This Week in English | November 30-December 6, 2020

Student Assistants Sought for “Coping with Covid” Project

Katie Swacha is looking for two paid undergraduate student assistants to assist with her current research project, Coping with COVID. Students hired will help to maintain and update the study website, create new web content, and coordinate with community partners on recruitment and resource development related to the study. She is seeking highly motivated students who are interested in professional writing, qualitative research, and health. See the full job descriptions attached for more information and details on how to apply. Please feel free to contact Prof. Swacha with any questions.

Karen Sieber Speaks on Red Summer of 1919 This Evening at 7pm

Karen Sieber, Humanities Specialist at the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, will speak at 7 p.m. this evening (December 1, 2020) about her research, Tarred and Feathered: UMaine’s Hidden Connection to the Red Summer of 1919. The event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. You can join via Zoom here.

Sieber is the creator of Visualizing the Red Summer, the world’s largest database and archive on the race riots and lynchings of 1919, now the most used classroom resource on the Red Summer in the nation. Her work has been featured or cited by the National Archives, American Historical Association, History Channel, Zinn Education Project and others. She recently discovered a previously undocumented case of Red Summer violence at the University of Maine that year in which two African American brothers, Samuel and Roger Courtney, were tarred and feathered by their fellow students. 

She will discuss her work building what she calls a “rogue archive,” her recent discovery of the Courtney Brothers incident and parallels it holds to current events, and her work with students to think about campus as not just a neutral place where history is studied but as an active place where history has made, forgotten, and at times erased.

Writing Center Alumna Update

The Writing Center shared an alumna update via their Facebook page that will interest some readers of the bulletin as well:

One of our former writing consultants, Maddy Jackson, was recently hired as an academic success consultant at the Writing and Academic Resource Center at Emerson College in Boston. At Emerson, Maddy is pursuing a master’s in publishing and writing. We are excited that Maddy can transfer some of the skills she developed at UMaine’s Writing Center to this new position! Congrats!

Former Writing Center tutors who receive these bulletins are encouraged to share updates and accomplishments with director Paige Mitchell so that she and we can make a proper fuss about it!

English Department Drop By on Friday

If you have a moment to drop by and say hi, we’ll again gather via Zoom this Friday, December 4, from 3:30-5pm. Students, faculty, alumni and friends—plus partners, kids, and pets—are all welcome!

The Art of Breathing

Please mark your calendars for The Art of Breathing, a poetry reading by English Major and McGillicuddy Humanities Center Fellow Bria Lamonica scheduled for Tuesday, December 8.

Lamonica will be presenting an original collection of poems, “The Art of Breathing,” on December 8 at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public via Zoom.

Lamonica is a fourth-year English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in psychology. As part of her MHC fellowship, she created this experimental collection of poetry, which deals with issues of oppression and the female body. The reading will mark the completion of her fellowship, as well as a celebration and appreciation for feminism and the ongoing work women are doing for equality. She selected four influential women from her academic and personal life to act as readers: Kathleen Ellis, lecturer in English; UMaine students Sarah Penney and Autumn Rogers; and Linette Hice, her mother. 

Covid Reminder

If you or people you know in the UMaine community have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms, close contact or a positive test, call the COVID-19 info line at 207-581-2681 or fill out the online self-reporting form or email


This Week in English 87 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, December 1, 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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