Upcoming English Events

December 9

Down the Rabbit Hole . . . to Victorian Fantastical Literature.

All are invited to this gallery of words, images, and music that enables visitors to experience Victorian fantastical literature from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and much more. December 9, 6:00-8:00 p.m. (feel free to drop in any time); Olsen Student Center, North Dining Hall C.

Alice Key in Hand

December 10

Literary Theory Presentations and Roundtable Discussion

Students from ENG 455 will be giving presentations on their final projects for the course on Monday, December 10, from 3:10-6:30, in Lincoln Auditorium in Roberts. The presentations will be organized into three panels. The presentations are free and open to the public.

Monday, December 10

3:10-4:10 On Garland-Thomson’s Staring: How We Look

Kirstin Corey, “The Body: Experience, Prejudice and Perception”

Conor Crandall, “Looking at the Strange in Gulliver’s Travels

Jane Metsker, “Staring in Wilfred

Caitlin Hession, “Scars to your Beautiful: An Analysis on how Society and Self Perceive Breast Cancer Scars”

Curtis Cole, “Ludic Staring: How Video Games Define Visual Communication.”

 

4:20-5:20 Audio and Visual Texts

Cora Curtis, “Abstraction in Visual and Auditory Art”

Brandon Becker, “Sounds of Horror on Film”

Kristine Sarasin, “Music and Character Depth in Adult Animation”

Belanna Morales, “Communication in Acoustic Spaces: A Sound Studies Analysis of Begin Again

Annie Moloney, “Soundtrack as Collage: An Analysis of Sound and Storytelling in I’m Not There and the Music of Bob Dylan”

5:30-6:30 Musical Performance

Nichole Decker, “Musical Parody, Mickey Katz, and Weird Al Yankowitz”

Hailey Wellington, “Nina Cried Power: Hozier’s Audiotopia”

Juliana Burch, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys- An Aural Dystopian Album”

Jessica Leibowitz, “Discovering the Invisible Cities Opera”

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Humanities Spring Reception

The Humanities Division at the University of Maine at Farmington recently help its annual spring reception to celebrate the end of the school year and the honor the the past year of accomplishments by students in the Humanities. At the ceremony, we recognized a variety of student accomplishments:

SIGMA TAU DELTA (English Honor Society) newly inducted members:

  • Thandiwe Andrade-Foster
  • Tegan Bradley
  • Carrie Close
  • Christina Kouros
  • Heather Leet
  • Wenyi (Nyx) Lu
  • Dale Rappaneau, Jr.
  • Alison Turtlott
  • Sarah Veilleux
  • Henry Wanat

SIGMA TAU DELTA members who are graduating:

  • Jessica Casey
  • Nicholas Cross
  • ​Christina Kouros​
  • Elizabeth Thompson
  • Alison Turtlott
  • Hannah Zimmerman

 

SIGMA TAU DELTA officers for 2018-2019:

  • Aurora Bartley (President)
  • Tegan Bradley (Vice President)
  • Curtis Cole (Secretary)
  • Thandiwe Andrade-Foster (Treasurer)

WILSON FELLOWS AND SCHOLARS:​

  • Curtis Cole (Wilson Fellow), faculty advisor Daniel Gunn
  • Hannah Calkin (Wilson Scholar), faculty advisor Shana Youngdahl
  • Richard Southard (Wilson Scholar), faculty advisors Michael Johnson and Steven Pane
  • Lauren Stetson (Wilson Scholar), faculty advisor Eireann Lorsung

RECOGNITION FOR LIFE-LONG LEARNING: Dorothy (Dot) White

SUCCESSFUL GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICANT: Cassidy Marsh (pursuing an M.A. in English at the University of Maine)

VARIOUS WRITING ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

Alice James Books Director’s Chair Fellowship for fall 2018: Carrie Close

Islandport Magazine Writing Contest winner: Aimee Degroat (for “Where He Ain’t”)

University of Maine at Augusta Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival Poetry Contest:

  • Third prize: Gail Bello
  • Second prize: Billie Rose Newby

​Urban Apprenticeship Grants​ (funded by Proctor and Gamble):

Tegan Bradley

Zoe Stonetree

BFA SENIOR AWARD:

Fall 2017: Willy Doehring

Spring 2018: Hannah Calkin

BETH EISEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: Dale Rappaneau, Jr.

HONORABLE MENTION FOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE FIELD OF ENGLISH (finalists for Parks Award and Wood Scholarship):

  • Jenna Arcand
  • Conor Crandall
  • Ashley Forshaw
  • Joshua Heath
  • Meagan Jones
  • Elizabeth Kane
  • Emily Marquis
  • Dale Rappaneau, Jr.

MAUD L. PARKS AWARD: Annie Moloney

ELEANOR WOOD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: Belanna Morales

Editing and Publishing Minor

In addition to offering a major in English, the English department also participates in several interdisciplinary minors, including a recently approved minor in Editing and Publishing.

Editing and Publishing Minor

Students in this minor will develop the knowledge and experience to design, edit, and publish work in a variety of genres through a combination of hands-on learning and course work.  They will gain familiarity with the history, ethics, and business of publishing and have opportunities to integrate these with studies in literature, creative writing, and journalism.  Students will gain experience in both digital and print production and be prepared for careers in a variety of fields within publishing.

Required Courses   

ENG 202 – Editing                                            4   credits

ENG 203—Essentials of Publishing               4

ENG 204 – Studies in Book Arts                      4

ENG 396 or 397 – Approved Internship/Apprenticeship                     (2-4 credits)

(ENG 396/397 may be doubled counted with approval of Editing and Publishing and Major Advisor)

Prerequisites:  ENG 202, 203 or 204

One of the following writing courses (cannot be doubled counted

with major requirements):    (4 credits each)                                4

ENG 200 Professional Writing

ENG 201 Public Writing

ENG 150 Creative Writing

ENG 152 Creative Writing for Nonmajors

ENG 210 Fiction Writing

ENG 211 Poetry Writing

ENG 212 Creative Nonfiction

ENG 213 Journalism

ENG 214 Screenwriting

ENG 218 Writing for the Stage

ENG 277 Writing-Centered Topics courses

ENG 310 Advanced Fiction

ENG 311 Advanced Poetry

ENG 312 Advanced Nonfiction

ENG 314 Advanced Screenwriting

 

One course in contemporary literature        4

(may be double counted with major requirements)  

Total credits for the Minor:  22-26

 

Business Communications Minor

In addition to offering a major in English, the English department also participates in several interdisciplinary minors, including the new Business Communications Minor.

Business Communications

The minor in Business Communications is an interdisciplinary program designed to equip students with the knowledge, abilities, and resources that will enable them to communicate effectively across a wide variety of professional situations. The minor includes courses in English and in Business, and is open to students in any major. Students must take at least two courses in English and two courses in Business, including BUS 220 Principles of Marketing. ENG 397/BUS 397 Internship and one additional course in either English or Business are also required.

*Starred courses have pre-requisites not included in the minor requirements.

Required Course:

BUS 220                    Principles of Marketing*                                           4

Four of the following:

 

BUS 277 / 377    Special Topics in Marketing*     4

BUS 320        Consumer Behavior*                        4

BUS 323        Digital Marketing*                            4

BUS 326        Social Media Marketing*                  4

BUS 337        International Marketing*                 4

BUS 375        Marketing Management*                  4

ENG 200        Professional Writing                         4

ENG 201        Public Writing                                    4

ENG 212        Creative Non-Fiction*                        4

ENG 213H        Journalism*                                      4

ENG 277        Writing-Centered Topics Courses*   4

ENG 312        Advanced Creative Writing*             4

 

Experiential Learning:

ENG 396/397 or BUS 396/397: Participation in an internship related to the minor during the student’s academic career (2-4 credits),

*Course may not be double-counted for both major and minor.

Total credits for the minor: 22-24

Other courses may be recommended for students, including ART 112A (Digital Imaging), ART 244 (Creative Imaging), PSY 347 (The Psychology of Persuasion), and MAT 120 (Statistics), among others.

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Literature Courses

ENG 251H BRITISH TEXTS AND CONTEXTS I  MWF 1:10-2:15 (DANIEL GUNN)
In this course, we will study English poetry, prose, and drama from early Anglo-Saxon lyrics through 1798, with an emphasis on literary, historical, and cultural contexts. The material will be divided into three loose historical clusters—Medieval, Early Modern, and Eighteenth Century—and we will consider a series of related texts in each of these areas. We will also be following three important themes throughout the semester: the constitutive power of literary languages; Christianity as context; and the construction of gender, particularly in the depiction of women.  For fall, 2018, texts will include substantial selections from Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Paradise Lost; Robinson Crusoe; and additional work by Elizabeth I, Donne, Herbert, Lanyer, Congreve, Pope, Goldsmith, Leapor, and other writers.  Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 265H AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE T 6:15-9:35 (MICHAEL JOHNSON)
An interdisciplinary study of African American literature examined in the context of music, art, film, and other media representations of African American life that will include a wide range of literary, historical, and cultural materials (from ancient African folk tales to contemporary black writers, performers, and artists).  This semester the course will be part of the 1968 Then and Now Co-Lab and will have a particular focus on the mutual influence of African American aesthetic and political movements: from the Black Arts and Black Power movements of the 1960s to today’s Black Lives Matter movement.  Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 272H AMERICAN TEXTS AND CONTEXTS MW 3:40-5:20 (SABINE KLEIN)

This section of American Texts and Contexts will focus on the way memory, history, and trauma have shaped American literature since the Colonial Era. Throughout the semester, we will read novels, personal narratives, histories, dramas, and poetry by such authors as William Bradford, Allison Bechdel, Willa Cather, Louise Erdrich, and Tony Kushner among others. We will consider how authors approach personal and national pasts and how they deal with difficult personal and national experiences.

Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 277H GENDER AND THE LITERATURES OF GLOBALIZATION TuTh 3:50-5:30 (ANN KENNEDY)

In this course, we will study literature and film that explores the connection between gender and the historical processes of globalization. We will analyze how gender is implicated in the literatures of people and cultures in and between nations, covering topics such as the black diaspora, transnational economics and labor, immigration and migration, water and ecoliterature, tourism and travel and new genres such as petro-fiction and narco-novelas.  Authors might include Monica Ali, Chris Abani, Dionne Brand, Jenny Turner, Bharati Mukherjee, Helon Habila, Yuri Herrera, Mohsin Hamid, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 288H WOMEN AND WRITING   TuTh 12:00-1:40  (KRISTEN CASE)
This course will feature a range of texts by women from the beginning of the western literary tradition through the present, including Sappho, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Helene Cixous, Gertrude Stein, Robin Coste Lewis, Anne Boyer, and others. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between gender and form and look closely at the way the act of writing is both practiced and thematized in the work of these writers.  Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

HUM 277H THE NEW COMMONS COURSE TuTh 9:50-11:30 (KRISTEN CASE, STEVE GRANDCHAMP, JOHN MESSIER, STEVE PANE, AND MAJA WILSON)
This team-taught course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of digital and public humanities in a semester-long engagement with the New Commons Project. Students will study the four works featured in the semester in depth, attend all New Commons events, interact with New Commons guest lecturers/performers, and create a digital or public outreach project based on one of the four works. Through the works studied in this course will be drawn from several disciplines, the approach will be Humanities-based, involving discussion about and interpretation of works, close attention to language and meaning, and analysis.

ENG 344 EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY LITERATURE TuTh 3:50-5:30 (DANIEL GUNN)
This is an advanced course in eighteenth-century English literature.  We will begin by looking at some of Addison’s Spectator papers to get a sense of the social, cultural, and literary atmosphere of the eighteenth century.  Then we will move on to consider works by Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Charlotte Lennox, a collection of women poets, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, and Jane Austen.  Texts from this period tend to be comic, satiric, highly rational, socially engaged, and formally sophisticated.  We will, in addition, be reading a series of critical essays, including work written from feminist, historicist, and formalist perspectives, in an effort to develop a preliminary idea of the issues addressed by eighteenth-century scholars and the range of possible interpretive strategies suggested by their work.   Prerequisite: one 200-level ENG literature class.

ENG 345 THE ROMANTIC ERA MW 3:40-5:20 (MISTY KRUEGER)
Study of representative literature from 1798 to 1832, with an emphasis on poetry, gothic fiction, and a theme: “the power of the imagination.” Texts are chosen from the works of writers such as Wollstonecraft, Austen, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, the Shelleys, and Keats. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level ENG literature course.

ENG 362 AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING TuTh 1:50-3:30 (KRISTEN CASE)
An exploration of the concept of environment in American writing from the 19th century to the present, this course will address fundamental questions about the relation between nature and culture at play in American writing about the natural world.  Readings will include ​writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Leslie Marmon Silko, Roy Scranton, Michael Pollan, and others.  Prerequisite: one 200-level ENG literature class.

ENG 455 LITERARY THEORY AND CULTURAL STUDIES M 3:10-6:30 (MICHAEL JOHNSON)
Study of various theoretical approaches used in the analysis of literature, with the emphasis on contemporary developments in literary theory, with a particular focus this semester on semiotics, sound studies, and cultural studies. Texts will include Roland Barthes’ Mythologies, Josh Kun’s Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, Brandon LaBelle’s Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s Staring: How We Look.  Prerequisite: one 300-level ENG literature course other than ENG 300.

ENG 477 MODERN SELVES, MODERN FICTIONS TuTh 1:50-3:30 (CHRISTINE DARROHN)
This course in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British fiction focuses on representations of the complexity of selfhood in an era of profound intellectual and social upheaval.  We will study examples of late nineteenth-century realist and Gothic fiction and of early twentieth-century fiction that boldly reinvented the conventions of narrative.  As we do so, we will familiarize ourselves with intellectual contexts, such as late Victorian degeneration theory and early twentieth-century psychology; we will study transformations of British society, especially regarding gender roles; and we will consider the impact of global events, particularly the cataclysmic Great War.  Fundamentally, we will ask what forces—psychological, social, and natural—shape and buffet the self, what is the potential for knowing oneself (or one’s selves) and others, and how do different modes of fiction pose and explore such questions.  Our texts will include fiction by at least some of the following: Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Virginia Woolf.   Prerequisite: one 300-level ENG literature course other than ENG 300.

Upcoming English Honor Society events

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Spring 2018 Literature Courses

Spring 2018 Literature Courses

ENG 250H SHAKESPEARE   MWF 2:25-3:30 (DANIEL GUNN)
This course is an introduction to Shakespearean drama, which is both enormously influential in Western culture and somehow central to our notions of what literature is and can do.  We will study seven plays, concentrating on their deployment of various poetic languages, their construction as literary artifacts, and the theatrical and performance issues they raise.  The tentative reading list for spring includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.   In the context of this particular group of texts, we will be taking up questions related to colonialism, constructions of race and gender, political ideology, textual editing, Renaissance theatrical performance, and the genre of the late plays.    Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 252H BRITISH TEXTS AND CONTEXTS II   MW 3:40-5:20 (CHRISTINE DARROHN)
Studying nineteenth- and twentieth- century British literature, we will explore three important literary periods: the Romantic, Victorian, and twentieth-century.  We will learn about the events and contested issues of the culture as we examine the diverse ways writers (such as William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Charles Dickens, Wilfred Owen, and Virginia Woolf) responded and contributed to these in the content and form of their writing.  The events are tremendous: an economic revolution that remakes the landscape physically and socially, a political revolution that raises hopes and then dashes them, scientific discoveries that trouble traditional beliefs, a cataclysmic war, and profound changes in the legal status of women, to name just a few.  Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 277H 0001 SMALL PRESS, ALTERNATIVE, AND INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING
T 1:50-5:10  (EIREANN LORSUNG)

This course offers a mix of theoretical and material work. We will read small, alternative, and independent publishers’ books (and other artifacts) to think about what it means to be a (micro-) publisher as well as to think about what kinds of writing have entered the literary scene via these publishers over the past decade or so. We will encounter and grapple with the question “What is a book?” and use books we read (and those we make) to address it at the axis of form and content. In addition to reading literary work, we will read scholarly writing on small press publishing as we work to articulate our own editorial/publishing/artistic philosophies. Part of our time will be spent in bookmaking practica, in which students will learn to bind physical books. Students in this course can expect to read a book a week for much of the semester, write three papers, and work independently or in a team on a final editorial/publishing project.  Prerequisite: ENG 100 and sophomore standing.

 

ENG 277H  0002 THE AMERICAN MOVIE THRILLER   T 1:50-5:10  (BILL MESCE)
Since the coming of sound to movies, the American movie thriller in all its forms — crime stories, war movies, Westerns, sci fi and horror, etc. — has offered a reflection of the American character, the movies changing as American society changed. The thriller may have offered an exaggerated, sometimes even distorted view, but one always somehow connected to the audience it served. This course will examine a number of key movie thrillers, and the social context which produced them and which they reflected.

ENG 277H 0003 WRITING REVIEWS AND CRITICISM FOR SOCIAL MEDIA   
MWF 1:10-2:15   (MICHAEL JOHNSON)

Primary readings in literary and cultural studies theory will provide conceptual frameworks for offering critical commentary on contemporary culture (literature, film, television, music, etc.). That commentary will take the form of blog posts, reviews, recaps, tweets, podcasts, etc. Also included in our primary readings will be contemporary blogs and websites that offer reviews and cultural criticism.  Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 295H THE FEMALE BODY IN WESTERN CULTURE      TR 12:00-1:40      (ANN KENNEDY)
In this course we examine historical and contemporary constructions of the female body in Western culture: in medicine and science, in law, in popular culture, in literature, and in sports culture. Our goals are to become more astute cultural critics, to better understand the political, personal, intellectual, and social ramifications of dominant constructions of the female body, and to analyze challenges to these constructions—in theory, research, literature, the arts, and in everyday embodied practices. Prerequisite: ENG 100; for students in ENG, SEN, CWR, or ELE-Language Arts, ENG 100 and ENG 181.

ENG 300 CRITICAL CONCEPTS  MW 3:40-5:20  (MISTY KRUEGER)
Students will investigate foundational schools of literary theory, learn about the field of English as an academic discipline, and think about how being an English major prepares them for life and career after their degrees are completed. As a result, students will become aware of different critical approaches to literature and will begin to define their individualized interests and aims in the major.  At the end of the course, each student will complete a concentration statement that explains how four or more of the elective courses in the major form a coherent group.  Prerequisite: ENG major, ENG 181, and one 200-level literature course.

ENG 377 0001 NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE AND FILM     M 3:10-6:30   (MICHAEL JOHNSON)
The focus of this course will be Native American literature and film primarily written and produced over the last two decades. We will place that material in the larger context of the history of Native American representation in film and literature. We will be especially attentive to Native American literature that has been adapted to film, but we will also look at films with original scripts, at experimental films, and documentaries.  Prerequisite: 200-level ENG literature class or JR/SR standing.

ENG 377 0002 WORLDS OF THE VICTORIAN NOVEL  TR 1:50-3:30  (CHRISTINE DARROHN)
How do British Victorian novels evoke complex worlds and welcome readers into them?  During a period of extraordinary transformation, how did the diverse kinds of novels that were popular in the Victorian age enable writers and readers to understand themselves, their relation to others, and their place in the world?  What can we today–as we face the challenges within our own local and global communities–learn from these novels?  We will explore the multifaceted worlds–physical, social, and psychological–created in a variety of Victorian novels, such as the sensation novel, the multiplot novel, and the adventure novel, including novels by some of the following: Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charlotte Bronte, Lewis Carroll, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, H. Rider Haggard, and Bram Stoker. Prerequisite: 200-level ENG literature class

ENG 477 SEMINAR: AUSTEN, ELIOT, JAMES   TR 9:50-11:30   (DANIEL GUNN)  
An advanced seminar, focused on three novels: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen; Middlemarch, by George Eliot; and The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James.  The works of these three writers constitute a central tradition in the history of the English novel, and they share many formal and thematic features, including moral scrupulousness, precise evocations of social circumstance, carefully modulated irony, narrative subtlety and complexity, and an interest in representing consciousness.  We will read and discuss the novels in detail and consider them in relation to one another and in the context of recent scholarship.  Students will spend the last six weeks of the semester working on substantial seminar papers, which they will present to the class.  Prerequisite: 300-level ENG literature class other than ENG 300.

ENG 491 CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN ENGLISH W 3:10-6:30  (KRISTEN CASE)

An advanced seminar, focusing on a capstone independent research project, for senior English majors who have already taken one 400-level seminar.  Students will draw on the knowledge they have developed during their coursework in the major to create a project that synthesizes and extends that knowledge and engages in a wider scholarly or professional conversation. Research topics may be influenced by the instructor’s areas of expertise. Students will present their capstone projects publicly and will write reflections on the research process.  Prerequisite: senior ENG major and 400-level ENG literature course.

 

Looking back at Spring 2017

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Brunch for graduating senior English majors

 

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Richard Southard’s presentation, part of his Wilson Scholars presentation on literary adaptation and the art of magic.

Symposium Day Highlights

Game Day in the Proto-Science Fiction Class

The Surrealist Salon

At the inaugral Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society) meeting.

 

 

Adaptation and Magic

 

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Literary Adaptation and the Art of Magic” was a performance and presentation by Creative Writing and English major Richard Southard. With the support of a Wilson Scholarship in Spring 2017, Richard worked on a scholarly and creative project focused on adaptations of literature to magic. He developed a set of card magic routines adapted from a variety of literary texts (e.g., a card trick based on John Keats’s “The Human Seasons), which he performed, and he also gave a presentation about the history of magical adaptations of literature and about his own process of adaptation. Since card magic works best in a more intimate setting, for the first fifteen-twenty minutes of the event small groups (4-5 people) from the audience joined Richard on stage, where performed one card trick for each group.

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You can experience Richard’s magic for yourself through videos posted on YouTube, including his adaptation of John Keats’ “The Human Seasons.”

The New Commons Project

English majors at UMF should be excited by the arrival this fall of the first stages of The New Commons Project, supported by a Mellon Grant, which will endeavor to build a collection of 24 cultural works (novels, plays, poems, graphic novels, essays, paintings, songs, symphonies, albums, films, videos, performances, philosophical treatises, scientific works, manifestos…). Over a five year period, each of those works will provide a focus for discussion and programming on the UMF campus.

The works will be nominated for inclusion via short videos. Anyone living in the state of Maine can make and submit a video nominating a favorite work. Submissions are already open.

UMF English major Astra Pierson has already submitted her video!

 

From the press release about the program:

UMF awarded prestigious Mellon Foundation grant

FARMINGTON, ME  (July 10, 2017)—University of Maine at Farmington President Kathryn A. Foster is proud to announce that the University has received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This prestigious award will be used to support the creation of a New Commons Project in Public Humanities and Arts for UMF and the Maine community.

“Over the course of our history from the 1860s to the present, UMF has championed humanities and arts as a cornerstone of a quality education to help individuals broaden their horizons and contribute to their community,” said Foster. “We are honored by this significant Mellon Foundation award and the opportunity to spotlight a collection of wide-ranging works selected by and for our Maine community.”

Through the next five years, the New Commons Project will help give voice to the role of UMF as a public liberal arts university and as a cultivator and steward of artistic and creative works and the communal ideas they bring to life. Starting in fall 2017, UMF will work with the Maine Humanities Council, schools, libraries and other groups to solicit video entries about works of literature, philosophy, history, music, art, film, theatre and other arts and humanities disciplines that merit a place in a New Commons today.

“The creation of a statewide digital ‘commons’ of artistic, cinematic, historical, literary, and musical work has the potential to become a national model for public liberal arts colleges and state humanities councils who create, share, and disseminate knowledge in behalf of the common good,” said Eugene Tobin, a senior program officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities at the Mellon Foundation.  “We are very pleased to support this thoughtful and innovative contribution to the public humanities and the people of Maine.”

From the wide array of works nominated and posted to the on-line Commons, a project advisory group will select 24 works—classic or contemporary, diverse and compelling—for special use and value to the Maine community in the 21st Century. People on campus and throughout the state will come together on-line and in-person to study, discuss and draw insight and inspiration from these varied and meaningful works.

“As a public institution, UMF celebrates a legacy of providing the community access to the rich experience and exchange of ideas that are found in the arts and humanities,” said Eric Brown, UMF provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The Commons Project invites creation and consideration of our cultural commons found in novels, paintings, films, symphonies, essays, poems, graphic novels, sculptures, treatises, songs or any other artistic and humanistic medium.”

For each work, UMF will host a number of open-to-the-public events, including a faculty-led seminar, public lecture by a prominent scholar, and workshop. In collaboration with local school districts and the Maine Humanities Council, the New Commons Project will coordinate community engagement projects around each work. A digital portal will be established to provide the community with access to extensive online resources. A Digital Commons course will be available to students in which they will work with a Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow to create portal content that will be accessible statewide.

“A commons is something that belongs to all of us. It represents a public good, like clean air or knowledge, from which we all benefit. We want the New Commons Project to embody that idea,” said Kristen Case, UMF Associate Professor of English and Director of the New Commons Project. “We can’t wait to see what works of art, literature, and ideas our diverse community believes we need to consider together here and now.”

For more about the New Commons Project, including how to submit nominations, visit the website at http://newcommons.umf.maine.edu/.