This Week in English | Sept 11 – 17, 2017

A Glimpse into What Our Colleagues & Students Are Doing This Week

As we head into the third week of the fall semester, students in Dylan Dryer‘s section of English 315 will be “moving past the myth of ‘objective summary'” with help from readings and exercises in Janet Gitrow’s Academic Writing: An Introduction. In Jody Crouse‘s Literature of Maine course, students will be discussing The Beans of Egypt, Maine. The poets in Jennifer Moxley‘s advanced workshop will take up Garcia Lorca’s “Theory & Function of the Duende.” The theme for week three in Caroline Bicks‘s English 471 is “Ma(r)king women, marrying men.” On Tuesday students will be discussing The Changeling, a play by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. Students in Margo Lukens‘s graduate seminar will be discussing The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico and in Naomi Jacobs‘s seminar discussion of Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady begins.
Each week we’ll try to provide similar glimpses into the intellectual and artistic work of the department. If you have something on the horizon that you’d like to be sure is included, drop a note to <english.chair@maine.edu>. And be sure to file a copy of your syllabus for the semester with <ellen.manzo@maine.edu>. We’d like to have a complete set on hand no later than Friday, September 15th.
 

Fiction Reading by Joanna Ruocco on Thursday

 
The New Writing Series kicks off its eighteenth year with a reading by fiction writer Joanna Ruocco on Thursday, September 14, at 4:30 in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). Greg Howard will host. We’ve announced the event on the department website, on Facebook, and on the NWS blog. Please share with your students!
Action Requested of Full-time Faculty: Committee Preferences 
 
Full-time faculty are encouraged to signal their preferences for service on the department’s standing committees by the end of day on Monday, September 11th. Check your e-mail for a link to the Google Sheet we’re using to collect preferences.
English Office Priority: Spring 2018 Draft Schedule
 
A big focus for Ellen, Celeste, and me in the week ahead will be the spring 2018 schedule, especially the portion of it staffed by full-time faculty. Laura Cowan left a very strong draft of the schedule when her term as chair ended in June, and Celeste and I spent much of July and August refining it. But there are loose ends and necessary adjustments. We appreciate your patience and also your prompt attention to messages you receive about the schedule this week. Infosilem (the scheduling platform adopted by the UMS several years ago) “closes” on September 18: after that date changes will have to be routed through the Associate Dean’s office.
 
Draft Minutes of First Department Meeting 
 

The first meeting of the full department took place on Thursday, September 7th. Draft minutes are attached to this message. Please direct suggestions for additions, corrections, or revisions to <english.chair@maine.edu>.

More Remembrances of Elaine Ford 
Bryan Marquard wrote about our former colleague Elaine Ford for the Boston Globe on September 2, noting her nearly twenty years of teaching at UMaine. Mary Pols filed a story a day earlier in the Portland Press Herald that cites Harvey Kail’s impressions of Ford as “both sardonic and charming simultaneously.”

Tributes to John Ashbery by New Writing Series “Alums”

Eileen MylesAnselm BerriganRae ArmantroutCharles BernsteinJoan Retallack, and Peter Gizzi are among the “alums” of the New Writing Series and NPF Conferences to have offered remembrances of poet John Ashbury online and in the national media. Armantrout opens her September 5 piece for the Times editorial pages with this anecdote: “The poet John Ashbery once said, ‘To be a famous American poet is not the same thing as being famous.'” Scholar of the New York School Andrew Epstein will speak about Ashbery in a commemorative event of the New Writing Series on November 30th (more details nearer to the date).
Literary Magazines in Wicks Reading Room
Recent issues of the Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, and New York Review of Books can be found on the table adjacent to our mailboxes in the Wicks Room. The goal is to get these into the hands of students who might not otherwise be aware of such resources. Magazines can be consulted in the Wicks Room or borrowed on the honor system. We also received from an anonymous donor a single-volume print edition of the OED, complete with magnifying glass.
Graduate School Picnic on Wednesday
Members of our graduate program are encouraged to the annual picnic on Wednesday starting at 4pm.