Spring Preview

Spring Flowers (photo: Office of the President)

This week’s glimpse of warmer temperatures offers a preview of what’s ahead, once we experience some more winter weather. As we dodge snow and the latest COVID-19 variant here at the start of the semester, we’ll look for signs of spring where we can!

Here are some of the events — mostly online — that we’re looking forward to in the coming months for some moments of community, inspiration, and reflection. All are free but several require advance registration:

~ Our online spring events begin on Wednesday February 9 at 3:30pm with our Spring Colloquia Series. Up first that afternoon: some of our faculty members will share their research. Then, on Wednesday April 20 at 3:30pm, join us for presentations by our M.A. students for our annual Graduate Literature Symposium. Register for the first at https://tinyurl.com/englcolloq2022 and for the second at https://tinyurl.com/englgradlit2022.

~ A K-State English / MAC Theatre collaboration is ahead on Friday February 18 at 6:00pm when faculty and graduate students from the Literature Track will provide Lightning Talks before the performance of The Book of Will at the Manhattan Arts Center. More information will be available soon from our online calendar.

~ Our Visiting Writers Series brings two authors to us this spring via Zoom to share their work. On Friday February 25 at 3:30pm, we’ll first host Ira Sukrungruang. Born in Chicago to Thai immigrants, Sukrungruang is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College and author of four nonfiction books — This Jade World (2021), Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations (2018), Southside Buddhist (2014), and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (2010) — as well as the short story collection The Melting Season (2016) and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night (2013). Register at https://tinyurl.com/iraskstate2022. Then, on Friday March 4 at 3:30pm, we will host Lillian Li, author of the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant, which was an NPR Best Book of 2018 and long-listed for the Women’s Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Li’s work has been published in the New York Times, Granta, One Story, Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure, The Guardian, and Jezebel. Register at https://tinyurl.com/lillianlikstate2022.

~ Our annual Cultural Studies Symposium is in its 31st year, maintaining its track record as the longest running Cultural Studies event in the U.S. This year, on Thursday March 3 at 4:00pm, we’ll host Dr. Aimee Bahng and Dr. Thea Tagle for an online conversation on speculative resurgence and art/aesthetics, especially in relation to Asian American cultural forms. Dr. Bahng is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Pomona College, and Dr. Tagle is Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Critical Ethnic and Community Studies at U Mass Boston. Register at https://tinyurl.com/bahngtaglekstate.

~ Saturday March 26 brings our 8th Biennial ChALC Conference, sponsored by our student organization the Children’s and Adolescent Literature Community. This year’s theme is “(Re)Writing History.” Opening with presentations by K-State students and faculty connected to English and to Education, this year’s keynote speaker will be the award-winning author Malinda Lo. Registration for this online event will be available as of March 1 from our online calendar.

Keep up to date on all events at our online calendar, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 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, images of the department’s past, and plans for its future.

Wishing good health for all —

Karin Westman, Department Head

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