Great Expectations

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

Archive for January, 2008

Dr. Maisha Wester Kicks Off Spring 2008 Department Colloquia Series

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 31, 2008

img32709.jpgDr. Maisha Wester, assistant professor in Literature and American Culture Studies, will kick-off the Department’s Spring 2008 Colloquia Series on Tuesday, February 5, 11:30 am-12:45 pm in East Hall 206. The title of her talk is “Unlocking a Hurricane: Reading Katrina Through Skeleton Key.”


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Girls of MySpace

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 29, 2008

Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric and Composition Jennifer Almjeld will discuss research from “Girls of MySpace: Identity Construction and Resistance through New Media Composition,” the subject of her dissertation, from noon to 1:30pm Wednesday, January 30, in the Women’s Center (108 Hanna Hall) as part of the Women’s Center Brown Bag Lunch series.

Jen’s dissertation project is an historic and theoretical discussion of young women’s identity construction and performance taking place on the social networking site MySpace. The pilot study includes a textual analysis of 25, 16- to 18-year-olds’ MySpace profiles, focusing specifically on the roles MySpace production plays in female adolescence and community building and any codes the new media text may offer for performing femininity and remediating users’ identities through existing media. The project also traces out the evolution of feminine literacy practices including commonplace books, scrapbooks, autograph albums, and note passing, situating MySpace and similar social networking practices within the rhetorical tradition.

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Focus the Nation: A Teach-In on Solutions to Global Warming

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 29, 2008

On Thursday January 31, BGSU students and faculty will be among those at more than 1,550 institutions across the country participating in Focus the Nation—a teach-in on solutions to global warming. Joining them will be local leaders and University officials for a panel discussion.

From 10 am. to 5 p.m., nearly 35 faculty members will lead discussion groups in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on various aspects of climate change, from polar bears to journalistic responsibility related to climate change to eco-fragile countries in the Horn of Africa.

From 5-7 pm. in 308 BTSU, a panel discussion on climate change will feature BGSU students and CFO Sheri Stoll, Bowling Green Mayor John Quinn and Public Utilities Director Kevin Maynard, County Commissioner James Carter. Kim Peters, an environmental studies major, will moderate. The discussion is free and open to the public.

“We want everyone attending to understand how global warming affects all the aspects of our life and what they can do to help combat it,” said Jazmine Bennett, president of BGSU’s Environmental Action Group and co-organizer of the campus portion of the event.

“The current generation of BGSU students will be affected enormously by global climate change. This ‘teach-in’ will empower our students to be active participants in the critical dialogue about finding solutions,” said Dr. Gary Silverman, director of BGSU’s Environmental Programs. “We are looking for everyone to come not only to listen but to actively discuss these issues throughout the day. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

A free concert by local musicians will be held from 7-11 pm. in the Union Falcon’s Nest.

The event will begin with a live Web cast at 8 pm. on Wednesday January 30. The 2 Percent Solution will feature climate scientist Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Natural Capitalism president Hunter Lovins and environmental justice leader Van Jones.

The last component of the event is the online ballot. Participants will vote on top solutions, and the top five will be announced in the beginning of February. Students who vote will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by the end of August.

Across the nation that day, education and civic engagement will be used to provide a platform for students in elementary and high schools to universities and colleges to engage in the critical societal debate about climate change solutions. Live and videoconference round-table discussions will take place between Congress and campuses.

“Today’s youth are truly the greatest generation,” said Dr. Eban Goodstein, creator of Focus The Nation. “No other generation has had to face this kind of challenge. We would be failing as educators if we did not prepare them with the tools necessary to meet this challenge.”

Here is a list of English Department and culture and language-related sessions:

Geoffrey Howes, Germany and the EU on Climate Change, 201B BTSU; 10:30-11:00 am.

Timothy Pogacar, The Russian Consumer and Climate Change, 201A BTSU; 11:30 am. -noon.

Erin Labbie, The Good Life, 308 BTSU; 11:30 am.-12:45 pm.

Nancy Brendlinger, Media Coverage of Climate Change – Journalistic Ideology, 201B BTSU; 12:30-1:00 pm.

Sherri Wells-Jensen, Will 90% of Languages Die in the Next 100 Years?, 207 BTSU; 1:30-2:30 pm.

Karen Craigo, Words Are Powerful, 201A BTSU; 2:30-3:00 pm.

Jeannie Ludlow, Gender Issues of Climate Change, 207 BTSU; 3:00-3:30 pm.

Jodi Haney, Made to Stick: Principles for Effective Communication of Environmental Issues, 201A BTSU; 3:30-4:00 pm.

For more information, visit Focus the Nation, or contact Jazmine Bennett at or Whitney Kraner at

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Demystifying the Deathly Hallows

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 25, 2008

book_harry7.jpgThe Black Swamp Literary Society will hold its first meeting of the year on Monday, January 28 at 9:00 pm in the East Hall 2nd floor Lounge. The General Studies Writing program’s Dr. Heath Diehl, who is currently teaching a course entitled “Demystifying the Deathly Hallows,” will lead a discussion of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend.

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Distinguished Visiting Writer Tony Barnstone

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 24, 2008

Poet Tony Barnstone is this year’s College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Visiting Writer for the Creative Writing program.

This semester, Barnstone is in residence and teaching poetry workshops. He is Professor of English at Whittier College. His books include Sad Jazz: Sonnets; Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone; The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry; Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry; Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei; The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters; and the textbooks Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Literatures of Asia, and Literatures of the Middle East.

Born in Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Barnstone lived for years in Greece, Spain, Kenya and China before taking his Masters in English and Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English Literature at U.C. Berkeley. His poetry, translations, essays on poetics, and fiction have appeared in dozens of American literary journals, from APR to Agni.

He has won fellowships and poetry awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Pushcart Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Contest, the Milton Dorfman Poetry Prize, the National Poetry Competition (Chester H. Jones Foundation), the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry, the Cecil Hemley Award, and the Poetry Society of America. In 2006 he won the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry for his manuscript The Golem of Los Angeles, which will be published by Red Hen Press in early 2008. His forthcoming books are a translation of Chinese Erotic Poetry for Everyman Press and a translation of the selected poems of Han Shan. He is currently marketing two new books of poems and a critical book titled The Poetics of the Machine Age: William Carlos Williams and Technological Modernism.

Tonight at 7:30 pm you can catch Tony reading from his work at Prout Chapel, here on campus.

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“Cloning Terror, Telling Tales, and Surveying the Ruins: Epidemics of Collapse: Notes on Documentary and the Post-Industrial Sublime”

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 24, 2008

27.jpgHow can documentaries represent the post-industrial without reproducing a nostalgic representation of industry? How do you negotiate a landscape of collapse?

These questions and many more will be explored in the first of this year’s Provost Lecture Series, the theme of which is “Cloning Terror, Telling Tales, and Surveying the Ruins.” The series kicks off next week with a visit from Paula Rabinowitz from the University of Minnesota. She will be giving her talk “Epidemics of Collapse: Notes on Documentary and the Post-Industrial Sublime” on Wednesday, January 30th at 6:30 pm in the Sky Bank Room (201) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Dr. Rabinowitz explores a transnational poetics of post-industrialism through an analysis of film, photography, and poetry, paying special attention to Thomas Lahusen’s Living Among Ruins: Detroit and Komsomolsk, Mark Nowak’s Shut Up Shut Down, and Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke. She examines how the iconic figures of the struggling worker and the devastated agricultural locations of the Depression era are rearticulated to make sense of contemporary post-industrialism. Looking at multiple transnational sites including China, Russia, and Detroit, she explores how these images are “remnants” both of abandonment and of progress. Her talk will be of interest to any scholars working with film, documentary, or deindustrialization.

Paula Rabinowitz is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Minnesota, where she holds the Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities. She is author of Black & White & Noir: America’s Pulp Modernism, They Must Be Represented: The Politics of Documentary, and Labor and Desire: Women’s Revolutionary Fiction in Depression America. Her recent essays on art and culture have appeared in NY Arts, PAJ, Social Text, Legacy, Cineaste, Film International, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and T/Here. Her ongoing book projects include The Demotic Ulysses: How Pulp Fiction Brought Modernism to America which explores the impact of the paperback revolution on censorship, sexuality, audiences and literary taste, and The End and the Not which explores recent attempts to reconstitute documentary forms in the era of post-industrialization. She has been a Fulbright scholar and received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Special Thanks go to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate College, the Department of Theatre and Film, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the School of Art, the American Culture Studies Program, and the Office of the Provost.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society at 419-372-0585

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“Civil Rights to Social Justice: From Hip-Hop to Jena Six”

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 24, 2008

A celebration and tribute program in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held tomorrow morning from 10 am to noon in the Jerome Library Pallister Conference Room. Entitled “Civil Rights to Social Justice: From Hip-Hop to Jena Six,” this University Libraries and The Office of Equity & Diversity-sponsored program will discuss the nation’s movement from civil rights to social justice and review issues and concerns from hip-hop to the recent ‘Jena Six’ controversy.

Ramona Coleman-Bell, American Culture Studies Ph.D. Candidate and Ethnic Studies Instructor will share her experiences as a participant in the Jena Six protests and Dr. Rodney D. Coates, Professor in Sociology and Gerontology from Miami University, Ohio will discuss both hip-hop and the Jena Six issue from a civil rights and social justice perspective. The session will be moderated by Dr. Win Stone, former BGSU Associate Dean, Director of Graduate Admissions, and Associate Professor Emeritus in Ethnic Studies.

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Student Résumé Workshop

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 23, 2008

The BGSU Student Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication presents a student résumé workshop tonight in East Hall 116 at 7:00 pm. Dr. Bill Coggin, professor in the Scientific and Technical Communication program, will explain what goes into a strong résumé, and will also be on-hand along with other S & TC faculty to offer one-on-one advising. Bring a print or electronic copy of your résumé. Free refreshments will be served.

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The Matthew Albert Schaller Scholarship

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 22, 2008

shelley2.jpgJanelle and James Schaller II, both alumni of Bowling Green State University, established the Matthew Albert Schaller Memorial Scholarship in 2006 to honor the memory of James’ brother Matthew. James currently serves as Magistrate in the Perrysburg Municipal Court in Perrysburg, Ohio and is a founding member of McNamara & Schaller, LLC, a law firm in Toledo. Janelle is currently an attorney for Cooper & Walinski, LPA in Toledo.

Matthew Schaller grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio. He joined the United States Navy in 2000. His service took him to several overseas locations, including Diego Garcia, Sardinia, and Naples, Italy. His service entitled him to recognition as a veteran of the Iraq War, and he received several recognitions for his participation in the War on Terror. In March 2006 Matthew died in Naples in a tragic accident.

Matthew was highly intelligent, and was well versed in history and world cultures and spoke Greek, French, and Italian. He enjoyed traveling throughout Europe and visited Japan, Singapore, Mauritius, France, Turkey, Greece, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Italy.

Matthew was an avid reader and enjoyed the works of Romantic English poets. He particularly enjoyed John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron. During the last year of his life, Matthew accompanied James and Janelle to several significant Romantic poet sites, including Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva, John Keats’ apartment on the Spanish Steps in Rome, and the graves of Keats and Shelley at the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Like John Keats, Matthew died in Italy at the age of 26.

Awards Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Successful recipients of the $500 Matthew Albert Schaller Memorial Scholarship will submit a written essay regarding a sonnet, poem, or other work from one of the following authors: Lord Byron, John Keats, or Percy Bysshe Shelley. The essays will be evaluated by the selection committee in the College of Arts and Sciences, with possible input from the donors, and an award will be made based on the written discussions. Grade level, major, or financial need are not considerations for this award.

Unless the College of Arts and Sciences scholarship selection committee determines that another individual is more qualified, the Matthew Albert Schaller Memorial Scholarship may be awarded to a current or prior recipient as long as that recipient submits a new and different discussion of a different sonnet, poem, or other work from Lord Byron, John Keats, or Percy Bysshe Shelley and continues to meet all criteria.

Please submit your written essay to the main office of the College of Arts & Sciences, 205 Administration Building, by February 22, 2008.

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Lewis Scholar to Speak on “C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Seven Heavens”

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 22, 2008



Dr. Michael Ward of Cambridge University, will speak on “C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and the Seven Heavens,” in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Room 308, at 6:45 pm tonight with Q&A to follow. Admission is free.

Dr. Ward is the author of a just published book from Oxford University Press, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis, which examines the medieval cosmology behind the Narnian Chronicles, and their impact on C S Lewis’s imagination and the construction of this popular children’s series.

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