Dr. Kate Parker will present "The Marquis de Sade's Communities of Feeling: A (Re)Enlightenment Salon" from 2:30-3:30 p.m., Friday Feb. 19, in Wimberly 113.
Given how our understanding of the philosophy and literature of the eighteenth century has radically shifted over the course of the past few decades—carving open a unified “Enlightenment” to see how it pieces together pure rationality with raw sentiment, how it emphasizes the communal as well as the alienation of the individual—this presentation on the Marquis de Sade will sketch a different, more nuanced, and in some ways significantly less radical Sade, one who finds resonance with eighteenth-century discourses of sentimentality and feeling as well as those of rationality and radical alienation. Together we'll uncover a Sade who strives to connect as much as he aims to estrange, who is as much defined by the communities of beings and things that he constructs in his texts as he is by the “cold and cruel” libertines who sit, all-consuming, at their center. Indeed, just as Sade might once have been said to be the extreme embodiment of Enlightenment principles—Enlightenment ideals gone too far, so to speak—so too does he nestle himself within its most treasured and traditional narratives: narratives of sociability and rational feeling. All are welcome to attend!
On Friday, December 4, Dr. Tom Jesse will present “Avant-Rhetoric: Innovation as Argument in Postwar American Poetry” from 2:30-3:30pm in Wimberly 113. Focusing on innovative and experimental texts published after 1950, this presentation explores the argumentative possibilities of avant-garde poems that defy reader expectations for coherence and meaning. This avant-garde rhetoric—or “avant-rhetoric”—offers a model for reading vanguard poetry as a form of artistic expression with the potential to inaugurate gradual but meaningful shifts in the linguistic practices that give shape to everyday life. Admittedly, this requires a fundamental change in traditional conceptions of rhetorical argumentation, which are too often restricted to either ancient models of public oratory or contemporary models of corporate advertising. It necessitates a reorientation of attitudes toward the poetic as well, shifting away from models of aesthetic autonomy and toward a more political, more socially engaged understanding of poetry as a site for staging strategic interventions in a culture’s dominant discursive practices. If, as poet Lyn Hejinian claims in the essay “Barbarism,” experimental texts perform “new ways of thinking” that eventually make “new ways of being possible” (The Language of Inquiry), then Dr. Jesse contends that we need a rigorous method for explaining how the avant-garde poem argues for change in the social and political realms. Recognizing the persuasive forces that animate these changes thus becomes an essential task for poetry scholarship in the twenty-first century—one that has the potential not only to combat persistent assumptions regarding the “death” of contemporary poetry, but also to reinvigorate the historical avant-garde’s original desire to bring the poetic and quotidian closer together.
The English Department's William and Yvonne Hyde Colloquium Series will offer its monthly presentation on Friday, Nov. 20. Representatives of the English Department's Composition Committee, including Darci Thoune, Virginia Crank, and Sara Heaser, will present "Working with Multilingual Writers: A Film Screening and Workshop." Starting at 2:15, they will show the film "Writing Across Borders" and then lead a panel discussion on best practices for working with multilingual writers. The presentation will focus on contrastive rhetoric, theories of linguistic appropriation, and practical advice for prioritizing response to student writing. The presentation will be in Wimberly 113, and all members of the UWL and La Crosse community are welcome. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
In telling the story of his own accidental “coming of age,” English professor Bradley Butterfield’s fictitious narrator “Bradley Butterfield” tells the stories of a whole cast of lovable, if fallible, characters from his childhood and of the Denver he grew up in from the dawn of disco to the Reagan era. Idiot Boys is a relentlessly funny, heartbreakingly sad, and ultimately philosophical look at the particular idiocy of boys and the universal stupidity of man. Each chapter, or “Exhibit,” represents a rough archetype of idiot boy behavior and a stage in young Butterfield’s quixotic quest to figure himself out and become the hero of his own movie.Butterfield’s narration meanders between every phase of his youth, from pre-school to his first semester in college, but there turns out to be a method in this seeming madness as it builds to a gut-wrenching climax involving repressed memories surrounding his mother’s death and the inevitable dissolution of those childhood friendships he thought would last forever.
Dr. David Hart will present his research titled “Beyond the Story Within the Story: A Case Study of the Art of Narrative Design” on Friday, September 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m., in Wimberly 113.
The question of how narrative accomplishes various meanings, and sometimes leaves a reader with ambiguous conclusions about a story’s meaning, provides the root of my inquiry. Tales that invoke conventional “frame narratives” may include a typical “story within a story” with an “outer frame” that is granted authoritative status over an “inner frame.” Yet what happens when there are multiple frames competing for authoritative attention? This critical inquiry focuses on why readers choose to privilege one narrative frame of reference over another.
This case study focuses on Robert Antoni’s historical fiction As Flies to Whatless Boys. The multi-framed organizational structure of this novel begs the questions, which frame should a reader privilege, and how and why does privileging occur? Does one narrative frame serve as an ultimate reference point for the others? This discussion attempts to answer these questions through the lens of narratology. A narratological approach leads to a rationale for the cognitive mapping of the novel based on narrative frame privileging. The outcome of this case study results in a narrative map that shows the cognitive ordering of meaning in Antoni’s storyworld that may be applicable to other texts. To arrange for disability accommodations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-785-8295.
Kicking off the English Department's 2015-2016 William J. and Yvonne Hyde Colloquium Series, English Department faculty member Dr. Rob Wilkie will present "Animated Monsters: Class and the Nonhuman." Contemporary culture has taken a "nonhuman" turn. In the theoretical arguments of writers like Jane Bennett (Vibrant Matter), Timothy Morton (Hyperobjects), and Graham Harman (The Quadruple Object), as well as in the plots of popular films like Godzilla and Avengers: The Age of Ultron, there is a sense that the only way to address the large-scale social and environmental crises caused by humanity is to eliminate the "human," by which is meant not human extinction, but shifting from a human-centered reality to one that more fully recognizes the agency and being of nonhuman objects. Taking this idea as his starting point, Dr. Wilkie will examine some of the core theoretical and class assumptions of the nonhuman turn and will propose instead a more historical and materialist approach to the relations between the human and the nonhuman. The presentation runs from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 25th in 113 Wimberly Hall. The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to attend. To arrange for disability accommodations, contact email@example.com or 608-785-8295.
Concluding the English Department's 2014-2015 William J. and Yvonne Hyde Colloquium Series, Dr. Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, Provost, will present "The Unhappiness of Travel." Contemporary Atlantic fiction offers a narrative of loss, regret, pain, and defeat that sits uneasily with a history of triumphal travel narratives of progress and self-improvement. In such fiction the journey depicted is often a complex and messy one, where escape and misdirection define the experience. Contemporary writers are revisiting the transatlantic space to reveal not simple forward movement but concurrent retreat, not a singular propulsion forward but a wavelike narrative structure that encapsulates the contrary nature of travel and its propensity to beguile and befuddle the traveler. Dr. Macpherson proposes that Atlantic fiction offers an enriching landscape of confusion and coexistence that articulates an uneasiness with movement that perfectly matches its very subject. The presentation runs from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1, in 113 Wimberly Hall. The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to attend. To arrange for disability accommodations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-785-8295.
A Presentation by Dr. Marie Moeller, UW-L Assistant Professor of English.
This presentation operates at the intersections of technical medical communication, disability studies, and gender studies. Focusing on infographics from various health-oriented organizations, this talk examines the way medical visual rhetoric employs normalizing narratives of “health” to supplement and forward hegemonic frames that feminize the “obese” body and use the female body as an instrument of normalization and cultural management. It also uncovers how infographics, regarding body categorizations, participate in a gross simplification of terms that amplify the narrow frames with which we understand “obesity” and “obese” bodies.
Sponsored by the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
For more info/disability related accommodations contact Mahruq Khan at email@example.com or 608.785.8351
"Student Interpretation and Application of Peer and Instructor Writing Comments"
As part of the English Department's 2014-2015 William J. and Yvonne Hyde Colloquium Series English Department faculty members Ryan Friesen, Bruce Handtke, and Jennifer Mohlenhoff-Baggett will describe a two-year lesson study project investigating how student writers perceive peer and instructor critique of their writing. Their project analyzed how students understand these comments, how they translate them into a process, and how they use the comments to weigh their revisions. We evaluated how accurately the students described the suggested revisions, assessed how self-aware the writers were regarding the need for revision in their writing, and attempted to determine how able and willing they were to apply critique to future writing scenarios. The presentation runs from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 10th in 113 Wimberly Hall. The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to attend. To arrange for disability accommodations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-785-8295.