Thursday, October 16, 2014

Daniel Worden’s coedited book Oil Culture has just been published by the University of Minnesota Press

Daniel Worden’s coedited book Oil Culture, edited by Ross Barrett (Art History, University of South Carolina) and Daniel Worden (American Literary Studies, University of New Mexico), has just been published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Oil Culture is a field-defining, interdisciplinary collection of essays on the cultural life of oil. In the 150 years since the birth of the petroleum industry, oil has saturated our culture, fueling our cars and wars, our economy and policies. But just as thoroughly, culture saturates oil. So what exactly is “oil culture”? This book pursues an answer through petrocapitalism’s history in literature, film, fine art, wartime propaganda, and museum displays. Investigating cultural discourses that have taken shape around oil, these essays compose the first sustained attempt to understand how petroleum has suffused the Western imagination.

The contributors to this volume examine the oil culture nexus, beginning with the whale oil culture it replaced and analyzing literature and films such as Giant, Sundown, Bernardo Bertolucci’s La Via del Petrolio, and Ben Okri’s “What the Tapster Saw”; corporate art, museum installations, and contemporary photography; and apocalyptic visions of environmental disaster and science fiction. By considering oil as both a natural resource and a trope, the authors show how oil’s dominance is part of culture rather than an economic or physical necessity. Oil Culture sees beyond oil capitalism to alternative modes of energy production and consumption.

Contributors: Georgiana Banita, U of Bamberg; Frederick Buell, Queens College; Gerry Canavan, Marquette U; Melanie Doherty, Wesleyan College; Sarah Frohardt-Lane, Ripon College; Matthew T. Huber, Syracuse U; Dolly Jørgensen, Umeå U; Stephanie LeMenager, U of Oregon; Hanna Musiol, Northeastern U; Chad H. Parker, U of Louisiana at Lafayette; Ruth Salvaggio, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Heidi Scott, Florida International U; Imre Szeman, U of Alberta; Michael Watts, U of California, Berkeley; Jennifer Wenzel, Columbia U; Sheena Wilson, U of Alberta; Rochelle Raineri Zuck, U of Minnesota Duluth; Catherine Zuromskis, U of New Mexico.

For more information about the book, see

If you purchase the book through the above link, you can use code MN76520 for a 30% discount on Oil Culture.

Oil Culture

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ana Castillo to deliver the 5th Annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest

On Thursday, October 23, the UNM Department of English will host the distinguished writer Ana Castillo as the featured speaker for the fifth annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest. Castillo will speak at 7:00 p.m. in Room 101 of George Pearl Hall (the School of Architecture and Planning), with a reception to follow. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ana Castillo is one of the leading figures in Chicana and contemporary literature. A celebrated poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar, Castillo is the author of the novels So Far From God and Sapogonia, both New York Times Notable Books of the Year, as well as The Guardians, Peel My Love like an Onion, and many other books of fiction, poetry, and essays. Her most recent novel is Give it to Me, and the 20th-anniversary, updated edition of her groundbreaking book The Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma will be published this October by the University of New Mexico Press.

The UNM English Department established the annual lecture series on the literature of the Southwest in 2010 through a gift from the renowned fiction writer Rudolfo Anaya and his late wife Patricia Anaya. The annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest features foundational figures such as Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz (2010), Las Cruces writer and playwright Denise Chávez (2011), Taos writer John Nichols (2012), and Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday (2013). For further information, visit the Anaya Lecture Series website at

Todd Ruecker Publishes Article in College Composition and Communication

Todd Ruecker published an article in the September 2014 issue of the flagship composition journal, College Composition and Communication.  The article is titled, "Here They Do This, There They Do That: Latinas/ Latinos Writing across Institutions," and focuses on how writing instruction was shaped across a high school, community college, and university by a variety of internal and external forces such as standardized testing pressures, resource disparities, and individual instructors.  The article is part of a two-part special issue titled Locations of Writing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Students Receive Latina/o Fellowships

Congratulations to Michael Flores and Julian Sanchez, two American Literary Studies students who were recently awarded the 2014-2015 Latina/o Graduate and Professional Student Fellowship. Michael Flores is a first-year PhD student studying Native American and Chicana/o literature, and Julian Sanchez is a first-year MA student studying Southwestern literature.  

Brenna Gomez, an MFA student, also received a 2014-2015 fellowship, which is a joint initiative between the Graduate Resource Center and El Centro de la Raza. 

The fellowship seeks to increase the representation of the Latina/o graduate and professional student community in academic and professional organizations. In addition to attending monthly graduate sessions and workshops, the program provides fellows with a $1,000 scholarship to support their research. Fellows also meet with a faculty mentor for intellectual support and advisement. Dr. Melina Vizcaino-Aleman, Asst. Professor in ALS, will serve as mentor to both Michael and Julian, while Professor Dan Mueller will serve as Brenna's mentor. Congratulations go out to all three.

Community Collaboration in Technical and Professional Writing

Spring semester 2014, Dianne Bechtel’s Technical and Professional Writing students wrote documents with a community service focus. The Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) information on Alcohol was selected to fill a "safety" gap and the students wrote manuals on Alcohol Poisoning.

Students were given the opportunity to have their work make a difference in the UNM community and in their academic portfolios. Eight student documents met all assignment criteria and were selected for the competitive opportunity. John Steiner and his COSAP staff chose the winner, Audrey Martinez. COSAP worked with Audrey over the rest of the semester and summer to complete the project. We are proud to announce that the UNM COSAP website has posted Audrey’s work. To see the work, please go to  On the left side of the page, click Alcohol Poisoning? Save a Life and Click Here!  

In the process, a mutually beneficial relationship with COSAP was developed. John and his staff came to the classroom and introduced COSAP's student-services and distributed a survey to help update their research on student substance abuse at UNM. In addition, one student reported that working on the assignment taught him how to act during an emergency and it helped him take care of a girl who had been binge drinking and became unresponsive.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Alemán Elected to C19 Executive Committee

Dr. Jesse Alemán has been elected to the Executive Committee of C19—The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. He will serve as Membership Chair for the first academic organization dedicated to nineteenth-century American literary studies. C19 holds an annual conference; publishes J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists; and invites student membership for $35, faculty membership for $65, and institutional membership for $80 annually.
For more information, see:

Tiffany and Andrew Bourelle Publish New On-line Resource

Tiffany Bourelle and Andrew Bourelle have published a webtext article in the digital peer-reviewed journal Kairos: Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. The article addresses how to develop a successful multimodal curriculum in a fully online classroom, providing instructors with advice on creating instructional tools.