T h e  P r i n t i n g  P r e s s


Friday, October 13, 2000--Volume 3, Issue 1

The Printing Press is a bi-weekly newsletter for the students and faculty of the Monmouth College English Department. It contains information and news for the benefit and enjoyment of the students and professors alike. Visit the 2nd floor of the Mellinger Center to access materials mentioned in this newsletter. To submit a news item contact the editor at jblackbu@monm.edu

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Introducing our new English professors

Robert Hale and Mark Willhardt were chosen last March to fill the English Department's two open positions and have joined the Monmouth faculty this semester. Both are Assistant Professors of English.

Robert Hale earned his B.A. in English at the University of Tennessee. After teaching high school English and speech in Nashville, he began graduate work at Louisiana State University in 1991. While at LSU he won the Alumni Association Teaching Assistant Award and wrote his dissertation on the representations of mothers in the works of William Wordsworth. In 1996, he moved to Texas A&M University at Kingsville, where he taught a variety of English courses, including nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, and coordinated the freshman and sophomore English program. His article, "Wordsworth, Revision, and the Blessed Babe: Reading the Mother in Book 2 of The Prelude," has just appeared in the September 2000 issue of Mosaic. He currently resides in Monmouth with his wife of three years, Erika Solberg, and two labrador retrievers, Briscoe and Louie.

Mark Willhardt, son of current Monmouth professor Gary Willhardt, earned his B.A. in English at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and received his doctorate from Rutgers University in New Jersey where he wrote his dissertation on the twentieth-century Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid. After graduate school he returned to St. Paul and taught English at the University of St. Thomas for six years before moving to Ohio Northern University where he directed the Professional Writing major for the last two years. He has co-edited, with Alan Michael Parker, the Routledge Anthology of Cross-Gendered Verse, and co-authored, with Joel Stein, "Dr. Funkenstein's Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication," which shows how funk musician George Clinton can be understood in terms of an African/American trickster tradition. He recently bought a house in Monmouth with his wife of thirteen years, Ronda, and has a daughter, Emma, who will soon be four.

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Advising Week

Advising Week is October 30-November 3. The English Department staff will devote the entire week to providing you, our English majors, with beneficial information regarding off-campus programs, internships, graduate schools, and next semester's courses, including a preview of the Senior Seminar. In addition, students will be encouraged to make suggestions addressing the English Department curriculum or any other concerns you may have. Also, newly declared English majors will be introduced to the English Major Portfolio, an initiative that is designed to help English students better plan their educational opportunities, establish goals, review projects, and provide a record of experiences useful in constructing resumes.

Advising Day is Wednesday, November 1. Afternoon classes are cancelled to accommodate departmental meetings. The English Department meeting is that afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in the Mellinger Learning Center.

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Editor's pick: The Wrestler's Cruel Study by Stephen Dobyns

Stephen Dobyns, an unfamiliar yet prolific poet and novelist, has achieved a rarely attained artistic height with The Wrestler's Cruel Study. This book came highly recommended into my hands and I, in turn, am passing it on to you with even more praise.

The novel's plot centers on a celebrity wrestler known as Michael Marmaduke and his quest for his fiancÚ, who has been abducted from her Manhattan apartment by two gorillas. In this stunningly inventive novel, Dobyns quite capably threads the philosophy of Nietzsche into a whimsical and fantastic framework, making for an imaginative and provocative novel that explores such matters as chance and causality while maintaining a furious energy throughout.

By the time Dobyns reaches the climax of his novel, his readers will be grateful to have endured its continual metaphyscial onslaught and will be rewarded with a finale that draws its many disparate themes together into a singular, well-articulated theory that is far beyond the concept of good and evil. And, as if that wasn't enough, it is engaging and entertaining from beginning to end so that, even beyond its philosophical concerns, it could stand well enough on its own as a very satisfying action novel.

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Upcoming movies of The International Film Series in Macomb

October 18 & 19 East is East--a scintillating family comedy starring Om Puri as Pakistani-Britisher George Kahn, who attempts to bully his rebellious children into taking on the old ways and marriage customs.
October 25 & 26 8 1/2 Women--Peter Greenaway's curious film about sexual fantasy and promiscuity among the rich, or a portrait of a modern harem and its dilettante harem masters
November 1 & 2 Virgin Suicides--Sofia Coppola's drama is based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, set during the 1970s, about a family of five beautiful sisters. When one of them kills herself, their parents (James Wood and Kathleen Turner) get overprotective and the girls become the subjects of fantasy and longing among the neighborhood boys.

The International Film Series is at Cinemas I & II in Macomb. Shows begin at 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. All seats are $4.

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WebCT Informational Meeting

Students are invited to an informal lunchtime meeting to discuss the future of WebCT, an educational software package that is new to Monmouth this semester. If you are interested in ways that computers and the internet can complement the educational process, bring your questions and your lunch to the Tartan Room at noon on October 27, 2000.

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Call for student papers

The tenth annual University of St. Francis Undergraduate Conference on English Language and Literature is looking for student papers on any topic in English studies, including writing, linguistics, film, theory, English/American/Commonwealth literatures, and literature in translation. The conference will be held on March 16 through 17, 2001 at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. The special guest speaker this year is Billy Collins. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2000.

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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships totaling $19,000 are available from The American Scholars National Honor Society. You can apply online at www.AmericanScholars.org

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Cash prizes for short stories

The Students Choice Literary Awards, sponsored by PGR Chaircraft, conducts year-round fiction contests. The minimum first place prize is $1000. For complete contest information, visit their Web site at www.scla-pgr.com

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Writing tutors schedule

Monday-Thursday 3-5 p.m.
Sunday-Thursday 7-10 p.m.

The English Department's writing tutors can be found on the 3rd floor of the Mellinger Learning Center at the times listed above.