On September 17, 2020, a virtual public program called Pestilence and Print History organized by the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) in Massachusetts took place. UW-Green Bay’s own assistant professor Sarah Schuetze (English) was one of the speakers during the event.
In this panel presentation, scholars David Paul Nord, Assistant Prof. Sarah Schuetze, and Kelly Wisecup examined case studies of epidemics in early America through the lens of printed material to answer questions such as: How did people get information about epidemics and pandemics? Who was providing that information, for what purposes, and in what print mediums? Who had access to these resources? How did people respond to them? From diphtheria to yellow fever to cholera, from medical practitioners to Indigenous writers to ordinary citizens, these case studies spanning 150 years provoke thoughtful insights into how Americans have responded to disease, past, and present. More than 200 people attended the event via Zoom. The presentation and discussion can be viewed on the AAS youtube channel.
UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Kimberley Reilly (DJS, History, Women’s and Gender Studies) has published a book, The Politics of Prosperity: Mass Consumer Culture in the 1920s, with Oxford University Press. The book is part of the “Debating American History” series, edited by David J. Voelker (UW-Green Bay) and Joel M. Sipress (UW-Superior), which allows students to consider competing interpretations of the past using primary source evidence. Reilly’s book helps students to debate the question, “did mass consumer culture empower Americans in the 1920s?”
Associate Professor Jessica Lyn Van Slooten (English, Writing Foundations, Women’s and Gender Studies, Humanities) was an invited participant in a roundtable discussion, “The Role of Romance Scholarship: Why Does it Matter?” on Friday, July 10. This live roundtable was part of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance Digital Showcase, featured participants from around the world, and can be viewed here: “The Role of Romance Scholarship: Why Does it Matter?”
Assocaite Prof. Jessica Lyn Van Slooten (English, Writing Foundations, Women’s and Gender Studies) was a guest on four recent episodes of the Shelf Love podcast. Van Slooten joined host Andrea Martucci and several romance authors to discuss friendship (episode 48), fantasy (episode 43), food (episode 37), and parenthood (episode 36) in romance novels.
Prof. Rebecca Meacham (English, Humanities, Women’s and Gender Studies) and authors Patricia Skalka and Stephanie Bodeen will talk about writing, and keeping a journal, during the pandemic on the Kate Archer Kent show on WPR on Friday, April 24, 2020. At present she is scheduled for the 6 to 7 a.m. time slot.
Prof. Rebecca Nesvet (English, Women’s and Gender Studies, Humanities) has contributed two articles to the forthcoming PALGRAVE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOMEN’S WRITING, edited by Lesa Scholl (University of Queensland, Australia). The articles concern “Victorian Vegetarianism” and its female literary advocates and detractors, and “Julia Constance Fletcher (1853-1938).” An American travel writer, novelist, translator and playwright born in South America, Fletcher spent most of her adult life in Italy, writing for British audiences. She was the first author to base a literary character on her friend Oscar Wilde, who dedicated his undergraduate poem RAVENNA, winner of Oxford University’s prestigious Newdigate Prize for Poetry, to her. Fletcher’s literary achievements include her proto-feminist travel romance MIRAGE, her translation of the Italian Renaissance poet Gaspara Stampa, and her play THE FANTASTICKS. Loosely adapted from Edmond Rostand’s LES ROMANESQUES, THE FANTASTICKS was later(1960) adapted by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones to create the world’s longest-running musical–without attribution to Fletcher.
Virtual groups, like the “Pandemic Poetry Group” on Facebook are helping artists stay connected while isolated at home. UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. and Co-Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies Jessica Van Slooten and Associate Professor Alise Coen (Political Science) are the creators of the page.
“I am comforted and inspired by our group as a supportive space for sharing art through words,” stated Coen. “The poems shared are sometimes humorous, sometimes somber and almost always descriptive of people’s different experiences and perspectives.”
UW-Green Bay Professors Alise Coen (Political Science, Public & Environmental Affairs) and Jessica Van Slooten (English, Women’s & Gender Studies) were featured in a local news story for their creation of an interdisciplinary Pandemic Poetry Exchange group. The pair talked to reporter Diana Bolander for the Herald Times Reporter.
The group has grown to more than 200 members on Facebook and offers a supportive creative space to help cope with physical distancing.
The Facebook group is called ‘VanCoen Pandemic Poetry‘ (a combination of their last names) and has more than 225 members. The group’s guiding principle is to be ‘a supportive space for members to read, create and share original poems (broadly defined) to help cope with social distancing and quarantine-like conditions during the COVID-19 situation.
Both Coen and Van Slooten said they find that the group helps them feel more connected to the world while in isolation.
Coen noted: “I am comforted and inspired by our group as a supportive space for sharing art through words. The poems shared are sometimes humorous, sometimes somber and almost always descriptive of people’s different experiences and perspectives.”
A poem and photo by Van Slooten:
Fold the paper vertically and curve the scissors just so: begin with a point, flare into generous cures, and finish in a deep cleft. Unfold your heart. Remember they come in all shapes, sizes, colors. Make a rainbow of hearts: love is love is love. Put two hearts together to form wings, and fly. Imagine every paper heart beating steady, strong, a talisman to heal broken hearts, heart failure. Tape the hearts on windows and doors: spread the love
Not Aleppo by Coen
Tending to street cats In the middle of war The man in Aleppo Knows far more About trying to find peace. Me with my books With my smart phone in bed Using words to escape The traps in my head
Safely sprawled under fleece. Still, I fell nervous In my privileged bombless nights
Mulling over viral posts
Of healthcare worker plights
And epicenter quakes.
By the light of my screen
That comforting glow
The fear is well disguised
As a thing I need to know
So I read all the takes.
A Death Cafe will be hosted by UW-Green Bay students Karissa Anderson, Elizabeth Diels, Emily Doran, Craig Frea and Courtney Waters on Thursday, March 12 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The Attic Corner on 730 Bodart Street, Green Bay, Wis. Students hosting the event are from Prof. Illene Cupit’s (Psychology, Women and Gender Studies) Dying, Death and Loss class. The event is free and open to the public. The Death Cafe prompts the discussion of organic thoughts and feelings regarding death. Beverages and food will be available. This event is a great opportunity to learn about people’s perspectives of death, while potentially developing a stronger appreciation for life.
Don’t forget to check out the “I am Psyched” exhibit on the fourth floor of the David A. Cofrin Library before it is gone! The last day of the tour is Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. This program is co-sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, MultiEthnic Student Affairs, Diversity Task Force and Feminists for Action. For more information, please contact Christine Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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