Mike Augspurger had an essay accepted for publication in the journal College Literature. The essay is entitled “Archibald MacLeish and Professional Leadership,” and will appear sometime in 2009. The abstract is included below.
In the late 1930s, a group of writers associated with the journal Partisan Review viciously attacked the poetry, public profile, and political essays of Archibald MacLeish. In the eyes of these critics, MacLeish, a respected poet, accomplished journalist, and outspoken opponent of totalitarianism, was not only a hack and a sell-out, but a nascent fascist. In revisiting these critiques, however, this essay argues that the vehemence of the feud between MacLeish and Partisan Review was rooted in a profound clash over the proper role of the professional class. While the Partisan writers insisted that intellectuals needed to separate themselves completely from the masses, MacLeish proclaimed that poets, artists, and other professionals had a responsibility to provide an affirmative vision of a democratic American future. Revising this story helps not only to defend MacLeish against the Partisan writers' influential attacks, but also highlights the importance—often underestimated—of debates over professional identity in American literary history.
Geography Professors Reuben Heine and Norm Moline were heavily involved as members on the Planning Committee, moderators of panels and co-leaders of the main field trip at the first annual Upper Mississippi River Conference: “Weaving Multiple Uses into Sustainable River Communities” on August 21-23 in Moline.
This conference, spurred on by Col. Sinkler of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local citizen organization River Action and supported by government environmental agencies and area universities (including Augustana), brought together professional environmental scientists, environmental educators, planners, government officials and citizen activists with NGOs to discuss success stories and continuing challenges related to river management and community riverfront development.
Steve Klien, whose dissertation examined the political rhetoric of Republican presidential candidates, was invited by WHBF-TV (CBS4) to provide expert analysis on Sen. John McCain's nomination acceptance address at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, September 4, 2008. The opportunity was facilitated by Steve's former advisee, alumna Angie Mitchum '08, a Speech Communication/English Writing major and reporter for CBS4. Angie made the initial contact, wired Steve's mics and ran the camera shoot. Steve's abbreviated turn at punditry can be found on the CBS4 website; under the section on "Featured Videos," click on the link for "Local Political Expert Reacts to McCain's Speech."
Marsha Smith will lead a Contemporary Books Discussion Group on Wednesday, September 17th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the Malmros Room of the Bettendorf Public Library. The book being discussed is "Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet."