The Department of English is pleased to announce the promotion of two of our faculty members: Peter Campion to Associate Professor with tenure, and Katherine Scheil to Professor. Campion will publish his third collection of poetry, El Dorado, this October with the University of Chicago Press. Scheil published her second monograph, She Hath Been Reading: Women and Shakespeare Clubs in America (Cornell University Press) last fall, and has a third, The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway, in progress. Congratulations!
When Seattle native and fiction writer Ethan Rutherford moved to Minneapolis to attend the Creative Writing Program, he brought along a small career as singer-songwriter, with an album known, he thought, by few people outside his mother and sister. One night, at a Minneapolis coffee shop, he heard a stranger singing a familiar song, his song, a track from his CD. How could they not start a band together? Six years later, Pennyroyal (including MFA alum Jake Mohan, as drummer) is mastering its second album for September release. But back to the fiction: Rutherford graduated from the writing program and this spring published his acclaimed debut story collection, The Peripatetic Coffin (Ecco). For more about the book (and its mysterious title), read on. . . .
Congratulations to PhD and MFA student recipients of department spring and summer research and writing support! Selected for the Graduate Research Partnership Program for summer 2013 are: Patricia Baehler for "Epistolary Infrastructure and the Gendered Letter in Eighteenth-Century Novels" with project adviser Brian Goldberg; Wesley Burdine for "'What Was It?': Phenomenal Bodies and Temporality" with project adviser Jani Scandura; Jennifer Kang for "A Displaced Utopia: The Politics of Modernism in 1930s Colonial Korea" with project adviser Timothy Brennan; Stephen McCulloch for "Sublime Sacrifice: Excessive Force and Form in Fin de Siècle Literature" with project adviser Tony Brown; essayist Bridget Mendel for "The Honeybee Project" with project adviser Dan Philippon; and poet Nicky Tiso for "Bakken Business" with project adviser Ray Gonzalez. Graduate Studies also announced PhD Short Term Research Grants for spring 2013: Stacy Decker (Jani Scandura, adviser) Leslie Nightingale (Andrew Elfenbein, adviser), and Trenton Olson (Elfenbein, adviser). The Creative Writing Program awarded CLA Fellowships to poet Elena Carter, fiction writer Katherine Lee, and poet Jennifer Fossenbell. Poet Elizabeth O'Brien received the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship in Creative Writing, summer 2013, and nonfiction writer Lalinne Suon Bell was awarded the summer 2013 Scribe For Human Rights Fellowship. Nonfiction writers Sally Franson and Hunter Sharpless received two-week writer residencies at the Anderson Center in Red Wing. Finally, the Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, which supports work that gives "creative expression to women's lives" went to PhD candidate Amanda Taylor for her project "'Be Your Letter'": Rhetoric, Bodies and Passions in Trobairitz Tensos."
dislocate, the literary and arts magazine produced by English graduate students, celebrates its ninth issue, entitled Atlas of the Midwest. "A body is a country with borders in crisis," write editors (and MFA candidates) Jennifer Fossenbell and Nasir Sakandar. "Together we are always making, and these made things are maps of our many countries." Featured artists and writers in the issue include Barrie Jean Borich, Wing Young Huie, Ed Bok Lee, and Ernest Williamson III. Ask for a free issue at a Twin Cities independent bookstore.
Doctoral candidate Jewon Woo will defend her dissertation, "Performing Bodies and Performative Texts: The Bodily Culture of the Antebellum United States and Fleshy Writing," as directed by Dr. Josephine Lee and Dr. Michelle Wright, on Thursday, May 30, in Lind 202. All are welcome for the public portion of the defense from 10-11 am.
Doctoral candidate Eun Joo Kim will defend her dissertation, "Unreading Multilingualisms of the Korean Diaspora," as directed by Dr. Josephine Lee, on Wednesday, May 22 in Lind 207A. All are welcome for the public portion of the defense from 9-10 am.
The Department of English Graduate Studies is presenting two professional skills brownbag workshops this spring. The April 18 topic will be publishing: how to send an article to a journal, how to pick a journal, how to decipher a reader's report, how long to wait for a response, how to turn a dissertation into a book. On May 7, the workshop will address fellowships and grants--both internal fellowships (like the DDF) and external fellowships--providing information about how to write a winning proposal, where to find fellowships, etc. Both noon in 207A. Soda and coffee provided.
The path from English into a career in advertising is one an increasing number of English majors make. It makes sense: As ad campaign creator Tina Karelson (MA '95, English; BA '85, English and journalism) notes, a copywriter or creative director has to think analytically about creative work, and write well--which pretty much defines the primary skills learned in English. Karelson is President of Creative (what Don Draper does) at Risdall Advertising Agency in New Brighton, Minnesota's seventh oldest advertising agency and, according to a 2013 Business Journal ranking, its seventh largest. This spring Karelson was honored as a CLA Alumna of Notable Achievement. Learn what she thinks of Mad Men. . . .
When May Lee-Yang (BA 2006) signed up for a class on Asian American drama from Professor Josephine Lee, "I didn't think of myself as a theater person," she says. Two years ago, she received a prestigious Bush Leadership Fellowship to begin planning the creation of a theater focusing on Hmong American stories. In between, she's written plays and performance art pieces produced at Mu Performing Arts, Intermedia Arts, and the Fringe Festival and was a two-time winner of the Playwright Center Many Voices Fellowship. She still thinks of herself as a "memoirist who makes a living doing theater." In the meantime, she's writing another play. What about? Read on. . . .
On Friday, May 3, Doctoral candidate John Pistelli will defend his dissertation "Modernism's Critique du Coeur: The Novelist as Critic, 1885-1925," as directed by Dr. Lois Cucullu. All are welcome for the public portion of the defense from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Lind Hall 207A.
Matthew McGuire is a senior English and Philosophy double major who will publish a short story in the new issue of Ivory Tower, celebrated with a launch party Wednesday, April 24, from 7-10 pm in the Whole Music Club. The U's undergraduate literary and art magazine, Ivory Tower is edited and produced by students in a year-long English class. McGuire was a fiction editor for Ivory Tower last year, and his story "Silence Is Sexy" was accepted through this year's blind submission process. How does he begin writing something? "I get most of my story ideas from conversations with friends or bits of speech I overhear in public," he reveals. "Most pieces start with a voice, and then I try to experiment until I find something that works." Interview by Natalia Petkovich, originally for the Ivory Tower website. More...
The final academic job placement meeting will be on Thursday, May 2, from 2-3:30 pm in Lind Hall 207A. At the meeting Professor Josephine Lee will talk about the general principles of applying for academic jobs in English. If you are planning to go on market this coming year, please plan on attending. Graduate students at all stages of degree progress are welcome.
For the second year in a row, writers in our graduate programs are publishing books while still students here, which is fairly amazing. Next week, in a 3 pm reading April 15, we celebrate three MFA candidates with books out or forthcoming: third-year Aaron Apps, who published Compos(t) Mentis (BlazeVOX) last fall; second-year Carrie Lorig, who will publish the chapbook nods. with Magic Helicopter Press in May and the chapbook prizePosession with Housefire Books this summer; and second-year Elisabeth Workman. Workman will publish her debut collection ULTRAMEGAPRAIRIELAND, in 2014 with Bloof Books. What is she feeling about that? "Ecstatic relief. (I've been holding it for so long and now can finally let it go.) And the ecstasy is that it's been embraced/accepted by my first choice for a home for the manuscript--the superlative Bloof Books." Workman, a native of suburban Philadelphia, has already authored several chapbooks. MFA candidate Nicky Tiso asks Workman the requisite five questions.
Regents Professor of English Patricia Hampl will be honored with the Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Faculty Award April 17 at the College of Liberal Arts' Celebrate Faculty Excellence ceremony and reception, 3:30 pm in the Coffman Union Great Hall. The award recognizes Professor Hampl's distinguished writing, teaching, and service in this area, including her work with the Human Rights Program establishing the Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship, which supports an MFA creative writing student working with the Human Rights Program as a writer-in-residence. The Stark awards are based on a generous donation from Dr. Matthew "Matt" Stark, a former professor at the University of Minnesota and former executive director of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union. Professor Hampl is the second English professor to be so honored since the Stark awards begin in 2009. Congratulations!
Doctoral candidate Adam Schrag will defend his dissertation, "Surface to Surface: War, Image, and the Senses in the Screenic Era," as directed by Dr. Paula Rabinowitz, on Friday, March 29, in the Wright Room (Lind 202). All are welcome for the public portion of the defense from 1-2 pm.