Two seminars and a colloquium

On November 11 and 12, students interested in attending graduate school got to hear a summary of important considerations from Professor Brandi Reissenweber on “Life after IWU: The Writer’s Life” and from Professor Joanne Diaz on “Life after IWU: The Scholar’s Life.” The lively presentations and Q/As drew nine writers and 13 literature track students, with cookies and coffee reminding everyone that it was a 4 p.m. optional session in the English House basement seminar room, not a class. But everyone left with a better understanding of what to consider when choosing a program, how best to apply, and what options exist for covering grad school costs. In the photo, Brandi tells students what to look for in an M.F.A. program.


On November 20, Sigma Tau Delta sponsored their first colloquium, and the turnout was a nice surprise. About 30 faculty and students went to Professor Bob Bray’s home about a block away from campus to hear faculty and students talk about their current research. The living room wasn’t large enough, and so people sat in the dining room, entry room and staircase as well. Another surprise was that it turned out to be a Shakespeare evening. Though both speakers had announced different topics, Teresa Sherman (’08) and Professor Joanne Diaz decided to present papers on The Bard instead. Teresa read a paper that was due the next day, “The Ideal Shakespeare: Rewriting the Man for the New Millenium,” while Joanne presented “More Letters Sadly Penned in Blood:  Blood as Ink in Early Modern Complaint Poetry.” It was a fun evening, with pizza and soft drinks provided by the department.  In the photo, Joanne explains with good humor the theory of humours as it relates to her topic. 

Faculty update

Our faculty members are actively engaged in scholarship and professional activities, and while they usually prefer to fly under the radar, I’ll try to coax updates out of them from time to time . . . and throw in an occasional confession of my own.

Professor Kathleen O’Gorman flies to California later this week to participate in the 106th annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA), which is being held at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Kathie will appear on a panel on “Violence and Representation: The Role of Literature in Coming to Terms with Violence,” and her paper, “Silence and Representation in Isabel Allende’s ‘The Road North,’” comes out of her sabbatical work. 

In the publication department, Professor Molly Robey has an article in the September 2008 issue of American Literature titled “Sacred Geographies: Religion and Race in U.S. Women’s Holy Land Writings.”

Yours truly has an expanded version of a paper presented at the Ninth International F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference in The  F. Scott Fitzgerald Review. “In an Odd Light: Kipling’s Maisie and Fitzgerald’s Daisy” appears in Volume 6 (2007-08).

Meanwhile, Professor Alison Sainsbury has just finished final proofing of her article, “’Not Yet . . . Not There’: Breaking the Bonds of Marriage in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India,” which will appear shortly in “Reimagining the Victorian Orient,” a special issue of Critical Survey that commemorates the 30th anniversary of Edward Said’s Orientalism.  That volume is edited by Dr. Julia Kuehn, from the University of Hong Kong, and Dr. Tamara Wagner, from Nanyang Technological University-Singapore. Obviously, seniors taking Alison’s seminar and reading Forster’s novel in the spring with her will benefit from such an in-depth study.