Banned Books Week, Student News, and More

In Student News, congratulations to Mellissa Gyimah (M.A.W.P.), who recently participated in the International Student Voice Magazine essay competition and made the top 10 out of over 700 submissions! You can read Mellissa’s essay on the International Student Voice Magazine’s website.


The Winter 2013 schedule is posted! Please note that this schedule is still subject to change and will be so for a while. Over the next two weeks, we will be adding course descriptions from the professors to the page, so keep checking back as you plan your schedule for the rest of the year.


Banned Books Week runs September 30th through October 6th. The University Center for Writing-based Learning and the DePaul University Libraries are celebrating free speech all week long with a series of banned-book centered events, and they would like extend an invitation to all readers and writers:

Panel Discussion on Free Speech and Book-banning
Thursday, October 4th, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Richardson Library, Room 115
Heather Jagman, Coordinator of Library Instruction and Lauri Dietz and Rene De los Santos of the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department will sit for a panel discussion about censorship and intellectual freedom.

Banned Books Readings
Tuesday, October 2nd through Thursday, October 4th, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lincoln Park Student Center Atrium
During these times, the UCWbL Outreach Team will be hosting open readings of banned and challenged books, including favorites like Howl,  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and …And Tango Makes Three. All are invited to stop by and listen, or grab a book from the table and step up to the mic.

Speaking of Speech…
Wednesday, October 3rd, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Loop Student Center Atrium
Show up and engage in an open discussion about information accessibility and First Amendment rights.


And finally, an important reminder to those pursuing the Two-Year College Teaching Certificate: Applications for Two-Year College Teaching Internships for Winter/Spring 2013 are due electronically on Thursday, October 11th.

If you have previously applied, please send Dr. Carolyn Goffman ( updated CV, transcripts, and one-page letter; if you choose, you may also submit a new writing sample.

If you have not already spoken with Dr. Goffman about the internships, or if you simply want to find out more about this program, please email her to make an appointment.

To apply, please email the following materials to

  • One-page letter in which you 1) explain your interest in two-year college teaching; 2) list any other jobs or obligations that would affect your availability; and 3) answer this: Do you have a car, or will you be relying on public transportation to get to your internship?
  • Curriculum Vitae. Include names of two DePaul faculty members who know your work; you do NOT have to provide letters of recommendation
  • Writing Sample: academic or creative writing; a substantial piece that shows what you can do.
  • DePaul transcripts (these can be sent through Campus Connect)
  • Other transcripts if you are not in the MAE or MAWP program. These do not have to be official transcripts. You may scan and email those to me.

For a list of available internships, current students should check their email. If you would like to find out more about the Two-Year College Teaching Certificate, please visit the official web page, and contact Dr. Goffman with any other questions or concerns.


Early October Events

Believe it or not, next week begins the month of October, and once again, there are tons of great literary events happening on and around campus. Grab your calendars, and we’ll see you there!

One Book One Chicago at Depaul- Oct. 2nd and 10th

Every year, the city of Chicago and Chicago Public Libraries host a series of events for the One Book, One Chicago (OBOC) program, an “opportunity to engage and enlighten our residents, foster a sense of community and create a culture of reading in our city.” DePaul University is proud to be the host of two OBOC events this October:

The Book Thief and the History of Reading
Tuesday, October 2nd, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus
Arts and Letters Hall, Room 207
2315 N. Kenmore Avenue
For The Book Thief’s Liesel Meminger, reading is a means of both resistance and reconciliation. With attention to literature’s changing material and interpretive practices, DePaul faculty—Jenny Conary and Marcy Dinius, English; Lisa Z. Sigel, History; and Traci Schlesinger, Sociology—discuss what it has meant to be a reader in different times and places, from early modern Europe to today. Sponsored by DePaul University’s Department of English.

The Book as Object
Wednesday, October 10th, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus
John T. Richardson Library, Room 400
2350 N. Kenmore Avenue
A book exists as more than just a vessel for the written word—it’s an artwork, a collectible and, of course, a target for thieves. Join librarian Kathryn DeGraff and artist Matthew Girson, along with cultural critic Rachel Shteir, author of The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting, as they discuss various personal and cultural ways of experiencing The Book beyond reading. Sponsored by DePaul University’s Department of English.

To find out more about OBOC, this year’s selection, and other events around the city, visit the official OBOC events page. All OBOC events are free and open to the public.

Rose Metal Press Flash Nonfiction Reading- Sept. 28th

Rose Metal Press, co-founded by the DePaul English Department’s Kathleen Rooney, will be celebrating the release of their new book The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, which “features 26 eminent writers, editors, and teachers offering expert analysis, focused exercises, and helpful examples of what make the brief essay form such a perfect medium for experimentation, insight, and illumination” with a reading this Friday, September 28th.

The reading will take place at The Book Cellar, located at 4736-38 N Lincoln Ave., and will feature readings by new DePaul faculty member Barrie Jean Borich, as well as Phillip Graham, Jenny Boully and Sue William Silverman, who are all featured in the collection. This event is free and open to the public. See the event page for more information.

DePaul Humanities Center Presents: Indigenous Poetry- Oct. 4th

The DePaul Humanities Center invites everyone to join them at the opening event for the Humanities Center’s New Voices in the Humanities series on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in room 314 of the DePaul Student Center (a reception will precede at 5:30 pm) for an evening of poetry and discussion with three of North America’s most exciting young Indigenous poets.

Natalie Diaz, Santee Frazier, and Orlando White will read selections from their poetry, followed by a discussion and audience Q&A moderated by DePaul Professor Mark Turcotte, exploring ways in which the poets’ Native beliefs and traditions influence and are expressed in their art.

Click on the poster to read more about this event and its three featured poets.

Visiting Writer’s Series: “Writer as Editor/ Editor as Writer” – Oct 5th

The second event in the DePaul Visiting Writer’s Series features Phong Nguyen and Michael Nye and is entitled “Writer as Editor/Editor as Writer” and it takes place on Friday October 5th from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM in Room 115 of the Richardson Library. Lunch will be served.

Please click on the poster for more information about the two featured writers and their upcoming conversation.

Society of Midland Authors Presents: An Evening with Mahmoud Saeed – Oct. 9th

Chicago author and DePaul Visiting Professor Mahmoud Saeed, a native of Iraq, will discuss his novel The World Through the Eyes of Angels, in a Society of Midland Authors program Oct. 9th at the Cliff Dwellers Club, along with one of his translators, Allen Salter of Chicago.

Saeed has written more than 20 novels and short story collections, starting with “Port Saeed and Other Stories” in 1963. That same year, Iraq’s first military-Baathist government seized two of his novels and imprisoned him for a year. After being incarcerated six times, Saeed left Iraq in 1985. He has lived in the United States since 1999, and he now teaches Arabic and Arabic culture at DePaul University.

Salter has lived and traveled in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. He has worked as a teacher and translator. Under the pseudonyms Sam Reaves and Dominic Martell, he has published 10 novels.

They will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor, Chicago. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6 p.m. Reservations are not required. Admission is free, but the Society will accept donations to defray the cost of programs. For more information, see

Community Organizing Job Opportunity, Alumni News, and More

REMINDER: The deadline for applying for PTS awards for the 2012 Spring Quarter is TOMORROW Wednesday, September 26th. Complete instructions and the application form can be found on the MAE and MAWP D2L sites under “Content.”


In Alumni News, congratulations to Marcy Ferrey (MAWP ’12) who recently acquired the position of Digital Content Editor for a new digital startup company, Career Girl Network. Marcy is putting her MAWP skills to work managing all of Career Girl Network’s digital content, writing and editing articles, and developing the website’s video platform.


The Direct Action & Research Training (DART) Center will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, September 27th at 8 p.m. EST to discuss careers in the field of community organizing with students interested in empowering their communities and working for social change, and they are extending a special invitation to DePaul students and almuni in the English programs.

If you are interested in learning more about DART’s community organizing career opportunities, please RSVP by contacting Hannah Wittmer at or calling 785.506.8915 with your name, phone #, email address and year in school. You will then receive instructions for accessing the webinar.

DART is now accepting applications for the 2013 DART Organizers Institute, which trains and places individuals into full-time, salaried careers in community organizing.

The DART Center’s twenty affiliated organization have won important victories on a broad set of justice issues including:

  • Education reform in low-performing public schools
  • Job Training
  • Drugs and Violence
  • Criminal Recidivism
  • Living Wage
  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Predatory Lending
  • Affordable Housing, etc.

The DART Organizers Institute combines a classroom orientation with on the ground infield training at a local grassroots organization and in-field training site.  Organizers are provided with a cost of living stipend and travel. After successful completion of the program, graduates are placed into permanent full-time salaried positions earning $34,000/year + benefits, with an expected commitment to remain within the DART network for a minimum of three years.

The DART Organizers Institute will begin January 7th, 2013 and June 10th, 2013.  Training locations and permanent placements sites include cities in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida.

To find out more about DART or to apply, visit or contact Hannah Wittmer at or (785) 506-8915. The deadline to apply is midnight on October 1st, 2012.

Meet the New GA’s (Part 2)

Happy Friday, Ex Libris readers! Today we are happy to bring you Part 2 of “Meet the New GA’s”. If you missed part one, you can read about Mark, Emily, and Ryan here. Please join me in congratulating all five new GA’s.

Jillian Merrifield

Program & year: Third quarter in the MAWP

GA Role: Writing tutor in the UCWbL, Assistant Coordinator for the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research

Bio:  Jillian (or Jill, she really doesn’t care either way) graduated in 2011 with a BA in teaching English from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.  Since then, she has balanced grad school with working as a dog handler at a daycare, and is relieved to have moved on to a much safer–although slightly less cuddly–job as a GA.  She lives in Oak Park with her boyfriend and brand new puppy, whom she can’t resist bragging about.

Favorite writers:  Vladimir Nabokov, Jhumpa Lahiri, and, on the lighter side, Christopher Moore.  I also have a growing affection for Virginia Woolf, even though the time I need to finish reading Mrs. Dalloway keeps eluding me.

Jill’s Dream Job:  Dog trainer by day, great American novelist by night.  I don’t see that happening, though, because that lifestyle requires patience and an inhuman ability to function without sleep.  Alternatively, it might be fun to teach creative writing.

Nicholas Bruno

Program & year: 1st year, Writing and Publishing

GA role: Associate Editor, Poetry East

Bio: I began college as a biology major, and bought a motorcycle on Craigslist during that first semester which turned out to be stolen property of some sort. Suddenly, I was not only bike-less but also bored with the biology lectures, and I nearly transferred to a flight school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, though before committing to becoming a pilot, I was given a Larry Levis poem and decided to study English at the University of Toledo instead.

Favorite Authors: Lee K. Abbott, Barry Hannah, Miroslav Penkov, Andrew Hudgins.

Nicholas’s Dream Job: Write the great American novel, direct and produce the million-dollar film adaptation, earn royalties until I turn 80 and simply teach part-time at some small college in southern Ohio.


That’s all for today, have a great weekend!

Meet the New GA’s (Part 1)

IMPORTANT REMINDER: TODAY, September 18th, is the last day to drop Fall quarter classes without penalty. If you wish to drop a class, do so on Campus Connect before midnight.

Also: current students, check your email for important information about Partial Tuition Scholarships! Applications for PTS awards are due on Wednesday, September 26th.


And now, it is my pleasure to introduce all of you to three of the English Department’s new Graduate Assistants. We wish them all welcome and congratulations!

Mark R. Brand

Program & year: M.A. in Writing & Publishing, graduating in May 2013.

GA Role: UCWbL Assistant Coordinator for Writing Groups

Bio: Mark is the short fiction editor of Silverthought Press, producer and host of “Breakfast With the Author,” and his books include The Damnation of Memory (2011), Life After Sleep (2011), Thank You, Death Robot (2009), and Red Ivy Afternoon (2006). He was recently highlighted in a story by CBS Chicago on five indie authors and publishers to watch, and he graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2001 with a B.A. in Biology and Sociology. He lives in Evanston with his wife and son.

Favorite Genre & Books: I have a particular love for literary speculative fiction by writers like Margaret Atwood, Gary Shteyngart, Neal Stephenson, and older crossovers like Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Yevgeny Zamyatin. My favorite book is one of the very earliest of these, Jack London’s brilliant and under-read The Iron Heel.

Writer who inspires Mark: I’m a big fan of Chicago writer Ben Tanzer, whose writing feels particularly “alive” to me in a way I can’t yet fully articulate. He also writes some very haltingly honest and terrific things about fatherhood that I couldn’t imagine being more timely.

Book which Mark didn’t expect to enjoy but ended up falling in love with: Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.

Emily Todd

Program & year: First year in the M. A. in English

GA Role: GA for Undergraduate English Program, The Underground Editor

Bio: Emily graduated in 2010 from John Carroll University, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education. From 2010-2012, Emily served as a high school counselor and English faculty (Fall ’11) at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL. Also at the academy, Emily served for one year as the drama coach directing plays such as Rumors, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Our Town. While balancing her time as graduate assistant and full-time student, Emily is serving as a substitute teacher for the Archdiocese of Chicago at several local schools. In her free time, she loves visiting the Century Landmark Theatre for independent films, surfing the net for new and upcoming music artists, running to de-stress, and playing piano.

Favorite Books: Disgrace, The Great Gatsby, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Long Day’s Journey into Night

Favorite Authors: Tennessee Williams, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Flannery O’Connor , Toni Morrison

Authors Emily Hasn’t Read Yet, but Wants to: William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Carson McCullers

Ryan Burdock

Program & year: First year in the M.A. in English

GA Role: Ryan’s primary role is within the UCWbL at both the Lincoln Park and Loop Campuses, with half of his time there as a Peer Writing Tutor, and the other half comprising a Research Team Leader position.

Favorite Era and Writers to Study: I love to read and write papers on American Literature from the latter half of the 20th Century, and as a result my favorite authors are E.L. Doctorow, Thomas Pynchon and Bret Easton Ellis.


If you see Mark, Emily, and Ryan around make sure to say hello! But wait, there are two more new GA’s… so make sure you keep checking in with Ex Libris for Part 2 of  “Meet the New GA’s” as well as the usual updates on all things MAE and MAWP.

Three Calls for Papers

The Nineteenth Century Studies Association has issued a Graduate Forum Call for Papers for its 34th Annual Conference to be held in Fresno, California on March 7-9th, 2013.

Building on the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s 2013 conference theme of Loco/Motion, graduate students are invited to submit proposals about the medium of pilgrimage in the long nineteenth century (1789-1914) to a graduate student forum session.  From religious travels to personal journeys (actual and imagined), this panel seeks abstracts that will address the role of the pilgrim as traveler in the nineteenth century, whether in America or abroad.

Abstracts of 250 words (including the author’s name, paper title, and institutional affiliation) should be sent with a one page CV by email to Emily Bailey at no later than September 25th, 2012.

Presenters will be notified of their acceptance in November 2012.

For further details about the NCSA 2013 conference, please download the flyer posted at


The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies has announced a Call for Papers for its 2013 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. The submission deadline is Monday, October 15th, 2012, and the conference will take place on January 24-26th, 2013.

The center invites abstracts for fifteen-minute papers from master’s or PhD students, on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic in Europe or the Mediterranean or Atlantic worlds. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, anthropology, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, political science, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies.

Eligibility: Proposals are accepted only from students at member institutions of the Center for Renaissance Studies consortium, who may be eligible to apply for reimbursement for travel expenses to attend (visit for details).

Submissions are accepted online only, at


And finally, a Call for Papers from the 2013 annual conference of the Illinois Medieval Association, co-sponsored by the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies. The conference will take place at the Newberry Library in Chicago, February 15-16th, 2013 and the keynote speaker will be Gary Macy of Santa Clara University. The theme of this year’s conference is “Piety, Ritual, and Heresy: The Varieties of Medieval Religious Experience.” Since 1983, IMA has promoted medieval studies in Illinois and the Midwest, hosting an annual meeting and publishing proceedings from those meetings in Essays in Medieval Studies.

Graduate students are invited to submit papers from across the disciplines; preference will be given to submissions related to the conference theme, but abstracts on any aspect of medieval studies are welcome. The conference welcomes proposals for individual papers as well as entire sessions. Three-paper sessions will be scheduled for 90 minutes, with 20 minutes for each paper plus time for discussion. Proposals should include a one-page abstract of the proposed paper, or an abstract for each paper in a proposed session, as well as contact information for the individual submitting the proposal.

Submit proposals electronically to Karen Christianson at, no later than October 15th, 2012. See the IMA’s web page,, for more information.

More September Literary Events

Mark your calendars! The DePaul Visiting Writer’s Series is happy to announce their Fall 2012 schedule of events, the first of which takes place next week.

The first event in the Visiting Writer’s Series is entitled “Local Authors: Chicago’s Own,” and will feature readings by Nami Mun, Aaron Baker, and Eugene Cross. The event takes place Thursday September 20th at 6 p.m. in Room 115 of Richardson Library. Refreshments will be served.

The second event features Phong Nguyen and Michael Nye and is entitled “Writer as Editor/Editor as Writer.” It will take place on Friday October 5th from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Room 115 of the Richardson Library. Lunch will be served.

Finally, on Tuesday October 30th there will be a department-hosted reading for Kathleen Rooney to celebrate her new book, Robinson Alone. 

All Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public. See you there!


The DePaul Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honors Society, is hosting an on-campus event with local author and DePaul graduate Joelle Charbonneau. Charbonneau is the author of several works of children’s and young adult literature, including such books as Murder for Choir: A Glee Club Mystery and Skating on the Edge. She will be reading a portion of her books, speaking about her experience, and participating in a Q&A session.

The event is set for September 27th, at 7 p.m. in Arts & Letters Hall Room 404. Light refreshments will be served.