Department of English Newsletter November 2016

Upcoming Department Events

12:00 pm
5:30 pm
3:30 pm
Bailey Library
3:00 pm
Nebraska Union Auditorium
3:30 pm
Bailey Library
7:00 pm
Nebraska Union - The Crib

Publications & Acceptances

Wheeler Winston Dixon's interview with director Jamie Babbit, which originally appeared in the journal Post Script 21.1 (2001), has been reprinted by the journal as part of section on women filmmakers, Post Script 34.2/3 (Winter/Spring/Summer 2015), which was actually published in September, 2016; p. 107 -116.

Jim ThompsonDixon has also published “Jim Thompson: Dark Poet of the Plains,” in the European Journal of American Culture 35.3 (Fall, 2016): 157-172. The article discusses the work of American novelist Jim Thompson, who attended UNL in the early 1930s, but never completed his degree due to financial circumstances. While at UNL, Thompson published his early fiction in Prairie Schooner, which at the time accepted student work as well as that of professional writers.

Thompson's bleak vision of American society, and the Midwest in particular, led him to write a series of highly praised and influential “hard boiled” paperback novels, which were initially dismissed as popular entertainment, but are now considered American classics, showing the dark underside of the American Dream. Thompson labored in obscurity for much of his life, and dealt with poverty, despair, alcoholism, and the Great Depression, but triumphed late in life as his work gained prestige in France and England, and finally was adapted for the screen in such films as The Grifters and The Getaway.

Patrick T. Randolph published Embracing the Sound of Words: Evoking the Inner Experience in the spring issue of the CATESOL News Quarterly, Vol. 48(1). The article looks at how English Language Teachers can help their English Language Learners "feel" the language and gain an appreciation of its phonology and intuitive attraction to the sound of words, phrases, and idioms through first investigating their favorite sounding lexical items in their own languages, and then exploring the ones that pique their interest in English. The article also addresses synesthesia-linked associations related to words as well as other emotional and cultural relations.

Randolph also published the third part in his series on physical exercise and the language classroom, Internalizing the Benefits of Physical Exercise Through Critical Research, Part III in the College ESL Quarterly. This article reviews the benefits of physical exercise on the mind and learning. Then, it goes on to look at research-based and ethnomethodology projects that English language teachers can use to promote an awareness of the cognitive benefits of physical activity on learning in and outside the classroom. Although the article's focus is on English language learning, the methods and consequences clearly affect all disciplines.

Cover of Lupine LunesRandolph' poems (tanka, lunes, breath poems, haiku, and free verse) are featured in Lupine Lunes, Popcorn Press's 8th Annual Halloween Poetry and Short Story Anthology, edited by Lester Smith. Among the poems accepted are "Werewolf Theory According the Jack Kerouac--1957," "Linguistic Reflections," and "Freud and the Werewolf."

Cover of Intersections: Women artists/surrealism/modernismGuy Reynolds published an essay, 'The surrealist script(s): Bourgeois, Chadwick, Hiller,' in Intersections: Women artists/surrealism/modernism, ed. Patricia Allmer (Manchester University Press), 49-65. An art-historical essay, 'The surrealist script(s)' looks at visual and written representation in the works of three key twentieth-century women artists.

Pascha Sotolongo Stevenson's short story "The Only Sound is the Wind" will be published in the next issue of Pleiades (a feature on "Human Future Fiction"), and her short story "The Sound of Ava" is a finalist for The New Guard Machigonne Fiction Prize and will be published in Volume VI of the journal. Pascha also notes that she's recently begun writing under just Sotolongo without the Stevenson (in case anyone looks for her work).

Hope Wabuke published three poems in Border Crossing Literary Journal, reviews of new books by Colson Whitehead, Gary Younge, Margot Lee Shetterly, and Luvvie Ajayi at The Root, and a profile of Chris Abani at The Guardian.

Maria Nazos' poem "Cape Cod Pantoum" was published in the October 31, 2016 issue of The New Yorker. You can read the poem in The New Yorker online and listen to an audio recording of Nazos reading her work.

Kristi Carter's poem "The C Word Which Also Means Home" is forthcoming in The Cossack Review.

Cover of Critical Survey of American LiteratureMatthew Guzman's entry on "Charles Brockden Brown" will appear in the new edition of Critical Survey of American Literature published by Salem Press. Matthew's book review, "Writing the Environment in Nineteenth-Century American Literature: The Ecological Awareness of Early Scribes of Nature," also will appear in the upcoming issue of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

The historical novel The Untitled by Gayathri Prabhu (Ph.D., 2011) has just been released in India by Fourth Estate. An imprint of Harper Collins, Fourth Estate has published the works of Michael Chabon, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Anthony Doerr, Jonathan Franzen, Hilary Mantel and Annie Proulx, among others, and will also publish Gayathri's next book.

The inside flap, condensed here, gives the following information: It is set in 1798 as Richard Dawson, an English painter, arrives on the southern coast of India, seeking employment. Finding no help from his countrymen, he travels to the kingdom of Tipu Sultan. Though reputedly cruel to the British, Tipu Sultan allows the painter to stay at his fort in Srirangapatna. As Dawson and his apprentice experiment with Indian and Western styles of painting, they find themselves drawn into high-stakes political intrigue, leading to the last Anglo-Mysore War. Elegant and suspenseful, this is literary fiction that brings to life a momentous period of Indian history while exploring the intersection of love and art.

After years of travel and study outside India, Gayathri returned there to live not far from where she was born, in a town that allows her glimpses of the Arabian Sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other. She teaches literary studies at the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

IWCA conference participantsThe Department of English and the UNL Writing Center were strongly represented at the annual International Writing Centers Association Conference in Denver, Colorado on October 14-16. Our group presented two panels: "(Un)bounded: Writing Centers and the Neoliberal Institution" and "Toward More A/Effective Writing Centers: Counseling Practices, Trauma Narratives, and Cultivating Emotional Awareness."

The first panel included presenters Marcus Meade, with "'Perfectly at Odds': Writing Centers, Athletics, and the NCAA"; Wyn Andrews Richards, with "Scratching the Surface: A Qualitative Study of Writing Center Training Practices and Awareness Considering Writers with Low Socioeconomic Status"; Dillon Rockrohr, with "Represent and Manage: Against a Political Economy of Writing Centers"; and Matt Whitaker, with "Neoliberalism and the Discourse of Success in Writing Center Assessment."

The second panel included presenters Mitch Hobza, with "The Bounds of Empathy: An Inquiry into the Affective and Political Dimensions of Responding to Narratives about Trauma and Atrocity"; Katie McWain, with "Caring for and with Consultants: Emotional Awareness as an Orientation for Staff Development"; and Nicole Green, with "I Feel Ya!: The Affective Labor of Writing Center Counseling and What Counseling Psychologists Could Teach Us About Self-Care." Rachel Azima served as panel respondent.

Rachel Azima also co-led a roundtable workshop at the IWCA conference called "Fail Again, Fail Better: Using Failure to Fuel Success" with colleagues from Iowa State University, Syracuse University, Western Oregon University, and Wheelock College.

Institute for Critical Animal Studies posterMatthew Guzman will present his paper "'Wild' Encounters: The Early American Museum" at the 15th Annual North American Conference for Critical Animal Studies in Durango, Colorado.

Maria Nazos attended the 2016 American Literary Translators' Association Conference in Oakland, California. She participated in the Bilingual Reading Series by presenting her newest translations, from the Greek, of Dimitra Kotoula. She is thankful for receiving a Joy Currie Travel Fellowship, which provided her with the generous support to attend the conference.

Lydia Presley attended the Digital Native American and Indigenous Studies workshop held at Northern Arizona University and hosted by Indiana University Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI). This was the second of three workshops that focuses on the methodology and issues connected to digital humanities research in the field of Native American Studies. The workshop involved participants from library sciences, history, anthropology, literature, and archival studies.

Rachel Azima and Writing Center undergraduate consultants Lucy Koch, Grace Stallworth, and Natalie Wiebelhaus recently attended the Nebraska Writing Centers Consortium in Hastings, NE, where Grace presented on a panel of writing center consultants, staff, and administrators. Grace was also elected to be the student representative on the NWCC board.

Jeannette Schollaert will present her paper, "Building a Rainbow: Feminist Literary Presses and Ntozake Shange’s Poet-Activist Imaginary," at the National Women's Studies Association conference in Montréal, Québec on November 11, 2016.

Kristi Carter plans to present her work on the trope of mother-daughter relationships in 20th Century poetics at the Arts of Healing: Cultural Narratives of Trauma Conference in Ploiesti, Romania on Nov. 4, held by the Universitatea Petrol-Gaze.

Patrick T. Randolph gave the following presentations at the 2016 MIDTESOL Conference for English Language Teachers in Kansas City: "A Guaranteed Three-Step Process to Help Prevent Plagiarism," "Helping Students Analyze Research: Introducing the One-Point Multiskills Analysis," and "The Power of Exercise: Enriching ELLs’ Bodies and Brains."

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen is the winner of the Nebraska Book award in fiction.

Maria Nazos' second full-length collection of poems The Sun Will Not Go was a finalist for the 2016 Akron Poetry Prize. Her poem "Before a Man in the Midwest Loses a Lover," was nominated for a Best of the Net award by Dakota Garilli, who served as guest editor for The Fourth River Queering Nature-themed issue where the poem originally appeared.

Erin M. Bertram was awarded a two-week artist residency at Hambidge Center, scheduled for spring 2017, where they'll ready two full-length lyric hybrid text manuscripts for submission to book contests: “The Vanishing of Camille Claudel,” about the life and work of the nineteenth-century French sculptor, and “It’s Not a Lonely World,” in which non-binary identity and a beloved’s illness challenge the gendered body.

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.