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Impact x2 Qais

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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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English Department Hosts 40th Annual Shakespeare Conference

The Shakespeare Association of America (SAA) held its 40th annual conference in Boston April 5–7. The SAA is the premier conference in North America for studies of Shakespeare and early modern drama. The conference alternates cities each year but had not been in Boston since 1988. Approximately 1,200 scholars from the U.S. and around the world attended.

The Boston University Department of English was the primary host for the conference, thanks to grants from the Boston University Center for the Humanities and the Department of English. The conference was held at the Westin Hotel in Boston.

The Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee was William C. Carroll, Professor of English, and formerly President of the SAA in 2005. The Chair of the Program Committee for the conference was James R. Siemon, Professor of English, currently a Trustee of the SAA. Both gave papers at the conference, as did Nathaniel Rothschild and Liam Meyer, current PhD students in the English Department. BU was also represented by a number of PhD alums, now in teaching positions at other universities, who were also on the program, including Elisa Oh (PhD 2008), Joseph Navitksy (PhD 2007), Kirk Melnikoff (PhD 2003), Kaara Peterson (PhD 2001), Edward Gieskes (PhD 1999), Andrew J. Hartley (PhD 1996), and Michael Friedman and Edward Washington (both PhD 1990)—all of whom had either Professor Carroll or Siemon as a First Reader.

The Department of English graduate theatrical troupe, Willing Suspension Productions put on its annual spring production of an early modern play during the convention as well (also sponsored by the Boston University Center for the Humanities and the Department of English). The production this year was Beaumont and Fletcher’s 1611 play, A King and No King.

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