Greetings from the Cooper Director, Dr. Kris McAbee! We have a lot of exciting events coming up this semester, so mark your calendars and be sure to attend.


The Cooper program has admitted five new students for the Spring semester. Congratulations to our newest stipend recipients!

The new, Spring 2016, Cooper students are: Yasmeen Al-ShukriMorgan DrishJosiah SimpsonSara Snyder, and Krystopher Stephens. 

These new Cooper student join other  first year stipend recipients (Olivia Dunlap, Lindsey Fisher, Blaise Hale, Juli Lewis, Allison Ousnamer, and Meghan Reed) and returning recipients (Savannah Adams, Geoffrey Bara, Lizzie Ferguson, Keely Phillips, Kelly Singer, and Alexis Williams).

Cooper Honors stipends are $1300 per semester for up to 4 semesters.  The stipends are awarded on a competitive basis.  You can apply for a stipend twice during either semester of the regular school year; application deadlines are Consultation Day of the semester.  Information on how to apply is available online here, and click on “Student Application.”  For more information about the program, contact Dr. McAbee at


All Cooper Lectures are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6:00: An Evening with Novelist Amy Greene

Amy greene flyerAmy Greene is author of the New York Times bestselling novel Bloodroot. Her second novel, Long Man, was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. Both novels were New York Times Editors’ Choice picks. In 2010 Greene won the Weatherford Award for Fiction from the Appalachian Studies Association and was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance. Her third novel, The Nature of Fire, is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf.

An Evening with Novelist Amy Greene will begin with a reception before the reading on Wednesday, February 24, 6:00-7:30pm in Stella Boyle Auditorium. This event is brought to us by the UALR Visiting Writing Series, sponsored by the English Department and the Cooper Honors Program.

Thursday and Friday, Mar. 10-11: The Shakespeare Scene Festival


Macbeth vs. Star Wars
Warren Dupree Elementary 2015

The Shakespeare Scene Festival brings students from Central Arkansas K-12 schools to UALR to celebrate learning through Shakespeare. This year, UALR will be hosting students from Warren Dupree Elementary, Horace Mann Middle, Henderson Middle, St. Theresa Middle, Central High, Episcopal High, Perryville High, and the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The program should last be about 9:30-noon on both days. See for more details and contact if you’d like to volunteer.

Thursday, Mar. 17: Cooper Seminar Speaker, Patricia Hill Collins

In conjunction with Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar’s Cooper Honors Seminar on Literature and Social Justice , UALR will host prominent sociologist Patricia Hill Collins. Dr. Collins’ talk “Still Brave? Black Feminism as a Social Justice Project,”on Thursday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m., in Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium will be followed by a book signing.

PatriciaHillCollins_2014-Head-Shot1Collins is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of seminal works on Black feminism and race scholarship, such as Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990), Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice (1998), and On Intellectual Activism (2013). She is also a Past President of the American Sociological Association.

Co-sponsors include: UALR Office of Campus Life, the Institute on Race and Ethnicity, UALR College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, the Anthropology Club, UALR College of Social Sciences and Communication, and the Donaghey Scholars Program. For more information contact Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar at

Thursday, Mar. 31: An Evening with Poet Gary McDowell

garyJoin us for a reading by Gary McDowell. McDowell is the author of five collections of poetry, including Mysteries in a World that Thinks There Are None (Burnside Review Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Burnside Review Press Book Award; Weeping at a Stranger’s Funeral (Dream Horse Press, 2014); and American Amen (Dream Horse Press, 2010), winner of the 2009 Orphic Prize in Poetry. He’s also the co-editor, with F. Daniel Rzicznek, of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (Rose Metal Press, 2010).

An Evening with Poet Gary McDowell will begin with a reception before the reading on Thursday, March 31, at 5:30 pm in Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium. This event is brought to us by the UALR Visiting Writing Series, sponsored by the English Department and the Cooper Honors Program.

April 14-17: Visiting Writer Andrew Milward

Author photo 2A native of Lawrence, Kansas, and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Andrew Malan Milward’s fiction has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and appeared in many places, including Zoetrope, American Short Fiction, VQR, The Southern Review, Story, Guernica, as well as Best New American Voices. He is the author of the story collections The Agriculture Hall of Fame, which was awarded the Juniper Prize for Fiction by the University of Massachusetts, and I Was a Revolutionary (HarperCollins 2015). He has served as the McCreight Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, and has received fellowships and awards from the Lannan Foundation, Jentel, and the Corporation of Yaddo. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers and is editor-in-chief of Mississippi Review.

Andrew Milward will come to Little Rock in conjunction with the Arkansas Literary Festival, April 14-17. The exact date for his UALR campus reading as part of the UALR Visiting Writing Series is TBA.

Friday, May 6: Cooper Spring Colloquium and Picnic

All are invited to the Winter Colloquium on Friday, May 6, time TBA, in Ottenheimer Library 535. The Cooper Honors students who have completed projects in Spring 2016 will present their work. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the exiting and sophisticated scholarship and creative work accomplished by students in UALR’s English department.

Then join us later that afternoon for the annual Cooper Picnic at Murray Park!

A list of presenters and further details for both events will be available later in the semester.


downloadIn Spring 2016, Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar is offering a Cooper seminar on Literature and Social Justice. The class will focus on 20th-century writers committed to various social justice movements. Some of the required readings include Richard Wright’s Native Son, Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues,and Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, among others. Students have several options for service-learning through which they will experience first-hand what it is like to engage in social justice work.

In Fall 2016, Jeffrey Condran will offer a Cooper seminar on Novel Writing. Stay tuned for more details about this exciting creative writing seminar.

Please send any corrections, updates, or announcements for the next broadsheet to Dr. McAbee at



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