This Week in English | September 9 – 15, 2019

English Department Open House This Thursday Afternoon

To celebrate the beginning of the new academic year, the English Department will host an open house for current and prospective students on Thursday afternoon from 3pm to 4:30pm. There will be light refreshments starting at 2pm in the Wicks Reading Room (adjacent to the department office in Neville 304) and the Writing Center (Neville 402), and many faculty members will be in their offices throughout the afternoon. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to drop by and get acquainted with one another, with English faculty, and with the many resources English has to offer. A brief presentation about the department will take place at 4pm in the Wicks Room. Alumni and friends of the department are welcome!

News from the Stephen E. King Chair 

Professor Caroline Bicks writes in with this welcome update: 

The King Chair is sponsoring an education residency that will bring two members of the American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA) to campus November 5-7 to conduct a series of workshops with various classes at UMaine and at Orono High School. On Wednesday, November 6th, 5:00-7:30pm in the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre, they will be facilitating a community-wide performance workshop using scenes from Othello to engage us in a conversation about Others and Othering. Please encourage your students (and anyone from beyond the UMaine community who you think would be interested in this event) to come join us. It is free and open to the public. 

In August, I travelled with two rising UMaine seniors, Katherine Dube and Jarod Webb, to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. They are both English and Secondary Ed majors preparing to teach in the Maine public school system, and I am working with them this semester on an independent study focused on bringing Shakespeare to the secondary school classroom. At the Festival, Katie and Jarod took a four-day class geared around the three Shakespeare plays being produced there. They had the opportunity to learn from an experienced teacher and from a diverse group of fellow students; to see high-quality performances; and to meet with the actors and the speech and vocal coach for the Festival. It was a great way for us to jump-start our work this semester as they prepare to teach in the spring.

New Writing Series

The New Writing Series got its start late in the fall of 1999, when poet Lee Ann Brown read with Benjamin Friedlander on November 18 and Anselm Berrigan read with Jennifer Moxley on December 2. As the Series marks its twentieth anniversary this fall, we have four live events lined up for Thursday afternoons at 4:30 in the Allen and Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). They are:

September 19
Sarah Rose Etter (fiction)

October 10
Sara Nicholson and Sara Green (poetry)

November 14
Cristina Rivera Garza (fiction) 

November 21
Stefania Heim and Kristen Case (poetry)

Additional events, including one or two featuring archival footage from the past two decades, will be announced in future bulletins and on the departmental website. The Series is co-sponsored by the English Department and the Center for Poetry and Poetics (formerly the National Poetry Foundation). 

Whitman Bicentennial

Professor Naomi Jacobs, who recently returned from a sabbatical year, came across a great resource for those of us celebrating the centennial of Walt Whitman. She writes:

As you probably know, 2019 is Whitman’s bicentennial. Recently I came upon the wonderful documentary project “Whitman, Alabama.” In each short film, a section of “Song of Myself” is read by ordinary people in Alabama. Some of the readings are absolutely stunning.

Routine Departmental Business

We have reserved the 2pm slot on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays for routine departmental business. The first meeting of the full department is scheduled for this Wednesday, September 11, at 2pm in Jenness Hall 106. Full-time faculty are expected to attend; part-time faculty are invited but not required to attend. 


This Week in English 59 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, September 9, 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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