Spring Preview

pentas_plant_kstate_gardens_2018
A pentas plant blooms at the Kansas State University Gardens. (Source: K-State Today.)

 

Recent ice and snow remind us that winter is still at hand, but the start of the semester promises that spring is near!

Here are some of the events that we’re looking forward to in the coming months:

~ Assistant Professor Shirley Tung launches our Spring Colloquia Series on Wednesday, February 12 with her presentation on “Robinson Crusoe‘s ‘double…reflections’: Repetition, Revision, and the Art of 18th-Century Life Writing” at 3:30pm in Union 227. Then, join us on Wednesday, March 18 at 3:30pm in the Union’s Big 12 Room for Associate Professor Wendy Matlock’s presentation on “Speaking (As) Women: Ventriloquism in the Poetry of Patience Agbabi and Geoffrey Chaucer.” Our Spring Colloquia series concludes with our annual Graduate Literature Symposium, featuring three presentations by current M.A. students, on Wednesday, April 29, at 3:30pm in Union 227.

~ We welcome a special guest on Tuesday March 24: the U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo will speak at 5:30-7:00 pm in the Alumni Ballroom. Harjo is a preeminent poet and spoken word artist as well as being the first Native American poet laureate. Her performances are highly engaging, usually consisting of music, powerful spoken word, and conversation. In preparation for Harjo’s visit, we’ll have two opportunities to discuss her work: a “Poetry Book Club” on Sunday January 26 at 2pm at The Dusty Bookshelf, and “An Introduction to Joy Harjo’s (Muscogee Creek), U.S. Poet Laureate” on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30pm at the Manhattan Public Library.

~ Our Visiting Writers Series brings three authors to campus this spring. We’ll first host R.O. Kwon, author of the nationally bestselling first novel, The Incendiaries, which has been translated into seven languages and named a best book of the year by over forty publications. Kwon will read from her work on Friday, February 28 at 3:30pm in the Alumni Center. We then look forward to hosting two poets, Bridget Lowe and Jenny Molberg, for a joint reading on Thursday, April 2 at 4:00pm in the Union Flint Hills Room.

~ Year 3 of the renewed Driptorch Creative Performance Series continues on Friday, February 21 at 7:00pm at Arrow Coffee. Featured writers include Vilune Sestokaite (MA ’20), James Gilligan (MA ’20), Chance Dibben, and James Brubaker– and, if you’d like to contribute, too, bring something to read for the open mic portion of the evening.

~ Our annual Cultural Studies Symposium is in its 28th year, maintaining its track record as the longest running Cultural Studies event in the country. This year, we host Scott Herring, the James H. Rudy Professor of English & Gender Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Herring will present on “The Trials of Robert Rayford” at 4:00pm on Friday February 21 in Union Wildcat Chamber.

~ Children’s literature and childhood studies scholar Professor Kate Capshaw (University of Connecticut) will share her research on “Archival Incidentals: Cultural Memory and 1970s Black Theater for Youth” on Friday, April 17 at 4:00pm, location TBA.

~ On Tuesday April 21 at 7pm at The Dusty Bookshelf, we will celebrate the launch of books by faculty members Maia Carlson (Dirtspell), Traci Brimhall (Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod), and Elizabeth Dodd (Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy).

Keep up to date on all events at our online calendar, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for photos and recaps — and check back here each week for highlights of research and creative activity from our faculty and students, perspectives from our alumni, glimpses into the department’s past, and plans for its future.

Karin Westman, Department Head

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