsored by Love Library's Diversity Committee and by the Creative Writing Program as part of National Poetry Month. The beautiful poster was designed by Erin Chambers.
Guy Reynolds traveled to Concordia University, Austin TX, to serve as a Guest Lecturer (sponsored by the Otto W. and Norma L. Schaefer Endowed Chair in Literature). His April 13th lecture, "Mass culture, pop culture and A Clockwork Orange," concentrated on Burgess's infamous novel, Kubrick's film, and British post-war culture.
Over the spring break, faculty members Beverley Rilett (English) and Sue Burzynski Bullard (Journalism) teamed up to present “What’s Taught in Editing Classes, and What Should Be” at the 2017 national conference of ACES: The Society for Editors. Their panel presentation, which also featured Vicky Krueger from the Poynter Institute and Andy Bechtel, Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, focused on how college instructors can adapt their editing and publishing courses to prepare students for a swiftly changing industry.
The ACES annual conference brings together some 600 members (about half of the total membership) to attend three full days of presentations, compete in adult spelling bees, raise funds for student scholarships, and hear the latest announcements from the teams updating Webster’s Dictionary and the Chicago and AP Style Manuals. (Yes, the singular, gender-neutral “they” is now conditionally accepted!). Scrabble and Boggle tournaments have become an unofficial late-night tradition. This year’s keynote speakers were Anne Curzan (U of Michigan professor of Lingua Franca renown) and Craig Silverman (CEO of Buzzfeed).
As co-faculty advisors of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chapter of ACES, a registered student organization that brings in speakers and hosts editing-related events throughout the year, Bev and Sue particularly enjoyed having four of our students in attendance at this year’s ACES conference—two from English--Araya Santo and Bailea Kerr—and two from Journalism—Lani Hanson and Nicole Eisenbraun. These four women were wonderful representatives of the university at the conference. Thanks to all who helped with fundraising, including our two colleges, which covered most of our students’ expenses.
Julia Schleck attended the Renaissance Society of America annual conference, participating in a round table on Rethinking the Global Renaissance: Questions, Methods, Practices. She also presented a paper entitled "Women on Dangerous Seas: East India Company Debates on the Question of Couples in War," which will be coming out in published form later this year as part of a special issue on the East India Company in the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies that she is co-editing.
Erin M. Bertram is looking forward to being a returning Teaching Writer at this summer's Young Writer's Camp.
Daniel Clausen will present at two conferences this summer. In June he will give his paper "Reconstruction Agrarianism: Reading Douglass and Burroughs in the Anthropocene" at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment in Detroit. He is also co-leading a team of graduate student reporters who will cover the conference for the ESQ's annual "Year in Conferences" feature. In July he will attend the Thoreau Society Annual Gather, this year marking the bicentennial of Thoreau's birth, and present on "Thoreau's Agrarianism."
Daniel Clausen, Aubrey Streit Krug, and Matt Whittaker, along with Hannah Birge, Caleb Roberts and Dan Uden, graduate students in the the School for Natural Resources, presented at the Great Plains Symposium last month, each using the prompt, "How has your map of the Great Plains Changed?" to situate their research.
Stevie Seibert Desjarlais presented her paper, "Violent Acts, Beautiful Looks: A Comparison of Refn's The Neon Demon and Cline's The Girls, at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association's National Conference on April 14 in San Diego, Calif. Stevie is grateful for departmental support and the Joy Currie Graduate Student Travel Fellowship. She'd also like to thank Jenny Schollaert, Ryler Dustin, Dillon Rochrohr, Emily Dowdle, and Keene Short for attending her presentation!
Dillon Rockrohr presented "Born Again at the End of the World: Apocalypse and the Birth of Biopolitics in Robert Coover's The Origin of the Brunists. at the national Pop Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference in San Diego, CA.
Activities, Accolades, & Grants
Melissa Homestead was awarded a Summer Stipend by the National Endowment for the Humanities to work on chapters of her book manuscript, "The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis," which is under contract with Oxford University Press.
In March 2017, Lark Warren and Tim Meadows of Programs in ESL traveled to Rwanda where they taught a two-week course to prepare students for the English Language Test (ELT). In collaboration with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), Warren and Meadows worked with the sixty-five finalists for the CASNR Undergraduate Scholarship Program (CUSP) to help them meet the language proficiency requirement. Students spent two intensive weeks practicing listening activities, reading passages, and essay prompts to prepare for the exam, which they took upon completion of the course. You can expect to see fifty of these outstanding students on campus this fall!
Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri received an International Research Collaborations award from the UNL College of Arts & Sciences. In addition to supporting his ongoing work on land rights in Ghana and Kenya, the award will facilitate the creation of a web-based audio and visual exhibition.
Patrick T. Randolph, with the help of Charlene Maxey-Harris, Regina Flowers, Love Library's Diversity Committee, and the English Department’s sponsorship, set up the first International Poetry Reading to celebrate April’s National Poetry Month. Randolph and twelve of his international students from China, India, and Serbia read their work in the Adele Commons.
Julia Schleck received this year's Annis Chaiken Sorenson Award for outstanding teaching in the humanities.
Stacey Waite received the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the LGBTQ Community at UNL.
Erin M. Bertram received a 2017 Karen Dunning Creative Activity Award from the Women's & Gender Studies Department for their hybrid text "Gender/Genre." A new Associate Editor at Tupelo Quarterly. Bertram also received a 2017 EGSA Award in Teaching Excellence, and will be a 2017 Preparing Future Faculty Fellow, a 2017 Digital Scholarship Incubator Fellow, and a 2017-2018 Maude Hammond Fling Fellow. Erin is very grateful for the support!
Daniel Clausen has been awarded a Dean's Fellowship for 2017-2018 from the Office of Graduate Studies.
Matthew Guzman has received the Preparing Future Faculty Fellowship for the Fall 2017 semester.
Maria Nazos is the recipient of a Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship and a 2017 Van Sickle Award. She is extremely grateful for the English Department's generosity and support of her creative endeavors.
Lydia Presley received a scholarship to attend the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School (DHOxSS) in July 2017. She will be presenting on her experience there in the upcoming year at the DH Dialogues or another suitable venue, as well as contributing to the DHOxSS blog. She wishes to thank the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities for their support and assistance in helping make this possible.
Cory Willard has been awarded a spot with funding as an Artist in Residence at the Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogallala, NE. Cory will be the Writer in Residence from May 14-20, 2017.
Ivan Young received a Karen Dunning Award for Scholarly Activity from the Women and Gender Studies Department for his paper "Barbaric Sex: The Problem of Rape, Cannibalism, and Sodomy in Shakespeare's Work."
Senior English Major, Roz Thalken, presented her contribution to a team-based UCARE research project in a poster presentation at the University of Nebraska's Research at the Capitol Day on March 30th. English major Sara Duke, who will be joining the project this summer, also attended the presentation and helped to answer questions about “The George Eliot Review Digitization Project: A Transatlantic Collaboration,” which is the first phase of what will become the new George Eliot Archive, edited by English faculty member and George Eliot scholar, Beverley Rilett.
During the past year, Dr. Rilett, and undergraduate research assistants Roz Thalken and Bailea Kerr were able to digitize and create metadata for more than 1,000 documents from back issues of the George Eliot Review. Roz took the initiative to present this work both at the Research at the Capitol Day and in the TED-type Spring RED Talk in the Learning Commons on February 16.
"Thanks to renewed UCARE funding and ongoing collaboration with the George Eliot Fellowship in the U.K, our team will publish online these previously print-only journals and make them searchable. This is the first phase of a project that, with continued support, will expand to include manuscripts, letters, images, and other research materials, modeled after other single-author websites such as the Willa Cather Archive and the Walt Whitman Archive, which have been developing for more than a decade here at the university."