Department of English Newsletter November 2018

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Publications & Acceptances

Frame from THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELACrystal Bock Thiessen, instructor in Programs in English as a Second Language, had her article “Infographics for Language Teaching and Learning” published in the October edition of TESOL Connections , the electronic newsletter of the international Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) professional organization.

Wheeler Winston Dixon has published a career essay on the work of Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveia in Senses of Cinema 88 (October 2018). He also published an essay on the television work of Ida Lupino in the same issue of Senses of Cinema, “Thriller: Ida Lupino: The Bride Who Died Twice”.

Frame from THEY CAME TO A CITYHe has also published a new article in Quarterly Review of Film and Video entitled “Rethinking They Came to A City,” discussing Basil Dearden and J.B. Priestley's utopian film made shortly after World War II, which examines social possibilities in a post-war future. The film had been lost in the archives since the late 1940s, but has just been restored by The British Film Institute in a superb DVD and Blu-ray transfer. It’s a remarkable example of what a commercial film studio - in this case, Ealing Films - can do when it decides to step outside the box and make a decidedly experimental film. The result is the dazzling resurrection of a lost classic. (The article is behind a paywall, but you can access it on campus.)

Poster for Engauge Experimental Film FestivalGwendolyn Audrey Foster has been invited to present her short Super 8 diary cine-poem, No Personal Checks at the Engauge Experimental Film Festival which highlights original experimental works that originated on film. The festival takes place on November 8 - 10 in Seattle.

Patrick T. Randolph (of PIESL) published “Employing Observation Journals to Enhance Self-Awareness and Writing Skills” in the inaugural issue of the MIDTESOL Journal. The piece looks at how ELLs can better assimilate into their host culture and observe the dynamics of their target language in addition to learning other elements of their immediate community by being mindful and using Randolph’s version of Observation Journals.

Saddiq Dzukogi have new poems out in the latest issues Spillway and Crab Orchard Review.

David Henson’s story “An Explanation” won the L’Éphémère Review Overture to Memory Fiction Prize and was published as part of a micro-chapbook.

Ilana Masad is thrilled to have a flash fiction piece, “Tea for Two,” published in Queen Mob’s Teahouse. For NPR, Masad reviewed Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, Unsheltered, and Hiro Arikawa’s book, The Travelling Cat Chronicles. For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Masad reviewed Anita Felicelli’s debut short story collection, Love Songs for a Lost Continent, which is an incredible exercise in empathy. Masad recently spoke to author Saadia Faruqi for Granta about the first-ever Pakistani American-centered children’s book series, Meet Yasmin!. For Buzzfeed, Masad wrote about new books that are dealing with women’s trauma without being exploitative. Masad was also interviewed recently for the National Book Critics Circle series on the craft of criticism.

Xavier Navarro Aquino had a story accepted for publication by Tin House. It is set to appear in the magazine in 2019.

Cameron Steele’s essay “Post-Kavanaugh, Women’s Self-Care Needs to Lose the Alcohol” was published in The Fix.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

PIESL instructors at MIDTESOL conferenceUniversity of Nebraska Programs in English as a Second Language (PIESL) instructors traveled to Kansas City for the Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (MIDTESOL) Conference, September 28 & 29. Those who presented at the conference include: Chris Dunsmore and Timothy Janda, “Incorporating ESP Courses into an IEP”; Timothy Janda, “Analyzing and Responding to Writing Prompts: A Four-Step Process”; Takako Smith, “Enhancing Cultural Literacy, Skimming Skills, and More,” “Visual Mnemonics to Differentiate 101 Confusing Pairs of Words,” and “Making Listening and Speaking Fun and Engaging with Surprises”; Crystal Bock Thiessen, “English for Campus and Community Engagement in University IEPs”; and Timothy Meadows, who presented a poster entitled “Improving Instruction by Researching Students' Writing Histories.” MIDTESOL is the premier regional organization in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas for teachers of English to speakers of other languages.

Marco Abel attended the German Studies Association conference in Pittsburgh, Sept. 28-30, where he presented “Three Perspectives on the (German) Nation and its ‘Others’: Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, Angela Schanelec’s The Dreamed Path, and Valeska Grisebach’s Western as part of a panel on “Envisioning German Encounters with the Other: German Film in the Age of Merkel’s ‘Wir schaffen das’.”

Rachel Azima presented on a panel with Visnja Vujin, Bradley Hughes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Neal Lerner from Northeastern University at the 2018 International Writing Centers Association conference in Atlanta. Graduate students Keshia Mcclantoc, Regan Levitte, and Charlotte Kupsh and undergraduate Writing Center consultant Simone Droge also presented at the conference. Rachel also co-facilitated a workshop titled “Reflecting, Rethinking, and Strategizing Toward the Intersectional Writing Center” with Katie Levin from the University of Minnesota.

As part of the international celebration of the bicentennial of the publiction of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Steve Behrendt gave an invited public lecture at Central Missouri University on October 29; Steve’s lecture title was “Why Frankenstein Still Matters after 200 Years.” While he was there, Steve also visited and “guested” in both of the CMU English Department’s courses in British Romanticism. On November 2, Steve will participate in the Department of English’s lecture-panel celebrating that same bicentennial. Steve calls his contribution “Teaching Frankenstein in 2018.”

Crystal Bock Thiessen had two presentations accepted to the TESOL International Convention, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia March 12-15, 2019. The first presentation will focus on using infographics to help English language learners learn basic research skills, and the second will look at how to get English language learners engaged with their American university campuses and host communities.

Three short films of Gwendolyn Audrey Foster are included in the interdisciplinary art group show Homeless at Lys d’Or Art Gallery in Rome. Refugees and Tenderness are poetic films on the thousands of who struggle and often perish crossing the Mediterranean Sea, and for all refugees, immigrants and children held at borders (and rendered homeless) here and abroad, while Standing Up is an autobiographical experimental film on the experience of homelessness. Curated by Katya Sanna, Homeless was installed in October and is permanently archived at Lys d’Or, Rome. Foster also has several films included in the Lys d’Or group shows, Global Warming and Water Wars and The Kingdom of the Rose.

Emily Herrick of PIESL presented “Transforming our Sonic Landscape” and “New Ways in Teaching with Music” with Jean Arnold, (formerly of PIESL) from Victoria University of Wellington, in October at the 16th National Conference for Community Languages and English for Speakers of Other Languages in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Melissa Homestead gave an invited lecture at the University of Missouri English Department Colloquium, “‘The Thing Not Named’: Edith Lewis’s Advertising Career and Willa Cather’s Fiction and Celebrity in the 1920s.”

On October 10, Tom Lynch gave a keynote address at the IV International Conference on the American Literary and Cultural West held in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, the heart of the Basque country. The title of his talk was “Settler Colonialism, the Anthropocene, and Global Wests: The Strange Case of the West and the Outback.” On October 26, he gave a paper at the Western Literature Association conference in St. Louis. The title of the paper was “Explorer Re-tracings, Whitefella Dreamings, and the Settler Colonial Imaginary.” It examined the narratives of people who re-trace the journeys of explorers such as Lewis and Clark and Augustus Gregory both in the US and Australia.

Joy Castro and Ken Price, along with Jeannette Jones and Will Thomas of the History Department and Kay Walter of the CDRH, coordinated a Nebraska Forum on Digital Ethnic Studies. Twenty scholars from nine different minority-serving institutions and two from UNL's Institute for Ethnic Studies, Laura Muñoz and Dawne Curry, helped assess what is needed to advance new stories and new storytellers in a developing field. Flash presentations were given by various UNL faculty and graduate students, including Kwakiutl Dreher, Linda Garcia-Merchant, and Jonathan Cheng. In addition, Matt Cohen presented in partnership with undergraduate English major Bianca Swift.

Photo of Patrick RandolphPatrick T. Randolph (of PIESL) was the closing plenary speaker for the 2018 Illinois TESOL & Bilingual Education Convention, “Finding Our Voice”, in Chicago, IL. His presentation, “Advocating for Our Students: Motivating through Miracles, Muscles, Mindfulness, and Mirror Neurons,” focused on how educators can be advocates for teachers and students both in- and outside the classroom. The quartet of miracles, muscles, mindfulness, and mirror neurons examines how teachers can promote an awareness of and strengthen the soul, body, spirit, and mind of their students as they develop in their academic careers and beyond.  Randolph also presented on “Observation Journals: Motivating ELLS to Cherish Life Through Writing.” This talk looked at how ELLs can use observation journals as tools to assimilate into their host culture, and how instructors can use them as tools for student advocacy. Randolph is the first PIESL member to be a plenary speaker for the ITBE Convention.

Saddiq Dzukogi was a festival guest at the recently concluded Ake Arts and Book Festival in Lagos, Nigeria, where he shared his poems with the Lagos crowd. He is getting set to also attend the Lagos International Poetry Festival which will hold from October 31 to November 4.

Lydia Presley participated in a panel with Dr. Margaret Jacobs, Michelle Tiedje, Ph.D., and Dr. James Riding In (Arizona State University) on the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project. This year marks the centennial closing of the Carlisle Industrial Boarding School. The conference was hosted by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and held in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Shawn Rubenfeld recently presented on a “Teaching the Holocaust” panel at the annual conference of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.

Guy Reynolds gave a keynote lecture, “Sensing Willa Cather: The Novelist and Contemporary American Studies” at the 2018 Symposium on North American Literature and Culture in the Twentieth Century held at the University of Leicester (U.K.) on October 27.

Megan Ekstrom, Rachel Gordon, Riley Jhi, and Bev RilettUndergraduate students Megan Ekstrom, Rachel Gordon, and Riley Jhi, all UCARE grant recipients, presented papers at the 43nd annual European Studies Conference, which was hosted by the University of Nebraska-Omaha October 4- 6. Along with their advisor, Dr. Beverley Rilett, Assistant Research Professor in English, the students gave talks as part of a panel entitled “George Eliot’s Relationships: Biographical and Data Visualization Implications.” You can read the full story on the department news feed.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Cover of THE BERLIN SCHOOL AND ITS GLOBAL CONTEXTSMarco Abel and his co-editor, Jaimey Fisher (UC Davis), are happy that their volume, The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts: A Transnational Cinema, was shortlisted for the Willy Haas Award for “an important international print and DVD publication – not older than two years – on German cinema, chosen from five previously nominated titles.” The prize is awarded by CineFest: International Festival of German Film Heritage.

At the Western Literature Association conference, October 24-27, in St. Louis, Tom Lynch was honored to receive the Delbert and Edith Wylder award in recognition of “exceptional service” to the WLA. He would like to thank former UNL English grad student Aubrey Streit Krug, and current students Dan Clausen, Emily Rau, and Cory Willard for nominating him for this unexpected award.

In the New York Times, on October 23, Will Dudding quoted Ken Price a couple of times and linked to the Walt Whitman Archive in a piece on “When Walt Whitman Reported for the New York Times.”

Patrick T. Randolph is the recipient of the 2018 Colorado TESOL Affiliate Travel Grant Award. He will give four presentations of their annual convention in November.

Have news or noteworthy happenings to share?

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