Friday, October 30, 2009

Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference coming up Friday, November 6

The WMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, will host the Fall 2009 Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference on Friday, November 6. The conference will take place in the Humanities Resources Center in 3025 Brown Hall from noon to 5 p.m. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. The event is also open to the public.

The Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference is held each fall and spring semester to showcase the writing of WMU students, giving them the opportunity to present their work to an audience in a professional setting. This entirely student-run conference is Sigma Tau Delta’s signature campus event. Participation is open to all WMU students; more than 30 WMU students will present their original creative, scholarly, and critical work at the Fall 2009 conference.

Alpha Nu Pi, the WMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, was established in March 2006 with 46 charter members and has since grown to 190 active and alumni members, including 39 new members inducted on October 25, 2009. Alpha Nu Pi has twice been recognized as an Outstanding Chapter by the national organization, which describes the WMU chapter as "one of the most active, vital chapters in the country."

Please visit the Sigma Tau Delta website for more information about the Fall 2009 English Studies Conference, including the full program of events.

Students scheduled to present at the Fall 2009 English Studies Conference:

Jill Archie
Adam Baker
Madeline Baker
Allison Billedeaux
Tori Blevins
Peter Bryan
Danielle Cavinder
Laura Citino
Jason Elkins
Brandon Flowers
Jax Gardner
Casey Grooten
Colleen Hammer
Ashley Hillard
Sally Johnson
Ema Katrovas
Kevin Klump
Brianna Krueger
Patrick Love
Carissa Marks
Dave Martin
Sarah Munchow
Patric Nuttall
Katie O’Brien
Ken Odle
Sara Olivares
Michelle Reed
Dana Ruzicka
Luke Sharrow
Staci Stutsman
Philip Taylor
Emily Wacyk

New Issues Poet Jericho Brown Wins Whiting Award

Congratulations to Jericho Brown, author of the debut poetry collection Please (New Issues, 2008), on receiving a 2009 Whiting Writers' Award, given to recognize emerging writers. "The awards, which are $50,000 each, totaling $500,000, have been given annually since 1985 to writers of exceptional talent and promise in early career." Joan Kane and Jay Hopler also received the award for poetry.

Please, winner of a 2009 American Book Award, is currently in its third printing. -- "Jericho Brown and Salvatore Scibona Among Whiting Award Winners" on the Poets & Writers website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Utz publishes essay on History of English Studies

Richard Utz published "Englische Philologie vs. English Studies: A Foundational Conflict" in Das Potential europäischer Philologien. Geschichte, Leistung, Funktion, ed. Christoph König (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009), pp. 34-44. He also translated, from German into English, Christoph König's "Osnabrück Declaration on the Potential of European Philologies," printed on pp. 219-22 in the same volume.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

November 6 Poetry Reading @ Kazoo Books

William Olsen and L.S. Klatt

Friday, Nov. 6. 6:30 p.m. / Reading followed by Q&A
Kazoo Books II on Parkview

William Olsen is the author of four collections of poetry, The Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowers, Vision of a Storm Cloud, Trouble Lights, and Avenue of Vanishing (TriQuarterly, 2007). He is co-editor, with Sharon Bryan, of Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life (Sarabande, 2003). His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and poetry awards from Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. His poems and essays have appeared in The New Republic, Chicago Review, Paris Review, Southern Review,  TriQuarterly, New American Poets of the Nineties, The New Breadloaf Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and many other magazines and anthologies. He teaches at Western Michigan University and the MFA Program at Vermont College.

L. S. Klatt graduated with a PhD from the University of Georgia in 2003 and currently teaches in the English Department at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His first book, Interloper, won the 2008 Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in April of this year. His poems have appeared in several literary magazines, including Boston Review, Colorado Review, New Orleans Review, Field, Denver Quarterly, Bellingham Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Chicago Review, Iowa Review, and Verse.

Interloper, winner of the 2008 Juniper Prize:
“. . . The book is a field guide for any mind exercising to learn unknown transfers and connecting combinations.” ­—Dara Wier

Kazoo Books II
2413 Parkview
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Steve Feffer Play in Chicago at the Ruckus Theatre

Steve Feffer's new play, "My Brother, the School Shooter," a short play inspired by the Pearl Jam song "Jeremy" is currently running as part of Ruckus Theatre's Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It project. Feffer's play tells the story of a young woman who confronts her North Shore Chicago parents about leaving home following her brother's attempt at shooting-up the high school they had previously attended together. The title of the play comes from the college admission's essay the girl, the school's valedictorian, grimly imagines herself writing.

The Ruckus, a new Chicago theatre company primarily composed of former WMU students who met during the first two New Play Projects, calls Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It a world premiere theatrical mixtape. Co-curated by The Ruckus Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker, Literary Manager Mitch Vermeersch and Artistic Associate Melissa Pryor (all WMU and New Play Project alums) and made up of bold new work from writers across the country, Tell It… is a collection of fourteen world premiere short plays staged by eleven directors with eighteen actors that find new and unexpected meaning in the lyrics of popular music. The company also uncovers common resonances between songs and the plays they inspire, seeking out the relationships between them sonically, lyrically and visually. Tell It… features accompanying live performances from local musicians, including Elvisbride, Louis and the Hunt and Mitch Mead, each providing their own interpretations of the songs examined. Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It is performed at The Side Project Theatre, October 25 – 28 & November 1 – 4, 2009. All performances are at 7:30pm, except November 1 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online at, by e-mail at or by phone at 773.769.RCKS(7257).
A compilation of short “pl-ongs” or “s-lays” by theater artists from Chicago, New York, California and Michigan, Tell It… includes work my nine playwrights making their Chicago debuts and four playwrights making their world debuts. Over the course of the evening, audiences will experience work inspired by The Breeders, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, The Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes, Paris Hilton, Hot Chip, Joni Mitchell, Neutral Milk Hotel, The New Pornographers, Yoko Ono, Parliament, Peaches, Pearl Jam, John Rutter, Paul Simon, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Cat Stevens, System of a Down, The White Stripes and Thom Yorke.

Utz speaks on Temporality and Medieval Rituals

Richard Utz presented an invited conference paper, "Ritus et Artes: Temporality and the Heritage of Medieval Rituals" at the Fifth Conference on the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He also participated in the annual advisory board meeting of the Brepols Publishers book series, Ritus et Artes. The trip was funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prague Summer Program TAs

All graduate students interested in serving as TAs in the Prague Summer Program, please inform Professor Richard Katrovas of this interest by Tuesday, October 27.
E-mail Professor Katrovas at using the following format:
In the “subject” write your name, the degree you’re seeking, and your primary genre. For example: Joe Blow PhD fiction.
In the body of the e-mail, tell Professor Katrovas how long, approximately, you have until graduation and who will likely serve as the director of your thesis or dissertation committee. Then, in two or three sentences, tell him why you want to be a TA in the Prague Summer Program.
At least one non-creative-writing graduate student will serve as a TA for their afternoon classes. If you are applying as a scholar, in the “subject” box write your name, the degree you’re seeking, then “scholar.” In the body of the e-mail proceed as described above.
Individuals who have served as TAs in the past may re-apply, though it is Professor Katrovas' goal to have everyone who wishes to serve be offered at least one opportunity.
One or two TA positions have already been determined; they hope to fill a total of nine.

Janet Heller's Poems

Janet Heller's five poems related to teaching and learning "Spunk," "Getting My Mouth Washed Out," "Driving down Route 23 After Work in a Blizzard," "Exam Week Sketch," and "Moving In" are forthcoming in The Michigan Reading Journal in the section entitled "Teachers as Writers."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sigma Tau Delta induction Sunday at 1 p.m.

Please join the Alpha Nu Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta as we welcome our Fall 2009 inductees on Sunday, October 25, at 1 p.m. The induction will take place in 3025 Brown Hall with refreshments to follow.

This is a significant induction because we are celebrating our first class of inductees whose lifetime memberships are free of charge to the students. The fee to join Sigma Tau Delta is $50, but thanks to initial funding from the College of Arts and Sciences and donations from faculty and staff that have already started to come into the Sigma Tau Delta Fund at the WMU Foundation, the Fall 2009 inductees are able to accept the honor they have earned by qualifying for membership in Sigma Tau Delta, now without the financial obligation that unfortunately discouraged some deserving applicants in years past. We hope this is the beginning of a new, permanent tradition of free membership.

This induction is also significant because the Fall 2009 class of inductees is among the largest in our chapter's history, second only to the March 2006 induction of our founding members, when 46 charter members became the first WMU Sigma Tau Deltas.

Thirty-nine students, undergraduate as well as graduate, will join us this semester, bringing our total membership to 190 active and alumni members. Not bad for a chapter whose charter is not quite four years old.

Please scroll down for a list of our 39 new Fall 2009 inductees. And for those who have given to the Sigma Tau Delta Membership Fund, please accept the sincere thanks of the Alpha Nu Pi chapter. For those who would still like to give, you may visit to donate online (please designate your gift to the Department of English -- Sigma Tau Delta) or return your WMU Foundation contribution form with your donation or payroll deduction election. (Extra forms are available from Lisa Minnick.)

The Fall 2009 WMU Sigma Tau Delta Inductees:

Alicia Akins
Jill Archie
Danielle Bailey
Emily Beard

Jessica Bixel

Maike Buck

Danielle Cavinder

Takunia Collins

Ashley Crawford

Jason Elkins

Megan Emerson

Kimberly Evans

Paula Fader

Brandon Flowers

Kathleen Garbacz

Jax Gardner

Kendra Grieser

Elisa Gruss

Jennifer Henson

Sally Johnson

Amarrah Kean

Amanda Klein

Shauna Koszegi

Bethany Leyder

Carissa Marks
Shannon McConnell
Sara Olivares
Aanee Ruple
Dana Ruzicka

Louise Schreiber

Stephanie Sorenson

David Staggs

Audrey Sturrus

Staci Stutsman

Christina Triezenberg

Matthew Tootalian

Stephanie Vogie

Megan Werner

Lindsey Wiegand

Third Coast Reading

Friday, October 23 at 7:00 PM
3025 Brown Hall

Dan Toronto, Kate Dernocoeur and Karen Wurl will be holding a Third Coast Reading!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Call for applications: Comparative Drama Student Internship, Spring 2010

Comparative Drama, WMU’s scholarly journal devoted to the study of drama, invites applications for an internship position in Academic Publishing for the Spring, 2010 semester.

The journal seeks three exceptional students to participate in the journal’s production for a semester term. The students will gain valuable, hands-on publishing experience and exposure to advanced academic writing.

Interns will meet with an editor once a week and attend editorial meetings. Responsibilities include reading essay contributions, fact checking, researching humanities databases, and assisting with editing and correspondence.

All undergraduate English majors are encouraged to apply. The internship will be helpful especially for students pursuing careers in publishing and/or who wish to attend graduate school. The internship will serve as an elective toward the English major. For students majoring in Practical Writing, the internship can substitute for 3620, “Readings in Creative Nonfiction,” or 3700, “Writing Creative Nonfiction.” Contact for more information.

Application forms will be placed in faculty mailboxes this week. Professors, please help spread the words to our students!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

State Migrant Ed Director Rachael Moreno's visit to Vocke's class

Last Thursday, October 8, Dr. Karen Vocke's Engl 3770 was honored to host the Director of Migrant Education in Michigan, Dr. Rachael Moreno. Dr. Moreno read from her forthcoming children's book, To the Michigan Mitten, based on her mother's experiences as the child of seasonal farm workers. Moreno also discussed her own teaching experiences and activism for Latino and immigrant students.

For more information on migrant education or on Dr. Moreno's book, contact Karen Vocke.

Family Literacy Night at El Sol Elementary School

For the past several weeks, students from Dr. Karen Vocke's Engl 3770 (Language and Literacy in Multilingual Classrooms) course have been planning a family literacy night for Thursday, October 27, at El Sol Elementary School. The evening will feature activity stations developed and led by Vocke's class, where bilingual El Sol students and their families can stretch their creative skills. See the press release below:

WMU students plan Family Literacy Night at El Sol Elementary School

October 8, 2009

Kalamazoo – Students from Western Michigan University are teaming up with educators at El Sol Elementary School to present a Family Literacy Night.

The literacy event will be held in conjunction with the school’s open house, and will take place from 6-7 pm. on Thursday, October 22. The school is located at 604 W. Vine St. in Kalamazoo.

“We are hoping to focus on literacy as a skill that is developed and enjoyed throughout life,” said Dr. Paul Babladelis, principal at El Sol. “We want parents and children to value literacy together, read together, and understand the joys and advantages literacy provides.”

El Sol Elementary is dedicated to bilingual education using a two-way immersion program: all students receive half of their instruction in English and the other half in Spanish.

Students from WMU’s English course, Language and Literacy in the Multilingual Classroom, have been planning the Family Literacy Night from top to bottom. The class is led by Dr. Karen Vocke.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity for our pre-intern teachers to work with students at a variety of levels: teaching, interaction with families, and lesson planning,” Vocke said. “They also gain experience in knowing how to organize family literacy events, a key skill for any teacher.”

The WMU students will put their knowledge of diversity, language, and literacy into practice as they assist the families during the event. Some of the activities planned include poetry writing, storytelling, and mural drawing. All of the families will get to keep a book of their choosing in order to encourage literacy in the home.

A second Family Literacy Night is planned for later in the semester.

For more information:

Dr. Karen Vocke


Dr. Paul Babladelis


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

National Book Awards

The Winner in each category will be announced at the 60th National Book Awards Benefit Dinner and Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 18. Satirist, comedian, and actor Andy Borowitz will emcee the event.

Bonnie Jo Campbell (MFA 1998)

Bonnie Jo Campbell is among the finalists for the National Book Foundation's "National Book Award" for American Salvage. Please read the full article in the NY Times.

Career opportunities in Community Organizing for Social Justice

Careers in Community Organizing for Social Justice Available to WMU graduating students and alums! Direct Action & Research Training (DART) Center will be on the WMU campus on Mon., Nov. 2 @ 7PM in the Wesley Foundation (near flagpole) to discuss careers in the field of community organizing, and to schedule interviews with students interested in empowering their communities and working for social change. 2010 marks the 10th year since DART first launched the Organizers Institute and the 10th year of recruitment from WMU.  After years of research into best practices, experimentation, evaluation, and refinement, the Organizers Institute has become THE most elite field school in the training of grassroots community organizers in the country.  To learn more about DART's approach to organizing, check out DART's new YouTube video:  

Please RSVP if you are interested by contacting Sunil Joy at or calling 785.841.2680 with your name, phone #, email address and school. DART is now accepting applications for the 2010 DART Organizers Institute, the paid, four-month field school for people interested in launching a career in community organizing. Participants will undergo a combined classroom and field training covering such topics as:

• Entering a community
• Identifying and training local leaders
• Strategic planning and issue cutting
• Relationship and community building
• Direct Action on community issues
• Fundraising

The DART Center, has built coalitions throughout the country that have won important victories on a broad set of justice issues including:

• Education reform in low-performing public schools
• Job Training
• Drugs and Violence
• Criminal Recidivism
• Living Wage
• Neighborhood Revitalization
• Predatory Lending
• Affordable Housing, etc.

The DART Organizers Institute combines a 7-day classroom orientation with 15 weeks of infield training at a DART host organization. This is a paid training program that includes: a $7,000 living stipend, transportation to the classroom orientation and host city, and mileage reimbursement during the infield training. Room, board, and tuition will also be paid by DART during the 7-day classroom training. After successful completion of the program, DART will work to place graduates into permanent full time salaried positions ranging from ($30-33,000/year for Associate Organizers and $32-37,000 for Lead Organizers starting salary + health & benefits).

Graduates from the four month DART Organizers Institute have gone onto accept Executive Director and Associate Community Organizing positions throughout the country. The 7-day classroom orientation and 15-week infield training starts July 2010. Training locations will include placements in several states around the country. Although it may be helpful, no direct experience is necessary. Organizer Trainees (OTs) hired to participate in the DART Organizers Institute must demonstrate a desire to pursue community organizing as a long-term professional career. A master's degree or similar life experience is preferred though unnecessary. Candidates must have a college degree or be graduating prior to July 2010. Also, candidates must display a workmanlike diligence, be driven to produce sustained results, have proven capacity to build relationships of trust, create and execute a plan, act professionally, feel comfortable working with religious institutions, be accountable and willing to hold others accountable, demonstrate disciplined thought and action, and work in a team setting.  OTs must also have access to a car during their training and be flexible regarding relocation. Fluency in Spanish/English is a plus and people of color are encouraged to apply. Low and moderate income communities across the country are feeling the bite of recession on issues like healthcare, education, employment, and housing. At the same time, the field of community organizing has obtained more legitimacy and interest than ever before given its recent profile in the 2008 presidential election.  Low and moderate income communities are in need of passionate and talented individuals with the dedication and skills necessary to transform communities.  Now is the time to stand up for social and economic justice.

To find out more about DART or to apply, we encourage you to contact: Sunil Joy, DART Network, 820 New York Street Lawrence, KS 66044 or by email: If you have any questions, please call: (785) 841-2680. Also, you can download applications or view profiles from previous OTs at the DART website: 

Sunil Joy
DART Network
ph: (785) 841-2680

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rose Metal Press announces Fourth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest

Subject: Rose Metal Press announces Fourth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest

Dear Rose Metal Press Supporters~

Just a quick reminder for those of you who write short shorts, or those of you who know people who do:

Our Fourth Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest submission period begins October 15 and ends December 1, 2009. Our 2009 judge will be Dinty W. Moore. During the submission period, please email your 25 –40 page double-spaced manuscript of short short stories under 1,000 words each to us at either as a Word doc or rtf file. Individual stories may have appeared in journals or anthologies, but we ask that collections as a whole be previously unpublished. Please accompany your entry with the $10 reading fee, either via the payment button on our website or by check. We prefer the former, but the latter can be sent to us at PO Box 1956, Brookline, MA 02446. Please also feel free to include a brief author bio and a list of acknowledgements, but all submissions will be judged anonymously.

Writers of both fiction and nonfiction are encouraged to enter, and we are open to short shorts on all subjects and in all styles. We hope you’ll check out the books of our previous contest winners, including The Sky Is a Well and Other Shorts by Claudia Smith (winner of the first contest, judged by Ron Carlson, available now only as part of A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness), In the Land of the Free by Geoffrey Forsyth (winner of the second contest, judged by Robert Shapard), and How Some People Like Their Eggs by Sean Lovelace (winner of the third contest, judged by Sherrie Flick), as well as A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness by Amy L. Clark, Elizabeth Ellen, Kathy Fish, and Claudia Smith, which features the chapbooks by four of the finalists from the first contest.

Thank you as always for your continued support, and we look forward to reading your work!


Abby & Kathleen

Monday, October 12, 2009

Laramie Project-10 Years Later

TONIGHT, October 12th @ 8pm
Free to the public
D. Terry Williams Theatre, Western Michigan University

The creators of the highly acclaimed play The Laramie Project, which since 2000 has been one of the most performed plays in America, will premiere a compelling and groundbreaking epilogue to the original piece. Entitled THE LARAMIE PROJECT: 10 YEARS LATER, the play will be performed in New York at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and over 100 other theaters in all fifty states, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Hong Kong and Australia on October 12, 2009. Western Michigan University's Department of Theatre has the honor of participating in this worldwide theatre event. The writers of this play are Tectonic Theater Project members Mosises Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber.

A live webcast from New York's Lincoln Center will be broadcast before the performance featuring host Glenn Close and speaker Judy Sheperd, Matthew Sheperd's mother. Following the reading of the play, a panel discussion will be held featuring local community members Dave Garcia, Sarah Stangl, Reverend Matt Laney, Jon Hoadley and David Topping to discuss where we are as a community 10 years later in regards to LGBT relations.

The epilogue focuses on the long-term effects of the murder of Matthew Sheperd on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The play also includes new interviews with Matthew's mother, Judy Sheperd, and Matthew's murderer, Aaron McKinney, who is serving two consecutive life sentences. The writers also conducted many follow-up interviews with Laramie residents from the original piece, including Romaine Patterson, Reggie Fluty, Jedediah Shultz, Father Roger Schmidt, Jonas Slonaker and others.

In tandem with the premier, an online community will be launched where participants can blog, upload video and photos and share their stories about the play, experiences in preparing and presenting the Epilogue in their communities. The members of the Tectonic Theater Project will be active participants in the online community, offering participants feedback and encouragement.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Utz on Tyrell's Medievalism

Richard Utz presented a paper, “Pi[o]us Medievalism vs. Catholic Modernism: The Case of George Tyrell,” in a section on "Theorizing Medievalism" at the International General Conference on Medievalism, at Siena College, NY.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

TCWP Keynote Speakers at WMU Writing Conference

Eastern Michigan University and the Eastern Michigan Writing Project will be holding an conference on writing in all subjects and all levels 2-16.

Keynote Speakers for the event are Corey Harbaugh and Pen Cambpell, the Co-Directors of Third Coast Writing Project.

The event takes place on October 17, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center.

For more information, contact Dr. Bill Tucker ( or Kimberly Pavlock (

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dr. McKittrick to Speak in Gender and Women's Studies Series

Dr. Casey McKittrick will give a talk entitled "The Place and Time of Queer Theory" for the WMU Gender and Women's Studies Speaker Series. The talk will be Tuesday, October 13 at 3 p.m. in Bernhard Center 204.

Reception for Women Faculty

There will be a reception for women faculty on Monday, October 12, from 5-7 p.m. at The Oaklands. The reception is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. All are welcome.

Nominate a worthy staff member for Make a Difference Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the fall Make a Difference awards. The semiannual award recognizes staff accomplishments and daily investments of energy and creativity.

Study & Intern Abroad Fair

Today, Tuesday, October 6, the Haenicke Institute is hosting its annual Study & Intern Abroad Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom. The Fair provides attendees the opportunity to speak with WMU students who have studied and interned abroad, WMU professors who coordinate programs and courses around the world, and study abroad advisors from the Haenicke Institute. Also on hand will be representatives from non-WMU organizations promoting more than 100 study and work programs conducted worldwide. Additionally, the Fair will include:
--Expanded opportunities for overseas internships due to broader collaboration with WMU’s Career and Student Employment Services.
--Presentation of two informational sessions: Intern Abroad for Academic Credit from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and the Study Abroad 101 panel discussion from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with financial aid staff members and students who have previously studied abroad.
--Prize giveaways hosted by STA Travel-a three-week Eurail pass and two international cell phones. STA is one of the largest student travel organizations in the world.
--A free pop and slice of pizza, while supplies last.

Monday, October 5, 2009

English Dept Alum's Red Carpet Local Premiere Features Familiar Faces

The Electronic Theatre
in association with
The Public Media Network


the premiere of


a movie by Chuck Bentley

at the Kalamazoo 10 Cinema
(West Main St. by US131)

Sunday Oct 11 at 5:30pm
intermission at 7pm
part II continues at 7:30pm
(movie ends at 9pm)

Free Admission
(limited seats: first come, first served!)

More info about CB's "epic" can be found in THIS ARTICLE.

CFP: Undergraduates on Underwear

Underpinnings: The Evolution of Underwear from the Middle Ages through Early Modernity

A conference organized by the undergraduate students of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY) in conjunction with Troubadours and Trebuchets, The Medieval Studies Club

From the trailing sleeves and towering headdresses of the High Middle Ages to the ornate, jewel-encrusted ensembles of Elizabethan England and the elaborate turbans of the Mamluk and Ottoman empires, clothing and headgear have captured the imagination of historians for decades. Few, however, have given thought to what lies beneath, which, even while having a functional role, comprises a system of sartorial signs that tell much with respect to social mores and shifting views of the body. This conference aims to explore the evolution of undergarments from the Middle Ages through the early modern era in a variety of contexts, from the material forms of the garments themselves to their symbolic associations and latent meaning. Geographic and temporal reach: global, 500-1750.

Possible topics of discussion include:

Differences and similarities in men’s and women’s undergarments according to class, social status, age, and distinctions between the laity and religious; Changing notions of modesty, comfort, and hygiene and their effects on the under-covering of bodies ; The materiality of undergarments ; The decorative range of undergarments, from the utilitarian to the elaborate, including the use of lace and embroidery ; Underwear as outerwear (the exposure of undergarments through sleeves, necklines, and cutaway skirts; the display of underwear in private spaces; the role of underwear in the public stripping of the body); Shaping the body: the use of undergarments to achieve desired silhouettes; The effects of sumptuary laws on undergarments; The rise of certain industries related to the production of undergarments, including the whaling trade in relation to the rise of the whalebone corset; The erotics of underwear; The myths and realities of the chastity belt ; The representation of underwear in painting, poetry, and song

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes maximum) should be no more than 500 words in length and may be sent by email, with a current CV if graduate level and a resume if undergraduate, to (Re: Undergarment Conference). Those wishing to submit hard copies of the proposal and CV should forward them to: CEMERS (ATTN: Undergarment Conference), Binghamton University, P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000. We also welcome proposals for integrated panels. Panel organizers should describe the theme of the panel and send abstracts with names and affiliations of all participants along with current CVs. A panel should consist of no more than three papers, each twenty minutes in length. Deadline for submissions is December 5th, 2009.

Olsen a Visiting Writer at Northern Michigan University

Bill Olsen was a guest of the Visiting Writers' Series this past week at Northern Michigan University and read at an event, sponsored by the Department of English and Passages North.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

English Studies Conference (please announce)

This is our official Call for Papers for Sigma Tau Delta's annual English Studies Conference (ESC)!
The ESC is a yearly conference held by Sigma Tau Delta that celebrates student work in the field of English studies at WMU. Anything English related is fair game to submit, and we mean that very literally. That includes poetry (single poems or a collection), prose, creative non-fiction, linguistics papers, literary analysis, lit/cultural theory, poetry explications, English education and pedagogy (but not teaching tips or lesson plans, please), etc etc.
If you have a piece of English-related work but you're not sure if it fits as conference material, feel free to shoot us an email! Also, please tell all your literary-minded and creative friends! Presenters do not have to be members of Sigma Tau Delta in order to participate.
We also allow whole panel submissions - so if you and a couple students are in the same class or have written similar papers that would complement each other in one panel, please feel free to submit them all together!
Please keep in mind that works-in-progress are always welcome! As is the case with all professional conferences, we expect that you will further polish and improve upon drafts before presenting them at a conference.
We ask that no more than two submissions be sent in per person, and to keep these submissions in different genres. We all love to see a ton of variety and loads of new faces at our conferences!
More practical info: the conference will take place Friday, November 6th from 12:30-5:00PM in in various classrooms and meeting rooms in Brown Hall.
The deadline for submissions is October 23rd. Please send all submissions to Include your name, contact information, and a short biography for the program along with your submission.
Special note to faculty and graduate students: please encourage your students to submit! It's a great way to network with other English faculty and students, as well as practice important conference skills in a relaxed format.
Sound good? Of course it does. Tell all your friends and strangers on the street (but not the unsavory-looking ones) and get those submissions in! As always, if you have any questions please feel free to email us back!
We hope to hear from you by the 23rd!
Laura Citino
Communications Officer

Friday, October 2, 2009

Call for Papers: The Laureate

Fall 2009 Call for Submissions is underway for The Laureate! The Laureate is a creative writing journal produced by the Lee Honors College, featuring the work of undergraduate students at Western Michigan University. Along with creative writing pieces, we are also seeking photographic and hand-drawn art for inclusion in this year’s edition. For more information about the format for submissions, contact Caitlin Popa at Submission deadline is December 1, 2009.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jack Ridl at the Portage District Library

Losing Season: A Reading and Regaling with Jack Ridl Losing Season, Jack's newest book of poetry, explores the often unsettlingly central role that sports play in American life

Location: Portage District Library, Austin and Sugarloaf Lake Rooms
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Contact Number: 329-4542 ext 600

"An unmatched collection bringing to high school basketball the nuance and detail the film Bull Durham brought to minor league baseball. Poems so compelling, so varied, so familiar to anyone who has felt the impact of high school sports that they may well introduce a new genre. This is a terrific book —there’s nothing like it."—Conrad Hilberry

JACK RIDL has authored collections of poetry including Broken Symmetry, and is co-author of several textbooks. CASE/Carnegie Foundation awarded him Michigan Professor of the Year.

MCEA conference

Michigan College English Association Conference


Eastern Michigan University
Student Center, 900 Oakwood St, Ypsilanti 48197
Friday, October 2, 2009

REGISTRATION: 8:30 to 9:30 and throughout the day

SESSION ONE – 9:30 to 10:45

Session 1A -- Poetry in Crisis Times (Room 302)

Presenters: David Settle, Grand Rapids Community College, “ ‘dear Jim:’ Poetry, Perspective, and Personalization”

Zenobia Joseph, U Texas at Austin, "Neverending Noose"

Martha Vertreace-Doody, Kennedy-King College, "Elizabeth Caldwell Duncan and Other Poems"

Moderator: Janet Heller, Western Michigan University

Session 1B – The Gothic and the Unconventional (Room 330)

Presenters: Robert Stevens, Eastern Michigan University, "Monstrous Persuasions: Uses of the Gothic in Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom"

Ahmed Bashi, Eastern Michigan University, "Mom, Baseball, Marianne Moore-- the Puella Aeterna as a Literary Project"

Moderator: Abby Coykendall, Eastern Michigan University

Session 1C – New Directions in Rhetorical Studies (Room 352)

Presenters: Phil Arrington, Eastern Michigan University, "A Saving Doubt - Exploring the Meaning of an American Anti-Religion Movement"

Caleb Brokaw, Eastern Michigan University, "Hell as Rhetorical Invention in Tertullian"

Beth Church, Bowling Green State University, “A Time of Crisis, A Time of Blame?
A Heuristic Model for Analyzing Rhetoric That Criticizes – and Builds Community”

Moderator: Phil Arrington, Eastern Michigan University
SESSION TWO – 11:00 to 12:15

Session 2A – Flexible Habits of Mind: First-Year Composition in a Changing America (Room 330)

Clarinda Flannery and Diane Benton, Eastern Michigan University

Moderator: John Dunn

Session 2B – Gender in Wartime (Room 300)

Presenters: Bernie Miller, Eastern Michigan U, "Helen and Peitho’s Prism: Reflections of Women and War"

Cassandra Miller, University of Michigan, "The Iliad and the Persistence of Tribalization: Analyzing Gender Roles in War"

Kathryn Christolear, CSU Northridge, "The Duality of Peter Walsh in a Moment of Crisis: Juxtaposing Intersection and Isolation in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway"

Moderator: Elisabeth Daumer, Eastern Michigan University

Session 2C – Art in Times of Crisis (Room 302)

Lori May, "How Creative Writers Adapt to Technology in During Tough Economic Times"

Scott Still, Henry Ford CC, "If You Can Keep Your Head: The Steadying Hand of Art in Times of Crisis"

Lindsay Gorman, University of Michigan - Dearborn, "On The Crucible"

Moderator: Ed Demerly, CEA

Session 2D – Crisis and the Classroom (Room 352)

Presenters: Joyce Meier, U Michigan, "From Political to Personal- and Back: Negotiating Crisis in a Community-Based Writing Program"

Angela Hathikhanavala, Henry Ford Community College, “Real-World” Becomes Real: Problem-Based Learning and a Campus Shooting"

Robert Scott, Ohio Northern University, Assessing the Uneasy Use of Adjunct Faculty at One Small College

Moderator: Loretta Woolard, Marygrove College

LUNCH AND GUEST SPEAKERS – 12:30 to 1:45 (Room 310)

Featured Speakers: Sari Adelson and Mary Heinen, Coordinators, Prison Creative Arts Project, a project that collaborates with incarcerated youth and adults, Urban youth, and the formerly incarcerated to do creative expression, especially in theater, poetry, and art.

SESSION THREE – 2:00 to 3:15

Session 3A – “I’m Across the Hall”—Student Writing in the English Department: Tensions and Opportunities from the Perspectives of Composition, Literature, and the Writing Center (Room 330)

Presenters: John Dunn, Joseph Lieberman, Natalie Tomlin, Marlena Goodsitt, Eastern Michigan University

Session 3B – Radical Past, Radical Future (Room 352)

Presenters: Adam Mitchell, Eastern Michigan University, "Zamyatin's We and Technological Advancement: De-Railing the Progress Narrative"

Brad Romans, Eastern Michigan University, “Now We’ll Burst with All Our Greatness”: Utopian Labor in Karel Čapek’s Rossum’s Universal Robots"

Patrick Manning, Eastern Michigan University, "The Crisis of Double Consciousness and the Communist Party in Lloyd Brown’s Iron City"

Moderator: Charles Cunningham, Eastern Michigan University

Session 3C – Crisis and Culture (Room 302)

Matthew Cicci, Central Michigan University, “Adorno, the Base-Superstructure Model, and ISAs: A Map through the Culture Industry”

Arvid Sponberg, Valparaiso University, "Crises in Playwriting in Chicago 1950-2009"

Moderator: Ed Demerly, CEA
MCEA Brief Business Meeting – 3:30 to 4:15 (Room 302)

We welcome all MCEA members and conference participants to come and give us their ideas for future conferences.

Federal Opportunities Day

Thursday, October 8 from 11 AM to 3 PM in the Brown and Gold Room of the Bernhard Center, there will be an opportunity for students to connect with federal employment opportunities. This event is hosted by the Society for Public Services and Career and Student Employment Services.

Students are encouraged to dress professionally and bring a resume with them. To RSVP visit BroncoJobs at

Also, on Tuesday, October 6 from 7-8 PM in room 212 Bernhard Center, there will be a preparation session hosted by the Society for Public Service and conducted by a USDA representative, who will talk about the most effective ways to obtain federal positions.