Department of English Newsletter September 2022

Upcoming Department Events

6:00 pm
Bailey Library
5:30 pm
Bailey Library
7:00 pm
Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center
5:00 pm
The Mill at Telegraph
3:30 pm
6:30 pm

Publications & Acceptances

Marco Abel published “Whither German Cinema: Observations from the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival” in the latest issue of Senses of Cinema. He also published an invited letter to the editor of Cineaste magazine in its fall 2022 issue in response to an excellent essay on and interview with German filmmaker Dominik Graf and his recent film, Fabian.

Kevin McMullen’s co-authored article (with Stefan Schöberlein, Stephanie M. Blalock, and Jason Stacy), “Walt Whitman, Editor at the New-York Atlas,” appeared in the latest issue of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. Kevin, along with the same three collaborators, also had a podcast episode accepted and published by C19’s podcast series. The episode, titled “Finding Whitman Between the Columns: A Trip Into Nineteenth-Century Newsprint,” discusses the team’s ongoing NEH-funded work to identify Walt Whitman’s anonymously-authored newspaper editorials with the help of computational analysis. Matt Cohen graciously agreed to serve as the episode’s host—and crushed it. Listen for yourself and let Matt know if you agree.

Jessica Poli and the Miller-Williams Prize logoJessica Poli’s debut poetry collection, Red Ocher, was chosen by Patricia Smith as a finalist for the Miller Williams Prize and will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in Spring 2023.

Malik Rasaq’s poems “What Crosses the Sea,” “Elegy at Sea,” and “Ode to the Sea” appeared in the Spring issue of Transition Magazine. His poems “For Derek Walcott,” “On Nights Like This,” and “New Land” appeared in the Spring issue of African American Review, and his poem “Dusk, Again” appeared in the Winter/Spring issue of Notre Dame Review.

Tryphena Yeboah’s short story, “The Dishwashing Women,” was the co-winner of the Narrative Spring 2022 Story Contest.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Timothy J. Cook participated in the release of Cedilla: Nolla on July 24, 2022, in Missoula, Montana. Cedilla is a small literary journal that was founded in western Montana in 2007.

In August, Melissa Homestead gave a lecture at the Jaffrey (NH) Civic Center on the subject of “Willa Cather and Edith Lewis in Jaffrey” (the two women vacationed in Jaffrey and are buried there).

Chigozie Obioma was a guest of the second lady of Ghana, Samira Bawumia, and offered a lecture and public discussion on writing and publishing to a packed audience of more than 400 people at the University of Ghana. He spoke at various functions and across many media appearances during the visit. Photos may be found here.

Malik Rasaq participated as a discussant at the 6th Annual Lagos Studies Association Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria, in June 2022. As part of a panel chaired by Tosin Gbogi (Marquette University), he discussed a book titled “Engaging Poetics of Exile: A Reading of Five Anglophone West African Poets” by Henri Oripeloye (Kraft Books, 2022) with other discussants, namely Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba (University of Winnipeg), Gabriel Bamgbose (University of California-San Diego), Nathan Suhr-Sytsma (Emory University), and Jumoke Verisimo (University of Alberta). Malik was also a guest speaker at the Kwara Book and Arts Festival 2022.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Cast of Julius CeasarFlatwater Shakespeare Company’s production of Julius Caesar, directed by Marshall Carby, continues September 1-4 and 8-11 in the Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables, 3600 “O” Street in Lincoln. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Dramaturg Steve Buhler is proud of this production’s counterbalancing of the famous storyline of Caesar’s death with the lesser-known tragedy of Brutus and Cassius. Tickets available online or at the door. Come enjoy an intimate version of theater as Shakespeare liked it: actor-centered, open-air, big-hearted. (Photo courtesy of Michael Reinmiller.)

Melissa Homestead was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to run an Institute for Higher Education Faculty on the subject of “Willa Cather: Place and Archive.” The institute will take place in July 2023 in Lincoln and Red Cloud.

Willa Cather writing at a deskAs the Complete Letters of Willa Cather nears completion, The Cather Project and the Willa Cather Archive are sponsoring a scholarly symposium on Monday, October 10, 2022, to commemorate this signal achievement. This freely-available digital resource, which has been supported by two National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions grants and has been produced with the involvement of many UNL faculty, staff, and students, will ultimately encompass over three thousand letters. At the symposium, scholars from UNL and elsewhere will engage Cather’s letters in new and deeper ways made possible by the availability of the Complete Letters. The symposium will take place in the Platte River Room at the Nebraska Union and is free and open to the public. For a schedule of presentations, see Direct questions to Professor Melissa Homestead at

Timothy Schaffert’s novel The Perfume Thief was selected as the 2022 citywide read by Omaha Public Library. Events will include book discussions, a launch party, and a panel discussion about Omaha’s queer history at the Max.

Julia Schleck was awarded the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Intellectual Freedom Award, based on her activism and published work supporting academic freedom. Julia’s work was also recognized by the Nebraska English Language Arts Council (NELAC), the Nebraska affiliate of NCTE, who bestowed its annual Intellectual Freedom Award upon her as well.

Malik Rasaq and Oredola Ibrahim, co-founders of Àtẹ́lẹwọ́, an indigenous literary journal that publishes work written in Yorùbá, launched the third edition of the Àtẹ́lẹwọ́ Prize for Yorùbá Literature. Malik was also selected as a Finalist for the 2021 C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize.

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.