This Week in English | February 4 – 10, 2019

Dylan Dryer Article in College English

Dylan Dryer’s article “Divided by Primes: Competing Meanings among Writing Studies’ Keywords” appears in the January 2019 issue of College English. With a wide readership of approximately 5,200 subscribers and an acceptance rate of approximately five percent, the journal ranks among the most selective and visible venues in its discipline. The abstract for Dryer’s forty-two page article, which focuses on the way in which seemingly “shared” terms can mask “multiple and sometimes contradictory meanings,” reads:  

Scholarly keyword investigations rely on the bibliographic diligence of well-read reviewers to sift complexities of important words like “process” or “identity.” Yet meanings of words have as much to do with how they are “primed” by the repeated historical contexts of neighboring words as they do with the intentions of their users. To augment existing keyword essays, this article shares results of an analysis of priming patterns for 15 keywords distilled from a 14-million-word corpus of articles from 12 writing studies journals, which are shown to contain multiple and sometimes contradictory meanings of putatively shared words like “practice,” “language,” and even “writing.”

Elizabeth Neiman on Gender and Authorship in the Romantic Period

This Tuesday, February 5, Elizabeth Neiman will present in the WGS spring colloquium series at 12:30 in the Bangor Room. Her topic is “Reassessing Romantic Authorship: Minerva’s ‘Lady’ Authors & the Romantic Print Market.” Neiman’s book on the subject is due out from the University of Wales this spring.

Danielle Pafunda on VIDA: Women in Literary Arts

Danielle Pafunda will be guest lecturing today in Elizabeth Neiman’s WGS 301 course on her work as an advisory board member for the literary organization VIDA. Neiman reports that Pafunda’s “discussion should help my students prepare for thinking about a major group project (students read reviews for a particular novel, with attention to both formal reviews like in the New York Times and readers’ reviews in Amazon, and present on their findings to the class).”

Student Career Fair This Wednesday

The UMaine Career Center will be hosting a Career Fair on Wednesday, February 6, from 10am – 3pm in the Rec Center. Career Center staff made a short video to introduce the fair to students and to offer tips for having a successful day. Whether you’re scouting for an internship or for your first job after graduation, it’s worth your while to ready your résumé, dress up, head out, and get a sense of the opportunities that are out there.

New Writing Series Events in February

On Wednesday, February 13, Italian American translator and refugee activist Pina Piccolo shares and discusses her work in a special Wednesday afternoon New Writing Series event hosted by Carla Billitteri and co-sponsored by the Honors College. The event will be held at 4:30pm in the Allen and Sally Fernald APPE Space, 104 Stewart Commons.

On Thursday, February 28, poet, essayist, and editor Lynn Melnick reads in a New Writing Series event hosted by Jennifer Moxley. The event will be held at 4:30pm in the Allen and Sally Fernald APPE Space, 104 Stewart Commons. Melnick will also lead a workshop and discussion on rape culture as part of her visit (look for details in next bulletin).

MA Alum Update: Alison Fraser

After completing her Master’s Degree in English with a concentration in poetry and poetics in 2010, Alison Fraser went on to earn her Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo, where she received a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Women’s Studies Fellowship for her dissertation, “Homemade (Post)Modernisms: Ephemeral Objects in the Twentieth-Century American Poetry Archive.” The Collages of Helen Adam, which Fraser edited, was published last winter (online excerpts here). This past summer, Fraser became Assistant Curator of the Poetry Collection at Buffalo. She tweets at alisonwfraser.

Celebrating Edna St. Vincent Millay at the Farnsworth

On Saturday, February 16, a gala reading in honor of Edna St. Vincent Millay will be hosted by poet and UMaine faculty member Kathleen Ellis. The event will be held in the Farnsworth Art Museum Library starting at 2pm. English majors, minors, and graduate students who are interested in attending should contact the Department ( by Friday, February 8, for information about complimentary tickets (normal cost is $10).

MA Alum Seeks Contributions for Online Poetry Magazine

Denise Bickford graduated from UMaine in 2012 with a major in English and a concentration in creative writing, poetry. She and a friend from Boise State, where she earned her MFA in 2016, have launched an online journal called Wend, which is currently open for submissions. Lisa DesRochers-Short, who also majored in English at UMaine (2012), and who is currently pursuing an MFA at George Mason, will be guest reading for the first issue. Wend seeks work from new and established writers and visual artists.

Upcoming Events

First-year Master’s candidate Tori Hood has organized another Writers’ Night for February 21, 2019 at the Bangor Beer Company (Oriental Jade) in Bangor (flyer attached).

On March 1, the Stephen E. King Chair Spring Lecture Series opens with a talk by television producer and writer Adam Barr titled “Made for TV: Writing to Keep Hollywood Relevant.” The event will be held at 4:30 in the Wells Conference Center. Barr will also lead a “TV Writers’ Room Workshop” on Saturday, March 2, from 1-4pm. The event is open to members of the UMaine community interested in media, performance, writing, and entertainment. For more information about the workshop, please email King Chair Caroline Bicks.


This Week in English 46 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, February 4, 2019. 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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