Rice English Department
March 2017
Welcome to the March 2017 edition of our newsletter! Remember to email Laura at if you have any news you would like to share with the Department.

Rosemary Hennessy
Department Chair
Faculty News
Joe Campana's third collections of poems, The Book of Life, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. It was selected as one of two full-length collections out of over 1000 submissions in their recent reading period. The book explores the iconic 1936-1972 print run of Life magazine, from the WPA Fort Peck Dam on the first cover to the Apollo Missions of the final year-in-review issue. The book considers covers, stories, ads, and images in the attempt to convey the immediacy of what has become history through ecstatic, ekphrastic verse. His fantasy cover comes from Margaret Bourke-White's images of the construction of the Fort Peck Dam. See more information here.
Kirsten Ostherr and collaborator Kaisu Koski (who was here from the Netherlands last spring), co-created the film Scenes of Disclosure. It will premiere on March 9 as part of the International Health Humanities conference, which is happening in Houston at UT medical school this year.
She also recently learned that her article, "Death in the Digital Age: A Systematic Review of Information and Communication Technologies in End-of-Life Care," was ranked the 6th most read article for 2016 in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.  The article was based on research she conducted for her MPH degree.
Colleen Lamos has a recently published essay “The Men of 1914” in The Cambridge History of Modernism, ed. Vincent Sherry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 478 – 492
Invented by Wyndam Lewis to designate the leaders of Modernism, “The Men of 1914” invokes a beginning that failed. “We”—Joyce, Eliot, Pound, and himself—“are the first men of a Future that never materialized.” This puzzling stillbirth touches upon the paradox of all narratives of origins, none more so than the genealogy of Modernism. This essay analyzes the rhetorical operations of the phrase in literary histories, especially that of Lewis, whose brazen effeminophobia effectively cuts out the ground beneath his feet.
Spring Break

March 13 - 17
Alumni News
On Wednesday 8 March at 7 pm, Glenn Blake, Rice alum and former lecturer in the English Department, will read from his recently published The Old and the Lost: Collected Stories. The reading will be at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, Houston.  Glenn’s collection was aptly named to the December 2016 Texas Monthly  “Checklist (What to watch, listen to, and read this month to achieve maximum Texas literacy).” Michelle Newby’s recent review of the collection includes the memorable statement: “ If Raymond Carver and Larry Brown had a love child, the result would be Glenn Blake.”

Graduate Recruitment

Thursday, March 23 - Friday, March 24

Faculty, please reserve time on Friday, March 24th  from 2:15 - 4:00 to meet students in the lounge.

Upcoming Speakers & Events
English Faculty Colloquium (rescheduled)
Wednesday, March 8 at 12:00, English Lounge

Sarah Ellenzweig will be talking about the introduction to her forthcoming volume, with John H. Zammito, The Politics of Materialism: History, Philosophy, Science (Routledge, 2017).  This volume represents the work of their Rice Seminar from 2013-14 on Materialism and New Materialism Across the Disciplines.  The introduction and the table of contents will be made available in the English Department office for those who would like to read them before the colloquium.

Lunch will be served; please go here to reserve your space by Monday 03/06.

Presentation and discussion by guest speaker
Prof. Michael Titlestad, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Friday, March 24 at 11:00 AM, English Department Lounge
Vandalizim: On the Limits of Free Jazz

Michael Titlestad will discuss free jazz, heralded as a parallel musical tradition that exists in counterpoint to that which we might think as ‘traditional’ jazz, in various idioms. Various processes have been used to imagine the creation of free jazz. He will discuss the works of Ted Gioia, Paul Gilroy and Michel de Certeau and ask whether free jazz is a utopian practice or whether it invokes the limits of noise; with unproductive atonality.

Professor Titlestad specializes in South African literature, Modernism (in particular maritime literature), film studies, and speculative, dystopian and apocalyptic narratives. He is the author of Making the Changes: Jazz in South African Literature and Reportage, and co-editor of English Studies in Africa.

Work-in-Progress (WIP) Talk: Linda Hughes
Thursday, March 30 in English Lounge
; time TBD

WIP Talk with Linda Hughes on her essay ‘Enclosing Forms, Opening Spaces: The 1880s Fixed Verse Revival and Women Poets’. Dr. Hughes is the Addie Levy Professor of Literature at Texas Christian University and specializes in British Literature,19th Century, Fiction, Poetry, Archival Studies, Poetry and Poetics, Print Culture and Periodical Studies, Travel Literature, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.


Cherry Reading Series: Melissa Febos
Thursday, March 30 at 4:30 PM
Fondren Library, Kyle Morrow Room

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and the forthcoming essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Guernica, Post Road, Salon, The New York Times, Hunger Mountain, Portland Review, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, Bitch Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat, and Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.

English Faculty Colloquium
Friday, March 31 at 12:00, English Lounge

“Deconstruction, Ecology, and Theoretical Biology.”

Cary Wolfe will give a quick flyover of some of the work he's doing right now on using the relationship between theoretical biology (Maturana and Varela, Stuart Kauffman) and deconstruction (Derrida and Michel Serres, mainly) to rearticulate what we mean by the concepts of ecology and “world” (as explored by Derrida in the second set of seminars on _The Beast and the Sovereign_) and why this new rearticulation matters to thinking about ecology and environmental ethics. It’s part of a book he's working on right now on Wallace Stevens and Ecological Poetics.

Lunch will be served; please go here to reserve your space by Wednesday 2/29.
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