Great Expectations

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

Archive for March, 2009

Michael Bérubé Addresses Disability, Literature, at the University of Toledo

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 26, 2009


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“From Trans-Atlantic Pachuquismo to Universal Mexicanidad: Rioting Los Angeles and the post-World War Parisian Experiences of Octavio Paz”

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 24, 2009

paz-2-sizedThe Department of Ethnic Studies’ Spring 2009 Brown Bag series is holding its third event of the semester, a lecture by Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz titled “From Trans-Atlantic Pachuquismo to Universal Mexicanidad: Rioting Los Angeles and the post-World War Parisian Experiences of Octavio Paz”. Dr. Ortiz’s presentation will take place from 12:00 to 1:00 on Tuesday, March 31st in the Baldwin Conference Room, Shatzel Hall 242.

An instructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, Dr. Ortiz holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Oregon and specializes in Latin American Thought, Mexican Philosophy, Chicano Studies, and the Borderlands. Dr. Ortiz is also the curator of the film series “La Epoca de Oro de Cine Mexicano” (“The Golden age of Mexican Cinema”), which is offered on Monday at 7PM in the Gish Film Theater.

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Alumni Writer Anthony Doerr Reads His Work

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 23, 2009

adoerrMFA Creative Writing Alumnus Anthony Doerr will read from his work at Prout Chapel, on Thursday March 26th.

Tony is the author of three books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. His short fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Ohioana Book Award twice. His books have been a New York Times Notable Book, an American Library Association Book of the Year, a ‘Book of the Year’ in the Washington Post, and a finalist for the PEN USA fiction award. In 2007, the British literary magazine Granta placed Tony on its list of 21 Best Young American novelists. His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times and Der Spiegel, and he writes a regular column on science books for the Boston Globe. He currently teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College. He is currently the Writer-in-Residence for the State of Idaho.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m.

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“Rethinking the Entire Internet: VOXDB, Service Learning, and the Sound of the Human Voice”

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 23, 2009

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Associate Professor in Linguistics, will give her Colloquia series talk entitled “Rethinking the Entire Internet: VOXDB, Service Learning, and the Sound of the Human Voice” on Tuesday March 31, from 11:00 am-12:30 pm in East Hall 206.

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Creative Writing News

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 19, 2009


Michael Czyzniejewski and Karen Craigo, editors-in-chief of Mid-American Review will read from their work at Prout Chapel tonight, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. as part of this semester’s on-going Creative Writing reading series. We recently featured the news of the publication of Mike’s debut collection Elephants in Our Bedroom (Dzanc Books, 2009). We’re also pleased to announce that Karen has been recommended for a $10,000 grant in creative nonfiction from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). This is Karen’s third individual artist grant from the OAC!

In related news, the Devine Award winners for 2008-2009 are Brandon Jennings and Aimee Pogson in fiction; and Angela Gentry and Stokely Klasovsky in poetry. Congratulations to all!

The Devine fellowship is named after Richard Devine, a promising M.F.A. candidate tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 1970.

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Culture Club Presents “Freaks”

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 19, 2009

“Tuesdays at the Gish,” a film series sponsored by The Culture Club, in association with the Department of Theatre and Film, continues March 24, 2009 with a screening of a Tod Browning’s 1932 film, Freaks. Initially released to less than positive reviews (audiences were shocked that MGM, Hollywood’s most prestigious studio, would release such a distasteful picture that featured carnival sideshow “freaks” in prominent roles–the film was pulled from release shortly thereafter), Browning’s film reemerged on the midnight movie circuit in the 1960s and became a cult hit. The tale of what happens to greedy circus performers (Olga Baclanova and Henry Victor) when they cross a community of “freaks,” this film has been touted by critic J. Hoberman as one of the most subversive films ever made.

The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Introductory remarks will be given by Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Bill Albertini, who specializes in disability studies.

Founded in 2007 by Mark S. Bernard and Colin Helb, the “Tuesdays at the Gish” film series is dedicated to bringing public domain, obscure, and independent films to northwest Ohio. The films are shown free of charge and are open to the public. The film series is a collaboration between The Culture Club: Cultural Studies Scholars’ Association and the Department of Theatre and Film. The 2008-2009 film series are curated by Mark S. Bernard and Colin Helb with Dr. Cynthia Baron.

To contact the curators for the Tuesdays at the Gish Film Series, please send an e-mail to to the attention of “Tuesdays at the Gish.”

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James Purdy Update

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 17, 2009

Professor Emeritus of English, Dr. Beth Casey, passes along an interesting reminiscence about the Bowling Green connections of novelist James Purdy, who passed away recently:

Purdy worked at the tomato factory–soup, I think– and wrote a novel at night while he was here.   I was told he wrote The Nephew here at that time.  (When I arrived in BG, I was  asked what I thought of the town. I responded jokingly –and somewhat sardonically– that I thought of it as a place James Purdy might have written a novel about. When I was told that this had happened, I was, of course, stunned!).  Purdy was very popular in the the ‘sixties as well as the late-‘seventies and early-‘eighties. Natural to think of him and natural to think of someone  writing a rather Gothic novel about a small conservative  midwestern town.

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Prairie Margins Book Sale

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 17, 2009

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James Purdy, 1914-2009

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 13, 2009

n131066-1Novelist James Purdy, who was born in Findlay and attended BGSU in its days as a Normal College before WWII, has died at his home in New Jersey. Purdy, eulogized by The New York Times as a writer of “dark, often savagely comic fiction [that] evoked a psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence and isolation,” published nearly 20 novels and numerous short stories and plays.

His first novel The Nephew (1961) is set in Bowling Green and is the story of a woman’s search to uncover the truth about her nephew, a soldier missing in action in the Korean War. James Purdy was 94.

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Help Support Prairie Margins

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 3, 2009

pmarginsYou know those stacks of books that sits collecting dust? Donate them to the Prairie Margins Spring Harvest book sale, to be held Saturday March 21 (location to be announced). All donated books will be sold during the festival  to help raise money for further programming and events. Look for the donation box in the East Hall mail room (210) up until late afternoon Friday March 20.

A separate book table will be set up throughout the day’s events Saturday. Prices and specials will be posted at the table. For more information, email

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