Friday, August 27, 2010

Reading Together 2011

Tracy Kidder’s New York Times best-seller Strength in What Remains will be the 2011 Reading Together selection. Book discussions and a wide variety of special events will take place in March and April of 2011. The author will visit Kalamazoo on March 10. For information about the program and events as they are scheduled, please stay tuned to the Kalamazoo Public Library's official website.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

No way forward: PSP student publishes op-ed in Prague Post regarding barriers confronting the disabled in that country

An insightful essay on the difficulty of navigating around Prague in a wheelchair by a woman who attended the Prague Summer Program this year, Sherry Ramsey Schulz, the recipient of five medals at the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games and a two-time winner of the Boston Marathon.

Prague Post

New Issues Event This Sunday

Everyone is invited to join us this Sunday, August 29th, 2 to 6 p.m. at Bell's Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., for the second annual New Issues Fundraiser, a Celebration of Kalamazoo Poetry.  A $5 donation will be requested at the door. Support a small press!

Poetry reading begins at 3 p.m. Poets participating will include Rob Haight, Linda Nemec Foster, Phillip Sterling, Conrad Hilberry, Di Seuss, Adam Clay, Richard Katrovas, Arnie Johnston, Jennifer Sweeney, Chad Sweeney, Denise Miller, Nancy Eimers, Daneen Wardrop, Susan Ramsey, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Denise Miller, John Rybicki, Gail Martin, and Lynn Pattison.

Check out the latest publications from New Issues. Eat cookies. Drink delicious, locally-brewed beer. Listen to Joe Gross play music. See the amazing talent we have here in Kalamazoo.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

MCEA Conference

Call for Papers: MCEA Conference, Friday, October 15, 2010
Theme: Turning Points

Luncheon Speaker: Dr. Wijdan Sayigh
“Turning a Page: Contemporary Arab Women Writers”

Location: Henry Ford Community College
Mazzara Building, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128

A turning point is that sometimes sudden decision, insight, or more often gradual realization that causes events to follow a different course. Frost referred to this concept when he wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –/ I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference.” It can come in the form of a decision made, like Hemingway’s Frederic Henry’s decision to desert the army, or in the form of a departmental shift in policy, an instructor’s decision to try a new text or offer an on-line course, or a graduate student’s dissertation decision. Whether the end results are positive or negative, how do we/others recognize these turning points and how have these moments altered outcomes in the following areas?

fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction prose professional expectations/evaluation
classroom management teaching composition, literature, linguistics
preparing students for the work world English departments
research the lives of our students
curriculum development the creative process
computer or on-line instruction union/administration differences

The Michigan College English Association invites proposals for individual papers and for complete or open panels for our Fall 2010 conference. We welcome proposals from experienced academics as well as from young scholars and graduate students. We encourage a variety of papers, including pedagogical and scholarly essays as well as poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction from creative writers. Graduate student papers are eligible to compete for awards for the best scholarly paper and the best creative writing.

Although we are calling for papers and panels that reflect the conference theme, we also welcome proposals in the variety of areas that English and Writing departments encompass: composition and rhetoric; computers and writing; creative writing; critical pedagogy; critical studies in the teaching of English; cultural studies; film studies; developmental education; English as a second language; linguistics; literary studies; multicultural literature; on-line English courses and the virtual university; popular culture; race, class, and gender studies; progressive education; reading and writing across the curriculum; student demographics; student/instructor accountability and assessment; student placement; study skills; technical writing.
Proposals are due by Friday, September 24, 2010. Early submissions are welcome. Please submit proposals to Ed Demerly, Program Chair, via email at Please specify your needs for audio-visual equipment and the best time of day for your presentation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing

Daneen Wardrop's book, Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing was reviewed by Kirstie Blair in a summary of three books in the June Times Literary Supplement. Blair commented that,“Wardrop is astute on such small distinctions [as the absence of a top button at the neck of the white dress], which suggests the comfortableness of a garment worn around the home, and she works hard to place visual representations of Dickinson and her family, and references to clothing made in the letters and poems, in their nineteenth-century contexts. The long hours Dickinson spent mending and dressmaking, within earshot of the whistle from the nearby Amherst hat factory, and the sense of a shared language of clothing taken for granted by her and her contemporaries, are brought before us in a new light.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WMU on U.S. News list of top-tier national universities

Western Michigan University is one of just a handful of Michigan universities included in the U.S. News & World Report's new, expanded list of top-tier national universities released today.
The publication's 2011 ranking of more than 1,400 colleges and universities was unveiled at and will be available in an Aug. 24 print guidebook on newsstands. WMU remains among the 262 universities--164 public and 98 private--the magazine singles out as having national standing and being among the nation's best. WMU's numerical rank is 179 among the total group, putting it in a tie for 98th place among the nation's public universities.
This is the 20th year WMU has appeared in the magazine's top grouping of "best national universities." This year, the publication expanded its numerically ranked top tier to include more schools. The schools in the bottom 25 percent of the group are listed alphabetically and without ranking as the second tier.
A total of four Michigan public universities are among the schools numerically ranked in the top tier of public and private institutions that is led by Harvard, Princeton and Yale in the top three slots.
Top Tier Michigan Universities
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Western Michigan University
Another three Michigan schools appear in the unranked lower tier of "best national universities." They are Central Michigan, Oakland and Wayne State universities. Several other state schools are on the magazine's various lists of top liberal arts schools and regional top master's-level universities and baccalaureate colleges.
WMU was first named to the overall "Best National Universities" list in 1991 and moved up to the third of four tiers on the 1999 list. The new ranking eliminates the four-tier system and moves to two. The widely read U.S. News list is based on 16 criteria, including academic reputation, retention and graduation rates, student/faculty ratios, class size, faculty resources and student test scores.
Earlier this month, WMU was named one of the "Best Midwestern Colleges" by Princeton Review. This is the sixth year the University has been honored with that designation, which was made to 152 schools in 12 states. The list is compiled using institutional data, visits to schools and the opinions of college counselors and advisors. An important element of the selection process is an 80-question student survey.
WMU has an enrollment of some 25,000 students and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a university with high research activity. The University offers more than 230 degree programs, including 29 at the doctoral level and has regional sites at seven locations around Michigan. The University attracts students from every state in the union and 90 other nations, and its more than 900 faculty members have been trained at some of the world's finest institutions.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The summer issue of Comparative Drama arrived last week. Volume 44.2 contains the following contributions:


Pericles, Paul, and Protestantism
Richard Finkelstein

Striking a Pose: Performance Cues in Four French Hagiographic Mystery Plays
Vicki L. Hamblin

The Spirit of the Chorus in D'Annunzio's La città morta
James Nikopoulos

"Hilda, Harnessed to a Purpose": Elizabeth Robins, Ibsen, and the Vote
Maroula Joannou

Tragedy After Darwin: Timberlake Wertenbaker Remakes "Modern" Tragedy
Sara Freeman


Performance in Place of War
by James Thompson, Jenny Hughes, and Michael Balfour
reviewed by Marvin Carlson

Euripides: Trojan Women
by Barbara Goff
reviewed by Simon Perris

Two Moral Interludes: The Pride of Life and Wisdom
ed. David N. Klausner
reviewed by Alan J. Fletcher

Tragic Conditions in Shakespeare: Disinheriting the Globe
by Paul A. Kottman
reviewed by Emma Smith

The Cambridge Introduction to Comedy
by Eric Weitz
reviewed by Miriam Chirco

Aristophanes: An Introduction
by James Robson
reviewed by Charles Platter

Shakespeare on Silent Film: An Excellent Dumb Discourse
by Judith Buchanan
reviewed by Emmie McFadden

Euripides Our Contemporary
by Michael Walton
reviewed by George Kovacs

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mirzeler reviews Medievalism in the Postcolonial World

Mustafa Mirzeler recently reviewed Medievalism in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of “The Middle Ages” Outside Europe, edited by Kathleen Davis and Nadia Altschul, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2009, for medievally speaking.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Congratulations Dr. Moustakis

Thursday, August 05, 2010
Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award winners announced

Judging for this year's Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award is at last complete. Congratulations to the winning authors: Amina Gautier of Chicago, IL for her manuscript "At Risk" and Melinda Moustakis of Kalamazoo, MI for "Bear Down, Bear North." Both collections will be published by the University of Georgia Press and should be available next fall.

Meanwhile, the winning collections from last year's competition, THE DANCE BOOTS by Linda Legarde Grover and PLEASE COME BACK TO ME by Jessica Treadway, are very near release and will be available by September 15.

The award exists to help readers discover wonderful new writers and call attention to the short story as a worthy genre; it has led to the publication of more than fifty short story collections since 1983.

The judges named a runner up in this year's competition, E. J. Levy of Washington, DC. Congratulations also to this year’s finalists: L. Annette Binder of Los Angeles, CA; Charles Blackburn, Jr. of Raleigh, NC; William H. Coles of Salt Lake City, UT; Justin Courter of Sunnyside, NY; Valerie Fioravanti of Sacramento, CA; Natalie Harris of Waterville, ME; Nick Healy of Mankato, MN; Jeff P. Jones of Moscow, ID; Christiana Louisa Langenberg of Huxley, IA; Kelly Luce of Santa Cruz, CA; Michael McGuire of La Manzanilla de la Paz, Jalisco, Mexico; Robert McKean of Newton, MA; Janna McMahan of Columbia, SC; Nicholas Montemarano of Lancaster, PA; Maryanne O’Hara of Ashland, MA; Nicole Louise Reid of Newburgh, IN; Richard Sonnenmoser of Maryville, MO; Carol Test of Phoenix, AZ; Paul Vidich of New York, NY; Anthony Wallace of Brookline, MA; and Gregory Wolos of Alplaus, NY.

Posted by at 8/05/2010 01:32:00 PM

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dempsey Named 2010-2011 Distinguished Alumnus

The English Department's 2010-2011 Distinguished Alumnus is Dave Dempsey who, after receiving a B.A. from our department in 1977, moved on to help shape conservation and Great Lakes policy for more than two decades and is the author and co-author of five conservation books and many an article and blog. He currently serves as Communications Director for Conservation Minnesota, a nonprofit organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For full information on Dave's impressive achievements, please see We are in contact with Dave to see if he might be able to join us on October 1, when the College and University honor departmental awardees, and on March 18, during our annual English Awards and Recognition ceremony.