COOPER BROADSHEET: December 2016

COOPER WINTER COLLOQUIUM

The Cooper Honors Program invites family and friends of the UALR English Department to the annual Cooper Winter Colloquium, honoring our December 2016 graduates.  This year we will have presentations from Yasmeen Al-Shukri and Blaise Hale.  The colloquium will be on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, at 11:30am-1:30pm in Library Rm. 535.  A light lunch will be provided.  Like all Cooper events, the colloquium is free and open to the public.

Yasmeen Al-Shukri‘s mentor is Dr. Jeremy Ecke; her project is entitled “Unearthing Inanna: A Student Adaptation of the Descent Cycle.”  She describes the project this way: “My project is a critical study and adaptation of the Sumerian and Babylonian myths of Inanna’s descent.”

Blaise Hale‘s mentor is Dr. Kris McAbee; her project is entitled “Using Adaptation to Teach Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the classroom.”  She describes her project, saying, “By using Macbeth as a model, this project is designed to inspire teachers to help secondary students develop an appreciation for Shakespeare through adaptations (e.g. film, television, dance, and narrative).

Please join us to celebrate the great work of our students.

COOPER STIPEND APPLICATIONS FOR SPRING 2017

The Cooper Program is currently accepting applications for new Cooper stipends to begin in Spring 2017.  The deadline for stipend applications is 5:00pm on Consultation Day, Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016. Current stipend holders do NOT need to reapply in December.  Cooper stipends are $1300 for up to 4 semesters.  Cooper stipend recipients must be declared as English majors, and graduate with a 3.5 GPA in English, and a 3.25 GPA overall.  They must complete the Cooper Honors curriculum of a 3-hour Cooper seminar, a 2-hour tutorial, and a 2-hour credit honors project.  Instructions for applying can be found on the Cooper Honors Program website here.  For more information, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER SEMINAR FOR SPRING 2017

Dr. Jeremy Ecke will offer a Cooper Honors Seminar on “Arthurian Adaptation” in Spring 2017.  The class will meet on T/Th 10:50-12:05.This class will explore the stories and myths surrounding King Arthur and his court in English, Welsh, and French traditions. Readings will range from seminal texts like Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, Wace’s Roman de Brut, and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur to looser adaptations like Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King” and Twains A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. We will supplement our core readings with adaptations in film, theater, television, and other popular forms and genres.  For more information, please contact Dr. Ecke at jsecke@ualr.edu.

STUDY AWAY WITH DR. LAURA BARRIO

aerial_view_of_the_lincoln_memorial Lincoln Memorial

Dr. Laura Barrio will conduct a 3-credit-hour study-away course to Washington, DC in June 2017.  The class may be taken for either undergraduate or graduate credit. Details are still being hammered out, but the trip will likely span 12-14 days, and stops will certainly include the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Holocaust Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian.  Enrollment is limited, so plan now for this exciting opportunity to study in the nation’s capital.  For more info, please contact Dr. Barrio at lxbarriovil@ualr.edu.

david-adjaye-smithsonian-nation-museum-washington-dc-opens-designboom-500                                  Museum of African American History and Culture

BLACK LIVES MATTER POETRY READER

The creative writing students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have been working hard to build #BlackLivesMatter: A Poetry Reader. It in, we are holding a space to bring together many of the important poems being published online in connection with the Black Lives Matter movement. It includes links to powerful work by Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tim Seibles, Juan Felipe Herrera, Claudia Rankine, and others. Read. Listen. Start somewhere. Start here.

DR. McABEE’S RETURN!

It has been a great pleasure to serve as interim Director of the Cooper Program for the past semester.  Nonetheless, I know we all look forward to the return of Dr. McAbee from her adventures in the wilds of Europe.  I have it from a reliable source that she will even attend the colloquium.

CONDOLENCES

We all offer our condolences to Vicki Plant, our office administrator, on the death of her niece over the holidays.  Please keep Vicki’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

As usual, if you have problems with this newsletter, or if you see any errors, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER BROADSHEET: October 2016

Greetings!  It’s a bit belated, but welcome back for the 2016-2017 academic year in the UALR English Department.  Dr. Kris McAbee is on OCDA (Off-Campus Duty Assignment), so Doc Yoder is back for the semester as Interim-Director.  As some of you may have heard, this will be my final year as full-time faculty at UALR, so let’s have some fun!

20 YEARS OF COOPER HONORS

This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the William G. Cooper, Jr. Honors Program in English.  In those 20 years, the program has distributed over $600,000 in scholarships and other student support, and the Cooper Lecture Series has hosted well over a 100 speakers, including the likes of Stanley Fish, Tim O’Brien, Angela Davis, and Martha Redbone.  The program supports English Department programming at all levels includeing student research, and recruitment.  Plan to help us celebrate 20 years of Cooper Honors in the Spring when Dr. McAbee returns!

NEW COOPER STIPEND HOLDERS

The Cooper Program is pleased to announce that it awarded 15 stipends this year.  First year stipend winners are Naty Doris (deferred from last year), Tiffany Fisher, Keith Harper, Jennifer Shaw, Joy Williams, and Kristina Yarberry.  Second year winners are Yasmeen Al-Shukri, Olivia Dunlap, Lindsey Fisher, Blaise Hale, Allison Ousnamer, Meghan Reed, Josiah Simpson, Sara Snyder, and Krystopher Stephens.  We congratulate these students on their success.

Cooper stipends are $1300 per semester, for  up to 4 semesters.  Stipends are awarded on a competitive basis.  To graduate with Cooper Honors in English, students must be English majors, with a 3.5 GPA in English, and 3.25 overall.  They must complete a Cooper seminar (English 4350), a 2-hour honors tutorial (English 4260), and an honors writing project (English 4270).  The Cooper Program considers applications twice a year, in December (to begin in the following spring) and in May (to begin the following fall).  The deadline for applications is always Consultation Day of either Fall or Spring semester.  The next application deadline is December 6, 2016.  More information and application forms can be found here.  For even more information, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER SPEAKER SERIES — FIRST SPEAKER

The Cooper Honors Program in English is putting together another exciting speaker series for the year.  First up is . . .

onan-photo

STEWART O’NANWednesday, October 19, 7:00pm. Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, UALR Fine Arts Building, 2801 S. University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72204

Stewart O’Nan is the author of sixteen novels, including City of SecretsWest of SunsetThe Odds, Emily Alone, Songs for the Missing, Last Night at the Lobster, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels. His short story collection, In the Walled City won the Drue Heinz Prize, Snow Angels won the Pirates Alley William Faulkner Prize and was made into a feature film directed by David Gordon Green and staring Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale, Last Night at the Lobster was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He also co-authored with Stephen King the national bestselling nonfiction Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season.  You can check out his website here.

This is event is sponsored by the William G. Cooper, Jr. Honors Program in English and the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences.  For more information, please Prof. Jeffrey Condran (jacondran@ualr.edu) or Doc Yoder (rpyoder@ualr.edu).

COOPER SEMINAR FOR SPRING 2017

Dr. Jeremy Ecke will offer a Cooper Honors Seminar on “Arthurian Adaptation” in Spring 2017.  The class will meet on T/Th 10:50-12:05.This class will explore the stories and myths surrounding King Arthur and his court in English, Welsh, and French traditions. Readings will range from seminal texts like Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, Wace’s Roman de Brut, and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur to looser adaptations like Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King” and Twains A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. We will supplement our core readings with adaptations in film, theater, television, and other popular forms and genres.  For more information, please contact Dr. Ecke at jsecke@ualr.edu.

NEW COOPER PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP

Know somebody who is planning to transfer to UALR?  The English Department and the Cooper Honors Program are pleased to announce the new Cooper Promise Award.  The Cooper Promise Award is a one-time $2500 scholarship for an incoming transfer student enrolling at UALR in Spring 2017 with at least 30 hours college credit completed. Recipient must declare a major in one of the English department concentrations (English, English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, or English with an emphasis in Secondary Education). This scholarship is funded through the William J. Cooper Honors Program in English.  The deadline for applying for the Spring 2017 Promise Award is October 26, 2016. Guidelines and the application form can be found here.  For more information, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

As always, if you see any errors, or have any problems with the Broadsheet, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER BROADSHEET: February 2016

 

HAPPY SPRING 2016!

Greetings from the Cooper Director, Dr. Kris McAbee! We have a lot of exciting events coming up this semester, so mark your calendars and be sure to attend.

NEW STIPEND RECIPIENTS

The Cooper program has admitted five new students for the Spring semester. Congratulations to our newest stipend recipients!

The new, Spring 2016, Cooper students are: Yasmeen Al-ShukriMorgan DrishJosiah SimpsonSara Snyder, and Krystopher Stephens. 

These new Cooper student join other  first year stipend recipients (Olivia Dunlap, Lindsey Fisher, Blaise Hale, Juli Lewis, Allison Ousnamer, and Meghan Reed) and returning recipients (Savannah Adams, Geoffrey Bara, Lizzie Ferguson, Keely Phillips, Kelly Singer, and Alexis Williams).

Cooper Honors stipends are $1300 per semester for up to 4 semesters.  The stipends are awarded on a competitive basis.  You can apply for a stipend twice during either semester of the regular school year; application deadlines are Consultation Day of the semester.  Information on how to apply is available online here, and click on “Student Application.”  For more information about the program, contact Dr. McAbee at kxmcabee_at_ualr.edu.

COOPER RELATED EVENTS

All Cooper Lectures are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6:00: An Evening with Novelist Amy Greene

Amy greene flyerAmy Greene is author of the New York Times bestselling novel Bloodroot. Her second novel, Long Man, was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. Both novels were New York Times Editors’ Choice picks. In 2010 Greene won the Weatherford Award for Fiction from the Appalachian Studies Association and was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance. Her third novel, The Nature of Fire, is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf.

An Evening with Novelist Amy Greene will begin with a reception before the reading on Wednesday, February 24, 6:00-7:30pm in Stella Boyle Auditorium. This event is brought to us by the UALR Visiting Writing Series, sponsored by the English Department and the Cooper Honors Program.

Thursday and Friday, Mar. 10-11: The Shakespeare Scene Festival

IMG_2794

Macbeth vs. Star Wars
Warren Dupree Elementary 2015

The Shakespeare Scene Festival brings students from Central Arkansas K-12 schools to UALR to celebrate learning through Shakespeare. This year, UALR will be hosting students from Warren Dupree Elementary, Horace Mann Middle, Henderson Middle, St. Theresa Middle, Central High, Episcopal High, Perryville High, and the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The program should last be about 9:30-noon on both days. See http://ualr.edu/shakespeare for more details and contact kxmcabee@ualr.edu if you’d like to volunteer.

Thursday, Mar. 17: Cooper Seminar Speaker, Patricia Hill Collins

In conjunction with Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar’s Cooper Honors Seminar on Literature and Social Justice , UALR will host prominent sociologist Patricia Hill Collins. Dr. Collins’ talk “Still Brave? Black Feminism as a Social Justice Project,”on Thursday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m., in Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium will be followed by a book signing.

PatriciaHillCollins_2014-Head-Shot1Collins is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of seminal works on Black feminism and race scholarship, such as Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990), Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice (1998), and On Intellectual Activism (2013). She is also a Past President of the American Sociological Association.

Co-sponsors include: UALR Office of Campus Life, the Institute on Race and Ethnicity, UALR College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, the Anthropology Club, UALR College of Social Sciences and Communication, and the Donaghey Scholars Program. For more information contact Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar at Lxbarriovil@ualr.edu.

Thursday, Mar. 31: An Evening with Poet Gary McDowell

garyJoin us for a reading by Gary McDowell. McDowell is the author of five collections of poetry, including Mysteries in a World that Thinks There Are None (Burnside Review Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Burnside Review Press Book Award; Weeping at a Stranger’s Funeral (Dream Horse Press, 2014); and American Amen (Dream Horse Press, 2010), winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize in Poetry. He’s also the co-editor, with F. Daniel Rzicznek, of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (Rose Metal Press, 2010).

An Evening with Poet Gary McDowell will begin with a reception before the reading on Thursday, March 31, at 5:30 pm in Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium. This event is brought to us by the UALR Visiting Writing Series, sponsored by the English Department and the Cooper Honors Program.

April 14-17: Visiting Writer Andrew Milward

Author photo 2A native of Lawrence, Kansas, and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Andrew Malan Milward’s fiction has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and appeared in many places, including Zoetrope, American Short Fiction, VQR, The Southern Review, Story, Guernica, as well as Best New American Voices. He is the author of the story collections The Agriculture Hall of Fame, which was awarded the Juniper Prize for Fiction by the University of Massachusetts, and I Was a Revolutionary (HarperCollins 2015). He has served as the McCreight Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, and has received fellowships and awards from the Lannan Foundation, Jentel, and the Corporation of Yaddo. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers and is editor-in-chief of Mississippi Review.

Andrew Milward will come to Little Rock in conjunction with the Arkansas Literary Festival, April 14-17. The exact date for his UALR campus reading as part of the UALR Visiting Writing Series is TBA.

Friday, May 6: Cooper Spring Colloquium and Picnic

All are invited to the Winter Colloquium on Friday, May 6, time TBA, in Ottenheimer Library 535. The Cooper Honors students who have completed projects in Spring 2016 will present their work. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the exiting and sophisticated scholarship and creative work accomplished by students in UALR’s English department.

Then join us later that afternoon for the annual Cooper Picnic at Murray Park!

A list of presenters and further details for both events will be available later in the semester.

COOPER SEMINARS

downloadIn Spring 2016, Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar is offering a Cooper seminar on Literature and Social Justice. The class will focus on 20th-century writers committed to various social justice movements. Some of the required readings include Richard Wright’s Native Son, Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues,and Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, among others. Students have several options for service-learning through which they will experience first-hand what it is like to engage in social justice work.

In Fall 2016, Jeffrey Condran will offer a Cooper seminar on Novel Writing. Stay tuned for more details about this exciting creative writing seminar.

Please send any corrections, updates, or announcements for the next broadsheet to Dr. McAbee at kxmcabee_at_ualr.edu.

 

COOPER BROADSHEET: October 2015

 

HAPPY FALL 2015!

Greetings from the new Cooper Director, Dr. Kris McAbee! I am honored to have this opportunity to direct the honors program, to facilitate events, and to help create community in UALR’s English department. I am grateful to the outgoing Director, Dr. Paul Yoder, who has been an outstanding mentor to students and faculty alike, and who continues to provide guidance on all things Cooper as the Interim Chair of the English Department. Many thanks, also, to the members of the Cooper Committee, Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar and Dr. Jeremy Ecke.

NEW STIPEND RECIPIENTS

Congratulations to this year’s stipend recipients!

Returning  recipients are Savannah Adams, Geoffrey Bara, Lizzie Ferguson, Keely Phillips, Kelly Singer, and Alexis Williams.

First year stipend recipients are Olivia Dunlap, Lindsey Fisher, Blaise Hale, Juli Lewis, Allison Ousnamer, and Meghan Reed.

Cooper Honors stipends are $1300 per semester for up to 4 semesters.  The stipends are awarded on a competitive basis.  You can apply for a stipend twice during either semester of the regular school year; application deadlines are Consultation Day of the semester.  Information on how to apply is available online here, and click on “Student Application.”  For more information about the program, contact Dr. McAbee at kxmcabee_at_ualr.edu.

NEW FACULTY

Jeffrey-Condran-150x150The English department is delighted to welcome Jeffrey Condran to the faculty as an Assistant Professor. Professor Condran holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and is our newest hire in creative writing. He teaches courses in creative writing (fiction), Contemporary Literature, and Editing & Independent Press Administration. He is the author of two works of fiction: a short story collection, A Fingerprint Repeated (Press 53), and a novel, Prague Summer (Counterpoint). He is the faculty co-advisor of UALR’s literary magazine, Equinox, and co-founder/publisher of the independent literary press, Braddock Avenue Books.

Get to know more about Professor Condran at the upcoming New English Faculty event, when he and the department’s other most recent Assistant Professor, Dr. Paul Crutcher, will introduce themselves to the UALR community: Tuesday, October 27th, 6pm. (Details below under Events.)

Heather-Hummel-150x150

Heather K. Hummel also joins us as a Visiting Assistant Professor, focusing on poetry. Professor Hummel holds an MA in English Literature from Eastern Washington University and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast. She co-founded the online literary journal, Blood Orange Review, and now serves as Advisory Editor for the journal. She has published two poetry chapbooks, Boytreebird (2013), and Handmade Boats (2010). Recently, her work has appeared in Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, and The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume VI: Tennessee (Texas Review Press, 2013). Learn more about Professor Hummel at her website: hkhummel.com.

COOPER SEMINARS

31B2E322-C341-44BB-A969-F3AFB8F89EA3Img400For Fall 2015, Dr. Brad Minnick is teaching a Cooper seminar on Great Books.The course uses novella length works from both the old school canon of great novels and the emerging Young Adult canon. Dr. Minnick says, “The evolving literary canon creates some surprising and wonderful juxtapositions and unlikely textual pairings. In the tradition of ‘Great Books Seminars,’ this course will explore relationships among books by Steinbeck and Faulkner positioned beside books by Sandra Cisneros and S.E. Hinton.”  The reading list is likely to include Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner; The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton; Fences, August Wilson; Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes; The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien; Hiroshima, John Hersey; Night, Elie Wiesel.

downloadIn Spring 2016, Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar will offer a Cooper seminar on Literature and Social Justice. The class will focus on 20th-century writers committed to various social justice movements. Some of the required readings include Richard Wright’s Native Son, Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues,and Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, among others. Students will have several options for service-learning through which they will experience first-hand what it is like to engage in social justice work.

ADVISING

Advising for Spring 2016 has begun!  Cooper Honors students should be advised by Dr. McAbee, unless you are advised by your project director.  If you are advised by your project director, please let Dr. McAbee know.  Linguistics minors should be advised by Dr. Ecke.  Secondary Ed minors should be advised by either Prof. Crutcher or Prof. Thurmond, and those in the Blocks should be advised by Dr. Minnick.  Creative Writing students should be advised by Prof. Hummel or Prof. Condran.  Students graduating in May 2016 should be advised by Dr. Yoder to make sure that all last minute details are in order.  All other students should stop by the English Department or call 569-3161 to make an appointment. For more information about advising, and to schedule appointments, see: http://ualr.edu/english/advising/

COOPER LECTURE SERIES AND RELATED EVENTS

All Cooper Lectures are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Dates TBA: Fall 2015 Cooper Speaker, Dr. Anthony Petrosky
Petrosky
Associate Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, Anthony Petrosky, will be our featured Cooper Speaker and Pedagogy Lecture Series speaker. Petrosky is best known for his work developing the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for English teachers and participating states across the country, for designing the Common Core PARCC English/Language Arts Assessments used in the US, and for his bestselling books Ways of Reading, and Facts, Artifacts and Counterfacts (both written with David Bartholomae), and his edited collection Content Matters (with P. McConachie). His poetry collection Jurgis Petraskas also won the Walt Whitman Award.

Petrosky, a proponent of a hybrid Great Books method, will lecture on his and David Bartholomae’s conceptions of Ways of Reading: High School Books and talk with teachers at Forest Hills Middle School and students and teachers at Central High School about his work. He will also provide a master class for Minnick’s Great Books Seminar and a colloquium talk

(title forthcoming).

Tuesday, Oct. 27: Meet the New English Faculty

In recent years, the department has been able to bring in new tenure-track faculty to build on our strengths in secondary education and creative writing. Dr. Paul Crutcher joined the English department in Fall 2013 and brings with him expertise in empathy in culture, especially in K-12 and higher education, language and literacy (including TESOL), pop culture (e.g., TV, games, movies, comics), children’s and YA literature, religious/secular ethics, and critical theory (particularly gender, sexuality, and LBGTQ issues). Jeffrey Condran comes to UALR this semester to teach creative writing, especially fiction, along with contemporary literature and editing and independent press administration.The Cooper Program will host an opportunity to meet these new professors and hear about their work on Tuesday, October 27, at 6:00pm in Ottenheimer Library 535.  Join us for a light reception and to learn about the work and interests of Professors Crutcher and Condran.

Thursday, Nov. 5Information Session on Graduate Studies in Literature

On Thursday, November 5, at 1:30 pm in Stabler Hall 401 Dr. Jeremy Ecke and Dr. Kris McAbee will host an information session on graduate studies in literature. If you’ve considered pursuing an advanced degree after you graduate from UALR, you’ll want to attend this event, which will largely be dedicated to answering your questions about degree types and the application process.

Friday, Nov. 6: Information Session on Graduate Studies in Creative Writing

Please join Professors Condran and Hummel on Friday, November 6, at 2:00 pm in Stabler Hall 401 for an information session on pursuing graduate degrees in creative writing. If you have thought that an advanced degree in creative writing is something you might want to pursue down the line, you will not want to miss this session which will cover the basics of applying to graduate school for creative writing. Most of the session will be dedicated to Q&A so bring your questions for Professors Condran and Hummel!

 

Date TBA: “Creative Horizons” Undergraduate Conference

The English Department is hosting the Second Annual UALR Undergraduate Conference at the Arkansas Studies Institute, on a date to be announced.images

This year’s conference is titled “Creative Horizons: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Student Research.” The organizing committee invites essays, poster-board presentations, and visual arts projects exploring interdisciplinary thinking in the humanities and social sciences. Creative works of short fiction, poetry, and visual art are encouraged.
An abstract of no more than 100 words or a brief author’s/artist’s statement for creative works should be sent to creativehorizons2015@gmail.com.  All submissions should include your full name, department, and preferred email. Please also indicate whether you will need technology and if you are interested in moderating a session. Papers and creative readings should be about 5 pages in length, as presentations will be given 8 to 12 minutes.
Friday, Dec. 11: Cooper Winter Colloquium

All are invited to the Winter Colloquium on Friday, December 11, 11:30-1:30pm in Ottenheimer Library 535. The Cooper Honors students who have completed projects in Fall 2015 will present their work. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the exiting and sophisticated scholarship and creative work accomplished by students in UALR’s English department. A list of presenters will and further details will be available later in the semester.

Please send any corrections, updates, or announcements for the next broadsheet to Dr. McAbee at kxmcabee_at_ualr.edu.

 

COOPER BROADSHEET: April 2015

Lots of news, so let’s get to it!

LEVERNIER UPDATE

As many of you know, Dr. Jim Levernier has been in the hospital for the past month, following emergency surgery to prevent an aneurysm in his ascending aorta.  The surgery was successful, but the post-op complications kept him in cardio-vascular ICU for three weeks.  However, we are happy to report that Dr. Levernier has been moved out of ICU, and  into Room 6020 at the Cornerstone Hospital, an acute care facility that is technically a different hospital, although it is on the sixth floor at St. Vincent’s.  Dr. Levernier can have visitors, and you can send cards or flowers to him at this address:  Cornerstone Hospital (6th Floor of St. Vincent’s); #2 St. Vincent’s Circle;  Att:   Dr. Jim Levernier, Patient, Room #6020; Little Rock, AR 72205.  I know we all send Dr. Levernier our thoughts and good wishes.

SPRING 2015 COLLOQUIUM AND PICNIC

The annual Cooper Spring Colloquium and Picnic will be on May 7-8 of this year.  The colloquium will be on Thursday, May 7, 12:00-2:00pm in Room 535 of the Ottenheimer Library.  The colloquium will include lunch, and will feature final project presentations by five students: Rebecca Chism, Logan Ellis, Heather Haille, Hunter Parham, and Matthew Wilson.  The Cooper Picnic will be on Friday, May 8, at Murray Park, Pavilion #4 on the Arkansas River from 5:30pm until . . . usually about 7:00 or 7:30.  Catering will be provided by Homer’s.  Both the colloquium and picnic are free and open to family and friends of the  English Department.  Come on Thursday to celebrate the work of our newest Honors Graduates, and then join us on Friday for a great, end-of-semester afternoon on the river.

STIPEND APPLICATION DEADLINE

Applications for Cooper Stipends are due by the close of business on Consultation Day, which this Spring is Tuesday, May  5.  Current stipend holders must reapply for the 2015-2016 academic year.  The Cooper Honors Program offers motivated and talented students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project of the student’s choosing.  Honors students must complete at least one 3-hour Cooper seminar, a 2-hour tutorial, and a 2-hour writing project, and have an overall GPA of 3.25, with a GPA in English of 3.5.  Cooper stipends are awarded on a competitive basis twice a year; the stipend is $1300 per semester, for up to 4 semesters.   For more information on the Cooper Program go to the webpage.  For full instructions on how to apply for a stipend, click on Student Application.  For more information, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER HONORS SEMINAR FOR FALL 2015

Dr. Brad Minnick will offer a Cooper Honors Seminar in Fall 2015 called “Great Books Seminar.”  The course will mostly use novella length works in a “great books” approach to selections from both the old school canon of great novels and the emerging Young Adult canon.  For more information on the controversies, and literary and scholarly implications of this approach, check out some the articles listed here.  Dr. Minnick says, “The evolving literary canon creates some surprising and wonderful juxtapositions and unlikely textual pairings. In the tradition of ‘Great Books Seminars,’ this course will explore relationships among books by Steinbeck and Faulkner positioned beside books by Sandra Cisneros and S.E. Hinton.”  The reading list is likely to include Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner; The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton; Fences, August Wilson; Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes; The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien; Hiroshima, John Hersey; Night, Elie Wiesel.  Should be fun. For more information, contact Dr. Minnick at jbminnick@ualr.edu.

SCOTT LADERMAN VISIT POSTPONED

Due to Dr. Levernier’s illness, we have had to postpone the visit to campus by Dr. Scott Laderman, already rescheduled once due to the weather.  We hope to reschedule Dr. Laderman’s visit for next year, when we also hope to welcome back Dr. Levernier.

DOC YODER’S  REVIEW OF THE MARTHA REDBONE ROOTS PROJECT RESIDENCY AT UALR

Martha Redbone1  Martha Redbone and AB Burroughs
  AaronWhitby  Aaron Whitby

It is well known that William Blake often sang his poems at parties. We see such scenes in his satire An Island in the Moon, and many of his poems are explicitly called songs. We don’t know how those performances sounded, but if Blake’s friends were lucky, they sounded a lot like Martha Redbone’s versions.

The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake by the Martha Redbone Roots Project created quite a buzz in the Blake scholarly community upon its release in 2012, and the attention is well deserved.  Martha’s voice is very strong, and she makes Blake’s lyrics her own from the first note. Speaking as a specialist in Blake’s poetry, I find the most amazing thing to be how comfortable Blake sounds in the setting of Appalachian folk songs. When I saw that Martha was on tour, and visiting the classes of some of my friends at other schools, I began to hatch a plan to bring her to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, as part of the Cooper Honors Program Lecture Series.

Such a visit would be the biggest project the Cooper Program had taken on.  We met with several delays along the way, but the 2-day residency by the Martha Redbone Roots Project finally happened on April 1-2, 2015. By any measure it was a success. Martha met with two classes and had dinner with students and faculty, and her trio performed two shows – one for students (with a Q&A) and one full concert open to the public. All events were free. The residency was sponsored by the William G. Cooper, Jr. Honors Program in English, with support from the Donaghey Scholars Program and the Music Department.  I also want to thank Ashley Collie-Heath and Dave Measel for their help that was absolutely essential.

The Martha Redbone Roots Project also performs as a quartet, quintet, and sextet, but we had the trio configuration: Martha Redbone on voice and percussion, Aaron Whitby on piano, and Alan “AB” Burroughs on guitar. The smaller group gave the performances an intimate feeling, and the instrumental interaction of Aaron and AB was highlighted by the sparse arrangements. This arrangement also served to emphasize Martha’s voice, which really is great – strong and free in announcing its presence. There is a confidence in the way her voice engages Blake that creates a wonderful union of musical traditions and the poet’s prophetic musings.

Student show: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium, UALR.  You can hear or download the show here.  If you share the show, please pass it along for free.

The first event for the Martha Redbone Roots Project residency was a musical performance with Q&A for students. This was at 3:00pm, and was reasonably well attended, with 30-40 students. Performance and Q&A ran about 1hr. 7mins. Here is the set list:

“The Garden of Love” (Songs of Experience)

“Hear the Voice of the Bard” (Introduction to Songs of Experience)

“On Another’s Sorrow” (Songs of Innocence)

“The Ecchoing Green” (Songs of Innocence)

“I rose up” (from Blake’s notebook)

“I heard an angel singing” (from Blake’s notebook)

This was an all-Blake set that showcased the variety of styles Redbone and husband, musical-arranger Aaron Whitby have worked up for Blake’s songs. “The Garden of Love” announces the album and the show, and in the live performance the trio creates a sort of incantatory setting, with the guitar and piano slowly rising in the background as Martha talks, explaining the inception of the project. “Hear the Voice of the Bard” has a sort of New Orleans juke joint feel to it. “On Another’s Sorrow” allows Martha to exploit its chorus in a way that emphasizes the structure of Blake’s poem. Redbone presents “The Ecchoing Green” as a mountain holler; she sings it a cappella and it really showcases the strength of her voice. “I rose up” developed into a church-like call and response. There was an Q&A period after “I rose up,” that finally came around to Redbone’s presentation of “I heard an Angel singing” as a sort of hymn.

Throughout the show and in the Q&A, Redbone told stories and made connections between the social issues that inspired Blake’s writing and similar issues that informed the lives of her own family and ancestors, the issues faced by people of color in the coal mining communities of Kentucky. Redbone readily admits that she is not a Blake scholar; nonetheless, the connections she makes musically and personally make clear the continuing relevance of Blake’s vision to the way we see the world.

Full Concert: Thursday, April 2, 2015, Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium at UALR. This was a free full concert. The show ran about 1hr. 45mins. with no intermission.  When the show started at 7:00 we had about 75 people in the audience; but classes finished at 7:15, and by 8:00, the audience was closer to 175. Here is the set list:

“The Garden of Love”

“The Poison Tree”

“The Fly”

“Hear the Voice of the Bard”

“How Sweet I Roamed”

“On Another’s Sorrow”

“Undone in Sorrow”

“There Are Drums”

“Skin”

“A Dream”

“I Rose Up”

The strengths of the student show were even more evident in the full concert. The vocals in “The Garden of Love” established Redbone’s ownership of the song and the show. For “A Poison Tree” Redbone’s comments about the song created a sort of family / neighborhood dynamic for the tale of wrath untold. “The Fly” was beautiful and sweet and fragile. “Hear the Voice of the Bard” was more raucous, with a longer, jollier jam between the guitar and piano than the previous afternoon. Whitby is a great piano player who was clearly having fun on the concert Steinway, and he and AB played very well together. “How Sweet I Roamed” is a delicate piece that captured well the cycle of jealous love. As on the previous afternoon, “On Another’s Sorrow” produced a rousing sing along on the chorus. Then three songs interrupted the Blake emphasis, and they fit well into the set. “Undone in Sorrow” continued a theme from “On Another’s Sorrow,” while “There are Drums” emphasized Redbone’s Native American roots — her album Skintalk is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as an example of contemporary Native American music. “Skin” was a funky, up-tempo song of cheeky self-acceptance. The final two songs brought the show back to Blake’s poetry, with “A Dream” slowing things down a bit after “Skin,” to tell the tale of an ant trying to get home to his family. “I Rose Up” closed the show with a great call-response that had the crowd and the trio playing off each other very well.

I got very caught up in the show, so I may have forgotten to note a song in the setlist, but I don’t think so. The relatively small number of songs (11) in a 105-minute set suggests the strong parts of the show. Redbone introduced most of the songs, weaving into a single fabric Blake’s poetry, her family’s past and her own past in Appalachia, and the events of contemporary America.  Aaron Whitby and AB Burroughs extended the instrumental parts of the songs to great effect, and Redbone’s own vocal dynamics, augmented by her encouragement for audience participation, drew the crowd into the show. The musical aspects of the show highlighted the poetry and revealed new and unusual connections between “English Blake” of 1790’s and UALR students of 2015.

Thanks to everyone who came out to make this a great series of events.

As  usual, if you see any problems or mistakes, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER BROADSHEET: March 2015

SHAKESPEARE SCENE FESTIVAL

Despite the snow and ice the show went on . . . and will again.  Because of cancellations due to inclement weather, the first day of the Shakespeare Scene Festival was postponed to Thursday, March 5, but the second day on Friday, Feb. 27 went very well.  There were late cancellations, but Central High School presented the “One Word Hamlet” and Warren Dupree Elementary 5th grade presented “Macbeth vs Star Wars.”  Frank Thurmond demonstrated his prowess on the lute, and Doc Yoder served as Master of Revels.

Thurmond Yoder

The second day of the Shakespeare Scene Festival has been rescheduled for Thursday, March 5 at 9:30 in the main theatre at UALR.  Come out and see great new ways that public school students are putting their own spin on the Bard.  For more information, contact Dr. Kris McAbee at kxmcabee@ualr.edu.

AFRICAN AMERICAN READ-IN

Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, has rescheduled its African American Read-In for Tuesday, March 3, at 6:00pm in DSC-G.  Please come and read your favorite passages from African American writers.  Even if you don’t want to read, come and hear some great literature.  There will be door prizes (almost $200 worth of new books) and food.

COOPER SPEAKERS

As usual all Cooper Honors Program events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

On Feb. 12, the Cooper Honors Program co-hosted with Equinox, the English Department creative writing journal, a reading by well-known poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar.  Bosselaar, who speaks 5 languages, read her own work, as well as poems by Jessica Jacobs and our own Prof. Nickole Brown, and even some poetry in Flemish (just to show how it sounds).  The poetry reading was organized by Prof. Nickole Brown, and drew a crowd of 75 people.  Despite the persistent claims of some, poetry is apparently alive and well.  You can check out the Facebook page for Equinox here.

Dr. Scott Laderman will present a lecture entitled “Surf Diplomacy in the Twilight of the Cold War” on Thursday, March 5 at 6:30 pm in Ross Hall, Room 122. A reception will begin at 6 pm.  Dr. Laderman is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He is the author of two books, Tours of Vietnam: War, Travel Guides, and Memory (Duke University Press, 2009and Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing (University of California Press, 2014), as well as numerous articles on the impact of the Vietnam War on American culture. He is also co-editor with Edwin A. Martini of Four Decades On: Vietnam, the United State, and the Legacies of the Second Indochina War, (Duke University Press, 2013).  Dr. Laderman’s lecture will be in conjunction with Dr. Jim Levernier’s Cooper seminar on the American Dream and is sure to be eye-opening and thought provoking.   You can check out Dr. Laderman’s webpage here and a biographical essay highlighting the connection between his surfing interest and political history.  For more information, please contact Dr. Jim Levernier at jalevernier@ualr.edu.

Martha Redbone Roots Project Residency — April 1-2, 2015 the Martha Redbone Roots Project will conduct a 2-day residency at UALR, hosted by the Cooper Honors Program, the English Department, and the Donaghey Scholars ProgramMartha Redbone is a Native American R&B musician whose Roots Project has released The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake, a collection of poems by English Romantic poet William Blake set to Appalachian folk music arrangements.  Redbone regularly does school visits while on tour. Her Roots Project trio (she also performs with quartet and quintet configurations) will present a private performance / class in the afternoon of Wednesday April 1, open to invited students and faculty.  On Thursday, April 2, Redbone will visit select classes on campus to discuss Blake’s poetry, songwriting and her musical Roots Project.  The evening of Thursday, April 2 will feature a 2-hour concert by Redbone’s Roots Project trio at 7:00pm in Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium on the UALR campus.  All events will be FREE.  For more information on Martha Redbone see her website at http://www.martharedbone.com.  For a big taste of what to expect, check out this YouTube Video.  For more information on this event, contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

LOOKING AHEAD

Seminar for Fall 2015

Dr. Brad Minnick will offer a Cooper Honors Seminar in Fall 2015 called “Great Books Seminar.”  The course will mostly use novella length works in a “great books” approach to selections from both the old school canon of great novels and the emerging Young Adult canon.  For more information on the controversies, and literary and scholarly implications of this approach, check out some the articles listed here.  Dr. Minnick says, “The evolving literary canon creates some surprising and wonderful juxtapositions and unlikely textual pairings. In the tradition of ‘Great Books Seminars,’ this course will explore relationships among books by Steinbeck and Faulkner positioned beside books by Sandra Cisneros and S.E. Hinton.”  The reading list is likely to include Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner; The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton; Fences, August Wilson; Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes; The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien; Hiroshima, John Hersey; Night, Elie Wiesel.  Should be fun. For more information, contact Dr. Minnick at jbminnick@ualr.edu.

New Stipend Applications

As always, applications for new Cooper Stipends are due by the close of business on Consultation Day, which this Spring is Tuesday, May  5.  Cooper stipends are awarded on a competitive basis twice a year; the stipend is $1300 per semester, for up to 4 semesters.  Cooper Honors students must complete at least one 3-hour Cooper seminar, a 2-hour tutorial, and a 2-hour writing project, and have an overall GPA of 3.25, with a GPA in English of 3.5.  For more information on the Cooper Program go to the webpage.  For full instructions on how to apply for a stipend, click on Student Application.  For more information, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

Advising

With the approach of mid-term, you know that advising for Fall 2015 can’t be far behind.  Advising for Fall 2015 will begin in  the next few weeks.  Cooper Honors students should be advised by Doc Yoder, unless you are advised by your project director.  If you are advised by your project director, please let Doc know that.  Linguistics minors should be advised by Dr. Ecke.  Secondary Ed minors should be advised by either Prof. Crutcher or Prof. Thurmond.  Creative Writing students should be advised by Prof. Brown or Prof. Sharfeddin.  Students graduating in December 2015 should be advised by Dr. Philpotts to make sure that all last minute details are in order.  All other students should stop by the English Department or call 569-3161 to make an appointment.

And just for fun: this.

As always, if you see any errors or have problems with the page, please contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

COOPER BROADSHEET – January 2015

WELCOME BACK FOR SPRING SEMESTER 2015!

Hi, folks.  We hope everyone had a great Winter Break.  We have an exciting semester coming up, so let’s get on with the news.

STUDENT NEWS

New Stipend Students

The Cooper Honors Program asks you to join us in congratulating our three new stipend recipients: Rachel Chatwood, Keely Phillips, and Alexis Williams.  Cooper stipend are $1300 per semester for up to 4 semesters.  They awarded twice a year, on a competitive basis.  The deadline for applications is always Consultation Day of both Fall and Spring semesters.  Your next time to apply is May 5, 2015.  Please contact Doc Yoder at rapider@ualr.edu of more information.

Winter 2014 Colloquium

We also want to congratulate our graduates who participated on the Cooper Winter Colloquium on December 12, 2015.  Callie Smith, Judith Spradling, Gina Vanegas, Ali Webb, and Nicole Wilkinson all made presentations on their final projects.  We are very proud of their hard work, and we look forward to hearing about their lives after graduation!

SPEAKER NEWS

We have a great line-up for this semester, with something for everyone: poetry, music, Vietnam, and surfing.  And as always, all Cooper Speaker events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

An Evening with Poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar — Thursday, February 12, 2015. Donaghey Student Center, Room 205D.  Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium. She is the author of three collections of poetry in English: The Hour Between Dog and Wolf and Small Gods of Grief (both published by BOA Editions), and A New Hunger, which was published by Ausable Books and selected as a Notable Book for 2008 by the American Library Association. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, Bosselaar has taught poetry workshops at Emerson College, Sarah Lawrence, and at many conferences across the United States. She is also an anthologist and an editor translating American poetry into French and Flemish. She and her late husband, the poet Kurt Brown, published The Plural of HappinessSelect Poems by Herman de Coninck with The Field Translation Series at Oberlin College Press. Currently, she teaches at the College of Creative Studies at University of California Santa Barbara and is part of the founding faculty at the low-residency MFA at Pine Manor College in Boston.  Check out her webpage here. Refreshments to start at 6:00 with reading to follow at 6:30 pm. For more information, contact Professor Nickole Brown at lnbrown@ualr.edu.

Dr. Scott Laderman, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, will present a lecture on March 8, 2015. Details TBA. Dr. Laderman is the author of two books, Tours of Vietnam: War, Travel Guides, and Memory (2009) and Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing (2014), as well as numerous articles on the impact of the Vietnam War on American culture. He is also co-editor with Edwin A. Martini of Four Decades On: Vietnam, the United State, and the Legacies of the Second Indochina War 2013). Dr. Laderman’s lecture will be in conjunction with Dr. Jim Levernier’s Cooper seminar on the American Dream, and is sure to be eye-opening and thought provoking.  Check out Dr. Laderman’s webpage here. For more information, contact Dr. Levernier at jalevernier@ualr.edu.

Martha Redbone Roots Project Residency — April 1-2, 2015 the Martha Redbone Roots Project will conduct a 2-day residency at UALR, hosted by the Cooper Honors Program, the English Department, and the Donaghey Scholars Program. Martha Redbone is a Native American R&B musician whose Roots Project has released The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake, a collection of poems by English Romantic poet William Blake set to Appalachian folk music arrangements.  Redbone regularly does school visits while on tour. Her Roots Project trio (she also performs with quartet and quintet configurations) will present a private performance / class in the afternoon of Wednesday April 1, open to invited students and faculty.  On Thursday, April 2, Redbone will visit select classes on campus to discuss Blake’s poetry, songwriting and her musical Roots Project.  Thursday, April 2 evening will feature a 2-hour concert by Redbone’s trio.  All events will be FREE to those attending.  Watch for more details.  For more information on Martha Redbone see her website at http://www.martharedbone.com. For more information on this event, contact Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.

CLASS NEWS

Dr. Brad Minnick will offer a Cooper Honors Seminar in Fall 2015 called “Great Books Seminar.”  The course will mostly use novella length works in a “great books” approach to selections from both the old school canon of great novels and the emerging Young Adult canon.  For more information on the controversies, and literary and scholarly implications of this approach, check out some the articles listed here.  Dr. Minnick says, “The evolving literary canon creates some surprising and wonderful juxtapositions and unlikely textual pairings. In the tradition of “Great Books Seminars,” this course will explore relationships among books by Steinbeck and Faulkner positioned beside books by Sandra Cisneros and S.E. Hinton.”  The reading list is likely to include: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck; The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner; The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton; Fences, August Wilson; Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes; The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien; Hiroshima, John Hersey; Night, Elie Wiesel.  Should be fun. For more information, contact Dr. Minnick at jbminnick@ualr.edu.

As usual, if you see any errors and have problems with the Broadsheet, please inform Doc Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu.