Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dissertation Fellowships 2013-2014

The Tenants are pleased to announce that Kayla McKinney, Aaron Percich, Teresa Pershing, and Kate Smorul have been awarded Dissertation Fellowships for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Since this is, by definition, new money, Fellowship recipients from past years will spend the next twelve months sneering at the parvenus' taste in bathroom fixtures.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Outstanding GTA Awards 2012-2013

The Tenants are very pleased to announce that James Holsinger will receive the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding GTA for English for this academic year, 2012-2013, and that Kayla McKinney and Eric Wardell (or, if you prefer, Eric Wardell and Kayla McKinney) will receive Department of English Exemplary Teaching Awards.

The Tenants who reviewed the teaching portfolios of all the nominees noted that this year's field was an exceptionally strong one overall, which confirmed our general sense that the quality of instruction provided by our GTAs is very high. It seems that, at the very least, we should refurbish the Graduate Student Dining Room as a demonstration of our appreciation and esteem.

CFP: MMLA 2013

"The first iteration of the [MMLA] 2013 Call for Papers is now posted.  The list contains listings for our permanent sections and associated organizations.  The deadline for special sessions proposals has been extended to April 5th.  Special session proposal will be reviewed and posted by April 16th.

Individuals who have abstracts that do not fit into any of the listed sessions soliciting abstracts, may submit individual proposals to the MMLA until June 7, 2013.  New panels will be created from the individual abstracts accepted.

This year the Midwest Modern Language Association is proud to welcome the Festival of Language to our annual convention.  The organizer, Jane Carman, is now accepting abstracts for this year's Festival of Language.  We know that this festival will add to the our rich selection of panels.

To view the Call for Papers, visit:

To obtain a Special Session proposal form, visit:

Bernadette Steele
Associate Director"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Samyn Reading Rescheduled

Due to indisposition, Mary Ann Samyn's reading has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in 130 Colson Hall.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mike Buso Is Famous

It's turning out to be quite the semester for doctoral student Michael Buso. First of all, his Joss Whedon-themed section of English 258, Popular American Culture, was just featured in Flavorwire's "Syllabi for 10 Real College Pop-Culture Classes We'd Love to Take." It seems like only a matter of time before he attracts the attention of Perez Hilton, and, after that, as some of the older Tenants speculate, it will all be limousines and bodyguards.

Not to mention that, a few weeks back, Mike passed his Qualifying Exams and is now officially ABD, with the hearty congratulations of his committee (Ryan Claycomb, Michael Germana, Melissa Latimer, Katy Ryan, and yours truly) and the Tenants too.

The Tenants are given to understand that plans for Mike to do a joint tour with Taylor Swift this summer are still under negotiation, but we'll let you know if that works out.

Mary Ann Samyn In Person

You've read her poem on Verse Daily. You thrilled to her blog entry about her exploits at West Preston Middle School (squirrel brain soup! poetry!). Now, for one night only, you can actually see Mary Ann live and in person. Mark your calendars for this Wednesday, March 20th, at 7:30 in 130 Colson Hall when Mary Ann will read from her work. No cover charge!*

*Valet parking not available.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"You are the author of you!"

—I think this is what we call "agency." Right? Maybe? But in middle school, which is where the grad poets and I were these last two days, such words don't fly.

Other words did, though. We were writing poems. About West Virginia. Really, really good poems.

Along the way, we learned some pretty amazing things.

For instance, do you know about squirrel brain soup? We didn't. And of course I got confused and immediately pictured squirrel face soup... the little nose and eyes looking up from the bowl, etc. But that's not how it is, just so you know. And grandmas make it. So if you want some, you'll probably need to be or find a grandma.

Anyway, wow: the kids (110 of 'em!) we met at West Preston Middle School were awesome.

We talked of everything from hunting and dirt bikes to aggressive chickens and snow days and what poetry is (some of them: "it rhymes." me: "sometimes"). We also learned about special names for special mountains and favorite trees and a dog named Coal, because that's "the center of our state."


Our thanks go to the students who wrote beautiful, surprising, evocative poems; to their teachers, Mrs. Kibler, Miss Collins, and Mrs. Peaslee (I was "Miss Mary Ann" while I was there...); and to CTB/McGraw-Hill for sponsoring the workshop.

We had a great time, as you can see from these photos. And, again: wow: middle school is intense! I had to take a nap after day one. How do these kids and teachers do it every day?

Oh, and lest you think the girl in red—Sydney, pretty sure—was unhappy with the writing, let me assure you: she wasn't. When I asked, on day two, if these sixth graders needed more time to write and revise or were ready to type, she said, "ready!" And you know what: she was. She wrote a terrific poem; she's a poet.

Mary Ann Samyn on Verse Daily

When she's not posting on the department blog, Mary Ann can often be found writing poems. Today, she's on Verse Daily, which you can check out at:

Do it now! After all, the site isn't named Verse Yesterday.

Update: If you procrastinated and put off until tomorrow what should have delighted you today, Mary Ann's entry is now archived here. Look for March 14th.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"D.H. Lawrence, Misogynist?"--Dr. Erin Johns Speese's Current Thoughts Lecture

The English Graduate Organization
Proudly Presents:

“D.H. Lawrence, Misogynist?: The Possibility of Sublime Intersubjectivity in
The Rainbow
By (the new) Dr. Erin Johns Speese

Spring 2013 Current Thoughts Series Lecture
18 Mar. 2013 at 4PM
Colson 130

Michael Germana's Research Talk Tomorrow 3/13

The Department of English presents: The Faculty Research Colloquium

Rhopographic Photography and Atemporal Cinema:

Ralph Ellison’s Polaroids and Three Days Before the Shooting . . .
by Michael Germana

As many Ellison scholars already know, Ralph Ellison was an accomplished photographer before he was a celebrated author, and the portraits and street photographs he took during the late 1940s and early 50s demonstrate his compositional and technical skills. Sara Blair has convincingly shown how Ellison’s 1952 novel

Invisible Man is informed by, if not rehearsed in, his early street photography. But until now, no one has examined Ellison’s later photographic endeavors alongside his post-Invisible Man fiction. In this presentation, I examine the relationship between Ellison’s post-1952 photography and his ultimately unfinished novel, Three Days Before the Shooting… Picking up where Sara Blair left off, I illustrate how the Polaroid photographs Ellison took between 1966 and 1994—years Ellison was composing Three Days—articulate deep connections between temporality, visual media, subjectivity, and materiality that inform his unfinished novel in complex ways. Of especial interest to me is the ekphrastic dialectic between the still image and the motion picture that Ellison explores in his long fiction and negotiates via Polaroid photography.

March 13, 2013

2:30 p.m., 130 Colson Hall