Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Quotes from Vonnegut

"15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will" at:'s AV Club

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Art of Obfuscation

From XKCD: A Webcomic. Their work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License, so we can post it here with impunity!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Poetry Readings on Campus April 29 and 30

UTB/TSC’s Arnulfo L. Oliveira Literary Society will host "Two Days of Local Poetry." Jennifer Salinas, a UTB/TSC student, will present "Eyes Only: Thru the Eyes of the B’Holder" from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Benito Longoria room of the Arnulfo L. Oliveira Memorial Library. Brenda Nettles Riojas, a native of Brownsville, will present "La Primera Voz Que Oi" from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the lobby of the library. Refreshments will be provided at both events. For more information, call Milagro Hernandez at 882-7410 or send an e-mail to milagro.hernandez@utb.ed

Invitation to a Phi Alpha Theta (History honor society) event on Wednesday, April 29 (6-7:30 pm)

Dear Grad Students and others subscribed to this blog. Thought you might be interested in this event if you can make it:

Uncovering the Past through Archival Documents and Artifacts: A Personal Account of How a Student of History Became a Historian-Scholar”

Melisa Galván, Ph.D. candidate, UC-Berkeley

April 29, 2009
3rd Floor SETB Lecture Room
6:00-7:30 PM

How one goes from being a student of history to becoming a historian in pursuit of previously unknown or under-studied documents is the subject of this talk by Melisa Galván. She will talk about the historiographical pathway that led her to the Casamata archives in Matamoros as well as her own personal evolution that drove her to pursue a career as a professional historian. Galván’s passion for lower Rio Grande Valley history began as an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, when a professor suggested that she become acquainted with a Xeroxed collection of documents from Matamoros. She quickly realized that the region played an important role in the economic development of Mexico in post-independence Mexican history, which is the subject of her dissertation research on the port of Matamoros and its ties with New Orleans, especially during the early 19th century.

Melisa Galván, a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American history at the University of California, Berkeley, also has bachelors and masters degrees from Berkeley. She has written extensively on the history of Matamoros and the lower Rio Grande Valley. She is currently living in Matamoros, where she is a resident researcher/scholar under the Fulbright-Hays program. Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, her father’s family is from Weslaco, and she has visited the Valley numerous times since she was a small child. Her current dissertation project examines the developing political economy of the port of Matamoros during the 19th century.

That Party a Week Ago Rocked!

What a great party! I can hardly wait until we do it again.

For those of you who missed it, EGADS! members and faculty gathered at VP Don Crouse's house for a potluck and salon. There was an amazing variety of food and drink. If anyone left hungry, it was their own fault.

At the salon, there was a variety of fascinating and often passionate readings. Dr. Randhawa singlehandedly brought Sylvia Path back to life with enough pain and anger to make her suicidal all over again. (Was that in poor taste?) Andrew Keese schooled us in exactly why Shel Silverstein is the King of Snark. Malinie Pisharodi educated us on Heinlein's concept of grok. To the sweet notes of the tin whistle, Dr. Moore made is cry like Irishmen with his reading of Yeats. Yours truly and Dr. Dominguez read our original poems to the enraptured audience. (That's how I choose to remember it, anyway.)

That was only a sampling. There was more and more and more! I can't wait until we do it again!

What did I forget? A million things, I'm sure. Please, add your "Alan, you forgot..." comment to the bottom.

Special thanks to Jenny Ashley for organizing the soiree and Don Crouse for hosting it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CFP: El Paso in the Comics II: "The Southwest in the Comics"

Graduate students in all fields of study are invited to submit 200-word abstracts to the second-annual "El Paso in the Comics" conference and event, to be held on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso, February 23, 2010.

Papers on all aspects of comics scholarship, theory, and pedagogy will be given attention, but those that deal with issues related to artists, creators, characters and/or themes associated with the American Southwest and/or Hispanic/Chicano culture in comics will be given top priority.

Abstracts should include name, e-mail, affiliation (university and program), proposed paper title and 200-word description. Presentations should run no more than 20 minutes.

Mail abstract to:

Dr. James B. Carter
Re: El Paso in the Comics Conference
113 Hudspeth Hall
UTEP English Department
500 W. University Ave.
El Paso, TX 79912

Or E-mail to:

Deadline: August 20, 2009

Registration Fee: No Cost

The academic portion of the event will take place in the morning. A creators' roundtable will follow in the mid-afternoon, featuring the many local studios and creators of the El Paso/Juarez region discussing their work with members of the community. The evening will wrap up with a keynote speech by celebrated comics artist and writer Jaime Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Information Session for UTPA Summer Writing Institute

UTPA will be having an Orientation Session for their Summer Creative Writing and Arts Institute in San Miguel de Allende July 18-25. This orientation session will take place on Tuesday April 21st at Noon in Room 180 in the COAS Building. This will be a good opportunity for you to have answered any questions you may have about the program.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Valley International Poetry Festival, April 23-26

Our very own Dr. Diana Dominguez will be reading some of her poetry at the Valley International Poetry Festival on Saturday the 25th!

Art That Heals, Inc. presents the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival—year two—featuring Texas Poet Laureate Larry D. Thomas, Amalia Ortiz, star of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and Nephtalí De León, Chicano muralist and poet, on Apr. 23—26, 2009. Celebrate National Poetry Month in venues across the Valley. For schedule, a list of poets, and other info, visit or call Daniel at (956) 358-7211. Sponsored by McAllen Chamber of Commerce, South Texas College, El Zarape Press, and Narciso Martínez Cultural Arts Center.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Next time you think about tossing someone out of a window

Many of you probably already know this word, but it's new to me: defenestration. It is a noun, meaning "an act of throwing someone or something out of a window." For those of you who don't know the Free Online Dictionary, I highly recommend you check it out. It has audio pronounciations for each word. On its main page, it has some fun word games, including a spelling bee, hangman, and word matching.

The Skinny: Great Meeting and Speaker

Greetings Fellow English Grads!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, EGADS! had a productive business meeting followed by an even better speaker. There’s some things you need to know.

First, many thanks to Dr. Javier Martinez for his informative talk on the operation of the journal he edits, Extrapolation. It gave us food for thought both for getting published and running our own journal, the Journal of South Texas English Studies. “Our own journal?!” you say? Hah! Hooked you. But you’ll have to read further. (How’s that for meta-narration?)

We made some BIG DECISIONS last night. (I’m channeling Madeline Kahn in History of the World, Part I here.) We also made some small ones. Our secretary, Andrew Keese, will have the minutes in the record shortly if you want every detail, but here’s the important stuff:

Party: We’re having a barbecue/potluck/salon at Don Crouse’s house in Los Fresnos at 6:30 PM on Friday, April 17th. Jenny Ashley will be organizing the party to assure that things go smoothly and we don’t have five three-bean salads. Look for her communiques next week. Besides EGADS! members, we’ll be inviting our new associate undergraduate members, the graduate English faculty, and select VIPs. Be there or be square.

Conference: We are definitely putting on an English conference in February. Most likely, it will be open to English graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and local teachers and professors. We’ll be forming a committee and getting to work when we return for the Fall semester. This is a great opportunity to have fun and enhance your professional development, i.e. pad your resume.

Journal: We are definitely starting a journal, the Journal of South Texas English Studies, in conjunction with the English department faculty. This is going to be a blind-peer-reviewed journal, the very best kind. Plan on submitting! Our student editorial board has been selected: Andrew Keese (editor), Jenny Ashley (associate editor), Don Crouse (associate editor). Drs. Murden and Dominguez will advise, and we’ll soon have a dedicated faculty adviser for the journal. The mission of the journal as we approved it is:

The Journal of South Texas English Studies was created by the UTB/TSC English Graduate Advancement and Development Society (EGADS!) in 2009. Its purpose is to provide a local, blind-peer-reviewed outlet for the academic study of English literature and rhetoric. The journal’s primary purpose is to serve UTB/TSC students and faculty, but it is open to all submissions. The journal is produced annually as a collaborative effort between EGADS! and the UTB/TSC English Department.

Learn RefWorks: Do you hate figuring out MLA citations? Do you wish it could be automatic and foolproof? Your tuition pays for software you can use today to take the gruntwork out of citations, RefWorks. It's free! On June 10, Librarian Samantha Wheat will give us a one hour class on using RefWorks. Come and make the rest of your graduate career that much easier.

Next Meeting June: Our next business meeting and speaker/presentation will be June 10 in the UTB library’s 2nd floor classroom. We’ll have the business meeting from 5:30 to 6:15, then launch right into our RefWorks class at 6:15.

Graduation/Finals Get-together?: We didn’t make a decision on this, but do you want to meet up at a restaurant or club after finals to let loose and buy a round for the new MA’s? Let us know.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Memorize a poem; it might be good for you

Here's a really good article from The New York Times about the virtues of memorizing poetry. I enjoyed it, except for the part where the author calls Robert Browning a second-rate poet.

Monday, April 6, 2009

EGADS! Business Meeting and Speaker this Wednesday the 8th at 5:30 in MRCN 217

Hello My Fellow EGADS! Members,

Our monthly business meeting and speaker presentation will be this Wednesday, April 8th at 5:30-7:00 PM in MRCN 217. I hope to see you all there.

Business Meeting: 5:30-6:15 PM

Speaker Presentation: 6:15-7:00 PM. Dr. Javier Martinez, UTB English professor and managing editor of Extrapolation, will speak on editing and publishing in academic journals.

Business Meeting Agenda:

Events: We have two items to discuss. First, we’ll finalize plans for our Salon Party at Don’s house in Los Fresnos on Friday evening, April 17th. Second, we’ll decide on whether or not to have any events and/or a business meeting in May.

Andrew is going to present a plan for a UTB English journal. We’ll vote yes or no on having the journal and probably start forming the committee for it. This is a great opportunity to get editorial experience on your resume/CV!

Conference: Alan will present the requirements and possibilities for having a UTB English student conference next year, including the the opportunity to attach our conference to the UTB/TSC Research Symposium. We’ll vote yes or no on a conference, the approximate date, and the means.

Associate Members: Dr. Murden will update us on faculty efforts to nominate undergraduate English majors for associate EGADS! membership.

Student Leadership Banquet: The SGA and Student Life are organizing a banquet for Friday April 24th. Current information is that each student organization will get tickets for five members and one adviser. In addition, awards will be handed out. We’ll need to form an ad hoc committee to nominate our members and advisers for the awards.