31 January 2022

Dear Everyone:

Happy Lunar New Year’s Eve! We’re about to enter the year of the tiger — associated with strength and courage, and oh, that we would need less of either in the year ahead!

This new year holds terrific events for us, to which you’re warmly invited.

First, I’m delighted to follow on the heels of Nancy Silverman’s message regarding our first Friday Forum of spring 2022. Please join us for what promises be an exceptionally timely lecture, “On Being Stuck: Drawing Latino Depression,” by Professor William Orchard, 4p, this Friday, 4 February. Professor Orchard will be discussing the recent proliferation of narratives of Latino depression. He explains, “these narratives often deploy depression to highlight masculinities and national identities that are in crisis. The aesthetic—in particular, writing and other forms of artistic creation—emerge in these stories as a key way of managing and working through depressive states, and of imagining new forms of manhood that could refurbish group identities. Focusing on Wilfred Santiago’s 2007 graphic novel In My Darkest Hour, this paper considers how Latinx comic art steers this narrative in new directions by portraying aesthetic engagements with depression that see it not as something to be overcome but as resource for dwelling in the world as one explores the potential contained in the present impasse.” The talk is public and free and/but registration is required!

Second, please keep an eye out for more information and registration links for this slate of Friday Forum programming for the semester (we may well add things along the way, too!):

  • 18 February, lecture by Professor Melissa Castillo-Planas
  • 25 February, “I can’t stop thinking about…“, an opportunity to share preoccupations and earworms, organized by Natasha Ochshorn
  • 4 March, lecture by Professor Richard Perez
  • 11 March, a day for admitted applicants to visit with us!
  • 18 March, an event organized around Talia Schaffer’s recent book, Communities of Care: The Social Ethics of Victorian Fiction, organized by Tanya Agathocleous
  • 25 March, an event focused around the study of post- and de-colonialisms, organized by Valerie Fryer-Davis
  • 8 April, a panel on After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort, by Eric Dean Wilson and featuring Cindi Katz and Wayne Koestenbaum (as well as the author!)
  • 29 April, this year’s ESA conference!
  • 6 May, program open meeting and ESA Revels

Curriculum Committee, under Karl Steel’s chairship, will also be hosting a couple of opportunities for discussion of curricular matters as the semester progresses, and I think we’ll have other open program meeting occasions, too — please stay tuned!

My final note for this week’s message is one of thanks, to all for rolling with sometimes last minute changes to schedules last week, for picking up slack for one another as situations demand, for staying on top of the business end of things — reading applications! reading exams! scheduling thisthatandtheother! — and so on — the seemingly endless and oftentimes laborious but quite genuinely necessary and appreciated work you’re doing on all our behalf. Beyond our program, too, I offer a particular note of thanks to the registrar’s office and financial aid and the international student offices, who’ve stepped up in specific for so many in our midst these past weeks. There is in fact a great deal of collegiality and kindness to be found at and in the GC– as much as strength and courage, surely necessary to keep going.

All the most glittery wishes to you for this year to come!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.