This past spring, I was invited to Bryant University in Boston as part of the school’s events for National Poetry Month. With the help of another creative writer, Maria Anderson, I provided poems for any passer-by with the gumption to request one— they submitted a topic and I generated material. Poetry on demand: sitting at a typewriter, which was projected on a television screen, I cranked out poems (in triplicate) for four hours, with the clatter of keys resounding in the rotunda. Passing periods between classes were exceptionally busy and some of what was written includes: poems on dogs and sports; love poems for sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and lovers; and a sonnet on the subject of Greek Week. Bryant University was exceptionally hospitable and continued events through April (National Poetry Month), gearing up for a celebration of the 15th anniversary of The Bryant Literary Review, an annual publication of poetry and fiction. The Bryant Literary Review was founded by poet, Dean David Lux. I wrote on a Smith-Corona.
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate in literature Sarah Kingston who is now listed among the international constellation of sleep scholars on the “Sleep Cultures” website– a repository for anyone doing literary or cultural studies of sleep. Check Sarah out at sleepcultures.com.
As a follow up to Kim Wickham’s interview with Donna Bickford that appeared on our blog on February 26th, we have learned that Dr. Bickford was recently honored with an Award for the Advancement of Women. Dr. Bickford’s achievement is featured in the article “Three receive University Award for Advancement of Women,” available on The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s website. We offer her our congratulations!
Dr. Carolyn Betensky’s talk based on her recent article “Envying the Poor: Contemporary and Nineteenth-Century Fantasies of Vulnerability” examines the envy of vulnerability as an underlying tension that structures relations between 19th-century bourgeois readers and literary representations of the working poor. What makes Dr. Betensky’s argument especially illuminating is its transhistorical significance; she offers a unique pairing between the nineteenth-century novel and the right-wing rhetoric of the 2012 presidential campaigns, highlighting “resentment from above” and “fantasies of mastery.” The contemporary relevance is grounded in Mitt Romney’s avowal that the discontent of the “99%” with the “1%” betrays “a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach.” At issue in both the nineteenth century and our present moment is the vulnerable poor’s alleged special power, as perceived by the rich, derived from the sympathy aroused by the “precarity” of their situation.
From the natural sciences and the behavioral sciences to communication studies and the arts, scholars across innumerable and sometimes seemingly disparate disciplines turn their attention to transformations, crises, and anxieties crashing at our (real and metaphorical) shores. The urgency propelled by climate science stirs up consciousness, fears, and controversies about the future of our ecosystems, economies, policies, and cultures. The threat of rising tides—whether a shift in our natural environment, technological advancement, or paradigm shifts—increasingly call for collaborations among scholars, professionals, stakeholders, advocates, and citizens.
Our responses invite opportunities for conversations across disciplines that produce value, both for the climate crisis at hand as well as for the re-invention and renewal of scholarship in the twenty-first century. Interdisciplinarity creates a unique opportunity for us to begin to re-imagine the shape and function of collaboration, an opportunity to push the boundaries. Talking Beyond Disciplines: Rising Tides and Sea Changes invites graduate students from all disciplines to share their scholarly research and work that examines literal sea change or figurative sea change.
Voting has now closed for the 2013 Graduate Election. We are pleased to announce the following incoming representatives for the 2013-2014 academic year:
- Graduate Committee Representatives: Kim Evelyn (Literature); Clarissa Walker (Writing)
- Graduate Liaisons: Ashton Foley (PhD); Hazel Gedikli (MA); Jason Shrontz (PhD)
- GSA Department Senators: Beth Leonardo (MA); Kara Watts (PhD) Meghan Fair (PhD)
Congratulations to incoming and continuing graduate student representatives! As your outgoing Graduate Liaisons, we would like to take this opportunity to communicate what a privilege it has been to work with and for you over the last two years. The three of us strove to build communication and opportunities for all graduate students within the department, and it has been a pleasure to serve you.
With best wishes for continued success,
Sara Murphy, Michael Becker, and Anna Brecke