Great Expectations

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

Archive for October, 2010

Get in the Halloween spirit with Theatre of Blood!

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 28, 2010

In the Halloween spirit, literature professor and Renaissance scholar Dr. Stephannie Gearhart, who is currently teaching Shakespeare (English 3010) and Shakespeare and Film (English 3850), will be showing Douglas Hickox’s Theatre of Blood (1973) this weekend to her students.

Theatre of Blood is structured like a 17th century revenge tragedy, and, as Harry M. Benshoff noted, it is both a horror film and a horror film spoof. In the movie, Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) plays a Shakespearean actor who feels he has been slighted by his critics. In response, he decides to get revenge on them by murdering each one according to the play he/she criticized. As he slaughters his enemies, Lionheart’s adaptations are both gruesome and creative. (For example, the actor allows Shylock to get his “pound of flesh” when he makes the critic of his rendition of The Merchant of Venice “pay [the debt] instantly with all [his] heart.”) Vincent Price’s performance in this movie is fantastic, and if you like his campy acting style, you’ll love Theatre of Blood.

The film viewing is on Saturday October 30th at 5:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. in East Hall 306. Stephannie extends an open invitation to anyone who’d like to attend. Because of limited space in East Hall 306, Stephannie requests that you please send her an email if you plan on attending. She can be reached at .

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Dr. Khani Begum to give talk on Muslim women’s memoirs, film and art

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 19, 2010

Literature professor Dr. Khani Begum will give a talk on “Muslim Women’s Memoirs, Film, and Art, and the Discourse Around Them” on Wednesday, October 20th, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in LE 145/147 at Owens Community College. To download the flyer for this event, please click on the link: Muslim Women Flyer for Owens College[1]

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Nahid Rachlin reads tonight

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 7, 2010

Novelist and memoirist Nahid Rachlin, will be reading selections from her work tonight at 7:30 p.m. (Thursday, October 7) at Prout Chapel. Born in Iran, Rachlin came to the United States to attend college and stayed. Among her publications are a memoir, Persian Girls (Penguin), four novels, Jumping Over Fire (City Lights), Foreigner (W.W. Norton), Married to a Stranger (E.P.Dutton), The Heart’s Desire (City Lights), and a collection of short stories, Veils (City Lights). Her work has been published in Portuguese, Dutch, Farsi, Arabic. Her essays have been published in Natural History Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine, and others. She has written reviews for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Newsday.

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“Feral Parfumier Bees” . . . excerpts from a novel-in-progress

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 4, 2010

Two short pieces of fiction by Creative Writing professor Dr. Sharona Muir are available online; “Feral Parfumier Bees,” an excerpt from her novel-in-progress Naked Men, Naked Women, and Invisible Beasts: a Guide to Unseen Beings is in the online magazine, Ancora Imparo, and her piece “The Golden Egg: an Evolutionary Fable” can be read at Kenyon Review Online.

Feral Parfumier Bees” is a chapter in a work that I’m currently finishing – a contemporary bestiary, narrated by a woman who sees invisible beasts and ventures to provide scientific explanations for their characteristics. What I left out – or tried to integrate – was the intellectual matrix of the work. Many of the scientific and philosophical ideas had to be absorbed or excised, as readers expect from a story that isn’t a lecture. I have fought for balance and integrity with this piece and the rest of the work . . . What’s lying around my cutting-room floor, but may still be faintly heard or smelled in “Feral Parfumier Bees,” are ideas drawn from thinkers such as Paul Churchland, a neuroscientist who claims that human consciousness has the same basic structure as any other comparable animal’s; Frans de Waal, who attests to the primacy of the primate in human behavior; the historian Erica Fudge, who articulates a view of cultural history as shaped by the agency of nonhuman animals; and like posthumanist scholars. Especially for “FPB,” there is the idea behind Phillip Ball’s wonderful book, Shapes: Nature’s Patterns, namely, that recurrent patterns in nature, such as spirals or tree-forms, come about as the result of physical forces interacting with biological processes, including natural selection. I love the notion that physics underlies beautiful natural patterns – it’s Pythagorean in appeal – yet without reducing biology to physics or living organisms to their inert components. Ball’s ideas have a lot to do with bees, in their methods of building, communicating, and making decisions. But instead of using his insight literally, I’ve tried to extend it to the realm of art. This way, I hope the reader will get the sense that art and nature are not separate territories at all.

What else have I left out? Perfume, in tiny glass vials, obtained from a website where you get free samples with every purchase of a fragrance. I live in rural Ohio, on a nature preserve. In June, when “Bees” was written, I got to see wild honeybees gliding around a crack in an ash tree, radiating their serene hum — quite distinct in tone, though not in volume, from their irritated hum – and walking about on the bark or levitating with subtle movements into their hive. Meanwhile, my husband, bemused, would now and then bring in a small box off the Fed Ex truck, saying,

“It’s for you – it’s ‘par-foom.’”

So that’s how I wrote it — in the midst of a forested limestone outcrop, surrounded by our natural citizenry, bent over my laptop and dabbing myself with “Les Temps d’Une Fete” and “Odalisque.” Go figure.

Dr. Muir is the author, most recently, of The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives, from Random House/Schocken Books, as well as The Artificial Paradise: Science Fiction and American Culture, in the “Studies in Literature and Science” series from the University of Michigan Press; and a volume of poetry, During Ceasefire, from Harper & Row.

She has received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry; two Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, in poetry and nonfiction; the Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University’s Council for the Humanities, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Fellowship; the Nancy Dasher Award for the Best Book in the creative writing category, from the College English Association of Ohio; the Walter Rathenau Postdoctoral Fellowship in Science and Culture Studies from the Technische Universitat Berlin, and other awards. Her poetry and prose have been published in numerous journals including Stand, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Harvard Magazine, Partisan Review, and Parnassus.

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