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Uwem Akpan

Uwem Akpan

‌Uwem Akpan

TITLE/S: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Fellow in Catholic Studies (Fall 2017)

SPECIALTY AREA: Fiction

External Webpage: http://www.uwemakpan.com/index.htm

About

Uwem Akpan was born in Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. He attended Creighton and Gonzaga Universities in the U.S. and the Catholic University of East Africa in Kenya. In 2006, he got his MFA from the University of Michigan. Uwem left the Catholic priesthood in 2015 to dedicate more time to his writing.

His stories and short autobiographies have appeared in The New Yorker, making the special edition twice. They have also been published in the Nigerian Guardian, the Hekima Review, America and O, The Oprah Magazine.

His first book, Say You're One of Them, was published in 2008 by Little Brown. It made the Best of the Year list at People magazine and nine other magazines and dailies across the U.S.. It also made The New York Times' Editor's Choice List, and Entertainment Weekly listed it at No. 27 in their "Best of the Decade". Say You're One of Them also won the Commonwealth Prize (Africa Region), the PEN Open Book Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was the 2009 Oprah Bookclub selection.

Uwem has taught English and writing in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and the U.S.. In recent years, Uwem has served as a fellow at the BMI at the University of Nevade Las Vegas, the Institute for Humanities at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library in New York.

Uwem divides his time between Nigeria and Georgia, USA.  

Education

  • BA English and French, University College Dublin
  • MA in English and American literature (Honors), University College Dublin
  • Higher Diploma in Education (Honors), University College Dublin

Courses Taught

ENGL 318: The Writing of Fiction

Mo 2:45pm-5:15pm

Akpan will work with students of all backgrounds and levels of experience to hone their skills as storytellers. He will introduce strategies that create modes of suspense, entertainment, voice, style and explore themes important and unique to the writer's voice. The course will examine the work of established writers of various races, religions, genders, colors and times. Akpan will also use Ignatian Contemplation as a way to be able to see more deeply into the characters, drama and modes of storytelling - as demonstrated by American 20th century masters: Annie Dillard, Flannery O'Connor and others.

This course covers the core Artistic requirement, and is cross-listed as Catholic Studies, African Studies, and fulfills the Multicultural requirement of the English Major. 

John F. Deane

John Deane

John F. Deane

TITLE/S: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Fellow in Catholic Studies (Fall 2016)

SPECIALTY AREA: Poetry; religious poetry; fiction

External Webpage: http://www.johnfdeane.com/

About

John is a renowned Irish poet and fiction-writer who founded Poetry Ireland and the Poetry Ireland Review in 1979. His works include “The Instruments of Art” (Carcanet 2005); “In Dogged Loyalty” (Columba 2006), a series of essays on religious poetry; “From the Marrow-Bone” (Columba 2008); and a collection of short stories, “The Heather Fields and Other Stories” (Blackstaff Press 2007). David Morley lauded his poetry collection, “A Little Book of Hours” (Carcanet 2008), as “beautiful, solemn, gravid poems, best read aloud for, like John Tavener, Deane has to be heard to be believed,” in Poetry Review. In October 2010, Deane published a new novel, Where No Storms Come (Blackstaff Press 2010), and in December of the same year he published The Works of Love (Columba 2010), a book of essays that studies poetry, ecology, and Christianity.  His more recent works include poetry collections “Eye of the Hare” (Carcanet June 2011) and “Snow Falling on Chestnut Hill” (Carcanet October 2012). He has also published a memoir, Give Dust a Tongue: A Faith and Poetry Memoir (Carcanet March 2015). His most recent work is another collection of poetry, “Semibreve” (Carcanet 2015), published in May 2015.

John F. Deane is a member of Aosdána, the body established by the Arts Council to honor artists “whose work had made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.” In 2007, the French Government honored him by making him “Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres.” In 2008, he was visiting scholar in the Burns Library of Boston College. In April, 2012, John F. Deane was Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Suffolk University, Boston. He has recently edited 8 issues of Poetry Ireland Review, and is a contributing editor to Poem.

John has earned several awards for his work, including the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry and the Marten Toonder Award for Literature and poetry from Italy and Romania. In October 2011, he became the first Irish writer to win the Golden Key of Smederevo award, a Serbian prize given annually for a body of poetry. In the same month he was also awarded the “Laudomia Bonnani” International Award from the Italian town I’Aquila.

Education

  • BA English and French, University College Dublin
  • MA in English and American literature (Honors), University College Dublin
  • Higher Diploma in Education (Honors), University College Dublin

Courses Taught

ENGL/THEO 383-081: A Faith in Poetry
W 2:45 - 5:15 pm (Mundelein Center, Room 203)

For two millennia the person of Christ has been at the center of thought and of art in the West. There is a rich and varied corpus of poetry that has engaged with the person of Christ, and has done so while mastering the art and craft of poetry as a vehicle to study faith. Poetry adds several dimensions to the personal awareness of Christ, mostly an imaginative and oblique approach that can refresh Christian faith at times of doubt and hesitation. The course, “A Faith in Poetry,” will ranges through this Christian heritage, from the great Anglo-Saxon poem, The Dream of the Rood, through the “metaphysical” poets, John Donne, George Herbert, and the so-called “Odds and Sods Men,” farmer poets like John Clare and Patrick Kavanagh. Studies of American poets such as Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, and the contemporary Christian Wiman, will be set beside Irish and British poets, including Seamus Heaney, R.S. Thomas, David Gascoyne, and the great Gerard Manley Hopkins. The poetry will be seen to be absorbed in the approach to Christ as Redeemer, Friend, Antagonist, and the development of faith through poetry after Darwin and Einstein, into contemporary times. A complementary series of explorations into how poetry is written will be offered, with the aim of reaching insights from within a poem, as well as readings of poetry from an objective and critical stance.

Ann Astell, Ph.D.

Ann Astell

Ann Astell, Ph.D.

TITLE/S: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Fellow in Catholic Studies (Fall 2015);
Professor of Theology (University of Notre Dame)

SPECIALTY AREA: History of Christianity; Medieval Literature and Spirituality

External Webpage: http://theology.nd.edu/people/faculty/ann-astell/

About

Ann is a Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where she was appointed in 2007, after serving as Professor of English and chair of Medieval Studies at Purdue University. Her research focuses on medieval literature and spirituality. She is the author of six books, including The Song of Songs in the Middle Ages (1990), Job, Boethius, and Epic Truth (1994), Chaucer and the Universe of Learning (1996), Political Allegory in Late Medieval England (1999), and Joan of Arc and Sacrificial Authorship (2003). The writing of her most recent book, Eating Beauty: The Eucharist and the Spiritual Arts of the Middle Ages (2006) was supported by a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2001-2002). She is also the editor or co-editor of five volumes on topics related to historical Christian spirituality, including Lay Sanctity, Medieval and Modern: A Search for Models (2000); Joan of Arc and Spirituality (2003, with Bonnie Wheeler); Levinas and Medieval Literature:  The “Difficult Reading” of English and Rabbinic Texts (2009, with Justin Jackson), and Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution: Readings in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (with Sandor Goodhart, 2011). Recent publications include articles in Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (2012), Franciscan Studies (2009) and in Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture (2009). A member of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, she currently serves as President of the international Colloquium on Violence and Religion and President of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

Courses Taught

THEO 321-001: Worship & Liturgy: Beauty and the Eucharist
MWF 10:25 - 11:15 (Mundelein Center, Room 203)

George W. Drance, S.J.

George W. Drance, S.J.

George W. Drance, S.J.

TITLE/S: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Fellow in Catholic Studies (Fall 2014)

SPECIALTY AREA: Theatre; Acting; Clown and Improvisation; Senior Values Seminar; Collaboration

External Webpage: http://magistheatre.org/who_we_are.html

About

George Drance has performed and directed in more than 20 countries on five continents, serving such companies as teatro la fragua in Honduras, and Theatre YETU in Kenya. He is currently the artistic director of the critically acclaimed Magis Theatre Company (magistheatre.org), praised for its skill and daring, and best known for its stage adaptations of C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce and Kalidasa's Shakuntala and the Ring of Recognition. Other acting credits include La MaMa, E.T.C., The Metropolitan Opera, The Public Theatre/NewYork Shakespeare Festival, American Repertory Theater, and Ralph Lee's Mettawee River Company. As a resident artist in La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory Company, he has toured throughout Europe and Asia with Andrei Serban's Fragments of a Greek Trilogy and as a key collaborator on many of Ellen Stewart's original pieces. He has been on the faculty of the Marist International Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and at Red Cloud High School on the Oglala Sioux Reservation. Film credits include The Light of Eons and Solidarity. He received his M.F.A. in acting from Columbia University.

Courses Taught

The Catholic Theatrical Imagination (THTR395/CATH395)
MW 11:30-12:45 (Fall 2014)

Theatre has been tied to religious experience since ancient times. This course examines the ways in which the Catholic tradition has shaped Western Theatre and how the imagination of theatre artists has been ignited by the evocative symbols and stories of faith, and formative of our religious consciousness. Students will examine representative texts of theatre which embody this relationship, and come up with creative expressions of these texts for a contemporary audience.