This Week in English | April 2 – April 8, 2018

Laura Cowan Receives Steve Gould Award This Morning

Associate Professor and former department chair Laura Cowan has been honored with this year’s Steve Gould Award. The annual award is presented to members of the UMaine community who have, by their conduct, demonstrated superior qualities of unselfishness and compassion in the course of serving UMaine and its ideals. It was created in 1981 by the family and friends of Steve Gould in memory of “a man of honest and passionate concern for others.” Professor Cowan, who is on sabbatical this year after serving as department chair from 2015 to 2017, is among those honored at the Employee Recognition Ceremony this morning at 11am in Wells.

Acclaimed Native American Director Madeline Sayet on Campus This Week

“Raised on traditional Mohegan stories and Shakespeare,” Madeline Sayet‘s work as a director of new plays, classics, and opera “uses minimalist magical realism to interrogate questions of gendering, indigenous perspectives, and reimagine classic plays to give voice to those who have been silenced.” Sayet will be on campus this week for a series of events organized by William Yellow Robe and Margo Lukens and cosponsored by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, the Stephen E. King Chair, the Division of Theatre/Dance, Native American Studies, and English. On Wednesday at 1pm, she talks about directing Shakespeare and Native theatre in Neville 101. And on Thursday at 2pm, she offers a directing workshop in the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre. Look for flyers posted around Neville for details or contact one of the organizers.

Madeline Sayet is a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award for her work as a director, writer, performer, and educator. She has also been recognized as a member of the 2018 class of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Hollywood and Entertainment, a 2016 TED Fellow, an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, a recipient of the National Directors Fellowshipa Van Lier Directing Fellow at Second Stage Theatre, and a National Arts Strategies’ Creative Community Fellow.

Margo Lukens Named Next Director of McGillicuddy Humanities Center

In related news, Margo Lukens has been named the next director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, where she will serve from July 1 of this year until June 30, 2020. She takes over from fellow English Professor Jennifer Moxley, who was appointed in 2016. Lukens has a long history of distinguished leadership at the University and in the community. She has served as chair of both the English and the New Media Departments. She was the Founding Director of Innovation Engineering Academic Programs (2007-2017) and participated in the University of Maine Diversity Leadership Institute. In announcing the news to MCH-affiliated faculty earlier today, Moxley wrote: “Given her experience, interests, and expertise, Professor Lukens is poised to be an excellent director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. With such a passionate humanist at its head, our Center can’t help but thrive and grow in many meaningful new directions.”

Fiction Writer Christina Milletti Returns to the NWS on Thursday

Christina Milletti is the author of The Religious & Other Fictions, along with numerous stories, including “Now You See Her” and “The Erratic.” One of her manuscripts in progress is the novella “Choke Box: A Fem-Noir,” about which she writes:

When do words hurt us? How do they make us choke on, choke up, everything we think we know? In Choke Box, one woman comes to grips with a flawed book her husband wrote about their lives together…before he mysteriously disappeared. She discovers many surprising facts in his memoir: for instance, the larynx—-that anatomical “anomaly” of the human body—-makes humans the only animal that can choke to death on food. Language, she learns, is a dangerous, even violent, business. And, in her own corrective “counter-memoir,” she gets down to work.

Milletti, who teaches at the University at Buffalo, first read in the New Writing Series in the fall of 2006. She returns to Orono this Thursday for an event that starts at 4:30 in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). David Kress will host. All are welcome.

Reminder: Undergraduate Prize Deadlines

If you are an undergraduate and have not yet submitted work for consideration in one of the Department’s annual prize competitions, we encourage you to do so. The deadlines for the Grenfell (poetry), Turner (essay), and Hamlet (drama) prizes all fall on Friday, April 6, at 1pm. Queries about the submission process, as well as the submissions themselves, should be directed to And be on the lookout for informational fliers posted throughout Neville Hall.

Routine Department Business: Advising, Withdrawals, & Policy Advisory Committee

Enrollment for the fall 2018 semester opened last Monday and today the registration window opens for Juniors. Faculty with advising responsibilities are asked to provide expanded office hours during registration period (please share these with A helpful list of advising resources has been assembled by the CLAS Advising CenterStudents are encouraged to take initiative by reviewing their academic progress to date, familiarizing themselves with program requirements, and creating “wish lists” on MaineStreet.

The last day to withdraw from a spring class with a “W” on one’s transcript is next Wednesday, April 11, at 4:30pm.

The Policy Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday at 2pm (room TBA) to discuss hiring priorities for the coming fiscal year.

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Have a great week, everyone!

Steve Evans

English Department Chair


This Week in English 24 was circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, April 2, 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.