English @ OU

Chestnut Reading Series
in Honor of Dean McWilliams


chest * nut

1. any of several attractive deciduous trees yellow-brown in autumn; yield a hard wood and edible nuts in a prickly bur

2. a venerable, oft-repeated story




Chesnutt, Charles W. 1858-1932

1. 1058-1932, African American author and lawyer, b. Cleveland, Ohio. Subject of study by Dean McWilliams.



The Chestnut reading series is a student-run reading series showcasing critical work by graduate students in the English department. The reading series is a venue through which we can celebrate the critical work graduate students are doing, while giving readers valuable experience in presenting and discussing their work with other members of the academic community.


Call for Papers

Attention OU English graduate students!

Are you working on a Master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation and feeling a bit lonely? Would you like a friendly audience on which to try out your conference paper? If so, we are looking for readers for winter quarter.


The following things would be appropriate for the reading series:

  • * A paper you are planning to read at a conference
  • * A chapter from your doctoral dissertation
  • * Part of a Master’s thesis
  • * The critical introduction to a creative dissertation
  • * A seminar paper

Two readers will be paired up for each session of the reading series. The readings will be conducted similar to a conference presentation, with each reader allotted twenty minutes speaking time and additional time allotted for questions. In order for the reading series committee to pair complimentary readers, we are asking for an abstract of no more than 250 words. In addition, so that we can make this opportunity the most useful for you, please indicate what you are preparing this reading for and what your deadline is (conference date, thesis defense, etc.).

If you think you might be interested in participating in the Chestnut reading series this winter, please email your abstract to the conference committee.

Thank you!

The Chestnut Reading Series Committee

Todd Snyder, Megan Titus, Chris Sims, Lydia McDermott,
Melissa Parlin, Brian Elliot, Megan Lobsinger, and Gwen Hart





If you have any questions about the Chestnut reading series, email us.