This Week in English | March 1 – 23

March has come in like a white, fluffy, brilliant lion! We are all in the middle of the last push before spring break, and people are traveling for conferences. Many graduate students and faculty presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Chicago, and others are attending the Association of Writers and Writing program in Seattle and the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium.  Please read on for more news and announcements

The faculty meeting that was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 8, is now canceled due to scheduling conflicts. We will reschedule after Spring Break.

Visitng professor Eric Brown’s Nature and Literature class is focusing on the arctic this semester, and they invite all to attend a special showing of:

Áróra: Tales of the Northern Lights

An immersive fulldome experience about the exquisite beauty of Auroras. Take a journey across time and space to understand the science behind the phenomena and to experience the stories of our ancestors. Guided by the lullaby of the Dawn Goddess, this cinematic adventure invites the audience to join the dance of these eerie lights over remote Icelandic landscapes, learn why they appear, and explore numerous legends of these incredible phenomena.

Please come to the Versant Power Astronomy Center tomorrow morning (Thursday) from 9:30-10:30 am and check out the spectacle!

SAVE THE DATE: English Award Ceremony – April 25th @ 4:30pm

Due to a schedule conflict with another C.L.A.S. event, the English Department Award Ceremony this year will now be held on April 25th at 4:30pm in the Foster Center for Student Innovation. Come celebrate your English colleagues’ achievements together! Food and drinks provided!

The submission deadline for the Hamlet Playwriting award has been extended to March 8th! If you have written a screenplay and would like to submit it for a chance to win a scholarship, please send your work to Nola Prevost at


NT Live presents: Much Ado About Nothing 

by William Shakespeare

directed by Simon Godwin

Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (Dracula) lead the cast in Shakespeare’s romcom of sun, sea and mistaken identity.

The legendary family-run Hotel Messina on the Italian Riveria has been visited by artists, celebrities and royalty. But when the owner’s daughter weds a dashing young soldier, not all guests are in the mood for love. A string of scandalous deceptions soon surround not only the young couple, but also the adamantly single Beatrice and Benedick. Following the award-winning success of National Theatre Live’s Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra, director Simon Godwin returns with this irresistible comedy, broadcast live from the National Theatre stage.

What is NT Live?

National Theatre Live transmits the best of British theatre live from London to screens around the world. The broadcasts are filmed before a live audience, with cameras carefully positioned to ensure cinema audiences get the best-seat-in-the-house view. The CCA records the productions and projects them onto a high-definition screen. 

More info:

Invitation to Participate in Usability Testing for Internships Page

English Internship Director, Dr. Katie Swacha, and MA student Walli Ullah are currently working to improve the Internships page of UMaine’s English Department website. Our goal is to provide better resources for undergraduate and graduate students in the department, who would like to complete an internship.

Please reach out to Walli (  or Dr. Swacha ( if you would be willing to participate in a 20-30 minute usability test where we simply ask you to interact with the website and then take a brief survey about your experience. Many thanks!

Dr. Katie Swacha publishes article on public health communication

Dr. Swacha’s article, “The Coping with COVID Project: Participatory public health communication,” was recently published in Communication Design Quarterly. The article reports on the results of a qualitative study undertaken at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic  It includes research-based recommendations for public health communication that takes into account the various contexts—e.g., physical, material, affective, structural—which impact how such communication is interpreted and acted upon by people in their daily lives. This research was supported by the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, and included student involvement.

The History department and the McGillicuddy Humanities Center are pleased to invite you to a workshop on “The Humanities and ChatGPT: Should we worry?”

The workshop will be held on March 7th from 11:30am to 12:30pm in the Digital & Spatial History Lab, located in suite 305, Center Stevens Hall.

“As you may know, ChatGPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI, which has recently gained popularity due to its ability to generate human-like text. In this workshop, we will explore the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT and generative AI in general and discuss their implications for the humanities.

The workshop will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field, exchange ideas, and network with colleagues from different departments.

We are delighted to offer lunch to the first 15 respondents. Please RSVP by March 1st to to secure your spot and let us know about any dietary restrictions you may have. Also please RSVP if you do not wish to have a Harvest Moon sandwich or salad, so we can be sure to have sufficient seating.”

Survey: Relationship between Myers-Briggs Psychological Types and Favorite Book Genres Among Teenagers and College-Aged Students

Students in the AP Capstone Program at Tomball Memorial High School are conducting a survey on the relationship between Myers-Briggs Types and Favorite Book Genres among teenagers and college-aged students. This google form will ask you to complete the Myers-Briggs personality quiz, and then ask you questions about your favorite literary genres. It should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Visit the link above to fill out the survey.

[RESCHEDULED] On Monday, March 6 at 2:00 pm in the UMaine Writing Center (Neville Hall 402), outgoing MHC Fellow Benjamin Allen will present the results of his MHC project on disability and performance in higher education. Allen’s work draws on his own lived experience, as well as contemporary scholarly research in disability studies, communication theory, performance theory, and intersectional theory, to examine how tic disorders are performative and can irreversibly impact the experiences of those afflicted–especially as it relates to stressful situations in academia and the classroom.


If you would like to apply to the McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellowship, please visit for more information.

Outgoing McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow and history major Tom Pinette will present the results of his MHC project, titled ‘This Land is Your Land and This Land Is My Land’: The Role of the Roman Catholic Church in the Political and Cultural Lives of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy nations in the Twentieth Century, on March 1 at noon in Room 102 of Class of 1944 Hall. Over the course of his Fellowship, Tom has worked with faculty mentors John Bear Mitchell and Paige Mitchell to explore the presence of the Church on Penobscot and Passamaquoddy reservations in the twentieth century. This free, open-to-the public discussion will be a culmination of a year’s worth of archival and ethnographic research. In addition to addressing the Wabanaki context of Christian missions, a presentation of Tom’s research findings will engage with larger questions of Catholic theology, Indigenous worldviews, and the ongoing campaign of colonization.

The alumnae-run Wayward Literature Magazine is still accepting submissions for Issue 2 until March 6th. Issue 2 will focus on the theme of “You”, in respect to your lived/embodied identity. All genres are welcome. If you would like to submit your work, please visit their website. If you have any questions, please contact co-editor Nola Prevost at


Please send any news items to This Week in English will take a hiatus until the first week of April.