Category Archives: English – News

Dana Van Kooy at Yale University

Dana Van Kooy, associate professor and director of the English program (HU), was a 2018-19 fellow at the Lewis Walpole library at Yale University in May-June. While there, she gave two presentations about her research for her book project, Atlantic Configurations and the Aesthetics of Disappearance. One presentation was given at the Lewis Walpole library and another at the Yale Center for British Art.

Her essay, “Speculative Tragedy and Spatial Play: Scaling Byron’s Sardanapalus,” was published in Studies in Romanticism (Spring 2019). This essay explores how Byron reformulated the conventions of tragedy during the Romantic period, creating an alternative—speculative and utopian—framework that provided audiences with more expansive rubrics of heroism, history, and empire.


Van Kooy Selected to Receive Fulbright Award

Dana Van KooyDana Van Kooy (HU) has been selected to receive the 2019-20 Fulbright National Library of Scotland Award. She will spend six months at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh researching topics relevant to her current book project, “Atlantic Configurations of Modernity and the Aesthetics of Disappearance.”

Van Kooy will also contribute to the library’s public lecture program, and reach out to several universities in Scotland to facilitate conversations about her research.


New work from Dana Van Kooy

Dana Van Kooy‘s (HU) review essay, “Re-printing, Re-citing, and Re-circulating Romanticisms and the Question of Commitment” has been published in European Romantic Review, Vol. 30, Issue 1. Dr. Van Kooy also recently attended the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Study (ASECS) in Denver, Colorado where she presented her paper, “The Plantation as Modern Configuration, Infrastructure, and Literary Form,” on the panel, “Ghost Acres: Climates and Ecologies of the Georgic.”

Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men, and Violence

Paul Youngquist, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, will deliver the talk, “Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men and Violence” from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thursday (April 4) in ChemSci 102.

This talk will focus on how Maroons were depicted by white colonial settlers in Jamaica in the aftermath of the Second Maroon War (1795-96) and connect these portraits to how young black men are represented in the news media today.

This talk is sponsored by the English program in the Humanities department.



Award-winning Fiction Writer Diane Cook to Read Tuesday

Diane CookAward-winning fiction writer Diane Cook will give a reading from her work from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 6) in ME-EM 112.

Cook is the author of the story collection Man V. Nature, and was formerly a producer for the public radio show This American Life. Man V. Nature was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, Believer Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

Cook’s stories have appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Granta and elsewhere and have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Cook is the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A Michigan native, she has served as a National Park volunteer on Isle Royale.

The reading is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow, with books available for purchase at the door.

This event is sponsored by the English Program, Department of Humanities and the Visiting Professor Lecturer/Scholar Series (VPLSS), which is funded by a grant to the Provost’s Office from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.


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.


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.


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.


RTC Colloquium: A Sixth Great Lake Beneath Our Feet

Poster for the Fall 2018 RTC ColloquiumThe Department of Humanities is pleased to announce the first Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Colloquium of the semester titled A Sixth Great Lake Beneath Our Feet. Professor M. Bartley Seigel will read poetry from his current project and will be joined by students from his graduate seminar in poetics: Edzordzi Agbozo & Xena Cortez. Seigel is the author of the poetry collection, This Is What They Say, (Typecast Publishing, 2013).

Please join us on Wednesday, October 10 at 12 p.m. (noon) in the Rozsa Center Choral Room 120.