Monday, December 9, 2013

Kazoo Books Author Day

Grace Tiffany and other local authors will be signing their new books this Saturday, December 14th, at Kazoo Books' Parkview location (2413 Parkview). For slothful Christmas reading, come get a copy of Paint, Tiffany's novel about Emilia Lanier, Will Shakespeare, and a host of crazy cross-dressed face-painting Elizabethans. Joan Donaldson, Tom Small, Hedy Hebra, Grace Tiffany, and local artisans will be there between 12 and 1:30.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bay Psalm Book Auctioned for $14.2 Million

Sotheby's recently auctioned one of only eleven remaining copies of the Bay Psalm Book, commonly accepted as the first book printed in British America, for a record-shattering $14.2 million.  Since the majority of the first psalters are held by libraries, it is rare for this book to be available for private collections.  Aside from its rather inelegant translation of the psalms ("The Lord to me a shepherd is, / Want therefore shall not I / He in the folds of tender grass, / Doth cause me down to lie:"), the book is also noteworthy for the statement of Puritan aesthetics by John Cotton in the preface to the first edition ("God's altar needs not our polishings").  Read the whole story at,0,2723766.story#axzz2mFIFetzJ.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Issue of Comparative Drama

Comparative Drama's fall 2013 issue, volume 47.3, has arrived from press. This issue includes the following contributions:


Performing the Aging Self in "Da" and Dancing at Lughnasa
Valerie Lipscomb

Role and Freedom in Calderón’s The Great Theater of the World
Gerhard Poppenberg

The Idea of “America” in the Expatriate Drama of Koffi Kwahulé
Les Essif

Conflict, Carnage, and Cats: Toward a Comic Cú Chulainn in Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore
A. J. Knox


“The Farce of the Fart” and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English
ed. and trans. Jody Enders
reviewed by Noah D. Guynn

Shakespeare Among the Courtesans: Prostitution, Literature, and Drama, 1500-1650

by Duncan Salked
reviewed by Theresa D. Kemp

Drama and the Transfer of Power in Renaissance England

by Martin Wiggins
reviewed by Adam Zucker

Faith in Shakespeare
by Richard C. McCoy
reviewed by Jennifer C. Vaught

Illustrating Shakespeare
by Peter Whitfield
reviewed by Alan R. Young

Shakespeare in Company
by Bart Van Es
reviewed by Tim Fitzpatrick

Ludics in Surrealist Theatre and Beyond
by Vassiliki Rapti
reviewed by Pierre Taminiaux

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New C19 Journal Solicits Material

The VIGoR group at the University of Texas at Austin is soliciting submissions for the inaugural issue of its new journal, Contact. Contact is an experimental, interdisciplinary journal devoted to investigating the world of nineteenth century letters and will be published twice a year. The theme for our first issue is “Encounters”.

We are looking for a wide range of interdisciplinary submissions, from longer academic papers (5-8k words) to short essays (1-2k words). Shorter essays might offer reactions to recent conference panels and publications, describe provocative archival finds, or propose fresh critical approaches. Submissions should be sent to for consideration in the Spring 2014 issue.

Please review the attached CFP and visit for more details.

We look forward to reviewing your submissions,


Lindsey Gay
Departments of English and Rhetoric
The University of Texas at Austin

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fellowship Opportunity

Rare Book School welcomes applications to the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography.  The aim of this Mellon Foundation-funded fellowship program is to reinvigorate bibliographical studies within the humanities by introducing doctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty to specialized skills, methods, and professional networks for conducting advanced research with material texts. RBS selected its first twenty Mellon Fellows in the spring of 2013, and will admit an additional twenty fellows to the program in the spring of 2014.

Fellows will receive funding for Rare Book School course attendance, as well as generous stipends, and support for research-related travel to special collections, over the course of three years. Weeklong intensive courses offered at Rare Book School include: "The History of the Book in America, c.1700-1830," taught by James N. Green of the Library Company of Philadelphia; "The History of European & American Papermaking," co-taught by 2009 MacArthur Fellow Timothy Barrett of the University of Iowa, and John Bidwell of the Morgan Library & Museum; and "The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern," taught by Michael Winship of the University of Texas at Austin.

The deadline for application to the program is DECEMBER 2, 2013. Applicants must be doctoral candidates (post-qualifying exams), postdoctoral fellows, or junior (untenured) faculty in the humanities at a U.S. institution at time of application.  Interested scholars are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For more details, please visit:
Beth Bradburn presented a paper entitled "Narrative and Poetic Segmentivity in Paradise Lost" at the 2013 Conference on John Milton, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, October 18.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gottlieb Lecture & Reception~10/15/13

Prof. Evan Gottlieb addresses the audience during his recent visit to WMU as part of the 2012-13 Scholarly Speakers Series. His stimulating new research on the early dynamics of globalism in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century explored how "sympathetic cosmopolitanism" plays a shaping role in the literary and cultural contexts of a revolutionary era that began to construct a "global imaginary" much earlier than has been supposed in much previous scholarship.

Monday, October 14, 2013

English 4100, spring 2014: Holy Road Trips

Professors Eve Salisbury and Grace Tiffany invite you to grab your sandals and walking stick and get on the road! With Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims and Jack Kerouac’s Beat Poet buddies, with Shakespeare’s seafaring Pericles, with American Indians bound for sacred mountains, with Jon Krakaeur following an ill-fated explorer into the Alaskan wilderness, with Paul Simon to Graceland, and across the Australian outback with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, we’ll go in spirit on a semester-long literary road trip. The class will meet from noon to 1:40 Tuesdays and Thursdays in  Brown 3003.  (Baccalaureate-level writing course, 4 credits.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pride and Prejudice Film Festival Finalized: 10/17 - 10/23

Each screening will be followed by a brief post-show discussion for those interested.

ALSO NOTE THAT THE SAT. MARATHON WILL BE HELD IN BROWN 1028 (signs will make this clear on the day of the event)!

Monday, October 7, 2013


The Department of English at the University of Michigan has announced plans for a one-day conference on November 1, 2013 in honor of Robert Hayden, the distinguished poet and educator who grew up in Detroit, received an M.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1944 and returned to teach at the university in 1970 as Professor of English until his death in 1980.

   Hayden has emerged as a major figure in American literary history.  He is the leader, along with Gwendolyn Brooks, of the generation of African American poets that emerged in the 1940s to achieve widespread critical attention and a massive presence in anthologies and textbooks.  He served as Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (the position now known as Poet Laureate of the United States) from 1976-1978.  The U.S. Post Office issued a postage stamp in 2012 to honor his achievement.

   The keynote address of the conference, to be held in the Rackham Amphitheater, will be delivered by Harryette Mullen, Professor of English and Creative Writing at UCLA, a Guggenheim Fellow (among other honors), and a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Her volume of essays and interviews, The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be, appeared in 2012.

    Professor Mullen will be introduced by A. Van Jordan of the U-M faculty.  A panel discussion in early afternoon will include Harryette Mullen, Linda Gregerson (of the U-M faculty), Lawrence Joseph, a Detroit native and one of the most distinguished Arab-American poets of our time, and Frederick Glaysher, editor of Hayden’s Collected Poems and Collected Prose.  Laurence Goldstein, Professor of English and co-editor (with Robert Chrisman) of Robert Hayden:  Essays on the Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2001), will serve as panel moderator.

    In late afternoon, MFA students will read from and speak about Hayden’s poems, along with other participants in the conference.

    The conference is free and open to the public.


10 a.m.  Keynote address by Harryette Mullen
12-1:30 p.m.  Lunch at various restaurants around campus
1:30-3:00 p.m.  Panel discussion
3:30-5:00 p.m. Readings and remarks by audience members

Sunday, October 6, 2013

WMU Students: Sign up for ENGL 4100: Holy Road Trips

Holy Road Trips:
Medieval, Renaissance, and American Pilgrimages
Professors Eve Salisbury and Grace Tiffany

English 4100
Spring, 2014
TR 12-1:40
Brown 3003

Grab your sandals and walking stick, and get on the road! With Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims and Jack Kerouac’s Beat Poet buddies, with Shakespeare’s seafaring Pericles, with American Indians bound for sacred mountains, with Jon Krakaeur following an ill-fated explorer into the Alaskan wilderness, with Paul Simon to Graceland, and across the Australian outback with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, we’ll go in spirit on a semester-long literary road trip. (Baccalaureate-level writing course, 4 credits.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Evan Gottlieb Lecture Opens Scholarly Speakers Series for 2013-14

Nagle Presents at International Romanticism Conference

Chris Nagle recently returned from the 20th Anniversary Meeting of the International Conference on Romanticism, held this year in Rochester, MI at Oakland University and the Royal Park Hotel. He and his collaborator, Courtney Wennerstrom (Indiana University), presented a paper on the short fiction of the Marquis de Sade, which focused on the so-called "gothic tales" that were part of the Contes et Fabliaux d’un Troubadour Provencal du XVIII Siecle. The two argued that these under-examined works bear significance to a new understanding of the polyamorous dynamics underwriting Enlightenment and early Romantic conjugality, and ultimately, to a global reassessment of Sade's contribution to generic innovation at the fin de siècle.

Springtime in the South


The Inaugural American Literature Graduate Conference at

The University of South Carolina, Columbia
April 4-5th, 2014

The English Department at the University of South Carolina is pleased to announce its inaugural Graduate American Literature Conference on the theme of “Economies.”  We are currently accepting individual paper and panel proposals addressing all aspects of economies: What is an economy? What kinds of economies exist? How do economies impose themselves on literature, and vice versa? How do economies affect genre?

In addition, we will hold a Roundtable with USC English Faculty on the future of American Studies.  USC Americanist faculty includes Kate Adams, Bob Brinkmeyer, Mark Cooper, Susan Courtney, David Cowart, Cynthia Davis, Alao Folashade, Greg Forter, Brian Glavey, David Greven, Leon Jackson, Catherine Keyser, Marvin McAlister, Tara Powell, Sara Schwebel, David Shields, Scott Trafton, Susan Vandenborg, Qiana Whitted, and Gretchen Woertendyke.  Plenary and Keynote speakers TBA.

The Special Collections of the Thomas Cooper library houses the complete archive of William Gilmore Simms and substantive collections on the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Joseph Heller, Kaye Gibbons, and James Ellroy, among many others and welcomes visiting scholars.

Single paper abstracts should be 250-500 words. Panel proposals should include an abstract for each paper as well as a description of the panel's objective not to exceed 550 words.  Please also include, with all proposals and applicants, full name and contact information, as well as institutional affiliation and a CV.

The deadline for proposal submissions is Dec 9th, 2013.

Notification of acceptance will occur no later than Jan 9th, 2014.

Interpretations of the theme may include but are not restricted to:

-- Financial, moral, emotional, racial, ethnic, cultural, consumerist, historical, modern, fictional, speculative, geographical, agricultural, industrial, post-industrial, urban, rural, trade, public, private, gender, feminist, sexual, queer, social, domestic, interpersonal, educational, academic, regional, national, international, transglobal, transatlantic, imaginary, physical, literary, print, media, information, capitalist, imperial, oligarchic, feudal, mercantile, military, wartime, maritime, economies of vice, business, transport, climatological, economic hubs (financial centers, ports, etc.), economies of scale, micro, macro

-- Marxist, Keynesian, Utopian, Dystopian, Jeffersonian, Agrarian, Libertarian, Conservative, (Neo-)Liberal

--  Economic causes/effects in literature: moments of crisis, recovery, downturn, depression, development, gentrification, oppression, ghettoization, revolution

Please send proposals as well as any questions to,


The Graduate American Literature Colloquium

Department of English


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rob Bixby/March Street Press Reading, Saturday, Oct. 5

This weekend, the English Department is proud to sponsor the Rob Bixby/March Street Press Reading and Tribute (2:00-4:00PM), Saturday, October 5, Richmond Center.
Ten poets and writers with Michigan ties will gather to read their work and to celebrate the life and contribution of Robert J. Bixby (Masters of Social Work from WMU), fiction writer, editor, and publisher of March Street Press, who died last fall. All of the visitors have had books published by Robert Bixby; all will come at their own expense and will donate the proceeds from sales of their books to help fund the Robert J. Bixby Award in Creative Writing, established this spring with a gift from Bixby’s widow, Kathy Bixby.

Readers: Arnie Johnston, Deborah Ann Percy, David R. James, Josie Kearns, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Lynn Pattison, Beverly Matherne, Keith Taylor, Rosalie Sanara Petrouske, John Rybicki, and Eric Torgersen.

This event is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the Department of English, the WMU Development Office, and the WMU Libraries. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and a book signing follows the reading. Book sales will be handled by Dean Hauck of Kalamazoo’s Michigan News Agency.

For more information about the event, please contact Arnie Johnston at 269-870-0703, or Anne Tappan Strother,

Dr. Gwen Tarbox to offer Comic Studies in Spring 2014

WMU Students: Be sure to check out ENGL 5970: Comic Studies (Tuesday, 4:00-6:20) with Dr. Gwen Tarbox.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

PAINT, by Grace Tiffany, issued by Bagwyn Books

Grace Tiffany's new novel, Paint, has been published today by Bagwyn Books, an imprint of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Paint is based on the life of the early modern poet Emilia Lanier. Grace discusses Paint and the horrors of Elizabethan makeup in her October blog post at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Austen Film Fest - Preliminary Lineup


As announced at the department retreat last week, we will be hosting a film festival in concert with the Theater Department's stage production of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, all of which coincides with the bicentennial of the novel's original publication:


Thursday, 10/17 (7pm-9pm) Brown 1028 // Pride and Prejudice (Olivier/Garson,1940)

Friday, 10/18 (7pm-9pm) Brown 1025 // Pride & Prejudice (Knightley/Macfayden,2005)

Saturday, 10/19 (12pm-5pm*) Brown 1025 // Pride and Prejudice Marathon (Firth/Ehle,1995)

Monday, 10/21 (7pm-9pm) Brown 1025 // Bride & Prejudice (Rai/Henderson,2004)

Tuesday, 10/22 (7pm-9pm) Brown 1025 // Bridget Jones’s Diary (Zellwegger/Firth,2001)

Wednesday, 10/23 (7pm-9pm) Brown 1028 // Lost in Austen (Rooper/Cowan,2008)

*Please note that the special screening of the acclaimed BBC series runs as a marathon screening all through the afternoon – feel free to drop in at any time, or indulge in the whole series if you can!

Also note that the first and last screenings of the festival will take place in Brown 1028; all the others will be in Brown 1025.

The times listed are those for which we have the rooms reserved—most films will be approximately 2 hours long, with the exception of the Saturday marathon and the two final films: Bridget Jones runs shorter, at close to 90 minutes, and the Lost in Austen mini-series runs longer, about 150 minutes (in three 50-min. episodes).

A short post-film discussion will follow each screening for anyone who wishes to stay afterward.

We're also planning to have a host of themed prizes awarded at each event, including DVDs and Austen memorabilia, so don’t miss out!