Category: English – News

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.


Cumbria Faculty-Led Study Abroad Information Session

Street scene in EdinburghHumanities professor Dana Van Kooy, along with Carl Blair (SS), and Libby Meyer (VPA) will host an information session for Cumbria 2019, a faculty-led study abroad program in northern England and southern Scotland: summer, Track B. The session will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 10) in Fisher 130.

We welcome students from across campus. This program offers students an opportunity for foreign travel and for fulfilling HASS (humanities, arts and social sciences) and other General Education requirements in the fields of history, literature, music and archaeology. This session will provide students with information about course offerings, field trips, the application process, costs and scholarships.


Dana Van Kooy Edits Essay Collection

Dana Van KooyDana Van Kooy has edited a special edition of essays about Teaching Romantic-period drama for Romantic Textualities, a peer-reviewed, online journal. These eight essays contribute new insights about a variety of topics, including William Blake, visual spectacle and theatrical form, the intersections between biography and tragedy in Mary Mitford’s work, gender and Goethe’s “Faust,” politics and Sheridan’s “Pizarro,” and the changing cultural landscape of the Atlantic world in George Colman the Younger’s “Inkle & Yarico.”

Each highlights the relevance of Romantic-period drama and theatre as a textual, performative, and a visual art form. Contributors include scholars from University of Pittsburgh, UCLA, Aldo Moro University (Italy), Mount Saint Vincent University (Canada), Montclair State University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Laura Kasson Fiss Presents Paper at The Body and the Page Conference

Laura Kasson-FissLaura Kasson Fiss presented a paper entitled “The Bodies of the Idler’s Club: A Quantitative Analysis of Column Contributors” at The Body and the Page, an international conference jointly hosted by the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada in Victoria, British Columbia.


Math Luther, Undergraduate English Major, Wins Study Abroad Scholarship

Matt LutherMichigan Tech undergraduate students Matt Luther and Trenton Woodcox are two of four recipients to win a Japan Business Society of Detroit (JBSD) Foundation scholarship to study Japanese language and culture at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. They will arrive in September, and study on JCMU’s campus the entire 2018-19 academic year. The $4,000 scholarships will offset travel, tuition and living expenses.

Motivated by career goals, both are certain their year abroad will set them up for success in competitive professions.

Luther, an English major with a minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), says he “was interested in Japanese culture from a young age. After I graduate, I plan to go to Japan to teach English long term.”

Woodcox is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a focus in law and society. Expected to graduate in 2020, he says he wants to “work on international policy or law at the U.N., work at an embassy like the Japanese embassy or work with the CIA in country profiling, so I think (studying abroad in Japan) will definitely help a lot.”

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.