This Week in English | November 25 – December 1, 2019

Welcome to the seventieth (yikes!) installment of This Week in English. In keeping with the season for performative utterances, let me begin by thanking you for your interest in and commitment to the English Department. It is much appreciated here in Neville Hall. When we return from the holiday, there will be two full weeks of instruction prior to finals week (December 16-20). I’d love to include updates from current students, alums, and colleagues past and present in the corresponding bulletins, so don’t be a stranger!  

Brian Jansen on Wrestling and Violence 

Brian Jansen’s article “‘It’s Still Real to Me’: Contemporary Professional Wrestling, Neo-Liberalism, and the Problems of Performed/Real Violence” was published in the Canadian Review of American Studies as part of a special issue on American violent labor. The paper argues that professional wrestling’s performance of staged violence disguises the real violence inherent in the form. Jansen looks at professional wrestling contracts, schedules, and storylines to point out that wrestling offers a rich case study for the rationalization and economization of everything—even that which ought to exceed it, like genuine violence and pain—in our neo-liberal moment. Jansen earned his Ph.D. at the University of Calgary in 2018 and joined our part-faculty this fall.

Recent Publications by Jeremy John Parker 

Jeremy John Parker’s story “I Will Not Require the Services of a Sherpa” was recently published in December Magazine and has already earned a Pushcart Prize nomination. Parker also published a nonfiction essay, “The Phoenix Is a Fire Bird,” in Little Fiction | Big Truths. A member of our part-time faculty since 2017, Parker is teaching first-year composition and introductory creative writing as well as a section of Technical Communication for Engineering this fall.

Jennifer Moxley and Paul Bauschatz Give Pre-Performance Opera Talks 

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten had its Metropolitan Opera debut in New York on November 8 and was live-streamed to a global audience, including here in Orono, this past Saturday. Prior to the screening, Jennifer Moxley gave public talks on the music and backstory at Dirigo Pines (Tuesday) and Brewer Public Library (Wednesday) before handing off to former colleague, and fellow member of the Collins Opera Outreach Committee (or COOCs), Paul Bauschatz for the Thursday presentation at Orono Public Library. The next HD broadcast is scheduled for January 11 and will feature artist William Kentridge’s dazzling production of Alban Berg’s avant-garde masterpiece Wozzeck. Student tickets are just $10.

English Graduate Student Association Workshop for 101 Students

EGSA is happy to host an ENG 101 Portfolio Review Workshop Monday and Tuesday, December 2nd and 3rd, respectively, from 2-4 in the Writing Center. First-year composition students are encouraged to bring along the essays they are considering for inclusion in their portfolios. Current 101 instructors and Writing Center tutors will be on hand to help students prepare for the portfolio review.

Celebrating Dickinson’s Birthday on December 10

The 13th Annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Reading will be held at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, December 10 (her actual birthday!) in the University Bookstore. For more information and/or to volunteer to read, please contact event organizer Kathleen Ellis.

Two Spring Courses to Consider

ENG 301 with Kathryn Swacha: This iteration of English 301 will trace the tradition of community-based writing within the field of writing studies. The course examines writing as a form of civic entrepreneurship, exploring questions such as: How and why has the field of writing studies increasingly embraced more community-based forms of writing? How is writing leveraged as a force for good in the world? What kinds of writing are done in community-based settings? What types of writing can help people and organizations to work toward social change? Students in the course will explore such questions by 1) discussing and reading scholarship on community writing, 2) rhetorically analyzing examples of community-based writing, and 3) producing such writing, possibly in partnership with a local organization.

ENG 497 with Naomi Jacobs: We’re offering a new one-credit course this spring that is designed to help English majors and minors in their junior or senior year think forward to life after the BA, whether they want to go to graduate school or to move directly into employment. The course appears on MaineStreet as ENG 497-0001; it meets on Mondays at noon in the Hatlen Room (NV 406).


Here’s wishing everyone good cheer and safe travels in the week ahead,





This Week in English 70 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, November 25, 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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