English newsletter March 2017

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OU English Department OU College of Arts and Sciences

March 2017

Get to know the OU English Department! Jordan Woodward Jordan Woodward have been awarded a FulbrightNehru research grant to conduct digital storytelling workshops with women in Northeastern India, titled Women's Water Narratives. The workshops will be focused on women's relationships to and interactions with the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. The purpose of the workshops is to contribute to a deeper understanding of women's connections to rivers, provide insight into women's land-based literacies, and to foster community and crosscultural understandings regarding water relations. The grant will begin in August 2017 and continue until May 2018. Matthew Jacobson Matthew Jacobson presented a paper at CCCCs in Portland titled "Podcast Pedagogy Reconsidered: How "Unrevised" Podcasts and the "Wild Meat Movement" Model Rhetorical Complexity and Conversational Persuasion" on Friday, March 17. He argued that composition and rhetoric needs to pay more attention to podcasts as a way to rhetorically listen to otherwise inaccessible conversations, as well as to consider the unique ways conversations work to persuade listeners (and participants). The Science of Parchment Symposium On March 23, the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, directed by Prof. Joyce Coleman, presented a daylong symposium on the theme “The Science of Parchment.”

Senior Vice President and Provost Kyle Harper. Prof. Bill Endres followed with a talk on “Digitized Vellum: Discoveries in 2D and 3D.” Prof. Endres literally flew the audience across pages of the famous St. Chad Gospels, thanks to his pioneering work with “3D flyover” technology. His highresolution, multi-spectral images allow analysis of many hidden details of this and other manuscripts. The second speaker was OU’s Prof. Christina Warinner, of Anthropology, who discussed “The Genetics of Grime and Dust.” Visiting special guests Bruce Holsinger (English, Univ. of Virginia) and Matthew Collins (Bioarcheology, Univ. of York) gave a joint presentation called “Animals in the Archives.” The symposium was followed by a reception in OU Libraries’ Special Collections, which included an exhibit of parchment items from the library’s collections and a tour of the library’s Digitization Lab. The symposium offered an excellent opportunity to bring literary and scientific scholars together, to pool their expertise in the investigation and protection of rare and precious ancient books. The event was supported by generous funding from the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, OU Libraries, the Humanities Forum, and the History of Science Department at the University of Oklahoma. Rilla Askew

The event opened with a rousing greeting from


Professor Askew gave a public reading from her novel Kind of Kin at Oklahoma Baptist University on March 23 as part of their Visiting Writer series. On March 31 she gave a paper, “Epicenter: Deep Mapping Place in Fiction and Nonfiction,” at the 2017 Great Plains Symposium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The symposium is sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies in Lincoln, Nebraska. Askew took part in a panel called “Expanding the Map of Great Plains Literature” moderated by OU’s World Literature Today Editor-in-Chief Daniel Simon.

On March 30, Catherine John gave a Showcase Talk titled “A PARTICULAR PERSPECTIVE ON THE “N” WORD, AGENCY AND CONTROVERSY” This talk meditated on some of the historical controversies surrounding the “N” word, and used this as a point of departure for addressing: the 2014 Sigma Alpha Epsilon incident at the University of Oklahoma as well as the provocative use of the term by two successful OU debaters in the same year. Professor John also addressed the phenomenon known as Gangsta Rap and pondered questions of cultural agency stalking in the background.

Professor Askew at the Great Plains Symposium

The Global Shakespeare Festival: Al-Hamlet Summit March 23 also saw the second Global Shakespeare Festival presentation of the spring semester. Organized by Profs. Su Fang Ng and Sara Coodin of Classics and Letters, under the aegis of the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, the Festival is designed to emphasize the multiplicity and wide relevance of modern Shakespearean performance.

Dr. John Presenting her Paper

The most recent event was a showing of Sulayman Al-Bassam’s Al-Hamlet Summit, an Arabic version of Shakespeare’s most famous play. The film was followed by a panel discussion among Su Fang Ng and Mohammad Al-Masri (MLLL and IAS), as well as audience members. Showcase Series

Attendants at the March 2017 Showcase

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