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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Faculty News & Newcity’s Summer Guide

In Faculty News: Please join the English Department in congratulating Kathleen Rooney for being named 2013 winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry for her novel-in-poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012).

A review in Booklist noted the following of Robinson Alone: “Rooney’s syncopated wordplay, supple musicality, and cinematic descriptions subtly embody… Robinson’s sardonic grace under pressure. An intricate, psychologically luminous homage, tale of American loneliness, and enthralling testament to poetry’s resonance.” Congrats, Prof. Rooney!

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Curbside Splendor Publishing is holding their second monthly Salon Splendor event tomorrow, Thursday, May 16th, at 7:30 p.m., and one of the evening’s featured readers is DePaul’s own Christine Sneed. The show will take place at Madame Zuzu’s, 582 Roger Williams Ave. in Highland Park.

The theme this month, Passages, will be taken on by authors Christine Sneed, Jac Jemc, and Scott Garson. The night will end with live music by house band Good Evening.

The series is confirmed through October, on the third Thursday of each month. Space is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP at sarah@madamezuzus.com.

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Next week, Newcity, Chicago’s free weekly alternative newspaper, is publishing their annual Summer Guide, and they’re looking for submissions. According to head editor Brian Hieggleke, “It’s one of the most free-wheeling issues we publish all year, on one of our favorite subjects, summer in (and around) the city.”

Newcity is looking for a wide range of meditations on the season, from the trenchant essay to the wistful memoir, from the dream state to the concrete. While they are not actively soliciting poetry, they’re not ruling it out, either.

They are also looking for learned and practical insights into summer (how to pack a proper picnic for Pritzker Pavilion, how to make the perfect summer cocktail, how to bbq on the lakefront), regional travel service pieces (what’s shakin’ at the House on the Rock? Is Detroit really the Chicago of the future?), and even itsy bitsy bon mots about a few of your favorite things about summer in Chicago. Please be specific in your pitch letter.

See summer.newcity.com for an archive of previous summer issues and see their guidelines page for more information. The deadline for copy for the Summer Guide is Saturday, May 18th, but sooner is better.

Faculty News: Ted Anton’s Nonfiction Book Release

In Faculty News, we are excited to announce the upcoming release of Professor Ted Anton‘s new book, The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business and the Fountain of Youth, which will be released by the University of Chicago Press on May 1st, 2013.

In addition to The Longevity Seekers, Anton has written two other books, Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World (2001) and, Eros, Magic and the Murder of Professor Culianu (1996), and co-edited a collection called The New Science Journalist.

The Longevity Seekers is a nonfiction account of the scientific search for a longevity gene. From the press release:

longevityseekersPeople have searched for the fountain of youth everywhere from Bimini to St. Augustine. But for a steadfast group of scientists, the secret to a long life lies elsewhere: in the lowly lab worm. By changing the expression of just a few key genes, these scientists were able to lengthen worms’ lifespans up to ten-fold, while also controlling the onset of many of the physical problems that beset old age. As the global population ages, the potential impact of this discovery on society is vast—as is the potential for profit.

With The Longevity Seekers, science writer Ted Anton takes readers inside this tale that began with worms and branched out to snare innovative minds from California to Crete, investments from big biotech, and endorsements from TV personalities like Oprah and Dr. Oz. Some of the research was remarkable, such as the discovery of an enzyme in humans that stops cells from aging. And some, like an oft-cited study touting the compound resveratrol, found in red wine—proved highly controversial, igniting a science war over truth, credit, and potential profit. As the pace of discovery accelerated, so too did powerful personal rivalries and public fascination, driven by the hope that a longer, healthier life was right around the corner. Anton has spent years interviewing and working with the scientists at the frontier of longevity science, and this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art research and the impact it might have on global public health, society, and even our friends and family.

With spectacular science and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Longevity Seekers has all the elements of a great story and sheds light on discoveries that could fundamentally reshape human life.

“If live to be 150 — and thanks to Ted Anton I now know how – I doubt I will ever read a book about the
science of aging as enthralling as The Longevity Seekers. John Seabrook, New Yorker

“Research, money, and ego are the basic ingredients in the modern day quest to live longer—or forever. Ted Anton takes us into the laboratories and boardrooms in the worldwide competition for longevity, and with expertise and wit tells a wondrous story of contemporary science.”   Daniel S. Greenberg, author of Science for Sale

Although The Longevity Seekers doesn’t hit the shelves until May 1st, the DePaul community has a special chance to hear Anton read from the book TONIGHT. Please join Prof. Anton and the Visiting Writers Program on Monday, April 8th at 6:00 pm in the Richardson Library room 115 for this event, which is free and open to the public. You can see the details and the event flyer in this previous post.

Anton will be doing another reading event for The Longevity Seekers in May at DePaul’s Loop campus. Please check back with Ex Libris to find out when the date, time, and location of this reading are announced.

Faculty News: Barrie Jean Borich Releases New Memoir

In today’s Faculty News, we extend our congratulations to Prof. Barrie Jean Borich. Borich joined DePaul’s creative writing faculty last fall, and this spring she is celebrating the release of her third creative nonfiction book, Body Geographic. Body Geographic is published by the University of Nebraska Press and was selected for inclusion in the American Lives Series, edited by Tobias Wolff.

From the official press release:

A memoir from the award-winning author of My Lesbian Husband, Barrie Jean Borich’s Body Geographic turns personal history into an inspired reflection on the points where place and person intersect, where running away meets running toward, and where dislocation means finding oneself.

One coordinate of Borich’s story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and bodygeographicthe other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich’s own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family’s, and her fellow travelers’ in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain—from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of Midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian— Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.

Body Geographic is as astonishingly original as it is profoundly humane. Barrie Jean Borich writes of the body, the psyche, the land, and real life with a reach so grand and a mastery so definitive it clutches the heart. This is a beautiful, bold, blow-your-mind book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Body Geographic is dizzying in its inward sweep, daring in its out-flung absorption. Barrie Jean Borich tunnels through time, space, sex, and language to give us a new map projection of the North American continent, a distortion that not only clarifies and illuminates but dissolves for good the boundary between personal and public history.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?

“Borich maps place and body, time and space, personal history and the history of the American Midwest, in prose that makes me want to follow her daring journey wherever it leads. A glorious new take on the memoir form.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire

The Chicago leg of Borich’s Body Geographic book tour starts next month and includes the following events:

Friday, April 12th,  2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Body Geographic‘s Chicago book launch
Barrie Jean Borich reading from BODY GEOGRAPHIC
Melanie Hoffert reading from PRAIRIE SILENCE
Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St.

Thursday, May 9th,  2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Barrie Jean Borich reading from BODY GEOGRAPHIC
Rachael Hanel reading from WE’LL BE THE LAST ONES TO LET YOU DOWN
The Book Cellar Chicago, 4736-38 N Lincoln Ave.

Tuesday, May 21st,  2013 at 6:00 p.m.
DePaul University Writers’ Series
Richardson Library, Room 115

Passionate Professors Flyer

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Borich will also be one of two professors featured in Sigma Tau Delta’s “Passionate Professors” event taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12th from 5-7 p.m. in Room 202 of Arts & Letters Hall.

Christine Sneed will be the other featured professor, and both will be discussing their recently released books.

See the flyer for more details.

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Finally, there’s a way to get even more involved in the Body Geographic book launch. From now until March 16th, Borich is asking everyone to create a visual response— a photo, a drawing, etc.,– to the prompt “The Map That Made Me.”

You can email your image to bodygeographic@gmail.com, post the map on the Barrie Borich WHAT IS THE MAP THAT MADE YOU_Nonfiction-Universe Facebook page, or tweet your map with some kind of identifying info @BOOKofBJB.

The goal of the project is to post as many maps as possible, as an “autogeography slide show” online as a visual community conversation about places, bodies, and memories. All invited to participate, and you do not have to be an artist.

Click to enlarge the flyer for complete details.

For more information about Borich, Body Geographic, and “The Map That Made Me,”– including a book trailer– visit barriejeanborich.com.

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!

Faculty News: Book Release for Francesca Royster

Don’t forget, today is the deadline to submit your work to Threshold! Email it in by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT for your chance at having your work published in DePaul’s annual student-run literary arts magazine!

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BookLaunchforRoysterfinalIn Faculty News (and on-campus readings!): Congratulations to DePaul English professor Francesca Royster on the release of her new book, Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era.

Please join the English Department, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Department of African and Black Diaspora Studies in celebrating Dr. Royster’s new book on February 19th, 2013, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in the Rosati Room 300 of the Richardson Library for a reading and reception.

Sounding Like a No-No traces a rebellious spirit in post–civil rights black music by focusing on a range of offbeat, eccentric, queer, or slippery performances by leading musicians influenced by the cultural changes brought about by the civil rights, black nationalist, feminist, and LGBTQ movements, who through reinvention created a repertoire of performances that have left a lasting mark on popular music. The book’s innovative readings of performers including Michael Jackson, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, and Meshell Ndegeocello demonstrate how embodied sound and performance became a means for creativity, transgression, and social critique, a way to reclaim imaginative and corporeal freedom from the social death of slavery and its legacy of racism, to engender new sexualities and desires, to escape the sometimes constrictive codes of respectability and uplift from within the black community, and to make space for new futures for their listeners. The book’s perspective on music as a form of black corporeality and identity, creativity, and political engagement will appeal to those in African American studies, popular music studies, queer theory, and black performance studies; general readers will welcome its engaging, accessible, and sometimes playful writing style, including elements of memoir.

This event is free and open to the public.

Celebrate James Baldwin’s Legacy, Kathleen Rooney’s Book Release, & More!

The DePaul English Department is cosponsoring an event with the LGBTQ Studies Program, “James Arthur Baldwin: Legacy.”  This roundtable discussion on the impact of the thought, writing, and activism of James Baldwin is occasioned by the 50th anniversary of the publication of Another Country and “Down at the Cross,” 25 years after his passing.

Please join Keynote speaker Randall Kenan of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and roundtable panelists Ernest Hardy, Los Angeles based writer‐critic; Bill Johnson Gonzalez, English Literature, DePaul University; Daniel McNeil, Ida B. Wells Barnett University Professor, DePaul University; and Lisa C. Moore, Publisher, RedBone Press for this timely discussion. The event will take place from 2:00‐4:30 p.m. in the SAC Room 161 and is free and open to the public.

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On October 30th, the Department of English will be hosting a reading for Professor Kathleen Rooney to celebrate the release of her new novel in poems, Robinson Alone. Robinson Alone is based on the life and work of Weldon Kees, and has just been released by Gold Wake Press.

Join Prof. Rooney for a reading and reception on October 30th, at 6:00pm in the Richardson Library on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus in Room 115.  Refreshments will be served.

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Call for papers: BEYOND THE MARGINS May 17-18, 2013  at  DePaul University

Beyond the Margins, a graduate student conference hosted by the Media and Cinema Studies program in the College of Communication at DePaul University, invites current graduate students in any discipline to submit proposals focused on the dialectic between the mainstream and the marginal as it occurs within various media. This conference will serve as a forum to bring together graduate students with similar interests to share and discuss his/her work, with the general public welcome in the audience. Panelists are invited to approach the concept of marginality and the media from such critical perspectives as culture and representation, technology and distribution, history and canonization, audiences and journalism, creators and transgression, among other approaches.

Each panelist will be given up to 20 minutes to present their paper. Potential topics for papers and panels include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of the academy in ‘reclaiming’ neglected media texts
  • Case studies of marginalized films, programs, texts, etc.
  • The ‘mainstreaming’ of sub-culture
  • The phenomenon of ‘cultural currency’ and media products
  • Cult audiences
  • ‘Trash’ media texts
  • The ‘cross-over’ phenomenon and media audiences
  • Social media and fandom
  • The political economy of marginal media texts
  • Advertising and niche audiences
  • Marginalization and race, gender and/or sexuality in the media
  • Journalism and the formation of ‘the popular’
  • Public relations as advocate for marginalized audiences, publics, and or stakeholders
  • Public relations as a media advocacy tool
  • Marginal media texts and personal identity

Proposals should be between 250-300 words, and should also provide a list of three to five keywords related to your subject along with a brief biography.

Full panel proposals on a single theme are also welcome, and should include a 250-300 word description of the panel’s larger significance/objectives in addition to each panelist’s individual proposal. Panels must consist of exactly four panelists.

Please email your abstract, keywords and biography to Prof. Blair Davis:  bdavis47@depaul.edu. The deadline for proposals is January 15th. Notification of acceptance will be given by February 1st.

The subject line should contain the writer’s last name followed by “Beyond the Margins Abstract.” Please contact Prof. Davis directly if you have any questions or concerns.

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The Department of Visual Arts at Western University is pleased to announce the interdisciplinary graduate conference (Re)Activating Objects: Social Theory and Material Culture in London, Ontario.

They have issued a Call for Papers for the conference, which will take place March 15-17, 2013.

Re)Activating Objects will investigate the ways material culture provide a lens to examine the systemic structure of our socio-cultural-economic worlds. (Re)Activating Objectspulls from a variety of disciplines and approaches that address the fundamental and theoretical questions about social constructions, social politics, and social ethics.

The topic asks candidates to ‘activate’ objects that are under-theorized and/or ‘reactivate’ objects with shifting or multiple ideologies. Ultimately, how do ‘activated’ objects create a productive discomfort that forces us to ask questions about our current worldviews? Furthermore, can they point us toward an imagined future?

Graduate students at the M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. levels have been invited to submit abstracts for presentations and artist talks from the fields, including but not limited to, visual arts, history, museum studies, indigenous studies, gender studies, and theory. (Re)Activating Objects: Social Theory and Material Culture will build on existing research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in a number of disciplines. The multidisciplinarity of (Re)Activating Objects encourages participants to bring their particular  trajectory and field of study to the conference for a lively and collegial exchange of ideas. Successful candidates will also be considered for a corresponding online publication.

For inquiries, please contact reactivating.objects@gmail.com. The due date for abstract submissions is: December 5th, 2012.

More details can be found at the conference website, reactivatingobjects.wordpress.com.