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Writers & Scholars Series

Fall 2016


Eric G. Wilson

Essayist & Scholar
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Eric G. Wilson, Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University, is author, most recently, of How to Make a Soul: The Wisdom of John Keats (Northwestern UP), Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life (Farrar Straus and Giroux), Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away (Farrar Straus and Giroux), The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace (Northwestern), and Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy (Farrar Straus and Giroux). His essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Oxford American, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Psychology Today, Salon, and The Paris Review Daily, and he has placed hybrid work (memoir and fiction mixed) in The Collagist, The Vestal Review, decomP, apt, The Dr. T. J. Eckleburg Review, and THE FANZINE. He has published numerous scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects, including British Romantic Poetry, American Transcendentalism, morbid curiosity, irony, limbo, David Lynch, Gnosticism, melancholy androids, and ice. Among his many awards is a National Humanities Center Fellowship.

  • Open Class Session ~ 3:05-4:15 in Towers 121
  • "Memory & Melancholia" (Humanities Speaker Series Presentation) ~ 4:30-5:30 in Philomathean Room (third floor of Towers Hall)

Steve Feffer

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Steve Feffer is an associate professor of English at Western Michigan University. His plays have been produced or developed by the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (NY and CT), Ensemble Studio Theatre (NY), Philadelphia Festival Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre (Houston), Ruckus Theatre (Chicago) and the National Jewish Theatre (Chicago). Three of his scripts have appeared in the Best American Short Plays anthologies: Origins of the Drink They Named After Me (2012-13), And Yet ... (2010-11), and Little Airplanes of the Heart (1997-98). Feffer has won a number of national playwriting awards and the WMU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award.

  • English Department Common Hour Workshop ~ Tues, Nov 1, 4:30-5:30, Philomathean Room (third floor of Towers Hall)
  • Performance info TBA
Marta Werner Photo

Marta Werner

Friday-Saturday, November 11-12, 2016

Marta Werner is a professor of English at D’Youville College and author/editor of Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing; Ordinary Mysteries: The Common Journal of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne (with Nicholas Lawrence); Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts; “The World Will Not Come To A[n] [End]”: Hannah Weiner’s The Book Of Revelations; and The Gorgeous Nothings (with Jen Bervin). Most recently, she has been exploring the soundscape of the 19th- and early 20th-century through research on Cordelia Stanwood’s field journals on the birds of Maine and on the Snells’ meteorological journal kept in Amherst between 1825 and 1902 and now at rest in the College’s Special Collections.

  • Open Class Session, Fri, Nov 11, 3:05-4:15, Towers 121
  • "The Weather (of) Documents: Archive, Elements, and Elegy" (English Studies Conference Keynote, Sat, Nov 12, time TBA

Spring 2017


Kelley Grant

Fiction Writer
February 2017

Kelley Grant is the author of The World Weavers, Obsidian Temple, and Desert Rising, all of which have been published by Harper Collins. She grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country where her best friends were the books she read, stories she created and the forest and fields that inspired her. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Otterbein University. She and her husband now live on a wooded hilltop and are owned by five cats, a dog and numerous uninvited critters. Besides writing, Kelley teaches yoga and meditation, sings kirtan with her husband, and designs brochures and media.


Martha P. Nochimson

Film Scholar
April 2017

Martha P. Nochimson has had a busy and varied career.  She created and chaired the Film Studies Program at Mercy College, where she taught for 24 years.  At the same time, because she took time off intermittently between 1984 and 1990 to write for five network daytime soap operas, she also taught screenwriting for 11 years at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University.  She is the author of eight books, including David Lynch Swerves:  Uncertainty from Lost Highway to Inland Empire,  World on Film:  An Introduction, and The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Wong-Kar Wai.  She is now working on a book about series television for the University of Texas Press.  She has appeared on American, Canadian, and French television, speaking about Asian Film, soap opera, and David Lynch, respectively, and is a talking head in the HBO tribute film in celebration of the 15th anniversary of The Sopranos.  Since 1995, she has been an associate of the Columbia University seminar on Film and Interdisciplinary Interpretations.  She has covered the New York Film Festival for various print and online publications since 2001, and has also covered the Montreal Film Festival and the Istanbul International Film Festival, for Cineaste magazine, where she worked as an editor for 6 years.  One of the aspects of her work as a film and television scholar that she cherishes most is the many interviews she has been privileged to conduct with some of the most exciting artists working in the media.  Since 1990, she has frequently interviewed David Lynch, and since 2005 she has interviewed David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos on numerous occasions.  For her new book she has also interviewed David Simon, the creator of The Wire and Treme; Eric Overmyer, the co-creator of Treme; and a number of other writers, directors, and producers. 

Recent Visiting Writers & Scholars

Each year, the English Department hosts internationally-renowned writers and literary scholars who hold open class sessions, meet one-to-one with Literary Studies and Creative Writing students, and present their creative and scholarly work for the department, campus community, and general public. In recent years, we've partnered with Humanities Advisory, the Artists Series, and the Westerville Public Library to bring host visitors such as: 

  • Mark Doty (2010)
  • Christopher Merrill (2011)
  • Dorothy Allison (2012)
  • Alison Bechdel (2013)
  • Lennard Davis (2014)
  • Kenneth Goldsmith (2014)
  • Mat Johnson (2014)
  • Sandra Macpherson (2014)
  • Dana Renga (2015)
  • John Sitter (2015)
  • Timothy Corrigan (2015)
  • Christian Formoso (2015)

/ Department of English

Shannon Lakanen
Department Chair
Towers Hall 228

p / 614.823.1211
e / slakanen@otterbein.edu 

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