Wednesday, March 31, 2010
So just as I return from driving hither and yon for readings and class visits at other schools, our own beloved college town has nearly emptied of its students. Alas, they’ll be back. And thank goodness! Besides, it’s not as much fun to be on sabbatical when everyone else is on spring break anyway. Where’s the specialness in that?
Anyway, this time the deep thought comes courtesy of Richard Scarry. Remember him? The Best Word Book Ever, What Do People Do All Day (my personal favorite and a question I’m still asking), Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, etc. Weren’t the folks of Busytown just the best? Good ol’ Huckle Cat and his friend Lowly Worm. Mr. Fixit, a clever fox, and Sergeant Murphy, a trustworthy cocker spaniel. Smokey, Sparky, and Snozzle, pig firefighters with dubious skills (is that a colander on Snozzle’s head?). Miss Honey, a bear who taught school—kindly, of course. Just typing this makes me feel slightly, um, like I’m on drugs. Which I most definitely am not.
Now here’s the fascinating part: the books have changed—a lot—from, oh say, 1963 to 1991. Evidence: now, cats have glasses, girls can chase boys and not just the other way around, and boys, too, can play ring-around-a-rosie. I know! Also, apparently bear children, and other children, one assumes, are no longer unquestioningly obedient. The bear pictured above may still wear his retro yellow and orange outfit (nice!), but he’s not coming when he’s called. Nope. Just headed to breakfast of his own free will. Intrigued? Check out this comparison of then and now.
But wait, there's more. If you thought all that other stuff was pleasingly crazy, you’re really going to like this. Anyone else notice how pigs in Richard Scarry books often work as butchers and seem to enjoy bacon and hot dogs? Or how one minute a lion is a doctor and the next he's in a cage at the circus?
Should we be disturbed? Maybe. Probably. But I'm not. I like the idea of pig firefighters rescuing "gentleman" cats and "beautiful screaming lady" cats. The pigs and the cats may eat pulled pork back at the fire station. Oh well. The point is, they're eating side by side. And, for now at least, everyone made it out alive.
And that's What Sabbatical + Spring Break Means to Me. Thanks for asking.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Congratulations to Pat Conner, who has just received the Heebink Award for Distinguished State Service for revitalizing the West Virginia University Press (a cause for celebration in and of itself).
You can read more about it at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2010/03/24/dr-patrick-conner-honored-with-heebink-award-for-distinguished-state-service
You can check out the Press's website, including their announcement of a new series, Regenerations: African American Literature and Culture, at: http://wvupressonline.com/
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
October 21-23, 2010
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS: PAUL AMAR (Political Science, UC-Santa Barbara), ADAM GREEN (Sociology, U. of Toronto), JOON LEE (English, Rhode Island School of Design), HEATHER LOVE (English, U. of Pennsylvania).
What is queer about queer studies? Does queer refer to a set of topics or a mode of inquiry? What is the role of theory in queer studies? How is new scholarship bridging the social sciences and the humanities? What is the relationship between actual queer practices and queer studies? What is the relationship between scholarship and activism? How are radical sex critique and queer studies related? What are the limitations of queer?
These are some of the questions we are interested in twenty years after the emergence of queer theory. The purpose of this conference is to take stock of and provide a showcase for innovative practices and pursuits in queer studies, both in the humanities and social sciences, as well as emerging fields that bridge the two.
We are not calling for papers that engage these questions at a meta-level, but rather for work that is conditioned by them.
While we welcome a range of topics, some of the topics we are interested in include:
- the role of historical, political and economic forces in shaping queerness
- governmentality, state and biopolitics
- transnational flows of capital and migrations
- queer intersections with race, gender, class, ability, age, etc.
- queer subjectivities, experiences and identities
- queer historiography, phenomenology and temporality
- visual culture, new media
Paper abstracts of 250 to 300 words should be sent by June 1, 2010 to firstname.lastname@example.org. We wish to notify presenters by Monday, June 21. We will ask for the completed paper for respondents by October 1, 2010.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Let's pick up two lines of evidence. First, we'll work from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED, available to WVU folk at our library's website :
( http://www.libraries.wvu.edu/find/index.htm#articles ).
In the electronic version of the OED, there is an etymology button which reveals each word's known history. As you might have guessed from the similar forms, all three of our specimens come from similar Latin origins. The verb tenir in French still means 'to hold', and tenant (noun) appears to have come from the past participle of tenir by about 1300 CE. The noun tenet came into English much later, around 1619, but appears to have been drawn from Latin writings, not contemporary French. Tenet had immediate stiff competition for survival from tenent. Both forms refer to 'a belief held' but tenet may have referred to a belief by an individual, whereas tenent referred to a belief held by a group (singular and plural conjugations of the Latin verb, respectively). The form tenent was dominant in the seventeenth century, but as these things go, it's meaning was quickly mingled with tenet, and language does not love a synonym.
Semantically speaking, tenant has changed the most. It has been a legal term and a term of wider use. In fourteenth century English law, the OED notes this meaning: "One who holds or possesses lands or tenements by any kind of title". The next step in the semantic change involved tenant referring to the relations between an owner and the person living on the land or in the domicile. The use of tenant to refer to people who lease property that other people own did start early, but only picked up momentum (and became the norm) in the eighteenth century.
Our other line of evidence to discover the ins and outs of these three forms is what I call "The Magic Box", internet searches. Google informs us that it snags a bit over 6.5 million hits for tenet, although it is obvious that some of these hits are names (e.g. Tenet Healthcare Corporation) and other uses. Hits for tenant exceed 35.5 million. Apparently a three hundred year head start can really boost your Google ratings. Tenent does have almost a million hits, but it is perhaps a ruse more than a rebirth: many of the sites I saw were redirects for people who misspelled tenant.
Living languages change, and evidence can be found all around. The descendants of the Latin and French verbs for 'to hold' provide good examples of borrowing and semantic change. Even with the title of this blog, semantic change continues, since the office holders in Colson Hall do not rent from the University. In the title The Tenants of Colson Hall, we can take tenant to mean something more like 'people who regularly spend their time somewhere'.
If you have other language questions for this tenant of Colson Hall, please feel free to email me at Kirk.Hazen@mail.wvu.edu.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: July 1st, 2010
The editorial collective of disClosure seeks submissions that explore FAMILY, SEX, AND LAW as they are understood in a variety of areas and disciplines. Possible topics might include:
*Sex and Love Work
*Sex & Affect(ion)
*Law & Marriage
*The Business of Marriage
*Family Medicine/The Medicalized Family
*Sexuality and Empire
*Family, Sex, and Migration
*Rethinking Childhood/Old Age
*Family and Trauma
*The Post-Nuclear Family
*Sex and Surveillance
*Marriage/Sex/Family in Popular Culture
disClosure is a blind refereed journal produced in conjunction with the Committee on Social Theory at the University of Kentucky. We welcome submissions from all theoretical perspectives and genres (scholarly articles, interviews, reviews, short fiction, poetry, artwork) and from authors and artists (academically affiliated or not) concerned with social theory.
Scholarly Articles, Essays, Poetry, and Fiction: Please submit electronically in Word format to email@example.com. Submissions should be double-spaced with no more than 10,000 words. Manuscripts, notes, and bibliographies should follow Chicago format, where applicable.
Book Reviews: Please submit electronically in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. These should be approximately 1,000 words and should review works published no earlier than 2007.
Art and other graphic materials: Artists should submit digital or camera-ready material. Electronic submissions should be accompanied by a hard copy. Art cannot be returned, so do not send originals. Do not submit material that has been half-toned for publication (e.g., pictures in books or catalogues). All art will be published in B&W, so please submit accordingly.
Authors are responsible for securing copyright and fair-use notices and must submit them prior to disClosure publication. All material accepted by disClosure for publication becomes property of the journal. disClosure is not responsible for loss or damage resulting from submission.
Inquiries and Submissions:
Jeffrey Zamostny and Rebecca Lane
Art and Other Graphic Materials:
C/O Naomi Norasak/Jeffrey Zamostny/Rebecca Lane
1613 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
The Committee on Social Theory at The University of Kentucky:
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
News of Student, Faculty, and Staff Professional Activity
Issue 2010 No. 1
JOHN ERNEST and Erick Gardner's edition of J. McHenry Jones's 1896 novel _Hearts of Gold_ has been published by West Virginia University Press. _Hearts of Gold_ is the first publication in WVU Press's series, Regenerations: African American Literature and Culture, for which the general editors are John Ernest and Joycelyn Moody.
KEVIN ODERMAN has published: *Lloyd Goldsmith Looking Downtown*, a monograph, Square Moon, 2009, and "Of *Corse*," a literary essay, *The Tusculum Review, *5 (2009) 83-102.
KIRK HAZEN presented the poster "Unassumingyet influential: The effects of contraction on was leveling" for the Linguistic Society ofAmerica annual conference in Baltimore, MD, on January 9, 2010.
On January 15th, Kirk presented a paper entitled "Unvernacular Appalachia" language variation and change research group in the linguistics department at TheOhio State University.
Later that day Kirk presented" Teaching to the choir and beyond: Being overt with thefoundations of science, linguistics, and 21st century America". This was an invited keynote address for theSeventh Annual Martin Luther King Day Linguistics Symposium at the OSUConference on Linguistic Pedagogy.
GWEN BERGNER presented "Voodoo Politics: Haitian-U.S. Transnational Relations" at the American Studies Association conference in Washington, DC in November.
SARAH EINSTEIN's essay "Mot" has been published in Ninth Letter. It has also received a Pushcart Prize nomination.
AMANDA COBB has published the poems, "No, It's not a Bad Time," "She Thinks About Quitting," "Simon
Says Baby," and "Thirty-Minute Lunch Break" all by Connotation Press in September of 2009. They can be found (as well as a Q&A) on www.connotationpress.com.
Her poems, "Baby Girl" and "Family Tree of You" are forthcoming from Pebble Lake Review in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition.
She also has two poems forthcoming from Tygerburning: "Last Lost Prayer" and "On Being Unsure."
MARY ANN SAMYN published two poems---"Don't Panic" and "The Kingdom of God"---in the most recent issue of The Journal. A review of her most recent book, Beauty Breaks In, can be found here:
Mary Ann has also published a limited edition chapbook, The Boom of a Small Cannon, with Dancing Girl Press.
JOHN SHUMATE's story "Contessa's Diesel Phone" will appear in the Open Thread Regional Review anthology, Vol. 2. John will be reading at the release event for the publication: March 31 at 7pm at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
DONALD HALL has been elected to a three-year term on the executive committee of the Association of Departments of English (the ADE).
He has been named to the Editorial Advisory Board of PROFESSION, the annual publication of the Modern Language Association.
He also gave two papers at MLA (on full-time hiring policies at WVU and on critical dialogue) and a paper at the World Universities Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Students, Faculty, and Staff Members in English are encouraged to send
notices of all recent professional achievements email@example.com for collation and distribution to the department in the next issue of "Recent Achievements in English," appearing soon.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Despite the many fascinating things happening in our department—including last weekend's undergraduate literature symposium (congratulations to participants and award recipients!) and yesterday's double feature (a lecture by Elaine Treharne and a poetry reading by yours truly)—our blog has, um, come to a bit of a standstill. Hence this shabby little sabbatical update.