What’s Happening: April 2016

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Lehigh Culture & Community

April is an exciting month here in Drown as we wrap up the academic year with a Literature and Social Justice visiting lecture, more pedagogy workshops, a transferable skills panel, and a number of dissertation defenses. As Dashielle suggested in her recent post, one way to deal with mid-semester stress and anxiety is to get out into your community to celebrate (and stress!) with them. Whether you need the teaching boost of a pedagogy workshop, the future model of a dissertation defense, the practical advice from a professionalization panel, or some big-picture inspiration from a guest speaker, find what will inspire and nourish you throughout the final few weeks. 

As part of the Notations series, Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, plus writer-producer of Boardwalk Empire, will speak on Tuesday, April 5, at 7:30 pm in Baker Hall. Later in the month, Notations is also presenting Michael Milligan’s solo play, Side Effects (Thursday & Friday, April 14-15, 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm, respectively; Baker Hall). Both events are free with your Lehigh ID, though you must purchase tickets in advance. Otherwise, tickets for both are $10.00.

poster for LSJ talk

On Thursday, April 7, Debbie Lee, Professor of English at Washington State University, will continue our department-wide conversation about the connections between public humanities work and our literature and social justice focus. Her lecture is entitled “Ear to the Ground: From Wordsworth to the American Wilderness,” and will be given at 4:10 pm in Linderman Library 200.

picture of west

Later that evening (Thursday, April 7), Dr. Cornel West will deliver the Tresolini Lecture at 8:00 pm in Baker Hall (free & open to the public). His talk is titled “Race and Class in America: From the Voting Rights Act to Black Lives Matter.”

The next day (Friday, April 8), Debbie Lee will lead a two-hour seminar on writing for grants and fellowships, from noon to 2 pm at the Humanities Center (lunch provided). To maximize the benefits of the workshop, participants should bring “a paragraph describing an idea they would like to get funded.”

Also on Friday, April 8, you can learn the history of Lehigh Activism (4:10 pm, STEPS 101), and then at 6:30 pm head over to the Northampton Community College, Southside Fowler Center, Barnette Room (6th floor), for the Memories of Steel: Women of Bethlehem Steel Panel.

Grad Student Appreciation Week Poster

Need to recover from all of these exciting events? Enjoy the treats of 2016’s Grad Student Appreciation Week, put together by the Graduate Life Office.

Next up, Katie Burton has invited guests to discuss how skills developed in PhD work can be transferred to other professions and positions. Be sure to attend the panel on Wednesday, April 13, at 4:10 pm (Drown 210) to learn how a Lehigh alum and other literature PhD-holders have turned their experiences into fulfilling careers outside the academy. Katie will also share what’s she’s learned as a Proseminar fellow. (And stay tuned to the blog for a write-up of these lessons sometime in the next few months!)

On Thursday, April 14th (4:10 pm, Linderman 200), the final Humanities Center speaker of the year, Elizabeth Brake, discusses “Love and the Law: Legal Support for Diverse Family Forms.” Brake’s talk will wrap up the 2015-2016 RELATIVES Lecture Series.

Poster for HC lecture

Interested in learning more about “Slaves in Bethlehem”? Our very own Seth Moglen will be sharing information about the Moravian Slave Archive and Bethlehem’s history on Wednesday, April 20, at 4:10 pm in Drown 210.

Moglen lecture flier

If you missed last month’s, don’t miss the final Amaranth Writing Series of the year on Thursday, April 21. Keep up with their social media for time and location details. (Read Robb’s post about Amaranth here.)

Interwoven with these events are the four final pedagogy workshops of the year and three of this year’s four dissertation defenses. Mark your calendars and be sure to come support your colleagues as they share the fruits of their research and teaching:

Pedagogy Workshops

  • “Supporting Developmental Writing,” George Mote (Thursday, April 14, 12:10 pm in Drown 210)
  • “Teaching Online,” Rachel Heffner-Burns (Wednesday, April 20, 12:10 pm in Drown 210)
  • “Literature and Social Justice in the Composition Classroom,” Sarah Heidebrink-Bruno (Wednesday, April 27, 4:10 pm in Drown 210)
  • “Summer Reading and First-Year Writing,” Emily Shreve (Thursday, April 28, 12:10 pm in Drown 202)

Dissertation Defenses


  • Laura Kremmel, Anatomizing the Literary Body: Romantic Medicine in the Gothic ImaginationFriday, April 15, 12 pm (Williams Hall 341).
  • Katie Burton, Canaries Beyond the Coal Mine: The Plight of the “Little Saffron Immigrant” in Victorian and Postbellum American Literature. Friday, April 22, 12 pm (Humanities Center)
  • David Fine, “The True God Slays”: Secularization and Ethics in the Postwar British NovelThursday, April 28, 4:10 pm (Humanities Center)

If there is anything I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to check back again in May for the final events of the year.

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