Monthly Archives: November 2012

Upcoming Local Meeting at Barnard College

The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers and Saskia Hamilton, co-editor of Literary Imagination, invite you to Fictions of Fiction, a literary evening featuring Morris Dickstein and Darryl Pinckney. Morris Dickstein will present “My Life in Fiction.” Darryl Pinckney will read a chapter from High Cotton “sort of about Barnard and Columbia.”

This meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 13, 2012, 6:00pm, at 302 Barnard Hall, Barnard College, New York City. Barnard Hall is located immediately upon entering through the main gate of the Barnard College campus at Broadway and 117th Street. Refreshments to follow

Morris Dickstein is Distinguished Professor of English and Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center. His most recent books are Leopards in the Temple, a study of postwar American fiction, A Mirror in Roadway, a collection of literary essays, and Dancing in the Dark, a cultural history of the Depression era, which received the Ambassador Book Award in American Studies and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism.

Darryl Pinckney, a long time contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author of a novel, High Cotton, and, in the Alain Locke Lecture series, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature. He is at work on a study of African American literature in the twentieth century.

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Announcing the Publication of Forum 5: What is Education? A Response to the Council on Foreign Relations Report, “U.S. Education Reform and National Security”

In this issue of Forum—an occasional publication of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW)—twelve prominent authors reflect on a recent study by the Council on Foreign Relations entitled “U.S. Education Reform and National Security.” The CFR study claims that “America’s educational failures pose five distinct threats to national security: threats to economic growth and competitiveness, U.S. physical safety, intellectual property, U.S. global awareness, and U.S. unity and cohesion.” As a consequence, it proposes: 1) severe changes to the curriculum to emphasize “subjects vital to protecting national security;” 2) expanded support for alternative schools, whether charters or through voucher programs; and 3) a “‘national security audit’ to hold schools and policymakers accountable for results.” The CFR study may be downloaded here.

The CFR study raises fundamental questions about the nature and purpose of education, citizenship, individual personhood, and the character of the United States. The ALSCW, as an organization, takes no position on this report or on any other. But since we are a group of teachers, scholars, and writers dedicated to literary studies, our members take a lively interest in the debate about how (or whether) to reform education in the United States. The contributors to this issue of Forum represent divergent views, and are university professors (including faculty from Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Harvard, West Point, and Yale), scholars, and high school teachers from both public and private schools. The issue is edited by Lee Oser of the College of the Holy Cross, and by Rosanna Warren of the University of Chicago. Common themes do emerge. Our authors note the severely utilitarian view of education in the CFR report; the subordination of all cultural goals to the aims of national security; and controversial assumptions about human nature and about democracy in the United States.

Forum 5 sets the CFR report in a wider context of the history of educational reform in this country and should provoke further debate about these urgent questions. We hope you will help to publicize both the CFR report and the responses collected by the ALSCW. Now available as a PDF.

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ALSCW Local Meeting at the BU Editorial Institute

Wednesday 7 November: Robert Scanlan, The Need for Principles of Dramaturgy.

Robert Scanlan, who is Professor of the Practice of Theatre at Harvard, has directed productions across the world and been recognized by an award as Outstanding Director.

To be held at the Editorial Institute Library, Second Floor, 143 Bay State Road, a few minutes from Kenmore Square. 5 p.m. – 6.45 p.m. Wine.

Those who are not members of the Association are likewise welcome.

Please let us know if you will be coming. This, either to the ALSCW office, office@alscw.org, or to the Editorial Institute, kaevans@bu.edu.

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ALSCW Local Meeting at LSU, Friday, November 9

“Think Transatlantic“ is this year‘s topic for LSU’s 3rd annual event in cooperation with the German Embassy in Washington D.C. Academic Programs Abroad, the German Section of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and the German Club at LSU are organizing a week that focuses on the present and past of German-American relations in the broader European context. There will be information tables at free speech alley during the week. The week will end with an interdisciplinary symposium with the title “Transatlantic Relations: History, Legacy, and Perspectives” on Friday, November 9, an important date in recent German history. The Program in Comparative Literature is also participating in the Symposium. Each year the Program organizes a Graduate Student Conference under the auspices of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. Several Comparative Literature Graduate Students will be giving papers on the topic of Transatlantic Literary Relationships and will participate on a round table with Professor Lawrence Kritzman of Dartmouth College to discuss the implications of Transatlantic studies for Comparative Literature as a discipline. They are Carrie O’Connor, Guillermo Severiche, Pengyi Huang, Jacqueline Zimmer Salen, Lazara Bolton and Jingyuan Liu.
The symposium will bring several distinguished speakers to LSU: Paul Michael Luetzeler from Washington University in St. Louis, Lawrence Kritzman from Dartmouth College and Günter Bischof from the University of New Orleans. Presenters from LSU are David Culbert (History), Harald Leder (Foreign Languages), Amy Catania, Brian Daigle, and Jesse Russell (Comparative Literature). They will explore different aspects of the transatlantic relationships from historical and literary perspectives. Presentations will take place from 9:15 am to 1:00 pm in E131 Howe Russell, and from 1:00pm.-4:30pm in the Hill Memorial Library. A reception at the International Cultural Center on 3365 Dalrymple Drive will follow accompanied by a poetry reading by Victoria Mansberger. Students will create a blog to share their thoughts about the presentations.
Please consult the program for more information about individual presentations and times. This event is free of charge and open to the public.
“Think Transatlantic” is an initiative for students and scholars at 50 universities throughout the United States. LSU is proud to be part of this ongoing effort to introduce the LSU community to different aspects of Germany and German-American relations. The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers publishes the journal Literary Imagination and the electronic newsletter Literary Matters.

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