Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Doings

Sorry to fall behind with the party report, but, well, you know how it is.

And yes, I did say "party report." There have been parties. Plural. Didn't you know?

First, faculty gathered to celebrate Kirk Hazen's fancy NSF grant, as mentioned a few posts ago, and, yes, I was the hostess and, yes, I really did cook that seared tenderloin with mustard-horseradish sauce. It was good; we missed you.

Then lots of faculty and current and former grad students celebrated the publication of Katie Fallon's book, Cerulean Blues: The Personal Search of a Vanishing Songbird, at a party at the MAC. Jesse Fallon, veterinarian extraordinaire, provided the intro to the intro; Kevin Oderman provided the intro itself; Katie provided the evening's highlight, a reading from the book; and Katie's dad provided a humorous anecdote about Katie's trip to Colombia and guns.

Finally, this wouldn't be a post about "big doings" if I didn't mention that Glenn Taylor was on "Saturday Night Live." Or, his book was. The skit is too stupid to include here, but Glenn's second novel, The Marrowbone Marble Company, is featured prominently in the background, right next to Eat Pray Love, as you can clearly see. If this isn't fame, I don't know what is.

And thanks to "Vitamin Steve," some crazily-named friend of Glenn's, for the screenshot.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lonesome October

The environs of Colson Hall seem to have completely skipped over the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and gone right for that ashen and sober skies thing, with an occasional fine drizzle added. Even the graduate students are looking a little crisped and sere depressed.

Some of the Tenants, however, are cheered by the following vision of The Future, in which it becomes clear that, although Justin Bieber has been talking to other departments, he really only loves us and will buy us that dress we wanted and take us to a party.


The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at UVA: Doctoral Fellowships and a CFP

The University of Virginia seeks outstanding PhD, JD, and MBA candidates to apply to its graduate programs.  Outstanding candidates will be considered for the Jefferson Fellowship.  For full details about the Fellowship, please go to http://www.jeffersonscholars.org/graduate-program/the-jefferson-fellowship/.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation requests submissions of manuscripts on the topic of Birth and Origins for consideration in the 2nd issue of our peer-reviewed academic journal, the Jefferson Journal of Science and Culture. We invite scholars in all fields to submit papers relevant to the theme. Theoretical as well as empirical manuscripts are welcome.  Collaborations between scholars from different fields are particularly encouraged as are single-author works with an interdisciplinary scope.
 Topics may include (but are not limited to):

 • birth of a specific cultural practice
 • background and origin of a specific term or element of your field
 • etiology of a specific pathological or physiological process
 • early histories of a paradigm or society

To submit, email your manuscript to jeffersonjournaluva@gmail.com by November 21, 2011.  Please carefully review the submission guidelines provided on our website: www.jeffersonjournal.org.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Job Search Advice

For job seekers:

There's a lot of job search advice out there on the academic blogosphere, some of it sound, some of it a little less so. Here are two such blogs with series on the job search. Please feel free to post others in the comments.

Tim Morton at Ecology without Nature

The Academic Gig. Begin here, and the rest you can find under the category "jobs."

Be sure to leave links to others in the comments, and I'll add them to this post as they come in.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

EGO/COW Book and Bake Sale 2011

The 2011 version of the EGO/COW Book and Bake Sale is coming to Colson Hall in exactly one week. This year's sale, on Thursday, October 20 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, may be the largest book and bake sale to date! Please let your students, friends, and even people you may not especially like know about the date and time of the sale. Thanks in advance for helping EGO and COW make this the most successful book and bake sale in recorded history. The members of EGO and COW hope to see everyone there and we look forward to feeding minds and mouths alike. See you next Thursday in Colson 130.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Next Monday: Public Talk on Mobile Storytelling

"Bringing the Art of Design to the National Park Service:  The Fort Vancouver Mobile Project"
Dr. Dene Grigar
Director and Associate Professor
The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program
Washington State University Vancouver

7-830pm Colson 130
Monday, October 17
Free Public Lecture

In the 21st century, how best to relate the history of the National Park Service's Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the most popular historical attraction in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area and a major archaeological site, with more than 1 million visitors per year and 2 million artifacts to show?  With digital stories told via mobile devices.  This talk, given by Dr. Dene Grigar, focuses on the "Fort Vancouver Mobile," an NEH-funded project that brings together a team of 18 experts and scholars from throughout the digital humanities field -- including historians, archaeologists and academics specializing in digital media production as well as literature, rhetoric and writing -- to tell the story of the fascinating and multicultural history of the place once dubbed the "New York of the Pacific."  Specifically, she will discuss the way design and non-fiction historical writing come together when mobile devices are used for digital storytelling.

Sponsored by the Center for Literary Computing and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Sturm Week

TCH would like to welcome poet Carol Frost, this year's Sturm Writer-in-Residence, to Morgantown.

And of course we want to congratulate the poets who will be working with her:

Melissa Atkinson (MFA, 2nd year)
Lisa Beans (MFA, 3rd year)
Ben Bishop (MFA, 2nd year)
Evan Blake (MFA, 1st year)
Melissa Ferrone (undergraduate)
Micah Holmes (MFA, 3rd year)
Sara Kearns (MFA, 2nd year)
Rachel King (MFA, 3rd year)
Matthew London (MFA, 3rd year)
Christina Seymour (MFA, 1st year)
Isabelle Shepherd (undergraduate)
Jacqulyn Wilson (MA-PWE, 2nd year)

And congratulations, too, to Emily Issacs, winner of this year's Virginia Butts Sturm Creative Writing Award.

OK, poets, we expect to hear all about the workshop with Carol and to read the amazing poems you'll be writing as a result. No pressure, though.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Postdoc at CalTech's Huntington Library

The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Research Division of the Huntington Library invites applications for a Two-Year Postdoctoral Instructorship beginning Fall 2012. Area of specialization: early American literature and print culture, or transatlantic (British and American) long eighteenth-century literature and print culture. We are particularly interested in candidates working on issues related to religion. The teaching load is three ten-week undergraduate courses per year (quarter system). The position is contingent upon completion of Ph.D.
Interested candidates should submit a letter of application, vita, dossier with at least three letters of recommendation, thesis abstract, and writing sample by email to: englishpdi@hss.caltech.edu or mailed to: English Postdoctoral Instructor Search, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, MC 101-40, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA 91125. Application deadline is November 30, 2011.
Caltech is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are encouraged to apply.

Another Great Poet

Tomas Transtromer, the great Swedish poet, has just been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Academy cited his "condensed, translucent images" as giving us "fresh access to reality."

Sounds about right.

Here's a seasonally appropriate poem from Transtromer's 1958 collection, Secrets on the Way, and translated by Robin Fulton in 1987's Selected Poems (edited by Robert Hass):

Weather Picture

The October Sea glistens coldly
with its dorsal fin of mirages.

Nothing is left that remembers
the white dizziness of yacht races.

An amber glow over the village.
And all the sounds in slow flight.

A dog's barking is a hieroglyph
painted in the air above the garden

where the yellow fruit outwits
the tree and drops of its own accord.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

And now, a word or two from Rilke

Some books can and should be read many times. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke is one such book. Have you read it? Recently? I'm reading it, again, for the creative writing capstone class tomorrow, and I'm struck, as always, by how deeply wise this book is. It's hard to choose just one passage to quote, so here are two, from the translation by Stephen Mitchell.

First, a (beautifully) humbling passage about teaching and mentoring and general advice-giving, which is what Rilke was being called on to do in response to Franz Xaver Kappus, the military student who wrote to him in 1903:

"Of course, you must know that every letter of yours will always give me pleasure, and you must be indulgent with the answer, which will perhaps leave you empty-handed; for ultimately, and precisely in the deepest and most important matters, we are unspeakably alone; and many things must happen, many things must go right, a whole constellation of events must be fulfilled, for human being to successfully advise or help another" (14).

And then, an equally beautiful and perhaps more uplifting passage about learning:

"... have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer" (34).

Rilke certainly doesn't need my commentary, nor do you, so I'll stop here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Even More Very Good News

The Tenants are pleased to see that Anthony Zias (Ph.D. '08) has just had an essay published in PsyArt (and in the same issue as a piece by Claire Kahane no less). Since the journal is online, you can actually read "The Repetition of Unrecognized Desire: An Analysis of the Traumatized Subject in Joyce Carol Oates’s Son of the Morning" without even leaving the house to go to that library place. Anyone who knows Anthony won't be surprised to learn that the essay is a Lacanian reading of Oates. You can get your "interpretation of the Other's desire" fix right here.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A warm welcome to Colson Hall's newest tiny tenant!

Our heartiest congratulations and best wishes for a good night's sleep to Associate Professor Cari Carpenter, proud momma of baby Adalyn Clare Carpenter-Bowen, born on September 28 at 8:57 p.m. 

That's 8:57 p.m. Mountain Time, since--fortunately for them, unfortunately for us--Cari, Eric, and Adalyn are sabbatical-ing in charming Fort Collins, Colorado* this year, so Adalyn won't be resident in Colson for awhile yet.  This gives us lots of time, however, to plan many ways to spoil her rotten. 

Adalyn Clare Carpenter-Bowen, 8 lbs, 3 oz and 21 inches long

* A. K. A. "Fort Fun" to those of us who once upon a time lived 30 miles east in the feed-lot/slaughterhouse town of Greeley.  Good news, Cari:  you can have a Rio margarita now!