Monday, September 29, 2014

STEAM Working Group

Announcement from the WMU Center for the Humanities STEAM Interdisciplinary Working Group
Fall 2014

During the Fall 2014 semester, the Western Michigan University Center for the
Humanities will host a series of discussions on the integration of the humanities and arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and research at Western Michigan University. Moderated by Dr. Maria Gigante (English), Dr. Steve Malcolm (Biological Sciences), Dr. Jocelyn Steinke (Communication), and Dr. Gwen Tarbox (English), this interdisciplinary working group will facilitate discussion among graduate students, staff and faculty related to a number of STEM to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) initiatives, including:

    developing or redesigning interdisciplinary courses according to STEAM

    promoting educational and professional opportunities in STEAM for

    broadening participation of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM through STEAM transformations;

    discussing and disseminating tools and techniques from the Arts to enhance
the effective communication and understanding of STEM topics; and, 

    showing how an understanding of STEAM enhances life-­‐long learning in a
world full of complex technologies.

The STEAM interdisciplinary working group will meet 4 times during the semester to assess opportunities for developing STEAM projects at WMU and to provide recommendations for supporting these efforts.

Session 1: Practical Applications of STEAM for Instructors and Students
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 1:002:30 pm
3025 Brown Hall

At our first meeting, participants will discuss selected readings on STEAM and explore the STEAM initiatives that are already underway at WMU. During the second half of the session, participants will engage in a brainstorming session to generate potential interdisciplinary STEAM projects (educational and research) and strategies for integrating writing and argumentation into the science classroom.

Session 2: “Science on the Campaign Trail: Climate Change in the Clements-­‐ Upton Congressional Race”
A Speech and Q&A with Paul Clements, WMU Political Science Professor
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
University Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall

WMU professor Paul Clements will discuss the interconnectedness of humanities and STEM fields as he recounts the way that he has used rhetorical practices to convert economic theory and environmental science into information that he can use to communicate to area residents as he runs for the US Congress for the MI Sixth District.

Session 3: STEAM Funding Opportunities
October 28, 2014, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
University Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall

The working group will discuss funding for STEAM initiatives at WMU. Guests from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s office will provide participants with information on external and internal funding related to STEAM projects.

Session 4: STEAM Initiatives at WMU in 2015
Tuesday, November 11, 1:00-­‐2:30 pm
University Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall

For its final session the STEAM interdisciplinary working group discuss suggestions for STEAM initiatives that could be implemented in 2015. The group will also determine whether it should continue to meet during the Spring 2015 semester.
Faculty, staff, and graduate students are welcome to attend and participate. Questions and RSVP: As part of your message,
please indicate which session(s) you wish to attend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Issues Poet Khaled Mattawa Named 2014 MacArthur Fellow

  Congratulations, Khaled Mattawa!

From PBS: MacArthur Foundation Announces 21 New Geniuses

The 2014 MacArthur Fellows

From the LA Times:
"The poet, translator and University of Michigan professor won admiration from the MacArthur Foundation for 'rendering the beauty and meaning of contemporary Arab poetry to an English reader and highlighting the invaluable role of literary translation in bridging cultural divides.'"

Khaled Mattawa's most recent collection of original poetry, Tocqueville, was published by New Issues Poetry & Prose (2010).


The trick is that you're willing to help them.
The rule is to sound like you’re doing them a favor.

The rule is to create a commission system.
The trick is to get their number.

The trick is to make it personal:
No one in the world suffers like you.

The trick is that you’re providing a service.
The rule is to keep the conversation going.

The rule is their parents were foolish,
their children are greedy or insane.

The rule is to make them feel they've come too late.
The trick is that you're willing to make exceptions.

The rule is to assume their parents abused them.
The trick is to sound like the one teacher they loved.

And when they say "too much,"
give them a plan.

And when they say "anger" or "rage" or "love,"
say "give me an example."

The rule is everyone is a gypsy now.
Everyone is searching for his tribe.

The rule is you don't care if they ever find it.
The trick is that they feel they can.

Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya in 1964 and immigrated to the U.S. in his teens. He is the author of three previous books of poetry, Ismailia Eclipse (Sheep Meadow, 1995), Zodiac of Echoes (Ausable, 2003), and Amorisco (Ausable, 2008). Mattawa has translated eight volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry and co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature. He is currently a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poetry, and has received a Guggenheim fellowship, an NEA translation grant, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the PEN American Center Poetry Translation Prize, and three Pushcart Prizes. Mattawa teaches in the MFA (Creative Writing) Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

2015 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference (Newberry Library, Chicago/Deadline: Oct.15)

2015 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

Renaissance Graduate Programs
Thursday, January 22, 2015 to Saturday, January 24, 2015
CFP deadline: October 15

The Center for Renaissance Studies’ annual graduate student conference, organized and run by advanced doctoral students, has become a premier opportunity for emerging scholars to present papers, participate in discussions, and develop collaborations across the field of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern studies.

Participants from a wide variety of disciplines find a supportive and collegial forum for their work, meet future colleagues from other institutions and disciplines, and become familiar with the Newberry Library and its resources.

This year’s conference will comprise twenty-four sessions with three twenty-minute papers each, for a total of seventy-two presenters.

Each year since 2007, selected papers have been published in a peer-edited online conference proceedings.

Call for Papers

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers from master’s or PhD students from any discipline on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic in Europe, the Americas, or the Mediterranean world. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, anthropology, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, political science, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies. Because of the conference’s multidisciplinary nature, all papers must be in English.

Eligibility: Proposals are accepted only from students at member institutions of the Center for Renaissance Studies consortium. Students who presented a paper at the previous year’s conference are given lower priority, though they are still eligible to submit a proposal.

Proposals must be submitted online, by midnight CDT Wednesday, October 15. Complete this online submission form. The organizing committee will meet November 2 to select presenters to invite; we will notify everyone who submits an abstract of their decisions within a week of that meeting.

Download a PDF Call for Papers flyer to post and distribute.

Conference organizers

Eight advanced graduate students from consortium schools will organize the conference and chair sessions. Selection is currently under way; more names will be added in the coming weeks.

Caroline Carpenter, English, Claremont Graduate University
Patrick McGrath, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sarah Morris, English, Miami University
James Seth, English, Oklahoma State University
Amanda Taylor, English, University of Minnesota

Preliminary schedule

Thursday January 22
1:30-3: Concurrent sessions 1 through 4
3-3:30: Coffee break
3:30-5: Plenary session
5-6:30: Opening reception

Friday, January 23
9: Coffee and continental breakfast
9:30-11: Concurrent sessions 5 through 8
11-11:30: Coffee break
11:30-1: Concurrent sessions 9 through 12
1-2:30: Lunch break
2:30-4: Concurrent sessions 13 through 16

Saturday, January 24
9: Coffee and continental breakfast
9:30-11: Concurrent sessions 17 through 20
11-11:30: Coffee break
11:30-1: Concurrent sessions 21 through 24
1:30: Organizer’s luncheon/editorial meeting

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines and some may limit eligibility to certain colleges or departments. Be sure to contact your Representative Council member in advance, as early as possible, for details.

Cost and registration information:
Online conference registration will open in December 2014.

The early conference registration fee will be $30 for students from consortium member universities and their guests and $40 for those from other institutions. Late registration (after January 10) will be $45 and $55, respectively.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2015-16 Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship

Scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the doctorate are invited to apply for the 2015-16 Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship, a year-long residential fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society. The purpose of the post-dissertation fellowship is to provide the recipient with time and resources to extend research and/or to revise the dissertation for publication. Any topic relevant to the Society's library collections and programmatic scope, and coming from any field or disciplinary background, is eligible. AAS collections focus on all aspects of American history, literature, and culture from contact through 1876, and provide rich source material for projects across the spectrum of early American studies.

The Society welcomes applications from those who have advance book contracts, as well as those who have not yet made contact with a publisher. The twelve-month stipend for this fellowship is $35,000; the fellowship also includes reimbursement of up to $4,000 to cover health insurance costs. The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow will be selected on the basis of the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the appropriateness of the project to the Society's collections and interests, and, above all, the likelihood that the revised dissertation will make a highly significant book.

Further information about the fellowship, along with application materials, is available on the AAS website, at Any questions about the fellowship may be directed to Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at AAS, at

The deadline for applications for a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship to be held during the 2015-2016 academic year is October 15, 2014.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Anthony Ellis Scholarly Speakers Series, 2014-2015

We are pleased to announce next year's slate of speakers who will visit WMU during the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters as part of the English Department's Anthony Ellis Scholarly Speakers Series. We are fortunate to have an especially exciting group of internationally recognized scholars representing a wide array of interests and expertise, some of whom will surely be familiar names to many of you:

Valerie Traub, the Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, who will be next year's Comparative Drama Distinguished Lecturer;

Patrick Brantlinger, James Rudy Professor of English (Emeritus) at Indiana University;

David Gerstner, Professor of Cinema Studies at CUNY Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island; and

Bill Hart-Davidson, Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures, and associate dean of the graduate college at Michigan State.

Our own Brian Gogan will deliver the Spring Keynote Lecture.

Stay tuned for more details on dates, times, and topics!