Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Congratulations to Samsara Counts, winner of the Citizen Day poetry contest!

Congratulations to Samsara Counts, winner of the Citizen Day poetry contest! 


Citizen Day was held in honor of Claudia Rankine's visit to GWU as a call for students to write about what it means to be "citizens" at GWU in a time of political/racial polarization. 

The Citizen Project emphasizes the importance of creating a space where student experiences at GWU are highlighted. It will be a compilation of essays and poems that address a variety of experiences student had at the George Washington University. It is important to reflect on how the environment shapes student understanding of what it means to be a citizen and impacts their participation in student activities on campus. 

Samsara's poem will run in the Multi-Cultural Student Services Newsletter. She will be invited to read their work at the MSSC Graduation Celebration. All other submissions will be integrated into an archive.


Samsara Counts is a freshman Computer Science and Creative Writing double-major from Fort Worth, Texas. She is the Vice President of GW’s Association of Queer Women and Allies (AQWA) and serves on the Executive Board of the Association of Computing Machinery. Her poems are forthcoming from the Fall 2016 edition of Wooden Teeth and have appeared in several anthologies, including the Poetry Society of Texas’ and the America Library of Poetry’s student anthologies.

Her poem is featured below:


Tentative, I kiss her goodbye in the dawn,
pulling back to check if anyone witnessed us.
We walk holding hands; I was her date to a ball.
Visibility is new to me: worry sometimes bleeds
into the thrill of freedom, though I know, as citizens, we belong.

Later, sitting cross-legged in a circle of women, we bemoan 
the propositions we’ve received online from “adventurous couples”
and the impossibility of liking more than one gender. I tell
of my mother’s lips drawn together, dejection distorting her voice
with a question she’s asked before: “But you still like men, right?”
I’ve wandered through attractions and relationships enough

to know. Yet I cannot forget, months ago, stifling tears on the train; in Foggy,
how my voice shook calling my friend. At her apartment, I collapsed
into her arms, sobbing: another man ignored the limits I set, so extensive
because of the men who did the same before. I blocked him
on my phonenot in memory, not in nightmares.

The semester dragged. I scraped by. Disability Support Services
helped navigate the chaos: permission to miss some classes
for seven weeks that conflicted with outpatient.
Even as I juggled commuting, new medications, arranging every exam,
as a citizen under ADA, recovery was possible
without taking a semester off. I graduated from outpatient.

Now, in Gelman, I stare at a woman’s bloody face
and broken body: an accessory in the video by the rapper
my school hired to headline our Spring festival. Reading his lyrics, all I feel
is the ghost of men’s hands on my body: lips pressed
against mine, hands reaching. I cannot escape

the panic in my chest, heightened by the comments online: stop being
so sensitive. He’s just an artist. You want to stifle his freedom
of speech, as a citizen. Your poor virgin ears. All rappers
are misogynistic. And that’s fine? My stomach churns

as it did, months ago, in that metro bathroom when I rid myself
of any feeling I could. Now, I don’t move, sitting with the fear
and the disgust. I remember, at fourteen, looking in the mirror,
loathing my body and how his presence seeped
 into every part of my life. Only summer made him stop.

Even then, for three years, I saw him at school: every
day, happy, with other girls. They’re just lyrics. Grow up.
say the men defending the rapper, my classmates.
In their Facebook profiles, all are smiling. Of course they’re here.
I unclench my fists. I sign the petition to remove the rapper as headliner, visible.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fall 2016 Course: Literature of the Americas

Literature of the Americas
Professor David Mitchell
ENGL 1320.10
CRN: 17182
Tuesday/ Thursday 12:45-2:00 pm
1957 E Street 113



 Literature of the Americas examines the history of developments in the representation of indigenous peoples and other minorities in South, Central and North America.  We will begin with the Spanish invasion of Mexico (New Spain) and move to stories of encounters with Native Americans during the European colonization of New England.  Our investigations will bring us in contact with key narrative modes specific to the formation of American literature including: indigenous myths, stories of first contact, captivity narratives, witch trial testimonies, noble savage romances, slave narratives, anthropologies of the Harlem Renaissance, as well as Chicano/a and Native American resistance literatures.  Theories of racial subjugation will form the framework for our deliberations including: Robert Berkhoffer’s The White Man’s Indian, Barbara Harlow’s Resistance Literature, Houston Baker’s Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.  Our goal will be to recognize the significant counter-histories that challenge the dominant narrative of American nation states as forming in a “waste and howling wilderness.” 


Fall 2016 Washington Conference on Trauma: Listening to Trauma: Insights and Actions

Listening to Trauma:
Insights and Actions
Thursday, October 20th-
Saturday, October 22nd 2016
Location: The George Washington University 
Marvin Center
The George Washington University is happy to be hosting the second Washington Conference on Trauma this fall. This multi-disciplinary conference will feature a broad range of presenters and formats, addressing the effects of severe psychological trauma on individuals and society.
Clinicians, academics and researchers will share knowledge and experience through plenary talks, paper panels, small group roundtables (including clinical roundtables for mental health professionals) and possible online study groups made available before and after the conference.
The study of trauma, Judith Herman points out, has a history of “episodic amnesia.” Knowledge gained is periodically forgotten and must be persistently reclaimed. After almost 15 years of combat in the Middle East and of rising attention to a broad range of stressful events, American culture, its media, academics and clinicians have become increasingly responsive to the diverse nature and complexity of traumatic experience.
FEATURED PLENARY PRESENTERS
Robert Jay Lifton, MD  |  Columbia University
Cathy Caruth, PhD  |  Cornell University
Françoise Davoine, PhD  |  Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Jessica Stern, PhD  |  Harvard University
Dori Laub, MD  |  Yale University
M. Gerard Fromm, PhD  |  Austen Riggs Center
Lisa Page  |  The George Washington University
Clarence Page  |  Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, NPR
Nancy Sherman, PhD  |  Georgetown University
Richard Chefetz, MD  |  Washington, DC
Jane Shore  |  The George Washington University
Howard Norman  |  University of Maryland

INVITED SPEAKERS
Arthur Blank, Jr., MD  |  Washington Center for Psychoanalysis
Allen Dyer, MD  |  The George Washington University Department of Psychiatry
Nancy Goodman, PhD  |  Contemporary Freudian Society
James Griffith, MD  |  The George Washington University Department of Psychiatry
Harold Kudler, MD  |  Department of Veterans Affairs
Marilyn Meyers, PhD  |  Washington School of Psychiatry
Evelyn Jaffe Schreiber, PhD  |  The George Washington University Department of English


The Conference will open Thursday, October 20, with a plenary session at 10:30 am at the Marvin Center. Registration opens at 9 am on the third floor of the Marvin Center. The Conference ends after the last plenary session on Saturday, October 22, which begins at 5:00 pm and ends at 6:30 pm.
Forum on Psychiatry and the Humanities
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Washington Center for Psychoanalysis (WCP)
Washington School of Psychiatry
The George Washington University Departments of Psychiatry and English
Contemporary Freudian Society Washington, DC Program
Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: MAY 15, 2016