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.


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.


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.


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 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:

For further information contact Jessica Lawrence at


Alumni News & A Conference Invitation

jimkrauscatIn Alumni News: Jim Kraus (MAW 2008) is pleased to announce the publication of his 22nd book, a novel entitled The Cat That God Sent. It will be released this spring by Abingdon Press.

His previous novel with Abingdon, The Dog That Talked to God, spent two months on the CBA Best Seller list. Congratulations, Jim.


The Department of Visual Arts at Western University in London, Ontario, is pleased to present (Re)Activating Objects: Social (Re)Activating-Objects_POSTERTheory and Material Culture, a three-day interdisciplinary graduate conference, and has extended a special invitation to all DePaul graduate students. Taking place from March 1-3, 2013, the conference will bring together presenters from across Canada and the United States to look at the fundamental and theoretical questions about the systemic structure of our socio-cultural-economic worlds.

The weekend will start off on Friday, March 1st with a keynote talk by Dr. Lane Relyea, Chair of Art Theory & Practice from Northwestern University and editor of Art Journal, on social contracts, DIY Culture, and everyday art. Following this, the McIntosh Gallery is hosting a Friday night reception, and everyone is invited to attend. Saturday and Sunday will be filled with 60 conference presentations. For more information about the conference program, check out:

If you are interested in attending, please register online at is FREE, and it includes admission to the Friday-night reception, admission to the sessions, and coffee and snacks throughout the weekend.

Call for Papers: Humanities and Social Change at Purdue University

REMINDER: Tomorrow, October 23rd, is the last day to drop a Fall Quarter class. See Campus Connect for more information.


Purdue University is pleased to invite all interested graduate students, scholars and professionals to submit abstracts for the 13th Annual Graduate Symposium, “Humanities and Social Change: How Literature Impacts Class, Gender and Identity.” The symposium will take place March 1-2, 2013, at Purdue’s West Lafayette, Indiana, campus. This year the Symposium Committee is honored to welcome Dr. Raúl Coronado from the University of Chicago as keynote speaker.

With its focus on the influence of literature on social change, the Symposium Committee encourages the submission of papers on a variety of topics and disciplines that explore Language, Literature, and Culture. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Gender and sexuality
  • Formation of nation
  • History and identity
  • Literature and visual arts
  • Performance studies
  • Cognitive approaches to literary texts
  • Politics in literature
  • Social oppression
  • Exile literature

Please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words to by December 7th, 2012. In your e-mail submission please specify the presenter’s name, institution of affiliation, e-mail address, and phone number. Please do not include any identifying information on the abstract itself. You will be informed of the committee’s decision after January 10th, 2012. A $30 registration fee will be charged for accepted papers.

Anthony Grafton at the Chicago Humanities Festival and Chicago Shakespeare Internships

The Chicago Humanities Festival is hosting an upcoming event with Anthony Grafton on the past, present, and future of the book. It will take place on Saturday, March 31 at 2pm at First United Methodist Church (77 West Washington Street).

Grafton, a distinguished writer, author, and professor of history at Princeton University, will be giving a lecture entitled, “The Book: Past, Present, and Future,” which the event page describes as:

“Many of us love a good cliffhanger, but today we find ourselves in a state of suspense about the book itself. What happens next for the beloved bound volume? Future generations may well live without books, consuming text on various electronic devices networked to infinitely large databases. Anthony Grafton, professor at Princeton University, is a leading historian of the book. Admired for definitive accounts of the libraries, book trade, and humanistic scholarship of the early modern period, he is best known to a larger public as the author of the bestseller The Footnote: A Curious History and as a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books.  In the age of the e-book, Grafton addresses the crux of the book’s future: are the coming days a techno-utopia, the entire library of world culture at our fingertips, or cause for anguish at the loss of the iconic artifact of learning?”

The venue for the event is very large (almost 1,000), which means that there is an unusually high number of available seats. So the Chicago Humanities Festival has decided to admit DePaul students free of charge. Simply show up at the venue with a valid student ID a half an hour before the start.


There are new internships available at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Casting, Advancement, Education, and Marketing/PR. Applications are due on April 9th. Visit this link for complete internship descriptions and how to apply.


Happy Spring Break to all our current students! Ex Libris will be back on Monday, March 26th.

February Literary Events

Believe it or not, tomorrow is the last day of January. Literary-event-wise, it’s going out with a bang with what is sure to be a fascinating reading and reception with author Mahmoud Saeed at the Lincoln Park campus. Luckily, February will be packed with even more great literary events in and around DePaul. Grab your calendars and get ready for these upcoming literary events from the DePaul Visiting Writers Program, the DePaul Humanities Center, the Guild Literary Complex, and more!

February 2nd – DEPAUL POETS DePaul’s own Mark Turcotte, Chris Green, David Welch and Kathleen Rooney will give a joint reading, which promises to be the epitome of awesome. This event takes place at 6 p.m. at the new DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton.

  • Bonus for current students in the MAWP program: After the reading, all MAWP students are invited to head to Kelly’s Pub, 949 W. Webster (just east of Sheffield) for an informal social gathering. People leaving from the reading will get there around 7:30-8pm, but if you have class that evening, you can still stop by afterwards. This is not a university-sponsored event, but rather a fun, informal meet and greet for students and professors to get together and socialize.

February 14th – HAKI MADHUBUTI and AMINA GAUTIER In an event co-sponsored by African & Black Diaspora Studies and the English Department, the renowned poet Madhubuti, author of more than 20 books, reads with our esteemed colleague, Amina Gautier. The fun takes place in room 300 of the Richardson Library, with a reading from 6-7:30 and a reception from 7:30-8.

February 15th – The Guild Literary Complex presents: Palabra Pura featuring Rey Andújar, Jorge Frisancho, & Juan Dicent. Under the theme Mutant Body/Cuerpo Migrante, the evening will present the body as a space for multiple questions related to the state of transition. What does the body leave behind in its translation/transfer? What does it acquire or adapt? In this sense language is an element that determines more than its sensory definition. It will take place at La Bruquena, 2726 W Division Street, at 7:30 pm. Free and open to the public.

February 17th – The DePaul Humanities Center’s Literature and Music Series and the New Music DePaul Series composer and 2011-2012 faculty fellow Kurt Westerberg present: the inaugural performance of Vision and Prayer (after the poem by Dylan Thomas). This unique concert will take place at 8:00 p.m. in the DePaul Concert Hall (800 W. Belden Ave).

February 29th – DAGOBERTO GILB In an event co-sponsored by the Center for Latino Research and the English Department, Gilb–the award-winning author of The Flowers, Gritos, Woodcuts of Women, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, and The Magic of Blood–reads from his new work, Before the End, After the Beginning. The event takes place at 6 p.m. in Room 115 of the John T. Richardson Library.

Hope to see you out at some of these great events!

NOTE: Last week Ex Libris incorrectly published the time and place of the Writers Guild meetings. The Writers Guild actually meets on Wednesdays from 7:30-9pm in the Arts & Letters lobby. They are always open to new members; review the details here.

Spotlight on: Mahmoud Saeed

This Tuesday, join the DePaul Humanities Center in a very special event with one of DePaul’s visiting writers. Iraqi writer Mahmoud Saeed is marking the release of his newest novel in translation, The World Through the Eyes of Angels with readings from his writings and a round table discussion with Saeed and DePaul faculty members Nesreen Akhtarkhavari (Modern Languages), Carolyn Goffman (English), and Michael McIntyre (International Studies). The event will take place Tuesday, January 31st in room 314 of the Student Center. It will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., and the reading and conversation will start at 6 p.m. 

Mahmoud Saeed is Visiting Fellow/Writer in Residence at the Humanities Center, and also teaches courses in the department of Modern Languages.  A prominent and award-winning Iraqi novelist, he has written more than twenty novels and short story collections. He was born and raised in Mosul, one of the oldest cities in the world, and was imprisoned several times by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Saeed left Iraq in 1985 after the authorities banned the publication of some of his novels, including Zanka bin Baraka (1970), which went on to win Iraq’s Ministry of Information Award in 1993.

Saeed’s first novel translated into English was 2004’s Saddam City (translated from the original title, I Am the One Who Saw). His best-known work, Saddam City is based on his experiences as a political prisoner in Iraq. Claudia Ruth Pierpong gave Saddam City the following review in The New Yorker:

“For all the horror it details, this is a startlingly warm and humane book….the long ordeal is mitigated, both for him and for the reader, by a dose of bitter humor, a share of personal good will, and the mutual trust he discovers among the prisoners….Saeed’s style is plain and direct, without literary pretensions, but with a tone of emotional delicacy that is as odd in the circumstance as it is touching.”

His latest translated novel, The World Through the Eyes of Angels, was the winner of the King Fahd MEST Center for Arabic Literature Translation Award in 2011.

DePaul is very fortunate to have this talented and internationally praised author among our visiting faculty. Tuesday’s reading promises to be a unique opportunity to hear a writer’s perspective on the culture and history of a part of the world that many of us know primarily through war reportage.

The event is free and open to the public.

Student News & DePaul Humanities Center Conference

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Remember the Guild Literary Complex Prose Awards contest? Well, today we are very excited to announce that current M.A.W.P. student Lisa Applegate has been selected as one of 3 semifinalists for the 2011 Prose Award for Short Non-Fiction. Not only that, but Lisa’s piece is an edited version of one  she wrote for Brenda Fowler’s class on writing in Chicago last winter quarter.

That means Lisa will be reading her submitted piece at the recognition event, and that she is still in the running to receive this year’s award and cash prize. The event will be held this Wednesday, Nov. 2nd at 7:30pm at the Chopin Theater 1543 W. Division. The recognition event is open to the public and admission is $7 general/$5 students. Attendees will enjoy a lively evening of prose and music, and of course  be able to vote in the Audience Favorite portion of the evening, so if you’re free, come out and support Lisa and enjoy a great literary event.

Once again, congratulations and good luck to Lisa Applegate!

The latest call for papers comes from DePaul’s own Humanities Center.

On April 30th, 2012, The DePaul Humanities Center will present a conference commemorating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. The conference will be keynoted by Christine Kenyon Jones, of the University of London, and Peter Graham, of Virginia Tech.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is January 15, 2012. The Humanities Center is especially encouraging submissions from graduate students.

Abstracts should be sent to

For more information, see the attached flyer, and visit