"Raleigh and the Atlantic World Symposium," organized by Thomas Herron, Marianne Montgomery, and David Wilson-Okamura, was held April 10th through the 12th on the ECU campus. Sponsored in part by the English Department and the Thomas Harriot School of Arts and Sciences, the symposium featured presentations on the transatlantic life, literature, and history of Sir Walter Raleigh, delivered by an international roster of scholars including Anna Beer, Michael Booth, Angelica Duran, Joshua Eckhardt, Wayne Erickson, Steven Galbraith, Hannibal Hamlin, Eric Klingelhofer, Julian Lethbridge, David Lee Miller, James Nohrnberg, Margaret Oakes, Judith Owens, Anna Riehl, Charles Ross, E. Thomson Shields, and Alden Vaughan. A special session paid tribute to the work of Jerry Leath Mills. Two keynote addresses were held on campus by Dr. Mark Nicholls of Cambridge University, who presented "Sir Walter Raleigh and the Elizabethan World of Thomas Harriot," and Dr. Carole Levin of the University of Nebraska who presented "Queen Elizabeth in Love." In addition, Joyner Library hosted an ongoing exhibit, "Raleigh's World: Selections from the Joyner Library Special Collections Department." The final day of the event was held at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC.
Marie Farr, a founder of ECU's Women's Studies Program and served as its first director, was honored with a reception on Friday, April 25, in Mendenhall. There to acknowledge her service and accomplishments were Dean Alan White, Provost Marilyn Sheerer and Chancellor Ballard. Those who gave speeches in tribute included Julie Fay, Michelle Eble, Bruce Southard, Jan Tovey, Rick Taylor, and Cheryl Dudasik-Wiggs among others. Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences, the Department of English, and the Women's Studies Program hosted the program and reception. An Associate Professor in the Department of English, Marie Farr has served the university community in leadership roles for program development, departmental and university service, and professional activities. From 1997 until the present, she has been the Associate Chair of the English Department, having previously served as Acting Chair of the Department of Communication (1989-1991) and Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1981-1984). She also chaired the Sub-Commission on Academic Support Programs for the ECU Planning Commission (1980-82) and served as a member of the Faculty Senate (1975-1979 and 1980-1984).
The ECU Poetry Forum sponsored a National Poetry Month reading at the Tipsy Teapot on April 21. The student, faculty, and community readers included graduating graduate student Dean Tuck and the Forum's director Luke Whisnant. The Forum's associate director Leanne E. Smith coordinated the event.
English major and Music minor Karen Harker performed songs and music, including the poetry of Emily Dickinson, for her yearly recital, in AJ Fletcher Recital Hall at the School of Music on April 20th. The progarm included Franz Schubert's "Du Liebst Mich Nicht," "Lachen und Weinen," "Dass der Ostwind Dufte," und "Du bist die Ruh;" and Lori Laitmen's "Will there really be morning?" "I'm nobody," "She died," and "If I ...".
Four Outstanding Creative Writers gave a public reading of their work on May 8 in Bate 1031. This year's outstanding undergraduate creative writers selected by the English Department's creative writing faculty included John Bosco, Dominique Marshall, Lara Parks, and Tyler Rivenbark. Bosco, a native of San Diego, CA who grew up in Virginia Beach, is a Communications major who plans to attend graduate school in film. Parks, of Roanoke Rapids, is completing her BFA in Art and will soon begin work as a children's art teacher at the KDH Cooperative Gallery in Kill Devil Hills. She is married to Stuart Parks who has recently completed his M.A. in Creative Writing. Marshall, of Fayetteville, will begin graduate studies in English at ECU in the fall. Rivenbark, of Warsaw, NC, will enter the MFA program in playwrighting at Queens College NYC this fall.
Roger Gilbert, the official biographer for poet A.R. Ammons, visited the Joyner Rare Book Archives on April 17th, to conduct research on his biography of Ammons, which Gilbert hopes to have completed by 2010. "I would like to call this an Ammons pilgrimage," said Gilbert, who has spent much of the last year traveling across the state. Special Collections, second only to Cornell University, holds the largest compilation of Ammons's personal papers, unpublished poetry, memoirs, and watercolor paintings. Special Collections also holds the only unpublished novella by Ammons. According to Gilbert, "The wealth of unpublished poetry is the glory of the ECU archive."
In April, Julie Fay attended a two-day conference in Montpellier, France -- "Max Rouquette et le renouveau de la poesie occitane," a centennial celebration of the Occitan writer whose poetry Fay is translating. In addition, Fay interviewed and recorded scholars and other Occitan writers. This past year, graduate students Katrina Hinson, Trisha Capansky, and Frank Hurley have worked with Fay and Rouquette and contemporary Occitan literature scholars from various French universities and the Association Amistats de Max Rouquette in an ongoing translation project of the Max Rouquette website and expect their translations to be online this coming summer.
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