In honor of the two-hundredth anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Frankenreads will take place the week of October 31, 2018, from Wednesday until Friday. Graduates and undergraduates are welcome to attend.
Lisa J. Kiser—
At the time of his recent retirement, Mark was an associate professor; he was a specialist in modern British and American literature and film. He will be remembered for his sharp wit, conversational brilliance, musicianship and deep knowledge of all things cultural, intellectual and political. He will be greatly missed.
Human knowledge is rooted in storytelling. Early humans developed the cognitive machinery necessary to make sense of their lives through narrative, and then began to write these stories down to be passed on to future generations. Our ancestors first told stories orally, then began to paint on cave walls. They tattooed their skin, they carved into tree trunks, they traced lines in the sand, and their tales began to take on lives of their own. Some stories explained natural phenomena, like the weather. Other stories were about people who had really lived and done incredible things, which were then embellished in every subsequent retelling.
Working on my laptop, I am constantly referencing Spotify’s “Friend Activity” feed to discover new tunes and uncover my friends’ psyches by picking apart their playlists. I’m unashamed to possess this intruding behavior; I interact with humans with exceptional tastes, so it wouldn’t be right of me to not appreciate their auricular palates.
I haven’t told him yet, but I stan Brendan Walsh on Spotify. He caught my eye when I noticed Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s “Fever Pitch” appear with the little listening icon under his avitar. So, distracted from the studying sounds playlist I was supposed to click on—and the studying I should have been doing—I delved into his profile. More important than discovering Walsh’s impeccable music taste, however, was the discovery of his skills as a writing critic. These skills landed Walsh an internship this past summer at Mythology Entertainment in Los Angeles. Mythology Entertainment is a film production company known for producing White House Down, Truth, this past summer’s Slender Man and The House with a Clock in Its Walland the soon-to-be-released Suspiria.
Each month, the Communications Team reaches out to members of the Department of English faculty and asks them to elaborate on a current research or creative project they are working on or have recently completed. For this month, we asked Professor Clare Simmons about her latest project, a book about medievalist celebration in nineteenth-century Britain.