Fall 2016

Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson will present the second annual Joyce Lecture in Native American Studies Professor Joye is an Associate Professor of English/Ethnic and Indigenous Studies at Bridgewater State University. Her scholarship examines visual and written representations of Metacom, the material rhetoric of Wanpanoag pottery, and Indigenous Rhetorical Bodies. She is the co-editor, along with Lisa King and Rose Gubele, of Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story:  Teaching American Indian Rhetorics (Utah State University Press, 2015) and She is the Faculty Associate for the Pine Ridge Partnership where she works with Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Fall 2015

First Annual Sally Joyce Lecture in Native American Studies

lisa brooksDr. Lisa Brooks, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, Amherst College and Chair, Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, will be speaking on November 4th, a Wednesday, at 4 PM on the topic of “Corn and Her Story Traveled: Reading North American Graphic Texts in Relation to Oral Traditions. Professor Brooks received her Ph.D. in English, with a minor in American Indian Studies, from Cornell University in 2004. Before coming to Amherst, she was John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Her first book, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast (University of Minnesota Press 2008) reframes the historical and literary landscape of the American northeast. Illuminating the role of writing as a tool of community reconstruction and land reclamation in indigenous social networks,The Common Pot constructs a provocative new picture of Native space before and after colonization. The Media Ecology Association honored the book with its Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture for 2011.

Spring 2015 

Tuesday, March 24

Keene is Reading: Redfern collaborative discussion of technology, art, and protest with Robert Moses; 2:30 PM in the Madison Street Lounge of the Student Center

Friday, March 27

Afaa Weaver, author of several books of poetry, including City of Eternal Spring (2014, University of Pittsburgh Press) and The Government of Nature (2013, University of Pittsburgh Press); 2 PM in The Thorne Sagendorph Conference Room

Wednesday, April 1

Anthony Walton, poet (Cricket Weather, Blackberry Books, 1995), nonfiction writer (Mississippi: An American Journey, Vintage, 1997), and literary scholar (Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945, Back Bay, 1994) 4:00 PM  in the Thorne Sagendorph Conference Room

Wednesday, April 8

“Writing Home” panel with Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, and EC Osondu. Sefi Atta, the winner of Wole Solyinka Prize for African Literature, has published several novels and short stories, including Everything Good Will Come (Interlink, 2007) and Swallow (2010.) Helon Habila (Oil on Water, Norton, 2011 and Measuring Time, Norton 2004) is the winner of the Caine Prize and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. EC Osondu, author of This House is Not for Sale (Harper, 2015) is the recipient of the Caine Prize for African Writing. 5:00 PM in the Flag Room, Student Center.

Monday, April 13

Bethany Keeley-Jonker, author of The Book of Unnecessary Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation (Chronicle, 2010) on “Blogging as Hobby, Business and Social Action in a Changing Media Environment” 4:00 PM in Morrison 204

Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25

The 36th Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum. Presentations by KSC faculty and students and the annual Janet Grayson Lecture

Spiritual Motherhood and Monastic Familia: Defining the Boundaries between Blood Kin and Monastic Familia in the Early to Central Middle Ages, Susan W. Wade, Keene State College–Friday April 24 at 9:30 AM

Imperfect Men:  Masculinity and Otherness in Early Modern Drama, Brinda Charry, Keene State College–Friday April 24 at 11:05

Peter, Piety and the Plague: Royal Intercession in 14th-Century Cyprus, Stephen Lucey, Keene State College –Friday April 24 at 2:25 PM

Love versus God: The Religion of Love in Medieval Literature, Gabriella Raccio, Keene State College –Saturday April 25 at 10:35 AM

The Need for Sympathetic Characters: An Analysis of Film Adaptations of Beowulf and The Romance of Tristan, Bethany Cooper, Keene State College–Saturday April 25 at 10:35 AM

Gender Fluidity in Medieval London: Considering Transvestite Prostitute Eleanor John as a Lesbian-Like Woman, Samantha Charland, Keene State College–Saturday April 25 at 3:00 PM

“Her Mood Will Needs Be Pitied”: Agency, Madness, The Pathetic, and Ophelia, Emily Cackowski, Keene State College–Saturday April 25 at 3:00 PM

Janet Grayson Lecture and Keynote Speaker
Coppélia Kahn, “The Making of Shakespeares: Commemoration, Cultural Memory, and the Bard”
4:30 PM on Saturday April 25 in the Mountain View Room

The lecture will examine the practice of commemorating Shakespeare’s birthday–supposedly April 23.  In this lecture, Kahn deals with theories about how events and iconic figures enter into historical memory and how Shakespeare in particular has become such a figure. Kahn is the author of Man’s Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare (1981) and Roman Shakespeare: Warriors, Wounds, and Women (1997). She has published articles on Shakespeare’s plays and poems, and on gender theory, Freud, Jacobean drama, and questions of race and nation in 20th century constructions of Shakespeare. She is co-editor of Representing Shakespeare: New Psychoanalytic Essays (1980); Shakespeare’s Rough Magic: Essays in Honor of C.L. Barber (1985); Making A Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism (1985); and Changing Subjects: The Making of Feminist Literary Criticism (1993). Her current research concerns the creation of Shakespeare as a cultural icon in the 19th and early 20th centuries in discourses of race and empire. In 2009, she was president of the Shakespeare Association of America.

For information about registering for the Medieval and Renaissance Forum, please contact Meriem Pages.

Wednesday, April 29 

Reading by students in Brinda Charry’s ENG 301 Fiction Workshop course

Thursday, May 7

 Symposium on Romanticism, featuring students in William Stroup’s ENG 495 Romanticism sequence: 3.30 to 5.30 in the Thorne Sagendorph Conference Room.

Fall 2014

English majors will be presenting their work at three events this December.

Writing Portfolio Reading will take place at 6 PM on Wednesday, December 3rd in Centennial Hall.

English 307: Writing in the World Presentations will take place at 2:00 on Thursday, December 4th from 2-3:45 pm in the Thorne-Sagendorph Conference Room.

English 323 Medieval Literature symposium will be held at 10:00 on Thursday, December 4th in Room 307 of the Student Center.

Please join us in celebrating the intellectual work of our students. Cookies and punch will be provided. The events are free and open to students, faculty, staff,  families and members of the Keene community.

Spring 2014

Pete Seeger: A celebration of the life in honor of his work in music, poetry, and activism

pete-seeger-banjo-2336eThe departments of English and American Studies are co-sponsoring this event as part of a series of informal readings and discussions of an author whose work we enjoy and admire. This is not a lecture, but a celebration of a great artist and his life and work. Bring a favorite Seeger song to read or sing; if you are unfamiliar with Seeger’s work, this will be a great introduction. We will also show excerpts from Seeger’s concerts.

Tuesday, April 22 at 4pm in Room 308 of the Student Center. Light refreshments provided. For more information contact Dr. Rich Lebeaux ( or Dr. Emily Robins Sharpe (

Keene is Reading:  January 24th, discussion of the “Autism” chapter of Far From the Tree, by Andrew Solomon (Student Center). Contact William Stroup for more information. Andrew Solomon will be on campus on March 5, from 7-8 PM in the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center.

Poet Laureate ReadingAlice Fogel will be reading from her work on March 26th at 4 PM in the Mountain View Room. The reading will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Annual Medieval and Early Modern Studies Lecture: Joshua Birk, February 19, 4 PM (room to be announced). A professor of history at Smith College, Birk examines political history and identity politics across religious boundaries in the Medieval Mediterranean World. He is currently working on Baptized Sultans: The Norman Rulers of Sicily and the Birth of the Anti-Islamic Critique, which examines the way in which the Christian rulers of Sicily co-opted and redeployed Islamic cultural tropes and administrative techniques to project their authority over the Island of Sicily in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. His work has appeared in Multicultural Europe and Cultural Exchange in the Middle Ages and Renaissance and in Medieval Italy: Texts in Translation, from University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Grayson Lecture: Boston College’s Caroline Bicks will be speaking at 4 PM on Thursday, April 25 in the Mountain View Room. Her scholarship focuses on early modern women’s writing and on the midwife in Shakespeare. Her publications include three books, The History of British Women’s Writing (1500-1610), Volumes one and two, and Midwiving Subjects in Shakespeare’s England. Bicks is also a nonfiction writer, co-creator of the blog Everyday Shakespeare, and a working standup comedian and pundit for HuffPost Live (she was recently in an off-Broadway show titled “Not What I Signed up for” with Tony winner Andrea Martin and comedian Michael Ian Black.) The title of her talk will be forthcoming.

Fall 2013

Digital Decolonization: Building an UnCommon Indigenous Literary Space

Wednesday , November 13, 2013 at 4PM in Centennial Hall in the Alumni Center

Senier8852Dr. Siobhan Senier’s teaching and research interests include Native American Studies, Sustainability Studies, Digital Humanities, American literature, and Women’s Studies.  She is the author of Voices of American Indian Assimilation and Resistance (2001) as well as essays in such journals as American Literature, New England Quarterly, American Indian Quarterly, and Studies in American Indian Literatures.  Dawnland Voices:  An Anthology of Writing from Indigenous New England is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press.

Dr. Senier holds the UNH Center for the Humanities Hayes Chair, which supports the annual Indigenous New England Conference and the website Writing of Indigenous New England.  Dr. Senier’s blog is at

Sponsored by the American Studies Program, the Department of English, and the Evolving Commons Symposium Committee

December Third Tuesday Presentation by Dr. Emily Robins Sharpe

Dr. Emily Robins Sharpe, Assistant Professor of English, will be share her scholarly work at a December Third Tuesday presentation. Her talk will be on Tuesday, December 3, 12:00 PM in Parker 212

acrobats-mordecai-richlerLiterary representations of Jewish participation in the Spanish Civil War vary widely in their emphasis on religious and ethnic affiliation. These narratives of affiliation are further complicated by Franco’s reliance on the support of both the Catholic Church and Muslim Moroccan mercenaries–Franco’s so-called “Army of Africa,” compelled to fight through the false promise of eventual decolonization. The often violent points of contact between North American Jews, African Muslims, and European Catholics complicate the political narrative of the war, generating significant moments of transnational empathy. Looking specifically to Mordecai Richler’s fiction on Spain, I argue for the importance of these complicated pan-ethnic, pan-religious, and even pan-political visions to the larger Spanish Civil War literary canon.

Reading by Keene State College Graduate Theresa Benaquist

Essayist Theresa Benaquist will be reading and discussing her work on Wednesday, October 2nd, at 2 pm, in the Mountainview Room. A graduate of Keene State College. Theresa earned her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the founder and editor in chief of Anthem Journal. She is working on her first book of personal experience essays.  Please come and bring your students. The event is free and open to the public.


The Tempest Comes to Keene State College


Professor Dan Patterson (as Prospero) and students Ryan Connell (as Miranda) and Aaron Howland (as Ferdinand)

William Shakespeare’s The Tempest will be presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance from Wednesday to Saturday, February 27 to March 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center. Faculty member PeggyRae Johnson has adapted the play to run ninety minutes without intermission by rewriting the first scene to explain why the main character Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan and a magician, conjures up a storm to bring people to the island where he has been banished with his daughter for 12 years.The adaptation will allow students, who are more familiar with Shakespeare as literature to experience the play as theatre, especially students reading The Tempest as part of the 2013 Keene is Reading program. The cast is headed by KSC Theatre Professor Daniel Patterson as Prospero and student Ryan Connell as Miranda.

Learn more about the play and this production at the Keene State College Web Site.

Information Session Featuring Vermont Law School

The third in the 2012-13 series of information sessions for Keene State students interested in applying to Law School will feature Tim Clark of the Vermont Law School on Tuesday, January 29 at 4:30 pm. (location request in process). Vermont Law School is unique among northern New England  Law schools, offering JD and a number master’s degree as well as 10 joint and dual degrees, including degrees through Environmental Law Center.

More information is available from professor of American Studies and English, and coordinator of the Pre-Law Initiative, Michael Antonucci at or 358.2980.

Eder Creative Writing Scholarship

Applications are invited for the 2013-14 Doris and Donald Eder Creative Writing Scholarship. The award offers recognition and financial assistance during the senior year for an English major who has demonstrated exceptional promise in creative writing. The 2013-14 recipient will receive a 3,575.00 award to support the pursuit of writing during the senior year.

To be eligible for the Eder scholarship the applicant will

  • be matriculated as a full-time English major or a Writing Minor;
  • have a 3.6 overall GPA in their first five semesters of undergraduate study;
  • have received mostly A’s in writing courses.

Demonstrated need may play a part in the decision but will not be as important as academic performance. The award will be contingent upon confirming eligibility with the Bursar’s office.

All materials must be submitted to the Chair of English, Dr. Mark C. Long, no later than Friday January 25th. The application must be complete to be considered for the award. The award recipient will be announced in early February.  Questions about the award should be directed to Dr. Long at 603.358.2995 or

Auditions for William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

When:  Thursday, Nov. 29, 5-10:00; Friday, Nov. 30, 5-10:00 (Call-Backs will be Sunday, Dec. 2, 2-6:00)
Where:  Main Stage Theatre, Redfern Arts Center
What: 1) Sign-up for a time-slot on the Wright Lobby bulletin board

If you would like more information, or have questions, please contact PeggyRae Johnson, office Redfern Arts Center 226 or

English Department’s Writing Minor/Writing Option Student Reading

You are invited to come and hear student writers read original works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. December 5, 2012 at 6 PM in the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery Conference Room. Please contact professor Kirsti Sandy if you have any questions.

Consorting With Savages: Indigenous Informants & American Anthropologists

On Wednesday, November 28 at 4pm, Keene State College welcomes Dr. Margaret M. Bruchac who will present “Consorting With Savages: Indigenous Informants & American Anthropologists.” Professor Bruchac’s presentation is sponsored by the American Studies Program.

Professor Bruchac’s talk highlights efforts of Native people who endeavored to “Indigenize” American ethnography as a reciprocal exchange of knowledge, rather than the cannibalizing process that it became.  Reflecting on historic collaborations between American Indians influential male scholars—including Franz Boas, Frank Speck, William Fenton, and Arthur Parker—her talk examines cross-cultural relations and discourses that shaped American Indian collecting, showing how tribal informants were selected and represented.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, professor Bruchac has received research awards from the American Philosophical Society, the Five College Fellowship, and the University of Massachusetts, and is the former Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Connecticut. From 2011-2012, she was in residence at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, with the benefit of a Ford Foundation Fellowship. She has also served as an historical consultant and performer for Historic Deerfield, Old Sturbridge Village, Plimoth Plantation, and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. Her publications include Dreaming Again: Algonkian Poetry (Bowman Books 2012), Indigenous Archaeologies: A Reader in Decolonization (Left Coast Press 2010), and articles in the Historical Journal of Massachusetts and Museum Anthropology.

For more information, please contact professor Sally Joyce (8.2691) or professor Michael Antonucci (8.2980)

Interested in Applying to Law School?

The Pre-Law/ JD Advising initiative has scheduled two events for English majors (and other students) interested in law school.

Karen Romano, Associate Dean of Admissions from Western New England University will visit the campus on Tuesday, November 13 at 4:30pm.

Representatives from Suffolk University Law School will conduct an information session on Monday, November 19 at 4:30 pm. This session will be held in the Atrium Conference Room of the Young Student Center.

More information is available from professor of English and American Studies, Michael Antonucci at 358.2980.


Black Writers Series Welcomes Poet Randall Horton

Wednesday October 24,  4pm,  Centennial Hall, Keene State College Alumni Center

Randall Horton is a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, a Cave Canem Fellow and member of Affrilachian Poets. Professor Horton is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Haven. He holds a Ph.D in Creative Writing from SUNY ALbany, the MFA in Poetry from Chicago State University and a BA in English University of the District of Columbia.

Professor Horton’s latest poetry collection, Pitch Dark Anarchy, will be published by Northwestern University Press in Spring 2013. His Other publications include: The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street (Main Street Rag, 2009), The Definition of Place  (Main Street Rag, 2006) and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora (Co-edited with Becky Thompson and Michael Hunter). You can preview Dr. Horton’s visit by watching him read his poetry or you can listen to an interview with him, “Poetry as the Weapon.”

Since 2008, BLACK WRITERS at KEENE has welcomed Jeffery Renard Allen, Duriel E. Harris, Janice Tuck Lively, Ed Pavlic, Audrey Petty, and Sterling Plumpp to campus. This edition of series is made possible by funding from the American Studies Program, with additional support from the English Department. Dr. Horton’s reading is presented in conjunction with the School of Arts and Humanities Face 2 Face initiative: questions can be sent to Professor Michael Antonucci 8-2980 or

Rants from the Hill: Michael Branch Reads New Environmental Nonfiction
Wednesday October 10, 4 PM, Centennial Hall, Alumni Center

Pinus longaeva, Inyo National Forest, California

Mike Branch is Professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he teaches American literature, film, and environmental studies in the Graduate Program in Literature and Environment. He is a co-founder and past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) and is a co-founder and series co-editor of the University of Virginia Press book series Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism. He has published five books, more than 100 articles, essays, and reviews, and his creative nonfiction has received Honorable Mention for the Pushcart Prize and has been recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays, The Best Creative Nonfiction, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His creative work has appeared in Utne Reader, Orion, Ecotone, Isotope, Hawk and Handsaw, Places, Whole Terrain, Red Rock Review, Watershed, New South, and Terminus. He also writes a monthly essay and podcast series called “Rants from the Hill” for High Country News online.

This reading is offered through the generous support of the Environmental Studies Program, the American Studies Program, and the Department of English at Keene State College

Bonnie Sunstein, Professor of English and Education at the University of Iowa, will be visiting the Keene State College campus on Wednesday, October 3rd. Dr. Sunstein will be leading a faculty workshop, and presenting a talk that explores our uses of the term research.

Bonnie Sunstein is Professor of English and Education at the University of Iowa where she directs undergraduate writing and English Education programs. For over twenty years, she taught in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and still most summers, at UNH, Northeastern University, Rivier College, Martha’s Vineyard Summer Workshops, and Massachusetts public schools, as well as at writing and teaching institutes across the USA and around the world. Her chapters, articles, and poems appear in professional journals and anthologies. Her book FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research, is in its fourth edition, and five other books are popular among teachers and writers. She has received grants from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Sunstein is currently working on a new book about teaching nonfiction writing.

Faculty Workshop With Bonnie Sunstein, “Flash Research: Flexing Collective Ethnographic Muscles”

Wednesday October 3 from 12-1:30
Mountain View Room, Student Center

As teachers and scholars, we’ve learned to think symbolically, reason interpretively, and look for metaphors and symbols.  In fact, our students often think of us as the gatekeepers of hidden meanings. But what we don’t often notice is that a more careful view of the simple daily events in our classroom lives can uncover behaviors and meanings worth analyzing.

This exercise, in which we’ll critique our own behaviors as citizens, friends, colleagues, teachers, and students, illustrates the very same skills students will need when they engage in primary field research. Teachers use these skills all the time, but we rarely make them conscious to ourselves and our work: systematic observation, careful notetaking, sensitivity to language, human uses of space and time, power relationships, reflective interpretation, confirmation of data, analysis and generation of a larger research question. This exercise is one from a series of “flash research” experiences Bonnie has designed, and she’ll illustrate the others in her presentation.

Campus Lecture by Bonnie Sunstein, “Pursuit of Meaning”

Wednesday, October 3, 4:30-6:00
Centennial Hall, KSC Alumni Center

This interactive session will explore our differing definitions of the term  “research” and offer ideas for what and how we work with and share the information and knowledge we collect, taking up questions such as:

What do we really mean by “research?” Who does it?

What is it, exactly, to be a “researcher” in the age of YouTube and Wikipedia?

How is field research primary research?

How do we study or read artifacts, stories, events, rituals, recipes, traditions, even places in “the field?” What constitutes “the field?”

What do we need in order to be able to join an academic conversation?

To which conversation(s) do we belong? Ones we know? Ones we don’t know?

Is cultural heritage a part of our academic conversations and if not, should it be?

How does our own cultural heritage influence or enhance our academic conversations?

These events are sponsored by the  School of Arts and Humanities, the School of Sciences and Social Sciences, the American Studies Department, the English Department, the Integrative Studies Program and the Center for Engagement, Learning and Teaching.

For more information about the workshop or lecture, please contact Kate Tirabassi, Associate Professor of English at or 358-2924.

Resume Workshop for English Majors and Writing Minors

Wednesday, September 26 from 4-6
Morrison Hall, Room 203

Interested in a Spring 2013 Internship or finding a job? Come to this resume writing workshop! The workshop will provide students with an overview of key considerations in writing an effective resume at the beginning of the workshop and then offering a more open time of Q&A and/or workshop time for students who bring a draft of their resumes with them.

Presented by Beverly Berhmann, KSC Academic and Career Advising and Dr. Kate Tirabassi, Department of English

Landscape Art and The Land Ethic

“Genesee Scenery,” 1847 Oil on canvas, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

On Tuesday evening, August 28th, professor William Stroup will present a talk, “Landscape Art and the Land Ethic,” that will explore connections between the works in the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery exhibition, “Illuminating Landscapes,” within the contexts of both modern aesthetics and environmental ethics.  The talk and slide presentation begins at 7 PM in the Thorne-Sagendorf. The exhibits, “Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Landscape Painting” and “Illuminating Landscapes and Recent Gifts” will be on display August 28th through September 16th at the Thorne-Sagendorph, Keene State College, Wyman Way, off Main Street in Keene. For more information, call 358-2720, or visit online at


Keene is Reading William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

In the Spring of 2013 the Department of Theatre and Dance will be producing Shakespeare’s late romance, The Tempest, one of his most important and controversial plays.  The campus community will prepare for this with special events including speakers, discussions, readings,  and more throughout the 2012-13 academic year.  

For more information, or to suggest events related to this year’s text, please contact William Stroup of the English Department as or MS 1402.

Creative Writing Day 2012

The annual Creative Writing Day Reading will occur on Thursday, April 26 at 6 PM in the Thorne-Sagendorf Conference Room.  Twenty-two students completing writing minors or majors will read brief selections of their work. Please come and cheer for these hard-writing students.

Expanded Rooms, Unbridled Tongues: International Women’s Writing in the 21st Century

Keene State College is hosting a one-day symposium on Friday March 21st, “Expanded Rooms, Unbridled Tongues: International Women’s Writing in the 21st Century.” The symposium has been organized by a planning committee led by assistant professor of English, Carol Bailey.

The opening keynote, “Caribbean Women Writing: Facebook, Spirituality and the Arts of Solitude” will be delivered by professor Curdella Forbes, a novelist and professor at Howard University at 9 a.m. There will then be a morning panel, ” Global Roots and Routes: Contemporary Women’s Writing” at 10:30 a.m. featuring Dr. Karen Cardozo (Research Associate, Five Colleges, Inc.) and professor Soyica Diggs-Colbert (Dartmouth College/Brown University), professor Lynda Pickbourn (Ecomomics, Keene State College)and Ms. Kelsey Hardy (English major, Keene State College).


The afternoon session, “Teaching and Learning Round Table: Women’s Writing, Foreign Cultures, and the U.S. College Classroom” will includeMs. Kristian Sullivan (Student, Keene State College), professor Anne-Marie Mallon (English, Women and Gender Studies, Keene State College), professor Rhonda Cobham-Sander (Amherst College), professor Rachel Mordecai (UMass Amherst) and professor Shoba Raj-Gopal (Westfield State University). The closing keynote address, “Feminist Ethnography is Not a Luxury,” will be delivered by professor Keisha-Khan Perry (Brown University).

All of the events are free and open to the public and will be held in Centennial Hall in the Keene State College Alumni Center

The 2012 Janet Grayson and Mason Library Lecture in Literary Studies
Thursday April 19, Centennial Hall, Alumni Center, 4:00-6 PM

This year the Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies will join with the Mason Library Lecture to celebrate the Modern Poetry Archive. The speaker for this year’s event will be Charles Simic.

Charles Simic is former Poet Laureate of the United States. His most recent publications include the book of poems, Master of Disguises (2010), and The Renegade: Writings on Poetry and a Few Other things (2009). Simic has also published numerous translations of poets from former Yugoslavia, including Ivan Lalic, Vasko Popa, Tomaz Salamun and Aleksandar Ristovic. A former professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, Simic’s poetry, prose and translations have been recognized with the Frost Medal, the Wallace Stevens Award, a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN Awards for his translations, and a MacArthur Fellowship.


The Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies, now in its tenth year, is named in honor of Dr. Janet Grayson, who retired from Keene State’s Department of English in 2003. Previous Grayson lecturers include these distinguished scholars:

2011 J. Michael Dash, “Agronomists, Journalists, Artists: The Work of the Haitian Writer Today”
2010 Michael Ferber, “On Poetic Fame: Is Immortality Dead?”
2009 Lauret Savoy, “Alien Land Ethic: The Distance Between”
2008 Christopher Bigsby, “How Jewish Is He? Arthur Miller and the Holocaust” (cosponsored with the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies)
2007 Douglas Lanier, “Jazzing Up Shakespeare”
2006 Dympna Callaghan, “Art and Life: Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors”
2005 Stephen Greenblatt, “Shakespeare in Life”
2004 Arthur F. Kinney, “King Lear’s Map”
2003 Janet Grayson, “Shakespeare’s ‘Subtle Knot’”

Modern Poetry Collection at Keene State College

The summer of 2011 marked an important addition to the resources for English majors at Keene State College. Under the guidance of the College Archivist, Rodney O’Bien, the Mason Library received three significant gifts to establish a Modern Poetry Archive. The first was a bequest of a 2100-volume modern-poetry library from the family of Frank C. Shuffelton. Shuffelton, a long-time summer resident of Harrisville, New Hampshire, was the chair of the English department at the University of Rochester. The Shuffelton collection includes first and rare editions of works by John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Frank O’Hara, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Lowell, Allen Tate, William Carlos Williams, and many other poets. The College also acquired the editorial and publishing records of Zephyr Press (Brookline, Massachusetts) and Aspect Magazine from the 1960s to 1997. Zephyr Press is best known for publishing the works of the major Eastern European and Chinese poets.

Aspect Magazine was a prominent Boston poetry journal of the 1970s and 1980s,” said poet and KSC English Professor William Doreski. “Many well-known poets appeared there. Zephyr Press grew out of Aspect. It has published a great deal of poetry translated from Russian and Chinese, including the only English edition of Anna Akhmatova’s complete poetry. Aspect and Zephyr brought together important American and Russian poets, and it continues to publish significant important work. … While I haven’t seen the archive, I expect it to contain a great deal of material for those interested modern and contemporary American, Russian, and Chinese poetry and their various intersections.”

Prof. Doreski also explained that, “aside from the academic scene, which incubated quite a lot of poetry and literary scholarship, the street poetry scene (some of it inspired by John Wieners, one of the last genuine beats) developed a lot of innovation in the poetry world. Aspect, along with Arion’s Dolphin, Ploughshares, and Agni Review, was one of the main outlets for a whole lot of literary activity. Poets who grew up in or were affected (afflicted?) by this scene include Charles Simic, Maxine Kumin, James Tate, Tom Lux, Robert Pinsky, Frank Bidart, Ron Slate (editor of Chowder Review), Gail Mazur, Sam Cornish, lloyd Schwartz, and many others. This group includes several national poet laureates, many Pulitzer prizes and National Book Awards, etc. The 70s was a particularly hot time for the Boston poetry scene, and Aspect was there to catch it.”

The collection also includes the papers and works of the Monadnock Pastoral Poets—a group led by Rodger Martin, an adjunct faculty member in the KSC Journalism Department and editor of the poetry journal, Worcester Review. The Monadnock Pastoral Poets include Jim Beschta, Pat Fargnoli (former NH Poet Laureate), Terry Farish, John Hodgen, Adelle Leiblein, and Susan Roney-O’Brien. You can see samples of their work on the group’s website.

Adjunct Faculty Reading

Seven adjunct faculty members-including Tracy Botting, Jack Bouley, Lorianne DiSabato Jack Hitchner, Rodger Martin, Ellen Moynihan, and Jeff Friedman-will read their poems, essays and stories on Wednesday, February 29th at 4 p.m. The reading will take place in the Mountainview Room of the Young Student Center. Please come and bring your students. Questions about the reading my be directed to Jeff Friedman at

Tom Hazuka to visit Keene State College

Tom Hazuka has published three novels, The Road to the Island, In the City of the Disappeared, and Last Chance for First, as well as a book of nonfiction, A Method to March Madness: An Insider’s Look at the Final Four (co-written with C.J. Jones).  He has co-edited five anthologies of short stories: Flash Fiction (W.W. Norton); Sudden Flash Youth (Persea Books); You Have Time for This (Ooligan Press); A Celestial Omnibus: Short Fiction on Faith (Beacon Press); and Best American Flash Fiction of the 21st Century (Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press).  He is currently editing a new anthology, Flash Fiction Funny.  His short stories, essays and poems have appeared widely in literary magazines, anthologies, and books on the craft of writing fiction.  He recently completed Exile in Gringolandia, a memoir of his experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship, and his return to Chile after more than two decades away.  Hazuka teaches fiction writing at Central Connecticut State University.

The 2011 Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies
Monday April 11, Mountain View Room, 4:30-6 PM

The 2011 Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies will be presented by professor J. Michael Dash, professor of French at New York University. The lecture, “Agronomists, Journalists, Artists: The Work of the Haitian Writer Today,” will look at contemporary Haitian writing in the light of the usefulness of art in a time of catastrophe.

Born in Trinidad, professor Dash has worked extensively on Haitian literature and French Caribbean writers, especially Edouard Glissant, whose works, The Ripening (1985), Caribbean Discourse (1989) and Monsieur Toussaint (2005) he has translated into English. After twenty-one years at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica where he was professor of Francophone Literature and Chair of Modern Languages, he is now Professor of French at New York University after having been Director of the Africana Studies Program. His publications include Literature and Ideology in Haiti (1981), Haiti and the United States (1988), Edouard Glissant (1995), The Other America: Caribbean Literature in a New World Context (1998). He has also translated The Drifting of Spirits (1999) by Gisèle Pineau.  His most recent books are, Libeté: A Haiti Anthology (1999) with Charles Arthur and Culture and Customs of Haiti (2001). He is at present completing a book on the Francophone Caribbean in the 1940s.


The English Department’s Third Tuesday Series Presents “Shaping Writing Cultures and Pedagogies Through Extracurricular Innovation: A Historical Study of a Summer Writers’ Conference.”


Dr. Kate Tirabassi will share stories of a regional connection among New England writers and writing teachers in the 1940s, developed at a nationally known summer writers’ conference held at the University of New Hampshire. She will discuss how beliefs about writing spread from one institutional context to multiple curricular and extracurricular sites through the efforts of these teachers and discuss how studying local archives and regional connections among writing instructors can be a means of understanding geographical influences on writing theory and pedagogy.

Appian Way Conference Room, Tuesday March 22, 12:30-1:30


The English Department presents a reading by Lisa Gill, Monday, February 21 at 6 PM in the Night Owl Café

Lisa Gill received her MFA from the University of New Mexico and has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Her books include,Red as a Lotus: Letters to a Dead Trappist (La Alameda Press, 2002), Mortar & Pestle (New Rivers Press, 2006); Dark Enough (La Alameda Press, 2009); The Relenting (New Rivers Press, 2010), and Caput Nili: How I Won the War & Lost My Taste For Oranges (Burning Books).




The English Department’s Third Tuesday Series presents Dr. Kirsti Sandy, “My Life in Semesters:  From Blog to Book”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 1-2 in the Appian Way Conference Room, Mason Library


The English Department and the American Studies Program presents Jeffrey Renard Allen

allenphotoOn Thursday October 28 Chicago  poet and writer Jeffery Renard Allen reads at 4pm in the Thorne Conference Room, Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery, Keene State College.

Professor Allen will read from his orignial poetry and fiction, which explore questions space, space & identity through their engagement with African American experience.

Allen’s  poetry, Harbors and Spirits (1999) & Stellar Places (2008), along with his fiction, Rails Under My Back (20010) and Holding Pattern (2007) have distinguished his voice among contemporary African American writers. He is the 2010 recipient of the Ernest J. Gaines Award.

The English Department’s Third Tuesday Series presents Dr. Carol Bailey, “They say my grandmother was a murderer”: Memory, Trauma, and the Power of stories in Marie-Elena John’s Unburnable



Intersections between Race, Power, Science and Ethics

A panel discussion about the Keene is Reading book, The Immortal life hlackscoverof Henrietta Lacks featuring Karen Cangialosi (Biology), Dottie Morris, (Diversity), Mia Hulslander (Women’s Studies Student) facilitated by, Patricia Pedroza (Women’s Studies)

Wednesday, 6 October, 12-1 in the Madison Street Lounge

The English Department’s Third Tuesday Series presents Dr. William Stroup, “My Portrait, When I Was 27”:  New Documents in the Keats and Shelley Circle

Dr. Stroup will discuss a letter from Joseph Severn (an English painter best known as the deathbed companion of the poet John Keats) to the American publisher James Fields heretofore unknown to scholars of the Keats and Shelley circle.  The letter, accompanied by this previously unreproduced image of Severn, is laid into a copy of Shelley’s poetry that had been owned by Leigh Hunt and is now in the Rauner Special Collections Library of Dartmouth College.  Dr. Stroup will discuss how these rare documents came together and the implications of this discovery for studies of the historical reception of Keats and Shelley.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 12-1pm, Appian Way Conference Room, Mason Library, Keene State College.

The 2010 Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies

ferber1“I have finished a monument
more lasting than bronze, more
lofty than the regal structure of
the pyramids, one which neither
corroding rain nor the ungovernable
North Wind can ever destroy, nor
the countless series of the years, not
the flight of time. I shall not wholly
die, and a large part of me will
elude the Goddess of Death.”

– Horace (65 – 8 B.C.E.)

Is immortality dead? Dr. Michael Ferber, Professor of English and the Humanities at the University of New Hampshire, will explore the poetic idea of achieving eternal fame through literature in the 2010 Janet Grayson Lecture in Literary Studies. His lecture, entitled “On Poetic Fame,” will be at 4 p.m., Monday, April 19, 2010 in the Mabel Brown Room in the L.P. Young Student Center at Keene State College. Please join Dr. Ferber and the English Department faculty for an afternoon tea reception following the lecture.

Keene is Reading

For the ninth consecutive year matriculating students at Keene State College will take part in discussions of a book with members of the campus and Keene community. Coordinated by the department of English, the Keene is Reading program is designed to facilitate a campus-wide discussion of ideas, as well as to help first-year students make the transition to college, where the reading and discussing books is integral to the campus community. The reading program begins in the idea that becoming a more efficient, engaged, and productive reader is among the most meaningful outcomes of a college education.

The 2009-10 Keene is Reading book is The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

For more information about the summer reading program, please contact the coordinator of the program, Dr. William Stroup, 8.2727 or

Previous Reading Program Books
2009-10 Mark Kurlansky, Cod
2008-09 Michael Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma
Luis Alberto Urrea, The Devil’s Highway
2006-2007 Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
2005-06 Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains
2004-05 Janisse Ray, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
2003-04 Gish Jen, Mona in the Promised Land
2002-03 Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues
2001-02 John Edgar Wideman, Brothers and Keepers

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