Department of English Newsletter Summer/Fall 2023
Upcoming Department Events
Publications & Acceptances
"Im Geburtsloop: Zur Realisierung und Intensivierung des neoliberalen Potenzials im 'wilden Osten'" (roughly: "In the Birth Loop: On the Realization and Intensification of Neoliberal Potential in the 'Wild East'")—an interview with Marco Abel on the role East Germany and neoliberalism play in some films by Dominik Graf, Christoph Hochhäusler, and Christian Petzold, originally published in Berliner Gazette—was reprinted in Entkoppelte Gesellschaft—Ostdeutschland seit 1989/90 Vol. 6 ("Testimonies Part 2: Film"), ed. Yana Milev et al (Peter Lang International Publishers, 2023).
Marco Abel published "'Can You Prefigure Reality?': A Conversation with Christoph Hochhäusler on his new film, Bis ans Ende der Nacht (Till the End of the Night)" in Senses of Cinema 106 (Aug. 2023): 12,000 words. This is Marco's third substantial interview (after interviews published in 2007 and 2015) with Hochhäusler, one of the core filmmakers of the so-called Berlin School. His new film, a noir-melodrama concerning the relationship of Leni, a trans woman who's a femme fatale of sorts, and Robert, a queer undercover cop, premiered at this year's Berlin International Film Festival and won Thea Ehre the Best Supporting Performance award for her role as Leni.
Together with his co-editors, Marco Abel published Christian Petzold: Interviews as part of the University Press of Mississippi's longstanding "Conversations with Filmmakers" series. The book contains 35 interviews with the Berlin School filmmaker, 31 of which are available for the first time in English (Marco lead-translated 25 of them from German); a timeline of Petzold's career; a critical introduction by the co-editors, Jaimey Fisher and Aylin Bademsoy (who happens to be Petzold's niece); as well as Marco's English-language interview with Petzold, originally published in Cineaste (2008). Film International published a substantial excerpt from the book's introduction as "'Playing Innocent Would Have Meant Lying': From the Introduction to Christian Petzold: Interviews" on June 29, 2023. Marco wishes to thank the College of Arts and Sciences, which supported this publication with a Research Impact and Engagement grant.
Kwakiutl Dreher published "Black Women, The Body, and Dance" in The Journal of American Culture Vol. 46:2, 2023.
Siwar Masannat's poem "a stuck truck black" appeared in an anthology entitled We Call to the Eye & the Night: Love Poems by Writers of Arab Heritage, edited by Hala Alyan and Zeina Hashem Beck, and published by Persea Books.
Guy Reynolds published an essay, "Modernism’s Deep Roots: the fin-de-siecle and the Transformation of the American Novel," in The Cambridge History of American Modernism. Cambridge University Press hosted a discussion of the project, led by Ato Quayson.
Ava Winter's first full-length poetry collection, Playing with the Jew, was selected for the National Poetry Series by Sean Hill. Playing with the Jew will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2024. Ava's poem "I Walked Cemeteries As If I Might Find Graves There of My Dead" appeared in a special issue of Room magazine dedicated to ghosts.
The North American edition of Chibueze Darlington Anuonye's co-edited anthology of contemporary Nigerian poetry—with Professor Nduka Otiono, Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada—will be released in March 2024 by Griots Lounge Publishing, Canada. In Unbound: An Anthology of New Nigerian Poets Under 40, Anuonye and Otiono assemble the works of new Nigerian poets born after 1980 in a single volume, where the poems interact with one another and illuminate the temper and genius of their generation. The over 160 poems in this anthology give voice to a talented generation transcending the tyranny of tradition.
The anthology contains the works of Nigerian poets at home and in diaspora, including UNL alum Saddiq M. Dzukogi (Ph.D. in English, 2022) and UNL doctoral students Ezenwa-Ọhaeto Chinụa and Malik Rasaq. Also featured are Romeo Oriogun, Adedayo Agarau, Chisom Okafor, Gbenga Adeoba, Samuel A. Adeyemi, Iheoma Uzomba, Funmi Gaji, and Logan February, among others. The aim of this anthology is to properly introduce and locate these new poets in the tradition of modern Nigerian poetry and to catalyze a much-needed critical engagement with their works.
Ph.D. student Azaria Brown was recently published in BLF Press's Black Joy Unbound: An Anthology. The anthology is available for purchase on the BLF site. Inspired by a deep longing for writing that embodies the vivacity of Blackness and Black life, Black Joy Unbound is a multi-genre collection that encompasses a broad spectrum of literary writing on Black joy.
Erika Luckert recently had poems published in Augur Magazine, Qu Literary Magazine, and Room magazine. Her poetry manuscript, "The Forgetting Curve," was also longlisted in the 2023 YesYes Books Open Reading.
Kathrine Schwartman has had her short story "Beatitudes from the Porch" accepted by the literary journal Big Muddy. Big Muddy is a journal published by the Southeast Missouri State University Press.
Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations
Steve Buhler participated in the Thirteenth International Milton Symposium, University of Toronto, July 10-14. His paper, "Milton-ish Mediations: Fry, Penderecki, Hart," was part of a strong Milton and Music thread, which culminated in a choral concert of works inspired by Milton's poetry and works composed by his father, John Milton the Elder.
Last spring, Kwakiutl Dreher presented her team's feature film, The Bell Affair, at the following venues: the Old Greenbelt Theatre in Greenbelt, MD; the Golden State Film Festival in Hollywood, CA; the College Language Association Conference in Atlanta, GA; and West Chester University, West Chester, PA. At West Chester U, in addition to the screening, Kwakiutl presented "From the Director's Chair: The Making of The Bell Affair" to students and interested faculty.
Timothy J. Cook, Lecturer in English, delivered a paper at the American Literature Association’s 34th Annual Conference in Boston, MA, on May 27, 2023. As a part of the panel "Olson Adrift: The Reach of Black Mountain Poetry," he shared his work "Post-Black Mountain Stirrings: Charles Olson in Buffalo 1963-65." Cook also traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland, to deliver a paper at the 30th Ezra Pound International Conference, which took place at the University of Edinburgh on June 28, 2023. As part of the panel "Paradigm Shifts and 'The Cantos': Mauberley and Noh," he shared his work, "Modernizing Western Epic: Yeats, Pound, and H.D." Additionally, just before traveling to the UK, Cook completed a Walter A. Brumm Special Collections Research Fellowship at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.
Amy Goodburn was invited to present at the Department of Education's "Raise the Bar" Summit, hosted by Secretary Miguel Cardona in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2023. She presented in the session "Measuring What Matters for Improving Student Success." Goodburn was also an invited speaker for the Promoting At-Promise Student Success (PASS) Summit hosted by the University of Southern California's Pullias Center for Higher Education in Los Angeles, CA, on May 3, 2023.
Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri presented at the British Association for Victorian Studies 2023 conference, University of Surrey, UK. "Recovering the Histories of Land Treaties in Eastern & Southern Africa" is based on an ongoing collaboration with Professor Adrian Wisnicki. This project is creating a prototype online exhibition of colonial land treaties from Botswana and Kenya. It is supported by the CDRH and funded through an ACLS Digital Justice Seed Grant.
Activities, Accolades, & Grants
On August 27, Marco Abel and Kwame Dawes had a post-screening conversation at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center about Sheila Nortley's short film Moon Over Aburi (2023), which is based on Kwame's short story of the same name (included in Akashic Books' Accra Noir collection) and his own adapted screenplay. Thanks to Rezina Habtemariam for organizing this successful event.
Rachel Azima was elected to serve a two-year term as Secretary of the International Writing Centers Association.
Steve Buhler, after decades as dramaturg for Flatwater Shakespeare Company, made his debut as a director with the company for The Winter's Tale—a play that had not been previously produced by FSC. The play ran, with actors and audiences defying a lengthy heat wave, at Wyuka Stables from August 25 to September 3. The cast included UNL alum Richard Nielsen (Ph.D. in English, 1991), who for many years was a lecturer in our department.
The Charles W. Chesnutt Archive, co-directed by Matt Cohen, Ken Price, and Stephanie Browner, has been awarded a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission to pursue work on Chesnutt's life in Cleveland, OH. This one-year, $159,792 award will support both relationship building and programming with Cleveland-area institutions, such as the Western Reserve Historical Society and the African American Archives Auxiliary, and the continued digital preservation of Chesnutt's correspondence. The full list of spring NHPRC awards can be found here.
Kwakiutl Dreher received the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA), presented to her at the College's Awards Ceremony in August 2023.
Katie Marya's essay "Impression Techniques: Spending Time with the Two Women Behind La Impresora in Puerto Rico" will appear in Chicago Review's forthcoming special issue on small presses. Her poetry collection Sugar Work was also a finalist for the 2023 Julie Suk Award and the Society of Midland Author's Award.
Ken Price reports that The Walt Whitman Archive has been awarded a $300,000 grant from NEH to edit Whitman's late-life writings. Their work will feature two experimental mixtures of prose and verse from Whitman’s late-life period, November Boughs (1888) and Good-Bye My Fancy (1891), along with approximately 315 manuscripts that contributed to their genetic development. The Archive’s previous work will assist the team in annotating, contextualizing, and interlinking the manuscript material and two volumes that gave expression to the poet’s final phase of life. These documents were the culmination of Whitman’s decades-long effort "to put a Person, a human being (myself, in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, in America,) freely, fully and truly on record." In his late-life phase, the poet of the body had become the poet of the aging body, and the poet of "perfect health" had become the poet of disability. Through Whitman we encounter aging and disability without illusions, without apology, without embarrassment.
Kathrine Schwartman's short story "Retrieval" was a finalist in the F(r)iction Fall 2022 Literary Contest.