News

11/15/2018

By Ellie Wnek

While the format may have expanded to a festival from a fair, one thing is still the same — University Press of Kentucky (UPK) and University of Kentucky authors and editors will fill Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Book Fair Nov. 17.

For the first time, a full week of readings, luncheons, cocktail parties, trivia and panel discussions were presented leading up to the book fair as part of the inaugural Kentucky Book Festival, including a young adult literature panel held on the UK campus featuring one of the university’s own students. The week of literary events will culminate this weekend at the 37th Kentucky Book Fair 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday,

11/14/2018

By Ryan Girves

Last week, University of Kentucky graduate and undergraduate students competed in the final rounds of the 5-Minute Fast Track Research Competition and the 3-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT). While two final winners prevailed, research also came out ahead.

Research is one of the foundations of the university — creating solutions to some of the world's most pressing issues. Research is also one of the great opportunities provided to students at UK. 

Often, when we think of research, a scientist with smoking beakers comes to mind, but that does not always have to be the case. The 5-Minute Fast Track Research Competition, for undergraduate students, and 3MT, for graduate students, aim to change the stereotype surrounding research, while also providing students with an opportunity to present their research to an audience in a way that is brief and

10/30/2018

By Torrie Johnson

The SEC (Southeastern Conference) Faculty Travel Program will support more than 100 SEC faculty members during the 2018-2019 academic year, the league office announced Monday. Nine University of Kentucky faculty members will participate. Established in 2012 by the SEC provosts, the program is designed to provide financial assistance from the SEC office that bolsters intra-SEC collaboration.

Identified participants will travel to other SEC universities to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, conduct research and deliver lectures or performances. Areas of interest for this year’s class include music, engineering, anthropology, law, medicine and African-American studies, among others.

“The SEC Faculty Travel Program has been a tremendous resource for faculty at universities across the SEC,” said Ellen Reames, associate professor

10/29/2018

The editors of Early American Literature are pleased to announce the fifth annual Early American Literature Book Prize, which will be given for an author’s second or subsequent academic monograph about American literature in the colonial period through the early republic (roughly 1830). The prize is offered in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Press, the Society of Early Americanists, and the MLA’s Forum on American Literature to 1800.

Monographs published in 2017 or 2018 are eligible for the 2019 prize, which carries a cash award of $2000. 

The deadline for nominations is February 1, 2019. Please send a single copy of any books nominated for the 2019 prize to:

EAL Book Prize
c/o Professor Marion Rust
Editor, Early American Literature
Department of English
University of Kentucky

10/22/2018

By Sarah Jayne Johnson

In the summer of 1816, a group of friends gathered on Lake Geneva to see who could tell the most terrifying tale. An 18-year-old Mary Shelley was among the group. She told the frightening story of a young scientist who creates a grotesque monster in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Victor Frankenstein and The Creature were born that night — the rest is history.

On Oct. 24, the University of Kentucky’s Department of English and the English Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta invite the public to join in a celebration of this monumental narrative for the 200th anniversary of "Frankenstein."

"Frankenstein" is simultaneously the first science-fiction novel, a gothic horror and a tragic romance all sewn into one towering body — known for its remarkable

9/6/2018

By Mack McCormick and Whitney Hale

University of Kentucky Associate Professor of English and University Press of Kentucky author Crystal Wilkinson’s novel, “The Birds of Opulence,” has been named the winner of the 2016 Appalachian Writers Association's Appalachian Book of the Year for Fiction. The multigenerational novel follows four generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. This marks the fourth award “The Birds of Opulence” has won, including the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the 

8/28/2018

By Mack McCormick and Whitney Hale

 

University of Kentucky professor, University Press of Kentucky author and former Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry (1941–2014) has been named the recipient of Appalachian Writers Association’s 2017 Appalachian Book of the Year for Poetry for her posthumous collection “The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry,” edited by Julia Johnson, professor of English.

The AWA’s mission is to recognize and promote writing about the Appalachian region. The association works to celebrate writers who are living or have lived in the Appalachian region and those who have

8/24/2018

By Nick Harling

The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences has named the first recipients of its Inclusion Fellows program, an initiative for faculty interested in actively orchestrating and advancing efforts to build a more inclusive campus.

Fellows can develop and implement scholarly, community-building, pedagogical, mentoring and networking events, initiatives or programming. The fellowship period serves as a professional development opportunity for the fellows, as it enables them to enhance their responsibilities and bring forth new ideas and measures that will positively affect students.

“The overall goal of the Inclusion Fellows Program is to draw on and support faculty to create sustainable change to enhance inclusivity within the college,” Cristina Alcalde, associate dean of inclusion and internationalization, said. “Over the

8/7/2018

By Trey Melcher and Jenny Wells

Na'imah Muhammad and Nedjma Kalliney discuss their writings in a session of the "Giggles, Guts, and Glitter" creativity workshop. Photo courtesy of Anna K. Stone.

DaMaris B. Hill, an assistant professor of creative writing and English literature in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, recently hosted a writing and creativity workshop for young women of color. The workshop was made possible by a "Girls of Color: Voice and Vision" grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

The purpose of the project was to elevate the voices and lived experiences of these young women by sharing personal stories and creating art.

"A project that educates black girls about accessing voice,

7/30/2018

By Julie Wrinn

Chris Green (’93 B.A.) majored in English for the usual reason: he loved to read. His path to that degree, however, and to his success as a partner in the internationally prominent New York law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, was unusually long and circuitous.

“I was really introduced to serious writing by Bill Floyd, one of my all-time favorite teachers. He taught us Yeats in the eighth grade,” recalls Green. “Since then, I’ve loved poetry, especially the modern poets.” The doors Floyd opened proved to be the high point of Green’s early academic career, however, because he “back-slid” in high school.

Thanks to his SAT scores, Green was admitted to Princeton, but he lasted only three semesters. “It was an intensely challenging academic environment, and my study skills weren’t on par with my classmates.” He worked hard but couldn’t manage his

7/27/2018

By Trey Melcher

Kentucky Women Writers Conference has added fiction authors, Emily Fridlund and Sherry Thomas, to an all-star cast of writing talent presenting at the 2018 conference this September.

The Kentucky Women Writers Conference has added two award-winning fiction authors, Emily Fridlund and Sherry Thomas, to an all-star cast of writing talent presenting at the 2018 conference. The conference will run Sept. 13-16, in Lexington.

Emily Fridlund’s debut novel, "History of Wolves," caught critics’ attention. She was a finalist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the

7/18/2018

By Lindsey Piercy and Whitney Hale

One of Lexington's benches portrays Crystal Wilkinson's 2016 book, "The Birds of Opulence," published by University Press of Kentucky. The bench can be seen outside Wilkinson's Wild Fig. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

Looking for a great place to dive into a summer book? Well, you’re in luck. Kentucky's literary heritage is being featured around Lexington as part of the new Book Benches public art exhibit to encourage reading.

The 36 fiberglass benches, which depict colorful artistic renderings of books by Kentucky authors, were unveiled in Gratz Park before being stationed in spaces around the city last month. The project, a collaboration between Arts Connect

6/26/2018

By Mack McCormick and Whitney Hale

Bobbie Ann Mason. Photo by Guy Mendes.

Life is a quilt — random bits of memory that somehow fit together, forming a cohesive yet unlikely pattern. One of the best ways to uncover these seemingly hidden patterns, as demonstrated by Kentucky writer and University of Kentucky alumna Bobbie Ann Mason, is through fiction.

“Writing fiction is a way of making patterns, discovering them hiding in the words and sensations of the story,” said Mason, who has been publishing fiction since her first story, “Shiloh,” in 1980. Mason’s stories explore a diverse set of themes ranging from war to love to family history, all the while trying to discover patterns in the random bits of

6/13/2018

By Julie Wrinn

On both sides, it was love at first sight. Joan Swanberg (B.A. 1981) had grown up in Cleveland but was drawn to the University of Kentucky for its beautiful campus, southern charm, and affordability. During her first two years at UK she thrived in her studies but had brought home to Ohio one too many “bad boyfriends.” At the beginning of her junior year, Joan remembers her mother saying, “Why don’t you go find a nice boy at church?”

Greg Swanberg (B.G.S. 1985) lived at UK’s Newman Center, the campus Catholic ministry, and served as its co-president. Joan went to church, and Greg caught sight of her through a window and told a friend, “I’m going to marry that girl.” When later introduced to Greg, Joan was similarly struck, and they’ve been together ever since.

As the Swanbergs’ Mill House Residency for UK creative writing graduate students prepares

6/7/2018

By Lindsey Piercy

Hannah Pittard, associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Kentucky, is known for captivating readers with her intricate storytelling. Those who have been awaiting the release of her highly anticipated fourth novel, "Visible Empire," don't have to wait any longer.

The page-turner, which hit bookstore shelves June 5, examines the aftermath of a real-life tragedy: the crash of Air France 007. On a summer day in 1962, the Boeing 707 crashed in Paris shortly after takeoff. The crash, known as the second deadliest in aviation history, killed more than 100 of Atlanta's most prominent citizens. In one fell swoop, many of the

5/16/2018

The recognition that archives are partial, filled with lacunae that demand scholarly attention, has fueled research engaging the epistemological, cultural, and political forces of early American materials and repositories. While powerful, positivist recovery work—efforts to fill gaps and hear silenced voices— has theoretically and materially expanded early American studies, the archive remains yet and always incomplete. This special issue of Early American Literature seeks essays that work around, across, or beside missing or marginalized records. “Beyond Recovery” invites submissions that address some of the following questions: What avenues exist for scholars when archival research reaches a dead end of missing or absent records? How can scholars and archivists intellectually and ethically engage with archival absence? Are there some archival gaps that not only cannot but also

5/16/2018

The editors of Early American Literature are pleased to announce the fourth annual Early American Literature Book Prize, which will be given for a first academic monograph about American literature in the colonial period through the early republic (roughly 1830). The prize is offered in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Press, the Society of Early Americanists, and the MLA's Forum on American Literature to 1800.

First monographs published in 2016 or 2017 are eligible for the 2018 prize, which carries a cash award of $2000. 

The deadline for nominations is February 1, 2018. Please send a single copy of any books nominated for the 2018 prize to:

EAL Book Prize
c/o Professor Sandra M. Gustafson
Editor, Early American Literature
Department of English
University of Notre Dame
356

5/16/2018

The decade since the publication of Catherine Gallagher’s landmark essay “The Rise of Fictionality” (2006) has witnessed an increasing concern with overturning well-established theories of the rise of the novel and the development of literary realism through a re-examination of the axiomatic values underpinning contemporary attitudes toward the concept of “fiction.” Variously substantiating, expanding and adapting Gallagher’s central claim that “fiction” is not a universal constant but a particular mode of negotiating referential truth claims that only emerged in the mid-eighteenth century, scholars of the early British and French novel such as Sarah Tindal Kareem, Srinivas Aravamudan, and Nicholas D. Paige have recently offered invigoratingly new accounts of the complex and contested epistemological status of imaginary stories as they began to define and redefine themselves against

5/16/2018

Professor Patricia Crain of New York University has been selected to receive the 2017 Early American Literature Book Prize, which is awarded in odd calendar years to a second or subsequent monograph, and in even years to a first book.  Crain’s book Reading Children: Literacy, Property, and the Dilemmas of Childhood in Nineteenth-Century America was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2016.

Reading Children makes a “stunning contribution” to the field of childhood studies by showing the long colonial history of children’s reading practices. The committee noted Crain’s creative relation to temporality, which “depends upon contradistinction and juxtaposition” rather than linear development.  Underlying this entire project is a deep commitment to ensuring that early American literature be understood both on its own terms and as a key

4/11/2018
Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century

By Lindsey Piercy

Nazera Wright, associate professor of English at UK College of Arts & Sciences, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Children's Literature Association's Honor Book Award for her 2016 scholarly book titled, "Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century," published by University of Illinois Press.

The book shows how the figure of the black girl in African-American literature provided a powerful avenue for exploring issues like domesticity, femininity and proper conduct. Wright draws on heavy archival research and a wide range of texts about African-American girls to explore the unstudied phenomenon of black girlhood. In doing this, the book documents a literary genealogy of the cultural attitudes toward black girls in the United States.

In 2017-18,

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