This Week in English | March 5 – March 11, 2018

Student Advisory Group Today at 3pm

Professor Elizabeth Neiman and I will be holding a preliminary meeting with English majors and minors who have expressed an interest in serving on a Student Advisory Group today at 3pm. All students with an interest in English are invited to attend. We’ll meet over light refreshments in the Wicks Room (Neville 304). We plan to convene the group several times on the other side of spring break, so if today’s meeting is inconvenient but you’re interested in participating, just drop a line to and we’ll add you to the recipient list for our next invitation.

Meet the Wicks Fellows for 2018-19

The Ulrich Wicks Teaching Assistantship for M.A. Candidates provide a third year of funding for the program’s most promising Master’s students. This year, two candidates were selected for the honor, Shelby Lyn Colburn and Paul Eaton.

As a Wick’s Fellow, Colburn will be continuing work on her thesis, The Backs of Leaves, a novella centered around a woman who wakes up to find her husband dead, but chooses to write about his life while he lays there rotting beside her. After this project is finished, Shelby will begin working on a novel entitled, Women of the Castle, a tale that imagines Hamlet’s Gertrude as co-conspirator in the death of the King—and Ophelia uncovers the treachery. Additionally, Shelby will be working with Dr. Gregory Howard throughout the year as she instructs ENG 205 (Introduction to Creative Writing).

With Professor Moxley as a mentor, Eaton will be spending his Wicks year preparing to teach ENG 205 in the spring and researching the work of contemporary Boston poet William Corbett. Although most known for his poetry, Corbett is also an essayist, art critic, editor, and memoirist. Some of the questions he hopes to focus on include: How is Corbett’s poetry situated in relationship to the New York School aesthetics of Frank O’Hara and James Schuyler? What is the nature of ekphrasis in his poetry? In what ways do his poems complicate notions of the pastoral and the urban, and problematize the status of lyric subjectivity at the turn of this century? Interestingly, Corbett has a number of connections to UMaine. His Collected Poems was published by NPF in 1984. His work has also appeared in the journal Jimmy and Lucy’s House of K, co-edited by Professor Ben Friedlander. Eaton’s project may include author interviews and research on the Corbett archives at SUNY-Buffalo. His goal is to produce a body of critical work that is conference- and publication-ready.

MA Candidates Terrell and Gerow at AWP Conference & Bookfair

The Associated Writing Program’s annual conference and book fair will be held in Tampa, Florida, later this week (March 7-10). Two graduate students in our Creative Writing program will be on hand. Master’s degree candidate in fiction Alex Terrell will be reading at the Black Warrior Review & Puerto Del Sol off-site reading on Friday evening. And fellow fiction writer Kristyn Gerow will be attending as well. Both Terrell and Gerow are former winners of Grady Awards for Creative Writing here at UMaine. The hashtag for this year’s conference is #awp18.

Events This Week

On Tuesday, March 6, at 4pm Université de Montréal Professor Éric Méchoulan will talk “On Friendship: A Brief History of the Concept from Aristotle to Facebook.” His event is sponsored by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center.

At 6pm on Tuesday, March 6, King Chair Caroline Bicks and Claire Moriarty of Orono High School will lead a discussion about Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries.

And on Wednesday at 7pm in Minsky Recital Hall, Boston College Professor James Smith gives his lecture on “Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, Academic Advocacy, and Restorative Justice.”

All of these events are free and open to the public.

UMaine at CCCCs Convention in Kansas City Next Week

The UMaine composition program will be well represented at the annual Conference on College Composition & Communication, which will be held in Kansas City over spring break. Dylan Dryer will chair and serve as respondent to a presentation by Louise Wetherbee Phelps on “Research Methods in Graduate Coursework and Beyond” on Thursday morning, March 15. That afternoon he’ll be a respondent on a panel featuring two graduates of our MA program, Laurie Pinkert and Lauren Marshall Bowen, about “Intellectual Labor and the Academic Lifestyle.” On Friday morning Dryer presents on a panel devoted to “Stress-Testing Rhetorical Genre Theory.” Director of First Year Composition Ryan Dipprepresents a paper on “Faith, Comics, and History: The Stabilizing Force of Textual Coordination” as part of a panel on “The Labor of the Maturing Writer: Taking a Lifespan Perspective.” Second year Master’s degree candidate Nicholas Sanderswill present “Echoes from the Center: Assignment Prompts as Linguistic Domination in the First-Year Classroom.” On Friday evening Ryan Dippre co-chairs a special interest group for pre-tenure Writing Program Administrators. First year Master’s degree candidates Abigail Adent and Elizabeth Zavodny will be participating in the Research Network Forum on March 14. The full program can be consulted here. Those of us not traveling to Kansas City can follow the action using the hashtag #4C18.

Weather Alert for Eugene Lim Reading Thursday

The forecast is not looking promising for midweek travel, so we may be forced to reschedule the New Writing Series event featuring Eugene Lim. Look for an update to the upcoming events page on the department website by midday on Wednesday. Some winters sharing initials with the National Weather Service seems to tempt fate!

Enjoy this last week of classes before a well-deserved break, everyone!

Steve Evans

English Department Chair

This Week in English 20 circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, March 5, 2018. If you would rather not receive these weekly bulletins, please reply with <unsubscribe> in your subject line. Earlier installments are archived on our website.