The Department of English hosts first-ever Welcome Back Reception

1On September 12th, faculty, staff, and graduate students, and friends of the department  celebrated the beginning of a new year with the department’s first-ever Welcome Back Reception, and introducing our new faculty and graduate students to their new colleagues.  With food aplenty, over fifty friends and colleagues gathered, ate, drank, and were merry, mingling and conversing in Roy Cullen.  The event highlighted the recent research project of Houstoun Research Professor, Hosam Aboul-Ela, who spoke on the subject of “The American Style of Partition: Korea, Texas, Vietnam, and Yemen.”  He asked the audience to consider what were the extent and true nature of American imperial ambitions within its literature and culture as well as the kind of imprint American imperialism leaves on people outside of its borders.  

1Applying the theoretical writings of Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Korean thinker Paik Nak-Chung, Aboula-Ela examined the novels of American author Cormac McCarthy, Korean author Hwang Sok-Young, and Egyptian author Sonallah Ibrahim.  He thanked many in the department for their willingness to look at drafts and for sharing their work with him, something he praised for strengthening his work.  As he closed his presentation, he asked the audience a driving question for his research: “‘Why is it so important we not know about the world?’”  The department would like to give special thanks to Nancy Luton and her generous support of the event.

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