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Department of English
Research Workshops
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As a new initiative in the graduate program, this year the Department will offer four Research Workshops, organized around intellectual, research, and teaching interests shared among faculty and graduate students. The Workshops are open to all English faculty members and graduate students, and will run throughout the year, meeting monthly. Each Workshop is coordinated by one faculty member and one graduate student. The Workshops will bring faculty and graduate students together for a series of conversations, talks, and special events, which may include: brown bag lunches; pedagogy discussions; writing and reading groups; excursions to talks, symposia, screenings, and archives; and visiting speakers. The goal of the Workshops is to enhance community and intellectual exchange between faculty and graduate students, and provide graduate students with an informal mentoring network. Workshops will be linked to the Department’s Speaker Series. 

Research Workshops, AY 2017-2018

Feminisms, Genders, Sexualities
Coordinators: Dr. Zarena Aslami and Jess Travers 

This workshop aims to create a collaborative space in which we will discuss feminist, queer, and transgender approaches to literature and culture. This year, we will act as reading group, publication workshop, and pedagogy/praxis collective. As we interrogate the ways that differences of gender and sexuality are imagined and used to create meaning, whether oppressive or liberatory, we will consider how these differences intersect with those of class, race, ethnicity, ability, and nationality. Some questions that shall guide our reflections on our research, teaching, and praxis include the following: How are constructions of gender and sexuality used to sustain white supremacy, a patriarchal and racist set of beliefs and institutions? How are they used to drive neoliberalism, with its economization of all domains of life? And, crucially, what are the possibilities for resisting these historical processes to create more inclusive, democratic worlds? We invite interested graduate students and faculty to participate.

Tentative Fall Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 28, 4:30-6:00 pm, Wells C607: Inaugural meeting and discussion of Sara Ahmed's Living a Feminist Life
Thursday, Oct. 26, 4:30-6:00 pm, Wells C607: Discuss special issue of journal in field of feminist, gender, sexualities studies (TBD)
Thursday, Nov. 2, 4:45 – 5:45 pm, Wells B342: Skype Q & A on "Academic Journal Publishing" with Professor Jennifer DeVere Brody, Co-Editor of GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Professor of Theater and Performance Studies, and Director of the Center for the Comparative Studies of Race & Ethnicity, Stanford University. 
Thursday, Dec. 7, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Workshop journal article drafts (to be emailed to participants two weeks in advance). 

Tentative Spring Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 15, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Discuss Gayle Rubin readings
Friday, March 30, 1:00-4:00 pm in Wells B342: Queer Inclusive Learning and Leadership (QuILL) Workshop with MSU's LGBT Resource Center. Participants must take their web course in advance (for instructions and minimum score, see their website).
Friday, April 6, 4:00 – 6:00 pm 110 Chittenden Hall: Guest Lecture by Professor Gayle Rubin (Associate Professor, Anthropology and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan): "(Gay) Sex and the (Post) Industrial City: Leathermen, San Francisco, and the Future of Queer Worlds". This talk explores the impact of deindustrialization on queer urban location through close examination of San Francisco’s gay male leather population in the South of Market. Five decades of relentless urban renewal and large scale redevelopment have largely transformed this formerly industrial and working-class residential neighborhood into areas of luxury housing and capital-intensive commerce, rendering its gay and leather presence increasingly precarious. South of Market and its gay leather population exemplify changes in land use and real estate markets, raising the question of whether the “gay city” has a future, and what kind of future it has.
Thursday, April 12, 4:30-6:00 pm, C607 Wells: Workshop on the Department of English “Sexual Justice” Syllabus


Pedagogy, Race, and Lit*
Coordinators: Dr. Emery Petchauer and Briona Jones

This research workshop looks to develop our abilities to teach and think with/through race frameworks and epistemologies. We will be guided by questions such as the following: How can we imagine racial justice in classrooms? What kinds of curricula generate from racial inquiry? What kinds of pedagogical moves facilitate racial consciousness development among faculty and students? In what way is race inextricably linked to other forms of oppressions, such as homophobia, sexism, and classism? Why is intersectionality a crucial site of theoretical and praxis-centered inquiry? How can/should classrooms engage with the racial justice movements of our time? We will consider questions like these in context with lit*: literacies, literature, and pedagogical lituations (i.e., classroom situation that are lit).Pursuing these questions, we hope to grow as scholars, colleagues, pedagogues, and community members.

Tentative Schedule:

Sept 21st: Examining the Charlottesville Syllabus. 4:30 to 6pm, location TBD
Oct 9th, 10:00-11:00am Wells Hall B243.: Exploring a Ratchet Epistemology with Dr. Bettina Love (in person guest). 

Nov 2nd: “The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde” (film screening) 4:30 to 6pm, location TBD.

January 18th. 4pm-5:30pm, Wells Hall B243: Is My Syllabus Racist? An Optimistic Workshop. Co-sponsored by the Writing/Pedagogy Workshop.   

February 8th, 3:30-5:00pm, Wells Hall B243: Beyond Hashtags: Implementing Black Lives Matter as Pedagogy. Regina Bradley, Assistant Professor, Kennesaw State University.  

March 29th 4:30pm - 6:30pm, Wells B342: Poetics as Forms of Resistance: An Evening with Cheryl Clarke. Dr. Cheryl Clarke, Poet, Essayist, Activist, and Educator.

April, 26, 4:30-6pm, Wells Hall B243: Teaching in, around, and through Whiteness. Dr. Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor, Michigan State University. 


Distant Reading/Graphesis
Coordinators: Dr. Steve Rachman and Laura McGrath

This workshop is for faculty and graduate students who wish to learn more about two important turns in literary studies and digital humanities: distant reading and graphesis. 

Over the two semesters of this academic year we will engage the techniques and theories operating behind these analytical approaches. This workshop will 1.) discuss current work in the fields of distant reading and graphical analysis, 2.) share examples of works-in-progress by scholars on and off campus, and 3.) introduce relevant technologies and programs (Voyant, Gephi, etc., tailored to the interests of participants). 

For the distant reading portion of the Workshop, key questions include: Do literary genres possess distinctive features at all possible scales of analysis and to what extent can these features be measured? Should the DH practices associated with distant reading be considered as “science” or “humanities”? How can the techniques of distant reading be applied to questions of gender, class, race, or other problems of identity, representation, and diversity? 

The graphic mediation elements of the workshop will deal with a growing array of visual forms of knowledge production and consumption as they intersect with literary forms, and we will be investigating the ways in which diverse fields such as graphic design, mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, rhetoric, and philosophy and disciplines of the digital humanities, rhetoric, art history, architecture, and media studies have transformed and will transform literary study. As with the distant reading parts of the workshop, we will be trying to think through these interdisciplinary questions in terms of critical diversity.

Fall Semester events 

• Meeting 1, September 19, 4:30-6:00. Histories of Distant Reading. Reading, “Graphs” from Graphs, Maps, and Trees by Franco Moretti (full text available online through MSU Library); “A Genealogy of Distant Reading” by Ted Underwood. 
• Meeting 2, October 17, 4:30-6:00. Graphical Analysis and Machine Reading. Reading: selections from “Graphesis” by Joanna Drucker (to be circulated via email), and from “Comparative Textual Media” by Katherine Hayles (full text available online through MSU Library).
• Meeting 3, November 14, 4:30-6:00. Computational Hermeneutics, Computational Trends with Andrew Piper (guest via skype). Reading, “Novel Devotions” by Andrew Piper. Tentative Voyant workshop.
• Meeting 4, December 5, 4:30-6:00. Presentation of Works in Progress 

Spring Semester events

• Meeting 1, February 2, 12:00-4:00. Ted Underwood visit. Lunch with grad students in LEADR and public talk. "Distant Reading and the Problem of Perspective." 
• Meeting 2, February 16, 12:00-4:00. Matt Wilkins visit. Lunch with grad students and public talk. "Textual Geographies: Place, Computation, and Literature at Scale."


Moving Images: Film History and Theory

Coordinators: Dr. Kaveh Askari and Amrutha Kunapulli

This workshop, with its focus on film history and theory, will offer a space for collaboration and conversation among those working either in film studies or at the intersections of film and literature or the other arts. We will primarily workshop pre-circulated submissions from local and visiting scholars—work that is new and, preferably, in-progress. This will allow graduate students and faculty to closely explore each month’s text while also attending to broader questions of research methods, publishing processes, and moving-image pedagogy. Topics steering the workshop this year will include the intersections between film historiography and aesthetic, generic, or postcolonial theory, examinations of film as text, archival object, and commodity, and a focus on geopolitical categories of world, nation, and region that are currently used to classify film. 

Friday, September 22, 3-5 PM, C640 Wells Hall: Happiness by Design, Professor Justus Nieland

Friday, October 27, 1-3 PM, C640 Wells Hall: American Myths, Global Realities, Misha Mihailova

Friday November 17, 4-6 PM, Wells Hall C640: Comedy Circulates Circuitously: Toward an Odographic Film History of Latin America, Nilo Couret

Friday, January 26, 2-4 PM, Wells Hall C640: Ellen McCallum will workshop "Animate Lands: Antonioni’s Queer Narrativity" and “A Moving Which Is Not a Moving: Michael Snow's 'Wavelength'”. 

March 28: James Naremore visit; talk/roundtable on Charles Burnett