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Coming Attractions in English

Ten reasons our future looks amazing
June 11, 2018

Image of monster and child from 1931 Frankenstein film

Image of monster and child from 1931 Frankenstein film
English celebrates the 200th birthday of Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN; OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS (image from a scene cut from James Whale's 1931 film)

Check out the many good things happening in the next couple months within the world of English and Creative Writing:

1. Mystery woman: Was Shakespeare's spouse a loyal wife or cast-off shrew? Why do people care? In her new book Imagining Shakespeare's Wife: The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway (Cambridge University Press), out this month, Professor Katherine Scheil examines why Anne has been imagined in particular ways, and for what ends. Read her blog post. (Another scholarly work arrives in September: Assistant Professor Elaine Auyoung's debut, When Fiction Feels Real: Representation and the Reading Mind, with Oxford University Press.)

2. Groundbreaking for the recently funded renovation of Pillsbury Hall for English. No date yet—we'll let you know!

3. Creative conversation: The winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Frank Bidart, talks with essayist and poet Maggie Nelson, 2016 MacArthur Fellow, for the Freier Lecture October 4, 2018, at Coffman Union Theater. Free and open to the public.

4. The 200th birthday of Frankenstein! You loved our Jane Austen celebration last year, so we're...er...reviving a fall slate of public performances and talks—this time on Mary Shelley's earth-shaking instant classic, published in 1818. The first dates are September 25 and October 23 (around the full moon—oh wait, that's werewolves), plus two more in November and December. Details to come!

Cover of SHAKESPEARE REQUIREMENT
Schumacher's new novel

5. English at the State Fair: Wednesday, August 29, from 9 am to 3 pm in the University of Minnesota building. Yes, we are bringing back the "What's your favorite literary genre?" marble poll—but updated and improved. Plus special faculty guests, and giveaways....

6. No ducking The Shakespeare Requirement: On August 14, pick up the sequel to Professor Julie Schumacher's comic novel Dear Committee Members, which won the Thurber Award for American Humor (the first time the award was won by a woman).

7. "The Business of Publishing": a new English undergraduate course. Taught by longtime editor Anitra Budd, the fall class features speakers from the Twin Cities' renowned publishing scene and introduces students to the industry's components—marketing, design, sales, subsidiary rights, bookselling—each with its own standards and best practices. English majors can now explore the industry via the publishing business class, the upper level course "Introduction to Editing and Publishing," the two-semester "Literary Magazine Production Lab," and dedicated internships with local publishers.

8. Two new social media series—"Humans of UMN English" and "English Majors Everywhere"—on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, starting in August. Like, share, and comment!

9. Lit author readings: The Creative Writing Program presents poet and four-time National Poetry Slam Champion Patricia Smith (September 26), essayist and New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik (October 10), and MacArthur Fellow fiction writer Yiyun Lee (October 30, rescheduled from last fall). All readings free and open to the public.

10. Poets Douglas Kearney and Kathryn Nuernberger join the faculty of the Department of English's Creative Writing Program this fall. Kearney is the author of four poetry collections; the latest, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), received the Theodore Roethke Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award, and a California Book Award Silver Medal. He published the nonfiction volume Mess and Mess and. with Noemi Press in 2015. He has written and performed librettos for several operas and stage productions. Nuernberger has published The End of Pink (BOA Editions, 2016), which won the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and Rag & Bone (Elixir, 2011). Her essay collection Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past (Ohio State University, 2017) received the Journal Non/Fiction Prize. In 2017, she received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Look out for introductory readings!