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Spring Kudos

Posted: 4/19/2006
George Bornstein was elected president of the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS) for a two-year term starting January 2006. STS has been the leading group for interdisciplinary innovations in editorial theory and practice since its founding in the early 1980s. George will preside over board meetings of the Society and deliver the Presidential Address at the spring 2007 conference in New York.

Visiting Professor Ted Chamberlin’s new book, Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilization has just been published by BlueBridge Press.

Anne Gere was elected to the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association for a four year term starting in January 2006.

Anne also received a $3000 grant from the Ginsburg Center (with grad student Amy Carpenter) to establish Tutoring First, a program for lst and 2nd year students interested in service learning. They tutor high school students in Willow Run where we have an ongoing partnership.

Larry Goldstein’s A Room in California was published by Northwestern University Press / TriQuarterly Books last fall.

Larry’s anthology of writings about Ann Arbor, Writing Ann Arbor: A Literary Anthology came out late last year from the University of Michigan Press.

Donna Johnston was spotlighted on the LSA HR website, having been nominated by many faculty in the department.

Valerie Laken received a grant of $1395 from the Lecturers’ Professional Development Fund.

Jennifer Lutman received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award from Rackham for 2006. The winners are selected from nominees from across the University. It is an impressive award indeed, recognizing the GSI’s outstanding scholarship, inspiring passion for learning and teaching, and commitment to excellence in teaching, mentoring, and service.

Khaled Mattawa won a Michigan Faculty Fellowship for the 2006-07 year at the Institute for the Humanities.

Ifeoma Nwankwo received $6000 from CRLT’s Faculty Development Fund.

Scotti Parrish has been named by the Program in the Environment as the first Graham Faculty Fellow. This new fellowship is part of the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, established as a result of a large donation from D. Graham, a graduate of UM College of Engineering. The Graham Fellowship is a five year appointment that supports 25% of Scotti’s faculty appointment. Bob Owen, Director of PitE, wrote: "I suspect the selection of an English Professor as the first Graham Fellow might ruffle some feathers in Engineering, but . . . [m]y first obligation is to the PitE students, and I have consistently said that our greatest curricular need is in humanities."

Scotti’s book, American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World, has just been published by the University of North Carolina Press.

Eric Rabkin won this year’s student-sponsored Golden Apple Award for his excellence in teaching.

Xiomara Santamarina received $900 from the LSA Dean’s Office for subvention support of the publication of Belabored Professions. Belabored Professions appeared late last year from the University of North Carolina Press.

Mack Smith has received $1500 from OVPR Faculty Grants and Awards Program and $1500 from the LSA Dean’s Office to support work on "Langland’s Poetics."

Val Traub has won the John H. D'Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities. The D’Arms Award carries with it a stipend of $5000 and a fund of $5000 made available on her behalf to the department. This latter award funds summer travel by graduate students.

Val also received $3500 from OVPR and the LSA Dean’s Office for subvention support for the publication of Gay Shame.

Patsy Yaeger won a Michigan Faculty Fellowship for the 2006-07 year at the Institute for the Humanities.

Patsy has just been named the next Editor of PMLA. The PMLA editorship is a five-year appointment.

This is all wonderful news! Congratulations to all.

The Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners

Posted: 3/6/2006
March 14 – 29, 2006 Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 14, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Duderstadt Center Gallery University of Michigan North Campus 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Directions

Exhibition Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday – Monday, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

See below for a full schedule of events. For more information, call 734-647-7673 or email prisonart@umich.edu


ANN ARBOR, MI – The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) presents the Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners and a series of twelve educational events from March 14 - 29. The show will be held at the Duderstadt Center Gallery on the University of Michigan North Campus at 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard. Over the past decade, this nationally recognized show has grown to include nearly 350 works of art by over 200 artists, shedding light on the talents to be found behind prison walls and encouraging the public to take a second look.

The public is invited to an opening reception on March 14 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. in the gallery. Formerly incarcerated artists will join Herschell Turner, art instructor at the Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility, to speak about what the show means to those in prison. The University of Michigan will also honor PCAP founder Buzz Alexander, recently named an Outstanding Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation.

Free and open to the public, the exhibition and surrounding educational events raise awareness and inspire dialogue between the incarcerated and the community at large. Participating artists express gratitude to organizers and gallery visitors alike, stressing the show’s impact on their lives. "My life will never be the same," writes one artist. "The fact that someone paid money for my art gave me a view of myself that I’ve never had. There is no psychiatrist or rehabilitative institution in the world that could do what you’ve done for and to me."

Despite limited resources, exhibition artists create work in a rich range of styles, mediums, and themes. Visitors return to the show year after year to glimpse art that is remarkable for its originality, beauty, and sheer expressive power. Last year, over 4,000 people came to the exhibit. Organizers expect even higher attendance this year and an exciting array of new work.

PCAP Administrator Suzanne Gothard and University of Michigan Professors Buzz Alexander and Janie Paul co-curate the show. Together with volunteers, they travel to over 40 prisons throughout the state to hand-select the strongest work for the exhibition. As a result of this annual event, the amount of art created in Michigan prisons has increased dramatically, and Michigan prison artists have become national leaders. This year, the show’s top thirty pieces will travel to the University of Illinois in April to be part of a special exhibition at the Open Source Gallery.

The show’s educational events include keynote speeches by prominent criminal defense attorney Liz Fink and author and journalist Christian Parenti (Lockdown America, The Nation), as well as a special screening of the documentary After Innocence, winner of the 2005 Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and a night of spoken word featuring formerly incarcerated poets, their mentors, and New York poet Eric Waters. See below for a full listing of events.

Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday, and 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday - Monday.

Show Images: http://www.umich.edu/news/index.html?Releases/2006/Feb06/prisonart

Sad News

Posted: 2/27/2006
It’s my very sad duty to inform you that our Zell Distinguished Visiting Professor in Fiction, Frederick Busch, passed away in New York during the evening of February 23rd. I understand the cause was a heart attack. I’m sure you join the MFA community in our sorrow, and sympathy for Fred’s family. It’s a terrible loss for them, Fred's many friends, his readers and the entire literary community. According to Fred's wishes there will be no memorial service, but flowers have already been sent to the family and the program will also be sending a condolence card (see Sean Norton if you'd like to sign). The New York Times obituary can be viewed at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/25/books/25busch.html Lastly, I wanted to pass along something Fred's son, Benjamin, told me. According to Benjamin his father felt honored to have been invited to join our company, and thrilled to be in the classroom with our students, indeed one reason his loss is so shocking is that he had seemed so invigorated these last few weeks. Peter Peter Ho Davies Helen Zell Director, MFA Program

Eric Rabkin wins Golden Apple Award

Posted: 2/24/2006

English prof takes bite of Golden Apple

Students shower veteran lecturer with congratulations, balloons

Kelly Fraser
Posted: 2/24/06
Michigan Daily

For the second year in a row, one of the University's top English professors took home the prestigious Golden Apple teaching award.

Even after 30 years of teaching at the University and receiving other various awards, Prof. Eric Rabkin was shocked to learn that he was selected to win the 16th annual Golden Apple award, which designates professors who "teach every lecture as if it were their last."

Rabkin had tears in his eyes during his course on science fiction yesterday as he accepted a large bundle of balloons from LSA sophomore Lauren Schiff, a committee member of Students Honoring Outstanding University Teaching, the group that selects the recipient.

On his way back to his office after the lecture, Rabkin took every precaution not to pop the balloons that accompanied the award. He said the balloons would serve as evidence for his wife.

"I have to get these balloons home in one piece so I can prove to Betty that it really happened," he said.

Rabkin now joins a distinguished list of student-nominated University professors selected for their passionate lecture styles, including two fellow English professors - Ralph Williams in 1992 and John Rubadeau last year.

Students in Rabkin's class applauded and cheered as he accepted the award.

"He loves what he does, and that's infectious," said LSA sophomore Samantha Force, a former Daily Arts writer.

Rabkin said he was surprised to win the award because he thought that as the age gap between himself and his students grew, winning became less of a possibility.

"Of course it's an enormous honor," Rabkin said. "It's the students you teach for, not your colleagues, so it's an incredible honor. But to be candid, I had gotten to the point of thinking 'it's just not going to happen.' "

English department chair Sidonie Smith said it is Rabkin's treatment of his students, both in research and the classroom, which helps to engage them in learning.

"I think that Eric is motivated by a profound respect for students as inquirers and scholars," she said.

As part of the award, Rabkin will deliver his "ideal last lecture" on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. Rabkin plans to keep the topic of the lecture secret until then.

He said that although his first focus when teaching a course is the specific material, he also works to give students universal tools for learning.

"It would be wrong to say that I design my courses so that people will become better at constructing ideas and communicating them, because that's not the first thing I'm thinking of - but I'm always thinking of that," he said.

In his courses, Rabkin draws the line between homework and "real work" to engage his students in collaborative projects.

His efforts include a research project on the evolution of literary genres with economics Prof. Carl Simon.

Past Recipients
2005: John Rubadeau (English Department)
2004: Matt Lassiter (Department of History)
2003: Thomas Gest (Medical School)
2002: Elliot Soloway (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, School of Information, School of Education)
2001: Burton V. Barnes (School of Natural Resources & Environment)
2000: Kathleen Nolta (Department of Chemistry)
1999: Brenda Gunderson (Statistics Department)
1998: Jim Adams (Department of Economics)
1997: Eric Mann (Department of Biology)
1996: Carol Boyd (School of Nursing, Women's Studies)

© Copyright 2006 Michigan Daily

Please join us in congratulating Eric Rabkin who has been chosen to receive the prestigious Golden Apple Award – an award given annually to honor outstanding teachers who "teach every lecture as if it were their last." Eric will be delivering his "ideal last lecture" on April 5th at 7:30 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium.

The Living Writers Show Archives: 24/7 streaming & podcasts

Posted: 2/16/2006
The Living Writers Show archives are now available for 24/7 streaming from the WCBN website and as podcasts on iTunes. Both options can be accessed at: http://www.wcbn.org/livingwriters/

A special thank you to to Jason Adam Voss for handling the technical end of things so that we can make this archive available.

The Living Writers Show airs every Wednesday from 4:30-5:15 p.m. (EST) on WCBN-FM, 88.3. The show may also be streamed during show-time at www.wcbn.org.

The archive includes (in alphabetical order):

Suad Amiry--architect and former Palestinian Minister of Culture--reads from her memoir, "Sharon and My Mother-in-law," and talks about the day-to-day of living in the occupied West Bank. (original broadcast 12/21/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Neil Bartlett reads from "Who Was that Man?: A Present for Mr. Oscar Wilde"
and discusses guidebooks, gay culture, and his life and work as an artist in London. (original broadcast 9/28/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate, reads from his 8th book of poems, "The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems," and talks about death, dogs, diction and other weighty matters. (original broadcast 10/19/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Lan Samantha Chang--novelist, teacher, and director of The Iowa Writers Workshop--reads from her collection of stories, "Hunger," and talks about memory, contemporary mythmaking, and "writing what you know." (original broadcast 12/14/05, engineer Jason Adam Voss)

Kwame Dawes--poet, playwright, novelist, and director of the Calabash International Literary Festival and the South Carolina Poetry Initiative--reads from "Midland," and "Wisteria," and talks about the aesthetics of Bob Marley, the power of art, growing up in Ghana and Jamaica and living and writing in South Carolina. (original broadcast 2/22/06, engineer Jason Adam Voss)

Andrew Delbanco--social critic and Columbia University professor of humanities and American studies--reads from "Melville: His World and Work"
and talks about the ways in which Melville, who set the standard for the great American novel with "Moby Dick," captured the imaginative, social, and political concerns of his day, and why after a century and a half, his work continues to capture ours. (original broadcast 11/9/05, engineer Chaz

Nicholas Delbanco--novelist, essayist, teacher, and chair of the Hopwood Awards committee--reads from his most recent novel, "The Vagabonds," and talks about crafting a writing life, the responsibility of mentorship, and the Avery Hopwood awards and legacy at the University of Michigan. (original broadcast 2/8/06, engineer Chaz Berret)

Jonathan Franzen--novelist, essayist, and frequent New Yorker contributor-- reads from his work and talks about taste, complacency, the "so what"
question, and birds. (original broadcast 11/30/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Alice Fulton--poet, essayist, and teacher--reads from her new book of selected poems "Cascade Experiment" and talks about the processes of circling back, beginning anew, and experimentation. (original broadcast 1/25/06, engineer Chaz Berret)

Laurence Goldstein reads from his 4th book of poems, "A Room in California,"
and discusses his work as poet, scholar, teacher, and long-time editor of "The Michigan Quarterly Review." (original broadcast 9/21/05, engineer Chaz

Lorna Goodison--poet, painter, prose writer, and teacher--reads from her work, and talks about struggle and resistance, patience and fortitude, and about writing from and across cultural heritage. (original broadcast 1/11/06, engineer Chaz Berret)

Patricia Hampl reads her poetry and non-fiction and talks about disappearing worlds, the power and weaknesses of first person writing, and the shifting nature of memory. (original broadcast 10/5/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Melanie Lynne Hauser reads from her novel "Confessions of Supermom" and talks about an incredible Swiffer accident, chick lit, and soccer mom stereotypes. (original broadcast 9/7/05, engineer Chaz Berret) <

Roy Jacobstein, poet, physician, and international development consultant reads poems from "Ripe" and talks about political poetry, writing from outside academia, and wearing multiple hats.(original broadcast 10/26/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

John McCain--US senator and best selling author--reads from "Character is Destiny," and talks about character, inspiration, and responsibility.
(original broadcast 12/7/06, engineer Chaz Berret)

Ray McDaniel reads from his forthcoming second book of poems, "Saltwater Empire," and talks about Dixie-fried poetry, predicting the future, and redemption. (original broadcast 11/2/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Sean Norton reads from his first book of poems, "Bad with Faces" and talks about journey, renunciation, and style. (original broadcast 10/12/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Patrick O'Keeffe reads from his collection of linked novellas, "The Hill Road," and talks about Ireland, change, loss, and finding his subject.
(original broadcast 9/14/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

Eileen Pollack--novelist, creative non-fiction writer, journalist, and teacher--reads from the forthcoming collection of stories, "In the Mouth"
and talks about truth and lies, literary vogue, and the business of writing (and learning to write). (original broadcast 11/23/05, engineer Alex Belhaj)

Jim Shepard--novelist, teacher, and "patron saint of the mal-adapted"--reads from his novel "Project X" and talks about adolescent boys, growing up, and being a writer-parent. (original broadcast 12/28/06, engineer Chaz Berret)

Richard Tillinghast--poet, critic, teacher, performer, and "Leonard Wiggins"
in a James Atlas novel--reads from his work, and covers the usual bases:
Southerners to Puritans, social movements to poetry. (original broadcast 11/16/05, engineer Chaz Berret)

For more recordings you can also check out the multimedia section on our website: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/media/


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