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THE COMMON READER
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From the Chair  |  In Print  |  Panels & Presentations  |  Awards & Appointments  |  Miscellany  |  From the Editor

Panels & Presentations

TropicSusan Thananopavarn presented "Los Angeles 'Traffic:' Migration and the Politics of Globalization in Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange" at the 21st Annual MELUS conference (Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S.) held in Fresno, CA, March 22-25.  According to Thananopavarn, Tropic of Orange is an ethically complex novel that uses Los Angeles traffic as a metaphor for the dense mass of humanity at the center and on the periphery of global 'traffic.'  Through the magical path of an orange, the story describes the beauty and hope of migration across borders as well as the structural inequality of policies such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)."

Seodial Deena was the invited speaker for several talks titled "Topics on Literature, Religion, Culture and Globalization," in Dehradun, Uttaranchal; Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh; and Kotiya, Chhattisgarh, February 11-24, 2007.

wrightLisa DeVries presented "All to Herself: Inheriting the Phobic in Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife" for the "Gendering and Queering the Normal" panel at the Comparative Drama Conference, March 29-31, hosted by Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.  At that same conference, Jason Faulkner presented "The Heroism of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf in Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife" for the "Myth, Hero and Spirit in Modern Drama" panel.  According to the CDC: "The Comparative Drama Conference is an international, interdisciplinary conference founded by Dr. Karelisa Hartigan at the University of Florida in 1977.  Every year, approximately 150 scholars are invited to present and discuss their work in the field of drama.  The conference draws participants from both the Humanities and the Arts.  The papers delivered range over the entire field of theatre research and production.  Over the past 29 years the participants have come from 31 nations and all 50 states.  Papers selected for presentation are assigned to a conference panel that includes other papers with related themes.  Sessions are established to cover all the papers selected.  Each year a distinguished theatre scholar or artist whose recent work is relevant to the conference is invited to address the participants in a plenary session.  The keynote speaker for 2007 [was] Jorge Huerta, whose keynote [was] entitled 'Chicano Theatre in a Society in Crisis.'"

Reginald Watson presented "Slavery (His-story): The Impact of Black History on Literature and Social Behavior" at Barton College, Wilson, NC, on February 21.  On March 19, Watson was invited to the Ridgeview Library, Hickory, NC, to present his research on James McBride's The Color of Water as part of Hickory's "Big Read Event."

WestPuckettStephanie West-Puckett recently concluded a ten-week series of creative writing workshops for second graders at H.B. Sugg Elementary School in Farmville, NC.  The workshops guided the students through each step of the writing process with the goal of meeting the guidelines for the 13th Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, sponsored locally by UNC-TV.  All students who participated were honored on March 15th with a writer's reading. The students pictured, including Rylan West-Puckett, met all the requirements and submitted their stories and illustrations to the contest.

Gregg Hecimovich presented "iPods and Podcasting: A How-to Guide" at the UNC-TLT (University of North Carolina -- Teaching and Learning with Technology) 2007 Conference held March 21-23 in Raleigh, NC.  In addition, Hecimovich presented "Learning Lab Series: Marking Papers" for the Excellence in Teaching Series hosted by ECU's Academic Outreach and "Marking Papers with Crayons" in the Professional Development Workshop for the Composition Committee of the English Department in March.

Resa Crane Bizzaro delivered "Representing Identities Among Native Americans: Pyscho-Cultural Conflict and Rewriting History" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication on March 22-24, in New York City, where she also chaired the Caucus for American Indian Scholars and Scholarships annual meeting.

Ellen Arnold organized and chaired panels at the SouthWest/Texas Popular Culture Association meeting, February 7-10, in Albuquerque, NM, and at the Native American Literature Symposium, March 8-10, in Mt. Pleasant, MI, on American Indian literatures in the Southeast.  These panels emerged from the special issue of Mississippi Quarterly on American Indian Literatures and Cultures in the Southeast edited by Arnold and Wm. Joseph Thomas (60.2) forthcoming in 2007.

brownJerry Leath Mills spoke at this year's Conference for the Book dedicated to the late fiction writer Larry Brown at the University of Mississippi on March 22-24.  According to the Conference website: "Before his sudden death of a heart attack in 2004 at age 53, Brown was a legend around town, known as the Oxford firefighter who quit his job to write full time.  His eventual five novels, two short story collections and two books of nonfiction earned him the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, Southern Critics Award for Fiction, Thomas Wolfe Award and Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award.  He was honored in 2000 with the Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in Arts." In addition to Mills, Mark Richard, Clyde Edgerton, Steve Yarbrough, Ellen Douglas, Andre Dubus III, and Jill McCorkle also spoke about Brown's legacy at the conference.  Mills's talk "Larry Brown as a Man of Letters" was sponsored by the Archives and Special Collections division of the university library.  Mills discussed ways in which Brown's letters, written to friends over time and currently being collected at Ole Miss, provide insights into his life and works.

At Methodist University's Southern Writers Symposium on Februray 24, Margaret Bauer spoke about her work editing a biography of Paul Green for the deceased author and about her own findings in interviews with Green about his work with Richard Wright on the dramatic version of Native Son.  Also at this same conference, Gregg Hecimovich presented "Searching for Hannah Crafts in Eastern North Carolina."

Clancy Ratliff presented "Negotiating and Regulating Plagiarism in Everyday Blogging Practices" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in New York, March 22-24.  Ratliff discussed several cases illustrating what bloggers do when they catch other bloggers plagiarizing their writing.  She argued for "several areas of future research: 1.) study of the public negotiation of how plagiarism is defined; 2.) study of academic definitions of plagiarism and their institutional reach into blogging space -- the continuity between academic and nonacademic; and 3.) study of Copyscape, a plagiarism detection service for web authors."

androidsDon Palumbo presented "Faith and Bad Faith in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" on March 16 at the 28th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Dania, FL.  He also chaired a session on "Constructing Identity Across Cultural Differences," participated in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts Editorial Board meeting, participated in the IAFA President's Roundtable Luncheon, and represented McFarland Publishers' "Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy" series.  On April 5 at the 2007 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association meeting in Boston, Palumbo delivered "Alex Proyas' I, Robot: Much More Faithful to Asimov Than You Think."

C.W. Sullivan III read "Heinlein’s Juveniles: Space Opera vs. 'The Right Stuff'" at the 28th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 14-18.  Sullivan's paper discussed "the ways in which Heinlein contrasted his science fiction to the science fiction presented in comic strips and cartoons, arguing that he never wrote down to his juvenile readers and that, according to Heinlein, science fiction had 'prepared the youth of our time for the coming age of space.'"  Sullivan concluded that "For Heinlein, the science is an integral part of the fiction . . . Not just part of the backdrop, providing the ray-gun instead of the six-shooter without otherwise changing the plot as was characteristic of what he called 'comic-strip' or 'cartoon' science fiction . . . Science in Heinlein's juveniles is an essential and organic part of the story.  Robert A. Heinlein wrote serious science fiction; he wrote 'the right stuff.'"

bodegaYlce Irizarry presented "Down Whose Mean Streets?: When 'Que Pasa Power?' becomes 'Quien Tiene El Power?'," at the 35th Annual Conference on Literature Since 1900 held in Louisville, KY.  Her paper "explored how Ernesto Quinonez's fiction depicts racial and class conflicts within Spanish Harlem.  In his first novel, Bodega Dreams, Ernesto Quinonez depicts how well intentioned, though criminal, efforts to uplift the Puerto Rican community are dashed by internal power struggles.  In Chango's Fire, Quinonez examines the Puerto Rican community's role in Harlem's gentrification.  Both novels' treatment of inter-Latino racism, individual agency, community empowerment and/or disintegration suggest that the Puerto Rican’s community's role in its oppression is far more problematic than the role of the Anglo Americans.  By considering who designs, who benefits, and who suffers from the containment of Puerto Ricans, as in Bodega Dreams or in the burnouts and rebuilding of Harlem, as in Chango's Fire, this paper discussed how the possibilities and problems of Spanish Harlem are negotiated in contemporary fiction."

Tom Shields discussed The Professor's House by Willa Cather at the Carteret County Public Library in Beaufort on February 26 as part of the "Let's Talk About It" series sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council.  For contact information, see http://www.nchumanities.org/ltai.html

Tom Douglass served as panel discussion member with the legendary TV comedy director Hal Gurnee held in Hendrix Theater on March 21.  Gurnee helped pioneer television comedy from the 1960s-80s, with politically edged programs such as "That Was the Week That Was," "The Jack Parr Show," and more recently "The Man Show" and the 1980s "Dave Letterman Show."


 
 
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