COLA Staff Members Win UNH Presidential Awards of Excellence

May 17, 2017
photos of Chris Clement and 4 award winners

(L to R) Carla Cannizzaro, Amanda Stone, Marlene Brooks, Chris Clement and Avary Thorne

Hundreds of UNH employees were recognized for their talents and dedication during a staff recognition ceremony May 5 in the MUB’s Granite State Room. In addition, five staff members were awarded the university’s highest staff honor — the Presidential Award of Excellence. Among the five were two staff members from the College of Liberal Arts: Carla Cannizzaro of the Department of English and Avary Thorne of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

“These recipients are the human faces behind our success across UNH,” said Christopher Clement, vice president for finance and administration. “They demonstrate excellence every day.”

University community members nominate colleagues for the Presidential Award of Excellence. A committee of judges selects five nominees whose outstanding work has contributed to the goals of the UNH Strategic Plan to receive the award.

Read the citations that Clement read about Cannizzaro and Thorne.

This post was edited from a longer story in UNH Today.


Simic Awarded International Poetry Festival’s Golden Wreath

April 25, 2017

photo of Charles Simic

Charles Simic, professor emeritus of English, has been named the 2017 Golden Wreath award winner of Struga Poetry Evenings.

Struga Poetry Evenings is an international poetry festival held every August in Struga, Macedonia since 1962. Over 5,000 poets, book reviewers, theoreticians, publishers and literature promoters from over 100 countries and all continents have taken part in the festival since its inception. During the event, the Golden Wreath award is given to an outstanding poet for her or his body of work.

The managing board of Struga Poetry Evenings chose Simic’s work for its “original poetic voice that through a surrealistic experience, gradually evolves as a distinctive observer of the modern, with strong moral and philosophical questions; extremely clear, serious but fun at the same time. This award values his outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry, which is a passionate and lucid testimony of modern time, intriguing, provocative, shocking, meditative, full of insights of ironic humor.”

“I was delighted to hear that I’m to be awarded The Golden Wreath Award…,” said Simic, as reported in Versopolis, a European publication that reviews poetry, books and culture. “A number of past winners were my friends and I know how deeply honored they were to receive this award and so am I today. The list of your past recipients is so distinguished that I don’t know of another poetry prize anywhere in the world that can equal it. I have fond memories of Struga Poetry Evenings in 1972 and my visit to Skopje afterwards and on another occasion in 1982. I look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. Thank you all.”

Simic is widely recognized as one of the most visceral and unique poets writing today. His work has won numerous awards, among them the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and, simultaneously, the Wallace Stevens Award and appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate. He has published over twenty books of his own poetry, seven books of essays, a memoir, and numerous books of translations of French, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, and Slovenian poetry. Simic, who was born in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, taught English and creative writing for over thirty years at the University of New Hampshire.

The Golden Wreath award will be presented to Simic at this year’s festival, to be held August 23-28, 2017.


Rivard Awarded PEN/New England for Poetry

April 12, 2017

photo of David Rivard

David Rivard has been named winner of the 2017 PEN/New England Award for poetry for his 2016 book, “Standoff.” Rivard is a professor of English at UNH.

American poet Jericho Brown selected “Standoff” for the honor, which recognizes a book by a New England writer judged as best in its genre.

“I feel so deeply honored by this recognition from PEN/New England, touched really, especially when I think of the astonishing community and tradition it represents,” says Rivard. “Last year was, as always, a banner year for books by poets from this region, among them some by my dearest friends in this life — I can’t imagine having written the poems in ‘Standoff’ without their examples and affection in mind.”

Also recognized this year are Matthew Desmond in the nonfiction category for “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” and Robin MacArthur in the fiction category for “Half Wild.”

The awards ceremony was held at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass., on April 2, 2017.

Rivard recalls: “As Jennifer Haigh said at the 2016 awards ceremony, ‘For as long as there’s been an America, New England has been home to writers. We are the land of John Updike and John Cheever, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, Frederick Douglass and Henry David Thoreau. To say a book is the best by a New England writer is saying a great deal indeed.’ It’s sort of amazing when you think about it that way.”

Past winners of PEN/New England awards include E.B. White, Louise Gluck, Sebastian Junger, Mary Oliver, Tracy Kidder, Donald Hall and Reginald Dwayne Betts.

PEN/New England awards, established in 1975, celebrate New England’s long and illustrious literary tradition by recognizing outstanding fiction, poetry and nonfiction by New England authors.

Rivard is the author of five other books of poetry: “Otherwise Elsewhere,” “Sugartown,” “Bewitched Playground,” “Wise Poison,” winner of the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and “Torque,” winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. He teaches poetry writing to undergraduates and to graduates in the M.F.A. in Writing program at UNH.

photos of Rivard at awards ceremony

TOP: David Rivard receives PEN/New England Award for poetry from poet Jericho Brown. MIDDLE: Awards luncheon program. BOTTOM: Rivard pictured with daughter, Simone Rivard ’16, and wife, Michaela Sullivan, at the awards luncheon at the Kennedy Library on April 2, 2017.


New Associate Dean Named in COLA

April 5, 2017

photo of Reginald Wilburn

Reginald Wilburn, associate professor of English, has been selected to serve as associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts. His appointment begins July 31, 2017, when Associate Dean Mary Rhiel steps down. Rhiel will rejoin the College’s German program.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Reginald Wilburn to the Dean’s Office in his new role,” says Heidi Bostic, dean of the College. “To this position, Dr. Wilburn brings strong leadership and communication skills, a demonstrated commitment to student and curricular development, and experience building effective partnerships across campus and beyond. He has been actively engaged in recruiting students to the College of Liberal Arts and to UNH. Dr. Wilburn’s colleagues deeply respect his achievements and professionalism. His interdisciplinary interests and vision mean that he is uniquely well-qualified to advance our Grand Challenges for the Liberal Arts Initiative. Dr. Wilburn is going to be an excellent part of our liberal arts team as we work to support faculty, staff and students, and to advance the mission of the College and UNH.”

Wilburn’s responsibilities will include oversight of key undergraduate and graduate areas including student academic matters, student recruitment, study abroad, student conduct, student scholarships, career and professional success, and curriculum.

“I consider it a high honor to serve my colleagues and students in the College of Liberal Arts and UNH more broadly,” says Wilburn. “Dean Bostic and her leadership team continue to do exemplary work in leading us forward, upward and onward, and I’m excited to support the vision and hard work that remains a hallmark of our collective worth ethic. My aim is to continue a commitment to ensuring every student at UNH enjoys the benefits of a premium education. For me, the College of Liberal Arts contributes something supremely valuable to this educational commitment. Our College is that truly special place where each of us comes to teach, advise and offer service excellence in support of students, confident in the unparalleled value and worth of the thousand daily miracles we perform by educating the hearts, minds and souls of today and tomorrow’s innovative visionaries and leaders.”

Wilburn brings many years of service to the University including providing key leadership for the recent Women’s Studies Program search, which resulted in three finalists from multiple disciplines accepting job offers; UNH Research and Engagement Academy co-chair; Office of Multicultural Student Affairs faculty advisor; and other service on multiple professional and UNH boards, committees and organizations.

Wilburn holds a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. His teaching and research focus on literature and African American studies, Milton and intertextuality studies, gender studies and pedagogy. Wilburn is the author of “Preaching the Gospel of Black Revolt: Appropriating Milton in Early African American Literature” (Duquesne University Press, 2014), which won the College Language Association’s award for Creative Scholarship and the John T. Shawcross Award from the Milton Society of America for a distinguished chapter on Milton in a monograph.


New Book Examines Hollywood’s Hawaii

April 3, 2017

book cover

Delia Malia Caparoso Konzett has published the first full-length study of the American film industry’s fascination with the Pacific in “Hollywood’s Hawaii: Race, Nation, and War.” The book is part of the War Culture Series from Rutgers University Press.

“Hollywood’s Hawaii” presents a history of cinema from 1898 to present that examines Hawaii and the Pacific and its representation in film in the context of colonialism, war, Orientalism, occupation, military buildup and entertainment.

“My family is from Hawaii and I’ve grown up in Hawaii partially,” says Konzett. “For my family, the representation of Hawaii in Hollywood always appeared at odds with the reality of our experiences. This discrepancy stirred my curiosity about Hollywood films set in the Pacific. My father, who also served in the military, steered my interest towards Pacific war films and I began to see two identities that Hollywood attached to Hawaii, namely a leisure paradise and a geopolitical site of military interest. My book tries to explore this complex relation between two seemingly contradictory identities and its relevance for the national imagination and its representation in Hollywood film.”

In “Hollywood’s Hawaii,” Konzett highlights films that mirror the cultural and political climate of the country — from the era of U.S. imperialism through Jim Crow racial segregation, the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII, the civil rights movement, the contemporary articulation of consumer and leisure culture, as well as the buildup of the modern military industrial complex.

Gary Y. Okihiro, author of “Island World: Hawai`i and the United States,” writes of Konzett’s book:A marvelously comprehensive gaze at cinematic representations of Hawaii, this insightful study shows how those fictions constitute and are constituted by U.S. imperialism, Christian capitalism and white nationalism. Moreover, the imagined South Pacific is not a distant, fleeting pleasure but an imminent, durable presence.”

Konzett is associate professor of English, cinema and women’s studies at UNH. She is the author of “Ethnic Modernisms: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys, and the Aesthetics of Location” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).

“Hollywood’s Hawaii” is available from the publisher and major online retailers.


UNH Linguist Publishes 10th Book

November 21, 2016

book cover

Rochelle Lieber, professor of English and linguistics, has released her 10th volume, “English Nouns: The Ecology of Nominalization” published by Cambridge University Press. The book explores English nominalizations, defined as complex nouns that are derived from verbs, adjectives and other nouns (for example, the noun “legalization” derives from the verb “legalize”).

Lieber uses data from Corpus of Contemporary American English to show that the syntactic patterns in which English nominalizations can be found and the range of possible readings they can express are very different from what has been claimed in past theoretical treatments. She argues that the relationship between form and meaning in the nominalization processes of English is virtually never one-to-one, but rather forms a complex web that can be likened to a derivational ecosystem.

“English Nouns: The Ecology of Nominalization” is available from the publisher and major online retailers.


The Political Stage

November 3, 2016

Meg Heckman

Edited from a longer piece by Jody Record in UNH Today

Even if you haven’t seen the “Saturday Night Live” sketches featuring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, it’s likely you’ve read about them. But there is more to it than the laughs. For students in Meg Heckman’s journalism classes, these shows serve another purpose.

“They’re a way to help make sense of things that feel far away or are hard for students to wrap their heads around,” Heckman says.

As part of their homework assignments, she asks students to follow — and to be able to criticize — the news. More than once in this election, political satire has become the news, leading Heckman, who teaches reporting, editing, digital storytelling and media entrepreneurship, to use clips from several comedy shows as teaching tools.

“They are good discussion starters,” Heckman says. “We talk a lot about false balance in journalism — about the problems of seeking objectivity and fairness. These shows can be useful in helping students make sense of what they are hearing.”

What is important, she says, is to make sure voters know how to think critically. “I don’t think satire and humor can be the only mechanism we use, but it can be part of a broader conversation.”

“Our job is to have conversations around the news that students are consuming on a daily basis and, where it’s appropriate, help them to draw connections and ask the questions about what it means to be human now and what society is facing now,” Heckman says. “If we are mindful about what they are seeing and hearing, and ensure they can ask good questions, we can help them find the truth.”

Read the full story


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