Tuesday, September 29, 2009

English Dept. sponsors lecture on Darwin's reception in England and the U.S.

Lecture Sponsored by the Graduate College

The Early Reception of the "Origin of Species" in England and the United States
Thomas Glick, Boston University

Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 5:00 p.m., Fetzer 1010

In association with the Departments of Biological Sciences, English, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Spanish, the Medieval Institute, and the Society of Sigma Xi

Monday, September 28, 2009

American Literature Scholar to Speak about Charlotte Perkins Gilman

On Thursday, October 1, Professor Cynthia Davis of the University of South Carolina will visit Kalamazoo to participate in the English Department's Scholarly Speakers Series.

The title of Dr. Davis's talk will be "'The World was Home for Me': Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Sentimental Public Sphere." This event, which is co-sponsored by the Department of History, will take place in Brown Hall 3025 at 7 pm.

Dr. Davis's published work includes Bodily and Narrative Forms: The Influence of Medicine on American Literature, 1845-1915 (Stanford UP, 2000) and the co-edited collection Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Contemporaries: Literary and Intellectual Contexts (UP of Alabama, 2004). Her forthcoming book is a biography, Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Living (Stanford UP, 2009). She serves as Undergraduate Director in the University of South Carolina English Department.

Wag's Revue Winter Contests

Dear Writers,

Wag’s Revue invites you to enter its winter contests in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Submissions of electronic writing are also encouraged in any of the above genres. First prize in each category receives $500 and publication in Wag’s Revue issue 4, and all submissions are considered for publication. There is no limit to the number of entries an author may submit. The contest deadline is Nov 30, and winners will be announced Dec 21. The submissions fee is $20.
View our complete submissions guidelines here.
Aspiring to marry the rigors of print with the freedoms of the internet, Wag’s Revue is an online quarterly of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Its previous issues featured George Saunders, Dave Eggers, T.C. Boyle, Stephen Elliot, Brian Evenson, Wells Tower, Daniel Wallace, K. Silem Mohammad, and many others.
Read more at Wag's Revue.
We look forward to reading your work.
Sandra Allen, Dave Eichler, Will Guzzardi, and Will Litton
Editors, Wag’s Revue

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2010 Reading Together Selection Announced

Community selection committee chooses

David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars

Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St., announces the selection of David Guterson’s New York Times best-seller Snow Falling on Cedars for the 2010 Reading Together program.

Reading Together book discussions and a wide variety of special events will take place in March and April of 2010. Author David Guterson will visit Kalamazoo on April 14, 2010, during National Library Week to conclude Reading Together.

About Snow Falling on Cedars

A phenomenal West Coast bestseller, winner of a 1995 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and the 1996 American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award, the enthralling novel Snow Falling on Cedars is at once a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, the story of a doomed love affair, and a stirring meditation on place, prejudice, and justice.

San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man’s guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries—memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo’s wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense—one that leaves us shaken and changed. —Random House

“Haunting.... A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper.” —Los Angeles Times

“Luminous . . . a beautifully assured and full-bodied novel [that] becomes a tender examination of fairness and forgiveness . . . Guterson has fashioned something haunting and true.” —Time Magazine

“Compelling...heartstopping. Finely wrought, flawlessly written.” —The New York Times Book Review

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Con Hilberry Reading this Thursday, 9/24

Conrad Hilberry

September 24, 8:00 PM,WMU Bernhard Center 208
Conrad Hilberry is the author of numerous books, including After Music, Luke Karamazov, The Fingernail of Luck, Player Piano, and Sorting the Smoke. He is a professor emeritus at Kalamazoo College and has been co-editor of Contemporary Michigan Poetry: Poems from the Third Coast.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Issues Title Wins American Book Award

The Before Columbus Foundation is pleased to announce that Please by Jericho Brown has been selected as a winner of the thirtieth annual American Book Awards for 2009.

The authors will be presented with the awards at a ceremony and reception on Sunday, October 11th at the Nuyorican Poets Café, 236 East 3rd St., New York, NY. Authors attending will read selections from their works and a reception will follow the ceremony. This event is open to the public.  For more information, call (510) 642-7321.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term "multicultural" to be not a description of various categories, groups, or "special interests," but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers' award given by other writers.

Please, released in 2008, recently sold through its second printing. A third printing is underway and books will be available again in early October.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jobs for English Majors, Minors, etc.

Connect with federal employees, who will discuss employment options in the federal government.

According to a recent "Where the Jobs Are Report" (www.wherethejobsare.org), federal agencies will be HIRING over 270,000 workers for mission critical occupations by the end of September 2012. Please encourage your students to learn more about these positions during the Federal Career Panel on Sept. 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. held in the Brown and Gold room of the Bernhard Center. This informal panel will give students a chance to have their pressing questions regarding federal jobs and internships answered.
Our panelists will include members of the following agencies: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Social Security Administration. Students should RSVP through BroncoJobs at www.wmich.edu/career to reserve your spot. For questions, feel free to contact Career and Student Employment Services at 269.387.2745.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Utz Coedits Essay Cluster on Eminent Chaucerians

Richard Utz and Peter Schneck are coeditors of Eminent Chaucerians? Early Women Scholars and the History of Reading Chaucer. The essay cluster appeared as a special issue (Supplement 4/2009) of Philologie im Netz, a refereed quarterly specializing in linguistics, literary, and cultural studies.

Table of Content

Richard Utz


Margaret Connolly:

'Dr Furnival and Mother like the same old books': Mary Haweis and the Experience of Reading Chaucer in the Nineteenth Century

Louise D'Arcens:

"She ensample was by good techynge": Hermiene Ulrich and Chaucer under Capricorn

William Snell:

A Woman Medievalist Much Maligned: A Note in Defense of Edith Rickert (1871–1938)

Juliette Dor:

Caroline Spurgeon (1869–1942) and the Institutionalisation of English Studies as a Scholarly Discipline

Riveting ENGL 2000 Blog

ENGL 2000, the experimental course designed to introduce students to the field of English Studies, is well underway. Please feel free to visit the course, which meets on Wednesdays from 12-1:50pm in 2208 Dunbar Hall. If you'd like to learn more about the course, read the syllabus, or see pictures and videos from the classroom, head over to the ENGL 2000 Blog.

Pictured above is the riveting staff: Gwen Tarbox, the instructor of record, and the team coaches (l to r): Helena Witzke, Lizze Foster, Laura Citino, Maria Benson, Staci Stutsman, and Carly Fricano.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Keynote Speech: Geisha, Pop Star, Princess: Japan Miscast?

Keynote Speech at The Symposium on Gender Studies across Languages and Disciplines
September 21, 2009 at 12:00PM in Room 157 Bernhard Center

Dr. Jan Bardsley, Associate Professor at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill will be speaking on the controversial question of "Who can represent Japan?"

This event is granted the support of the 48th Annual Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.
Please direct any questions about the event to Rika Saito, the symposium organizer, at 269-387-3020 / rika.saito@wmich.edu

Thursday, September 10, 2009

CFP 25th Conference on Medievalism

25th International Conference on Medievalism, jointly organized with Modernités médiévales

Transatlantic Dialogues / Speaking of the Middle Ages

University of Groningen (The Netherlands), 8-10 July 2010

Call for papers

Studies in Medievalism, in collaboration with Modernités médiévales, invites session and paper proposals for its annual interdisciplinary conference, July 8-10, 2010. We welcome papers that explore any topic related to the study and teaching of medievalism, and especially those that focus on this year's double theme of “Transatlantic Dialogues / Speaking of the Middle Ages.” The two conference languages will be English and French.

This year’s conference theme is inspired, on the one hand, by its European venue and, on the other, by the legacy of Paul Zumthor, who started his academic career at the University of Groningen in 1948 and whose book Parler du Moyen Age (in English: Speaking of the Middle Ages) is one of the seminal works of academic medievalism. As a Swiss scholar who worked in Europe and later emigrated to North America, Zumthor represents an outstanding example of the transatlantic nature of medievalist studies. While the Middle Ages we refer to today are European, it is North American scholars (in particular) and artists, who have developed new ways of imagining this era in literature, film, music, painting and other media. At the same time, Zumthor’s work reminds us of the importance of theoretical reflection on the concept of the medieval.

A double key-note address, which will itself take the form of a transatlantic dialogue, will be given by Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam) and Richard Utz (Western Michigan University).

Papers, in English or French, might address the following questions and topics (or any other topic relevant to the general theme of medievalism):

  • what can European theory bring to North American medievalist scholarship?
  • how are the European Middle Ages reconceptualized in other national genres and traditions (e.g. American westerns, Japanese anime)
  • whose Middle Ages do we speak of when speaking of the Middle Ages? who defines what is medieval? who “owns” the medieval?
  • varieties of American Gothic (architecture, painting, music)
  • South American medievalisms, from Amadis to Borges, as a reflection on/of Europe
  • medievalism and American feminism / American feminist scholarship
  • medievalism and translation studies (particularly French-English)
  • cultural mediators
  • medievalism and transatlantic travel and/or tourism
  • etc. etc.

Symposium on Gender Studies across Languages and Disciplines

Monday, September 21, 2009, 12:00-5:00 PM
(Open at 11:30AM Reception after 5PM)

Bernhard Center Rm 157, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Symposium on Gender Studies across Languages and Disciplines will be held to promote research presentations on gender to collaborate with different linguistic/cultural backgrounds and the various disciplines of Japanese studies.

Please direct any questions about the event to Rika Saito, the symposium organizer, at 269-387-3020 / rika.saito@wmich.edu

Roundtable on Language Pedagogy: Theory, Practice, Technology

Wednesday, September 23, 2009, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

3025 Brown Hall
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

The roundtable primarily gives the foreign language faculty, graduate assistants, and those who are interested in foreign language studies opportunities to discuss effective practices in foreign language pedagogy. ATIS (Academic Technologies and Instructional Services) representatives also participate in the roundtable, to provide hints of how to use technologies for foreign language pedagogy and course development more effectively.
We have initially a few presenters to talk about issues on gender, pedagogy, foreign language teaching and learning, and move to more free, informal discussions.

Please direct any questions about the event to Rika Saito, the symposium organizer, at 269-387-3020 / rika.saito@wmich.edu

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Issues Seeking Student Workers

New Issues Poetry & Prose, WMU's literary publisher, is seeking one or two undergraduate or graduate students to work in our office, located off Oakland Drive in the Ernest Wilber Building. Students must be approved for work-study through financial aid. 10 to 20 hours a week. Hours are flexible. Duties will range from clerical to editorial depending on experience, current needs, etc. Please e-mail Managing Editor Marianne Swierenga at new-issues@wmich.edu for more information or to express interest.

academic convocation

Tomorrow, September 10, 3:30pm, Dalton Recital Hall, President Dunn will present his State of the University address. I encourage all to attend the event to learn about the President's vision for the future of the University and also because several deserving faculty and staff will be honored with university-wide awards.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


“Spanking and Poetry”: A Conference on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
English Students Association Conference, Feb 25-26, 2010
The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
New York, New York

Submit abstracts of 300 words or less to sedgwickconference@gmail.com before November 15, 2009.

“When I was a child the two most rhythmic things that happened to me were spanking and poetry.” (Tendencies 182)

Eve Sedgwick lovingly, if none too gently, slapped open the sphincter-tight boundary rings of critical scholarship on the sexual and affective relations between bodies. This conference invites continued play with the tools she created for examination of “all the different surfaces that make a self for most of us, printed pages, ‘our’ ideas, institutional relations and activism, vibrations of a voice, the gaping abstractions and distractions of creativity, the weird holographic projections of our names and public personae, the visible and impressible extent of the parts of our bodies” (Tendencies 104-05). We welcome paper proposals on any aspect or application of her critical, literary, and artistic work, inviting scholars to broadly consider and reconsider Sedgwick’s intersections with and influences upon their fields. In the spirit of her own perversion of academic style, we particularly encourage proposals that expand the boundaries of the conventional conference paper through experimental or creative critical practices. We also seek papers engaging with Sedgwick’s pedagogical practices and proposals, as expressed in her written work or as performed in her classes at The Graduate Center or other institutions.

Topics may include but are in no way limited to:

Aesthetics of the critical eye
Affect and the critical project
Beside the repressive hypothesis
Binary structures and Buddhist practice
The body in queer theory
Experimental critical writing
Identification and loss
Near-miss pedagogy
Non-Oedipal & postmodernist psychologies
Performativity and peri-performativity
Queer gods and goddesses
Queer theory and mortality
Reparative reading
Sedgwick and Ricoeur’s ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’
Shame and generic discipline
Textiles & fiber art
Website: http://sedgwickconference.wordpress.com/

Witschi in American Literary Scholarship

Nic Witschi recently authored the essay on "Late-19th-Century Literature," for the prestigious Duke University Press series American Literary Scholarship.

Tom Ludwig's film gets Honorable Mention

Tom Ludwig's film A Long Strange Trip has just won a 2009 Voice Awards Honorable Mention. Tom teaches courses about film for the English Dept. at WMU and for the Kalamazoo public schools. For more information, please contact Tom at tom@ludsite.com

Monday, September 7, 2009

Scholarly Speakers Series Fall 2009

This fall's lineup for the department's Scholarly Speakers Series has been finalized. Here's what's coming up:

Thursday, September 17, 7 PM, Brown 3025
Keynote talk
Anthony Ellis Department of English, Western Michigan University
“Old Age and the Uses of Comedy”
a presentation on his book Old Age, Masculinity, and Early Modern Drama: Comic Elders on
the Italian and Shakespearean Stage (Ashgate, September, 2009)

Thursday, October 1, 7 PM, Brown 3025
Cynthia Davis Department of English, University of South Carolina
“‘The World was Home for Me’: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Sentimental Public Sphere”
Co-sponsor: Department of History

Thursday, October 29, 7 PM, Brown 3025
Mustafa Mirzeler, Department of English, Western Michigan University
“The Memory of Rivers”

Thursday, November 12, 7 PM, Brown 2028
John Willinsky, School of Education, Stanford University
“What’s the Fuss about Open Access to Scholarly Work?”
Co-sponsors: University Libraries, College of Education, Third Coast Writing Project

Tuesday, December 1, 7 PM, Brown 2028
Alicia Ostriker, Department of English, Rutgers University (emerita)
title TBA
We are very pleased that Prof. Ostriker will participate in both the SSS and the GWEN FROSTIC READING SERIES on back-to-back nights. She will read from her creative work as part of the Frostic Series on Wednesday, December 2.