Visiting Scholar: John Keene

Jersey City, NJ. Sept 18th 2018. John Keene writer shot in and around Jersey City for the John D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation.

Photo via MacArthur Foundation

John Keene: ‘Counternarratives’

7pm April 24th
Carondelet Symposium, Lally Hall, 3rd Floor

We are delighted to host 2018 MacArthur fellow John Keene as our visiting scholar for the 2018-9 academic year. He will be speaking the evening after our department symposium (beginning at 9am in Midnight Eats). From the MacArthur Foundation press materials:

John Keene is a fiction writer exploring the ways in which historical narratives shape contemporary lives while simultaneously re-envisioning these narratives from the perspectives of those whose voices have been suppressed. Through innovations in language and form, he imbues with multifaceted subjectivities those who have been denied nuanced histories within the story of the Americas—primarily people of color and queer people—and exposes the social structures that confine, enslave, or destroy them.

His first book, Annotations (1995), is simultaneously a semi-autobiographical novel chronicling the coming of age of a black, queer, middle-class child in the 1970s and ‘80s in St. Louis and a collection of essays about the ideological, philosophical, and political contexts that define his struggle to achieve agency. In the story collection Counternarratives (2015), Keene reimagines moments, both real and fictional, from the history of the Americas, adopting the language and literary forms of the time periods in which his characters live—from seventeenth-century epistolary novels to Modernist and post-modernist experiments with stream of consciousness.  One story, “Gloss on a History of Roman Catholics in the Early American Republic,” is framed as an excerpt from a history book. As the text unfolds, it is revealed that what at first appears to be a footnote about the disappearance of a convent school in early nineteenth-century Kentucky is in fact the eyewitness account of Carmel, an enslaved girl who achieves literacy and a literary voice within the space of the work. “A Letter on the Trials of the Counterreformation in New Lisbon,” also narrated by an enslaved person, turns a letter between missionary priests into an assertion of queer African presence in the New World. In “Rivers,” Keene imagines two meetings between an older Huckleberry Finn and a now-free Jim; he endows Jim with a voice and consciousness, thereby presenting Tom Sawyer and Huck from a powerful new perspective that extends and transforms Twain’s original novels.

In his fiction and in a number of other projects spanning translation, poetry, and cultural criticism, Keene is correcting and enlarging our distorted, partial views of American history and culture, and challenging his readers to question received understandings of our past.

BIOGRAPHY

John Keene received an A.B. (1987) from Harvard University and an M.F.A. (1997) from New York University. Before joining the faculty at Rutgers University-Newark, where he is currently professor and chair of the Department of African American and African Studies and a professor in the Department of English, he taught at Brown University and Northwestern University, among other institutions. He was a member of the Dark Room Collective and is a graduate fellow of Cave Canem. In addition to his novels, he has published two collaborative volumes of poetry, Seismosis (2006) and GRIND (2016), a chapbook of poems, Playland (2016), and translated Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer, from Portuguese. His writing has appeared in TriQuarterly, the Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares, among other journals.

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The Art of the Essay’s Virtual Visiting Author

saint-rose-logoOver at the CSR Chronicle a piece on English professor Jennifer Marlow inviting an author for a virtual visit with students:

Author Lacy M. Johnson, who wrote “The Reckonings,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, virtually visited Wednesday with English 317-The Art of Essay class via Skype, for a Q&A session.

College of Saint Rose professor, Jennifer Marlow, invited Johnson to offer insights to her student writers. “Since she is a writing teacher herself, I know that she will be able to converse with and offer practical advice to student writers,” said Marlow.

Read the rest here.

Emo Poetry with Leza Cantoral and Christoph Paul, April 18

Cantoral Paul 4 18 2019 SLIDE final.jpg

Come on out and take in a night of emo poetry with two top-emo poets! Leza Cantoral, Xicana writer & editor of CLASH Books, author of emo poetry collection TRASH PANDA and Christoph Paul, award-winning humorist, editor, author of AT LEAST I GET YOU < IN MY ART.

Thursday, April 18 • 7:30p.m.
Second Floor, EAC Standish Rooms
420 Western Avenue, Albany, NY

Free event. Books will be available for purchase.

Leza Cantoral is a Xicana writer & editor who lives on the internet. She is the author of Cartoons in the Suicide Forest & Trash Panda. Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath is a CLASH Books anthology of stories that she edited as a result of being a Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath megafan. She is the editor of CLASH Books & trashpandapoetry.com, and hosts Get Lit With Leza, where she talks to cool ass writers.

Christoph Paul is an award-winning humor author. He writes non-fiction, horror, and poetry, including The Passion of the Christoph, Great White House Vol 1 & 2, Slasher Camp for Nerd Dorks, and Horror Film Poems. He edited the anthologies Walk Hand in Hand Into Extinction: Stories Inspired by True Detective and This Book Ain’t Nuttin to F*%k With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology for CLASH Books.

For more information contact Daniel Nester at nesterd@strose.edu or call 518.454.2812

 

English Club Meeting Thursday!

English Club LogoHey Everybody,

English Club will be holding a meeting this Thursday, April 11, at 5:30 pm. We will be answering any last minute questions about elections, and we will also be playing around with more writing prompts.
Here are some upcoming events to keep in mind:
4/12- STROSE SLAMS AND BAKE SALE (see attached flyer) @ 8 pm Campus Theater- Perform a song, poetry, a monologue, or whatever else you have in store in an open, accepting space. We will also be selling baked good in order to benefit our club. COME SUPPORT!
4/16 @7:30pm, Albertus 303- ENGLISH CLUB E- BOARD ELECTIONS- come out and vote for who you want to see on the e-board of English Club for the 2019-202 academic year!
4/17 BLAZE PIZZA FUNDRAISER ( see attached flyer) 6-9pm, Blaze Pizza Stuyvesant Plaza- Come out and grab some food, show a flyer (either on a phone or a printed out flyer) and donate 20% of the proceeds of your meal to our club!
If you have any questions or have any ideas for events, feel free to reach out to me via email!
Thanks,
Sam Zimmerman
English Club Vice President
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Congratulations, Sigma Tau Delta Inductees!

Sigma Tau Delta 2019
The English Department is delighted to celebrate our latest inductees into Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honors Society. Drs Chan and Laity hosted an event that featured VPAA Dr Steve Ralston, Dean Jeff Marlett, and English Chair, Dr David Morrow. Congratulations to our best and brightest students, who have maintained the required high GPA through challenging English courses.

Ashley Richardson, President of the Beta Phi Chapter and assisted by VP Malcolm Brownell and Secretary Hannah Deetz, inducted the new members of Sigma Tau Delta:

Danniella L. Beltrán

Taylor Casey

Samantha O. Karian

Sabrina Joy Leviton

David DiMaggio

Christina Mattern

Lindsey McGowan

Sunny Leigh Nowacki

Emily Paolicelli

Tyani Pope

Julia Porzio

Aliya A. Vasquez

Samantha Zimmerman

 

Well done, all!

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Faculty Works in Progress: Eileen Sperry and Robert Shane

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ENG 252: Here’s to the first-generation college students!

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 1.47.48 PMBy Amanda Famigletti

College is a scary phase in life. It consists of parents cosigning on loans you’ll be paying until you’re 35. Maybe stepping away from your hometown to a big city at 18. And everyone’s favorite part of the transition, a non-virtual game of Tetris to figure out how to fit every last article of clothing, piece of furniture and miscellaneous items to squeeze into a 10 x 10 home for the next year. It’s the biggest academic endeavor you have yet to face, and it’s far from easy.
However, there is a certain population of students in particular that I’d like to shout out to. It’s the first-generation students.
The term can be simply defined as an undergraduate whose parents did not attend university. Research suggests that first-generation college students differ in the sense of their counterparts such that they are typically not as active in extracurricular activities, and can even be less academically prepared. This ties to less satisfaction in college, and without academic or social support, could potentially drop out of college. However, the amount of first-generation college students enrolled in college is rapidly increasing, and this is something we should be proud of.
I am saying this because I too am a first-generation college student, and it makes me so incredibly proud to be one because it shows that there is hope despite one’s circumstances. I encourage everyone who is in the same shoes as me to find the courage to seek out help from professors. Your academic success is most important to them and they are always there to help.
Try and create a social circle as well. Keep up with information about new clubs that may interest you, join a study group, anything that you feel may help. These are key components to your academic success.
I would never say it is easy, but it is worth it. Take a step back and look at where
you are right now. You’re probably studying for your upcoming midterm, chugging coffee late at night to write your term paper or watching Netflix for some down time. Regardless, you are on the path to where you need to be and will get there soon. So, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and be proud to be a first-generation college student.
For additional information, here is a blog post from Psychology Today called “What We
About the writer:  Amanda Famigletti is a senior at the College of Saint Rose, currently studying Psychology.
[The students in ENG 252 are writing blog posts highlighting campus and community events and opportunities.]