Monday, January 31, 2011

Nash anthologized

Ilana Nash's essay, "Radical Notions: Nancy Drew and Her Readers, 1930–1949," will be republished in the Illinois University Press anthology, The Girls' History and Culture Reader. The Twentieth Century, edited by Miriam Forman-Brunell and Leslie Paris.

"An exceptionally valuable anthology that proves that girls' studies is one of the most vital new areas in women's studies."--Elizabeth Pleck, author of Domestic Tyranny: The Making of American Social Policy against Family Violence from Colonial Times to the Present

For full information on the volume, see HERE.

Slawinski reviewed in Women's Studies

Recently, Amy E. Winans reviewed Scott Slawinski's edition of Sukey Vickery. Emily Hamilton and Other Writings, for the journal Women's Studies 39:8 (2010). Here is how she summarized her evaluation:
"This volume offers us the opportunity to engage with ongoing debates about the political function of the early American novel—especially its concern with women's bodies, sexuality, and agency—as it encourages us to look beyond categories of genre in order to better understand women's authorship during the early nineteenth century. It will serve as a welcome resource for those teaching specialized undergraduate or graduate classes focusing on early American women writers or on early and nineteenth-century American fiction. The careful editing and cogent and engaging introduction to this volume will guide students and scholars alike, thus helping Sukey Vickery's work to receive the attention that it deserves."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Schulman and Utz publish on Medievalism

Essays by Jana Schulman ("Retelling Old Tales: Germanic Myth and Language in Christopher Paolini's Eragon") and Richard Utz ("Pi(o)us Medievalism vs. Catholic Modernism: The Case Of George Tyrell") have recently been published in volume 25 (2010) of The Year's Work in Medievalism.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Symposium on Lesbian and Queer Historiography‏ (U of Mich.)


9:15 Welcome and thanks: Valerie Traub and Nadine Hubbs

9:30-11:00 The Sexuality of History
Chair, Matthieu Dupas, Ph.D. Candidate, Romance Languages (French)
Susan Lanser, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Women's and Gender Studies, Brandeis University
Response: Jarrod Hayes, UM Romance Languages and Literatures

11:00-12:00 Lunch

12:00-1:30 Genealogy as Historical Practice
Chair, Cookie Woolner, Ph.D. Candidate, History and Women's Studies
Laura Doan, Professor of Cultural History and Sexuality Studies, Manchester University
Response: David Halperin, Professor of English, Women's Studies, Classics, and Comparative Literature

1:30-2:00 Break

2:00-3:30pm The New Unhistoricism in Queer Studies
Chair, Ari Friedlander, Ph.D. English, University of Michigan
Valerie Traub, Professor of English and Women's Studies
Response: Karma Lochrie, Ruth N. Halls Professor of English and Chair, Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University

3:30-3:45 Break

3:45-4:45 Roundtable Kathryn Babayan, Professor of Near Eastern Studies and History
Matthieu Dupas
Ari Friedlander
Nadine Hubbs, Professor of Women's Studies and Music
Scott Specter, Professor of History and German
Cookie Woolner

4:45-5:00 Break

5:00-6:00 Reception

The symposium will highlight the range of methodological approaches currently being devised for writing the history of same-sex love and desire in periods before the emergence of a widely-perceived, distinct homosexual identity. Experts will cross historical periods in an effort to think comparatively about the methodological issues involved in writing a non-identitarian history of sexuality. Each of the participants has contributed significantly to the history of sexuality in previous work, and is currently embarked on a project that reformulates central principles of the field.

The symposium will consider as well why the writing of lesbian history, in contrast to gay male and transsexual history, remains primarily the endeavor of scholars trained in literary studies. The day will consist of three 50-minute public lectures, each followed by a response, Q&A, as well as a working lunch and a final roundtable.

Each of the three featured speakers is in the process of finishing a monograph on the history of sexuality. Professor Doan's book, Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality, and Women's Experience of Modern War, 1914-18, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. Partly dedicated to examining the utility of the concept of genealogy for queer history and partly dedicated to historical case studies, this book examines the lives of women who did not identify as lesbian despite the presence of a cultural discourse on homosexuality. A chapter from the book, "Topsy-Turveydom," was published in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Professor Lanser's monograph, Mapping Sapphic Modernity, 1600-1800, is a major rethinking of the history of western European lesbianism over the long eighteenth-century. A comparativist, Lanser charts differences among English, French, and German discourses of Sapphic desire, arguing that sapphic subjects function as a signifier of modernity and national identity. Aiming to "flip the scholarly coin from the history of sexuality to the sexuality of history: from the premise that sexuality is historically constructed to the claim that history is also sexually constructed," Lanser has published essays from this project in such venues as Textual Practice and Journal of the History of Sexuality.

Valerie Traub's current project, Making Sexual Knowledge: Thinking Sex with the Early Moderns, is an outgrowth of The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England, which won the Best Book award from the Society of Early Modern Women in 2002. Poised at the intersection of historical and literary studies, it explores the methods by which we come to "know" the history of sexuality, including definitions of what sex is. With chapters ranging from sexual pedagogy to the sexuality of Shakespeare, from popular films to women's sexual knowledge in Renaissance drama, it considers the various ways in which sex is "good to think with." Essays from this project have been published in such venues as GLQ, A Companion to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies, and various edited collections.

This talk is part of IRWG's Lesbian, Gay, Queer Research Initiative series. It is free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by Department of American Culture, Department of Comparative Literature's "Year of Comparison", Department of English Language and Literature, Department of History, Department of Women's Studies, Labadie Collection, Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop "Doing Queer Studies Now", Spectrum Center, The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies and The Institute for the Humanities.

Slawinski reviewed in Legacy

Emily Hamilton and Other Writings. By Sukey Vickery (U of Nebraska P, 2009), edited by our very own Scott Slawinski, just received a positive review in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers. Reviewer Jill Kirsten Anderson describes Slawinski's edition as providing "students and scholars alike with ample means for broadening their temporal and generic frames of reference in terms of American literary history."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Joslin invited to present in Lisbon, Portugal

Katherine Joslin has just been invited to speak at an international conference on Jane Addams and Mary Richmond: Legacy & Current Relevance, May 26-27, hosted by the CESSS- Research Center for Social Work and Sociology of the Catholic University in Lisbon, Portugal.

Bradburn, McLean-Nagle, and Rypma reach for the stars

It is my pleasure to inform you that Beth Bradburn ("The Effects of Poetic Devices on Narrative Dynamics"), Chris MacLean-Nagle ("American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies"), and Judi Rypma ("Mythic and Folkloric Motifs in Holocaust Fiction") have all been granted College of Arts and Sciences Teaching and Research Awards.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jaimy Gordon Reading @ Little Theatre

The Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series starts off in a big way with National Book Award winner and English Department faculty Jaimy Gordon reading tonight, at 8:00 PM, at the WMU Little Theatre. We look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Distinguished English Alumnus, Karl Sandelin, To Run Marathon at 82

The study of English seems to be a good predictor for mental and physical fitness in our later years. Karl Sandelin, our 2009-2010 Distinguished English Alumnus, will participate in this year's Kalamazoo Marathon in May. READ THE STORY

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ENGLISH Distinguished Alumna, Fran Rossi, Featured in WMU Foundation Magazine

Francine Rossi, our 2007 departmental distinguished alumna, was recently featured in an article in the Annual Report of the Western Michigan University Foundation. READ THE STORY

Katrovas publishes Scorpio Rising with Carnegie Mellon UP

Richard Katrovas just published a collection of poetry, Scorpio Rising: Selected Poems, with Carnegie Mellon University Press. [cover picture will be added as soon as available; the book, 2011, just came out]

Joslin's Edith Wharton receives Choice Award

Katherine Joslin, Director of WMU's Humanities Center and Professor in the English Department, is the recipient of a 2010 Outstanding Academic Title Award from the American Library Association's Choice Magazine for her recent study, Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion. In addition, the University Press of New England has just decided to reprint her book in paperback.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jaimy Gordon, National Book Award Winner and WMU English Faculty Member, Reads Her Work: Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

We welcome you to join us for our first reading of the Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series. We’re honored to have Jaimy Gordon, winner of the National Book Award in Fiction, read her work this Thursday, Jan. 20th. The reading will take place at the WMU Little Theatre, starting at 8:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gwen Frostic Creative Writing Awards

The deadline for this year's Frostic Creative Writing Awards is Friday, January 28. We very much hope you'll consider submitting your work. This contest has both graduate and undergraduate awards.

Here are the details:

Submissions will be accepted in four genres: Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction, and Drama. You may submit to as many genres as you would like; you may submit up to 3 poems, one story, one essay, and/or one play. Your submission should include a cover sheet with your name, the title(s) of the submission, your contact information, and whether you are a GRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE student. Submissions should be turned into the mailbox of Steve Feffer, spring Creative Writing Program Coordinator, on the 6th floor of Sprau.

Creative writing faculty will determine the finalists in each genre and classification (GRAD and UNDERGRAD), which will then be passed on to outside judges. Those judges will pick a SINGLE overall winner in each genre and classification. Fiction submissions will also be considered for the annual Gordon Prize in Fiction.

If you have questions, please drop Dustin M. Hoffman an e-mail at:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Romanticism & Film

Chris Nagle presented his paper on “The Austenian Mis-en-scène” as part of a panel sponsored by the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association at this year’s MLA Convention in Los Angeles. The panel was one of two related sessions devoted to the topic of Romanticism and Film. A revised version of the talk will be published later this year in a special issue of The Wordsworth Circle.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Schulman invited to write on Beowulf in Old Norse context

Jana Schulman has been invited to contribute an essay on teaching Beowulf in the context of Old Norse to a volume, edited by Chick Chickering, Bob Yeager, and Allen Frantzen, and entitled Approaches to Teaching Beowulf in the Twenty-First Century. The volume will be published with the Medieval and Renaissance Texts & Studies book series at Arizona State University.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Remapping the American West

At the 2011 MLA Convention in Los Angeles (6-9 Jan.), Nicolas Witschi presented his paper "'Down These Mean Streets': Deadwood, Cinematic Space, and the Irruption of Genre Codes" as part of a panel sponsored by The Western Literature Association. This panel, "Remapping the American West," is one of two sessions presented by the WLA in its inaugural year as an Allied Organization of the Modern Language Association.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Issues Publication Wins GLCA Award

Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders is part of the AWP Award Series in the Novel, published by New Issues Press at WMU. Goldbloom's novel was selected for the series by Joanna Scott.

Goldie Goldbloom's novel Toads’ Museum of Freaks and Wonders has won the 2011 GLCA New Writers Award for Fiction from the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Winning writers receive invitations to visit GLCA member colleges, where they give readings, meet and talk about writing with students and faculty members.

The GLCA judges noted:
This novel includes stunning descriptions of place; it is interestingly grounded in the historical billeting of Italian soldiers in the Australian outback during the Second World War. Its characters are both quirky and well-grounded, and their many eccentricities make the novel both distinctive and compelling.
More information:
Toads' Museum of Freaks and Wonders
Goldie Goldbloom

Sunday, January 9, 2011

WMU Writing Center to Organize two Events during MLK Celebrations

On January 20, the Writing Center will offer a panel discussion of three books and two films based on two of the books to provide background for a February 17 book circle.

Writing Center Director Kim Ballard informs:
"At the January 20 talk we'll determine readers who can borrow copies of Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone, so they can participate in a February 17 book circle.  The Writing Center is also happy to work with any classes interested in focusing assignments around these two events.

Whose Dreams? Cultural Narratives in Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, and Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone; January 20, 2 to 4 p.m., Brown and Gold Room, Bernhard Center; Kim Ballard, Carly Fricano, Marcus Johnson, Laura Citino, Owen Horton

In our initial event, a panel discussion, we will first consider the cultural narratives of white and African-American relationships introduced through two popular American books that became movies, Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman (1905), which Dixon revised into a screenplay for D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915), and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind (1939).  We will share passages from the books, clips from the videos of the two movies, and film of civil rights struggles to review a history of these texts and a history of the cultural narratives depicted in the texts. Next, to contrast the degrading historical narratives offered in those texts, we will consider how Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone (2001) revised the earlier racial narratives while echoing them and highlighting the human and historical damage they caused.

Book Circle: Whose Dreams? A Discussion of Alice Randall's The Wind's Done Gone (2001); February 17, 2 to 4 p.m., Writing Center, 1343 Ellsworth Hall; Carly Fricano, Laura Citino, Marcus Johnson, Owen Horton

At our panel talk and through other media available for free to the Western Michigan University community (Western Today, Western Herald, etc.), we will invite interested audience members to further their own experience with Randall’s book and our ideas in a book circle.  We will share copies of the book with student participants who agree to read the book and to participate in a book circle by discussing their thoughts about the book as well as the ideas we explored in our panel presentation. We will also encourage faculty and staff members to read the book and to participate in our book circle.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Horton in Hilltop Review

Lisa Horton, PhD candidate in WMU's English Department, recently published an essay, "Singing the Story: Narrative Voice and the Old English Scop," in the most recent volume (4/1 [2010]) of The Hilltop Review: A Journal of Western Michigan University Graduate Student Research. You can read Lisa's essay HERE.

Swearingen wins Mississippi Review Prize

Rachel Swearingen will be recognized with the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction for her short story, "Felina," which also won the Frostic First Prize in Fiction last year here at WMU. The MR prize is especially associated with innovative work.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Schubert Sung; trans. Arnie Johnston

Nature in Words Fellowship

Announcing the Nature in Words Fellowship
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, a private environmental education center, is pleased to announce Nature in Words, an exciting, new opportunity for undergraduate students interested in writing.  Nature in Words is modeled after the Institute's science research program and Gordon Art Fellowship.  This unique program will provide an undergraduate student, in conjunction with a faculty mentor, the opportunity to spend the summer at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, utilizing the close interaction with the natural world available here to inspire and develop their writing skills.  The Nature in Words Fellowship will provide an undergraduate student the chance to bring together his or her love of nature and writing into one unique learning experience.   The undergraduate fellow is eligible for a $3500 stipend, on-site housing, and partial meal support during their 10-12 week summer experience.  Faculty advisors are also eligible for a stipend that can be used for time, supplies, travel, or other project support.  This program is open to full-time students who have not yet completed the requirements for graduation and attend one of the consortium member institutions. More information about the program is found in the application, which is available at the Nature in Words webpage on the Institute website.Proposals must be submitted by February 25, 2011.  You are also welcome to contact Matthew Dykstra at 269-721-4473 with any questions.