Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Archive for September, 2007

Errand to Africa: Boston King, the British Empire, and the Founding of Sierra Leone

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 26, 2007

What were the early goals of British colonization in Africa? How did the primary agents of that colonization both meet and confound those goals? What can the story of one remarkable African-American man – Boston King – tell us about the nature of empire, race, and revolution?

In 1792, Boston King and nearly 1,200 other black loyalists (refugees from the American Revolution) established Sierra Leone, Britain’s first African colony. Historians have interpreted the settlers’ anguishing early years as resulting from the Sierra Leone Company’s profit-seeking and condescension to the settlers on the one hand, and on the other hand, conditions on the ground and the settlers’ own difficulties adjusting to Africa.

Andrew M. Schocket, Associate Professor of History at BGSU, will argue that there was something much bigger at work: namely, a conflict between the British imperial project and the Atlantic revolutionary project of which the Sierra Leone settlers were a part. The Sierra Leone colony demonstrated strong continuities in British cultural and religious imperialism as well as imperial policy. These continuities were at odds with the settlers’ African-American revolutionary agenda as revealed by Boston King’s words and experiences.

Dr. Schocket’s teaching and research focus on the American Revolution, colonial North America, and the Atlantic World. His work includes the book Founding Corporate Power in Early National Philadelphia and essays published in Journal of the Early Republic, Enterprise & Society, and Reviews in American History. He has served as a member of the national steering committee of the History News Service and has directed a student-researched public policy history project officially commended by the Ohio General Assembly’s Speaker of the House. Currently a Fellow at ICS, he is at work on a biography of Boston King.

This is the second Institute for the Study of Culture and Society Faculty Fellows lecture of the year and will be held on Monday, October 1 at 12:30 pm in Mylander Room 207 of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Special Thanks to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and to the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences for their support of this work. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (419) 372-0585.


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Poet and Writer Gary Gildner at Prout Chapel

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 26, 2007

gildner_gary.jpgThe Creative Writing program is proud to announce that Idaho-based writer Gary Gildner will read from his work Thursday September 27 at Prout Chapel.

Gildner, a native of Michigan, has authored twenty books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, including Somewhere Geese Are Flying: New & Selected Stories, My Grandfather’s Book (Michigan State UP, 2004 and 2002 respectively), and The Second Bridge (Algonquin Books, 1987). He has also been honored with numerous awards, including the Robert Frost Fellowship, and the William Carlos Williams and Theodore Roethke poetry prizes, as well as two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships.

You can read excerpts of Gary Gildner’s work online in the Winter 2004 issue of Weber Studies. The reading, which begins at 7:30 pm, is free and open to all.

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What Can A Wiki Do For You?

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 21, 2007

“What Can A Wiki Do For You?” is the focus of the next Society for Technical Communication meeting, to be held on Tuesday, September 25 at 6 pm in East Hall 115.

Instructional Designer Michael Kudela, Multimedia Specialist, Faculty Trainer for IDEAL at BGSU, and adjunct faculty member in the College of Technology, will help participants explore online tools such as wikis, Netvibes, iGoogle, Google Docs, and discuss ways to organize and collaborate on research, professional, and personal projects.

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BGSU English Department on Facebook

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 20, 2007

Join our newly minted Department Facebook group which, hopefully, will serve to further strengthen the ties between Department of English students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

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Cross-Cultural Conversation Connections’ Party

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 20, 2007

Since 1995, the Department’s English as a Second Language Program has run a Cross-Cultural Conversation Connection Program designed to develop cultural understanding by connecting people from different cultures through conversation.

This year’s CCCC Program officially begins with the Cross-Cultural Conversation Connections’ Party. This is where partners can meet for the first time. After the party, the partners meet for one hour a week until the end of the semester. They decide where and when to meet and what to do.

The free party will be held on Friday, September 21, 6-8 pm at Global Village, Conklin Unit G (front of Saddlemire Student Services at Conklin). Participants must join CCCC to attend, or can apply again in the next spring or fall semester. For more information and an application, contact CCCC at or on the web.

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BGSU Scholarship Opportunities

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 19, 2007

Student Financial Aid has announced BGSU student scholarship opportunities for the 2007-08 school year.

The Harry Frankfather Scholarship awards can value up to $3,000 per student. Students must have financial need and work at a paying job a minimum of 10 hours/week. A signed statement of employment is required. The deadline is Friday, Oct. 12.

The Edwin L. Moseley Scholarship awards can also value up to $3,000 per student. Applicants must submit an essay on community service and educational value received from experience and have two letters of recommendation from BGSU faculty or administrators. The deadline is Friday, Oct. 12.

Applications for both scholarships are currently available on the Scholarship Bulletin Board (outside Student Financial Aid) or online under Scholarship Applications.

The Department of English will be announcing guidelines for its own scholarships and awards later in the semester.

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English Graduate Reception

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 19, 2007

This Friday, September 21, the Department will be co-hosting a Graduate Reception along with the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA).

The graduate reception will kick off with a welcome from the Graduate Coordinator, Piya Lapinski, followed by poetry and fiction readings by Brad Modlin, assistant poetry editor of Mid American Review (MAR) and Priscilla Wysong, assistant fiction editor of MAR.

The reception will also include announcements regarding upcoming EGSA events by Jennifer Almjeld, Erin Dietel-McLaughlin, and Jessica Alexander, and announcements from Graduate Student Senate representative, Linh Nguyen. Faculty representatives from the different programs will speak briefly about each program.

The reception takes place at 5 pm in Bowen-Thompson Student Union 201.

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Literature Alumni News

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 19, 2007

The latest issue of The Minnesota Review includes an interview with noted linguist and public intellectual Noam Chomsky conducted by Department alumna Heather Steffen (Literature, ’03). Heather, who is working on her doctorate in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, also serves as Managing Editor of the journal. You can read her interview with Chomsky on pages 55-65 of the current issue (68).

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Black Swamp Literary Society Update

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 17, 2007

An update from Melissa Faybik, of the Black Swamp Literary Society Executive Board:

At the first general meeting for BSLS on Monday, September 10, students with majors ranging from Creative Writing to Biology came together to discuss those books that have most influenced our lives. Whether it’s a book such as The Giver that started us thinking about worlds and ideas unlike our own, or a series like The Lord of the Rings that we loved reading over and over again, each of us had a unique perspective and idea to share. We discussed which books most influenced us and why, be it the way they were written, their use of language, or a meaningful storyline; some of us were even inspired to begin our own writing. We also talked about why certain books, such as the Harry Potter series and those by Dan Brown, are able to influence or create controversy for the general public. Our discussion lasted until 10 pm and we left having bonded over the literature we love!

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True Stories’ of Mexican Banditry: The Case of Chucho el Roto

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 14, 2007

The BGSU Institute for the Study of Culture and Society has announced the first ICS Faculty Fellows lecture of the 2007-08 academic year. Amy Robinson, from Romance and Classical Studies, will be giving her lecture, “‘True Stories’ of Mexican Banditry: The Case of Chucho el Roto.” Professor Robinson’s lecture will be of interest to any faculty or students who do work with cultural history, race and ethnicity, and literary analysis.

The lecture will take place on Monday, September 17 at 12:30 pm in room 201A of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

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