Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Janet Heller presenting at MSU's The Cultural Heritage of the Midwest

Janet Heller will be reading her creative nonfiction essay "Harvesting the Summer of 1972" and presenting a scholarly paper entitled "The Influence of Death of a Salesman on Alan Gross's High Holidays" at The Cultural Heritage of the Midwest: A Symposium at Michigan State University in East Lansing on May 13, 2010. She will also be selling and autographing her award-winning book about bullying for children, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Sylvan Dell, 2006). For more information about the conference, which runs from May 13-15, please see

Monday, April 26, 2010

vocke lands 2010 research development grant

Karen Vocke is the recipient of a 2010 WMU/OVPR Research Development Grant. The 18-month program includes funding for a trip to meet with a potential funding agency or organization. Congrats!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CFP: Fat Studies (Australia)


** Following several requests, the deadline for abstracts has been extended until 30 April 2010 **

Conference Call For Papers

Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue

To be held 10 – 11 September, 2010
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

While cultural anxieties about fatness and stigmatisation of fat bodies in Western cultures have been central to dominant discourses about bodily ‘propriety’ since the early twentieth century, the rise of the ‘disease’ category of obesity and the moral panic over an alleged global ‘obesity epidemic’ has lent a medical authority and legitimacy to what can be described as ‘fat-phobia’. Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation and pathologisation of fatness, the field of Fat Studies has emerged in recent years to offer an interdisciplinary critical interrogation of the dominant medical models of health, to give voice to the lived experience of fat bodies, and to offer critical insights into, and investigations of, the ethico-political implications of the cultural meanings that have come to be attached to fat bodies.
This two-day event will put Australasian Fat Studies into conversation with critical fat scholarship from around the globe by gathering together scholars from across a spectrum of disciplinary backgrounds, as well as activists, health care professionals, performers and artists. This conference seeks to open a dialogue between scholars, health care professionals and activists about the productive and enabling critical possibilities Fat Studies offers for rethinking dominant notions about health and pathology, gender and bodily aesthetics, political interventions, and beyond.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
* Charlotte Cooper
(Department of Sociology, University of Limerick)
* Karen Throsby
(Department of Sociology, University of Warwick)

Abstracts are sought that engage with topics such as (but not limited to):
* Interventions to normalise fat bodies (such as diet regimes, exercise programs, weight loss pharmaceuticals and bariatric surgeries);
* The ethico-political implications of the medicalisation of ‘obesity’;
* Constructions of the ‘fat child’ in childhood obesity media reportage;
* Representations of fat bodies in film, television, literature or art;
* Intersections of medical discourse and morality around ‘obesity’;
* The somatechnics of fatness;
* Fat performance art, fat positive performance troupes;
* Histories of fat activism and/or strategies for political intervention;
* Fat and queer histories/identities;
* Fat embodiment online, the Fat-O-Sphere;
* Feminist responses to fatness;
* Constructions of fatness in a range of cultural contexts;
* Systems of body quantification, measurement, and conceptualizations of (in)appropriate ‘size’;
* Fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender, disability and/or ageing.

Please send abstracts of 300 words, or panel proposals, to Dr Samantha Murray via email at by Friday, 30 April 2010.
Sponsored and hosted by the Somatechnics Research Centre, Macquarie University, Australia.

CFP: Society for Textual Studies

The Society for Textual Scholarship - Sixteenth Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference - March 16-18, 2011; Penn State University

MORRIS EAVES, University of Rochester
LISA GITELMAN, New York University
WILL NOEL, Walters Art Museum
DAVID STORK, Ricoh Innovations

Program Chair: Matthew Kirschenbaum, University of Maryland - Deadline for Proposals: October 31, 2010

After many years of successful meetings in New York City, the Society
for Textual Scholarship is inaugurating a new venue for its biennial
conference: Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania. This
new venue will accommodate the STS in a state of the art conference
center with up-to-date technology support and other amenities
, which will in turn
facilitate the introduction of several new session formats. The new
formats, new venue, and stellar line-up of confirmed keynote
speakers--addressing textual and media scholarship and theory,
conservation and archival practices, and relevant aspects of computer
science--promises to make the 2011 conference an especially
invigorating and important one for the STS.
Accordingly, the Program Chair invites submissions devoted to
interdisciplinary discussion of current research into particular
aspects of textual work: the discovery, enumeration, description,
bibliographical analysis, editing, annotation, and mark-up of texts in
disciplines such as literature, history, musicology, classical and
biblical studies, philosophy, art history, legal history, history of
science and technology, computer science, library and information
science, archives, lexicography, epigraphy, paleography, codicology,
cinema studies, new media studies, game studies, theater, linguistics,
and textual and literary theory.
As always, the conference is particularly open to considerations of
the role of digital tools and technologies in textual theory and
practice. Papers addressing newer developments such as forensic
computing, born-digital materials, stand-off markup, cloud computing,
and the sustainability of electronic scholarship are especially
encouraged. Papers addressing aspects of archival theory and practice
as they pertain to textual criticism and scholarly editing are also
especially welcome.
This year the conference is introducing several new formats.
Submissions may therefore take the following form:

1. Papers. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length. They
should offer the promise of substantial original critical or
analytical insight. Papers that are primarily reports or
demonstrations of tools or projects are discouraged.
2. Panels. Panels may consist of either three associated papers or
four to six roundtable speakers. Roundtables should address topics of
broad interest and scope, with the goal of fostering lively debate
between the panel and audience following brief opening remarks.
3. Seminars. Seminars should propose a specific topic, issue, or text
for intensive collective exploration. Accepted seminar proposals will
be announced on the conference Web site at
least two months prior to the conference and attendees will then be
required to enroll themselves with the posted seminar leader(s). The
seminar leader(s) will circulate readings and other preparatory
materials in advance of the conference. No papers shall be read at the
seminar session. Instead participants will engage with the circulated
material in a discussion under the guidance of the seminar leader(s).
All who enroll are expected to contribute to creating a mutually
enriching experience.
4. Workshops. Workshops should propose a specific problem, tool, or
skillset for which the workshop leader will provide expert guidance
and instruction. Examples might be an introduction to forensic
computing or paleography. Workshop proposals that are accepted will be
announced on the conference Web site and
attendees will be required to enroll with the workshop leader(s).
Workshop leaders should be prepared to offer well-defined learning
outcomes for attendees.
Proposals for all four formats should include a title, abstract (one
to two pages) of the proposed paper, panel, seminar, or workshop, as
well as the name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation for
all participants. Format should be clearly indicated. Seminar and
workshop proposals in particular should take care to articulate the
imagined audience and any expectations of prior knowledge or
preparation. ***All abstracts should indicate what if any
technological support will be required.***

Inquiries and proposals should be submitted electronically, as plain text, to:
Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum; mkirschenbaum -at- gmail -dot- com

Additional contact information:
Department of English
2119 Tawes Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20740
Phone: 301-405-8505
Fax: 301-314-7111 (marked clearly to Kirschenbaum's attention)

All participants in the STS 2011 conference must be members of STS. For information about membership, please contact Secretary Meg Roland at or visit the Indiana University Press
Journals website and follow the links to the Society for Textual Scholarship membership page. For conference updates and information, see the STS website at

Madeline Baker honored as English Dept. Presidential Scholar

Bill Olsen's fifth book

Bill Olsen's fifth collection of poetry, Sand Theory, has been accepted by Northwestern University Press and will be published spring of 2011.

arnie johnston featured on may 11

rattle poetry prize

2010 Rattle Poetry Prize
1st prize: $5,000; plus TEN $100Honorable Mentions

1) Entry fee of $18.00 includes a one year subscription to RATTLE.
2) Open to writers, worldwide; poems must be written in English (no translations).
3) Submissions will be judged in a blind review by the editors of RATTLE: Send no more than four poems per entry; print name, address, phone number, and the titles of the poems onto a coversheet. No contact information should appear on the poems. Include a check or money order for $18.00, payable to RATTLE.
4) No previously published works, or works accepted for publication elsewhere. No simultaneous submissions. The previous year’s 1st prize winner is disqualified from entry.
5) Manuscripts will not be returned; include a SASE or email address to be notified of the results.
6) Winners will be announced no later than September 15th, 2010, and those poems will be published in the Winter 2010 issue of RATTLE. Additional entries may also be offered publication.
7) Online payment and entries are accepted as well. For more information visit

August 1st, 2010

Send entries to:
Poetry Prize
12411 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Chad Sweeney & Jennifer K. Sweeney Read April 22, 8:00 PM, Bernhard Center 105-107

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

CW grad Adam Schuitema signing at Michigan News on Friday

WMU grad ADAM SCHUITEMA will be signing copies of his newly published book downtown at Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo (308 W. Michigan Ave) this Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Adam will also be giving a talk and doing a signing at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, Thurs., April 29 at 7:00PM.

Scholarly Speakers Series concludes for 2009-10, looks forward to next year

Last Thursday, April 15, the English Department's Scholarly Speakers Series sponsored a lecture by AMANDA WRIGLEY of the Northwestern University Department of Classics. Dr. Wrigley spoke about ancient Greece on BBC radio in the mid-twentieth century. She is currently guest-editing a special issue of COMPARATIVE DRAMA, titled "Translation, Performance, and Reception of Greek Drama, 1900-1960: International Dialogues," due out in Fall 2010. Comparative Drama was one of the co-sponsors of Dr. Wrigley's visit to WMU.

The Speakers Series Committee is also pleased to announce next year's invited speakers. These scholars have all agreed to visit us in 2010-11:

* the president of the Flannery O'Connor Society, ROBERT DONAHOO (Sam Houston State) and fellow O'Connor scholar AVIS HEWITT (Grand Valley State);

* Americanist CHRISTOPH IRMSCHER (Indiana U.);

* the president of the National Council of Teachers of English, CAROL JAGO;

* the Director of the Center for Folklore Studies at Ohio State University, DOROTHY NOYES; and

* Shakespearean scholar STEPHEN ORGEL (Stanford University).

graduate student research and travel grants

I am happy to announce that Lisa Horton and Christina Triezenberg are recipients of a graduate research grant and that Jason Lenz is recipient of a graduate student travel grant. Congrats!

Klekar publishes in Eighteenth-Century Studies

Cynthia Klekar published her essay "'Sweetness and Courtesie': Benevolence,  Civility, and China in the Making of European Modernity" in a special issue of Eighteenth-Century Studies entitled China and the Making of Global Modernity (43.3, 2010). The essay is an extension of Cynthia's talk at the 2007 Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard summer seminar.

women's studies in india

Tomorrow: Tuesday, April 20th at 2:00 (Bernhard 204 (room change)) Dr. Manju Jaidka, Professor of English at the Panjab University in Chandigarh, India, will give a public talk on "Women's Studies in India." The event is sponsored by the CAS Women's Caucus, English, Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Collaborative Teaching Forum offered four presentations

On Friday, the Forum,  
All Together Now,
offered interested participants
a wealth of ideas for
collaborative teaching
and learning.

Capstone Colloquium

On Wednesday, MA and MAET students in Beth Bradburn's Capstone Class welcomed guests to a program of fascinating research papers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ann Arbor Book Festival, May 14-15

Our events include a Poetry event at The Neutral Zone on Friday, May 14, featuring noted poets Aracelis Girmay and Rachel McKibbens, a Breakfast with the Authors event on Saturday morning, May 15, our full-day Writer's Conference on Saturday, May 15, and an Author's Forum on Saturday evening with Michigan author (and WMU graduate) Bonnie Jo Campbell. All of the details are on the website.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference This Saturday

Twenty-four WMU students will present their original creative and scholarly work on Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the Spring 2010 Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference. The ESC gets underway at 11 a.m. in 3025 Brown Hall, and breakout sessions continue throughout the day. This event is free and open to the public. Click here to see the program of speakers.

REMINDER: Women's Caucus Award Winner lectures today at 3:00

DR CHIEN-JUH GU (Sociology), winner of the CAS Women's Caucus Emerging Scholar Award for 2009-10
speaks today on

"Gender, Immigration, and Psychological Well-Being"

Wed., April 14, at 3:00 Bernhard 212

Sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Manju Jaidka to Speak on Women's Studies in India

On Tuesday, April 20th at 2:00 in Bernhard 212 Dr Manju Jaidka, Professor of English at the Panjab University in Chandigarh, India, will give a public talk on "Women's Studies in India." The event is sponsored by the CAS Women's Caucus, the departments of English and Political Science, and the Gender and Women's Studies Program.

Third Coast Readings

Come One! Come All!
The final 2009-2010
Third Coast readings are

Hear great writing from:
James Pray
Natalie Giarratano
and Branden Jennings

Brown 3025
7:00-8:30 PM
Friday, April 16

Light refreshments served.
See you there!
Brought to you by
AGES (the Association of Grad Students of English)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

capstone colloquium on wednesday, april 14

Adam Schuitema's new book

Come celebrate the release of Freshwater Boys by Adam Schuitema

Published by Delphinium Books

This Saturday at 6:00 p.m.
Kendall College of Art and Design
17 Fountain St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

For details, click the link below:

Freshwater Boys goes on sale today.
To purchase the book, follow the link below:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bradburn Presents on Narrative Verse

Beth Bradburn, in possible violation of her Miltonist's license, presented a paper entitled "Marilyn Hacker's Narrative-Lyric Voice" at the International Conference on Narrative in Cleveland, OH on April 9. Participants in the conference's four panels devoted to verse narrative have already banded together to form a Narrative and Poetry Working Group.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Andrew Taylor and Sarah Turkstra Win Rubric Award

On Friday, April 9, 2010, at the WMU Research Day celebration, the University Assessment Steering Committee announced the winner of a rubric competition that involved teams of master's degree students from across campus. For the last few months, student teams worked to develop a set of criteria that will be used to judge the new UASC Assessment Award, an honor designed to recognize the assessment related activites of WMU graduate students.

The winning team was comprised of our own Andrew Taylor, a master's degree student specializing in literature, and Sarah Turkstra, a MBA student in the Haworth College of Business. In addition to the honor of having their rubric selected out of a large pool of entries, Andrew and Sarah will share a $1,000 prize.

Congratulations to Andrew and Sarah, as well as to all of the master's degree students who participated in the competition. As a reminder, graduate students across campus will be eligible to compete for the new assessment award beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our department awards and recognition ceremony

Festival of Faith and Writing

Greetings from the Festival of Faith and Writing

For the first time, the Festival is coming to downtown Grand Rapids! Starting Thursday, April 15th and continuing throughout the weekend, the Ladies Literary Club (61 Sheldon SE) in downtown Grand Rapids will be hosting a series of literary events open to the public. We're calling it "Festival in the City," and it's free and open to the community. Starting the first night, best-selling author and humorist Michael Perry (Population 485: Meet Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Truck: A Love Story) will be reading from his work, with a book signing afterwards. On Friday, poet and National Book Award finalist Kevin Young (For the Confederate Dead, Jelly Roll, The Art of Losing, Dear Darkness) will be reading from his work, and he will also be signing books. Finally, on Saturday, Laura Waters Hinson will screen her documentary on the Rwandan genocide, *As We Forgive*. There will be a discussion with Ms. Hinson following the film. All of these events will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Festival in the City schedule: 

Thursday, April 15: Michael Perry: reading and book signing, 7:00pm
Friday, April 16: Kevin Young, reading and book signing, 7:00pm
Saturday, April 17: Laura Waters Hinson, screening of the documentary As We Forgive, followed by discussion with filmmaker, 7:00pm

Parking: The parking lot across the street from the Ladies Literary Club is open after 4:30 p.m., or parking is available at LaGrave Christian Reformed Church. If you have questions, please e-mail the Festival office at We hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Schulman publishes Jonsbok

Congrats to Jana Schulman, who recently published Laws of Later Iceland: Jónsbók as volume 4 in the Bibliotheca Germanica - Series Nova book series edited by Hans Fix-Bonner at the University of Greifswald. Germany. The publisher's description reads as follows:
"After Iceland had submitted to the Norwegian king, Hákon Hákonarson, and his son Magnús in 1262-1264, the law of the Icelandic Commonwealth Grágás was abolished and superseded by Járnsíða in 1271. Icelanders, however, disliked this mainly Norwegian law as it did not pay enough attention to Icelandic conditions. So the lawspeaker Jón Einarsson (d. 1306) brought a revised law code, one that now carries his name, from Norway to Iceland in 1280, to have it accepted by the General Assembly in 1281. Laws of Later Iceland: Jónsbók opens the window to a landscape both unknown and familiar (in its exploration of some legal issues that concern us even today). A late thirteenth-century legal text, Jónsbók's chapters focus on land use, tenancy, personal rights, farming, maritime law, marriage and family law, and inheritance, in addition to poor law and theft law. In this translation appear many fascinating details: how do I prove that I have the rights to a whale? What mark can I claim to indicate my animals and where, according to the law, must I mark them? If my sister marries before me and receives more in her dowry than I end up getting, what are my options? If I own a certain amount of land and chattels, how much will I have to contribute for support of the indigent? The Laws of Later Iceland is the first translation into English of any Jónsbók manuscript. It provides the first edition of AM 351 fol. The edition is a diplomatic one so that linguists can use it as well. Since there are already Ólafur Halldórsson's critical edition (Copenhagen, 1904) that uses AM 351 fol. as its base and Chr. Westergård-Nielsen's facsimile of AM 351 fol. (Copenhagen, 1971), this manuscript will be one of the most accessible for virtually any audience, existing as it does as the base manuscript of a critical edition, in a facsimile, and as the basis for a diplomatic edition and translation. Jónsbók has always attracted readers both because of its comprehensiveness and because of the very material itself. Jónsbók specifically drew scribes to copy the book as ownership allowed more people to know their law intimately and contributed to status. The book has been preserved in over 260 copies, testifying to its popularity; some sections remain in force even today. Unfortunately, Jónsbók was not included in the German series Germanenrechte, so that prior to this edition and translation, there has been only one translation published, that into Danish in 1763. It is fitting to have an English translation of Jónsbók so that the text will be accessible to a wider range of scholars. Not only will this translation of Jónsbók complement the work done by the translators of Grágás (Dennis, Foote, and Perkins, Winnipeg, 1980-2000), but it also will complete the history of medieval Iceland's most important laws."

Kuchta publishes Semi-Detached Empire

Congrats to Todd Kuchta, who recently published his monograph, Semi-Detached Empire: Suburbia and the Colonization of Britain, 1880 to the Present, with the University of Virginia Press. The publisher's description of the book has this to say:
"In the first book to consider British suburban literature from the vantage point of imperial and postcolonial studies, Todd Kuchta argues that suburban identity is tied to the empire’s rise and fall. He takes his title from the type of home synonymous with suburbia. Like the semi-detached house, which joins separate dwellings under one roof, suburbia and empire were geographically distinct but imaginatively linked. Yet just as the "semi" conceals two homes behind a single façade, suburbia’s apparent uniformity masks its defining oppositions—between country and city, "civilization" and "savagery," master and slave. -- While some people saw the suburbs as homegrown colonies, others viewed them as a terra incognita beyond the pale of British culture. Surveying a range of popular and canonical texts, Kuchta reveals the suburban foundations of a variety of unexpected fictional locales: the Thames Valley of H. G. Wells’s Martian attack and the gaslit London of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, but also the tropical backwaters of Joseph Conrad’s Malay Archipelago and the imperial communities of Raj fiction by E. M. Forster and George Orwell. This capacious view demonstrates suburbia's vital role in science fiction, detective tales, condition-of-England novels, modernist narratives of imperial decline, and contemporary multicultural fiction. -- Drawing on postcolonial theory, urban studies, and architectural scholarship, this book will appeal to readers interested in Victorian, modern, and contemporary British literature and cultures, especially those concerned with how place shapes class and masculine identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."
For additional information, see HERE.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Forum on Collaborative Teaching on April 16

Careers in Community Organizing for Social Justice

Careers in Community Organizing for Social Justice Available to WMU graduating students and alums -- Final Application Deadline: April 26, 2010!

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 ($32-35,000 for Associate Organizers and $35-40,000 for Lead Organizers starting salary + health & benefits).  DART is a 501(c)(3) organization, therefore, employees of the DART Network are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness under the recently enacted College Cost Reduction and Access Act.  For more information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness, visit

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 start in 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, JD, or similar life experience is preferred though not necessary. 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:  The 2010 Final Application Deadline is April 26, 2010.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Issues Awarded MCACA Grant

New Issues Press of Western Michigan University has been awarded a grant for $7,500 from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grant will support the promotion of Michigan poets published by New Issues.

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

03/31/2010 - The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural  Affairs Announces Statewide Grants