English Department at UNLV

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Upcoming Events and Forums

Check here for upcoming visiting speakers, details on semester deadlines, and other news of interest to our department.

Fall 2010
September 14, 2010
7:30pm
Doc Rando Recital Hall (BMC)

Toumany Kouyaté and Bountalo: An Evening of Traditional Music from Senegal

Mr. Toumany Kouyaté, Master Kora Player, and his Band Bountalo

This evening the Forum presents authentic traditional music from Senegal, featuring kora virtuoso Toumany Kouyaté and his band Bountalo. Toumany Kouyaté comes from a long line of artists and musicians, and his instrument of choice, the kora, is the classic harp-lute used by musicians in West Africa. The music itself derives from the griot tradition, where cultural history is kept alive through music and dance passed down the generations. In addition to Mr. Kouyaté, Bountalo features two percussionists and a keyboard player. Please join us for a lively concert!

September 15, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Roads Less Traveled: Chinese Students and Transnational Migration

Prof. Vanessa Fong, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Why do students from the People’s Republic of China continue to pursue foreign language training and higher education in developed countries, despite the high personal and financial cost of studying abroad? What are their experiences while away from home, and how do these experiences compare to their expectations prior to leaving? This lecture addresses these questions with data from surveys conducted in 1999 among more than 2,000 secondary school students, from follow-up surveys almost a decade afterwards, and from reliable participant observation. Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, UNLV.

September 16, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Violence, Transience, Peace

Prof. Malena Mörling, Department of English, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Malena Mörling is the prize-winning author of “Ocean Avenue,” published to wide acclaim by New Issues Press, and “Astoria,” from the Pitt Poetry Series of the University of Pittsburgh Press. Born in Sweden, she writes in both English and Swedish, and her translations of the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer have earned high critical praise. One of the most striking and resonant emerging voices in contemporary poetry, Malena Mörling tonight reads from new work written around the issues of violence, transience, and peace. Co-sponsored by the Black Mountain Institute and MFA in Creative Writing International Program, UNLV.

September 20, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Pox Populi: The Epidemic That Changed American Law, A Constitution Day Lecture

Prof. Michael Willrich, Department of History, Brandeis University

Should the government compel people to be vaccinated against deadly diseases even though the vaccines themselves carry health risks? As epidemic smallpox raged across the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, ordinary Americans put this question before their legislatures, their courts, and the public at large. They turned the “vaccination question” into the foremost civil liberties debate of the day. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the issue in the 1905 case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Our speaker this evening will discuss the history of that landmark decision, and consider its implications for the politics of health care in our own time. Co-sponsored by Office of Executive Vice President and Provost and the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV.

September 29, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Children, Teenagers, and Grandmothers in Evolutionary Perspective

Prof. Barry Bogin, Center for Global Health and Human Development, Loughborough University

The distinct stages of life we call childhood, adolescence, and grandmotherhood are unique to humans. They allow people to reproduce quickly and to keep alive more of their offspring than any other species of mammal. Human evolution operated first to shorten the infancy stage of life by weaning infants early compared to primates. This created the human childhood stage of life. Evolution then prolonged the growth period by adding an adolescent stage. Finally, a vigorous period of life beyond menopause became part of human biology. Each of these new life stages improves human reproduction but each also comes with risks, especially in our modern world. Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Anthropology Society, and Lambda Alpha, UNLV.

October 07, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

The Amargosa Opera House: A Celebration of Art in the Desert

Dr. Timothy Jones, Department of Music, UNLV and Rich Regnell, Manager, Amargosa Opera House

In 1965 after a career as a professional ballet dancer and artist and illustrator, as a model for Vogue magazine and solo performer, Marta Becket discovered an abandoned theater in the small town of Death Valley Junction. Two years later she made it over as the world-famous Amargosa Opera House. Since then it has become her artistic home, she says, bringing her the most rewarding work of her life. Our speakers tonight will regale us with the history of the opera house from its beginnings in 1923 as Corkhill Hall, owned by the Pacific Borax Company, until the present day as the highly personal venue where Marta Becket continues to perform.

October 11, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Benjamin Franklin and the Birth of Medical Electricity

Prof. Stanley Finger, Department of Psychology, Washington University

Better known as an author, experimenter, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin was deeply involved with medicine throughout his long life. One of the questions that interested him was whether electricity might have medical utility. He tried using electrical shocks to restore movement after strokes, and deafness following smallpox, and also to cure the symptoms of hysteria and depression. Our speaker this evening is an expert on the science of neurology and the author of “Doctor Franklin's Medicine” (University of Pennsylvania Press). His discussion of medical electricity in the eighteenth century makes for a fascinating story, one not found in Franklin’s biographies.

October 14, 2010
7:00pm
Doc Rando Recital Hall (BMC)

Writing the World: American Authors Looking Outward

With Peter Hessler, Paul Theroux, and Mary-Ann Tirone Smith; Moderated by Marnie Mueller

[Read more about the panelists and moderators...]

October 14, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

The Scientific Case for Global Warming: Problems and Prospects

Prof. John Farley, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UNLV

Let there be no mistake, according to our speaker this evening: if we continue a business-as-usual policy, the resultant global warming will be devastating. Solving the global-warming crisis is the grand challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century. While the atmospheric greenhouse effect occurs naturally, and has warmed the Earth for billions of years, human activities have enhanced the greenhouse effect. The recent uproar about “climategate” amounts to very little. Solutions are available from energy sources beyond fossil fuels, and while they are not cheap or easy, the cost is certainly affordable and the alternative unthinkable.

October 20, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Judicial Selection in Nevada: The Consequences of Change

Prof. Chris W. Bonneau, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh

Nevada voters will soon face a critical choice about whether they will change the way judges are selected. While much money has been spent on both sides of this debate, advocating either for or against reform, few commentators have empirically examined the likely consequences of reform for Nevadans as a result of their upcoming November 2, 2010 ballot choice. Our speaker tonight consults historical data on judicial elections from across the states that elect judges in order to assess the pros, the cons and the likely consequences of this reform. Co-Sponsored by the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV.

November 03, 2010
7:00pm
Student Union Ballroom

An Evening with T. C. Boyle

Part of the Vegas Valley Book Festival

T. C. Boyle is the author of twenty books, including World's End (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award), The Road to Wellville (adapted into a major motion picture), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Women, a best-selling fictionalized account of the private life of Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle's stories regularly appear in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, and The Atlantic Monthly. He teaches at the University of Southern California.

November 03, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

The Other Sex Work: The Stigma of Sexuality Research in American Culture

Prof. Janice M. Irvine, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The science of sex has a long history of controversy in the United States. At the same time, broad public interest has created an ongoing demand for research into human sexuality. This paradox—the simultaneous importance and stigmatization of a research topic—has proved problematic for researchers. During the last century research has produced valuable and much-needed scientific data in areas central to public health and social policy, and yet researchers have also had a difficult time establishing their scientific legitimacy. Our speaker this evening examines the history of sex research, the production of scientific knowledge, and the lives of sex researchers. Co-Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Department, the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of History, UNLV.

November 04, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Portraiture and the Fear of Death

Prof. Cynthia Freeland, Department of Philosophy and Honors College Fellow, University of Houston

Human cultures create and value portraiture in part because it preserves the memory of the deceased. Tonight our speaker explains how portraits sustain emotional links to the beloved or respected person, and how even photographs may sometimes be treated as religious icons in order to provide continued contact with the dead. She argues against focusing on the causal aspects of photography to explain the phenomenon, in favor of looking at broader cultural practices of commemoration. Co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, UNLV.

November 6, 2010
7:00pm
Greenspun Hall Auditorium

Brian Turner

Part of the Vegas Valley Book Festival

Brian Turner served seven years in the Army, most recently in 2004 as an infantry team leader in Mosul with the Third Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Second Infantry Division. His 2005 book of poems, Here Bullet, won several awards, including the 2007 Poets Prize, and he has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a contributor to The New York Times and teaches at Sierra Nevada College.

November 07, 2010
7:00pm
Clark County Library

Dennis Lehane

Part of the Vegas Valley Book Festival

Dennis Lehane is the author of eight novels: The Given Day, A Drink Before the War, Darkness, Take My Hand, Sacred, Gone Baby Gone, Prayers for Rain, and the New York Times bestsellers Mystic River and Shutter Island, both of which have been adapted into major motion pictures. Mystic River was also finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and won both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, as well as the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction given by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. He divides his time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

November 10, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Africa's Failed States and the Next Generation of Terrorists

Prof. Tiffiany O. Howard, Department of Political Science, UNLV

Until recently, international terrorism plagued North Africa and the Horn but not sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, that has begun to change. Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the DRC are now lending support to organizations such as al-Qaeda. Our speaker this evening brings international expertise to bear on her discussion of how the conditions of state failure have fostered support for internationally sponsored terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa.

November 17, 2010
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Richard Burgin, Rivers Last Longer: A Fiction Reading

In partnership with the Black Mountain Institute and University Forum Lecture Series.

Prof. Richard Burgin, Editor, Boulevard Magazine, Departments of Communication and English, Saint Louis University

Our speaker this evening is an acclaimed writer, and the editor of Boulevard, for twenty-five years now one of the premier literary magazines published in America. He is also the author of twelve books, including The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs (Ontario Review Press), listed as one of the best books of 2006 in the TLS. Tonight Richard Burgin will read from his new novel, Rivers Last Longer, and also answer questions about literary editing and publishing.

November 18, 2010
8:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

Predicting Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions: What Can and Can’t We Do?

Prof. Stephen D. Malone, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington

Predicting disastrous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is a major goal of earth science research. An apparent paradox is that volcanic eruptions can often be predicted using earthquake data, but there is currently no scientifically valid method of predicting the size, date, and time of earthquakes, despite claims to the contrary in the popular press. Tonight seismologist Steve Malone discusses the current state of the art in making useful volcanic and earthquake predictions, explaining how the discovery of episodic tremor and slip could lead to improved earthquake forecasts. Co-sponsored by Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS); Seismological Society of America (SSA); and the Applied Geophysics Center, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Geoscience, UNLV.

November 30, 2010
7:00pm
Greenspun Hall Auditorium

Alissa Nutting

Alissa Nutting received her MFA in fiction from the University of Alabama, where she was editor of The Black Warrior Review literary magazine. She is currently a Schaeffer Fellow in fiction at UNLV and an editor for BMI’s literary magazine, Witness. Alissa's stories have been published in Tin House, Fence, The Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. Her collection of stories, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, was selected by Ben Marcus as winner of the 6th Starcherone Prize and will appear from the press in October 2010.

November 30, 2010
7:30pm
Student Union Theater (SU)

The Challenge of Creating a National Museum

Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Our distinguished speaker tonight explores the struggle to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture by focusing on a variety of challenges. They include building on the Mall, establishing conceptual frameworks, meeting public expectations, and finding a way to cross the contextual terrain of race. Dr. Bunch will explore the strategies used to successfully navigate these challenges, will update the audience as to the current status of and future plans for the museum, and will show how the new museum will help a venerable institution to become a vital twenty-first century enterprise. Co-sponsored by the Department of History and CSUN, UNLV.

Spring 2010
January 11, 2010

Spring semester begins

January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Day

University is closed.

March 12 – 14, 2010
Palace Station Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada

Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Associations 22nd annual conference

Established in 1988 as a regional division of the national Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, FWPCA and FWACA foster study of all aspects of popular culture worldwide as well as all aspects of American culture. At our conferences held yearly in Las Vegas, we welcome papers in these areas from interested scholars in all disciplines. This multidisciplinary approach makes for a lively exchange of ideas in a most collegial atmosphere.

The FWPCA and FWACA cordially invite you to their 22nd Annual Meeting. Papers on all aspects of Popular Culture worldwide and American Culture as well as readings by creative writers are welcome ... [Call For Papers]

Sponsored by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

March 17, 2010
7:00pm
UNLV Beam Music Center Doc Rando Recital Hall

Performance: I Could Read the Sky with Timothy O'Grady, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, and Aine Meenaghan

Sponsored by the Black Mountain Institute.

The lyrical story of a musical Irishman's migration to England in search of fieldwork—and finding the love of his life only to lose her—comes alive in a unique multimedia performance presented in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Based on I Could Read the Sky, a collaborative novel by BMI Fellow Timothy O'Grady and New Yorker photographer Steve Pyke, the show features O'Grady's reading from the book interspersed with music from world-renowned fiddle-and-guitar duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill and the singing of celebreated Sean-nós artist Aine Meenaghan, with Pkye's arresting images projected throughout the performance.

March 29, 2010 – April 3

Spring Break

April 6, 2010
7:00pm
UNLV Student Union Theatre

Panel: Blurring Borders with Junot Diaz, Yiyun Li, and Pablo Medina

Sponsored by the Black Mountain Institute.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, PEN/Hemingway Award-winning Chinese-American writer Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants, and Cuban-American poet, novelist, and translator Pablo Medina explore the blurred borders between identity, nationality, and culture in their work.

April 15, 2010
7:00pm
UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium

Reading: Maile Chapman and Vu Tran

Sponsored by the UNLV Department of English and the Black Mountain Institute.

Maile Chapman, a widely published short story writer and author of the novel Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto, and Vu Tran, winner of a 2009 Whiting Writers' Award and a contributor to the serial novel Restless City, read from their work. Both are Schaeffer Fellows in fiction at UNLV.

April 26 – May 1, 2010

Study Week

April 29, 2010
7:00pm
UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium

Panel: BMI Fellows in Conversation — Lavonne Mueller, Judith Nies, and Timothy O'Grady

Sponsored by the Black Mountain Institute.

The Black Mountain Institute's 2009–10 Fellows discuss the literary projects they've undertaken while in residence at UNLV.

May 3 – May 8, 2010

Final Exam Week

May 8, 2010

Semester Ends

May 8, 2010

Commencement

Fall 2009
October 15, 2009
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

University Forum: Close Calls wih Nonsense: Reaing New Poetry

Profs. Stephen Burt, Department of English, Harvard University, and Donald Revell, Department of English, UNLV

Prof. Stephen Burt is the author or editor of two recent books, Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry and Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler, and also of the collections Popular Music and Parallel Play. Among the most intelligent and enthusiastic poet-critics to come along in a generation, Stephen Burt is also noted for his ability to make postmodern verse approachable. This evening he joins Don Revell in a brief reading from their own and others' work before discussing relevant issues of form, content, and difficulty in American poetry now. Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Department of English.

October 21, 2009
11:00am – 2:00pm
Student Union Ballroom

Magic of the Major

For all College of Liberal Arts Undergraduate majors.

October 22, 2009
7:30pm
Barrick Museum Auditorium

A Poetry Reading

Prof. Claudia Keelan, Department of English, UNLV

Poet Claudia Keelan reads this evening from her new book Missing Her. Speaking of the central long poem, “Everybody's Autobiography,” Cole Swenson has said that it “achieves a masterful fusion of political history, personal responsibility, and communal grief,” and of the book as a whole that it is a “deep-feeling collection not afraid to look loss in the face.” Prof. Keelan has been the recipient of the Cleveland State Poetry Prize, the Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books, and the Jerome Shestack Award from the American Poetry Review, among other honors.

October 28, 2009
11:30am – 1:30pm
Student Union 208 A & B

Welcome Undergraduate English Major luncheon

Open to all Undergraduate English majors.

October 30, 2009

Nevada Day

University is closed.

November 4–8, 2009

Vegas Valley Book Festival

Featured participants include UNLV English faculty members Doug Unger, Donald Revell, Claudia Keelan, and John Irsfeld, current MFA student Leah Bailly, and alumni Constance Ford, Josh Kryah, and Vu Tran. Details and a full schedule of events are available from the Vegas Valley Book Festival website.

November 5, 2009
7:00pm
Historic Fifth Street School
401 S. Fourth Street

An Evening with Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, poet laureate of the United States, gives the opening keynote for the Vegas Valley Book Festival. Co-sponsored by the city of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, Black Mountain Institute and Nevada Humanities.

November 6, 2009
6–10pm
First Friday
The Arts District
Downtown Las Vegas

The Sin City Sonneteer Spectacle

A literary pageant — on wheels — with stops every 30 minutes at select art galleries and bars downtown throughout November's First Friday. Hosted by Jarret Keane and UNLV English faculty member Claudia Keelan. Performers include UNLV English faculty member Donald Revell. For details, see the Vegas Valley Book Festival website.

November 7
1:45pm
Historic Fifth Street School
401 S. Fourth Street

City of Second Chances

A Vegas Valley Book Festival panel featuring Cheryll Glotfelty, John L. Smith, and UNLV English faculty member Doug Unger.

November 7
1:45pm
Historic Fifth Street School
401 S. Fourth Street

Poetry in the Courtyard

A Vegas Valley Book Festival presentation featuring Claudia Keelan, Donald Revell, and others.

November 7
4:00pm
Historic Fifth Street School
401 S. Fourth Street

Restless City

A Vegas Valley Book Festival reading and panel discussion on the collaborative serial e-noval Restless City, featuring a reading of the final chapter by Vu Tran, and a panel discussion to follow with co-authors H. Lee Barnes, John Irsfeld, Brain Rouff, Leah Bailly, John L. Smith, Constance Ford, and Vu Tran.

November 8, 2009
7:00pm
Clark County Library Theater
1401 E. Flamingo Road

Closing Keynote by E.L. Doctorow

E.L. Doctorow, renowned American author, presents the closing keynote address for the Vegas Valley Book Festival. Presented by Black Mountain Institute, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, the City of Las Vegas and Nevada Humanities.

November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

University is closed.

November 13, 2009
10am–12pm
SU 208B

English Department Meeting

November 26 and 27, 2009

Thanksgiving holiday

University is closed

November 30 – December 4

Study Week

December 7 – December 11

Final Exams

December 12, 2009

Semester Ends

December 15, 2009

Commencement