Home >> Department >> English

English

1250 Biology-Psychology Building
Monday, September 19, 2016 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

Angus Murphy presents “The Unifying Role of the Land-grant University in 21st century America," on Sept. 19 at 3:30 PM.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Award-winning poet Claudia Rankine discusses art in the making of American democracy.

Congratulations to ARHU professors La Mar Jurelle Bruce, Julius B. Fleming Jr. and Christopher J. Bonner, who received fellowships for their research projects related to African-American literature, history and culture.

Bruce, Fleming and Bonner were part of an African-Americanist cluster hire, joining a community of scholars at the University of Maryland (UMD) that are at the forefront of the discussion on race and produce scholarship at the intersections of history, literature, gender studies and artistic expression. 

La Mar Jurelle Bruce, Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies

La Marr Jurelle Bruce was awarded the 2016 Ford Foundation  Postdoctoral Fellowship, which is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He is one of only 21 scholars to receive the postdoctoral fellowship in this year’s rigorous nationwide competition.

Bruce’s scholarship focuses on “blackness and feeling—that is, the phenomenological, affective, and erotic textures of black life across the diaspora,” Bruce said. “I am especially interested in how feeling informs, inspires, infuses, and sometimes inhibits black expressive cultures,” he added. At UMD, he teaches courses in Africana and American performance, literature, visual art and popular culture.

The fellowship will fund Bruce for the 2016-17 academic year while he completes his first book, “How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness, Blackness, and Radical Creativity.” The book is a study of black artists who mobilize “madness” within radical performance and literature. Proposing a theory of madness that addresses its floating signification—and traverses its phenomenological, clinical, sociocultural, and political dimensions—Bruce confronts “the mad” in the work of Charles Mingus, Nina Simone, Amiri Baraka, Ntozake Shange, Patricia J. Williams, Lauryn Hill and Dave Chappelle, among others.

“African American artists have deployed ‘madness’ as content, methodology, metaphor, form, aesthetic and existential posture in an enduring black radical tradition,” Bruce said. “By ‘going mad,’ these artists also expose and convey the violence, chaos, strangeness, wonder, paradox, and danger—in short, the phenomenological madness—that infuses modernity’s racial drama.”

Bruce will be hosted by the Center for Africana Studies and the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During his time there, he will be mentored by Guthrie Ramsey, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Ford Foundation Fellowship Program awards pre-doctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral scholarships to scholars who promote diversity in the academy.

Julius Fleming Jr., Assistant Professor in the Department of English

Julius Fleming Jr. was awarded a post-doctoral residential research and teaching fellowship at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, where he will be completing his first book manuscript, “Technologies of Liberation: Performance and the Art of Black Political Thought.” In addition, he will begin his second book project, which examines the intersections of race, medicine and capital in black performance and literature—19th century to the present.

Fleming specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century African diasporic literatures and cultures, with particular interests in performance, visual culture, sound studies, philosophy and medicine, particularly how they intersect with race, gender and sexuality. He was inspired to pursue his field of research when he was an undergraduate student at Tougaloo College, a private, historically black college in Central Mississippi that served as a bastion for civil rights activism. 

The Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia funds residencies for scholars who specialize in the study of Africa and the African diaspora. Fleming will be part of the post-doctoral program that offers a two-year research and teaching fellowship.

 Christopher Bonner, Assistant Professor in the Department of History

Christopher Bonner was a 2015-16 recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia. The fellowship has enabled him to work on his current book project, “The Price of Citizenship: Black Protest, American Law, and the Shaping of Society, 1827-1868,” which examines the lives of free Africans who were working to define citizenship and secure rights in the decades before the Civil War.

Bonner chose to pursue the NEH fellowship in Philadelphia, a city that is considered a center for African American politics before the American Civil War broke out in 1789.

In his book project, Bonner poses questions about how people can change their government and about what black freedom means in a slaveholding society. His ultimate goal, Bonner says, is to shed light on the contributions of black activists before the end of slavery and their role in the creation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which is considered the foundation for citizenship and rights for the modern United States.

“I've been drawn to this work as a way of exploring the long history of struggles for civil rights in the United States,” Bonner said. “I'm also interested in understanding how black Americans have related to and worked to transform the structures of American law and government.”

The NEH Post-Doctoral Fellowship supports scholarship related to United States history and the Atlantic world from the 17th through the 19th centuries. It provides a monthly stipend and access to conduct research in residence at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

About the College of Arts and Humanities

The College of Arts and Humanities has made serious investments in African American culture and history, hiring faculty clusters in African American literature and history, adding to the strong community of African Americanist scholars already spread across the campus’s many colleges. The university is also home to important research centers such as the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity and the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora.

 Through interdisciplinary collaborations led by the College of Arts and Humanities, UMD is also expanding the breadth of research possibilities in the fields of African American history, literature and culture, and the digital humanities. A new project co-directed by the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)—“Synergies among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture”—will utilize digital humanities to develop tools, methods and archives to address African American themed research questions.

Lobby, Physical Sciences Complex
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Terry Tempest Williams and members of Narrative4 will lead an environmentally themed story exchange at the University of Maryland.

The Clarice, Gildenhorn Recital Hall
Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Terry Tempest Williams, award winning author of “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family & Place” and “Finding Beauty in a Broken World,” will discuss the role of the humanities in environmentalism.

3/9/15

 

By Jeremy Snow, The Diamondback

 

After 10 years of saving money, two years of planning and nine months of renovation, the Old Greenbelt Theatre is ready for showtime.

The more-than-75-year-old single-screen movie theater near Crescent Road in Greenbelt will reopen to the public as a nonprofit theater later this month. Caitlin McGrath, a university English professor who is now the theater’s executive director, said the theater could offer special events and screenings as well as internships for students.

Though it had long been underperforming and had been closed for the last nine months, McGrath said she thought that with enough support, the location could become a community staple.

“It felt like a really good fit where I could use my strengths as a film academic and connections in that world, and also with the community on this campus to breathe new life into the theater,” she said.

The theater will continue to screen mainstream movies at night, but it will now hold events, film series and special screenings for the first time, McGrath said. For example, she hopes to start by showing Oscar-nominated movies and other notable films from the nine months during which the theater was closed for renovation.

McGrath said she hopes the theater becomes a cinematic hub for the university, as students can easily reach it via the 130 Greenbelt Shuttle-UM route.

 

 

The University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the second round of Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative recipients. This latest round includes Leslie Felbain, associate professor in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies; Merle Collins professor in the Department of English and Scott Wible, associate professor in the Department of English along with Ph.D. candidates Heather Lindenman and Justin Lohr.

The 2015 recipients will lead several arts and humanities courses in the spring semester whose themes support community needs and whose products enhance student learning and engagement. The development of those courses is sponsored by the Foxworth Initiative.

One course will use interactive theater to explore self-esteem and personal boundaries with at-risk high school students. Another course will work with a local non-profit to introduce Caribbean literature and culture to traditionally underrepresented youth. A final course teams ninth graders at a local high school with “college buddies” to encourage social activism and effective change by exploring a social issue through use of rhetoric, theatre, dance or poetry.

“Funding from the Foxworths provides students an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the experiences of people of diverse heritages and economic backgrounds,” Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean for the College of Arts and Humanities, said. “They participate in meaningful cultural and civic exchanges that promote greater awareness of the value and importance of the arts and humanities.”

This initiative is made possible by the generosity of two college alumni, Domonique and Ashley Foxworth. Domonique, Class of 2004, is a graduate of American Studies and Ashley, ’06, is an English alumna. The Foxworth Initiative is intended to support learning that brings students in contact with their surrounding communities as partners and allies in practices that help transform and bring about social justice. Courses supported by the initiative provide students with skills and critical thinking that support continued community engagement beyond their college career. For more information, visit www.arhu.umd.edu/foxworth.

2015 FACULTY COHORT

Faculty Lead: Leslie Felbain, associate professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Course: Theatre of the Oppressed, TDPS458T

Social Issues: Violence, abuse, addiction, crime, bullying and inequity.

Approach: Students will learn about “Theatre of the Oppressed,” a form of community-based education that uses theater as a tool for social and political activism and transformation. In this case, the course will address self-esteem and boundaries as they relate to a wide range of violations that result in trauma and violence and how those experiences become normalized because of social and institutional values.

Weekly to bi-weekly workshops will be scheduled and personal exchanges between the student groups will help build trust as well as inform the scenarios and situations to be explored by both groups of students.  The course will be documented through journaling, visual arts, video and audio recordings.  UMD students will also be required to write a paper documenting their research in applied theatre.

This course will address at-risk high school students. Among the specific communities is the Maya Angelou Academy, an in-house school for incarcerated juveniles in Laurel, Md.

Community benefit:  By interacting in a safe environment a new, expanded community will develop, one in which all participants will be valued equally and learn from each other. The participants will brainstorm working solutions and strategies for topics explored. An important goal of the project is to inspire all of the participating students to expand their horizons, learn the techniques presented and share these techniques with other communities. Students will be encouraged to continue their education and become spokespeople for causes that are important to them and impact their communities.

 

Faculty Lead:  Merle Collins, professor of comparative literature and English

Course: “Caribbean Stop:  Poetry and Short Stories from the Region," ENGL368C

Social Issue:  Access to education

Approach:  This project-based course is designed to provide UMD students the chance to work with the non-profit Cultural Academy for Excellence (CAFÉ), which serves elementary school children in Prince George’s County, Md. The course will introduce UMD students to selected works of Caribbean literature. Subsequently, the students will introduce these works to students at CAFÉ. UMD students will work with young people, helping with basic homework and contributing to the development of the confidence needed to accomplish academic goals. They will also be required to submit weekly reports and keep a journal throughout the semester that outlines their activities and methodologies.

The course will also produce a musical production on the steelpan of a short story entitled “Pan,” written by a celebrated Caribbean writer.  The steelpan production will be directed by a musician who works with CAFE students.  It will give UMD students a deeper understanding of oral traditions in Caribbean literature and will benefit the CAFÉ children, who will experience working collectively on a cultural and literary production with university students.

Community benefit:  In additional to improving academic performance, UMD students will help expand CAFÉ participants’ cultural and literary abilities by teaching them about Caribbean literature. By acting as teachers and role models, UMD students—already an example of success among young adults—will show elementary students that university education is an attainable goal.

 

Faculty Lead: Scott Wible, associate professor, Department of English.

Student Lead: Heather Lindenman, Ph.D. candidate and Justin Lohr, professional track faculty member, Department of English

Course Title: Writing for Change ENGL292 and ENGL388C

Social Issues: Educational inequity, literacy, civic education, intercultural communication

Approach: “Writing for Change” connects ninth grade students from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. with UMD “college buddies.” Over the course of the semester, the students and their college buddies will be co-tasked with improving their community by raising awareness of and proposing solutions to a pressing issue. Students might choose to tackle their issue through any number of genres including dance, dramatic monologues or spoken word poems. The college students will teach their buddies about writing concepts, such as audience awareness and literary strategies, while also mentoring them on time management and empathetic reasoning.  The course will be documented through letters between the high schoolers and their buddies, essays and websites created and curated by both parties but maintained by the college students.

Community benefit: In the process of composing, revising and performing their projects, the teams of students learn how to exercise their rhetorical savvy to affect their communities. For example, the issue students and their buddies choose might relate to intercultural conflicts, drug use in their community or discrimination by the police—anything that the high school students collectively decide needs to be addressed.  At the heart of the course is the notion that the arts and writing can be used to bring about demonstrable change in two ways:  by bringing together community members in a performance event and public forum and by compelling each individual composer to reconsider his or her subject position, creative capacity and civic responsibility. The high school students will not only give the UMD students an opportunity to transform words into action, but they will introduce the college students to their local communities.

1121 Tawes Hall
Friday, March 27, 2015 - 9:00 AM to Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 5:45 PM

This interdisciplinary conference will address perspectives on power and all its implications within, but not limited to, political, literary, cinematic and cultural contexts, and more.

Tawes Hall, University of Maryland, College Park
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 8:30 AM to Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 6:00 PM

The Graduate School Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies hosts Knowing Nature in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, Friday and Saturday, October 24-25, 2014. The conference is free and open to the public.

Tawes Hall
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 10:00 AM to Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 5:00 PM

This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods, seeking to rethink the relation between fields of knowledge and to bridge the widening gap between the humanities and the sciences in our own universities.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - English