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A Discussion with Author Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa will be visiting the Freeman Auditorium in the HUB to be interviewed by WPSU and then will invite questions from the audience about his novel "Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist."
When Mar 21, 2018
from 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Freeman Auditorium, HUB
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Sunil Yapa is a State College native who received his BA from Penn State and his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, where he was a Hertog Fellow for Zadie Smith. The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including, Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as, London, Montreal, and New York City. He currently lives in Central Pennsylvania, and teaches in low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College. We are thrilled that he is returning to State College to discuss his novel with us.

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2018 Spring Symposium: Institutionally Speaking

Institutionally Speaking: The Object(s) of American Literary and Cultural Criticism The Seventh Annual CALS Spring Symposium
When Mar 19, 2018
from 10:00 AM to 04:30 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library
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In this symposium, six invited external presenters and an equal number of Penn State
faculty participants will demonstrate innovative ways of conducting a socially committed
criticism that responds to specific institutional crises by drawing inspiration from an
American literary or artistic object of their choosing.  If recent years have seen a crisis in
criticism as an institution, the symposium’s participants will model methods and modes
for performing critique that make a case for the ability of criticism to respond fruitfully to
the manifold institutional crises of our time within and without the university.


Welcome: 10:00 AM

Roundtable 1: 10:15 AM—Noon
Kandice Chuh, Professor of English, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Brian Lennon, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, The Pennsylvania State University
Elizabeth Anker, Associate Professor of English and Associate Member of the Law Faculty, Cornell University
John Marsh, Associate Professor of English, The Pennsylvania State University
Louellyn White, Assistant Professor, First Peoples Studies, School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University
Shirley Moody-Turner, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

Roundtable 2: 2:00 PM—3:45 PM
Christopher Nealon, Professor and Chair, Department of English, Johns Hopkins University
Richard Purcell, Associate Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University
Amira Rose Davis, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
Annie McClanahan, Assistant Professor of English, University of California, Irvine
Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
Christopher Castiglia, Distinguished Professor of English, The Pennsylvania State University

Wrap-up Session: 3:45 PM—4:30 PM

For additional information, please contact Sean X. Goudie, Director of the Center for
American Literary Studies (

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"The Art of Protest" Writing and Art Contests

How does one capture the sometimes fast-paced, sometimes patient events of protests? Can one enact protest through writing or art? Submit art pieces by January 26th and writing by March 1st.
When Mar 01, 2018
from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
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Writing contest: $200 Grand Prize, additional prizes in each category (Short Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writer under 18). Please submit to with a cover letter (name, biography, and category) by March 1st.

Art contest: $150 Best in Show with two $50 Awards of Merit. Selected pieces will be displayed in the Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery during the month of March. Please submit all entries digitally to by January 26th.

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