Faculty Spotlight

In the News

Our faculty members garner local, national, and international praise.

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  • UNO Poet Carolyn Hembree Wins Two National Awardsread more
  • UNO Professor receives Nigerian National Order of Merit Awardread more
  • UNO playwright Justin Maxwell's new play, Niagara Falls, reviwed in  The Advocate
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  • Lafitte High School students become UNO English majors for a day
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Fredrick Barton's fifth novel, In the Wake of the Flagship, has elicited the endorsement of acclaimed writers Richard Ford, Gary B. Nash, Rene Steinke, and Joseph Boyden. Pulitzer Prize winning author of Canda, Richard Ford said of Rick's new book: "Barton has a lot of important human business on his mind in this exceptional novel: race, history, the South, hurricanes, laughter, love and much more. In the Wake of the Flagship is wonderfully inventive and addictive to read." Eminent historian Gary B. Nash, author of The Unknown American Revolution, has termed In the Wake of the Flagship "absorbing, head-turning, absolutely brilliant." National Book Award finalist and author of Friendswood, Rene Steinke, has written that "In the Wake of the Flagship is a delightfully imagined, often hilarious tale about greed, territory, bigotry and the lies hidden within American history. Steinke called the book "his best novel yet—outrageous, ambitious, smart, funny and poignant." Giller Prize Winner and author of Three Day Road Joseph Boyden says, "In the Wake of the Flagship brilliantly turns the historical novel on its head. At once hilarious, thought-provoking, and ultimately tragic, this novel is an opus, the work of a writer at the peak of his powers.

In connection with the publication of In the Wake of the Flagship, Rick has appeared at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, been interviewed on WWNO Radio by Susan Larson, on WRBH Radio by Sherry Lee Alexander, on Rivet News Radio Chicago by Julia Gray and on WYES-TV by Peggy Scott Laborde.

Rick has also undertaken a vigorous reading schedule. He has given readings at Garden District Books in New Orleans, Jefferson Regional Library in Metairie, in Cork, Ireland, and at the Cabildo in conjunction with the Faulkner Society. Readings are scheduled on the UNO Campus and at Octavia Books in New Orleans, at DePaul University in Chicago, at Valparaiso University where the book is being taught in the contemporary fiction class in the English Department, and at Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey.

Selections from the novel are now being read on WRBH Radio and the novel in its entirety will air on the station later this fall.

Nancy Easterlin recently delivered a plenary address, "Life and Reading: Wayfinding Cognition, Cultural Evolution, and Literary Processing," for the conference Why the Humanities: Answers from the Cognitive and Neuroscience (Kent State University, July 2015). She led a workshop for high school teachers at the same conference: "Experience, Narration, Analysis: Gwendolyn Brooks's 'The rites for Cousin Vit.'" Her invited essay "Ecocriticism, Place Studies, and Colm Tóbín's 'The Long Winter': A Biocultural Perspective," is forthcoming in "The Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology (de Gruyter, ed. Hubert Zapf). Easterlin's review of Paul C. Armstrong's How Literature Plays with the Brain: The Neuroscience of Reading and Art, is forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature, and her review of Gordon H. Orians's Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare is forthcoming in Reports of the National Center for Science Education (online publication). Her short-term projects for her 2015-2016 sabbatical year include an essay for "The Palgrave Handbook on Affects and Texts" (invited, ed. Don Wehrs) and a review essay of three new books focused on ethics, affect, and ecocriticism by Leisbeth Korthals Altes, Alexa Weik von Mossner, and Erin James. Long-term projects undertaken during the 2015-2016 sabbatical year include researching and writing a book prospectively entitled "Violence, Disaster, and Place-Perception: Ecocritical Explorations" as well as editing a special issue of Poetics Today focused on the merits of cognitive approaches to literature for strengthening the status of the humanities.

John Gery's new collection of poetry, Have at You Now! (CW Books), has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The book has been adopted at the State College of Florida as core text for the Spring 2015 general humanities curriculum. New poems by John appear or are forthcoming in Micarea Literara (Bucharest, translated into Romanian), The Maple Leaf Rag 5, and New Laurel Review. His essay, "An American in Venice: Ezra Pound in 'the Forest of Marble,'" appears in the collection, Affirming the Gold Thread: Aldington, Hemingway, Pound & Imagism in Torcello and Venice, edited by Matthew Nickel and H.R. Stoneback, and his review of two volumes of critical essays, Cold War Literature: Writing the Global Conflict (2006) and Global Cold War Literature: Western, Eastern and Postcolonial Perspectives (2012), both edited by Andrew Hammond, is forthcoming in the Journal of Cold War Studies.

John's article, "Paradise, Compassion and Jên2 in Canto 93," delivered as a plenary address at the 25th Ezra Pound International Conference, Trinity College Dublin (2013), has been accepted for a volume of essays on Pound and Modernism forthcoming from AMS Press. In June of this year, John delivered the opening address, "'The Spirit of Utter Fidelity': Ezra Pound and Translation," at the symposium, Translating Modern American Poetry, at the University of Roma Tre in Rome, as well as the closing address (his essay on Pound in Venice) at the Richard Aldington/Imagism conference in Venice

Elizabeth Lewis' essay, "Naturalism, Social Dance and the Evolution of Identity in Chopin and Cather" was published in Volume XXIV (2014) of Excavatio: International Review for Multidisciplinary Approaches and Comparative Studies related to Emile Zola and his Time, Naturalism, Naturalist Writers and Artists, Naturalism and Cinema around the World

Catherine Loomis has been invited to deliver a lecture on Queen Elizabeth I at the University of Alabama (as long as she promises not to wear LSU purple).   Alabama’s Hudson Strode program, dedicated to the study of Shakespeare and early modern culture, invites scholars from all over the world to speak to their graduate students.  Dr. Loomis has also delivered guest lectures at the University of Nebraska, the University of North Texas, Southeastern University, and Brigham Young University.  She has given talks in New Orleans to local book clubs, high school classes, and the English Speaking Union.

Doreen Piano's essay "Writing in the Cone of Uncertainty: An Argument for Sheltering in Place" was published in the September 2014 issue of College Composition and Communication. A book chapter she is working on titled "Boost or Blight?' Graffiti Writing and Street Art in the 'new' New Orleans" will appear in the Routledge Handbook on Streetart and Graffiti, edited by Jeffrey Ross, published in 2015. She is collaborating with UNO librarians Gena Chattin, Florence Jumonville and Jeanne Pavy to digitize the Writing After Katrina Archive Project, a collection of student papers written in English classes after Hurricane Katrina. In spring 2015, she will be teaching a visual rhetoric seminar, using New Orleans as a case study for investigation based on her research. She is currently Interim Director of Women and Gender Studies.

Zhaoming Qian has been awarded a grant from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (in the amount of ¥180,000) in support of his new critical book Ezra Pound among Chinese Talents. The grant has enabled him also to complete a centennial edition of Ezra Pound’s early masterpiece Cathay, with transcripts of its source Ernest Fenollosa’s Chinese poetry notes. Both the edition and the new critical book are forthcoming this year, the edition from New Directions and the critical book from China’s Central Compilation & Translation Press. His edition of Cathay with a new foreword by Pound’s daughter Mary de Rachewiltz is slated for September 2015 and his EzraPound among Chinese Talents for October 2015.  In 2013-14 Zhaoming traveled widely for invited lectures as well as for fun in the Far East—Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and East Coast of the U.S. In two years he published, in addition to a conference volume—Modernism and the Orient from UNO Press, a dozen articles. These include (1) “Mai-mai Sze, the Tao, and Moore’s Late Poetry,” Paideuma 40 (2013): 349-68; (2) with Ou Rong, Death of a Salesman in Beijing Revisited,” The Arthur Miller Journal 8.2 (2013): 57-76; (3) “The Genesis and Undercurrent of Ezra Pound’s Naxi Cantos,” Comparative Literature in China 3 (2013): 83-95; (4) “Tao Goes West: Moore and Sze in Collaboration,” English & American Literary Studies1 (2013): 202-13; (5) with Chen Lizhen, “Politicization of Confucianism: Debate and Friendship between Ezra Pound and Yang Fengqi,” Journal of Hangzhou Normal University 1 (2014):101-107; (6) with Ou Rong, “Ezra Pound’s Collaboration with David Wang,” Foreign  Literature Studies 2 (2014): 48-56; (7) with Guan Nanyi, “Tse-chiang Chao and the Guanzi in Pound’s Cantos,Comparative Literature in China 2 (2014):114-126; (8) “Pictures from Brueghel: Tang Poetry and Williams’ Return to Minimal, Spatial Design,” Foreign Literature 3 (2014): 34-43; (9) with Ou Rong, “Achilles Fang: Pound’s Chinese Friend behind Rock-Drill,” English & American Literary Studies  3 (2014): 202-13; (10) with Ou Rong, “Achilles Fang and Ezra Pound’s Late Confucian Translations,” Journal of Zhejiang University 6 (2014):101-107; (11) “The World of the Na-khi,” Make It New 2 (2014); (12) “Chan [Zen] in Wallace Stevens Early Poetry,” Foreign Literature Review 1 (2015). 

Anne Boyd Rioux is happy to announce that her biography of Constance Fenimore Woolson is set to be published by W. W. Norton in February 2016. In the meantime, she is working on the final revisions, negotiating the publication of a collection of Woolson's stories, and planning the next Woolson Society conference, to be held in Washington, D.C., in February 2015.

David Rutledge has edited and contributed to two anthologies about post-Katrina New Orleans: Do You Know what it Means to Miss New Orleans? (2006) and Where We Know: New Orleans as Home (2011), both from Chin Music Press. He also published a book about Vladimir Nabokov, Nabokov's Permanent Mystery (2011, McFarland Press). He has taught seventeen different courses during his fifteen plus years at UNO. Most recently, he published a short story in The Monarch Review.

Bob Shenk's book, America's Black Sea Fleet: The U.S. Navy Amidst War and Revolution, 1919-1923, was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2012. Bob happened upon this topic while co-authoring a biography of a naval officer who also wrote fiction (Admiral Dan Gallery) and who had spent six months in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in 1922. An excerpt from Bob's book appeared in Naval History magazine in February of 2013. Also, based upon his description in his book of the massacres and death marches inflicted upon the Greeks of the Turkish region called the "Pontus"—terrible sufferings reported at the time by American naval officers—Bob has recently given invited talks in Chicago, New York, and Washington DC to Greek Pontus organizations. In another area of study (biblical criticism), a leading conservative intellectual journal called Modern Age has recently accepted an article of Bob's entitled "The Angels of Ecclesiastes," to be published in winter, 2016. His article, 'Deliberative Stasis According to the Ancients, as Illustrated from Shakespeare's Henry IV,' published in November, 2016 in the Ben Jonson Journal, won the Ben Jonson Discoveries Award.