Monday, September 29, 2008

Third Coast Reading Series Launches Oct.2, 2008

Third Coast will lauch it's reading series 7:15 pm, Thursday, Oct. 2, at Dino's Coffee Lounge. Joe Gross, Chris Carter and Chad Sweeney, dangerous outlaws of Fiction and Poetry, will read. Their host is Melinda Moustakis.

Dino's Coffee Lounge is located at 773 W. Michigan Ave. (Stadium Drive), Corner of Stadium and Academy. Parking is available on Academy Street.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thralls Essay Collection Receives Award

Charie Thralls's recently published (2007) collection of essays, Communicative Practices in Workplaces and the Professions: Cultural Perspectives on the Regulation of Discourse in Organizations (coedited with Mark Zachry, University of Washington), just received a prestigious research award. The award is from the National Council of Teachers of English for the 2008 Best Original Collection of Essays in Technical and Scientific Communication. The collection investigates how discourse is regulated and how it regulates when human activity is organized for such purposes as work or belonging to a profession. The workplaces or professional sites used as illustrations in the collection are diverse, covering such organizations as an Internet start-up company, an international energy company, an urban hospital, a university, and a telecommunications corporation. The studies draw upon such prominent thinkers as Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Bruno Latour, Gayatri Spivak, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Kenneth Burke.

Steve Feffer to Present on Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Midwest Popular Culture Association and American Culture Conference

Proud papa Steve Feffer is not quite ready for the minivan yet. Friday, October 3rd in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Midwest Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Conference, Steve will present on the self-proclaimed "glam-punk musical" Hedwig and the Angry Inch as part of a panel on the erotic and performance for the conference's "subculture" focus group. Steve will be part of a panel of writers and scholars that have published in recent issues of The Journal of Popular Music Studies (his essay "'Despite All the Amputations, You Could Dance to the Rock and Roll Station': Staging Authenticity in Hedwig and the Angry Inch appeared in Volume 19, Number 3, 2007). Botched sex-change operations, the erotic and subcultures, and Cincinnati... Little Gabriel Dylan Feffer must be bursting with pride for the old man.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Apply for a Third Coast Internship

Email a cover letter and writing sample (creative or otherwise) to the editor, Daniel Toronto at with the subject line “Third Coast Internship Application.” The writing sample should be between five and ten pages. Samples should follow common formatting conventions for the genre. (Go to if you need guidance on formatting.) The cover letter should discuss any publishing (or related) experience the student has, his or her reasons for applying for the internship, and which of the internships he or she is most interested it. The available positions are:

Fiction Intern
Poetry Intern
Nonfiction Intern
Reviews Intern

The cover letter, writing sample, and optional resume should be sent as attachments in Word, RTF, or PDF. The application deadline is September 22. Only WMU undergraduate students may apply.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nash Honored as Distinguished Alumna

Ilana Nash is the recipient of a Distinguished Alumna Award from the American Culture Studies Program at Bowling Green State University. BGSU's American Culture Studies PhD program was established in 1978, drawing on existing resources from English, History, Sociology, Communications, and Popular Culture departments and attracting students from across the US and world. Today the ACS program is the flagship program for interdisciplinary study in the humanities and social sciences at BGSU and a leading innovator in the cultural studies field nationally.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Africana Studies Conference

Conference on Religion & Religious Identities in Africa and the African Diaspora

October 9-12, 2008

Religious beliefs and identities have among other things shaped the nature of human experience in Africa and the African Diaspora. It is also a known fact that religious beliefs and identities have influenced human behavior in both religious and non-religious ways in different societies. These influences have included positive and negative consequences in the ordering of society in Africa and the African Diaspora. Another critical aspect in trying to explore the concept of religion is what constitutes religion and religious beliefs? To date, scholars of religion have divergent views on this issue. To what extent is this applicable to Africans and peoples of African descent? What roles have religion and religious identities played in nation-building efforts in Africa and the African Diaspora? This conference will explore these and other related issues. In addition, participants are invited to explore other topics such as, but not limited to the following: Religion, gender and sexuality issues. For the complete conference program, please see:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saillant Speaks on Constitution Day

On September 17, 1-2:30pm (10th floor, Sprau Tower), in recognition of Constitution Day, the English Department's John Saillant and History's Lee Kirk will speak on: "Why Ratification, 1788 and 2008?"
The presenters will discuss the reasons and the process for ratification of the United States Constitution and will comment on current efforts to revise the Michigan Constitution.

Monday, September 15, 2008

TA Positions in Prague Summer Program 2009

MFA and PhD students desiring to serve in July, 2009, as teaching assistants in the Prague Summer Program should send Richard Katrovas the following information:
In the subject slot of an e-mail addressed to Professor Katrovas ( write your full name followed by MFA or PhD, depending upon which degree you're seeking. Then, in the body of the e-mail, write three or four sentences explaining why you want to serve the PSP.
TAs do not pay for the program, but do pay for housing and transportation. Many of our TAs have received financial assistance with their airfares. One may earn up to seven hours of credit attending the Program.
TAs serve an essential role in the Prague Summer Program. Margaret von Steinen, the PSP coordinator, and I will explain TAs' duties at an orientation meeting later this month or early in October.
There will be three fiction TAs, two poetry, one creative nonfiction, one playwriting/screenwriting, and one multi-genre. One, possibly two non-creative-writing TAships will also be available.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MCACA Grant Awarded to New Issues will Support the Publication of Michigan Poetry

New Issues Poetry & Prose has been awarded a $9,000 grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs to support the publication of three new titles in the Inland Seas Poetry Series. The three titles, each by poets who currently live in Michigan or who have strong Michigan connections, will be published in 2008-09.

* Talking Diamonds, a new book of poetry by former Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan: Linda Nemec Foster.
* Beauty Breaks In, a fourth collection of poetry by Mary Ann Samyn, author of two other Inland Seas titles: Inside the Yellow Dress and Purr.
* Hilarity, a third book of poems by Detroit-native Patty Seyburn, and winner of our 2008 Green Rose Prize in Poetry.

"It seems like Michigan really takes care of its own writers," was a comment we received at a conference once, and yes, New Issues believes in supporting one of Michigan’s most precious natural resources. To date, the publication of over fifty books has been supported by MCACA as part of our Inland Seas Series.

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs serves to encourage, develop and facilitate an enriched environment of artistic, creative, cultural activity in Michigan.

English Department Speakers Series

The following events will take place as part of the Department's Speakers Series in Fall 2008:

September 18, 2008--keynote: Jon Adams, Department of English, WMU: "AWOL Masculinity in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22." [2028 Brown Hall]

October 9, 2008--Mary Crane, Department of English, Boston College: "Roman World, Egyptian Earth: Cognitive Difference and Empire in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra." Co-sponsor: Comparative Drama

October 30, 2008--Jimmie Killingsworth, Department of English, Texas A&M University: "Whitman and the Nature Writers: Looking for the Soul in a Disenchanted Land." Co-sponsors: the WMU Environmental Studies Program and the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Frostic Reading Dates

The dates for the Frostic Reading Series this semester are the following:

September 25, 2008: Don Lee
October 9, 2008: Steve Orlen
October 21, 2008: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and Salvatore Scibona
October 28, 2008: Arnost Lustig
November 13, 2008: Erik Ramsey
December 11, 2008: Lisa Fishman and Daneen Wardrop

All readings will be held in the Little Theater, 8PM.

Forum: What is a Difficult Text?

On Friday, September 26, 1pm-4pm, the English Department invites all faculty and graduate students to a Forum on the question: "What is a Difficult Text?" This is one of the core issues we all deal with, and thus an issue that unites all of us whether we work in English Education, Creative Writing, Literature and Language Study, and/or Rhetoric and Writing Study. Panel participants to start us off thinking about this question will include:

Adams on AWOL Masculinity

The English Department's 2008-09 Scholarly Speakers Series will begin next week with our Fall keynote talk, by our own Professor Jon Adams. In his presentation, entitled "AWOL Masculinity in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22," Jon will introduce and answer questions about his just-published book Male Armor: The Soldier-Hero in Contemporary American Culture (University of Virginia Press, 2008).

This event will be held on Thursday, September 18, in Brown 2028, at 7 PM.

For the entire 2008-09 schedule of the Scholarly Speakers Series, please go to

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Steve Feffer Selected as Vice-Chairperson of Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival's New Play Program Region Three

Steve Feffer has been selected to serve as the vice-chairperson of the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival's New Play Program (KC/ACTF) for Region Three (Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana). KC/ACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.

The KC/ACTF New Play Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate playwrights to present their work in readings, workshops and full productions at their universities or in regional and national festivals.

As vice-chair, Steve will travel the region responding to new student plays, contribute to the organization and content of the regional festival (this year in Saginaw Michigan), and mentor student playwrights.

"The Gay American" at Whole Art Late Night Sept. 12 and 13, 19 and 20

Ph.d. playwriting student Kristian O'Hare's play THE GAY AMERICAN will have its premiere full production this weekend and next at the Whole Art Theatre's 246 North Kalamazoo Mall space at 11 PM.

O'Hare's play tells the story of former New Jersey governor, James McGreevey, who on August 12, 2004 committed what many called political suicide when he came out of the closet as a homosexual man. Soon after, he resigned when an extramarital affair with a male state employee surfaced. In THE GAY AMERICAN, O’Hare puts his own darkly comic spin on what happened and how he sees McGreevey’s life and scandal unfolding.

The play was first presented as a staged reading at WMU as part of Western's collaboration with Theatre Kalamazoo.

Tickets are five dollars and include all the donuts you can eat and coffee you can drink.

Witschi Reviews Scholarship on Late 19th-Century American Literature

Nic Witschi recently authored the essay on "Late-19th-Century Literature" in the annual edition of the prestigious American Literary Scholarship, a selective annual review of the voluminous research in the field edited by David J. Nordloh for Duke University Press.

Monday, September 8, 2008

CFP: Michigan College English Association

Call for Papers: MCEA Conference on Friday, October 10, 2008

Theme: Argument, Evidence, and Intuition
Featured Speaker: Award-Winning Poet Judith Minty
Location: Baker College in Auburn Hills

The Michigan College English Association invites proposals for individual papers and for complete or open panels for our Fall 2008 meeting. We welcome proposals from experienced academics as well as from young scholars and graduate students. We encourage a variety of papers, including pedagogical and scholarly essays. We also welcome poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction from creative writers. We will award a $25 prize for the best scholarly paper and for the best creative writing by a graduate student.
Although we are calling for papers and panels that reflect the conference theme, we also welcome proposals in the variety of areas English and Writing departments encompass: composition and rhetoric; computers and writing; creative writing; critical pedagogy; critical studies in the teaching of English; cultural studies; film studies; developmental education; English as a second language; linguistics; literary studies; multicultural literature; on-line English courses and the virtual university; popular culture; race, class, and gender studies; progressive education; reading and writing across the curriculum; student demographics; student/instructor accountability and assessment; student placement; study skills; technical writing. For complete information, please go to:

Proposals are due by September 15, 2008. Early submissions are welcome. Please submit proposals to Janet Heller and Anne G. Berggren, Program Chairs, via email or snail mail: or Janet Heller, English Dept., Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI 49008; or Anne G. Berggren, 1420 Golden Avenue, Ann Arbor MI 48104. Please specify your needs for audio-visual equipment and the best time of day for your presentation.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Indianthusiasm Lecture on Th, Sept. 11, 7pm

On Thursday, September 11, 7 pm, Professor Karsten Fitz of Passau University, Germany, will deliver a public lecture hosted by our department (2028 Brown Hall) on "German 'Indianthusiasm' Reconsidered: The 'Noble Savage' in the German Cultural Imagination." While Native Americans are historically the original people of North America and the imagined “Indian” a product of the popular American imagination (e.g., frontier romances, dime novels, Hollywood westerns), the fascination with – and appropriation of – “the Indian” swept over to Europe early on. Beginning with the letters of Christopher Columbus, Europeans fabricated their own images of “Indians,” most influentially maybe that of the “noble savage” à la Rousseau. In Germany, there has been a long tradition of Indianertümelei, a term translated by Hartmut Lutz as German “Indianthusiasm,” most prominently reflected in the novels written by Karl May. Focusing on visual representations, this talk will trace popular German constructions of the West and “the Indian” from the mid-19th century to their culmination in the screen adaptations of the Karl May novels and the so-called Indianerfilme produced by Eastern German Film Academy in the 1960s and 1970s. This tradition of “Indianthusiasm,” it will be argued, influences the ways German audiences “see” Native Americans to this day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nagle on Owenson & Stael

A new article by Chris Nagle, “Traveling Pleasures and Perils of Sensibility,” was recently published in The Wordsworth Circle 39.1-2 (Winter/Spring 2008). The essay explores the converging issues of nationalist politics, cosmopolitanism, and sympathetic attachment in two contemporary blockbusters of the early 19th century, Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl and Mme de Staël’s Corrine; or Italy. Solicited by the journal’s editor, Marilyn Gaull, this short essay offers a “preview” of a more expansive essay that will be published in a forthcoming collection on Theorizing Romanticism later this year.
Edited by Gary L. McDowell and F. Daniel Rzicznek, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to the Prose Poem: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice, will appear in the spring of 2010 from Rose Metal Press. The anthology features personal essays (accompanied by innovative and imaginative prose poems) that offer a vibrant, insider's look at how this vital and increasingly popular form of poetry excites, informs, and inspires its ever-widening audience. Contributors include Gary Young, Denise Duhamel, Mary Ann Samyn, Amy Newman, Kathleen McGookey, Maurice Kilwein Guevara, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, David Keplinger, Jeffrey Skinner, David Shumate, and many others. Rose Metal Press can be found at

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lecture on German 'Indianthusiasm'

On Thursday, September 11, 7 pm, Professor Karsten Fitz of Passau University, Germany, will deliver a public lecture hosted by our department (2028 Brown Hall) on "German 'Indianthusiasm' Reconsidered: The 'Noble Savage' in the German Cultural Imagination." Students, staff, faculty, and community members are invited.

P.S.: Some of you may remember Karsten Fitz because he lectured here before in 2002, speaking on "‘Canonizing’ Native American Literature: Integrating Native American Writing into the Survey of American Literature."