Lecture series

Annual Dennis Turner Memorial Lecture

Each year the annual Dennis Turner Lecture is given by a prominent film scholar or practitioner, to honor the memory of this extraordinary scholar and teacher. The annual Turner lecture and scholarship was introduced by the generous donation of the Turner family in memory of Dennis Turner, who was an assistant professor of film in the Department of English from 1981 until his untimely death three years later.

Dennis was born in NY in 1946 and received his B.A. from Columbia in 1973, and was a visiting fellow at the Sorbonne from 1977 to 1978. He received his M.A. from Indiana University in 1977 and his Ph.D. in 1981. Dennis had a wide knowledge of film with special interests in French and German cinema, particularly in the work of Godard, Herzog, Fassbinder and Truffaut. He was the author of seven articles on film and was also working on a book on New German cinema, and a screenplay at the time of his death. As a teacher, Dennis inspired devotion in his students who have written of his intelligence and the warm rapport that he established with him.

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Past series

DeRoy Lecture Series

This yearly lecture coordinated by endowed DeRoy Chair, Professor Steven Shaviro, invited a variety of prominent scholars in literature, film, rhetoric and critical/cultural theory to spend a day at Wayne State that includes a meeting with graduate students and a public lecture. Lecturers have included Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge), Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology), Heather Love (University of Pennsylvania) and Tom Gunning (University of Chicago).

Open Field Reading Series

Previously known as the @Noon Reading Series, Open Field is a series of on-campus readings and Q&A's by regional and national creative writers of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Past non-fiction writers have included Benjamin Busch, essayist and author of the memoir "Dust to Dust," and Kiese Laymon, essayist, novelist, and author of the essay collection "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America." Claire Vaye Watkins, author of the story collection "Battleborn" and, more recently, the novel "Gold Fame Citrus," is among the most recent visiting fiction writers. Poets have included Jamaal May, author of Hum and The Big Book of Exit Strategies; Tarfia Faihzullah, author of "Seam;" and Chris Tysh, author of "Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic," and "Malloy: The Flip Side," among others.