Category: News

The 41 North Film Festival Returns

Wildlife Photographer Vincent Munier and writer Sylvain Tesson seek the elusive snow leopard in The Velvet Queen, screening Saturday, 11/6, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the 41 North Film Festival.

The 41 North Film Festival will be held November 4–7, 2021, featuring four days of award-winning independent film at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Highlights from this year’s program include: Storm Lake (Risius/Levison, 2021), a story about a family-owned and operated small-town newspaper that recently won a Pulitzer Prize. The Storm Lake Times editor, Art Cullen, and filmmaker Beth Levison, will join for a virtual Q&A following the film. The film will screen on Friday, 11/5, at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, 11/6, at 7:30 p.m. the festival will present The Velvet Queen (Amiguet, 2021), which follows acclaimed wildlife photographer Vincent Munier‘s Tibetan trek in search of the elusive snow leopard. On Sunday, the festival offers the family-friendly, Lily Topples the World, the story of young domino artist Lily Hevesh, whose incredible domino creations have earned her over three million Youtube followers.

Other films include Sundance documentary winner Summer of Soul, Writing with Fire (winner of 17 international awards), Academy-Award nominee The Mole Agent, and a host of other thought-provoking, entertaining, and inspiring films. As always, expect music in the lobby between films, as well as other special events and guests.

The festival is free and open to the public. MTU staff, faculty, and students from other schools can reserve a ticket (only one needed for entire festival) by visiting https://tickets.mtu.edu or calling the SDC Ticketing Office at 906-487-2073. MTU students should bring an ID to gain admittance. The festival will follow the Rozsa Center Covid-19 Policies. Please visit the festival website for the full program and additional information.


Seigel Named 2021 Poet Laureate Fellow

M. Bartley Seigel
Photocredit: Adam Johnson

M. Bartley Seigel (HU) has been named a 2021 Poet Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets. Seigel, director of the Michigan Tech Writing Center and an associate professor of creative writing and literature, is one of only 23 poets laureate of cities and states across the U.S. to receive the honor.

“I’m really humbled and honored by this fellowship,” said Seigel, who was selected as the 2021-22 Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate in January. “While it’s always been something of a challenge making art at an institution where attention is so firmly fixed elsewhere, my unique positionality in this pond of scientists and engineers has held me accountable to my words in unexpected and fortuitous ways. I wouldn’t be the poet I am were I not where I am, and were I not in the close company of so many different and exceptional minds.”

As a Poet Laureate Fellow, Seigel receives an award of $50,000 in support of his art, a portion of which is set aside to lead a public poetry program. He intends to collaborate with regional public and tribal high school teachers to launch the Upper Peninsula Young Poets Program. The program will introduce high school-aged students in the U.P. to the diversity and transformative power of poetry, encourage their emerging voices and provide them with a free college-level writing workshop.

In a press release announcing the 2021 Fellows, President and Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets Jennifer Benka said, “As we begin emerging from COVID-19 restrictions, poetry — which has provided such comfort these past 15 months — will continue to be a source of insight. We are honored and humbled to fund poets who are devoted to their own craft and also their community. Poets will most certainly help guide us forward.”

Through its Poets Laureate Fellowship program, the Academy of American Poets has become the largest financial supporter of poets in the nation. The fellowship program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which in January 2020 awarded the Academy $4.5 million to fund the program.


Van Kooy’s paper for London conference examines ‘the plantationoscene’

Associate Professor Dana Van Kooy presented her essay, “Assemblages of the Plantationoscene” recently at The London Stage and the Nineteenth-Century World III conference, sponsored by the New College at Oxford University.

Invoking the neologism “plantationoscene,” the paper from Van Kooy, who directs Tech’s English program, examines John Fawcett’s pantomime, “Obi; or Three-Finger’d Jack,” which opened at London’s Haymarket Theatre in 1800. Linking the era (cene) to the performance and visual reproduction of specific theatrical scenes, this neologism offers an alternative framework for interpreting Fawcett’s pantomime, which assembled scenes of plantation life and its corresponding devastation into a formulaic plot.

Focusing on stage descriptions and those scenes advertised on its playbills, “Assemblages of the Plantationoscene” draws attention to the production of a visual ecology that reconfigured the colonial landscape.

In her abstract, Van Kooy established the relevance of the topic: “Throughout The Atlantic World, the plantation system marked a period of human and ecological disaster, one that theaters in Britain and the United States readily transformed into captivating spectacles throughout 18th and 19th centuries. The scale of this devastation continues to impact society in myriad ways, including racialized violence and policies that associate people and labor practices with ‘natural’ and/or geographical spaces.”


Virtual Semester-End Party

Graduating Seniors:

Faculty, staff, students, families, and friends gathered virtually on Thursday, April 30th to celebrate the graduation of 11 undergraduate majors and 2 Masters students as well as to honor retirees Dr Karla Kitalong and Dr. Dieter Adolphs. Advisor Maria Bergstrom was the commencement speaker and Dean David Hemmer congratulated the graduates. Dr. Ramon Fonkoue, RTC Graduate Director, announced

Communication, Culture, and Media

  • Britni Ashburn
  • Sam Clement (Cum Laude)
  • Serena Fournier
  • Abby Kuehne (Cum Laude)
  • Vrushabh Malgatte

English

  • Rebecca Barkdoll (Summa cum Laude)
  • Mariah Clement

Scientific and Technical Communication, BA

  • Liam Andersen (Magna cum Laude
  • Sarah Lindbeck (Magna cum Laude)
  • Ted Nachazel
  • Jayleen Rossi (Summa cum Laude)
  • Piper Schlaeppi
  • Alex Smith
  • Cori Van Ostran

Scientific and Technical Communication, BS

  • Joell Erchul
  • Lynde Oddo
  • Paige Short (Summa cum Laude)
  • Scott Sviland

Masters degree in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture

  • Erin Terbrack
  • Neh Claudia Soh


11th Annual Feminists Reading Feminists

Join us for the 11th annual Feminists Reading Feminists event hosted by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and the Humanities Department. Help us pay homage to the contributions of diverse feminist scholars and activists who have inspired us and continue to shape our evolving world.

The event will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow (March 31) via ZOOM. We encourage you to sign up through our Google form ahead of time (or submit a video/picture through the Google form if you cannot attend) and at our virtual event via ZOOM, be prepared to share a chosen passage from your favorite text, your favorite video/audio clip, or simply participate by listening and engaging with those sharing.

Your selection should take five minutes or less to read or view. Prose, poetry and media are welcome. There will be time at the end for those who did not sign up ahead of time to participate in an open reading, ALL are welcome. Please join us virtually to engage in meaningful dialogue and celebrating the women’s history month – near and far – as a community. If you’re part of the dialogue, you’re part of the solution.


GSG Merit Awards – Winners Announced

This years awardees for the Graduate Student Government Merit Awards have been decided. A total of 88 nominations were received from departments all across campus. The decision process was not an easy one as there was a very strong pool of nominations this year. We are very grateful to all of our nominees for all of the work they put in to improve and enrich the life of our graduate students.

Without further ado, here are the award winners:

  • Exceptional Staff Member – Claire Wiitanen, Administrative Aide from the Physics Department
  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor – Victoria Bergvall, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Humanities
  • Exceptional Student Leader – Jacob Blazejewski, a PhD student from Mathematical Sciences
  • Exceptional Student Scholar – Nancy Henaku, a PhD student from Humanities

Congratulations to our winners and all you have done for our graduate students!


PhD Candidates Celebrated at Advancement to Candidacy Ceremony

RTC PhD candidates were celebrated at the first annual Advancement to Candidacy Ceremony conducted by the Graduate School for all ABD students. Attending the ceremony with their advisors were the following:

Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo (advisor Dr. Vicky Bergvall)
Nada Mohammad A. Alfeir (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Joshua Chase (advisor Dr. Abraham Romney)
Marina Choy (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Geethu Madeckal Jose (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Sara T. Potter (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Hua Wang (advisor Dr. Marika Seigel)


Dr. Fonkoué Publishes New Book

Dr. Ramon A. Fonkoué has published a new book titled Nation Without Narration: History, Memory and Identity in Postcolonial Cameroon (Cambria Press, 2019). According to the publishers, “This book traces the roots of the current turmoil and sheds light on overlooked factors impacting nation building in post-colonial Cameroon. It demonstrates the urgency of cross-disciplinary work on African societies and the continued relevance of postcolonial criticism as a theoretical framework. It extends the postcolonial critique inaugurated by Homi Bhabha’s Nation and Narration into twenty-first-century sub-Saharan Africa. It also reframes the question of modernity and development in this context, suggesting an approach with a bearing on people’s lived experience.”