Wednesday, November 21, 2012


University of Missouri

"Mary Wollstonecraft, Author-Ghost: Enlightenment Origins of Modern Feminism"

This lecture considers the ways in which Wollstonecraft has been imagined as speaking from beyond the grave and what that “haunting” means—and has meant—to the history of feminism. Drawing on a fascinating and previously unknown manuscript—the unpublished fictional work called “Ithuriel”—Looser will examine the origins and continued relevance of our centuries-old penchant for imagining Wollstonecraft as a speaking spirit in conversation with both the living and the dead.

Thursday, November 29, 2012
7:30 PM
Center for the Humanities (Knauss 2500)

A reception will follow.

Devoney Looser is Catherine P. Middlebush Chair of English at the University of Missouri, and the author of Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750-1850 (Johns Hopkins UP, 2008), the award-winning British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670-1820 (Johns Hopkins UP, 2000; paperback 2005), and editor of Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism (Palgrave Macmillan, 1995) and (with E. Ann Kaplan) Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue (U of Minnesota P, 1997). She is co-editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, has held numerous national and international fellowships, and recently led a 5-week NEH Summer Seminar on “Jane Austen and her Contemporaries.” In addition to being a frequent keynote and plenary speaker, she is also the recipient of multiple awards for teaching, and in her free time skates for a women's flat track roller derby team, the CoMo Derby Dames, under the name "Stone Cold Jane Austen".

Co-Sponsored by Gender and Women’s Studies, the University Center for Humanities, and the College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Committee.

For more information, please contact Prof. Christopher Nagle:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CFP: Essay Collection on Heroines: Images of Women in Literature & Pop Culture

Call for Book Chapter Proposals

Heroines: Images of Women Through Literature and Popular Culture

Bob Batchelor, Maja Bajac-Carter, and Norma Jones are calling for proposals for essays to be included in an anthology focused on heroines.

Portrayals of female heroes are often limited to roles of the sacrificial heroine (sacrificed for a cause or benefit of others) and Heidi Redeemers (overcome great obstacles by being pure and loving).

More recently, articulations of Woman Warriors (as girl power) have become more prevalent in popular culture (Xena, Amazons).

However, heroines may be more complex. In this anthology, the editors hope to further complicate and problematize portrayals of women (as heroines) in popular culture.

Essays should, in some manner, contribute to understandings of how heroines are portrayed, as well as how they might empower and/or constrain. For example, instead of conforming to male heroic norms, how does a heroine re-articulate what it means to be a woman?

The topics below provide general direction for possible chapters, but individual authors may adapt them to fit interests. The editors also welcome proposals for related topics:
-- Heroines across cultures
-- New Fictional Heroines
-- New Women Warriors
-- Comic Book Superheroines
-- Witches and Priestesses

Please email for further information.
Please include:
-- a tentative chapter title
-- brief synopsis/proposal of your approach
-- and your C.V.

The deadline for proposals is
January 15, 2012.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sigma Tau Delta to hold 13th induction on December 1

The 13th WMU Sigma Tau Delta Induction
Saturday, December 1, at 3 p.m.
3025 Brown Hall

The following students will be inducted into the Alpha Nu Pi chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, on Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 3 p.m. The event will be held in 3025 Brown. All faculty, staff, students, friends, and family are invited.

Congratulations Fall 2012 inductees!

Robin Michelle Blanchard
Andrew Candela
Samantha J. Clark
Kayle Dembowski
Emily Eshuis
Shannon E. Hascall- Reyes
Chelsea Holmes
Kenneth Ronald Jakubas
Caitlin J. Kuhn
Gregory Allen Lowe
Kimberly M. Moehle
Samantha Jo Nelson
Paige Elizabeth O'Shea
Gavin M. Powell
Michelle Midori Repke
Michael Jay Reeves
Claire Robbins
Jessica Marie Robinson
Lauren Kathleen Schmitt
Alyssa Luerine Schramm
Megan R. Schwark
Emma Smith
Tyler James Smith
Gloria Tannis-Coward
Bradley George Tanguay
Jessica Van
Kevin Vesecky
Andrea Lee Walker
Alesia Ann Walsh
Mary Elizabeth Westveer
Robbie L. Williams

Chartered in December 2005 and now with over 300 active and alumni members, the Alpha Nu Pi chapter at Western Michigan University is one of the largest and most active in the country. Membership in Sigma Tau Delta comes with many opportunities for students to participate in academic, professional, service, and social activities on campus and beyond, to share their interests with a vibrant community of like-minded students here at WMU, and to become part of a network of tens of thousands of Sigma Tau Delta members and alumni worldwide.

Admission to Sigma Tau Delta involves a one-time fee of $50, which entitles students to lifetime membership in the national organization ($40) and in the Alpha Nu Pi chapter ($10). However, since 2009, the Alpha Nu Pi chapter has been proud to cover the costs of membership for all new inductees, and we are pleased to be in a position to continue this tradition in 2012-13. Thanks to ongoing support from the College of Arts and Sciences (and especially Dean Alex Enyedi), the Department of English at WMU, and generous individual gifts from WMU faculty, staff, and alumni, and other friends of Sigma Tau Delta, all WMU students who meet the academic standards for membership in Sigma Tau Delta may join at no charge.

We invite faculty and staff, along with family and friends of inductees, to join us for the Fall 2012 induction ceremony and reception on Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 3 p.m., in 3025 Brown. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate many of our finest students, so we hope to see you there!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series: Alumni Reading

We welcome you to join us for the third reading of the Fall 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series. Three WMU alumni will read their work: poet Adam Clay, fiction writer Peter Geye, and playwright Kris Frithjof Peterson. The reading will take place this Thursday, November 15th, at the WMU Bernhard Center, room 209-210, starting at 8:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

CFP: Memes in Visual Culture (Jan.15, 2013)

Call for Submissions: Internet Memes and Visual Culture
A themed Special Issue of Journal of Visual Culture
Issue Guest Editors: Laine Nooney (Stony Brook University) and
Laura Portwood-Stacer (New York University)

The Editors are currently seeking proposed contributions for a Special Issue of the Journal of Visual Culture on Internet Memes and Visual Culture, to be published December 2014. The term meme, a portmanteau of mimesis and gene, was minted in 1976 by British ethologist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins proposed the meme as a “unit of cultural transmission,” a self-perpetuating cultural phenomenon analogous to the gene as a replicator of biological data. Almost 40 years later, the term “meme” has become the coin of the realm within Internet subcultures, particularly on microblogging and social network platforms. In these contexts the designation “meme” identifies digital objects that riff on a given visual, textual or auditory form. For a digital object to become a meme, it must be appropriated, re-coded, and slotted back into the Internet infrastructures it came from—memes require continued user adaptation. Thus, memes are co-constitutive with the user practices of creative (re)production that are default modes of communicative interaction on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Memes are frequent objects of analysis among scholars of contemporary digital culture, socio-linguistics, fan culture, and social networking, wherein they are assessed as forms of generative vernacular communication and art-making that defy traditional models of top-down capitalist consumer control of mass media forms. Yet the speed, volume and insularity of meme-making often frustrates aesthetic, formal and techno-infrastructural scholarship on memes and meme distribution.

This special issue of the Journal of Visual Culture will organize a conversation among cultural scholars, artists, activists, journalists and Internet content producers regarding the social, historical, and aesthetic significance of Internet memes. Our move to “take memes seriously” as communicative and aesthetic objects is especially timely, as memes' linguistic tropes, visual styles and means of transmission gain increasing visibility beyond their origins in online subcultural spaces such as 4chan or 9gag. One of the ways this special issue will take on these questions is by itself expanding on traditional modes of academic writing. Potential contributors are thus encouraged to incorporate visual and conceptual experiments intended to elucidate the meme form, performatively and materially replicating the phenomenon under study.

Suggested Topics
The Editors are open to engagements with “Visual Culture” broadly writ. Contributions may consider the following topics or expand on other ideas, keeping a particular emphasis on relating memes to the visual:

how memes figure in a broader history of performative, humor-based, conceptualist, retro, or contemporary digital art practices
the formal aesthetics of different meme types and the technological infrastructures that undergird them (300x300 macros, supercuts, GIFs, screengrabs, photobombs, snowclones, etc.)
meme production in non-Western locations (particularly as they may be tied to political risk or Internet censorship)
meme transmission across national and cultural borders
how (if?) memes have enabled creative producers (particularly queer people and people of color) to contest presumptions of homogenous Western whiteness on the Internet
how memes have served as vehicles for political protest and resistance

Proposed contributions may take the form of scholarly articles (5000-7000 words), but the Editors are particularly interested in shorter essays, graphic essays, and other creative formats. We especially encourage submissions in formats that can be showcased on the Journal of Visual Culture's blog and a Tumblr devoted to this special issue.

Current Contributors
Peter Lunenfeld (UCLA)
Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard)
An Xiao Mina (design strategist, researcher and artist/
Patrick Davison (New York University)
Limor Shifman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Charles Eppley (Stony Brook University)
Nick Douglas (
Danielle Henderson/Feminist Ryan Gosling (University of Wisconsin--Madison/
Gabriella Coleman (McGill)
Academic Coach Taylor (

Submission Guidelines
For a proposed academic paper, please email a single-spaced, extended abstract of 1000-1200 words that details a projected argument and possible example cases to be examined. Please also include a brief list of scholarly sources that will inform your paper (not included in the word count). For a proposed contribution in another formats (short essay, graphic essay, conceptual piece, etc.), please email a single-spaced description or artist statement that details the format and projected content of the submission. The deadline for submission of proposals/abstracts is 15 January 2013. The Editors expect to make final decisions about accepted contributions by mid-March 2013. Accepted contributors will be asked to submit their full contributions by January 2014. The Editors are aware of and open to shifts in content that may occur as the full submission develops, should the proposed contribution be accepted for inclusion in the issue.

Inquiries and submission proposals should be directed to both Laine Nooney ( and Laura Portwood-Stacer ( Emails should include the subject heading: Internet Memes special issue, JVC.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grace Tiffany To Help Edit CYMBELINE

Grace Tiffany has been named an assistant editor for the New Variorum edition of Shakespeare's Cymbeline, forthcoming from MLA. She will be working with head editor Maurice Hunt of Baylor.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gwen Frostic Reading Series: Playwright Julie Jensen

We welcome you to join us for the second reading of the Fall 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series. Playwright Julie Jensen will read her work this Thursday, November 8th. The reading will take place at the WMU Bernhard Center, room 209-210, starting at 8:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grad Student Fellowship Opportunity in 17th/18th Century Studies

Dear Colleagues:

Please encourage your talented undergraduate and master's students interested in graduate work to apply to the University of Missouri's English Department and our Mary-Joe Purcell Fellowship in Seventeenth- or Eighteenth-Century Literary Studies.

The Purcell Fellowship, named after an alumna of our program and a long-time professor of English at California State University-Long Beach, is awarded annually and provides a one-time $5000 supplement to the regular PhD or MA/PhD package offered to an incoming student intending to work in the seventeenth or eighteenth century at Missouri.

Further information about the department and our graduate program may be found here:

We would be happy to answer your questions about the fellowship or about graduate work at Missouri.

Prof. Stephen Karian

Prof. Devoney Looser

Devoney Looser
Catherine Paine Middlebush Chair and Professor of English
Co-Editor, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies
Tate Hall 114
Department of English
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
FAX: 573-882-5785