Great Expectations

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

Archive for March, 2008

Want To Learn Adobe InDesign in 90 Minutes?

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 31, 2008

If so, you should make sure you attend the Society for Technical Communication‘s hands-on Adobe InDesign page layout workshop tomorrow (April 1) in 247 Technology Building, Area C. This free event will give you all the tools you need to create flyers, brochures, booklets, and other documents.

For more information, contact STC President Sean DeLauder at


Posted in Events, Scientific & Technical Communications, Students | Leave a Comment »

Poet and Writer Sharona Muir Reads Tonight

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 27, 2008

Tonight at Prout chapel, poet and writer Dr. Sharona Muir will read from her work as part of the regular Thursday night MFA/BFA Creative Writing reading series. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

Muir is the author of three books, The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives (Random House/Schoecken Books, 2005), a scholarly study of science fiction, The Artificial Paradise: Science Fiction and American Reality (U. of Michigan Press, 1995), and a poetry collection, During Ceasefire (Harper & Row, 1985).

Posted in Creative Writing, Events, Faculty | Leave a Comment »

Politics and Literature: BSLS Meeting Tonight

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 24, 2008

The student-run Black Swamp Literary Society will meet tonight at 9 pm in the East Hall Library Lounge. The topic of the meeting is politics in literature, how political ideologies seep into literature, and how literature is used in politics.

Posted in Events, Literature, Students | Leave a Comment »

Department of English Wins Assessment Award

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 24, 2008

At the BGSU Teaching and Learning Fair on March 14, the Student Achievement Assessment Committee recognized the Department of English as one of nine units campus-wide that has successfully used teaching and assessment tactics that contribute to durable learning. Dr. Milt Hakel, Ohio Eminent Scholar in psychology, presented the awards.

The Department’s success was due to the strength of its assessment reports, which are designed to demonstrate evidence evidence of promoting student success. The program assessment process has four steps: 1) specifying learning outcomes, 2) conducting assessments, 3) analyzing and interpreting the findings and 4) taking action to improve the program.

The winners were selected from 20 nominated programs and departments. The program assessment reports of all nominees are on the SAAC Web site.

Posted in Awards & Scholarships | Leave a Comment »

Poet Martha Collins Reads Tonight

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 20, 2008

Tonight at Prout chapel, poet Martha Collins will be reading from her work as part of the regular Thursday night MFA/BFA Creative Writing reading series. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

Collins is the author of Blue Front, a book-length poem based on a lynching her father witnessed when he was five years old. Her chapbook Sheer (Barnwood, 2008) is her most recent publication. She has also published four collections of poems, two books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, an earlier chapbook of poems, and is currently editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press.

You can listen to Collins read an excerpt from Sheer, “From The Sky,” for NPR’s Weekend Edition here.

Posted in Creative Writing, Events | Leave a Comment »

“Visual Tropes; Icons, Ideology and Rhetorical Transformation”

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 17, 2008

Dr Gary Heba, Professor of Scientific and Technical Communication, will address the subject of “Visual Tropes; Icons, Ideology and Rhetorical Transformation” at this Spring Colloquia Series event, to be held Monday, March 24, from 11:30 am-12:45 pm in East Hall 206.

Posted in Events, Faculty, Scientific & Technical Communications | Leave a Comment »

“Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales”

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 17, 2008

How do Black gay men from the South build community and resist oppression? How do these narrators use the performance of “southerness” as a cultural identity?

Dr. E. Patrick Johnson, Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and Professor in the Department of Performance Studies and Professor in African American Studies at Northwestern University, will be giving his performance “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales” on Wednesday, March 19th at 7:00pm in the Ballroom (202) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. This event is the final event of the Provost Lecture Series, the theme of which is “Cloning Terror, Telling Tales, and Surveying the Ruins.”

Dr. Johnson offers a performance based on oral histories of black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the South. Collected between 2004 and 2006, these narratives document the lives of a diverse group of black gay men from fifteen different states, ages 19 to 94. He explores how these narrators use the performance of “southerness” as a cultural identity to simultaneously conform to southern cultural ideals, but also to mediate, transgress, and sometimes subvert them. They use those very ideals in order to build community and/or interject their own black gay subjectivity into a conservative southern landscape.

A reception will follow.

A scholar/artist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality and performance. His book Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity has won several awards, including the Lilla A. Heston Award, the Errol Hill Book Award, and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He has co-edited Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology with Mae G. Henderson. Oral histories provide the foundation to both his performance at BGSU and his forthcoming book, Sweet Tea: An Oral History of the South.

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.

Posted in Events | Leave a Comment »

MFA Reading Tonight

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 13, 2008

Tonight at Prout chapel, MFA candidates Thomas Schaefer (poetry) and Aimee Pogson (fiction) will be reading from their work as part of the regular Thursday night reading series. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

Posted in Creative Writing, Events, Students | Leave a Comment »

Language Death and Language Preservation: Linguistics Brown Bag Lecture Series

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 10, 2008

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Associate Professor of Linguistics writes:

‘Atowa Seeni, (good day) everyone! We’re very excited to announce our next linguistics brown bag speaker, Mr. George Clay who comes to us from the Solomon Islands. Mr. Clay’s native language, Oroha, has only 38 speakers remaining. He will be in Bowling Green this week to work with linguists on documenting Oroha and will present at our March linguistics brown bag–a rare opportunity to meet a Last Speaker and learn first-hand about the process of documenting an endangered language. Hanuaramana huni ‘o! (Peace)

Within the next one hundred years, up to 90% of the languages spoken on Earth today may die due to a complex web of social, economic and environmental pressures. Oroha, once widely spoken on the Solomon Islands, is one such language. George Clay is one of the last thirty-eight native speakers of Oroha and has been working with linguists to document and revitalize his native language before it is too late.

On Friday, March 14, at 12:30 pm in 111 Olscamp Hall, Mr. Clay will present his experiences documenting and preserving his language and culture and his hopes for his and other communities facing similar challenges.

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.

Posted in Events, Linguistics | Leave a Comment »

Names in Fiction

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 10, 2008

The Department of German, Russian and East Asian Languages International Forum invites you to a talk by Dr. Jonathan Abel of the Japanese and Asian Studies program titled “When Possible Worlds Collide: Proper Names and the Possibilities of Self Reference. ” This event will take place on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:30 pm in Room 101 Shatzel Hall, and is free and open to all.

Both the use of proper names taken from the real world and the explicit obfuscation of real world names in literature suggest that the possible worlds of modal thought continue to provide useful models for the poetics. These issues arise particularly in overt satire or coy allegory, whether roman à clef or alternate history.

The key to such fictional naming lies in the real world existence of their referents. When is it OK to use real names? How is literature liable to libel? These issues are further complicated when novels containing names with real world referents also refer to themselves. Novels that name their own title as an object in their fictional world expose not only the function of literary critique but also the limits of fictional autonomy. This paper considers the work of Philip Roth, Philip K. Dick, Yahagi Toshiko, Hoshino Tomoyuki, and Christian von Ditfurth to consider what names the self, how we name the worlds of fiction, and when naming is too much.

For information call Geoff Howes at 419 372 7139 or email

Posted in Events, Literature | Leave a Comment »