Archives—October 2018

Stephanie Carpenter Gives Talk and Reading at Flint Literary Festival

Stephanie CarpenterStephanie Carpenter, senior lecturer in creative writing and literature, was a featured reader at the second annual Flint Literary Festival held on October 27.

Carpenter gave a talk called “Re-creating History,” reading from her own fiction and discussing how creative writers use objects and documents to imagine or uncover stories at the margins of the historical record.

Mona Hanna-Attisha and Journalist Anna Clark headlined the festival, reading from their works about the ongoing Flint water crisis.


Stefka Hristova Publishes Paper on Space and Power in the Iraq War

Stefka HristovaStefka Hristova, associate professor of digital media, has published a new paper titled “Charting the Territory: Space and Power in the Iraq War” in ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies. She argues that the 2007 mapping and walling of Baghdad’s neighborhoods “exemplifies the materialization of the cell technique, and Carl Schmitt’s articulation of three modes of empty space in relation to territory”; and that “the walling process was an attempt to produce what [she] call[s] a ‘continuous security’, predicated upon the assumption of a population’s characterized belonging to the circumnavigated territory.”
The full paper is available online.

Free Family Bazaar Sunday

Marching band from world war oneThe “World War I and the Copper Country” project (WW1CC) is hosting a family bazaar from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 28) at the Dee Stadium Ballroom. This is free and open to the public. The event is a re-enactment of a 1917 “war relief bazaar” featuring live musical performances, activity booths, cake walks and dancing.

Performers include the Chassell Friends of Fashion modeling World War I-era attire, Noteworthy, 1918 Singers, Chassell Centennial Chorus, jazz by Dave Bezotte and Michigan Tech’s Superior Wind Symphony.

Visitors are invited to stroll the ballroom floor to see historical booths with war-related activities such as food conservation and victory gardening, military recruitment and war propaganda, scrapbooking, Red Cross bandage rolling, knitting and sewing. Have your picture taken in an old-time photo booth with a Copper Country soldier who served in the Great War.

“World War I and the Copper Country” is a collaboration between Michigan Tech, Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw and Finlandia University, and is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.


STEM Docs at the 41 North Film Festival

41 North Film Festival Logo, 41 N Film Festival Nov. 1-4 2018

This year, the 41 North Film Festival will screen five films delving into history, issues and accomplishments relating to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovation.

The featured films look at high school students competing for an international prize (“Science Fair”), an early Silicon Valley startup (“General Magic“), internet censorship (“The Cleaners”), the first photograph of the moon taken from space (“Earthrise”) and the first solar-powered flight around the world (“Point of No Return”). Following the showing of “Science Fair” at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 1) there will be a discussion featuring a panel of STEM educators.

Documentaries can bring important context and perspective to our understanding of STEM fields and their impact on the world. The films this year tell both celebratory and cautionary tales that should be both inspiring and thought provoking. —Erin Smith, Festival Director

The festival runs Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 1–4 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Times and information for specific films and events can be found on the festival website. As always, the festival is free and open to the public.


Frankenstein at 200: Upcoming Roundtable Discussion of Post Humanism

Frankenstein at 200 Roundtable Discussion event poster

Join us from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 24), in Rekhi Hall 101 for a roundtable discussion on posthumanism.

In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” or “The Modern Prometheus,” characters ask one another and the novel’s readers what it is to be human: “Do you understand this feeling?” “Was [humanity] at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base?” and “The picture I present to you is peaceful and human, and you must feel that you could deny it only in the wantonness of power and cruelty.”

Echoing Prometheus, Hamlet and Faust, these characters contemplate and unsettle the boundaries between the human and the inhuman, between the automaton, the monstrous and the machine; between the godly and the ungodly, between what is natural and unnatural.

To continue our celebration of the 200-year publication anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” we are hosting a roundtable discussion about posthumanism. What does it mean to live in a time of increasingly sophisticated embodiments of artificial intelligence, dehumanizing economies, diminishing resources and environmental catastrophes?

To focus our discussion we’ll be reading Andy Mousley’s short article, The Posthuman, which speaks to the depiction of posthuman figures and realities in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Everyone is welcome. Contact Dana Van Kooy for a copy of the article.


Modern Languages Screening: “A Very Long Engagement”

A Very Long Engagement movie posterThe Modern Languages Program will host a screening of the 2004 Jean-Pierre Jeunet WWI film, “Un long dimanche de fiançailles” (“A Very Long Engagement”), at 7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 18) in Walker 134. The screening is free and open to the public.

Film Synopsis: A young French woman, Mathilde (Audrey Tautou), is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in the trenches of the Somme during World War I. Refusing to believe this news, she begins trying to find out what actually happened on the battlefield that night, enlisting the help of a private investigator. During her search, she stumbles across evidence of the inhumane and morally bankrupt system used by the French to deal with deserters and hears from other men who were sentenced to extreme punishment.

The screening is part of World War I in the Copper Country, an extensive program of events and exhibits commemorating the centennial of the WWI Armistice.




English Alum receives “Up and Comer Award” from Michigan Library Association

Dillon GeshelWhat do libraries have to do with farmer’s markets? What is a “book bike?” And why was there a Nerf gun battle in the library last Friday night?

Dillon Geshel (English, ’13), Director of the Portage Lake District Library, can tell you, and his efforts to expand community outreach at the library have recently been recognized by his peers. Geshel has been selected for this year’s “Up and Comer Award” by the Michigan Library Association (MLA). This award is given each year to an early-career librarian who is “expanding the role of librarian by being forward-thinking and moving libraries into the future.”

“Winners of this award are energetic, efficient librarians who push the boundaries of originality and creativity and help to establish a library culture that sets high expectations, promotes learning, and creates understanding of the library as an integral part of the community,” said Rachel Ash, MLA communications and membership manager.

“Libraries have so much to offer their community beyond the books on their shelves, and I’m passionate about the non-traditional ways we’re able to meet community needs,” says Geshel. “This award really speaks to the Portage Lake District Library’s ability to do that work in a meaningful way.”

Geshel will accept the award in mid-October at the MLA annual conference in Novi, Michigan.


41 North Film Festival Program Now Online

41 North Film Festival Logo, 41 N Film Festival Nov. 1-4 2018This year’s 41 North Film Festival will be held November 1-4 in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The complete program is now online. The festival will feature events with several filmmakers, including Houghton native Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From) who will be here with her new film, The Unafraid.

There will be panels on rural healthcare, STEM education, mining history, and a special work-in-progress screening of “Copperdog” (working title) about women mushers in our own Copperdog 150. The festival is free and open to the public. If you are not a student, please reserve a free ticket. Only one ticket needed for the entire event. Students should bring their Michigan Tech ID.