This Week in English | May 6 – 12, 2019

Many thanks to all of you who found time on Friday to fill the Hill Auditorium with warmth and appreciation as we recognized some of the many accomplishments of students, staff, and faculty at our year-end ceremony. If you were unable to attend but would like a copy of the program, stop by Neville 304 and pick one up. This will be the last regular bulletin of the academic year, but I’d love to hear from students and faculty about summer projects, including internships, for inclusion in a midsummer update.  

Margo Lukens on Humanities Research

Impact is the monthly newsletter published by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School here at UMaine. The May edition leads with a statement by Margo Lukens, Professor of English and Director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. Here’s what Lukens has to say:

In my role as Director of the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I am witnessing and doing my best to foster and support collaborative research between scholars in the humanities and those in sciences and technology, on our most challenging global (and local) problems—climate change, food sustainability, access to clean water, social justice and the nation-state.

These are problems that require a profound transformation in human choices and behaviors; problems of this magnitude require the participation of researchers in humanities fields, where we specialize in reaching hearts and minds through persuasive ethical argument, compelling imagery, sounds of music and the right words to help an audience finally hear, and act, differently. I envision deeply interdisciplinary work as the path to solutions for the future.

The world depends on the work faculty and students do on questions that interest us deeply, our energy for present challenges and those we haven’t even encountered yet, our willingness to turn failure into a learning opportunity, and our sense of audiences present and to come.

Professor Margo Lukens,
Director, Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center

Thieves and Liars Launch on Wednesday

The literary journal Thieves and Liars, edited by MA candidates Tori Hood and Martin Conte and featuring work by many members of our literary community, will host a launch party on Wednesday, May 8, starting at 7:30pm at the Bangor Beer Company. Appetizers will be provided courtesy of the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature.  

Retirement Reception on Thursday

The CLAS annual reception for retirees will be held at Wells Conference Center this Thursday, May 9, at 4:00 p.m. for refreshments, with the program to begin around 4:20 p.m.

We will celebrate the contributions and careers of several esteemed colleagues retiring in 2019:

  • Richard Brucher (English)
  • Mazie Hough (History; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
  • Rhea Côté Robbins (Advising and Academic Services Center)
  • Jim Roscoe (Anthropology)

Also retiring—and esteemed—but unable to attend the reception are Jon Kreps (Chemistry), David Kress (English), and Sergey Lvin (Mathematics and Statistics).

Laura Cowan has kindly agreed to share some remarks on the illustrious career of Dick Brucher, a preview of which we enjoyed at last Friday’s recognition ceremony.

Alumnus Update: Nate Cutting

I bumped into Nate Cutting in Bangor a few weeks ago while hosting a job candidate for dinner and was delighted to learn that he’d taken his love of modern poetry and painting all the way to the Louvre since last I saw him: “Your class opened my eyes to looking at modern paintings and for that I am grateful,” he wrote in a follow-up. “Did I tell you that when I was standing outside of the Louvre, that I thought of your class?” Here’s a little more from Nate:

Way back in 2005, Nate graduated from UMaine and started teaching English. After living in New Hampshire for a few years, he got home sick and moved back to be closer to Maine’s natural resources. Currently, he is a graduate student in the Educational Leadership Program at UMaine and is teaching in Ellsworth.

Even though it’s been almost twenty years since he has been in Neville Hall, he still brags about taking a class with Burt Hatlen. Over the thousands of writing conferences he has had with students, he still tries to approach every one them with the patience and kindness of Harvey Kail.  

Elizabeth Neiman on Minerva’s Gothics

Elizabeth Neiman, who recently earned tenure and promotion in the English Department with a joint appoint in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, writes about her scholarly monograph Minerva’s Gothics on the website of the University of Wales Press. “Because Minerva’s popular conventions convey powerful (because shared) feelings and habits of mind,” Neiman writes, they “limit what can be said whilst at the same time provide opportunities to rethink the possible.”

Routine Department Business

Full-time faculty will convene May 13 – 15, 2019, for our usual May Work Days. Please direct agenda items to at your earliest convenience.


To all of our May and August graduates, a hearty congratulations! I hope you’ll keep us updated as your lives and careers unfold over the years!


This Week in English 58 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Tuesday, May 7, 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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