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


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.


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

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  For a big taste of what to expect, check out this YouTube Video.  For more information on this event, contact Doc Yoder at


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

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


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


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