Hubert McNeill Poteat Lecture

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 4:00 pm
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404
Dr. Claudia Kairoff
Professor of English and Recipient of the
MacDonough Family Faculty Fellowship
will lecture on  “Raising Her Voice: A Critical Edition of The Works of Anne Finch,
Countess of Winchilsea”

Reception following the lecture


Gabriel Blackwell

The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series Presents: Gabriel Blackwell.

Gabriel Blackwell is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Madeleine E., a commonplace book that arranges passages from critics considering Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, along with fragments of memoir and fiction.  The Fanzine has called the book “creative criticism of the highest order,” while 3 A.M. hailed it as “a genuinely mind-bending and dryly hilarious hall of mirrors that combines metafiction with criticism, film theory, and philosophy.”  The book was named as one of the year’s best by The Believer, Vice, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn.  Blackwell’s shorter fictions and essays have appeared in many issues of Conjunctions, in Tin House, DIAGRAM, Post Road, the Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.  He is the editor of The Collagist, and he teaches creative writing at the University of West Florida.

Donna F. Edwards was an English major at Wake Forest, and will be speaking in President Hatch’s Leadership Project series. This event is free and open to the public, and will be in Broyhill Auditorium in Farrell Hall.


“Hieroglyphs of Blackness: Egypt, Fantasy, and the American Imaginary” examines representations of Egypt to reconceptualize the meanings and limits of transnational affinity relative to discourses about the black diaspora. Covering a long historical arc from the 18th century to the present, with particular attention to the aesthetic practices of iconography, this talk analyzes how cultural producers have imagined Egypt in various representations from classical civilization to anti-colonial polity to animate “blackness” both as a critique of the nation and the embodiment of a transnational political currency.

The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series Presents: Chris Abani. Chris Abani’s books of fiction include The Secret History of Las Vegas, Song For Night, The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, Graceland, and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections are Sanctificum, There Are No Names for Red, Feed Me The Sun: Collected Long Poems, Hands Washing Water, Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot, and Kalakuta Republic. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian, and Serbian.

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program invites you to a day-long Chaucer workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 28th in Tribble Hall C1 10:00am-noon, and 2:00-4:00pm. The workshop will focus on Chaucer’s well-known tale of Patient Griselda, his “Clerk’s Tale,” and will include the Portrait of the Çlerk from the “General Prologue,” the “Prologue to the Clerk’s Tale” and the tale itself. Texts either in Modern or Middle English will
be available

Two experts will lead our workshop: Carl David Benson, beloved Professor Emeritus of the University of Connecticut, author of nine important books on Chaucer and Middle English literature, especially Piers Plowman, along with ninety-odd book chapters and journal articles — scholarship that encompasses the wide body of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English literature. The Chaucer Review dedicated its first double issue to his essential work.

Jamie Fumo is a professor at Florida State, and has written two highly regarded books and edited two others on Chaucer and Middle English Literature in addition to numerous articles. Her work is rigorous, original and witty, “a triumph of wide-ranging scholarship and literary interpretation.”

In Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Giorgio Agamben famously defines sacred life as a life that can be killed but not sacrificed. Insofar as the sacredness of life consists in being the originary form of the inclusion of bare life (or natural, biological life as such) in the juridical order, it is taken as the expression of a set of topological relations implicit within the structure of sovereignty. The body of the sovereign and the body of homo sacer are endlessly exchangeable in a topological process. Especially in his later work, Lacan’s hypotheses concerning the Borromean structure (R,S,I) and its knotting demonstrate the strict equivalence between topology and structure. To speak of structure is, according to him, to constitute a topology. But what is finally called topology, how does it envisage space, and what topology is valid for a body? What do recent developments in topology allow us to posit? By focusing on Lacan’s play with the Borromean knot and Agamben’s concept of homo sacer, I will reveal and challenge the subject inherently valued by the structure of sovereignty that continues to inscribe itself in philosophical and psychoanalytic discourse alike.

Brief Bio: Jennifer Yusin is an associate professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at Drexel University. She is the author of The Future Life of Trauma, which is forthcoming spring 2017 from Fordham University Press. Her writings may be found in Textual Practice, Culture, Theory, and Critique, and The Journal of Contemporary Literature, among others. Currently, she is working on a critique of the category of the symbolic, especially as it appears in the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan.


Alejandro Zambra is the author of My Documents, which was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and three previous novels: Ways of Going Home, The Private Lives of Trees, and Bonsai. His books have been translated into more than ten languages and have received several international prizes. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris ReviewHarper’sTin House, and McSweeney’s, among others. In 2010, he was named one ofGranta’s Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists, and he is a 2015–16 Cullman Center fellow at the New York Public Library. He teaches literature at Diego Portales University, in Santiago, Chile.

Andrea Lunsford is the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor of English Emerita, Claude and Louise Rosenberg Jr. Fellow, and Former Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University. She has published extensively on rhetorical theory, women in rhetoric, collaboration, cultures of writing, style, the graphic novel, and technologies of writing. She has written or coauthored 19 books.

Sponsored by Bedford/St. Martin’s and the Wake Forest University Writing Program.

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