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OU English Department OU College of Arts and Sciences

April 2017

Get to know the OU English Department! Kimberly Wieser Dr. Wieser wishes to share this note with colleagues in the department: “Thank you so much to all my colleagues for your extraordinary support in this difficult time. From the monetary donations to help with funeral expenses to the help in teaching my courses this semester, to phone calls and visits, text messages and meals, you all have been the best colleagues I could ever imagine in this most difficulty time of my life.” Catherine John Dr. John facilitated two Unlearning Racism workshops this month. The first was done on April 7th for all the academic advisors and she worked with trained facilitator and English grad student Haeyoung Lee. She did the second for faculty and staff generally; it was co-facilitated with George Lee from Human Relations on April 22nd.

On April 8, she was a featured reader at the Scissortail Literary Festival at East Central University in Ada. On April 25, her creative nonfiction essay “Snake Season” was published in Flock Literary Journal. On April 28, Prof. Askew presented at the 2017 Oklahoma History Conference in Tulsa in a plenary session called Northeastern Oklahoma Writers Roundtable. On April 29, she read poetry and prose along with 25 other poets and writers as part of the Mark Allen Everett Series Peace/s of Resistance Reading at the Screen Door in Norman. Geoffrey Layton Geoffrey Layton presented "Using Templates to Teach Invention to Developmental Writers" at the annual NADE (National Association for Developmental Education) Convention held in OKC, March 1-4.

Rilla Askew Graduate Student Awards Professor Askew’s novel Kind of Kin is the 2017 selection for the Amarillo Public Library’s annual community-wide reading project, Amarillo Reads. Throughout April reading groups met to discuss the book. The library hosted various public events and lectures on topics related to the book’s themes—particularly immigration. On May 8, she will travel to Amarillo for a public reading and discussion as the culmination of the One Book One City project.

Congratulations go to the following graduate students for their exceptional writing projects: Jordan Woodward Cassandra (Powers) Woody Brett Burkhart Matthew Jacobson Kevin Ashenbach Destiny Guerrero Courtney Jacobs Sara Wilson Steven Sexton


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Faculty Staff Dinner at Benvenuti’s Faculty and Staff gathered for a dinner to honor our soon to retire faculty: Eve T. Bannet Alan Velie Vince Leitch

Joshua Nelson, Catherine John, John Mark Hart, and James Zeigler speak about the honorees Eve Bannet, Vince Leitch and Alan Velie


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The Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies CMRS put on several events in April, featuring J.R.R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare:

April 7: Prof. Joyce Coleman gave a Medieval Fair / CMRS lecture on “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Medieval Mythology.” The talks in this series are directed at a general audience and hosted at Norman Public Library West. Given the popularity of the subject matter, the talk attracted an unprecedented attendance of 140. April 20: The year-long Global Shakespeare Festival concluded with students from the Helmerich School of Drama acting scenes from various Shakespeare plays, and then taking audience questions about what’s involved in interpreting these works to a modern audience. The series was initiated by Prof. Su Fang Ng of the English Dept., in collaboration with Profs. Sara Coodin (Classics & Letters) and Joyce Coleman (English; CMRS). April 25: The CMRS, in collaboration with Bizzell Library and Boomer Buzz, launched the First Annual Shakespeare Birthday Party in Bizzell Library’s Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center Community Room (the “glass room” on lower level 1). Cortney Wilmering (Ph.D. candidate, English) organized a series of events:  “Shakespeare Bingo”  “How to Shakespeare,” in which Cortney, along with fellow English grad students Kevin Aschenbach, Jason Lubinski, and Whitney Whitaker, shared advice about how to read and enjoy the Bard

 “Impromptu Shakespeare,” in which undergrads were handed scripts for their roles, and jumped into performances of scenes from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew The English grad students, including Amanda Cuellar, joined in the acting, and Sarah Wade of the Renaissance Fair put in a special appearance in full Elizabethan costume.

Student reads out clues for Shakespeare Bingo; Whitney Whitaker explains enjambement; Cortney Wilmering, Amanda Cuellar, and undergrads perform a scene from “Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Alan Velie’s Retirement Reception The department held a retirement reception for Dr. Velie attended by family, friends, colleagues and students. Amanda Cobb-Greetham (Chair of NAS) was one of the speakers and she and her department presented Alan with a ceremonial blanket in recognition of his remarkable work in the field.

English newsletter April 2017  

See what's new with the OU Department of English April 2017

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