Cooper Broadsheet — April 2013


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


The Cooper Spring Colloquium and picnic will be held on May 10, 2013.  The colloquium will be at 11:30am-1:30pm in DSC-B.  Lunch will be provided.  The picnic will start around 5:30pm and will be at Pavilion #4 at Murray Park on Rebsamen Park Rd. on the Arkansas River.  Pavilion #4 is the one near the playground on the west end of the park.  The picnic this year will be catered by Homer’s.  Come and join family and friends to celebrate the achievements of our honors students, who this year include

Kassie Adkins, “Three Things Are Better: The Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.”  Mentor: Dr. Paul Yoder

Stephen Burns, “How Big Brother Unteaches Freedom: Noncritical Pedagogy as a Means of Oppression in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.”  Mentor: Dr. Earl Ramsey

Tamra Creed, “Writing Therapy: A Collection of Poems.”  Mentor: Dr. Dave Jauss

Seth Pennington, “The Pull” (A Chapbook).  Mentor:  Prof. Nickole Brown


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.

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 adaptions 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.).

Professor Nickole Brown will offer “Writing Between Borders.”  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 their own cross-genre work.


The final Cooper speaker of the 2012-2013 school year will be poet Rebecca Gayle Howell.  Howell’s reading will be on Wednesday, May 1 in DSC-G at 6:00pm, with a reception at 5:30.  Howell has published poems and translations in Ecotone, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Poetry Daily, and storySouth.  Her awards include a poetry fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center and a Jules Chametzky Prize in Literary Translation.  Library Journal chose Howell’s translation of Amal al-Jabouri’s Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation (Alice James Books) as a 2011 best book of poetry.  Hagar was also a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award (BTBA).  Howell’s Collection Render/An Apocalypse was selected by Nick Flynn for the 2012 Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Prize.  You can check out her webpage here.  As always, this Cooper Speaker event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The lecture by Dr.Charles Rzepka, Professor of English at Boston University, on April 4, 2013 went very well.  Roughly 60 people came out on a rainy evening for Rzepka’s lecture, “The Emergence of the Ethnic American Detective.”

The poetry reading by Frank X. Walker who was in town for the Arkansas Literary Festival was also very successful, drawing over 50 people to his noon-time reading, hosted by Prof. Nickole Brown.

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


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