Cooper Broadsheet: December 2011


"O Master! We are seven."



The Cooper Winter Colloquium celebrating the final projects for December Cooper graduates will be held on Friday, December 9, 2011 in DSC Ledbetter Room B from 11:00am to 2:00pm.  A light lunch will be served, and the presentations will begin sometime after 11:30. Rob BrunoSuzi GarciaMary RaineyShamus Ridgell and Matt Stewart will present 10-15 minute overviews of their Cooper final projects.  Family and friends are invited to come and celebrate the great work of our graduates.


There is still time to register for Doc Yoder’s Study Abroad trip to England.  The trip is really a class, Wordsworth’s England 2012, and we will visit places in the Lake District and Wales important to Wordsworth’s life and poetry.  We’ll take the steamer on the lake where Wordsworth stole the row boat and where he came upon a host of golden daffodils.  We’ll visit the cottage where Wordsworth lived with his family in Grasmere, and the castle depicted in the painting by Sir George Beaumont that inspired Wordsworth’s poem on the death of his brother John.  Finally we’ll ascend the peak in Wales where Wordsworth beheld “the image of a mind that feeds upon infinity.”  We’ll be based in Keswick, where Coleridge and Robert Southey lived for several years, near Derwentwater, one of the smaller lakes.  It looks like we’ll be staying at the Abernathy, a “self-catering” restored Victorian townhouse (you can check it out here — thanks to Beth Miller for her diligence and mad skills in finding this place).  The online application for the trip is here.  The official dates for the trip are May 25 to June 6, with the option for an extended stay to June 9.  For more information please contact Dr. Paul Yoder at  The price for the trip is $1570, plus air fare, food and UALR tuition.


Spring 2012:  Dr. Kris McAbee will teach the Cooper Honors Seminar for Spring 2012.  The topic will be “The Unread Shakespeare.” Dr. McAbee says this about the class:  This seminar is designed to provide the opportunity to study those plays and poems of Shakespeare to which the students have had limited or no exposure in the past.  After a survey of what texts by Shakespeare each student has already read, the syllabus will be set on the first day of class to include those poems and plays which have been read the least by the class members.  We will design the syllabus with an eye toward breadth of genre (history, comedy, tragedy, romance, poetry) and toward sampling from different stages of Shakespeare’s career. Our reading of Shakespeare’s texts will be supplemented with additional contemporaneous materials appropriate for our selected texts, potentially including excerpts by Machiavelli, Sidney, Golding, Lyly, and Nashe, among various broadside ballads and pamphlets.

Fall 2012: Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar will offer Black Women’s Activism and Literature.  Here is what she says about it:  In this course we will explore how Black women’s political activism is reflected in literature from the nineteenth through the twentieth century.  The following is a list of major questions that will guide our discussions: What are the main issues that Black women fight for through time?  How does the intersectionality of race, gender, and class affect Black women’s politics?  Is Black women’s activism always relegated to the public arena?  What venues do Black women use to organize and call for action?  What type of rhetoric do Black women engage in?  With whom do they establish alliances?  Is Black women’s political agenda similar to white women’s?  What is their relation with other women of color?  How does the notion of the diaspora influence their perspective and actions?  In addition to essays, quizzes, and journal responses, one of the main assignments will have a service-learning component through which you will experience first-hand what it is like to engage in social justice activism.

 Primary Texts (subject to change):

  • Frances Harper’s Sowing and Reaping (1876-77)
  • Selections from Anna Julia Cooper’s A Voice from the South (1892)
  • Selections from Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900, ed. Jacqueline Jones Royster
  • Pauline Hopkins’s Contending Forces (1900)
  • Alice Childress’s Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic’s Life (1956)
  • Nikki Giovanni’s Gemini: An Extended Autobiographical Statement on my First Twenty-Five Years of Being a Black Poet (1974)
  • Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place (1982)
  • Patricia Hill Collins’s Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990) – Introduction + chapter 1.
  • Alice Walker’s Possessing the Secret of Joy (1993)


The annual Shakespeare Scene Festival will be held on March 13 and 14 (just beating the Ides).  The Scene Festival features productions of scenes and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works performed by students from local public elementary, middle and high schools.  As always, the festival needs student workers to help out, and of course, helping out provides valuable experience for the student workers.  If you would like to volunteer to work on the Shakespeare Scene Festival, please contact Dr. Kris McAbee at


Sam Brown will present his paper on Toni Morrison’s A Mercy at the National Association for African American Studies Conference in Baton Rouge in February.

Dee Johnson will present a poster at the Best of McNair poster session at the 2012 National Association of African American Studies & Affiliates Conference in February in Baton Rouge.  Her topic arose from her McNair project in summer 2012 directed by Jim Levernier and titled “‘Bound Together by Reason and Amity’: The Uses and Misuses of Science in M. T. Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume 1: The Pox Party.”

Dee Johnson, Aaron Barger, and Stephanie Mantell received travel grants of $250 from the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Undergraduate Research Team.


Dr. Dave Jauss has a story, “Blizzards,” forthcoming in upstreet.  His essay “11 Strategies for Ending Works of Ficiton” was published by Hunger Mountain (, and his essay “The Reverse Side: The Poetry of Stephen Dunn” appears in the current issue of Shenandoah (  Another essay, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Abstraction? Modes of Conveying Emotion,” is forthcoming in The Writer’s Chronicle next spring.   

Dr. Zabelle Stodola presented a paper (with Carrie R. Zeman) titled “A Literary Scholar and a Historian Co-Edit A Thrilling Narrative of Indian Captivity by Mary A. and John B. Renville (1863)” at the Western History Association Conference in Oakland, California.

Dr. Dennis Vannatta‘s  novel, Around Centralia Square, is forthcoming in spring 2012 from Cave Hollow Press.

Dr. Paul Yoder presented his paper, “Apophenia: Pattern Recognition in Locke, Wordsworth and William Gibson” at the conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) in Park City, UT.  His 4000-word encyclopedia article on “Blake’s Prose” is forthcoming in the new Blackwell Encyclopedia of Romanticism, and his review of Hazard Adams’  William Blake on His Poetry and Painting: A Study of A Descriptive Catalogue, Other Prose Writings and Jerusalem is due to appear in Blake / An Illustrated Quarterly.

This month’s picture was taken by Doc Yoder at the cemetery in Oberlin, LA, the town where his mother was raised.  In one part of the cemetery there is a cluster of children’s graves, most with no legible identifying markings.  The earliest tomb stones in the cemetery date to before the civil war.  The quotation is from William Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven.”


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