This Week in English | November 5 – 11, 2018

This installment of the bulletin is best savored after casting a vote in today’s election.

Faculty Writers Visit ENG 131: The Nature of Story

Sarah Harlan-Haughey hosts Peruvian fiction writer and poet Carlos Villacorta on Tuesday and novelist Gregory Howard on Thursday in her large lecture class on The Nature of Story. The faculty visitors will read from and discuss their creative work with the ninety-plus students enrolled in the course.

Poet Danielle Pafunda Reads in NWS Thursday

Danielle Pafunda is a visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry here at UMaine this year, teaching workshops at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She’ll read from her work in a New Writing Series event co-sponsored by the Honors College on Thursday, November 8, at 4:30pm in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). Pafunda will also speak with students in Honors 180: A Cultural Odyssey on Wednesday afternoon.

Flickr albums are now available for the first three NWS readings of the fall: Eugene Lim, Jac Jemc, and Martin Riker.

Preview of English 440 in Spring 2019

In spring 2019, Carla Billitteri will offer an undergraduate seminar called “Tomorrow words today’: Future visions in present-day literary discourses on race, racism, and the racial imaginary” (flyer attached). About the seminar, Professor Billitteri writes:

We will look at several African-American authors who engage the difficult but important task of analyzing present-day race relations, and do so in the open-ended, inclusive framework of social dialogue and collective examination. We will read works that dwell in the fertile middle ground between visionary hope and sober realism, radical self-expression and the telling of collective history, lyrical writing and social dialogue, literature and the interdisciplinary fusion of philosophy and history.

Among the authors and artists to be studied are Claudia Rankine, Tracy K. Smith, Fred Moten, Khadijah Queen, and Janelle Monáe.

The prerequisites for the course are  English 271 plus 6 hours of 300-level literature courses or instructor permission. All English majors are strongly advised to include two 400-level seminars (as distinct from workshops) in their programs of study.

World War I in Poetry and Song on Friday and Sunday

A choral concert and poetry reading commemorating World War I will be held on November 9 at the University of Maine and on November 11 at the Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono. “We Are the Dead: The Legacy of Loss” is sponsored by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center as part of its year-long exploration of the legacies of World War I. MHC director Margo Lukens is scheduled to be interviewed by WABI TV5 in advance of the events.

Leigh Gilmore Talk Covered by Maine Campus

Kendra Caruso quotes Stephen E. King Chair of Literature Caroline Bicks in her write up of Leigh Gilmore’s talk about the #metoo movement for the Maine Campus on November 5:

Leigh Gilmore has used her expertise as a humanities scholar to contribute to a larger conversation about gender and social justice. She has made it her life’s work to study and explain the cultural narratives that have cast women as untrustworthy speakers of their truths,” Bicks said.

Professor Bicks also organized a November 2 discussion of #metoo at Orono High School as part of the long-standing UMaine / OHS Humanities Collaboration. That event was co-sponsored by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center and moderated by Judith Rosenbaum of the Department of Communication and Journalism.

Davis and Eaton to Present at PAMLA

Wicks Fellow Paul Eaton is traveling to Bellingham, Washington this weekend, where he will attend the annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. His presentation focuses on the work of his Wicks Fellowship, “The Journal Poetics of William Corbett’s Columbus Square Journal.” A long-time West Coast resident before his relocation to Maine, Paul is looking forward, as Special Agent Dale Cooper might say, to the smell of Douglas Fir, and a “damn fine cup of coffee.” He is also anticipating eagerly the panel on “Twin Peaks: Revisited,” which will ponder such topics as “Who Killed Laura Palmer: Twin Peaks, the Black Dahlia, and the Unsolved,” “‘Who do you think this is there?’: Electricity and Posthuman Subjectivity in Twin Peaks,” and “Catalysts of Agency in Absentia; Twin Peaks as a Tale Enabled by Absent Female Bodies.”

Kristen Davis, who teaches in English and the Honors College, will present on “Anxieties of Female Agency in Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars and Hammer’s Adaptation Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb.”

News from the Writing Center

Writing Center director Paige Mitchell writes with this update:

On October 23, Erika Dixon brought her Orono High School tutors-in-training to UMaine for a workshop with our ENG 395 tutors. Erika has been a UMaine ENG 101 instructor, and initiated Orono High School’s first Writing Center in 2016. This was her tutoring cohort’s second annual visit to UMaine!

On Halloween, Alexandria Mooney, a former UMaine Writing Center tutor, brought thirty of her English juniors and seniors from Penobscot Valley High School to tour our campus. They stopped by the Writing Center to hear about “what they could do with an English major,” discuss college application letters, and receive copies of the undergraduate and graduate literary journals.

Alumni Updates

Timothy Berrigan (MA, 2011) is living in Brooklyn and working as a Literacy Advisor for Brooklyn Public Library. He has recently had poems published online here and here. And two of his recipe poems are featured in the new issue of The Maine Review.   

Paige Eggleston (BA, 2013) moved back from Washington, D.C. to Portland this past summer and is currently a first-year student at Maine Law. She says, “it is wonderful to be home.”

Michael Fournier (MA, 2010) writes: “Rebecca [Griffin] and I have been living in South Yarmouth MA for a little over two years. I’m doing some teaching—mostly online, though I’m on the ground at Cape Cod Community College now—and am working steadily on novel #3. Lisa Panepinto and I got the twelfth print installment of Cabildo Quarterly out this summer. I started contributing to Maximumrocknroll this year (my first review was on Damon Krukowski‘s new one), and since January have published in Razorcake, Chicago Review of Books, Full Stop, You Don’t Know Mojack, The Collapsar, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Gimmick Press.”

Michael Kennedy (BA, 2016) is a second-year Ph.D. student in the English department at the University of South Carolina, majoring in rhetoric and composition studies and working toward a certificate in women’s and gender studies. He is also the editorial assistant for the quarterly journal, Philosophy & Rhetoric.

Upcoming Events

On November 15, Meghan Dowling and William S. Yellow Robe, Jr. will read from their work in the first of two events in the New Writing Series that will showcase the accomplishments of the creative writers who are teaching English 205 this fall.

On November 16, Dr. Vincent Sherry, Howard Nemerov Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, will deliver a lecture on “Modernism in Wartime: Avant-Gardes, Revolutions, Poetries” as part of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center’s year-long symposium “War Without End: The Legacies of World War I.” Sherry’s visit is being organized by Laura Cowan.

On November 30, Elizabeth Neiman will moderate and participate in a panel on the question of aesthetics in creative writing and literature pedagogy. Steve Evans, Gregory Howard, and Danielle Pafunda will also participate. The event will be held in the Writing Center at 3pm. Snacks will be served. All are welcome.

The next department meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 6, at 2pm in the Hatlen Room (Neville 406).


This Week in English 37 was circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Tuesday, November 6, 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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