OU Department of English Fall 2016

Page 1

OU Department of English

Alumni Newsletter Fall 2016

Dear Friends, We have lots to tell you about the activities taking place in our department. Our newsletter keeps you up to date on exciting new research and teaching trends as well as on major awards and important events. You may look on our Department website for more frequent updates: http://cas. ou.edu/english We rely heavily on the generosity of our alumni. Your support makes our events possible such as the Native Crossroads Film Festival; bringing renowned guest speakers to our department; and holding our monthly “Tea with the Professor.” Your contributions also support students with awards and scholarships that allow them to successfully complete their course of study at OU. Daniela Garofalo chair

Cate 2 316 Cate Center Dr. Norman, OK 73019 405-325-4661 cas.ou.edu


Dean Kelly Damphousse Chair Daniela Garofalo


2 3 4 5

Askew on Askew Shakespeare's First Folio Success Native Crossroads Film Festival Great Courses/Upcoming Events

The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, sex, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. For questions regarding discrimination, sexual assault, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, please contact the Institutional Equity Office as may be applicable — ­ Norman campus at 405-325-3546/3549, the Health Sciences Center at 405-271-2110 or the OU-Tulsa Title IX Office at 918-660-3107. Please see www.ou.edu/eoo. This publication is issued by the University of Oklahoma and authorized by Kelly Damphousse, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. No copies have been printed and distributed at the cost of $0.00 to the taxpayers of the state of Oklahoma. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact English Department at 405-325-4661.

FALL 2016

Novelist Rilla Askew Writes on Anne Askew Last year, renowned novelist Rilla Askew joined the OU English Department. She currently is working on a novel about the poet, prose writer and Protestant martyr Anne Askew, who was burned at the stake at Smithfield on July 16, 1546. Provisionally titled "The Confessions of Anne Askew," the novel is an examination of Early Modern feminism and oppression, religious faith and fanaticism, and the influence of Scripture as it was translated into English in the Tudor age. With the support of a Junior Faculty Fellowship, Askew traveled to London and Lincolnshire, U.K., this summer for research and writing. Her research includes visits to sites significant in Anne Askew’s life and death, including the village of South Kelsey, where she spent her youth; the Lincoln Cathedral, where she disputed aspects of Scripture with the priests; and the site at Smithfield where she was burned. In addition to archival

and location research, Askew will spend a month in Lincolnshire, writing fact-based fiction immersed in the place where Anne Askew lived. Anne Askew is a worthy character for historical and literary study for a number of reasons. Considered by some to be the model of an Early Modern feminist, she is one of the first women to be published in English. Askew wrote a first person account of her ordeal at the hands of religious traditionalists — her imprisonment, interrogations, and ultimate torture in the Tower of London — in an autobiographical testament that was smuggled out of the prison by her maid. Following her death, the work was published in a heavily annotated edition by Reformist John Bale as "The Examinations of Anne Askew" and later collected in John Foxe’s "Acts and Monuments."

Above photograph: Rilla Askew To the right: Askew walks through the churchyard at St. Mary's in South Kelsey, where Anne Askew would have worshipped as a child.

page 2

FALL 2016

Department of English

Shakespeare's First Folio A Great Success

Clockwise from top: "Seussification of Romeo and Juliet;" Elizabethan costumes by Lloyd Cracknell; Orr and Mortimer perform at the museum; David Anderson is interviewed by the local news.

A team of English Department members led by Dr. Joyce Coleman helped bring the traveling exhibit, “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” to OU’s Sam Noble Museum last January. The launch and Family Day on January 16 brought nearly 1,400 people to enjoy David Anderson's explanation of the history of the First Folio; a discussion and demonstration of stage-fighting by Kenneth Hodges; and the Helmerich School of Drama’s production of "The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet." All events took place in the museum’s auditorium, while its Great Hall featured an array of tables with Shakespearerelated family activities, including bronze rubbings, making your own ruffed collar and learning about the natural world of Shakespeare's time. Other events included a wonderful performance by Helmerich School of Drama professors Tom Houston Orr and Alissa Mortimer. During an evening for museum

patrons, the pair performed three different Shakespearean love scenes. Kenneth Hodges and Alissa Mortimer held a Teachers' Workshop that was very well attended. Hodges, Jim Yoch, Sara Coodin and Amrita Sen held a panel discussion of "Living Shakespeare." The OU Social Media team hosted a Reddit iAMA with Hodges, as well as a Twitter Take-over and BuzzFeed quizzes. Closing out the series, Classics and Letters professor Sara Coodin gave a Norman Medieval Fair talk on the character of Shylock. The First Folio received extensive media coverage, including broadcasts from OETA and KFOR-TV; articles in the Oklahoma Gazette and the Oklahoma Daily; and even a report from Susan Stamberg on NPR, mentioning Norman as the First Folio exhibit's first host. Thanks to the college for their support for this exhibit. Visit cas.ou.edu/first-folio for a wrap-up of the activities.

page 3

Elements: Native Crossroads Film Festival 2016 The fourth annual Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium was a fantastic success, due in no small part to the appearance of some of the legends in American Indian film. The theme of the year was "Elements," and films addressed the elements of not only earth, water, air and fire, but how those resources have been protected, managed or exploited to form key aspects of Native life. Rene Naufahu, New Zealand star of Power Rangers and of "No. 2," was on hand for a screening of his directoral debut "The Last Saint," and Blackhorse Lowe shared his vision of his feature "Chasing the Light."

Joshua Nelson, English associate professor, Wes Studi and Amanda Cobb-Greetham, chair of Native American Studies Department.

Steven Paul Judd looks on while Wes Studi welcomes his co-star Georgia Seres on stage during the screening of Ronnie BoDean.

The highlight of the festival was a special appearance by Wes Studi, Cherokee, star of features such as "Last of the Mohicans," "Dances with Wolves," and "Geronimo." He and filmmaker Steven Paul Judd screened the short "Ronnie BoDean," in which Studi appears as an unlikely babysitter. We also heard from professors who specialize in Indigenous cinema, industry professionals about programs supporting Native filmmakers, and keynote conversations from Eyre and Studi. Old friends like Sterlin Harjo and Steven Paul Judd also turned out. When Studi joined Judd to screen “Ronnie BoDean,” it was standing room only. Studi remained around the venue for quite a while following the screening, signing autographs and taking pictures. The many graduate students who contributed their time and energy as volunteers were able to enjoy one-on-one time with directors like Naufahu and Jack Riccobono, director of "The Seventh Fire," produced by Chris Eyre, in Sunrise Tippeconnie’s undergraduate filmmaking class. Over the course of two and a half days, audiences came to watch three panels of short films, three feature films, and a collection of documentaries — more than 800 people filled the seats at the Sam Noble Museum. Native Crossroads was founded with several intertwined goals in mind: to provide a venue for people to see out-of-the-way Native programming, and to bring it from all over the globe, so that people here in Oklahoma, Native and non-Native alike, could see in the films how important the issues confronting Indigenous people are to everyone, everywhere. The festival featured Indigenous films from all over the planet, including Australia, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Norway, Finland, Japan and more. We are grateful to the College of Arts and Sciences for their continued support. Look for Native Crossroads "Bodies in Motion" to return in April 7-8, 2017. FALL 2016

page 4

Department of English Newsletter Great Courses in English On June 4, a small group of six students and three OU faculty and staff traveled to Jamaica for the inaugural Jamaica study abroad program. The program was led by professors Catherine John, English, and Greg Graham, African American Studies, both born and raised in Jamaica. Like many other summer study abroad programs, the goal was to expose students to another culture and, in this case, to an African diaspora or Afro-Caribbean immersion experience. Students were enrolled in two academic courses: “Black women, Literature, Cultural Expression and Self-Love” and “Black Masculinity and Political Economy.” Additionally the students were required to go on field trips, be present for guest lectures, maintain journals and create a collectively-written play about gender identity that they performed for a local community. The students attended a dinner catered at the home of a young chef from a local family, went on a tour of Port Royal (famous city of the pirates), and of the Bob Marley museum. On their own, the students, organized trips to Hope Botanical Gardens as well as a hike to Blue Mountain peak, home to the famous Blue Mountain coffee. In Woodside, the students had the honor of attending lectures from Erna Brodber, world famous Jamaican novelist, historian and public intellectual. OU looks forward to the second year of this program and possibly expanding it beyond students to alumni and professionals in the future.

Shakespeare Global Festival 2016-2017

In honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, scholars and performers from across OU have joined together to present a film-and-performance festival that celebrates the playwright's wide and continuing impact. Organizers include Joyce Coleman and Su Fang Ng, English; Sara Coodin, Classics and Letters; Alissa Mortimer and Tom Orr, Helmerich School of Drama. All presentations will be held at Meacham Auditorium, OU Memorial Union. They are open to the public without additional cost to attend. Fall 2016 Sept. 15: Richard Loncraine/Ian McKellen, Richard III (1995, English), with after-film discussion Oct. 20: Akira Kurosawa, Throne of Blood (1957, Japanese, based on Macbeth), with after-film discussion including Man Fung Yip, Film and Media Studies Nov. 17: Drama professors and students performing/discussing scenes Spring 2017 Feb. 23: Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus (2011, English), with after-film discussion March 23: Sulayman al-Bassam, Al-Hamlet Summit (2004, Arabic), with after-film discussion including Mohammad Al Masri, MLLL April 20: Drama professors and students performing/discussing scenes page 5

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.