Cooper Broadsheet — February 2013


I just want to say how glad I am to be back from my Off-Campus Duty Assignment of the fall semester.  I want to thank Dr. Zabelle Stodola for taking over as Interim Director in my absence, and we all wish her the best of luck in her retirement.  My own research went very well, drawing together eighteenth-century psychology, biblical prophecy, Romantic poetry, hard-boiled detectives and cyberpunk.  This research has become the basis for the Cooper seminar I am teaching this semester on Pattern Recognition.  I have a great, adventurous group of 12 students, and I expect that we’ll all learn a lot and have fun along the way.

Now, back to work.


The Cooper Winter Colloquium was held on December 14, 2012.  The colloquium included lunch and was well attended by students, friends and family alike, as we celebrated the work by four students.  Here are the names of those students and their projects:

Katherine Diggs: “We Women: A Collection of Poetry Inspired by Family, Friends and Growing Up in Southeast Arkansas” (Mentor: Prof. Nickole Brown)

Stephanie Mantell: “Road to Perdition: The Role of Addicts and Addiction in the Works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë” (Mentor: Dr. Zabelle Stodola)

Phillip Sherrod: “Stop Doing That: Stories” (Mentor: Dr. Dave Jauss)

Hannah Ulvik: “An Exploration of the Documentary Hypothesis of the Torah” (Mentor: Dr. Paul Yoder)


I am pleased to announce that for the first time in quite a few years, in Fall 2013 the Cooper Program will offer two seminars.  Cooper seminars are designed to be small and eye-opening; with two seminars being offered each semester, Cooper honors students as well as other advanced students will have more opportunity and choices for these classes.  The two seminars in the fall will be conducted by two of the English department’s most recent additions, and together the classes reach from the most ancient traditions to the most recent innovations.

Professor Nickole Brown will offer “Writing Between Borders.”  Here is what she says about the class: The uncharted space between the genres of prose and poetry is the focus of this course that will study experiments in literature — prose, poetry, novels-in-verse, and hybrid work — for a deeper understanding of what’s possible.  Both a seminar for students of literature and of creative writing, participants will have the option of exploring texts critically or writing their own cross-genre work.

Dr. Jeremy Ecke will offer “The Epic Tradition.”

From the Babylonian struggles of the demigod Gilgamesh, to the dragon slaying exploits of Beowulf, the bloody and tragic revenge of Siegfried, and the embattled heroism of the Castilian “lord-master of war” Cid el Campeador, this course will study the heroic, mythic, and generic motifs that unite and distinguish a broad range of ancient and medieval epics. We will supplement our reading of the primary texts with literary, cinematic, and operatic adaptations to further explore how our conception of the hero and the epic have been shaped by modern aesthetics, politics, and editorial practice. In addition to lively discussion, the class will include a comparative essay, a reading journal, and a translation project in which you will adapt a scene or passage from one of the works into contemporary English or an artistic mode of your choice (song, painting, dance, collage, etc.).


Dr. Charles Rzepka, Professor of English at Boston University will present a lecture on April 4, 2013, at 6:00pm in DSC Meeting Room G.  You can check out his Boston University webpage here. Dr.Rzepka is the editor of Studies in Romanticism, and author of Detective Fiction (2005), Sacramental Commodities: Gift, Text, and the Sublime in De Quincey (1995) and The Self as Mind: Vision and Identity in Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats (1986), as well as numerous articles.  His still untitled lecture will concern the emergence of ethnic detectives in the fiction of the early twentieth century.  Because of the start time of the lecture, there will be a reception — with food — beginning at 5:30.  The lecture and reception are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  For more information, contact Dr. Yoder at rpyoder

We have more speakers in the works, so stay tuned for more announcements.


Alisha Karabinus was invited to participate in a panel on editing and literary magazine production at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Boston in March, 2013, based on her experience with Revolution House and Sycamore Review. One short story, “Persuasion,” recently appeared in Used Furniture Review, and another, “The Secret of Volleyball,” is forthcoming in Passages North. She is expecting her second child, a daughter, in May.


Cooper Honors students take small intense seminars on special topics.  They work one-on-one with a faculty mentor on a tutorial on a topic of the student’s choice.  They complete major writing projects on a topic of their choice that they can show to grad schools, future employers and anybody they care to brag to, showing that they have mad skills in research, reasoning, imagination, writing and organization.  And they receive a stipend of $1300 per semester for 4 semesters.  As usual, the deadline for applying to the Cooper Honors Program is Consultation Day of the spring semester; this year that day is May 7, 2013.  You can find information and application forms and guidelines at the Cooper webpage here.  For more information please contact the Program Director, Dr. Paul Yoder, at

As always, if you have news to report, or you see any errors or have problems with this webpage, please contact Doc Yoder at


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