Greetings Fall 2013

On behalf of the graduate faculty in the Department of English, we would like to welcome the fifty students who will begin their master’s studies this warm September.

For our friends and students returning to DePaul after a summer of adventure, literature, and stories, we extend a warm greeting and a blank page. We’re very excited to read the new poems, stories, and ideas summer break has inspired.

Prof. Ted Anton

I’m delighted to fill in for Prof. Michele Morano as Acting Director of the MA program in Writing and Publishing this fall and look forward to working with all of you. This year we have a particularly robust slate of courses in both areas of our program, from fiction, poetry, nonfiction and multi-genre workshops to classes in digital publishing, literary editing, and the independent press.exlibris2 We’re also thrilled to welcome back professor and poet Chris Green as our dedicated internship coordinator. Prof. Rebecca Johns-Trissler is putting together a terrific slate of visiting writers for the year, and we’re planning a number of events to showcase the work of both graduate students and faculty members. Keep an eye on Ex Libris for campus events and meetings, and consider becoming involved in the English Graduate Students Association (EGSA). In the meantime, please stop by my office in 312-23 Arts and Letters Hall and say hello.

Prof. John Shanahan

This is an exciting time in the Master’s in English program. We are running innovative new literature seminars this year such as Prof. Marcy Dinius’ “Topics in Digital Humanities,” Prof. Rich Squibbs’ course on the relations between the country and the city in the long 18th century, and Prof. Anne Clark Bartlett’s “Topics in Medieval Literature: Women Writing, Writing About Women.” We will continue to offer more courses in literature of all periods and in teaching topics. I believe that a vibrant and rigorous Master’s degree is a vital resource in today’s economy, and a report on the Master’s degree in English issued in June 2011 by the Modern Language Association confirms that our curriculum, for which training in pedagogy is stressed as well as original research, is ahead of the curve of national practice. I intend in the coming years to do all that I can to enhance the program further and to continue to foster excellent scholars and teachers. We can look forward this year to visiting writers, student socials and readings, faculty lectures, and the Spring Conference. Please feel free to make an appointment to speak with me so we can discuss your academic plans.

ExLibrisOneJosh Fisher, a first-year student and Graduate Assistant in the Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing, is the new editor of Ex Libris. He will be in charge of keeping the online newsletter and magazine up to date. Share any information or news on yourself, programs, events, and organizations that would interest students and faculty in the MAE and MAWP programs. He is excited to announce that Ex Libris will be experiencing a facelift this year. The new design will make it easier to access resources and news from your mobile device and computer. If you have any new features or ideas that you believe would take Ex Libris to the next level or may interest students, feel free to email Josh at JFISHE33@depaul.edu

Graduate students are being called to rally behind the English Graduate Student Association. There will be exciting developments in the coming weeks and the EGSA is looking for new members. Those looking to take on a leadership role are encouraged to apply. For information about EGSA activities, check the Ex Libris blog.

Best wishes for a successful fall quarter and an exciting, rewarding academic year. Graduate study is hectic, challenging, draining, but also exhilarating, fulfilling, and all too short. Come June 2013 (2014, 2015, …) we will see you cross the stage at the commencement ceremony to receive your Master of Arts degree. With this you will commence the next stage of your life as a thinker, scholar, reader, and writer.

Very best wishes,
John Shanahan and Ted Anton

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Student News, H. Peter Steeves on Campus, & More!

Today in Student News, we’re excited to announce that not one but two current MAWP students will have poems published in After Hours Issue 27, Summer 2013.

Congratulations to David Mathews on the publication of his poem “Urban Archer.”

And congratulations as well to M.R. Byrd on the publication of his poem, “Athena.”

The Summer 2013 issue will be released at the Printers Row Book Fair, June 8-9th; if you’re at the fair, stop by the After Hours table to pick up a copy and check out David and M.R.’s poetry!

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Steeves May 22The DePaul Humanities Center would like to invite you to its next on campus event. H. Peter Steeves will be presenting “The About Time Show” on Wednesday, May 22nd, at 7:00 p.m. at the DePaul Student Center, room 120.

From the flyer: “The About Time Show is an interdisciplinary, multimedia investigation of temporality and the physics and metaphysics of time. We are all in the midst of time, at its mercy, held “green and dying,” hoping at best to sing in our chains like the sea. Yet what is time? It does not seem to be something in itself that we can experience, though it is necessary for there to be experience at all. We do not experience time, but rather we experience events taking place in time.

However, if time can be warped and bent—as must be the case if space and time are essentially the same thing—then time must be some thing in itself. By taking up a philosophic analysis of the scientifi c and ontological issues in a way that engages the arts (especially literature, music, dance, and theatre) and the humanities, The About Time Show proposes to make clearer how we exist outside of eternity, caught up in a realm of Becoming rather than Being, investigating together what it means to be in time and even, perhaps, discovering how to travel backwards in it.”

This event is free and open to the public.

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Soft Skull Press, an imprint of Counterpoint press, is hiring! They are looking for a Publishing Assistant to join their team. This is an entry-level position based in Counterpoint’s Berkeley, CA offices. If you are interested, please send a cover letter & résumé to: pubasstjob@counterpointpress.com.

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The Artifice, an online magazine that covers a wide spectrum of art forms (including Film, Anime, Comics, Literature, Arts, etc.), is actively looking for new writers. The website is collaboratively built and maintained by its writers. While writing for The Artifice does not pay, the platform has an established audience of millions.

The Artifice is currently expanding and would like to provide an opportunity for students to join their team of writers.

Any questions can be addressed to Alyson Burston at editor@the-artifice.com. To apply online, visit the-artifice.com/write.

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Word Lab flier

826CHI’s upcoming summer ELL workshop, The Word Laboratory, is seeking volunteer tutors to work individually with 826CHI’s youngest learners (1st through 4th graders) as they practice all of the great skills they have gained this school year. Those interested would need to be available to volunteer a few hours a week between July 8th – August 1st, 2013. There are many volunteer slots yet to fill. No previous experience with ELL students or special language skills necessary – just a strong interest in working with kids in a creative/educational setting.

For more information, visit www.826chi.org. To apply, please contact Kendra Curry, Director of Volunteer Services, at Kendra@826chi.org.

Printer’s Row Lit Fest Seeks Volunteers & A Reading by Mahmoud Saeed

Chicago Tribune’s annual Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest, drawing more than 125,000 book lovers and featuring over 250 authors and 150 booksellers, is approaching. Events will run all weekend on June 8th – 9th, 2013. The event’s success relies on over 200 volunteers and the organizers are looking for more help!

Benefits of being a Lit Fest Volunteer include free t-shirt, free lunch and rubbing elbows with authors such as Judy Blume, cartoonist Art Spiegelman, celebrity chef Rick Bayless and more.

The volunteer application can be found online at: http://trib.in/ZE9azZ. More information about this year’s presenters and other frequently asked questions can be found at: printersrowlitfest.org.

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The DePaul Humanities Center invites the DePaul community to attend a conversation with author Mahmoud Saeed and translator Kay Heikkenen about the just-released English translation of Saeed’s landmark Arab novel, Ben Barka Lane. Join them on Wednesday, May 22nd from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in room 400 of the Richardson Library (2350 N. Kenmore Avenue).

Saeed 05 22 13 libraryOriginally banned in Iraq, Ben Barka Lane was later presented with the Iraqi Ministry of Information Award.  It now appears for the first time in English translation.

In Ben Barka Lane we see the Morocco of the late 1960s through the eyes of a young political exile from Iraq—its beauty and misery, its unforgettable people. In this contemporary classic, Mahmoud Saeed offers us a unique portrait of a time and place, and a tale of the passion, politics, vengeance, and betrayal that take place there. “A landmark of the modern Arab novel,” in the words of one critic, Ben Barka Lane is now, at last, in English translation, as compelling today as when first published.

Sharqi, a political refugee from Iraq, comes to Morocco in 1964 and finds work as a high-school teacher in the small city of al-Mohammadiya. But Morocco proves no safe haven: the country is in political and social turmoil, as the state suppresses the recent leftist opposition led by Mahdi ben Barka. The opposition is scattered and the Hassan government is cracking down everywhere. Al-Mahdi himself has been forced to flee and has disappeared; rumor claims he has been killed in France. Sharqi just intends to keep his head down, and ride out the chaos. But he meets Habib, a friend and comrade of al-Mahdi, who, despite a severe heart condition, is considered a threat by the government. Habib is living in a kind of internal exile; his residence is now restricted by the government to this small town. Under these difficult circumstances, Sharqi and Habib form a close bond of friendship. But this brief respite ends with the appearance of Ruqayya, a beautiful young woman whose mysterious motives will divide them, and set off a chain of events and intrigue that no one could foresee.

Mahmoud Saeed, a prominent Iraqi novelist, has written more than 20 novels and short story collections. He was imprisoned several times and left Iraq in 1985 after the authorities banned the publication of some of his novels, including Ben Barka Lane (1970), which later won the Ministry of Information Award in 1994. He is an Arabic language instructor and author-in-residence at DePaul University in Chicago. He and his work have been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Al Jazeera, and The New Yorker.

Kay Heikkinen received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and now teaches Arabic language at the University of Chicago. She is the translator of In the Time of Love by Naguib Mahfouz.

 

Student News, Stanley Fish at DePaul, & an Essay Contest

REMINDER: Registration for Fall Quarter 2013 begins this week. Check Campus Connect to find out your exact registration date and time and to fill your course cart. English Graduate classes are posted on Ex Libris under Autumn 2013, and are being updated with course descriptions from the professors.

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In Student News: Congratulations to MAWP student Lisa Applegate, whose piece, “Heartland Love Story: This Is What Your Government Would Tear Asunder,” was published as the cover story of this week’s Newcity magazine. Lisa originally wrote “Heartland Love Story” for Prof. Ted Anton’s Literature of Fact class in Winter 2013. In addition to reading Lisa’s work in Newcity online, you can also pick up physical copies of the magazine for free around the city, including at DePaul’s Richardson Library.

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Fish 05-08-13The DePaul Humanities Center would like to invite the DePaul community to attend the next event in their Nostalgia and The Age of Enlightenment Series. On Wednesday, May 8th, 2013  at 6:00 p.m. in room 314 of the DePaul Student Center, (2250 N. Sheffield Avenue), prominent literary theorist and New York Times columnist Stanley Fish will present: What are the Humanities Worth?”

This talk considers two recent books in the ‘crisis of the humanities’ genre, and finds in them opposing attitudes toward what both authors see as the accelerating decline of the humanities. One author is trying to think up strategies for slowing down the decline; the other believes that the decline and eventual demise can’t happen fast enough. After drawing out these positions, Fish makes a distinction between the humanities in general and the academic study of the humanities, and then asks what would be lost if the latter were allowed to wither. In order to have an object before us as we think about the question, he will analyze two poems by George Herbert , “The Holdfast” and “The Forerunners.”

Stanley Fish is the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor and a professor of law at Florida International University, in Miami, and dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins and Duke University, in Durham, N.C. Fish is the author of 10 books, including “How Milton Works,” “The Trouble With Principle”, “Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change” and “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too.” His essays and articles have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Atlantic and The New York Times.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Notting Hill Editions is delighted to announce The William Hazlitt Essay Prize, a new annual literary prize for the best essay in the English language, published or unpublished, on any subject. The award is named in honour of William Hazlitt (1778-1830), great master of the miscellaneous essay.

The prize will be judged on the originality of the ideas, the quality of the prose and the ability to communicate to a wide audience. All entries for the competition must be between 2,000 and 8,000 words.

Award value: £15,000. Five runners-up will each receive £1000.
Judges: Harry Mount (chair), Gaby Wood, Adam Mars-Jones, Lady Antonia Fraser, David Shields.

Eligibility / Submissions:

  • Authors of any nationality are eligible, but submissions must have been written originally in English.
  • If already published, the essay must have appeared for the first time in periodical (print or online) rather than book form, between January 1st, 2012 and July 31st, 2013.
  • Submissions (one entry per author) may be made by author, publication or agent. Submission of an essay by a publisher or other third party will be taken as agreement by the author that he/she is willing for the submitted work to be considered. The judges reserve the right to call in any unsubmitted eligible essay.

Submissions deadline: August 1st, 2013.

Entries must include a cover letter and be uploaded to the NHE website using the link nottinghilleditions.com/essay-prize. Each entry must be paginated with the title of the essay on the top of each page. All entries must also be double-spaced. Please only include author name on the covering letter so that authors remain anonymous to the judges. There is an entry fee of £10 to cover administration payable via our website.

Complete terms and conditions can be found at: nottinghilleditions.com/essay-prize.

For further information contact Jessica Lawrence at essayprize@nottinghilleditions.com.

Student News, Liberal Arts Week at the Career Center, & More

Today in Student News, congratulations to MAWP student Raul Palma, whose story “The Roasting Box” recently placed in the top 25 in Glimmer Train’s January 2013 Very Short Fiction contest. Raul, who graduates in June, is also excited to announce that after DePaul, he will be moving on to the Creative Writing PhD program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he’s received full funding for six years. All of us at the English Department send him our best wishes!

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Next week, April 8th-12th, is Liberal Arts Week at the DePaul Career Center. The Career Center is providing a new week-long series of events for LAS students including workshops, panels and job fairs such as:

  • Non For Profit/Government Job Fair
  • Going Global
  • What Not To Wear Fashion Show
  • Headshots for Linkedin.com
  • Identifying and Marketing Your Super Powers
  • Beyond 9-5: Do What You Love

Register for Liberal Arts Week events on DePaul.Experience.com, event type “Liberal Arts Week”. For more information on Liberal Arts Week, including how to register and a complete list of employers who will be present at the Nonprofit/Government Career Fair, please visit: careercenter.depaul.edu/liberalartsweek. See flyer below for a complete schedule of events.

Liberal-Arts-Week-Schedule

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The DePaul Humanities Center invites everyone in the DePaul community to attend the next event in their Faculty Fellows Series. On Friday, April 19th from 12:00-3:00 p.m., and Saturday, April 20th from 10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m., at the Cortelyou Commons (2324 N. Fremont St.), Faculty Fellow Elizabeth Rottenberg will present Death Penalties. You can download a PDF of the complete conference schedule here: DeathPenaltyEvents_19-20April agenda.

DeathPenaltiesFlyerThis conference is magnetized by two events.  The first is the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.  On July 1, 2011, Illinois became the sixteenth North American state to abolish the death penalty. The total number of executions in 1999 (the peak year since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976) was 98; the total number of executions in 2010 was 46; 2011 and 2012 each saw 43 individuals executed in the United States.

The second event at the heart of this conference is the publication of Jacques Derrida’s Death Penalty seminar.  The writings of Jacques Derrida constitute one of the major intellectual achievements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  But it is perhaps in his 42 years of lecture courses or ‘seminars’ that Derrida speaks most directly to the urgent and disturbing issues confronting humanity and the humanities today.  And nowhere are these issues more pressing than in the Death Penalty seminar, which will appear in English translation in 2013 (v. 1, translated by Peggy Kamuf) and 2014 (v. 2, translated by Elizabeth Rottenberg).

By bringing together the very people who have helped to make these events possible—the literary critics, philosophers, journalists, and lawyers whose work on the death penalty has made abolition both thinkable and actual in the United States—this conference will not only contribute to a principled, philosophical abolitionist discourse but will also forge new ways of speaking and strategizing about abolition across disciplinary boundaries.”

Elizabeth Rottenberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Comparative Literature Program at DePaul University, and is also currently a candidate at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.  She is the author of Inheriting the Future: Legacies of Kant, Freud, and Flaubert (Stanford, 2005) and has translated books by Lyotard, Derrida, and Blanchot. She is the editor and translator of Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews (1971-2001) by Jacques Derrida (Stanford, 2001) as well as the co-editor (with Peggy Kamuf) of the two volume edition of Jacques Derrida’s Psyche: Inventions of the Other (Stanford, 2007/2008).

Call for Papers, Gulf Coast Writing Contest, & More

The DePaul English Department is excited to announce a Call for Papers for the Fourth Annual Spring English Conference. This student-run conference, formerly known as the EGSA Conference, will be held on the afternoon of Friday, May 3rd, 2013 in Arts & Letters Hall.

We encourage all DePaul English graduate students to submit their works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, literary studies, and more by April 2nd, 2013.

Click over to the Spring Conference page on Ex Libris to get complete guidelines on how to submit your work. You can also browse archives of previous years’ conferences…and don’t forget to stay tuned to Ex Libris to hear about our keynote speaker!

The DePaul English Conference is an excellent opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to showcase their work among a positive, supportive community of DePaul faculty and peers. If you have never publicly read your work before, consider this student-run conference. We look forward to making it a rewarding event for everyone involved!

Submissions and inquiries can be directed to: depaulenglishconference2013@gmail.com. 

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A final reminder that tomorrow, Friday, March 8th, is the last day to submit your creative work to Threshold, Depaul’s literary arts magazine!

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The DePaul Humanities Center extends its invitation to a reading with author and DePaul faculty member Christine Sneed on Wednesday, March ChristineSneed 03-13-13 finvers feb27fin13th, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in room 314 of the DePaul Student Center. Prof. Sneed will be reading from her new novel, Little Known Facts, recently featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. (You can read Ex Libris’s recent writeup of Sneed’s new book here.)

Christine Sneed teaches creative writing at DePaul University. Her first book, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, was a 2009 AWP Grace Paley Prize winner, a finalist for the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Award, winner of the 2011 John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, and winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2011 Book of the Year. The San Francisco Chronicle also chose Portraits as one of the fifty best fiction books of 2011.  Her short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals, including PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Meridian, and Pleiades.

All are invited to attend this unique opportunity to hear from a gifted writer, one of DePaul’s own, reading from just-published work for free.

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And finally: There’s only one week left to submit to the annual Gulf Coast Prizes–the Gulf Coast Prize Contest closes March 15th. The contest awards a total of $6,000 to poets, essayists, and fiction writers. This year’s judges are Stanley Plumly (Poetry), Maggie Shipstead (Fiction), and Darin Strauss (Nonfiction/Lyric Essay).

The winner in each genre receives $1,500, and there are two $250 honorable mentions in each genre. The winners will appear in Gulf Coast 26.1, due out in Fall 2013, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on the Gulf Coast website as Online Exclusives.

Gulf Coast is accepting submissions both via the online submissions manager and via postal mail. The $23 reading fee includes a year-long subscription to Gulf Coast. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2013. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Fiction and nonfiction entrants may submit one piece, up to 7,000 words; poetry entrants may submit as many as five poems, up to ten pages. Multiple entries (or entries in more than one genre) are allowed, but entrants must pay a separate reading fee each time. Click here for how to enter.

Faculty News: Christine Sneed’s Debut Novel

In Faculty News, congratulations to Prof. Christine Sneed. This week marked the release of Sneed’s debut novel, Little Known Facts. From the official press release:

sneed_little_known_factsThe people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature—his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, his colleagues in the film industry—long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn’s grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less-important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.

From Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Christine Sneed comes the debut novel LITTLE KNOWN FACTS (Bloomsbury / February 12, 2013 / $25, hardcover), which peels back the layers of fame, family, and identity surrounding a charismatic Hollywood star. With each chapter from the point of view a different person caught in Renn’s web of celebrity, Sneed shows us the man in full and the effects of fame on the people to whom he is closest. Will, in his late twenties, is unmoored, has never had a real job. Anna is an earnest and hardworking medical intern who eventually falls for a married man of her father’s age. The first Mrs. Ivins can’t seem to keep a relationship going in the years since her marriage fell apart because no man can stand in Renn’s shadow. The second Mrs. Ivins has just published an expose titled This Isn’t Gold. Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects—the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst.

With Little Known Facts Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass.

Little Known Facts is juicy enough to appeal to our prurience but smart enough not to make us feel dirty afterward…Sneed is such a gifted writer…Her depiction of both proximity to  celebrity and celebrity itself had me totally convinced.” – Curtis Sittenfled, New York Times Book Review (cover)

“An entertaining, formally inventive read …the world that Sneed creates in Little Known Facts — a blend of truth and fiction that weaves real life actors and directors into Renn’s everyday life — makes for a clever take and a fun read.” – Los Angeles Times

 “Sneed follows her award-winning short story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, with an ensnaring first novel that delves into the complex challenges and anguish of living with and in the shadow of celebrity. Sneed’s wit, curiosity, empathy, and ability to divine the perfect detail propel this psychologically exquisite, superbly realized novel of intriguing, caricature-transcending characters and predicaments…As Sneed illuminates each facet of her percussively choreographed plot via delectably slant disclosures––overheard conversations, snooping, tabloids, confessions under duress, and journal entries, among them—she spotlights ‘little known facts’ about the cost of fame, our erotic obsession with movie-star power, and where joy can be found.” – Booklist, starred review

Book reviews and Q&A’s with Sneed have been popping up everywhere from the Tin House blog to Time Out Chicago. You can read them all at www.christinesneed.com.

Women and Children First bookstore, located at 5233 N. Clark Street, will be hosting a release party for Little Known Facts tonight, Thursday February 21st, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Sneed will also be reading from Little Known Facts on DePaul’s campus on Wednesday, March 13th as a part of the DePaul Humanities Center’s New Voices in the Humanities series. Join her at 5:30 p.m. in the DePaul Student Center room 314 for a reception; the reading begins at 6:00 p.m. More information and a flyer to come!