This Week in English | April 8-14, 2024

The Open Field Launch Party This Thursday

The late-season Nor’easter that closed campus last Thursday cannot stop the blossoming of another edition of the annual undergraduate literary journal, The Open Field, which we will celebrate with a launch party this Thursday afternoon beginning at 4pm in the Writing Center. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the event, contact Paige McHatten. (Updated posted below.)


Sarah Harlan-Haughey Receives Wickam Skinner Humanities Award

News arrived over the weekend that Sarah Harlan-Haughey has been selected for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Wickham Skinner Humanities Award for 2024. In their nominating letter, faculty colleagues note that:

Dr. Harlan Haughey’s scholarship in medieval studies demonstrates the novelty and richness of her interests and her contributions to the humanities, ranging from explorations of the “outlaw” in medieval literature, to Chaucer studies, to Old Norse/North Atlantic studies, to work in the emergent, exciting field of medieval ecocriticism.

The nominators continue:

In light of the insightful and cutting-edge scholarly contributions, it is no surprise that Dr. Harlan-Haughey is a highly sought after instructor and academic mentor. In just the past ten years, she has developed and taught over twenty separate courses on an array of topics: gender and literature; sagas; medieval romance; ecocritical theory; the “imagined medieval” in 19th and 20th century culture, and so much more. She has served on over sixty honors thesis committees, and advised ten honors theses. She is sought after by her students and enlisted to help organize and advise student reading groups, symposia, and humanities research fellowships and labs. 

She is also an excellent ambassador for the humanities beyond the university, sharing her expertise with the community in a variety of venues: pre-performance talks at theatrical performances; public libraries, community gatherings, the American Folks Festival, and on local radio. 

Professor Harlan-Haughey’s accomplishments will be among the many celebrated at the CLAS Award Ceremony on Monday, April 22, in Wells Commons starting at 3:30pm


Shakespeare Podcast Co-Hosted by Caroline Bicks Honored by International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences

Caroline Bicks writes in with this exciting news: 

My Everyday Shakespeare Podcast (co-created with my friend and fellow Shakespeare professor Michelle Ephraim) was just honored for Best Live Podcast Recording in the 28th Annual Webby Awards. Here is a link to our producer’s page that describes the episode. Hailed as “the Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. “Honorees like Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephraim are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, President of the Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 13,000 projects we reviewed this year.” In each episode, we strive to entertain and educate our listeners about Shakespeare’s day and plays. You can listen to Everyday Shakespeare wherever you get your podcasts. We just dropped a new episode last week on University life: “Ye Olde Varsity Blues.” We hope you’ll take a listen, follow us, and spread the word!


Faculty and MA Students Present at 18th-Century Conference

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies held its 54th annual conference in Toronto last week, and UMaine was well-represented during the three-day international event. Gabriella Fryer presented “Words & Flesh: a Slantwise Reading of the Mother’s Last Words in the Gothic Novel.” Kat Gibson presented “Dear Reader: (Dis)Identifying Our Role in Romantic Epistles and Memoir Fiction.” Samantha L Maloney presented “Nature’s Invisible Hand: An Ecocritical Reading of Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian.” And Elizabeth Neiman presented “Sighting Romanticism’s Observant ‘I/Eye’: Gesture as an Alternative Empiricist Epistemology for Sympathy in Hays’ Emma Courtney” and participated on a roundtable discussion of “Editing Out-of-Circulation Novels.” Nieman, Maloney, and Gibson are pictured below.  


TA Jacqueline Knirnschild Leads Ekphrasis Exercise

On Monday, April 1st, First-Year Graduate Teaching Assistant Jacqueline Knirnschild led her Eng 101 students on a “field trip” to Lord Hall Gallery, where they wrote ekphrastic pieces inspired by the 2024 Student Exhibition. This trip was part of a continuing class conversation about the nature of visual art versus written art and the relationship between the two forms of expression. Students were encouraged to think about the artwork through the framework of class concepts, and use the ekphrastic activity as source material in their essays. 


Readingpalooza at Queen City Cinema Club on April 14

An event featuring a baker’s dozen of local authors—including many with ties to the Department of English—is scheduled to take place in Bangor.

Readingpalooza will take place at Queen City Cinema Club, located at 128B Main Street in Bangor, on Sunday, April 14. The event kicks off at noon.

Among the readers are English department faculty members Hollie Adams, Gregory Howard, and Jeremy John Parker, as well as a number of graduate students and other local writers. The tentative reading order is as follows: A.R. Clark, Julia Hills, Micah Vallarie, Andy Mallory, Lily Cameau, Lydia Balestra, Morghen Tidd. Intermission. Z Lavway, Victoria Hood, Libby Kennedy, Jeremy John Parker, Greg Howard, Hollie Adams.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tori Hood.


Welcome to Housing Launches Awareness Campaign with Help from English Students

The Maine Campus ran an extensive press release on March 28 highlighting the awareness campaign launched on April 1 by students in Katie Swacha’s professional writing seminar (ENG 418) on behalf of Welcome to Housing (WTH), a non-profit organization that functions in the Penobscot County region as a homegoods bank. 

Jade Hichborn, Stefan McClure, Mak Hallam and Sarah Spenser are among the MA students who have contributed to the success of the project, and Aimee Ouellette, Nicole LeBlanc, Brianna Lemarier, Alyson Thompson, Eliza Estabrook, Maddie Williams, Maya Farber, Brady Kaelin, and Lindsay Todd are BA students who have worked on website design; social media, print, and radio campaigns; and recruitment of new volunteers, among other activities. 

The Maine Campus piece concludes: 

WTH needs involvement from businesses, houses of worship, clubs and civic organizations, media, student groups and individuals to expand its mission of being a reliable resource for the at-risk population of Maine.  

If you are on campus, ENG 418 students will be staffing a table with more information about how you can support Welcome to Housing in the Memorial Union from April 12-19. 


EGSA Spring Symposium on April 18

The English Graduate Student Association has announced that the annual spring symposium celebrating the creative and scholarly work of the department’s MA students will take place on April 18 from 5-8pm in the Writing Center (Neville 402). We will share details about the program in this bulletin nearer to the date. In the meantime, you can browse EGSA merch on Bonfire, featuring a haiku by second-year MA student Christopher Gardner. 



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