English faculty receive numerous honors

Faculty in the Department of English recently have received numerous honors.

Associate Professor of Literature Susan Harlan won first prize for the 2017 Mark Twain House & Museum Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest for her series of literary humor pieces entitled “Great House Therapy,” currently available on The Toast. Sponsored by the Mark Twain House and Museum, the annual contest specializes in humor writing. An expanded series of Harlan’s columns will be published as a book called Great House Therapy by Abrams in October 2018. To read more of Harlan’s humor writing, see her posts for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Assistant Teaching Professor of Writing Eric Ekstrand has been awarded a Tulsa Artist Fellowship by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The Foundation awards fellowships to between 20 and 30 national and Tulsa-based visual artists and writers each year, offering them “creative freedom to pursue their craft and contribute to a thriving art community.” Fellows work in residence on public art, education, and community projects in addition to producing other original work during the fellowship year. The program provides housing, studio space, and a stipend to support artists and their families for a year. As a TAF Fellow, Ekstrand plans to continue working on a second collection of poems that is already underway and studying the global lyric tradition. His husband Danny and their dog Ella will travel with him.

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Joanna Ruocco will spend the winter of 2018 at Yaddo, one of the nation’s oldest and most established artist colonies. Ruocco was awarded a Yaddo residency fellowship to work on a new novel-in-progress. This honor puts Ruocco in distinguished company among Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship, National Book Award and Nobel Prize recipients. Ruocco also will travel to read at the University of British Columbia for the official launch of her most recent book, The Weekand will travel as well to the University of Maine—Orono and Eastern Michigan University to read as part of their visiting writer series.

In late September, Assistant Professor of Literature Sarah Hogan gave an invited lecture at the Matters of Invention symposium, sponsored by the University of Cyprus. This small, two-day conference in Nicosia, Cyprus, brought together international scholars devoted to the study of utopian literature and early modernity.  Her talk, “Narrating the Novum: Utopia and the Question of Origins,” considered how Thomas More’s Utopia has the potential to shape contemporary historical narratives about the transition from feudalism to capitalism, in ways that acknowledge its immanent, multiple, contested, geographically displaced, and crucially, cultural (as well as social) origins. Hogan is the author of the forthcoming monograph, Other Englands: Utopia, Capital, and Empire in an Age of Transition (Stanford UP, 2018).

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