Monday, February 28, 2011

Sustainability Fellowship Applications

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Office for Sustainability is accepting applications through Friday, March 18, for four yearlong residential fellowships at the Gibbs House.
Application and instructions
Gibbs House Fellowships
The Gibbs program is open to all students registered at WMU's main Kalamazoo campus system. Selected students will lead yearlong projects to improve the sustainability of WMU while living at the historic Gibbs House, located at 4503 Parkview Ave., adjacent to WMU's Parkview Campus and across from the scenic Asylum Lake Preserve. Fellows will have their own private room, and will be paid as hourly student employees at a rate consistent with their level of experience and the scale of their project.
Fellows will be expected to work 10 to 15 hours per week, with their time being split between independent research and designated hours in the Office for Sustainability. Schedules will be flexible and arranged to accommodate other academic commitments. Fellows are assessed a home-improvement fee twice a year to support sustainability upgrades and general upkeep of the house. Fees for 2011-12 will total $2,000, with half due at move in and half due at the beginning of spring semester. This works out to be roughly $170 a month, with utilities, Internet, and washer and dryer included.
Applications are available online at, and can be submitted via e-mail to or in person at 1313 Faunce Student Services Building. Applications must be completed in full and accompanied by a personal statement, essay on sustainability and a proposed project, resume, and three academic or professional references.
For more information, contact Matt Hollander or (269) 387-0941.

WMU Office for Sustainability
1903 West Michigan Ave
Faunce Student Services Building
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5286
Ph: (269) 387-0943
Fax: (2690 387-0944

Q & A with Tracy Kidder

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Member of Prague Faculty, Arnost Lustig, dies

Arnost Lustig has passed. He was a permanent member of the faculty of the WMU English Department's Prague Summer Program from its inception and worked with many of our students. A good friend of Vaclav Havel, he and Havel were recipients a few years ago of honorary doctorates from WMU, and he visited WMU and read from his works in October 2008. Arnost was a Holocaust survivor who wrote, his entire life, from that experience. He won numerous awards, among them the Karl Capek Award and Jewish National Book Award, and he was short-listed for the Nobel Prize for Literature. 
Arnost Lustig was born in Prague in 1926. In 1942 he was sent by the Nazis to Theresienstadt and later to Auschwitz, where his father died in the gas chambers, and finally to Buchenwald. He left Czechoslovakia after the Soviet occupation in 1968. He settled in 1970 in Washington D. C., where he was Professor of Literature at the American University. He is leaving a lasting legacy in his books: The Unloved, Diamonds of the Night, A Prayer for Katerina Horovitzova, The Bitter Smell of Almonds, Children of the Holocaust, Darkness Casts no Shadows, Dita Saxova, Fire on Water: Porgess and the Abyss, The House of Returned Echoes, Indecent Dreams, Lovely Green Eyes: A Novel, The Unloved: (From the Diary of Perla S.), and Night and Hope.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brimhall and Pasen Receive Travel Grants

English graduate students Tracy Brimhall and Adam Pasen have been awarded competitive Graduate College Travel Grants. Adam was also awarded a supplemental international travel grant funded by the Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill Reading at Notre Dame

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
A Reading
February 25th
3:00PM Hesburgh Center Auditorium
University of Notre Dame

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill is regarded among the most gifted Irish poets-- writing in Irish or English -- since William Butler Yeats and her poetry has been translated into many different languages including: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Norwegian, Estonian, Danish, Czech, Armenian, Breton, Swedish and Japanese. Raised in the Dingle Gaeltacht and in Nenagh, County Tipperary, she received her B.A. from University College Cork and has received honorary doctorates from Dublin City University and University College Cork. Ní Dhomhnaill has teaching and lecturing experience in Ireland, England, Turkey, Canada and the United States. She was awarded the prestigious Ireland Chair of Poetry which brought her as Poet-in-Residence to Queens University, Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Dublin and has also served as artist/writer in residence at University College Cork and St. Patrick’s College of Education. Her stateside appointments include serving as a Visiting Professor at Smith College, New York Univeristy, Boston College and Villanova University. Ní Dhomhnaill is also a regular broadcaster on radio and television in Ireland. Her poetry collections include: An Dealg Droighin (1981), Rogha Dánta/Selected Poems (1986, 1988, 1999), Pharoah’s Daughter (1990), The Astrakhan Cloak (1992) and the forthcoming Fifty Minute Mermaid. She is also the author of several plays for children, librettos, screenplays, and essays.

New edition of THE TEMPEST

A new critical edition of Shakespeare's The Tempest, edited by Grace Tiffany, has been published by Cengage, purchaser of Houghton-Mifflin. The volume is available as a book and as an e-book. One in a series of new single-play Riverside Shakespeare editions (renamed, by Cengage, the Evans editions), it contains new collections of cultural materials related to and excerpts from creative adaptations of The Tempest, as well as helpful classic and contemporary scholarly essays about the play. It contains cool pictures, too. Grace gives special thanks to Beth Bradburn, Chuck Bentley, and Tom Lucking, who helped her proofread the Shakespeare-play-and-footnotes part of this edition.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Playwright Steve Feffer Presents His Work: Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

We welcome you to join us for our second reading of the Spring 2011 Gwen Frostic Reading Series. We’re honored to have playwright Steve Feffer present his work this Thursday, February 17th. The reading will take place at the WMU Bernhard Center, Room 105-107, starting at 8:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Issues @ AWP 2011: A Report

Editor Bill Olsen, Nancy Eimers,
and NIPP Poet Lisa Lewis
Like many of our brethren from the Midwest, we barely made it to Washington DC. Who knew that the storm of the century would dump over a foot of snow on us right before we were supposed to fly out of Kalamazoo? But we made it, if a little later than anticipated.

AWP was a crazy whirlwind as usual, but we are always excited to see so many of our authors face-to-face. We hosted book signings at the New Issues bookfair table for Lisa Lewis, Keith Ekiss, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Judy Halebsky, and Kevin Fenton.

Kevin Fenton @ the AWP
Award Series reading
On Friday Kevin Fenton read from his novel Merit Badges as part of the AWP Award Series reading. Managing Editor Marianne Swierenga introduced him and Kevin read from his chapter titled "Climbing." Bradley Paul also read. His second book was selected by Jean Valentine in the poetry category and published by Pitt, but we still claim him as a New Issues poet since The Obvious won our first book prize. So New Issues was well represented at the Award Series reading.

NIPP poet Peter Covino
visits Table A22
The New Issues table was always busy and we received so many compliments on our books. Situated right next to the Prague Summer Program in the bookfair, we got to see Margaret von Steinen in action, speaking to hundreds of perspective students.

On Saturday there was a tribute to the beloved poet Jack Myers, led my Mark Cox, who edited a forthcoming collection by Jack that we are publishing in the spring.

With thousands of poets, writers, publishers, students and faculty attending, we were in great company. Next year, AWP is in Chicago. Road trip?

Full House for Philologist Jana Schulman

Yesterday's Department Speakers Series keynote speech by Dr. Jana Schulman, "The Job of a Philologist Is Never Done: Translating and Editing Jónsbókthe Laws of Later Iceland," was attended by a large audience consisting of students, staff, and faculty from the Department, the Medieval Institute, and beyond. Schulman's fascinating account of her work on the diplomatic edition and English translation of the seminal code of law in late medieval Iceland focused on textual, linguistic, political, religious, and legal aspects.  

The next Speakers Series even will take place on Thursday, March 17, 7p.m., 3025 Brown Hall. Dorothy Noyes, Departments of English, Comparative Studies, and Anthropology, Ohio State University, will speak on “Fairytale Economics: Scarcity, Risk, Choice." This event is co-sponsored by: the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Africana Studies Program, Lee Honors College, and the Department of Anthropology

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just In Time for Valentine's Day... Marilyn & Marc by Steve Feffer Opens This Friday at Fancy Pants

Marilyn & Marc by Steve Feffer opens this Friday at 8 PM at the Fancy Pants Theatre, 246 North Kalamazoo Mall, and continues for the next two weekends.

This two character full length play, set over the course of one night in New York City, tells the story of the title characters as they confront their future together.

Marilyn & Marc is directed by WMU theatre professor Mark Liermann and features WMU theatre students Kenzie Ross and Michael Lopetrone.

Performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb 11th - 20th, with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM. Tickets are $10.

For more information: or Fancy Pants Theatre on Facebook.

Marjorie Garber lecture@U of M

Marjorie Garber
"After the Humanities"
the Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture Institute for the Humanities
2/23/2011 6:00PM - 7:30PM
Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E. Washington St, 734.936.3518

In "After the Humanities," cultural critic, author, and Harvard Professor Marjorie Garber looks at the present and the future of the humanities.

Marjorie Garber has published fifteen books and has edited seven collections of essays. The scope of her work is both broad and deep—her topics range from animal studies to literary theory, but her work has mostly been centered on Shakespeare. Garber has written five widely admired books on the playwright, including her most recent, Shakespeare and Modern Culture (Pantheon, 2008); Profiling Shakespeare (Routledge, 2008); and Shakespeare After All (Pantheon, 2004), which received the 2005 Christian Gauss Book Award from Phi Beta Kappa.

Described by Jonathan Culler as “consistently our shrewdest and most entertaining cultural critic,” and by Catherine R. Stimpson, as “the liveliest, wittiest, and most scintillating of writers about culture,” Garber has also published a number of works of cultural criticism and theory: Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety (Routledge, 1992); Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life (Simon & Schuster, 1995), and Dog Love (Simon & Schuster, 1996), among others.

In her book, Patronizing the Arts (Princeton University Press, October 2008), Garber discusses the double meaning of the word "patronizing" and the way patronage (by government, by business, by individuals) has influenced the reception of the arts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Drawing on her own experience as director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard, and chair of the department of Visual and Environmental Studies, she argues with characteristic wit and passion for the centrality of the arts and culture in education today, and puts forward a vision of the university as patron of the arts.

Her book Shakespeare and Modern Culture (Pantheon, Dec 2008), focuses on the reciprocal relationship by which modern culture makes Shakespeare and Shakespeare makes modern culture. Garber is also currently at work on a collection of essays about the humanities, and on a new book about literature and its place in life.

Marjorie Garber is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, where she is also Chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

J. Paul Hunter Events@U of M

The Eighteenth-Century Studies Group
and The Poetry and Poetics Workshop present two events with J. Paul Hunter

A Lecture: Poetry on the Page and the Mind's Ear
Tuesday, February 22 at 4:10. Room 3222, Angell Hall

A Roundtable Discussion: Historical Aesthetics
Wednesday, February 23 at 12 noon, Room 3222, Angell Hall

Ten years ago, in an article entitled "Sleeping Beauties," J. Paul Hunter asked a cluster of questions which cut to the heart of humanist practice. What, he asked, might be the value of recovering a historical aesthetics? These questions launched a decade-long investigation into the history of the Anglophone couplet; this project forms a partial answer that is both a demonstration of scholarly practice and one elegant proof of its value. Join Professor Hunter and Michigan faculty members Lucy Hartley, Adela Pinch, Yopie Prins, and Sean Silver for a roundtable discussion of the historical nature of truth and beauty.
J. Paul Hunter, winner of the Louis Gottschalk Prize, is Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is a pioneering authority on the relationships between culture and literary form. His major works include Before Novels, a groundbreaking study of journalistic ephemera and didactic literature, and the Norton Introductions to both Poetry and Literature.
The Eighteenth-Century Studies Group and the Poetry and Poetics Workshop are interdisciplinary groups of scholars dedicated to fostering dialogue between faculty and graduate students.
These events have been co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Institute for the Humanities.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Schulman LIVE Thursday Night

Thursday night, at 7 p.m., in Brown Hall 3025, our resident philologist, Dr. Jana Schulman, will speak on "The Job of a Philologist Is Never Done: Translating and Editing Jónsbókthe Laws of Later Iceland," as part of the English Department's Speakers Series. Please join us for what promises to be an enlightening evening for those who love working with words.

Minnick to Present Plenary at Conference on Dialect and Literature

Lisa Minnick is an invited plenary speaker at the International Conference on Dialect and Literature at the University of Sheffield, UK, in July 2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hansen wins Kennedy Center Playwriting Excellence Award

Mikala Hansen, English Department playwright (MFA), won a major national award through the Kennedy Center:  The National Association of Partners of the American Theatre Annual Playwriting Excellence Award for her full-length play VIKING-AMERICAN.
Mikala will spend a week at the Kennedy Center, as well as a week in Vegas at UNLV as part of this intensive program in writing for stage and screen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tarbox Gives Paper at the Children's Literature Symposium at USF

Dr. Gwen Tarbox gave a paper entitled "Iconic Representation in Intermediate and YA Narratives" at the Children's Literature Symposium, held this past weekend at the University of South Florida. Other presenters included WMU alum Dr. Thomas Crisp, now a professor at USF, as well as former WMU English department visiting professors Dr. Lance Weldy (now at Francis Marion University) and Dr. Tammy Mielke (now at UNC, Charlotte). The conference theme, Images and Illustration in Children's and Young Adult Literature, was reflected in keynote addresses by Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPre and University of Florida professor Dr. Kenneth Kidd. Dr. Tarbox is pictured above with a group of colleagues from the Children's Literature Association, including Drs. Crisp, Weldy, and Mielke.

Essay contest on "Heroes of Peace"

The Rumi Club of Western Michigan University, in cooperation with Niagara Foundation of Michigan and Diversity & Inclusion of WMU with the sponsorship of SAF, Haenicke Institute and Diversity & Inclusion of WMU, organizes an event, ‘Heroes of Peace’, and Essay Contest.

We would like to invite your college students to participate in the event and contest on the theme of ‘Alliance of Civilizations’. Deadline is March 19th, 2011.  A cash award will be given to 1st place winners. The winners will be given the opportunity to present his/her essay in the event of ‘Heroes of Peace’ on March 30 in Bernhard Center-105 at 6:00 pm. (You and your students are invited to the event as well.) The essay, no more than 1000 words, must be sent to

Submitted essays will be judged by a committee led by Dr. Blain Auer and Dr. Steve Covell of WMU.

Please visit the contest web site for further information:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Katie O'Brien to receive 2011 Sigma Tau Delta Award

One of our wonderful undergraduate students, Kathryn M. O’Brien, has been selected to receive the 2011 Sigma Tau Delta Student Leadership Award! This is an organization-wide award, with the recipients -- only two this year -- selected from among the 775 Sigma Tau Delta chapters worldwide. The Student Leadership Award recognizes Katie’s exemplary leadership, tireless work on behalf of the WMU Alpha Nu Pi chapter and its members, and the example she sets for her fellow students in the areas of academic excellence as well as active campus and community involvement. Katie will be honored at the 2011 Sigma Tau Delta national convention in Pittsburgh in late March, where she will be presented with her $250 prize and a plaque commemorating her achievement.

Theatre Kalamazoo New Play Fest

Theatre Kalamazoo! (TK) is proud to announce the first annual New Play Festival February 4-5 at the Epic Theatre in Downtown, Kalamazoo. The festival will feature written work from Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University students in the form of staged readings. Most the member theatres of the TK consortium will each produce a work in the New Play Festival, including Black Arts & Cultural Center, Centre Stage ofComstock, The Civic, Farmers Alley Theatre, Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College, The New Vic, Portage Summer Entertainment Series, and University Theatre of Western Michigan University.

The Festival will begin on Friday with Art Hop and three, 10-minute plays running from 5-7pm. Following Art Hop will be a full-length play beginning at 8pm and another late-night, full-length beginning at 11pm. The Festival will begin on Saturday with a one-act play at 1pm and then all five 10-minute plays at 4pm and finally a full-length play to conclude the festival at 8pm.

WMU English Department alum Ryan Dolley, a playwright and theatre critic for TIMEOUT CHICAGO,will be a special guest respondent to the plays.

The New Play Festival is produced in association with the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and is generously supported by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation. Admission to the Festival is FREE of charge, but there is no advance ticketing. The doors will open 20-minutes prior to the performance time. For more information visit .

Friday, February 4
(Three 10-minute plays during Art Hop)
5:30pm-Dearest Beloved by Marissa Rossman
6:30pm-Writer Block by Marianne Stine
7:00pm-Bluff by Mariel Watson

8:00pm-I’ve Got You Now by Noah Hilgert [WMU] (a full-length play followed by a talkback)

11pm-Lemons by Erin Shelton [WMU] (a 20-minute play followed by a talkback)

Saturday, February 5
1:00pm-Rich Soil, by Micealaya Moses [WMU] (a one-act play followed by a talkback)

4:00pm-five 10-minute plays
Dearest Beloved by Marissa Rossman
Writer Block by Marianne Stine
Bluff by Mariel Watson
Southern Bell by Martin Goffeney
The Violin Case by Allie Semperger

8:00pm-Trinity by G. William Zorn [WMU] (a full-length play followed by a talkback)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WMU Career Fair rescheduled

We have decided to reschedule the WMU Career Fair originally planned for this Thursday, February 3 The rescheduled date is Thursday, February 17, 2011.  Several recruiters would need to travel significant distances to be on campus Thursday and due to the potentially severe weather, we feel it is best for the safety of all. Fortunately, the Bernhard Center facilities are available and staff has been very accommodating.