Friday, February 27, 2009

Fascinating breakthroughs in Reading Research!

Hear WMU Visiting Scholar Dr. Karen Feathers of Wayne State U. Two presentations Thursday, March 19, 2009:
  • Understanding How Readers See Texts: Supporting Student Achievement; 9:30-10:45 a.m., Room 208, Bernhard Center
  • The Texts Diverse Readers Need for Success: Compelling Evidence from Eye Movement Research 6:00-7:30 p.m., Putney Lecture Hall, Fetzer Center
For further information: Co-coordinators of this event are Esther Gray ( and Susan Piazza (, WMU Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Conference Announcement

Comparative Early Modernities: 1100-1800
Hussey Room
Michigan League
University of Michigan
April 17-18, 2009

Featuring conversations among twelve leading scholars of early modern Asia, Europe, and South America, this interdisciplinary conference will showcase novel comparative perspectives in the fields of literary, social, art, and economic history and re-examine the theoretical and methodological premises of comparative historical studies.


Gregory Blue (University of Victoria), "The Rise and Fall of Enlightenment Sinophilia: Did Political Economy Lead the Way?"

Claudia Brosseder (University of Heidelberg), "Magic in Comparative Perspective: Early Modern Europe and Colonial Latin America"

Katherine Carlitz (University of Pittsburgh), "Pornography, Chastity, and 'Early Modernity' in China, England, and France"

Luke Clossey (Simon Fraser University), "Did Aurangzeb Write Tom Jones? Eurocentrism and Writing the Early Modern World"

Walter Cohen (Cornell University), "Out of India: Global Early Modernity"

Jack Goldstone (George Mason University), "Cultural Trajectories: The Power of the Traditional within the Early Modern"

Su Fang Ng (University of Oklahoma), "Dutch Wars, Global Trade, and the Heroic Poem: Dryden's 'Annus Mirabilis' (1666) and Amin's 'Syair Perang Mengkasar' (1670)"

Kenneth Pomeranz (UC Irvine), "Areas, Networks, and the Search for 'Early Modern' East Asia"

Ayesha Ramachandran (SUNY Stony Brook), "A War of Worlds: Becoming 'Early Modern' and the Challenge of Comparison"

Richard Vinograd (Stanford University), "Accommodating Incompatibilities in Early Visual Modernity"

Ann Waltner (University of Minnesota), "Comparing Family Histories in the Early Modern Period: The View from China"

R. Bin Wong (UC Los Angeles), "Did China's Late Empire have an Early Modern Era?"

Seating at this event will be limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended.
UM Faculty and Students - Send an email to to register.
Visitors - Register online at:
For further details about this event, including information on hotels and transportation, please visit, email, or call 734-647-4893.
This conference is sponsored by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan.

CFP: The Hilltop Review

The Hilltop Review has been inactive for well over a year and it is time we revitalize this excellent publication opportunity for all graduate students of WMU . I am proud to say that the GSAC has a new team of fellow graduate students committed to making the Hilltop Review better than ever! I am sharing this information with you to ask that you empower and encourage students in your department to consider submitting their work for publication in this peer-reviewed journal. This is an amazing opportunity for students with little or no experience publishing and also for those with a bit more experience. To kick everything off we will be publishing a SPECIAL WELCOME BACK Hilltop Review Edition for anyone who previously submitted a paper or creative work and received acceptance but did not see their work published. If you know of any students who meet this critera please have them contact the GSAC for re-submission. We are requesting that proposals be re-submitted no later than MARCH 18th! The committee will review their work and the on-line version of the SPECIAL EDITION Hilltop Review will be available by late May 2009! This is a very exciting time and we welcome your support! For students in your department who have not considered the Hilltop Review please encourage them to get ready early for our fall edition! The deadline for fall call for proposals will be Sep. 18, 2009. This allows plenty of time to get work together and ready to be shared with the WMU community and beyond. If anyone has any questions or thoughts please feel free to give me a call or send me an email.

Brandi Pritchett
Chairperson - Graduate Student Advisory Committee

The Sins of Kalamazoo

Recent Ph.D. graduate Christine Iaderosa's play The Sins of Kalamazoo opens March 5th at the Whole Art Studio at 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall and will run March 5, 6, 7, 13, & 14 at 8 pm. Tickets are $10. Directed by Kevin Dodd. Ticket information can be found at wholeart. org, or by calling 345-7529.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Heller on Mamet on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., Janet Heller will be presenting a talk entitled "David Mamet's Trivialization of Feminism and Sexual Harassment in Oleanna." The place is the Bernhard Center, Room 204. The talk will include showing parts of the movie version of the play Oleanna.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Report from the AWP Bookfair

WMU's Creative Writing Program, New Issues Press, the Prague Summer Program, and Third Coast made the trip to Chicago this February to exhibit in the bookfair of the annual conference for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). The 2009 conference was attended by roughly 8,500 writers, poets, publishers, and creative writing professors.

Western Michigan University was represented by four tables staffed by faculty, staff, and students. New Issues displayed their books and held signings by recently published authors at their table. Third Coast displayed their new issue, sold subscriptions, and encouraged writers to submit. Margaret von Steinen nearly went hoarse from speaking to all the former and prospective students who stopped by the PSP table in the book fair.

At the tribute to Herb Scott, WMU alumni Beth Martinelli, James D'Agostino, Matta Sama, and Gladys Cardiff joined Shirley Clay Scott and New Issues poet Malena Morling in honoring the late poet and creative writing professor.

Friends of Polish Art short story competition

Are you a closet writer? Always wanted to see your name and creation in print? Here’s your chance. Friends of Polish Arts (FPA) is proud to announce the 2008-2009 Short Story Competition. The competition is open to all Michigan residents of Polish descent who are at least 18 years old. Entrants may submit up to two short stories on any subject they wish. Entries are limited to 1500 words and must be the original work of the author that has never been published or won an award in any other competition. The entry fee is $10.00 per person. Deadline for entries is March 6, 2009. Besides cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention, winners will have their stories published in the Friends of Polish Arts Newsletter. The first place winner will also be published in The American Council for Polish Culture Heritage. Entry forms and rules are available at the Friends of Polish Arts website, or by contacting Janet Ann Hedin at, 248-546-8004.

Vocke Reviews "Rural Literacies"

Karen Vocke just published her review of Kim Donehower, Charlotte Hogg, and Eileen E. Schell: Rural Literacies (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007), in Prolepsis.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Joslin and Wardrop win Coby Foundation Grant

Daneen Wardrop and Katherine Joslin are recipients of a Coby Foundation grant of $20,000 to fund art images in their upcoming books, Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing and Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion (University Press of New England).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Graff/Birkenstein engender lively debate

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein (U of Illinois at Chicago) visited WMU as part of the English Department's "Speakers Series." Their presentation, “Writing Templates for Non-Robots,” and teaching workshop, "Teaching the 'Naysayer Move' and Other Counterintuitive Academic Practices," on February 12 and 13, engendered a lively debate among attending students and faculty as to the teaching of academic writing. Pix show both scholars during their visit and in discussion with their audiences.

Third Coast Reading this Friday, Feb.20

There's a Third Coast Reading this Friday, Feb.20 at 6:45 pm, at The Strutt/Dino's Coffee Lounge, 773 W Michigan Ave (otherwise known as the corner of Stadium and Academy, parking on Academy). Fiction by Rachel Swearingen, fiction by Marcus Johnson, and poetry by Kory Shrum. So come, drink some coffee....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Heller among finalists for Oregon Picture Book Award

Janet Heller's fiction picture book for children, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Sylvan Dell, 2006), is one of five finalists for the Oregon Reading Association's Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award. "A committee of ORA leaders, school librarians, public librarians, teachers, and school administrators review and select the books. The books must be readily available in paperback, be no more than five years old, hold an innate appeal to children, and have quality text and illustrations." Oregon school children of all ages can vote on the five books between September, 2008, and April, 2009. Votes must be reported by May 1, 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hicok reads at K College

The Kalamazoo College English Department is pleased to announce a poetry reading by Bob Hicok on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7 P.M., in the Olmsted Room of Mandelle Hall. Bob Hicok's fifth book of poems, This Clumsy Living, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2007 and was awarded the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress. His other books include Insomnia Diary (Pitt, 2004); Animal Soul (Invisible Cities Press, 2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Plus Shipping (BOA Editions, 1998); and The Legend of Light (University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), which received the 1995 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and was named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year. A recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, his poetry has been selected for inclusion in five volumes of Best American Poetry, including the forthcoming 2009 edition. His poems have initially appeared in such magazines and journals as The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Georgia Review. Hicok, a former automotive die designer, teaches creative writing as an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Democratizing Higher Ed

Dr. Joe Berry, an noted opponent to a two-tiered faculty system, will speak at WMU tonight. Berry is the author of the book _Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education_. He will speak on "Democratizing Higher Education Against a Two-tiered Faculty" from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium. For more info:

Digital Publishing

See this Chronicle article for trends in publishing. BTW: the lady on the painting is holding a "kindle" device, right?

Friday, February 6, 2009

WSA to hold events

This in from Jenny Steiner, WSA:

"As a student government, we want as many students and faculty to know student's concerns on campus. To address these concerns, we will be holding an open forum with President Dunn on Wednesday, February 18th at 6:30 PM in room 157 of the Bernhard Center. Please encourage your faculty to announce this event to their students, and to address concerns they may have about WMU.
Secondly, we will be hosting a speaker by the name of Firoozeh Dumas. She is the best selling author of Funny in Farsi; A memoir of Growing up Iranian in America. Dumas’s novel Funny in Farsi was on the best sellers list for both the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angles Times. The book was a finalist for PEN/USA award in 2004 and in 2005 for an Audie award for best audio book. Today her book is recognized on the recommended reading list for California schools grades 6-12. Her book is known nationally in junior high, high schools, and universities. Her commentaries have been broadcast on NPR and published in the New York Times, Los Angles Times, and Lifetime Magazine. Duma’s latest memoir is entitled, Laughing Without an Accent which she based off a one-women show she wrote and
performed in California. For the past five years Dumas has been traveling the country speaking about diversity. She takes a humorous approach in reminding everyone that commonalities among one another outweigh differences. The event will take place on February 26 from 6-9 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Bernhard Center. All are welcome to attend the event and appetizers are provided. The agenda for the event will include a speech, question/ answer time, and possibly a book signing in conclusion of the program."

LBGT Awareness Week

Feb. 9-13, 2009

Check out these exciting opportunities from the Office of LBGT Student Services at WMU!

  • Tuesday,Feb. 10th– noon-2 p.m. Level I, BC Room 159
  • Tuesday,Feb. 10th– 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Level II, BC Room 159
  • Wednesday, Feb. 11th– 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Level I, BC Room 107
  • Wednesday, Feb. 11th– 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Level II BC Room 107
  • Thursday,Feb. 12th– noon-2 p.m., Level II, BC Room 159

Registration Required for all trainings. Trainings with no registered participants will be cancelled. Register online at
Gregory Sumner
National Gay Pilot’s Association

Wednesday, Feb. 11th, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Bernhard Center Room 210

Join the Office of LBGT Student Services & The WMU College of Aviation for a presentation from WMU Alum Gregory Sumner, followed by a panel presentation about being “OUT” in the workplace.

Thursday, Feb. 12th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 3504/3506 Faunce Student Services Bldg


Thursday, Feb. 12th, 2p.m.-4p.m., BC Room 159

Learn more about the inclusion of Gender Identity in WMU’s non-discrimination policy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Essay contest: the future of world civilization

This in from Jeffrey Angles, Foreign Languages: "The university is hosting a competition for outstanding student essays about the future of world civilization. There will be monetary prizes for the three top papers from each college. The deadline for submissions is March 31. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences should submit to my mailbox (4th Floor, Sprau Tower).
If you, a friend, or a student, is doing a paper on global issues for a class, I encourage you to consider submitting it to this competition. Possible subjects include addressing poverty, population demographics, epidemics, public health deficiencies, economic turmoil, global economic growth/chaos, societal breakdown, climate change, ecological degradation, depletion of natural resources, political destabilization, linguistic isolation, terrorism and warfare, war and peace, and exploring historic precedent."


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Upcoming Frostic Reading: Khaled Mattawa

Khaled Mattawa - February 19, 8:00 PM, The Little Theater

Khaled Mattawa has an MA in English and an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, where he taught creative writing and won an Academy of American Poets Award. A professor of English and CreativeWriting at California State University, Northridge, he has published poems in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, New England Review,Callaloo, Poetry East, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Black Warrior Review and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. He was awarded the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University for 1995-96. His publications include Ismailia Eclipse: Poems, A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor: Selected Poems, Without an Alphabet, Without a Face: Selected Poems, Zodiac of Echoes, Invitation to a Secret Feast: Selected Poems, and most recently Amorisco.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bush & Wardrop Receive CAS Awards

The awards keep on coming: It is my great pleasure to announce that Daneen Wardrop has been selected to receive a CAS Faculty Achievement Award in Research and Creative Activity. Jonathan Bush has been selected to receive a CAS Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching.
These awards recognize faculty contributions to the research and teaching goals of the College and include a $500 research account to be used for research, creative activity, teaching, or professional development. Recipients will be honored in March during a recognition dinner at the Black Swan. - Please join me in congratulating Daneen and Jonathan!

New Issues Best Seller

Please, the debut collection of poems by Jericho Brown, sold out in less than four months. With another 1,000 copies just delivered from the printer, we can once again fill orders. It appears as if the demand for the book continues to grow. Make sure to catch his reading here at WMU, along with New Issues poet Patty Seyburn, on April 2.

The reviews: - "Brown is particularly adept at exposing the duplicity inherent in both experience and language."
Oranges & Sardines, Spring 2009 - "The title implores, requests, and gratifies. It is a 'please that sounds like music.'"
Mark Doty - "One of the things I admire about this book is how boldly it steps into the difficult double territory of being black and gay, without resorting to any kind of familiar certainties about either."
Corduroy Books - "The thing is, reading this book, you will make noise. You’ll say yes and you’ll maybe hum and you’ll whisper to yourself. ... Seriously. Everybody should be reading Jericho Brown."
Immunization Against Invisibility - "The poems in Jericho Brown's Please hit you right away and make you say, "Wow," make you pause, make you close the book to take a break to recuperate from the blow. Please is a strong book of poems -- strong like a man's fist, strong like love, strong like music."

Read more about Jericho Brown's Please.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Third Coast Reading this Fri. Feb 6 @ Dino's 6:45 pm

There's a Third Coast Reading this Friday, Feb.6 at 6:45 pm, at Dino's Coffee Lounge/The Strutt, 773 W Michigan Ave (otherwise known as the corner of Stadium and Academy, parking on Academy). Poetry by Gary McDowell, poetry by Alison Laurell, and fiction Robert Kirkbride. So come, drink some coffee.... Invite your neighbors and students.