This Week in English | September 17 – 23, 2018

I hope the new academic year has begun well for everyone!

As we enter the third week of the semester, I thought it would be a good time to resume the weekly bulletins that I began last year. If you have an item you’d like to see included in a bulletin, please send it along to <> by 5pm on Friday. We’ll time most bulletins for midday on Mondays.

An Overview and Some Welcomes

We begin the year with 125 majors and fifty minors. Our incoming cohort of Master’s degree candidates numbers fourteen. The Department is offering more than one hundred sections of classes with total enrollments just shy of 2,500. More than forty sections of first-year composition are being offered, as are sixteen sections of Business and Technical Writing and twelve of introductory creative writing.

Elizabeth Neiman, Carla Billitteri, and Benjamin Friedlander are anchoring our “core” courses with sections of English 170: Foundations of Literary Analysis. Laura Cowan May, Kathleen Ellis, and Leonore Hildebrandt are teaching English 222: Reading Poems. And Caroline Bicks is debuting a newly designed section of English 271: The Act of Interpretation.

At the upper level, Ben Friedlander is teaching Colonial & Early National American Literature (Eng 341); Caroline Bicks, Shakespeare & English Renaissance (Eng 353); Laura Cowan, Modernism (Eng 361); Margo Lukens, a themes course on “Colonial Connections to Cuba” (Eng 381); and Dick Brucher a research seminar on “American Plays of the Cold War Years” (Eng 490). Paige Mitchell welcomes a new cohort of potential Writing Center tutors to English 395.

At the graduate level, students are studying poetry and poetics with Danielle Pafunda, fiction writing with Greg Howard, medieval literature with Sarah Harlan-Haughey, the Enlightenment with Deborah Rogers, and teaching College Composition with Ryan Dippre.

This academic year we are fortunate to have Danielle Pafunda join our faculty as a visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Poetry. In the fall, she’s teaching English 205, English 408 (Advanced Poetry), and 508 (workshop in poetry and poetics). She’ll read in the New Writing Series on November 8 in an event co-sponsored by the Honors College.

M Plymale Larlee takes up a new role as full-time Lecturer in Academic Writing after a national search overseen by Ryan Dippre, Dylan Dryer, and Elizabeth Payne. It was my pleasure to introduce her at the College’s “Welcome Back” dinner last Wednesday.

I’m also pleased to announce that Heather Howard has been appointed to a one-year position as Lecturer in Professional and Technical Writing. We’re very grateful for the help she’ll be providing with English 317.

Margo Lukens started her two-year appointment as director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center on July 1. Dylan Dryer has graciously agreed to coordinate our graduate program, and Benjamin Friedlander remains in his role as undergraduate program coordinator for another year. Ryan Dippre continues on as director of first year composition, assisted by M Plymale Larlee. Carla Billitteri, Laura Cowan, and Sarah Harlan-Haughey are back from sabbaticals.

First Department Meeting

The first formal meeting of the English Department is scheduled for Thursday, September 27, at 2pm (room tba). Please submit agenda items to <> by 2pm on Thursday, September 20.

Fiction Writer Eugene Lim in New Writing Series

The New Writing Series celebrates its nineteenth year of literary programming at the University of Maine this year. The Series kicks off on Thursday, September 27, with a reading by fiction writer Eugene Lim. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be introduced by Greg Howard. Doors at the Allen and Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104) open at 4pm, the reading starts at 4:30pm.

Eugene Lim is the author of the novels Fog & Car (Ellipsis Press, 2008), The Strangers (Black Square Editions, 2013) and Dear Cyborgs (FSG Originals, 2017). His writings have appeared in Dazed, Fence, Little Star, The Denver Quarterly, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Gigantic, Your Impossible Voice, The Coming Envelope, Everyday Genius, Vestiges and elsewhere. Pessimist of the intellect by night; by day, he’s house librarian at the Charles Xavier School for the Greatly Responsibled. He runs Ellipsis Press, and lives in Jackson Heights, NY, with Joanna and Felix. His Wu name is Master Menace.

The remainder of the fall New Writing Series dates are as follows:

September 27: Fiction writer Eugene Lim

October 11: Fiction writer Jac Jemc

October 25: Fiction writer and publisher Martin Riker

November 8: Poet Danielle Pafunda

November 15: to be announced

November 29: Poet Kate Colby

Travel Abroad Fair this Thursday

Ideally, all students of English would experience at least a semester of study abroad. The Office of International Programs is dedicated to helping students and their advisors learn about the many opportunities that exist, and to guiding them through the process of planning for and making the most of their travels. This Thursday, September 20, they are offering a Study Abroad Fair, first at Estabrooke from 11am – 2pm, then at the Recreation Center from 4pm – 6pm. Erika Clement is the organizer and she’d be happy to field any questions you might have for her.

Historical Poetics

On Saturday, September 15, Professor Benjamin Friedlander and Master’s candidates Elizabeth Northcote and Kat Dubois attended an all day workshop hosted by the Historical Poetics group at Colby College. The focus of the day was the Mohawk Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake), a First Nations poet who began publishing at the end of the 19th century.The group posted some pictures of the proceedings to Instagram.

I look forward to the good work we’ll accomplish together this year, everyone. If I can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to ask: my door is open!

Steve Evans

English Department Chair

This Week in English 30 was circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, September 17, 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.

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