Great Expectations

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

Archive for February, 2008

“Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to Abu Ghraib “

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 28, 2008

stencil_6th_fairfax.jpgWhile wars have always been fought over and conducted by images, the current “war on terror” has raised the imaginary component of warfare to a new level of importance. How do images of violence in the new millennium reproduce or clone terror? How does the metaphor of the “war on terror” converge with the digital and cybernetic? What are the powers and dangers of visibility? How do images, texts, and performances travel and reproduce?

Why does it matter?

Dr. W. J. T. Mitchell, Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago, will discuss new media technologies that have made the reproduction, circulation, and transformation of war images much faster in a talk, “Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to Abu Ghraib,” to be held tonight, February 28, at 7:00 pm in 206 (Theatre) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. This event is part of the Provost Lecture Series, the theme of which is “Cloning Terror, Telling Tales, and Surveying the Ruins.”

Dr. Mitchell’s lecture will explore the metaphor of a “war on terror” as an imaginary, fantasmatic notion—a metaphor that has become all too literal, real, and deadly—and investigates whether the war on terror has had the perverse effect of strengthening and proliferating its enemy or “cloning terror.”

A reception will follow.

Dr. Mitchell serves as editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Critical Inquiry, which is a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences, and as a scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature, he is at the forefront of the emerging fields of visual culture and of iconology (the study of mass-mediated images). His numerous awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Morey Prize in art history given by the College Art Association of America. His publications include What Do Pictures Want?, and Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, as well as The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon. He is working on a book addressing the violence of images in the new millennium, Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9-11 to Abu Ghraib.

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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“Lateral Thinking and the Nature of Creativity in Poetry and Fiction”

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 26, 2008

Distinguished Visiting Writer Tony Barnstone will be speaking this coming Thursday, Febraury 28, at Prout Chapel (7:30 pm); the title of his talk is “Lateral Thinking and the Nature of Creativity in Poetry and Fiction.”

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Sigma Tau Delta Annual Induction

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 20, 2008

Jeff Battiste (Literature, ’08) writes:

This Friday, Sigma Tau Delta will be having its annual induction with a reception to follow. We would like to extend an invitation to all of you to attend either of these events, as an opportunity to meet any of our new or current inductees.

Here are the details:

Induction – 7:00 pm in Prout Chapel
Reception – following induction in East Hall (probably beginning around 7:45)

The reception includes eating delicious food and viewing the fantastic movie Science of Sleep.


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The Book of Telling

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 20, 2008

Dr. Sharona Muir, author of the memoir The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives, is working with the College of Arts and Sciences to produce a series of readings from her book to accompany the paperback edition. You can watch the introduction, below. You can also watch clips 2, 3, 4, and 5 in this series.

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Spring 2008 Colloquia Series Continues . . .

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 19, 2008

img32691.jpgDr. Richard Gebhardt, professor in Rhetoric and Writing, will continue the Department’s Spring 2008 Colloquia Series on Tuesday, February 26, 11:30 am-12:45 pm in East Hall 206. The title of his talk is “Engaging ‘Engagement’ in Composition studies: Preliminary Thoughts From a Fall Semester FIL.”

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“Exploring Nonviolent Rhetoric: From Everyday Speech to Research and What to Teach”

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 18, 2008

What is nonviolent rhetoric?  Dr. Ellen W. Gorsevski from BGSU’s School of Communication Studies will explore that question and more in her talk, “Exploring Nonviolent Rhetoric: From Everyday Speech to Research and What to Teach, ” part of this semester’s Linguistics Brown Bag Lecture Series. Her talk will take place Friday, February 22, 2008, at 12:30 pm in Room 114 of the Education Building.

Nonviolent rhetoric is discourse that, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, encourages one to be a “nonconformist.” For Mohandas K. Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is “noncooperation” with systems one deems unjust, including forms of communication.  In our everyday speech interactions, our language and idioms are replete with violent metaphors.  Using mindful awareness, we can transform our own use and understanding of language, thus restructuring our reality in positive, nonviolent ways.  An awareness and support of nonviolent perspectives and communication strategies, when incorporated into research and teaching, can be equally empowering.

Everyone is welcome! No prior knowledge of linguistics is required. This event is sponsored by the BGSU Department of English and the Black Swamp Literary Society.

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Battleground States Graduate Student Conference: The Body and Culture

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 18, 2008

51n8d9m3w6l_aa240_.jpgThis coming Friday and Saturday will mark the third year for the Battleground States Graduate Student Conference: The Body and Culture, and it will be the biggest one yet in terms of conference sessions and attendees. This conference is being hosted by Culture Club, an organization of graduate students from American Culture Studies, Popular Culture, Theatre/Film, Communications Studies, English, and other graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences at BGSU.

Sessions and panels will run all day Friday and Saturday, February 22 and 23. All conference sessions will be held on the third floor of the BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The keynote talk for the conference will be delivered on Saturday at 6:00 by Dr. Philip Auslander, Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech, and author of Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music (University of Michigan Press, 2006).

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A New Way to Support Mid-American Review

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 15, 2008

A message from Karen Craigo, Editor-in-Chief of Mid-American Review:

I recently stumbled on to something really marvelous on the World Wide Web — namely, a search engine and shopping portal that can actually earn money for charitable causes. The search engine, Good Search, and the shopping portal, Good Shop, provides funding to the registered charity of the user’s choice for each Yahoo-powered web search or for shopping at specified online outlets.

Naturally, I signed Mid-American Review up right away as a potential recipient of funds, but that move wouldn’t make much sense if I didn’t take the extra step of telling our friends and supporters.

Mid-American Review makes a penny per search every time someone who designates us as their favorite charity looks something up on Good Search. The magazine also earns a percentage of the total sale when shoppers make ordinary online purchases through eBay, Amazon, Target, and lots of other retailers. For MAR to benefit, a shopper has to access these retailers through the Good Search site.

If you prefer a different charity, you may want to look it up in the list of donors on the Good Search site. A quick inspection revealed several Bowling Green-area charities, including Dance Marathon, the Wood County Humane Society, some other excellent causes.

Please think of MAR the next time you shop or search. So far we’ve made only a modest 27 cents from my own 27 web searches, but just imagine if all of us designated a favorite charity to receive 1.5 percent of the purchase the next time we bought books at Amazon.com — or 25 percent of eBay’s proceeds on our successful bids there. That could make quite a difference.

Thanks for considering my request, and thanks in advance for your support.

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Sign Up for AlertBG for Emergency Text Messages

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 15, 2008

In light of yesterday’s tragedy at Northern Illinois University, now is a good time to take a simple, extra step to assure members of the campus community are immediately notified in the event of trouble.

By signing up for AlertBG, a text-messaging program used to communicate with students, faculty and staff in case of emergencies on campus, you can get personal messages to your cell phone about situations such as crimes in progress, campus closings, canceled classes, building closures and severe weather. The department of campus safety sends the emergency messages.

Messages will include instructions whom to contact in the event that the recipient needs to notify campus police immediately.

Sign up now and register your cell phone number with the University. Signing up is simple. AlertBG can be accessed under “Links” at the bottom right of the home page and through the secure MyBGSU site.

In MyBGSU, click on the AlertBG tab at the top of the Welcome page. The signup form asks for a name, password, mobile phone number and service carrier. You can also set a date by which to opt out (typically, a student’s expected graduation date). Once you have established text message alert service, you may add email alert notification.

Taking this easy step today is one more way to assure you receive the fastest possible notice of emergency situations. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 419-372-2843.

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Integrated Language Arts Praxis II Study Session

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 14, 2008

In preparation for the spring Praxis II exam dates (March 15 & April 26), the Integrated Language Arts Core Committee will sponsor a Praxis II study session for ILA students on Thursday, February 21, from 6:30-8:30 pm in the Business Administration Building, Room 106.

The session will begin with pizza from 6:30-7:00. Faculty panelists from various programs will then guide the forum, which will also include an opportunity for a timed response to sample questions and for sharing of sample study and test-taking strategies. Although Middle Child majors do take a slightly different exam, they are welcome to attend the session as well.

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