In late November, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that Elissa Washuta, the department’s newest creative writing faculty member, would receive one of their prestigious 2018 Creative Writing Fellowships. Washuta is one of only 36 writers across the nation to receive such an award. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to provide crucial funding to support these writers in their creative endeavors and to continue expanding the range of ideas and viewpoints available to readers,” stated the NEA Director of Literature, Amy Stolls.
For this series, we reach out to a member of the department who has a very particular obsession and ask them to share it with the world. In this edition, Associate Professor Leslie Lockett shares her fascination with the history of cheesemaking.
“Only the black woman can say 'when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me.'” ~Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South (1892)
Everyone has secrets—skeletons in the closet they hope, for whatever reason, will never be brought to light. Literary characters are certainly no exception. A classic example is that of the titular character of The Picture of Dorian Gray, who is kept young and beautiful by a hidden portrait that ages in his place.
All games have rules, whether they are explicit or implicit. In Monopoly, for example, when one lands on GO, one collects $200. Conversely, if one lands on another’s property, they must, as rules go, pay the stipulated rent. What one does not do, is take the next few turns of the board to develop a flamboyant plan to replenish their stores by robbing the bank in a wild, Dillinger-esque style. Does the player’s manual specifically discourage this? Well, no. But, you know. Inappropriate.
This story is the first of a recurring series on obsession. For this series, we reach out to a member of the department who has a very particular obsession and ask them to share it with the world. In this edition, Professor Karen Winstead shares her love of vampires.