This Week in English | January 27 – February 2, 2020

Welcome back, everyone. It’s a pleasure to report that Neville Hall is bustling with activity as the spring 2020 semester gets underway. Readers of the bulletin are reminded that we welcome updates from students, faculty, and alumni at Let us know what you’re reaching, writing, and doing, and we’ll be sure to spread the word!

New Writing Series Welcomes Canadian Poet Lisa Robertson

After the winter break, the New Writing Series resumes its twentieth-anniversary season by welcoming the poet, essayist, and novelist Lisa Robertson to campus for her first visit since February of 2003.

Robertson is the author of many books of poetry, including Debbie: An Epic, The Weather, The Men, Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip, R’s Boat, and Cinema of the Present. Her most recent book is also her debut novel, The Baudelaire Fractal, described by the publisher as “part memoir, part magical realism, part hilarious trash-talking take on contemporary art and the poet’s life” and reviewed by Jennifer Krasinski in the current issue of Bookforum.

Robertson will read from her work at 4:30pm on Thursday, January 30, 2020 in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104) on the University of Maine campus. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a Q&A with the writer.

Other confirmed events in the spring include Canadian novelist Deborah Willis on February 13, novelist Laird Hunt (NWS S’2010) on March 5, poet Marianne Boruch on April 9, and poet Nathaniel Mackey (NWS F’2003) on April 16. Look for more information in future bulletins.

Recent Publications by Dylan Dryer

The most recent installment of the ADE Bulletin includes Dylan Dryer’s essay “‘Hurry Up Please It’s Time’: Last Call for Writing Studies in Departments of English,” which originated as a contribution to a roundtable on “Writing Studies and the English Department” in Ann Arbor in the summer of 2018.

In the December 2019 issue of College Composition and Communication, Dryer and Kathleen Blake Yancey published a response to the contribution made by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein to a recent symposium on “Standardization, Democratization, and Writing Program.”

In addition to directing the Master’s program, Dryer is teaching a graduate-level research methods course that focuses on unsolved problems in the production, circulation, and reception of texts (ENG 579).

Career Fair on February 5

We strongly encourage English majors and minors to attend the UMaine Career Fair on Wednesday, February 5, between 10am and 3pm in the Student Recreation Center. Whether you’re seeking a full-time position after graduation or an interesting summer internship opportunity, the Fair provides you first-hand contact with more than 150 employers—many of whom require the excellent writing, communication, and interpretive skills that you have cultivated in the English curriculum. If you have questions about the Fair, drop by the department, speak with your advisor, or request an appointment with Katie Swacha, our new faculty member in Professional and Technical Writing, or Naomi Jacobs, who is teaching a one-credit course this spring focused on post-graduation opportunities for English majors. There is also a “Career Fair Prep” event, sponsored by the Career Center, this Wednesday evening at 5:45pm in DPC 111.

McGillicuddy Humanities Center Update

Margo Lukens, now in her second year as director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, writes in with news of several upcoming events that will be of interest to readers of this bulletin:

On Monday, January 27, Starr Kelly, curator of education at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, will give a lecture on “Decolonizing Museum Practices: Implications for Universities and Schools.”

On Friday, January 31, the Center hosts its humanities research expo, Humanities 2020 Visions.

And Bangor Humanities Day takes place on Saturday, February 1, from 10am-10pm in downtown Bangor.

Also, the following week. February 3 and February 7 our colleagues William S. Yellow Robe, Jr and Richard Brucher will be giving pre-performance lectures at the Collins Center for the Arts for, respectively, “The Color Purple,” and the NTLive production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.”  Lectures at 6pm in Bodwell area, with light refreshments.

All these events are described on the McGillicuddy Humanities Center website. In addition to directing the MCH, Lukens is teaching English 541: American Literature from Colonial through Romantic periods, with a focus on colonization and decolonization.


This Week in English 74 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, January 27, 2020. 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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