Thursday, March 21, 2013

LitFest 2013

Be sure to check out SMU's LitFest while you are on campus!

Since the early eighties, SMU’s Literary Festival has featured notable writers that include John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Walker, Norman Mailer, Robert Pinsky and Jill McCorkle. For 2013, the line-up in alphabetical order includes:

  • Gabrielle Calvocoressi, awards and honors include a Stegner Fellowship, a Jones Lectureship at Stanford University and a Rona Jaffe Women Writers’ Award. She also runs the sports desk for the Best American Poetry Blog.
  • Vievee Francis, published in Callaloo, Margie, Crab Orchard Review and Detroit’s Metro Times, author of Blue-Tail Fly, a Callaloo Workshop participant and Cave Canem Fellow.
  • Alix Ohlin, author of novel Inside, Signs and Wonders, The Missing Person and Babylon and Other Stories, with work appearing in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and on public radio’s Selected Shorts.
  • Matt Olzmann’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Salt Hill, Margie, and other journals. He is a Kundiman Fellow and a writer-in-residence for the InsideOut Literary Arts Project.
  • Alan Michael Parker has received awards and fellowships including three Pushcart Prizes, the Fineline Prize from the Mid-American Review, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; his novel, Whale Man, was a finalist for the 2011 ForeWord Reviews’s “Book of the Year Award” in the category of Literary Fiction.
  • Natalie Serber, recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, Tobias Wolff Award, and H.E. Francis Award, was short listed in Best American Short Stories.
  • Tatjana Soli, Winner of UK’s James, Tait Black Prize, New York Times Notable Book 2010 New York Times Bestseller, ALA 2011 Notable Book, LA Times Book Award Finalist, A Kirkus Reviews Top Debut Fiction, Bookmarks Magazine Best Literary Fiction.
  • Debra Spark, author of the novels Coconuts for the Saint, The Ghost of Bridgetown and Good for the Jews, edited the best-selling anthology Twenty Under Thirty: Best Stories by America’s New Young Writers. The Pretty Girl, a collection of stories about art and deception, will be published in 2012.
  • MC: Paul Otremba, author of two poetry collections, The Currency and the forthcoming Pax Americana. In honor of his poetry a Barthelme Memorial Fellowship, a Krakow Poetry Seminar Fellowship, and a prize from the Academy of American Poets. “This is another amazing lineup of writers,” said David Haynes, head of the SMU creative writing department. “I’m advising everyone I know not to miss any of these readings.”

SMU holds its Literary Festival on campus and free of charge, allowing students, faculty and the surrounding community an opportunity to interact with and hear the latest works from some of the best authors in the country.

For more information, including bios about each author and times of readings, please visit:


Visitors may use the Moody Parking Garage at the southeast corner of SMU Boulevard and Airline Road. The garage is located at 3063 SMU Blvd., less than half a mile from U.S. Highway 75 (North Central Expressway). All-day parking is $5, and cash or credit cards are accepted.

Visitors may also use the Binkley Garage at the corner of Binkley Avenue and Airline Road. The visitor entrance is on Binkley Avenue, and visitors may park anywhere on Level 2 or above. Payment in cash is made before exiting the garage; the rate is $1 per hour.

Metered parking is free on the weekends.

Conference Schedule

Southern Methodist University English Graduate Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Schedule of Events
                               Registration and Coffee......................8:00-9:00 a.m.
                                          Session 1..............................................9:00-10:20 a.m.
                                          Session 2..............................................10: 30-11:50 a.m.
                                          Lunch...................................................12:00-1:15 p.m.
                                          Session 3..............................................1:15-2:35 p.m.
                                          Session 4...............................................3:00-4:20 p.m.
                                          Refreshments....................................... 4:30-5:00 p.m.
                                          Keynote Address..................................5:00-6:30 p.m.
                                          Reception (Prof. Wheeler’s house)........6:30-7:45 pm.

Registration and Coffee: 8:00–9:00 a.m.
First Floor, Dallas Hall

Session 1 9:00-10:20AM

Panel 1: Staging Place: Seventeenth-Century British Drama; Chair, Andrew Forrester (Dallas Hall 157)
Lauren J. Rogener (University of North Texas), “Tourists and Vagabonds in the Jacobean Masque of Blackness

Christopher C. Criswell (University of North Texas), “‘The happiest state that ever man was born to’: Cuckoldry in Chaste Maid

Andrew, Forrester (Southern Methodist University), “‘You have too courtly a wit for me’: The Glorification of Court in As You Like It's Pastoral Realm”

Panel 2: Gender, Myth, and the Space of the Body; Chair, Megan Schott (Dallas Hall 156)

Cady Jackson (Oklahoma Christian University), “‘No man wist hit but throwe’: Queenship an Intimate Mother-Instruction in The Awntyrs off Arthur

Jessica D. Ward (University of North Texas), “‘This may be sent by no wyght but by me’: Legal Bodies in Flux in Troilus and Criseyde

Megan Schott (Southern Methodist University), “Champing at the Bit: Narrative Wandering in Apuleius’s The Golden Ass
Session 2 (10:30-11:50 AM)

Panel 3: Eighteenth-Century Imagined Geographies; Chair, Chris Goldsmith (Dallas Hall 152)

Chris Goldsmith (Southern Methodist University), “Does Crusoe Shit in the Woods? Waste, Production, and the Ordering of Spaces in Robinson’s Island Kingdom”

Elizabeth Bernhardt (Abilene Christian University), “Oh, the Places They Go! Searching for Space in Johnson’s Rasselas

Bethany Williamson (Southern Methodist University), “Telling the Truth of English Virtue in Penelope Aubin’s Count of Vinevil

Panel 4: There’s No Place Like Home: Travel and Sense of Place in Twentieth-Century America; Chair, Christopher Stampone (Dallas Hall 101)

Makayla C. Steiner (Brigham Young University), “Ordinary Vision: Family Life as Sacred Landscape in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead

Carrie Johnston (Southern Methodist University), “What Would Mabel Dodge Luhan Do? Celebrity Culture and Cultural Tourism in the Southwest”

Lili Pariser (Bard College), “Creating a Place in the Soundscape: Music in Teju Cole’s Open City

Panel 5: Colonial Geographies: Mapping Identities in Eighteenth-Century America; Chair, Kristina Booker (Dallas Hall 157)
Summer Kokic (Summer Methodist University), “Buyer Beware: Examining the Narrative Aspect of an Eighteenth Century Plantation Real Estate Ad”

Daniel DeFraia (Harvard Extension School), “The Imagining of America: Specular Vision and Frontier Dreams”

Kristina Booker (Southern Methodist University), “Local Broadside, National Mandates: Print and Federal Authority in 1770s Connecticut”

Session 3 (1:15-2:35 PM)

Panel 6: Theories of Adaptation and Education in Victorian Literature; Chair, Kate Boswell (Dallas Hall 156)

Caitlin Brenner (University of Houston), “Tennyson’s Reconstruction of Camelot Through Guinevere and the Round Table”

Ashley Harbers-Iwasko (University of Dallas), “‘One Continued Series of Opposition’: Earning and Learning in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South

Panel 7: Theory, Theology, and the Environment; Chair, Carson Land (Dallas Hall 101)

Julianne Sandberg (Southern Methodist University), “All things are busie”: The Georgic Environment and Fruitful Work of George Herbert”

Nicholas R. Werse (Baylor University), “A Journey Through Sacred Space: The Inherent Paradox of the Levitical Tabernacle”

Eric McClure (Texas State University), “Hearts and Hardships: An Examination of Relationships, Places, and the Author of The Fellowship of the Ring

Panel 8: Spaces of Healing and Subversion in Twentieth-Century American Narratives; Chair, Micah Robbins (Dallas Hall 157)
Grace Castruita (California State Polytechnic University), “Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony: Empty Spaces and the Struggle for Space”

Micah Robbins (Southern Methodist University), “Playing John Wayne in Vietnam: John Wayne's The Green Berets and Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers

Ryan L. Womack (Baylor University), “‘th hum tht nevr gOs awy’: Time, Space, and the Pause in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad

Anna Hinton (Southern Methodist University), ‘There’s a World in Your Eye’: The Wounded Body as a Space of Revelation and Healing in Alice Walker’s Meridian

Session 4 (3:00-4:20 PM)

Panel 9: Politics of Place in Nineteenth-Century American Literature; Chair, Meghan Wadle (Dallas Hall 101)
Wes Atkinson (Lehigh University), “The California/Cherokee Political Theory of John Rollin Ridge”

J.D. Smith (Texas Tech University), “‘Just The Door Ajar’: Place, Paradise, and Mapping in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson”

Meghan Wadle (Southern Methodist University), “Burdened Bodies and the Corporatized Landscape in Frank Norris’s The Octopus

Panel 10: Creative Writing: Place, Space, and the Artist’s Identity; Chair, Anna Nelson (Dallas Hall 152)
Tina V. Cabrera (University of North Texas), “‘Not Here’: A Fictional Philosophical Reflection on Ownership of Space”

Sidney Thompson (University of North Texas), a Reading from Bass Reeves: A History: A Novel: A Crusade

Carolann Madden (San Diego State University), a Reading from Plain Girl

Panel 11: Ordering Post/modern Identities; Chair, Lauren Miskin (Dallas Hall 156)

Caitlin Cowan (University of North Texas), “Half Imagined, Half Rooted: The Pub, Transgression, and the Hem of the Real in McPherson’s The Weir

Iven Heister (University of North Texas), “Joyce’s Dubliners: The Social and Economic Shaping of Moral Agency”

Rachel Fields (University of Dallas), “‘Between the Emotion and Response’: The Emotional Space in T.S. Eliot’s ‘Preludes’”
Keynote Address:  5:00 p.m.
McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall 306

Dr. Dorsey Armstrong
 Associate Professor of English
Purdue University

“On the Track of the Questing Beast: Geography in Malory's Arthurian World”

Dorsey Armstrong, Associate Professor of English at Purdue University, is the author of numerous publications, including Gender and the Chivalric Community of Malory’s Morte Darthur (2003) and a translation of Malory’s Morte Darthur based on the Winchester manuscript, Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur: A New Modern English Translation (2009). Dr. Armstrong also is the editor-in-chief of Arthuriana and sits on the board of directors of TEAMS (the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages).  Her current research project, Mapping Malory’s Morte, considers the influence of geography and fifteenth-century politics on Malory’s Morte Darthur.
Closing Reception: 6:30 p.m.
Professor Bonnie Wheeler’s house,
3425 University (one block away from Dallas Hall)


We want to thank all those who have participated in today’s conference, as well as the SMU English graduate students who helped facilitate the event. We especially thank the conference organizers, Lauren Miskin, Anna Nelson, and Christopher Stampone, along with Katie Blankenau, Julianne Sandberg, and Jennifer Boulanger for all their efforts in making this day possible.

We extend a special note of thanks to Dr. Dorsey Armstrong for being with us today.

We also thank the following people, offices, and departments for their support of this conference:

Dedman College
            Dr. William Tsutsui, Dean
            Dr. Peter Moore, Associate Dean
Department of English
            Dr. Nina Schwartz, Department Chair
Dr. Dennis Foster, Director of Graduate Studies
Sarah Sage, Project Specialist
Leslie Reid, Administrative Assistant to the Chair
Dr. Bonnie Wheeler
Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute
                        Dr. Caroline B. Brettell, Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Michael Pueppke Prize for Most Outstanding Conference Submission

The SMU English Grad conference is pleased to announce the Michael Pueppke Prize, a cash award of $125 given to the most outstanding conference paper submission. Nominees will be notified by email on March 8, 2013; the winner will be announced before the conference keynote address on March 23, 2013.  All abstracts submitted to by the March 7, 2013 deadline will be considered for the prize. 

About the Michael Pueppke Prize

            Michael Pueppke (1982-2012) was a Ph.D. student in the SMU Department of English. A longtime resident of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, he matriculated in the fall of 2008 after earning a Master’s degree in Technical Writing at the University of North Texas. He was a polite, somewhat reserved young man, possessed of a quick wit and wicked sense of humor. He also wrote perceptively and sensitively about his favorite subjects in Renaissance literature, especially Shakespeare. Mike stood out as one of the best students in the program.
In the spring of 2009, Mike fell ill with a rare form of leukemia. He took an extended leave to undergo treatment and work with his wife Brittni as they welcomed their first son, Luke. Over a year later, he returned to the program, and finished all his incomplete work in short order. He’d begun planning for his examinations when the leukemia returned. Mike passed away February 12, 2012.
The Mike Pueppke Award honors a bright, young, ambitious student who never gave up his dreams of finishing his degree and becoming a great teacher, a researcher, and eventually a university president. His drive, his love of friends and family, and his devotion to literature inspired all who knew him. The Pueppke award reflects work that befits that legacy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Visiting SMU

We hope to see you at the English Graduate Conference at SMU on March 23, 2013! 

Please see SMU's visitor webpage for campus maps and parking information. Located in the heart of Dallas, SMU is easily accessible via the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Love Field Airport, North Central Expressway (U.S. Highway 75), and the Dallas North Tollway. 

For detailed directions to campus, click here. For information about where to stay during you visit, click here

If you have questions about travel, accommodations, or general inquiries about the conference, please feel free to email us at

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


English Graduate Conference at Southern Methodist University
March 23, 2013

Describing Kokovoko, the mysterious island home of Queequeg in Melville's Moby Dick, Ishmael states, "It is not down in any map; true places never are." The idea of "place" is a complicated one that has haunted and inspired the literary imaginations of countless writers and readers. This conference panel seeks papers that explore the significance of space, place, and geography in literature.

Possible paper topics include:
- Evolving geographies (both material and abstract)
- National boundaries & the formulation of national identities
- Spatial categories: public and private; urban and rural; natural and civilized; sacred and secular
- Gendered spaces: domestic space and female interiority
- Designed spaces: architecture; the landscape of the city; maps and cartography
- Imperialism, exploration, navigation, and the colonization of foreign places
- The cultivation of natural spaces (landscaping, gardening, agriculture)
- Tourism; landmarks; travel writing
- Liminal spaces; geographical / social / cultural marginalization; disenfranchisement
- Ideas of property and the ownership of space.
- Sacred and religious spaces
- Transatlantic and transnational spaces
- Cyberspace and virtual geographies
- Form: space as a poetic technique
- The aesthetics of space

Keynote Speaker:
Dorsey Armstrong is an Associate Professor of English at Purdue University. She is the author of Gender and the Chivalric Community of Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, is the editor-in-chief of Arthuriana, and sits on the board of directors of TEAMS (the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages).

Submissions from a range of disciplines are encouraged: literature, theology, history, sociology, etc.

Submission Policy:
Interested applicants should submit a 250-word abstract with their name, phone number, email address, and institutional affiliation to by February 22, 2013.
Conference presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.  

Image from Frank Norris's The Octopus: