New anthology includes Smith translation

Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith’s translation of a short-story by Icelandic writer Kristín Ómarsdóttir has been included in the just-published anthology A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance, out now from Tramp Press and edited by fiction writer Belinda McKeon.

The U.K. Sunday Times has described A Kind of Compass as a “vital collection,” while The UCD Observer dubs it a “perfect success.” Contributors to the volume include Sam Lipsyte, Gina Apostol, Porochista Khakpour, Francesca Marciano, Suzanne Scanlon, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne.

Jacqueline Jones to deliver 2015 alumni lecture

jonesThis year’s English department alumni lecture will be delivered by Jacqueline Jones, Assistant Professor of English at Laguardia Community College — CUNY.

Jones’ lecture is entitled, “A Quasi-Religious Experience: Placing August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean within the Neo-Slave Narrative Tradition.”

The lecture take place at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22 in Doty 300 (the Tower Room).

Jones graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2003.

John Gallaher on campus September 21

Poet, editor, and musician John Gallaher will read from his work  on Monday, September 21 at 8 p.m. in Welles 111, the Harding Room, on the SUNY Geneseo campus.

According to Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips (Yes! Gallaher gets praise from rock stars!) “Gallaher is not a writer or a poet, he is a psychic using words to trick us.” He’s written collaborative books and produced film poems.

A previous winner of the prestigious Boston Review Poetry Contest (judged by Rae Armantrout) and the author of five books of poetry, Gallaher is a writer no less a person than John Ashbery has called “[a] poet I once influenced who ha[s] moved beyond me.” Gallaher builds on Ashbery’s chatty multidirectionality and associative logic by adding his own philosophical edge, a pondering that’s at once homespun and existential.

New edition of works by Elizabeth Oakes Smith, edited by Caroline Woidat, out from Broadview Press

cover of Woidat edition of works by Oakes SmithProfessor Caroline Woidat’s edition of works by nineteenth-century American author Elizabeth Oakes Smith, The Western Captive and Other Indian Stories, has just been published by Broadview Press.

From the Broadview website:

This edition recovers Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s successful 1842 novel The Western Captive; or, The Times of Tecumseh and includes many of Oakes Smith’s other writings about Native Americans, including short stories, legends, and autobiographical and biographical sketches. The Western Captive portrays the Shawnee leader as an American hero and the white heroine’s spiritual soulmate; in contrast to the later popular legend of Tecumseh’s rejected marriage proposal to a white woman, Margaret, the “captive” of the title, returns Tecumseh’s love and embraces life apart from white society.

These texts are accompanied by selections from Oakes Smith’s Woman and Her Needs and her unpublished autobiography, from contemporary captivity narratives and biographies of William Henry Harrison depicting the Shawnee, and from writings by her colleagues Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.

New Okada book on Asian-American film and video out from Rutgers

Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies Jun Okada’s book Making Asian American Film and Video: History, Institutions, Movements was published this spring by Rutgers University Press.

81cLLvBLsGLFrom the Rutgers website:

Making Asian American Film and Video explores how the genre has served as a flashpoint for debates about what constitutes Asian American identity. Tracing a history of how Asian American film was initially conceived as a form of public-interest media, part of a broader effort to give voice to underrepresented American minorities, Okada shows why this seemingly well-intentioned project inspired deeply ambivalent responses. In addition, she considers a number of Asian American filmmakers who have opted out of producing state-funded films, from Wayne Wang to Gregg Araki to Justin Lin.

Okada gives us a unique behind-the-scenes look at the various institutions that have bankrolled and distributed Asian American films, revealing the dynamic interplay between commercial and state-run media. More than just a history of Asian Americans in film, Making Asian American Film and Video is an insightful meditation on both the achievements and the limitations of institutionalized multiculturalism.

The SUNY Geneseo Lamron published an interview with Prof. Okada in April.

Spend Mother’s Day at the tenth annual Peace Poetry Reading

The tenth annual Genesee Valley Peace Poetry Reading will be held this Sunday, May 10, at 2 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium on the campus of SUNY Geneseo. Over 1,500 area students in grades K-8 submitted poems on the theme of peace for this year’s Peace Poetry contest, and over 60 of those students were selected as winners. They’ll read their poems on stage and receive prizes. Cuteness is guaranteed.

The event is free and open to the public.

According to English professor Dr. Rob Doggett who has run the Geneseo contest since its inception, “The goal of the contest is to give students the opportunity to reflect creatively on the theme of peace at a time when so much of what they encounter in the media is dominated by images of violence.”

Professor Doggett, aided by student judges and organizers at SUNY Geneseo, has grown this event into a major feature of the community calendar within the Genesee Valley: a Mother’s Day celebration at which contest winners read their poems to an audience that includes family, teachers, and area residents.

Peace_Cover2015“I honestly feel that this contest can help change the lives of students because it helps them to discover a talent that they didn’t know they had,” says Doggett. The contest has helped thousands of young people explore, reflect on and communicate about large ideas that shape their daily lives: What does peace mean to them? What brings them peace in their lives? How might young people help to create a more peaceful world? At times the students’ poems deal with domestic strife, or loved ones in war zones; at times they elegize hunting trips or calm moments with friends. The Peace Poetry Contest sparks conversations on all these topics, with the presentation chapbook a memorial for students to take home—and an inspiration to their peers.