Christopher Corbett, professor of the practice of English, recently reviewed a new book for The Wall Street Journal about Red Cloud, a Sioux war chief who defeated the U.S. Army and negotiated unprecedented concessions from the government. In “The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend,” authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin tell the story of the powerful and successful Indian warrior.
“The great Sioux war chief, a military genius of the Indian wars, is a largely forgotten figure in the shape-shifting history of the American West,” Corbett wrote. “In his day, he presided over a vast swath of the continental U.S.—from Canada to Kansas and from what is today Minnesota and Iowa to Idaho and Utah. His name was much-feared.”
“‘The Heart of Everything That Is’ is a vivid if melancholy story that may make readers ponder our relationship with the memory of the American West,” Corbett added.
Corbett is the author of “Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express” and “The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West.”
You can read the full book review in The Wall Street Journal here (subscription required).
English professor Jessica Berman recently presented a guest lecture at the Maharani’s Arts and Commerce College for Women, the University of Mysore, India.
English professor Jessica Berman interacts with students at University of Mysore, India
Berman was in Mysore as part of an extended research trip in India to study the history of a Muslim woman writer, Iqbalunnisa Hussain, who graduated from the Maharani’s College in 1930.
Berman spoke to faculty and Master’s students in English literature on ”Modernism in a Post-Colonial Context.” She also interacted with students and discussed her research on Indian authors with the faculty.
The lecture was presented on November 13th.
English Department Writer in Residence Lia Purpura is featured in the latest edition of The New Yorker. The magazine published her poem “Future Perfect” in its November 18th edition. You can read the poem in The New Yorker here (subscription required). The full text of the poem is below:
Where you were
before you were born,
and where you are
when you’re not anymore
might be very close.
Might be the same place,
though neither is
as being here but
you will have been –
where things land,
are finished, over, and
gone but not yet.
Award-winning science writer Ann Finkbeiner will be speaking on campus next week as part of the “New Media for a New Millennium: Journalism Lecture Series 2013-2014.” The event is hosted by the English department.
Finkbeiner is the former director of the graduate program in science writing at Johns Hopkins University. She has written four books, including The Jasons: The Secret History of Science’s Postwar Elite, which won the American Institute of Physics 2008 Science Writing Award.
The lecture, called “Beyond Snowden & WikiLeaks: Reporting at the Intersection of Science, Secrets and National Security,” will take place in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery on Wednesday, November 13, from 4-5pm.
Joan Shin, Education Professor of Practice, has launched a book series with National Geographic Learning designed to give learners the skills and knowledge they need to learn English and understand the world around them.
The series, called “Our World,” uses images and video and provides National Geographic content to young learners of English. Shin is co-editor of the series along with JoAnn Crandall, Professor Emerita and former Director of the Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. program. You can find out more about the series here.
As part of the series, Shin also developed a professional development video program for teachers. It was filmed and produced at UMBC in collaboration with New Media Studio. The program examines topics such as using video and technology in the classroom, using songs and chants, and providing young learners with real-world content. You can read more about the program here.
Shin also has a new textbook out called, Teaching Young Learners English (National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning, 2013). The book, written by Shin and Crandall, teaches English as a foreign language to young children and presents practical suggestions and best practices to engage young learners.
English Associate Professor Helen Burgess has been selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) review panel for the Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant Program.
The grant program is designed to encourage innovation in all aspects of the digital humanities. The panel reviews proposals that involve approaches to new media, e-literature, innovative uses of technology, and new digital modes of publication.
The NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants have averaged 151 applications per competition over the last five years, and the program has issued an average of 26 awards each year.
You can find more information about the grant program here.
English department Writer in Residence Lia Purpura is featured on Poets.org, From the Academy of American Poets with her poem “Gone” listed as the poem-a-day for Wednesday.
In describing the poem, Purpura writes:
“The traditional fearsomeness of death (at least when thinking about my own) comes bearing a paradox that’s been palpable to me (and slippery) since childhood. Visually, I guess the paradox would look like a moebius strip, the inside twisting around to become outside…I was finally able to slow it down enough to catch the sensation and pace it out and tack some words to it. The writing of the poem doesn’t drive out the fear, but at least makes some space for the consistent surprise of the thought to land.”
You can read the poem here.
A poem by Lia Purpura, writer-in-residence in English, recently appeared in the “New Yorker. “Beginning” was published on April 29 and can be read here.
Lindsay DiCuirci, assistant professor of English, has been selected as the Stephen Botein Fellow in the History of the Book in American Culture at the American Antiquarian Society. She will be conducting research for a book based on her dissertation research, titled “History’s Imprint: The Colonial Book and the Writing of American History, 1790-1855,” this summer.
Botein Fellows are selected for the one-month fellowship on the basis of the applicant’s scholarly qualifications, the scholarly significance or importance of the project and the appropriateness of the proposed study to the Society’s collections.
On Wednesday, May 8, at 4 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, the Humanities Forum will present “Charisma in the Age of Digital Reproduction” with Raphael Falco, the 2012-13 Lipitz Professor and professor of English.
Charismatic authority, the most fluid form of leadership, should thrive in the new media environment of digital reproduction, emerging amid swiftly forming groups and capitalizing on unrestricted, private access to the bearers of charisma. Yet, the status quo of charismatic groups dependent on digital reproduction is systematically undermined by reproducibility itself—the driving force of new media. My talk explores how this inescapable conflict destroys charismatic authority and abandons logged-on group members to isolation.
Raphael Falco received his B.A. and his Masters degrees from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from New York University. In his latest book, Charisma and Myth (Continuum Publishing), Professor Falco has explored areas beyond his usual precincts of early modern literature. He hopes to engage intellectuals of all stripes by introducing a completely new element to the study of myth—the idea that myth and myth systems operate in the same way as charismatic groups.
This event is sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences with support from the Dresher Center for the Humanities