University of Mississippi

English Education major, Heather Williams, elected Associated Student Representative for the southern region of Sigma Tau Delta

HWilliamsThis March Heather Williams, a senior English Education major at the University of Mississippi, attended the  national conference of the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, where she was elected  Associated Student Representative for the Southern Region.  Heather currently serves as the Vice President of her chapter, Eta Nu, and will become President in May 2016. She is a transfer student from Bevill State Community College in Jasper, AL, where she was involved in Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD), The English Honor Society Two-Year Colleges. She also is published in SKD’s 2014 literary journal, The Hedera helix. Besides Sigma Tau Delta, Heather also is involved in other leadership roles including the Transfer Leadership Organization and 1+1 Transfer Student Program, both of which help make the transition into university life easier for transfer students. When not reading or writing, Heather enjoys playing the guitar and loves putting music to her poetry. Her favorite literature genre is Southern literature, and her favorite book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Winners of 2016 Creative Writing Awards Announced!

Evans Harrington Scholarship:  Victoria Collins
Ella Somerville Award for Poetry:  Devin Kerr Pitts
Ella Somerville Award for Fiction:  Charles McCrory
Bondurant Prize for Poetry:  Shertock Lama
Bondurant Prize for Fiction:  David Tran
Congratulations to our winners!

The Forty-Fourth James Edwin Savage Lecture in the Renaissance: “Demonic Possession and the Theater in Early Modern England” by Brian Levack. April 12th at 6p.m. Bondurant Auditorium

Levack photoBrian Levack grew up in a family of teachers in the New York metropolitan area. From his father, a professor of French history, he acquired a love for studying the past, and he knew from an early age that he too would become a historian. He received his B.A. from Fordham University in 1965 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1970. In graduate school he became fascinated by the history of the law and the interaction between law and politics, interests that he has maintained throughout his career. In 1969 he joined the History Department of the University of Texas at Austin, where he is now the John E. Green Regents Professor in History. The winner of several teaching awards, Levack offers a wide variety of courses on early modern British and European history, legal history, and the history of witchcraft. For eight years he served as the chair of his department. His books include The Civil Lawyers in England, 1603-1641:A Political Study (1973), The Formation of the British State: England, Scotland and the Union, 1603-1707 (1987); The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (4th edition, 2016), which has been translated into eight languages; Witch-Hunting in Scotland: Law, Politics, and Religion  (2008); and The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West (2013). He has also edited twenty books, including The Jacobean Union: Six Tracts of 1604 (1985); The Witchcraft Sourcebook (2004; 2nd edition 2015); and The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (2013).

The lecture will take place on April 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Bondurant Auditorium.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. April 11, 2016 Ford Center for the Performing Arts 6:30 p.m. Opening Remarks 7:00 p.m. The History of Shakespeare’s Text

15-FSL-0117_logo_preferred-150x150For more information, click HERE.

Workers Discover Smokestack and Railwork Where William Faulkner Composed *As I Lay Dying*

On Tuesday, March 22, workers at the University of Mississippi excavated the brick foundation for the smokestack structure originally located just to the west of the 1908 power plant building where William Faulkner composed As I Lay Dying in the fall of 1929.  The brickwork was discovered upon removal of a concrete pad that had in recent years supported a large HVAC unit serving the building.  Other excavation work linked to the demolition of the power plant building has uncovered fifteen feet of the iron railwork originally laid for the railroad cars that once transported coal to the plant’s steam-powered electrical generator.

Graduate Student Fellowships, Funding, and Financial Aid

The standard Ph.D. funding package in the English Department includes tuition remission, subsidized health insurance, and a teaching fellowship of $11,500/yr in exchange for work as a teaching assistant or instructor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric.

In addition, the department and the Graduate School offer several supplementary fellowships. All multiyear awards assume student remains in good academic standing.

The Colby Kullman Fellowships offers an additional $3,750/yr for a term of 5 years to particularly strong Ph.D. applicants.

The Harold J. Kendis, Ph.D. Fellowship offers an additional $4,250/yr for a term of 5 years. One Kendis Fellowship is reserved for a Ph.D. applicant who wishes to specialize in Medieval Studies.

Honors Fellowships supported by the Graduate School provide additional funding to select students ranging from $2,000/yr to $4,000/yr, typically for a term of 4 years.

Diversity Fellowships are supported in part by funding from the Graduate School and provide up to $7,000/yr to students who are members of minority groups (African-American, Hispanic-American and Native American) historically underrepresented in graduate programs.

Nonteaching Dissertation Fellowships are designed to exempt graduate students from normal teaching duties in order to speed the completion and defense of their dissertations. A one-year fellowship of $11,000 is offered by the English department to a student in his/her final year of funding. The Graduate School also provides one-semester nonteaching dissertation fellowships of $6,000. More information on the Graduate School Dissertation fellowship and financial aid in general can be found here. http://gradschool.olemiss.edu/prospective-students/financial-aid-information/

Travel Grants provided by the graduate school provide up to $300 to enable graduate students to present original research at professional conferences. The English Department also keeps a limited budget to support graduate student travel to conferences and research collections. In recent years graduate students have attended national conferences and pursued individual research as far afield as Wales and Vietnam. For more information see http://gradschool.olemiss.edu/current-students/travel-grants/. For information on securing a matching grant from the English Department, contact Anne Freeman.

Summer Teaching provides an source of supplemental income. Requests for summer teaching are available here. http://english.olemiss.edu/files/2014/01/Summer-Teaching-Request-Form-1.pdf

Night Swimmer

imgres-1by Matt Bondurant

The Night Swimmer, Matt Bondurant’s utterly riveting modern gothic novel of marriage and belonging, confirms his gift for storytelling that transports and enthralls.

In a small town on the southern coast of Ireland, an isolated place only frequented by fishermen and the occasional group of bird-watchers, Fred and Elly Bulkington, newly arrived from Vermont having won a pub in a contest, encounter a wild, strange land shaped by the pounding storms of the North Atlantic, as well as the native resistance to strangers. As Fred revels in the life of a new pubowner, Elly takes the ferry out to a nearby island where anyone not born there is called a “blow-in.” To the disbelief of the locals, Elly devotes herself to open-water swimming, pushing herself to the limit and crossing unseen boundaries that drive her into the heart of the island’s troubles—the mysterious tragedy that shrouds its inhabitants and the dangerous feud between an enigmatic farmer and a powerful clan that has no use for outsiders.

The poignant unraveling of a marriage, the fierce beauty of the natural world, the mysterious power of Irish lore, and the gripping story of strangers in a strange land rife with intrigue and violence—The Night Swimmer is a novel of myriad enchantments by a writer of extraordinary talent.

The Wettest County in the World

imgresby Matt Bondurant

Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Howard, the eldest brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; Forrest, the middle brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father’s business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.

White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut—whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to “The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,” and break open the silence that shrouds Franklin County.

In vivid, muscular prose, Matt Bondurant brings these men—their dark deeds, their long silences, their deep desires—to life. His understanding of the passion, violence, and desperation at the center of this world is both heartbreaking and magnificent.

Check out Derrick Harriell’s article “Chicago State State of Mind” in Los Angeles Review of Books.

Derrick-Harriell-Headshot-11-17-091

Derrick Harriell was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s worked as assistant poetry editor for Third World Press and The Cream City Review and has taught community writing workshops for individuals of all ages, including senior citizens. A two-time Pushcart Nominee, Harriell’s poems have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. Cotton (Aquarius Press-Willow Books 2010) is his first collection of poems.  He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chicago State University.

Click HERE for the article.

English Alumnus, Taylor Sledge, Finds Success in Finance

TaylorHeadshotPoundPhotographyRed3Click HERE for the story.