Cooper Broadsheet: February 2014

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We are into the 4th week of classes, so I know I’m late in welcoming everyone back for the  Spring Semester.  With the university restructuring, the revision of the core curriculum, and some new Cooper policies, we have been pretty busy.  So, on with it:


In the Fall semester the Cooper Program began to offer a new opportunity for students to apply for Cooper stipends.  In the past the Cooper Program accepted applications for stipends only at the end of Spring semester.  In Fall 2013 we began to accept stipend applications at the end of fall semester as well.  The Cooper Program is happy to announce that Rebecca Chism, Lizzie Ferguson, and Scott Bollen have joined the ranks of Cooper stipend holders.  Cooper stipends are $1300 per semester, renewable for a total of 4 semesters.  Stipends are awarded on a competitive basis, and applications are due on Consultation Day of Fall or Spring semester.  You can check out the Cooper Program website, with instructions on how to apply here.  You can also contact Doc Yoder for more information at


Dr. Martin McQuillan of Kingston University in London, England will host a pre-release screening of his new film P.S. in Dickinson Auditorium on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 at 6:00pm, with a reception at 5:30pm P.S. (2013) is based on Jacques Derrida’s The Post Card.  A blend of scripted live action, animation, and interviews, P.S. weaves together the stories of a scholar of deconstruction, Theo Marks, a film director, Joanna, and the events of Derrida’s text “Envois.” Theo is struggling to come to terms with the dramatic events of his own life, which becomes indistinguishable from the story of The Post Card, while Joanna’s story documents the struggle to put philosophy into film. The film also features an unseen interview with Derrida himself from the original filming of Ken McMullen’s Ghost Dance.  Prof. McQuillan will conduct a Q&A after the screening.  The reception, screening and Q&A are all FREE.

The Martha Redbone Roots Project will bring 2 days of events to UALR on April 3-4, 2014.  The Martha Redbone Roots Project trio will present a 75 minute performance, followed by a Q&A starting at 2:00pm on Thursday April 3.  This show is limited to UALR English students and others.  On Friday, April 4, Redbone with visit with several UALR classes, and on Friday evening, April 4, her Roots Project Trio will present a full 2-hour concert, FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  Both musical performances will be at Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium.  You can check out her music at Martha’s YouTube channel here.  Let me just say that Martha Redbone’s setting of William Blake’s poetry to Appalachian folk arrangements is not to be missed.  Here is more info from the publicity release: The “charismatic indie-soul diva” (Time Out New York), Martha Redbone, is an Independent Music Award-winning musician of Cherokee, Choctaw, Shawnee and African-American descent. Since bursting onto the scene at the 2002 Native American Music Awards, she has established a solid history of performing, educating, and mentoring across Native North America and in some cases abroad.

Martha’s new album The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake (2012), produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Founder and multiple Grammy Award Winner John McEuen — is an unexpected twist to the Appalachian music of Martha’s childhood years with her grandparents in Black Mountain, Kentucky. It is a brilliant fusion of Martha’s magnificent voice, Blake’s immortal words and a cornucopia of roots music (folk, country, piedmont blues, gospel, honkytonk, bluegrass, soul and traditional Native). Redbone is a mesmerizing and dynamic live performer thrilling audiences and critics alike, with rave reviews from with rave reviews from All Music Guide to The New Yorker to Sing Out! She is also now building a national radio presence including recent features on NPR’s All Things Considered with Robert Siegel, WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds, hosted by John Schaefer, and Sirius Satellite (Mary Sue Twohy’s and Bob Edwards’ shows).

Currently, she leads and tours with Martha Redbone Roots Project, a band ranging from trio to septet. Her shows include performances from the acclaimed new album as well as a unique gumbo of roots, blues, soul and funk. Recent stage highlights include numerous World and Traditional Music Festivals from California WorldFest, to Vancouver Folk Festival, and four years at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. She’s become respected from concert halls like City Winery (NYC and Chicago), to prominent Tribal PowWows and Native American events like Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Inaugural Ball in 2013, and institutions like University of Iowa/Hancher Auditorium who host a week-long residency in September 2013.


In Fall 2014, Prof. Kris McAbee will offer a Cooper seminar on “Revenge.”  Here’s what she says about it:  This course will interrogate the nature of revenge as a thematic device. We will ask, “What are the elements of revenge? What differentiates revenge from justice? What do we learn from revengers and their quests?” Beginning with Greek tragedies, we will then work through a survey of revenge-oriented texts from the sixteenth century to the present day, representing a range of genres including drama, broadsides ballads, opera, prose fiction, and film. Among selections developed by the class, texts will include: Euripides’s Medea, Seneca’s Thyestes, Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, Ford’s ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo, and Park Chan-Wook’s 2003 film, Old Boy.  For more information contact Dr. McAbee at


The annual Shakespeare Scene Festival will be held on Thursday and Friday, March 13 and 14, 2014.  It’s great to see local middle and high school students come to terms with the Bard.  For more information or to help out, contact Dr. Kris McAbee at

The Cooper Colloquium and Picnic will be held on Friday, May 9, 2014.  Watch for details of time, place, and participants.  It looks like we’ll have an embarrassment of riches in interesting projects this year.  Plan now to come and celebrate our honors graduates.


Stephanie Mantell has been admitted to Bowen Law School, and named a William H. Bowen Scholar with a full scholarship for all three years of law school.  Congratulations, Stephanie!

Doc Yoder’s class on John Milton held a (half) marathon reading of Milton’s epic Paradise Lost on Sunday, Feb. 2.  The reading was called off after Book VI (about 7 hours) because of inclement weather, but Books VII-XII have been rescheduled.  I extracted students’ comments about the marathon from their weekly journals and posted them to the Milton listserve.  We got picked up by the “Milton Revealed” blog.  You can check us out here.  I’m really proud of the class for working together and pulling this off, and I’m very impressed with the insights you reached after just reading the poem aloud once.  Great work!  And wait till you see the second half.

As always, if you see any errors or problems or with the Broadsheet, or news to add, please contact Doc Yoder at


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