Monday, November 29, 2010
The successful applicant’s primary appointment will be housed in the Department of English and Cultural Studies in which tenure, if awarded, will be held, but her/his duties will include teaching courses in the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research, and the undergraduate Women’s Studies minor. The current minimum salary for an Assistant Professor is $60,997 per annum. McMaster is a research-intensive university. Its Department of English and Cultural Studies has both an Honours BA and an MA program in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory. Many of the Department’s doctoral candidates are pursuing dissertations in the areas of gender studies and cultural studies. The new Graduate Program in Gender
Studies and Feminist Research offers an MA degree and a diploma program for PhD students in a number of Humanities and Social Science departments at McMaster. The successful candidate will have a PhD and demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, with a clearly defined research program and a promising record of publication. She or he will be expected to supervise graduate students for both the Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Program, and to contribute to the administration of both.
Applicants should send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a sample of writing (e.g., an article or chapter of a book/dissertation—maximum 25 pages), and a statement of teaching philosophy to:
Dr. Peter Walmsley and Dr. Susan Fast
Department of English & Cultural Studies
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L9
Applications received by January 17, 2011, will be assured of full consideration. Applicants should arrange for three letters of reference and graduate transcripts to reach the Department by the same date. All documentation submitted in support of your application becomes the property of the University and is not returnable.
For further information on the Department of English & Cultural Studies, see
For Gender Studies and Feminist Research, see http://gsfr.mcmaster.ca/
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. However, Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority. McMaster University is strongly committed to employment equity within its community, and to recruiting a diverse faculty and staff. Accordingly, the University especially encourages applications from women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, members of sexual minorities, and persons with disabilities.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
---Last weekend, that is. I mean: wow. Sorry for the delay, but it takes a little time to find the right words, you know? Because we're, like, artsy, and artsy is exhausting. But, here, finally, are the highlights:
… Friday night’s COW (Council of Writers; a hearty moo shout-out to all of them) reading at Zenclay. Nothing I could write could capture the night better than the post already, um, posted by Miss Rebecca and Miss Connie, but let me just add that the kids made yours truly very proud. Also, this reading featured the most disconcerting podium ever: made of clear plastic and thus entirely see-through and thus not really a podium (read: hiding place) at all. Most upsetting.
… also this past weekend, The Play. You know “The Morgantown Play, or Dreams from a Shady Glen," written by the department’s own Bill French and featuring some familiar faces: Pat Conner, who juggled several roles, including a rather serious Waitman Willey (always wondered who he was, didn’t you? if you went to the play, you now know); young up-and-comer Walt Harms as the main player of the play within the play; and best actress Cindy Ulrich as the Mountaineer’s ever-lovin’ wife. Congratulations to all of them for breaking a leg in the theater sense but, thank goodness, not in any other way.
… and congratulations to 3rd year MFA Danielle Ryle who won a big fat $1000 poetry prize from Mid-American Review. We just know that Danielle will want to share her monetary award with her fellow poets… especially her teachers. Thanks, Danielle, and congratulations on this much-deserved recognition.
… and while we’re in a congratulating mood, it seems our (“our”?) sports teams won a few games last weekend. So go team! to them as well. Next time, though, try not to schedule your games during our readings and plays, ’k?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Last Friday, as Connie Pan and Rebecca Thomas watched the traffic pass by on University Avenue, they briefly contemplated suicide. Instead, they played live-action Frogger, crossed the street, and entered Zenclay to prepare for Friday night’s reading.
“Why did I volunteer for this?” Rebecca asked Connie, as they waited in line for their delicious beverages.
“So we can get it over with,” Connie said and ordered a cold, blue beverage.
They clutched their delicious beverages, holding them up to their foreheads, wiping away beads of sweat, waiting to receive the line-up for the night.
With their beverages in hand, suddenly a little braver, they ascended the stairs and witnessed the sea of chairs that would soon be full of people.
They wanted to vomit. This is why they gave up hopes and dreams of becoming rock stars: stage fright.
“Do we know the line-up yet?” they asked Heather Frese, but she shook her head no. Christina Rothenbeck was stuck in cursed Morgantown traffic.
So they sat, in the back of the room, waiting, drinking, and exchanging smiles that did not comfort each other.
“I hope I get to go early,” Rebecca said.
“I don’t,” Connie said.
Christina entered. They received their fate. It was a fear sandwich: Connie first, Rebecca last. They considered Parent Trapping it and being the other for the night. Instead, they finished their beverages and waited for the night to begin.
Alex Berge emceed, started the show, and Connie Pan walked to the plastic podium. She had been hoping for something solid, something to hide behind or lean against, but instead, she was forced to work with a transparent croquet wicket. She started to read, she finished, and she doesn’t remember anything in between.
The top bread of the fear sandwich was finished (Authors’ note: We recognize that although nobody eats a sandwich this way, we thought our audience might like the nod to deconstruction.). However, the bottom half of the bread still wanted to vomit. Luckily, the innards made for a delightful distraction.
Connie and Rebecca sat, one a little more relaxed than the other, and were swept away on a wave of words by such wonders as: Ben Bishop, Justin Crawford, Charity Gingerich, Christina Rothenbeck, Danielle Ryle, Rebecca Schwab, Shane Stricker, and Christina Wulf.
Everyone had gone. Rebecca knew her time had come. Alex deftly introduced her, and with a sinking stomach, she walked up and began to read. The next thing she knew, she was finished.
As Connie and Rebecca left Zenclay that night, they crossed the street without having to dodge any traffic. No longer did they feel the urge to jump in front of a car.
Can’t wait to see the rest of the first years for Spring 2011: Jamie Kegg (you were missed!), Rebecca Childers, Sara Kearns, Andi Stout, Jeremiah Shelor, Anthony Fabbricatore, and Melissa Atkinson.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
|The Return of Charles II to Whitehall in 1660|
by Alfred Barron Clay
Immediately afterward at 4:15, EGO will hold its monthly meeting. Although the exact agenda has not yet been released, given EGO's current financial situation the rumor is that the "meeting" will consist largely of EGO members shooting Cristal at each other out of Super Soakers.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Submissions may be:
* Full-length research papers
* Short papers, e.g. papers adapted from a poster presentation
* Literature reviews
Chicago style is preferred.
Deadline for submission is Friday, January 14, 2011.
All submissions and questions should be directed to the editors at MURR@mail.wvu.edu.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Christina put together a writing exercise where a notebook was passed around and each person in the group wrote a stanza of the poem. There was no particular theme or thread involved, and it was just a free form exercise where anyone could really do or say anything they felt. The poem was a success: a rather twisting narrative of odd juxtapositions strung together until the meaning of the poem was completely obscured—all that was left was the rather hysterical overview of a mixed bag of images and sounds. The end product was a collaborative effort and a great way to end the evening.
The first of the Poet's Dinners was such a success that everyone was asking about the next dinner by the end of the night. It was a great way for writers to break up their class and workload, and for them to really unwind with the one thing they all have in common, the love and aspiration of writing. WVU's strong community of creative writers had just gotten stronger.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
May 6 and 7, 2011 at the University of Maryland, College Park
Sponsored by the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, Department of English
Conference Organizers: Ralph Bauer, Kimberly Coles, Zita Nunes, Carla L. Peterson
This conference will explore how conceptions of the blood—one of the four bodily fluids known as humors in the early modern period—permeate discourses of human difference from 1500 to 1900. “Bloodwork” begins with the assumption that the concept of “race” is still under construction and that our understanding of the term would profit through an engagement with its long, evolving, history. Specifically, it asks how fluid transactions of the body have been used in different eras and different cultures to justify existing social arrangements.
Recent scholarship has opened up the question of the continuities and discontinuities between early modern and modern rationalizations of human difference. In early modern England, “race” commonly referred to family lineage, or bloodline, and relied upon pervasive notions of what were believed to constitute the properties of blood. The anxieties anatomized in Thomas Elyot’s Boke named the Governour (1537) about the degradation of “race,” or the corruption of noble blood, describe the physical technologies by which virtue—both physical and moral—was thought to be conveyed through bloodlines. Daniel Defoe’s later satire “A True-Born Englishman” (1708) echoes this rationale for difference. The language of his poem not only insinuates the crossover of the term “race” from family lines to national groups, but also supplies evidence that both kinds of racial ideology—whether affirming social hierarchy or national superiority—rest upon the invisible qualities of the blood. In late eighteenth-century Anglo-America, Thomas Jefferson invokes such notions as "White," "Indian," and "Negro" blood in order to suggest an essential difference between what he calls "the races," a difference that he sees as "fixed in nature," thereby anticipating modern racialism.
A comparative conference such as ours, that is trans-historical and transnational and draws literary critics and historians of cultures on both sides of the Atlantic world, will make a significant contribution to this ongoing debate about the “invention” of race.
Jennifer Brody, Department of African and African American Studies, Duke University
Michael Hanchard, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Ruth Hill, Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, The University of Virginia
Mary Floyd-Wilson, Department of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
•How does blood rationalize bodily difference in the period in which you work?
•How is blood used as a metaphor in your period? How is it contested?
•How—and why—is the idea of blood transforming? How does it operate in the body?
•What are the physical technologies of the body and how are these pressed into the service of difference? Conversely, how is the rationalization of bodily difference embedded in “scientific” discourse?
•Is religious difference figured in cultural or somatic terms?
•Does the body have a moral constitution?
PLEASE SUBMIT ABSTRACTS OF 500 WORDS FOR COMPLETE PANELS (ABSTRACTS PLUS PANEL DESCRIPTIONS), INCOMPLETE PANELS, OR INDIVIDUAL PAPERS BY November 5, 2010 TO: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may be directed to Maggie Ray at email@example.com
Monday, November 1, 2010
This particular tenant never thought he'd say this, but Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear has him wondering whether Slavoj Zizek might actually be wrong about something. Bear with me for a moment....
In The Sublime Object of Ideology, Zizek tries to determine why, in a cynical age, people continue to act against their best interests simply because someone else tells them that his or her best interests are their best interests, even if they're not. One of the few options you have nowadays, according to Zizek, is what he calls kynicism, where you make fun of the hypocrisy and self-interest of official pronouncements although, Zizek makes clear, this actually has very little effect on those in power (however you want to construe that concept), who are as cynical as everyone else and just keep on doing what they're doing.
Now, kynicism is obviously the stock in trade of The Daily Show, and insofar as it seems entirely unlikely that politicians or cable news networks are going to change the fever pitch of their rhetoric in response to Stewart's call, during his speech on Saturday, for a more measured public discourse, Zizek may be right: not much will change. Except....
Stewart's speech really seemed to be less about something that should happen than about something that already does: the fact that, despite serious differences in opinion, most people most of the time cooperate quite well ("You go, then I go"). It was a different view of America than one usually gets from cable news or political ads (where every politician's opponent seems to have been deliberately determined, from the moment of his or her birth on a Nazi eugenics farm, to harm the American public as much as possible), and the best part was that this America seems to have been enacted by the crowd itself, which, by all accounts, had a very nice vibe.
So, while Zizek might say that this was just a momentary triumph of the kynical and the ludic, I think he might be wrong. I think the whole point was that this moderate America is out there--you could sort of feel it stretching out from the rally across the continent, Benedict-Anderson-like, into an imagined community all reading The Onion at the same time. I bet you the people in DC even picked up the trash when they left.