This Week in English | October 8 – 14, 2018

Welcome back from the long weekend, everyone. I hope you enjoyed just the right balance of adventure and relaxation, and that you are ready to make the most of the middle third of the semester.

Fiction Writer Jac Jemc Reads Thursday

The New Writing Series welcomes the fiction writer Jac Jemc to campus for a reading introduced by Greg Howard. Jemc’s most recent novel, The Grip of It, was published to wide acclaim in the summer of 2017 as part of the FSG Originals series from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. FSG will also be the home for her next collection of stories, False Bingo (2019), and her novel Total Work of Art (2021). She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has completed residencies at the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Hald: The Danish Center for Writers and Translators, Ragdale, the Vermont Studio Center, Thicket, and VCCA. She has been the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Professional Development Grants. She teaches English and creative writing. This will be her first appearance in the New Writing Series, now in its nineteenth year of innovative literary programming on the flagship campus of the University of Maine. Doors to the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104) open at 4; the reading starts at 4:30 and will be followed by a Q&A.

Photographs from Eugene Lim’s reading on September 27 are now available on the NWS Flickr page.

News from the Writing Center

Writing Center director Paige Mitchell shares this update: “On Tuesday, October 2, the Writing Center hosted a workshop with the Honors College to discuss best practices and collaborative opportunities. This was the first in a series of Honors workshops related to teaching and professional development organized by Rachel Snell, the faculty course coordinator for Honors 111. Eight Honors College associates attended, including Melissa Ladenheim, the Honors associate dean, and four Writing Center tutors, three of whom are also Honors students.”

Dylan Dryer to Deliver Keynote Address

Dylan Dryer will deliver the opening keynote at the third annual conference of the Association of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, being hosted by St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, on October 11-12, 2018. His talk is titled “The Undergraduate Writing Studies Major and the Hard Problem of Intersubjectivity.” This summer Dryer participated in a plenary panel on “Literature, Language, and Writing in the English Department” at the ADE Summer Seminar in Ann Arbor. This past Friday, he led the calibration session for all instructors of first-year composition here at UMaine.

Danielle Pafunda at &Now

&Now is, as their website puts it, “a biennial literary festival known for presenting innovative writing, thinking about writing, and interdisciplinary explorations such as new poetics, performances, narrative, critical, electronic and multimedia projects. In addition to presenting new work, its book fair, panels and readings foster conversation about past, present, and future literary concerns and movements.” The festival was hosted by Notre Dame this past weekend and visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Danielle Pafunda presented on two panels, Queer Enough: Radical Representations of Maternity and Desire, which also featured poet Catherine Wagner (NWS S’10), and Topside/Underworld: An open conversation on making art at the edge of the abyss through which crisis has asked you to walk. Pafunda is teaching creative writing at the introductory, advanced, and graduate level this fall. She’ll read from her work in the New Writing Series on November 8th.

Undergraduate Research Grant Deadline this Friday

The deadline for applications for the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR)’s academic year fellowships is this Friday, October 12. Students who apply for CUGR simultaneously receive consideration by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the McGillicuddy Humanities Center (no separate application required). That multiplies the chances of success for arts and humanities majors, who sometimes face an uphill battle when compared to their peers in STEM disciplines.

Kyle Manning on Mary Rowlandson

Kyle Manning is a first-year candidate for the Master’s Degree who completed his bachelor’s degree at UM Farmington, where he studied with Kristen Case (NWS F’16). He’ll be guest teaching this week in Ben Friedlander’s course on Colonial & Early National American literature, where he will lead a discussion on Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative.

Save the Dates

On October 23, the McGillicuddy Humanities Center will co-sponsor Richard Rubin’s talk on “World War I: The Most Jewish War in History?”

On October 25, the New Writing Series hosts fiction writer Martin Riker, whose novel Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return was published earlier this fall by Coffee House.  

On October 30, the Stephen E. King Chair Lecture Series will host Leigh Gilmore for a talk on “Graphic Witness: Testimony, Confession, and the #MeToo Movement.

On November 1, the English Department’s Faculty Research and Scholarship Presentation Series, curated by Elizabeth Neiman, will host Luke Redington for a talk on “Ethical Irony in the Metaphor of the Surgical Strike” (flyer attached).


Best wishes for the (abbreviated) week ahead,



This Week in English 33 was circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Wednesday, October 10, 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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