Welcome Back!: Reading Groups and Events

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back-to-school-conceptual-creativity-207658The smell of the classroom, the reading assignments, hands cramping after writing too much in margins, and the down-and-out copy machine…. Ah, the telltale signs that another semester has started in the English department. On behalf of Drown Unbound, I would like to welcome our new members and our returning veterans. It is shaping up to be an amazing semester with exciting classes, an intriguing new teaching cohort, and many unknown surprises along the way.

Thinking about the coming semester, we think it is important to remind you all of the many coming opportunities that the weeks ahead hold for us. We’ve compiled a list of the department’s reading groups and some select events. For those that are new and returning, we hope that you will get involved and join us in discussion and attendance at the many things that Drown offers!

Reading Groups:

Tackling T.I.N.A. (There is No Alternative)

Tackling T.I.N.A. is a Literature and Social Justice project entering its second year. At the most basic level, Tackling T.I.N.A. is a public reading group that broadens participants’ understanding of economic justice and prepares us to imagine more equitable alternatives to our current economic systems using a combination of fiction, ethnography, creative nonfiction, and popular theory.

The reading group is unique in its effort to partner with the local community for all of our programming. We invite local experts (directors of NGOs, activists, community leaders, etc.) to lead each discussion. This year, we will also be moving the discussions off campus to make the meetings more accessible to South Bethlehem residents. Moving forward, Tackling T.I.N.A. is planning to apply for grants to establish long-term partnerships with local social justice organizations, allowing participants to engage directly with the most pressing economic challenges in the Lehigh Valley.

Our capacity to achieves these goals will depend greatly on the amount of support we receive from the English Department, Lehigh University, and the community. If you’d like to get involved with Tackling T.I.N.A., please reach out to Adam Heidebrink-Bruno at adh216@lehigh.edu.

Tackling T.I.N.A. Fall Discussion Series: Third Thursdays from 4:00 – 5:30

  • Thursday, 9/20, from 4:00 – 5:30 – Narratives of Poverty and Homelessness: A Public Discussion. This discussion will use excerpts from Mathew Desmond’s Evictedto frame a conversation about how personal narratives reveal and disrupt exploitative housing practices.
  • Thursday, 10/18, from 4:00 – 5:30 – Facing Stigmas and Getting Stuck: A Public Discussion. This discussion will use excerpts from Andrea Louise Campbell’s Trapped in America’s Safety Net: One Family’s Struggle to frame a conversation about how specific welfare policies make it difficult (if not impossible) to escape undesirable economic circumstances.
  • Thursday, 11/15, from 4:00 – 5:30 –Alternative Financial Institutions: A Public Discussion. This discussion will use excerpts from Gabriel Metcalf’s Democratic by Design: How Carsharing, Co-ops, and Community Land Trusts Are Reinventing America to frame a conversation about real-world alternative financial and housing models, including co-ops, communes, land banks, land trusts, and community investment funds.

Gothic Reading Group

Prospective goths, hello! Both Megan Bruening and I are excited as the weather begins to shift, the nights stretch on longer, and the wine takes on a more bloody hue. Of course, such seasonal and sensory changes must mean that we are ready to kick off another year of Lehigh’s Gothic Reading Group. GRG is a informal group that meets roughly four times over the course of the semester in Packer House where we enjoy our company, share some wine and other snacks, and discuss current and canonized gothic tales and media. All at no cost to you–save your time and perhaps everlasting souls! Last year our creepy cabal read selections from American nineteenth-and twentieth-century fiction writers, dove into the crazed journals of Mexican director, Guillermo del Toro, watched his films The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth  through closed fingers (and in between bites of pizza), and revisited the horror of our childhood nightmares with the horrid collection of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. We are just planning our first readings now, so look for an email with more information shortly. You can also, if you dare, reach out to either Megan (meb213@lehigh.edu) or I (ktb313@lehigh.edu) as we lurk around the halls.

Calendar of Events:

5th Annual Back to School Get Together
Friday, August 31st, at 5pm.

Job Workshops, Fall 2018

  • Thursday, September 13, 4-5 p.m., Drown 10
    • Reading ads–both JIL and alt ac w/ Beth and Emily
  • Thursday, September 20, 4-5 p.m., Drown 10
    • c.v. workshop with peer review (please bring a draft). w/ Beth, Lorenzo, and Derek
  • Thursday, September 27, 4-5 p.m., Drown 10 
    • Job letter workshop with peer review (please bring a draft) Beth and Emily
  • Thursday, October 4, 4-5, Drown 10
    • Teaching portfolio workshop (bring a draft)

Wednesdays at Drown
November 7th 4-5:30, Drown 210

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