This Week in English | Sept 25 – Oct 1, 2017

Meet This Year’s Editors of The Open Field

The undergraduate literary journal The Open Field will be edited this year by Eric Arnold (fiction) and Tyler O’Keefe (poetry). Eric Arnold is a fourth-year English major with a concentration in technical writing. He runs a creative writing group on campus and has a passion for fiction which he intends to eventually develop into a career. Tyler O’Keefe is a fourth-year student studying English and Philosophy. He is a lover of poetry and is interested in its intersections with the natural world, especially in the works of the Romantic poets. The student editors design, edit, and raise funds for the journal in consultation with creative writing faculty members David Kress, Gregory Howard, and Jennifer Moxley. Their work in the fall will be focused on design decisions, securing funding, and getting the word out about the submission deadline (tentatively set for December 1). If you’d like Eric and Tyler to visit your class to discuss The Open Field, reply to <english.chair@maine.edu> and I’ll promptly forward your request.

Explore The Analog Age with Damon Krukowski this Thursday and Friday

Author and podcast host Damon Krukowski will be on campus this week for a series of events sponsored by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center in collaboration with English. On Thursday at 4:30he’ll discuss The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World with MHC director Jennifer Moxley in an event that is free and open to the public (Stewart Commons 104). Krukowski will also be visiting CMJ 237: Journalism Across Platforms on Thursday at 2pm and ENG 408: Advanced Poetry Workshop on Friday at 11am. A catered lunch in the Wicks Room is scheduled for Friday from noon to 2pm; the topic of discussion is “Negative Capabilities, Cage, noise and poetry.” If you’re interested in attending the lunch-time discussion please RSVP to <english.chair@maine.edu> by Wednesday at 4:30pm. Krukowski’s presentations on The Analog Age are part of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center’s year-long exploration of Juvenescence / Obsolescence:Humanities Approaches to Aging Across the Ages.

A Glimpse into What Our Colleagues and Students Are up to this Week

This week’s “glimpse” begins at the graduate-level, where Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country is on the syllabus for American Literary Realism and Naturalism with Naomi Jacobs on Monday. Students in Margo Luken’s seminar on Multicultural American Literature turn their attention to the Puritans John Winthrop, William Bradford, and Mary Rowlandson on Tuesday. In Dick Brucher’s Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Eng 553) seminar, which also meets on Tuesday, students will discuss Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday alongside As You Like It.And on Wednesday, first-year teaching assistants will be discussing Carolyn R. Miller’s essay “Genre as Social Action” in Ryan Dippre’s Teaching College Composition course (Eng 693).

At the undergraduate level, students in Ben Friedlander’s Short Course on American Poetry (Eng 440) meet in Special Collections at the Fogler on Tuesday and take up Poe’s “The Raven” on Thursday. Poets in the advanced undergraduate workshop will host vising speaker Damon Krukowksi on Friday. In Paige Mitchell’s Writing Center English Internship class (Eng 395), the focus is on ethnographic research. Students in Deb Roger’s Restoration course (Eng 355) are reading Dryden and Swift. In Dick Brucher’s Retribution in Modern Drama (Eng 381), students continue with Ibsen, reading Ghosts and The Wild Duck. Among the readings for Audrey Le’s Scandalous Women (Eng 229) is Mary Wollstonecraft “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” Symbol, allegory and irony are to the foreground in Leonore Hildebrandt’s Reading Poems (Eng 222), with illustrative poems by Frost, Poe, Robinson, and Cummings. And week five is “conference time” for students in English 101: you can expect a significant increase in foot traffic in Neville!

Departmental Committees & Related Business

On Monday afternoon, Undergraduate Studies Coordinator Ben Friedlander and I meet with Brian Doore, director of the Office of Assessment, to discuss the department’s assessment practices in advance of the University’s upcoming NEASC review. The Analytical, Professional, and Technical Writing (APTW) Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday at 1pm. The Undergraduate Studies Committee convened last Thursday at 2pm and Graduate Studies met last Tuesday. And the first of three calibration sessions for English 101 takes place on Friday afternoon.

William Yellow Robe Jr.’s Makin’ IndiXns in Best American Short Plays

William S. Yellow Robe, Jr.’s play Makin’ IndiXns was performed as part of New Native Theatre’s inaugural National Native American Ten Minute Play Festival in 2016. It has now been included in The Best American ShortPlays 2015-2016, edited by William Demastes and John Patrick Bray and published in paperback on August 1, 2017.

Advising Rosters & Calendar

Faculty are encouraged to visit their Advisor Centers in MaineStreet to review changes to their advising roster. A just a reminder that classes dropped on or before Thursday, September 28 at 4:30pm will not appear on transcript.

Travel Requests: Second Call – Deadline October 6, 2017

Faculty who plan to travel for professional purposes before July 1, 2018, and would like to seek departmental support should let Celeste Cota <celeste.cota@maine.edu> and me hear from you by Friday, October 6th, 2017. If you’re uncertain about your plans but would like to keep the option of applying for support open, we encourage you to submit a “placeholder” request at this time. The attached spreadsheet is a little more detailed than the one originally circulated: if you haven’t already submitted a proposal, please use this form. If you have, there is no need to resubmit.

In Closing: Open Door

The door to the Chair’s office is always open—at least metaphorically! If it’s closed, you’ll see my calendar for the day on the corkboard, which may explain why its closed. I hope you will feel welcome to drop by with any questions, concerns, suggestions, words of encouragement, or witty remarks that may occur to you.

And have a great week, everyone!

Steve Evans

English Department Chair