Department of English Newsletter May 2021

Upcoming Department Events

Publications & Acceptances

Cover of R0MANTIC-ERA IRISH WOMEN POETS Steve Behrendt’s handsome new critical anthology, Romantic-Era Irish Women Poets in English, has just been published by Cork University Press, the preeminent publisher of historical Irish literature. The book's generous size—it runs some 614 pages—has made it possible for Steve to include a large and varied selection of poems originally published by Irish and Irish-identified women poets in book-length collections over a fifty-plus year period (c. 1780 - 1838). Unusually for an anthology, a number of longer poems are included, rather than just the typical sampling of brief lyric poems and snippets of longer poems one finds in briefer anthologies, so that the full, diverse range of subject matter, genres, styles and individual voices are adequately represented. Steve remarks that this finished volume is the culmination of the critical and editorial recovery work he has been pursuing for many years on these historically neglected or marginalized poets whose remarkable, lively work—like their names—will come as a revelation to many readers. He also marvels that for a hardbound volume of over 600 pages the press has nevertheless kept the price at an eminently reasonable $45!

Cover of NOWHEREKatie Schmid Henson's poem, “Apartment Hunting,” appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review's Spring 2021 issue, out in April. The preorder for her poetry book, Nowhere, is up at the University of New Mexico Press's website. The book will be published in August.

Adrian S. Wisnicki is pleased to announce the publication of a large new cache of materials by Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, a project he co-develops with Pearl Chaozon Bauer, Ryan Fong, and Sophia Hsu. These include lesson plans, peer-reviewed syllabi, and Zoomcasts, i.e., recorded interviews with colleagues in the field doing important anti-racist work. As a digital humanities project that seeks to reimagine how we teach Victorian Studies through a positive, race-conscious lens, we have been working for the last six months with a team of collaborators, from across institutions and ranks, to generate this new content.

  • Lesson Plans: Organized in clusters around specific themes to provide instructors with recommended texts (primary and secondary), critical questions, and pedagogical approaches that can be used in the classroom, these lesson plans help us reimagine Victorian studies as we continue to undiscipline ourselves and our field.
  • Syllabi: These peer-reviewed syllabi seek to challenge and expand traditional ideas of Victorian Studies. Each syllabus includes a short introduction that expounds upon its critical framing and makes explicit how an undisciplined approach to teaching Victorian Studies informs course design, the selection of materials, assignment construction, and pedagogical practices.
  • Zoomcasts: In 30-40 minute conversations with guest colleagues, we explore how we can grow together as a community of scholars and learn from one another by discussing our classroom practices and reflecting on our processes of learning (and un-learning) as teachers.

Saddiq Dzukogi has poems appearing or forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Wild Court, and Verity La.

Katie Marya has poems forthcoming in FenceRedivider, and Under a Warm Green Linden.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

James Brunton will present his paper “Queer Body Politic: Autonomy, Subjectivity, and the Re-imagining of Community” (virtually) as part of the International Colloquium on Politics and Narratives of the Body, taking place in Paris, May 26-28.

Poster for Julia Schleck & Brigitte Fielder's talkJulia Schleck gave two talks on academic freedom in April. On April 16, she gave a talk for the Kutaks Ethics Center at UNL entitled “Do untenured faculty have academic freedom?” and led an hour-long discussion on the subject after her presentation. On April 30, she joined AAUP national staff member Dr. Joerg Tiede in leading an AAUP webinar on the topic “What is Tenure?”.

Dr. Schleck also gave a talk for the UNL Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program on April 14, joining Dr. Brigitte Fielder from the University of Wisconsin Madison to speak on “Connecting Race and Time: Early Modern and 19th Century Textual Encounters.”

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Rachel Azima, Kelsey Hixson-Bowles of Utah Valley University, and Neil Simpkins of the University of Washington-Bothell were awarded the Winter 2021 International Writing Centers Association Research Grant for their collaborative project, “Experiences of Leaders of Color in Writing Centers.”

Poster for Scott Herring lectureScott Herring, James H. Ruddy Professor of English and Affiliate Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, will be the inaugural Willa Cather Distinguished Lecturer. This new initiative by The Cather Project, a unit in the UNL English Department, is designed to promote research on Willa Cather by scholars working in a variety of areas in literary studies and to give students in our M.A. and Ph.D. programs the opportunity to study under such scholars from other universities. Herring will be teaching a one credit grad seminar on the topic of “American Modernist Studies, New and Old,” and delivering a virtual public lecture “Aging Moderns: A Reintroduction” on Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. CST on Zoom (

Herring is the author of three books, Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism (New York University Press, 2010; winner of a Lambda Literary Award), and The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2014). His book in progress on aging and modernism was supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. He will be joining the faculty of Yale University in August 2021.

Questions? Contact Melissa Homestead, Director of the Cather Project, at

Cover of THE PERFUME THIEFTimothy Schaffert’s novel, The Perfume Thief, made Publishers Weekly’s list of recommended summer reads. The novel will be released August 3 by Doubleday/Penguin Random House.

Saddiq Dzukogi won the Nebraska Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Nonfiction. Saddiq also has a reading scheduled for May 13, 2021 by the Department of English, King's College London. In the past couple of weeks, Saddiq Dzukogi has read from his new book, Your Crib, My Qibla, at such venues as Cave Canem's Writing Grief, Swarthmore College Reading Series, Open Arts Book Party, Little Grassy Literary Festival, and also at a release party headlined by Ladan Osman, Phillip B. Williams, and Kazim Ali with Ángel García as the host.

Alexander Ramirez has been appointed the Olive B. O’Connor Creative Writing Fellow (Nonfiction) in the Department of English at Colgate University.

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.