Department of English Newsletter September 2021
Upcoming Department Events
Publications & Acceptances
Caterina Bernardini’s book Transnational Modernity and the Italian Reinvention of Walt Whitman, 1870-1945 was published in July by the University of Iowa Press (Iowa Whitman Series).
Kristi Carter and James Brunton are pleased to announce that their co-edited book TransNarratives: Scholarly and Creative Works on Transgender Experience is now out and available for purchase from Women’s Press. TransNarratives is an interdisciplinary collection featuring narratives of transgender experiences, providing a sourcebook of a range of trans perspectives, writing styles, and trans methodological fields of applicability. Calling attention to transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary writers, the book showcases a wide variety of material, including scholarship from multi- and interdisciplinary transgender perspectives, poetry and fiction that foregrounds trans experience, and first-person transgender narratives.
Scott Guild’s debut novel, Plastic, has been accepted for publication by Pantheon Press. The novel was his Ph.D. dissertation at UNL, supervised by Timothy Schaffert, with committee members Jonis Agee, Guy Reynolds, and Wendy Katz. Matt Cohen from UNL English was also an early reader of the novel.
Julia Schleck published an article in Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory (33.2) entitled “Orientalism revisited: a conversation across disciplines.” The essay is collaboratively written with early modern Ottoman historian Kaya Sahin (Indiana University Bloomington) and Justin Stearns (NYU in Abu Dhabi), a historian of the medieval and early modern Islamic Middle East. It considers how Orientalism, and Orientalism, have influenced the current structures of knowledge production about the “East” in both European and Near Eastern premodern studies, asking whether Said’s critique is still relevant to contemporary discussions.
Anne Nagel’s piece, “Dreaming Up Monsters: The Affective Intensity of Dreams, Nightmares, and Delirium in Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights,” was published as a chapter in the book Dream and Literary Creation in Women’s Writings in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. This piece originated in a paper that she presented at a conference at the Université Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations
Melissa Homestead gave a talk on her book The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis at the Santa Fe Public Library in late July. It was the library’s first in-person event since March 2020, and Melissa’s first in-person book event. Everybody, including Melissa, was masked.
Tom Lynch presented a paper at the 2021 Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference (virtual) titled “Loren Eiseley: Prophet of the Pyrocene.” The paper discussed Eiseley’s idea that humans are, as he says, “fire apes,” and that climate change can be considered the result of humans’ increasingly sophisticated ways of playing with fire. Noted fire ecologist Stephen Pyne coined the term “Pyrocene” as an alternative to “Anthropocene,” and cites Eiseley as an inspiration.
Activities, Accolades, & Grants
Steve Buhler is directing Lisa Hajda’s one-act play, “The Seven Acts of a Shakespeare Lover’s Life,” as part of Flatwater Shakespeare Company’s Unshaken festival of new, Shakespeare-inspired solo pieces. The evening features five original works from artists, writers, and theatre makers from Nebraska and beyond, including a 20-minute musical exploring why Troilus and Cressida should never be a musical, a Shakespearean detective mystery, and a deeper look at the playwright’s “Feminine Endings.” Performances on September 9 and 23, 7 p.m., will take place at The Mill’s Telegraph location, 330 S. 21st Street in Lincoln, and are free. Unshaken alternates with a two-person frolic through A Midsummer Night’s Dream on September 2 and 16.
Ng'ang'a Wahu-Mũchiri was selected as a Fellow to the College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Academy. The selection committee “were impressed by [his] commitment to and accomplishments in teaching and are enthusiastic about the ideas and leadership [he] will bring as a fellow.” Muchiri was also awarded the Layman Seed Fund for his research titled The Ardhi Initiative: An Africana Digital Humanities Project. The $9,900 award will support expansion of the pilot site and curating of colonial treaties from across the African continent.
Department Academic Advisor Kathleen Lacey has been accepted into the 2021-2022 class of Faculty Fellows for Student Success. Developed by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Faculty Fellows program is designed to help faculty gain a better understanding of leadership and university administration while strengthening expertise on leading change in specific areas. Topics typically include strategies for retention, experiential learning, academic advocacy, case management, and addressing equity gaps in degree completion.