The archives at the University of Nebraska libraries are posting a video series on the letters of Willa Cather. The overview video is here.
Cather’s letters have long been accessible to scholars, but her will prevented anyone from publishing or even quoting from them. So while nothing there is much of a surprise, very few readers have had access to her private words. For years, most readers believed that Cather had burned her letters before her death and asked her correspondents to do the same. While that isn’t the case, there are a few notable omissions: almost no letters to Cather’s longtime companion Edith Lewis survive. Another video reads from the one letter to Lewis.
The letters were edited and published for the first time this month in The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, which includes 566 of about 3000 letters in the archive. The collection is edited by Andrew Jewell and Janice Stout.
Of particular interest to students in ENGL 3102 might be Cather’s 1925 letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, in reply to a letter he wrote to her admitting his concern that his new novel, The Great Gatsby, borrowed too heavily from Cather’s A Lost Lady. She reassures him that she does not think the similarities are excessive, but it’s another reminder of what a huge influence she was on Fitzgerald.
To see more videos, just search YouTube for “Willa Cather Letters.” There’s a whole series.
Handouts from the March 25-26 SIP workshop on writing the argument are online here.
I am continuing to add text to the timeline. You can view it full size at this link.
I have started posting projects from my Fall 2012 ENGL 1113 class at this page. These Honors First Year Composition students researched and wrote exposition papers on different features of ASU’s (now GRU’s) campus. I am posting them as students e-mail me electronic copies, so I hope to add another dozen or so papers over the next couple of weeks. I’m very proud of the work these students have done, digging through the archives to find information and sort out inconsistencies.
My goal in assigning these projects was to get the students really thinking about their research. This was their first semester, most of them, and it was the first paper I assigned. Usually, I assign something that requires little if any research for that first essay, and what research students do is typically limited to the Internet or maybe a book. In changing the assignment, I hoped to encourage students to develop a strong research question first and then think through how they might answer that question, rather than finding a few easily available sources and then reporting what those sources said.
The assignment definitely worked in that respect, although some of the questions ended up being far more difficult to answer than I or the student had anticipated. They persevered, though, and unearthed some information that neither they, I, nor the archivists had seen anywhere else. I don’t know that such an assignment would work with another group of students, but this class exceeded my expectations.
My calendar is now available for making appointments; the link is in the right sidebar and on your Desire2Learn course home page.
As we enter research paper writing season (i.e., March and April), I will add more time slots to accommodate draft meetings; for now, the times you see are the times I am available.
If you have any problems making an appointment, please let me know.
Course web pages on Desire2Learn will go live January 9. You can find your syllabus, assignment guidelines, supplementary materials, and links to useful resources for the entire semester posted there.
If you have any difficulties logging in to D2L, contact IT immediately (stop by University Hall 130 or call the help line at 706-737-1676). You will need to log in to D2L to access course materials, as I will not be printing materials for you.
My calendar is currently offline while I switch over to a new scheduling app. It’ll be up and running soon after the semester starts, I promise!
The American Studies Association has posted a FAQ for applying to graduate programs in American Studies. Much of the information is useful to for any graduate program, but if you have interest in interdisciplinary graduate programs, especially in American Studies, this is a great resource. The ASA site has quite a bit of specific information about American Studies programs and opportunities.
I am always eager to talk about American Studies programs, research, publications, and other opportunities–just stop by my office!
Supplemental Instruction Program Workshop: Writing the Argumentative Essay
UH 170, Tuesday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, October 31 at 2:30 p.m.
The files below are copies of the presentation and handouts:
Writing an Argument
Drafting the Argument–Handouts