Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sarah Hercula publishes article in Hilltop Review

Sarah Hercula, an M.A. student in English with an emphasis in Teaching, has published an essay, "Australian Aboriginal English and African American Language: The Development of Marginalized Language Varieties," in volume 4.4 of The Hilltop Review. A Journal of Western Michigan University Graduate Student Research, pp. 1-7.

Call for Action on Federal Budget Cuts to Language and Humanities Programs

The MLA Executive Council has issued the following statement opposing cuts to language and humanities programs in the 2011 federal budget and calling on President Obama and Congress to ensure that these programs receive adequate funding in 2012. The statement was sent to all MLA members along with a message urging members in the United States to voice their objections to the cuts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The English Department's Scholarly Speakers Series is pleased to announce the scholars who have agreed to participate in our 2011-12 lecture series:

* poet and visual artist Jen Bervin, who will teach next year at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and at Harvard University;

* director of the Heart of Texas Writing Project and former NCTE president Randy Bomer of the University of Texas at Austin;

* Neville Hoad, also from the University of Texas at Austin;

* and Ania Loomba, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Heartfelt thanks to all who supported the Speakers Series this year!

Gary McDowell lands tenure-track position

Congrats to Gary McDowell from our Ph.D. program in English (emphasis Creative Writing/Poetry), who was offered and has accepted a position as tenure-track assistant professor at Belmont University, Nashville, TN.
For Gary's bio, please see HERE.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Are Invited

Bill Olsen and Nancy Eimers will read from their new poetry collections at the Portage District Library on April 27 at 6:30 p.m. The Portage District Library is located at 300 Library Lane in Portage.

Pix from ENGL 2000 Poster Session

On Wednesday, students in the department's signature "Introduction to English Studies" class presented their final projects. Under the guidance of their instructors, Drs. Meg Dupuis and Jil Larson, students had been investigating what they can do with an English major, looking into various career options including editing and publishing, teaching, technical writing, academia, public relations, and creative writing. At the poster session, students welcomed fellow English students, instructors, and a number of guests from outside the department.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Huffington Post ranks Creative Writing MFA among top 25 underrated

Our department's Creative Writing MFA program just made the top 25 underrated list in the nation. See the article in the Huffington Post.

Bradburn's Capstone Students Present Final Papers at Lee Honors College

Friday, April 15, 2011

Gwen Raaberg Retirement Reception

Yesterday, at the Oaklands, colleagues and students honored Dr. Gwen Raaberg for twenty-two years of outstanding service, inspired teaching, and excellent scholarship in the Department of English and the Gender and Women's Studies Program.
Dr. Raaberg earned her doctorate from the University of California, Irvine and began her faculty career at University of Texas at Dallas.  In 1989, she came to Western Michigan University, where she became the driving force behind our highly successful Gender and Women’s Studies program. 

Along with Mary Ann Caws and Ruedi Kuenzli, Dr. Raaberg edited the influential collection, Surrealism and Women, which was published in 1991 by MIT Press. She held prestigious visiting appointments and fellowships at UCLA, Case Western, California Irvine, Kossuth Lajos University in Hungary, the University of Virginia, the Humanities Research Institute at the University of California, and the Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers.
In his summary of the rich fabric of Dr. Raaberg's record of professional recognition, English Department Chair, Richard Utz, resorted to the nineteenth-century habit of "listing," in this case listing words and terms from Raaberg's numerous presentations and publications:
"Gender and Difference, Experimentation and Social Critique, The Aging Body, Cinematic Assemblage, Aesthethic and/or Politics, the Poetics and Politics of Fragmentation, Theory under construction, Aiming Canons, Spacial Form in Feminist Collage, Feminist Experimentalism, Embodying the Avant-Garde, The Heterogeneity of American Literature, The Readymade, Kulturmorphologie, Psychology and Self-creation, Myth and Irony, The Interdiscipline of Women's Studies, Ekphrasis and the Temporal/Spatial Metaphor, Mythic and Ironic Modes, Dada and Surrealism."
Dr. Raaberg shared her impressive interdisciplinary expertise with countless undergraduate and graduate students in English, Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology, History, Public Administration, and Education Leadership.  Her expertise in contemporary art, culture, and literature made her a highly valuable resource for doctoral candidates.  For instance, one of our finest graduate students, Jennifer Smith, worked closely with Gwen to write a dissertation entitled: “Highly Ambiguous Condition: The Transgender Subject, Experimental Narrative and Trans-Reading Identity in the Fiction of Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter, and Jeanette Winterson.”  The breadth and scope of Dr. Raaberg’s scholarly interests enabled the English department to offer courses that inspired students and kept them from succumbing to what the British call "specialism." Her work inspired them to be comparatists.
Twenty years ago she started, with Alan Zagarell (Anthropology), an interdisciplinary faculty reading group in Post Modern theory that was active for 17 years, usually meeting at her house.  Many of English faculty were regular participants, as were faculty from history, anthropology, foreign languages, political science, education and other fields. Gwen Raaberg, as one colleague put it in an e-mail, "added a great deal to the intellectual life at WMU."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Innovation? Hire from the Humanities

Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities - Tony Golsby-Smith - Harvard Business Review --- An interesting blog post--and also see the comments

Gordon wins Ryan Book Award

Jaimy Gordon, winner of this year's National Book Award, just received the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award. The award, which carries $10,000, was presented by Castleton Lyons and Thoroughbred Times during a reception Wednesday evening at Castleton Lyons in Lexington, KY. For full information about the award, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bonnie Jo Campbell ('98) wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Bonnie Jo Campbell, an English Department alumna (MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction, 1998) nominated two years ago for a National Book Award, is one of the recipients of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction for 2011. For information about the fellowships, see HERE.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bradburn Presents Paper on Narrative Poetry

Beth Bradburn presented her paper "Poetics and Agency in Paradise Lost" as part of a panel on "The Effects of Poetic Devices on Narrative Dynamics" at the International Conference on Narrative, St. Louis, MO, April 9.

Loew Lecture on Dominican Teaching in Dante's Florence

Spring 2011 Cornelius Loew Lecture 

Sponsored by the Medieval Institute

Dominican Teaching in Dante's Florence: Fra Remigio de'Girolami and the Schools of Santa Maria Novella

M. Michèle Mulchahey

Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Tuesday, April 12
4:30 p.m.
WMU East Campus
reception to follow

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hilberry & Nisula to Read

Sunday April 10, 7PM; Olmsted Room in Mandelle Hall; Kalamazoo College

Renowned poet, Conrad Hilberry, has been translated into Russian by the accomplished translator, Dasha Nisula. Come listen in both English and Russian to this lovely, wise, humorous, profound poetry. Conrad and Dasha have traveled to Russia together to perform these poems in St. Petersburg, and now they are back, in our very own Olmsted Room. Conrad is one of the most beloved personages in Kalamazoo, and this is an important opportunity for us to celebrate him again on April 10 and to listen to his poems in his own voice and in the passionate, musical translations of Dasha Nisula.

CONRAD HILBERRY is the author of several book of poetry, most recently After-Music (Wayne State University Press, 2008) and This Awkward Art (Mayapple Press, 2009), a very special book coauthored with Conrad’s daughter Jane. After teaching in DePauw University, Professor Hilberry joined Kalamazoo College where he taught for 30 years in English Literature and Creative Writing and in that time launched an entire generation of writers, including Diane Seuss. He is now Professor Emeritus. In his own words, “Kalamazoo College seemed to me a perfect place to teach—lively, imaginative, the first school to send almost all its students abroad. Colleagues, students, administrators, all of them were cordial, responsive, smart, easy to work with. And now I'm honored to be invited back for a reading with Dasha.”

DASHA NISULA is a professor of Russian language, literature and culture at WMU, and a translator of Slavic languages into English, and, more recently, from English into Russian.  And she has also been a professor at Kalamazoo College. She has published four books, two of which are poetry in translation, Selected Poems of Vesna Parun (Croatian/English bilingual edition) and Leading Contemporary Poets: An International Anthology.  Her translations have appeared widely, including Pennsylvania Review, Colorado Review, International Poetry Review, IQ: International Quarterly, and Modern Poetry in Translation.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MFA/PhD Festival Readings

We welcome you to join us for WMU’s annual MFA/PhD Festival. The Festival will feature readings from this year’s graduating MFAs and PhDs from the WMU Creative Writing Program. The readings will take place this week on Friday, April 8th, and Saturday, April 9th. Both readings will begin at 7:30 and will take place at the WMU Bernhard Center, room 105-107.

On Friday, the readers will include: Katie Burpo, Mikala Hansen, Amy Newday, and Seth Kay.

On Saturday, the readers will include: Joe Sanders, Gary McDowell, Eileen Wiedbrauk, and Shana Wolstein.

Come on out to help us celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating students over refreshments and great writing.

McKittrick on the Birth of Cinema and Art/Commerce

On April 4 and 5, Casey McKittrick delivered two 90-minute invited lectures to Western's 300+ undergraduate seminar Direct Encounter With the Arts.  His talk was titled "The Birth of Cinema and the Persistent Dialogue of Art and Commerce."  Following the preliminary lectures, he introduced a one-time screening of the 2008 Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire at the State Theatre on Thursday night at 7:00 to the seminar students and other interested University faculty and students.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Poet Jerome Rothenberg Reads His Work: Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

The final reading of the Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series will feature poet Jerome Rothenberg. The reading will take place this Thursday, April 7th at the Kalamazoo College Stetson Chapel, starting at 7:00 PM.

The Stetson Chapel is located on Academy Street, where you will find lots of easy parking on the street. There is also a visiting parking lot on Lovell. The Chapel is #22 on K College’s campus map, which is linked here.

We look forward to seeing you there.