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Join La Crosse Reads for an evening with Deborah Appleman, Ph.D., the Hollis L. Caswell professor of educational studies and director of the Summer Writing Program at Carleton College. Professor Appleman’s recent research has focused on teaching college-level language and literature courses at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater for inmates who are interested in pursing post-secondary education. She recently edited an anthology of her students’ work titled From the Inside Out: Letters to Young Men and Other Writings Poetry and Prose from Prison. (This book will be available for purchase at the University bookstore. Dr. Appleman will sign her books at the bookstore at 6 p.m., immediately prior to her talk.)
When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23
Where: 2130 Granddad Student Union
To request disability accommodations (accessible seating, interpreting, closed captioning, FM systems, etc.), contact Kate Parker at email@example.com or608.785.8304.
The UW-L English Department's first colloquium presentation of the Spring 2017 Semester is from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 24. Dr. Chris McCracken will present "Tinkering Things Together: Rhetoric and Mess Management in Community Ecology":
The discipline of community ecology offers an interesting case study for scholars in rhetoric of science because, as some prominent community ecologists have readily admitted, their field can seem like a mess. They seek integrated approaches to large problems, but find their efforts impeded at various turns. They seek systematic approaches to their objects of inquiry only to have their objects quickly expand beyond a reasonable scope. What keeps getting in their way? How do they work around obstructions? How can they rein in their objects? How, in other words, do they manage their mess? Annemarie Mol and other philosophers of science have argued that this kind of mess management involves a great deal of “tinkering”—with definitions, numbers, images, and materials—spurred by moments of uncertainty. Dr. McCracken presentation relates Mol’s work and recent rhetoric of science scholarship to community ecology that we read about in the literature and community ecology that we see in the lab and the field. He examines how community ecologists have tinkered through uncertainty in the past, and he demonstrates how such tinkering continues to drive community ecology in the present. Ultimately, he asks what the case of community ecology might teach us in rhetoric and writing studies about managing our own disciplinary messes.
Reginald Dwayne Betts is an American poet, memoirist, and teacher. He is author of A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Penguin/Avery, 2009), Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010), winner of the 2010 Beatrice Hawley Award, and Bastards of the Reagan Era (Stahlecker Selections, 2015). He was a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow.
Keynote (UW-L) Spend an evening with R. Dwayne Betts, a poet and memoirist; author of A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (memoir), Shahid Reads His Own Palm and Bastards of the Reagan Era (poetry).
Book signing and reception at 6:00 p.m.; keynote at 7:00 p.m. in the New Student Union Auditorium.
Event Location: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State St., La Crosse, WI 54601 Date: Wed, Feb 15, 2017 Time: 6:00pm – 9:30pm
A reading by poet and memoirist R. Dwayne Betts (WTC)
Event Location: Western Technical College, 400 7th St North, La Crosse, WI 54601 Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Co-hosted by La Crosse Reads and the City of La Crosse Human Rights Commission, this Community Conversation will involve local activists, experts, historians and citizens in a conversation about the relevance of Gaines' novel to 21st-century La Crosse. (Sponsored by the Wisconsin Humanities Council.)
The UW-L English Department's last colloquium presentation of the Fall 2016 Semester is from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday Dec 9. Dr. Kimberly DeFazio will present "'The World without Us': Melancholia, Posthumanism and the Erasure of Class":
Whether depicted as hurricanes, species extinction, factory farming, economic crisis, terrorism, or extra-terrestrial invasion – the catastrophic event now figures prominently in a wide range of culture and cultural theory. In her paper, English Department faculty member Dr. Kimberly DeFazio addresses the way posthumanist theory in particular has come to treat catastrophes as events beyond reason, as signs of the fundamental crisis of human rationality and the danger of conceptual knowledge. To develop her analysis, she focuses on Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia and Percy Shelley’s poem “The Triumph of Life” and how they are interpreted by such posthumanist writers as Alain Badiou, Steven Shaviro and Paul de Man, for whom envisioning what Eugene Thacker calls “the world-without-us” (In the Dust of this Planet) is the basis of a new planetary ethics. While such readings aim to challenge instrumentalism and to highlight the need for new ecological thinking in a global world, the cultural turn toward posthumanism, the paper proposes, not only makes it impossible to understand the material causes of disasters, it also erases the social structures of daily life that privilege the lives of the few over the lives of the many.
Dr. Haixia Lan's Aristotle and Confucius on Rhetoric and Truth: The Form and the Way argues that different cultures can coexist better today if we focus not only on what separates them but also on what connects them. To do so, Dr, Lan discusses how both Aristotle and Confucius see rhetoric as a mode of thinking that is indispensable to the human understanding of the truths of things or dao-the-way, or, how both see the human understanding of the truths of things or dao-the-way as necessarily communal, open-ended, and discursive. Based on this similarity, Dr. Lan aims to develop a more nuanced understanding of differences to help foster better cross-cultural communication. In making the argument, she critically examines two stereotyped views: that Aristotle’s concept of essence or truth is too static to be relevant to the rhetorical focus on the realm of human affairs and that Confucius’ concept of dao-the-way is too decentered to be compatible with the inferential/discursive thinking. In addition, Dr. Lan relies primarily on the interpretations of the Analects by two 20th-century Chinese Confucians to supplement the over-reliance on renderings of the Analects in recent comparative rhetorical scholarship. The book shows that we need an in-depth understanding of both the other and the self to comprehend the relation between the two.