Circa 1450, in Mainz, Germany, Johannes Gutenberg started the art and industry of printing with movable type; he published what’s known as “the Gutenberg Bible.” Establishing a blog at the English Department, University of Puget Sound, isn’t quite as momentous as the Gutenberg Revolution, which led to books as we know them, or as the Gates & Co. Revolution, which led to “word-processing,” hypertext, emails, instant messaging, “texting,” printing on demand, and all manner of words in Cyberspace.
Nonetheless, we have a blog, thanks to Professor Dolen Perkins-Valdez (and WordPress), and welcome to it.
The department hopes to write about news, events, and opportunities of interest to and often created by English majors and others who take courses in our department.We also hope to post blogs on all sorts of topics related to literature, writing, criticism, rhetoric, and so on.
Concerning the immediate future, I’ll concentrate on October 30, when the department will host an extravaganza in Trimble Forum, beginning at 6:00 p.m. There we’ll unveil–well, food and beverages, first of all, although I don’t think they’ll literally be covered with a veil.
Then, also figuratively, we’ll unveil information about courses we’re offering in Spring 2009, and you’ll have a chance to grill professors about those courses, to chat with other English majors, talk about your favorite books, or tell someone about how that paper for Professor Erving is or how well that short story for Professor Perkins-Valdez is achieving its dramatic arc.
So mark the date, which is just in time for registration: Oct. 30, Trimble Forum, 6:00 p.m., and . . . . food! Professors Alison Tracy Hale, Tiffany Aldrich MacBain, Lydia Fisher, and others (including Holly Jones) are responsible for the event; thanks to them for the hard work and creativity.
In other news . . . Crosscurrents is accepting submissions for its Fall issue, so send in your poems, stories, and photographs. . . . Playwright Rosalind Bell continues her residency at Puget Sound, thanks mainly to Professor Geoff Proehl, our good friend in the Theater Department. Rosalind is the author of The New Orleans Monologues, she is working on a new play, and she is available to visit classes. . . .
Our own Bill Kupinse is the Poet Laureate of Tacoma and has been busy giving readings and leading workshops. . . . Rumor has it that poet and novelist Sherman Alexie will give a reading at Puget Sound in the spring. . . .
And perhaps most crucially, the department is hosting a celebration of Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday with a festive conference in February that will feature many gothic elements, a special address by President Ron-Thom (who happens to be a scholar of detective fiction and thus knows a thing or two about Poe), and lots of opportunities for students’ involvement. There’s no word yet on whether a professor has volunteered to be sealed alive behind a brick wall in a gothic basement or to experiment with a close-shave from a sharp pendulum.
The English Department’s cyber-presence doesn’t end with this shiny new blog, by the way. We’re on facebook. Feel free to join the group, The English Department, University of Puget Sound (which now has well over 100 members) and Poetry Puget Sound, which is open to anyone who reads, writes, performs, critiques, sings, or publishes poetry. Consider yourself unofficially friended.