Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have We Fallen and Can't Get Up?


Cari first posted the link on our list for this article, "The Decline of the English Department: How it happened and what could be done to reverse it," by William M. Chace, who has taught at Berkeley, Stanford, Wesleyan, and Emory, and served as president of the last two. He is the author of 100 Semesters: My Adventures as Student, Professor, and University President, and What I Learned Along the Way.Chace is old enough in the profession to be labeled a "grumpy ol' man," but there's more in the article to discuss, if we choose to, than that. I love his ending simply as a piece of writing:

If nothing is done to put an end to the process of disintegration, the numbers will continue in a steady downward spiral. More and more of the teaching jobs in the humanities will be occupied by untenured part-timers (in English, it is now one in six). But the good news is that certain forms of intellectual history will still be written and will still be accessible to ordinary readers. Shakespeare’s plays will still be performed, even if largely unsponsored by departments of English. Literary biography will still command an appreciative readership. The better private institutions, aware of noblesse oblige, will prove kinder than large public institutions to the literary humanities, but even this solicitude will have its limits.

The study of literature will then take on the profile now held, with moderate dignity, by the study of the classics, Greek and Latin. For those of us who care about literature and teaching, this is a depressing prospect, but not everyone will share the sense of loss. As the Auden poem about another failure has it, “the expensive delicate ship that must have seen / Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, / had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.”

But we can, we must, do better. At stake are the books themselves and what they can mean to the young. Yes, it is just a literary tradition. That’s all. But without such traditions, civil societies have no compass to guide them. That boy falling out of the sky is not to be neglected.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Doctoral Graduate Makes Good

The Tenants are very pleased to hear that Dr. Virginia Broaddus (Ph.D. '02) has just been appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Trinity (Trinity Washington University in D.C.), having previously served as Interim Provost and, before that, as Senior Associate Provost and as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Tenants wish Ginger the very best of luck in her new position.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jim Harms Wins Caperton Award for Teaching Excellence


It should come as no surprise to anyone that Jim Harms has won (another!) award for his teaching: The Caperton Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing. There's a lovely writeup here, which mentions his many other teaching awards and his 14 year tenure as Director of the Creative Writing Program.


In other words, if anyone asks, yes, this professor thing does seem to be working out for him.

Congratulations, Jim!

Medieval Studies IS relevant, after all!

I need to sell my house so that I have money to host events like this:


sponsored by my colleague at Brooklyn College, Nicola Masciandro, who seems way too sweet to be that into black metal.

Lara

Monday, December 21, 2009

House For Sale

The old Farina place is going on the market..... 227 Hagans St. is a three-story brick house, built in 1920, with hardwood floors throughout (except for kitchen and bathroom which have ceramic tile) and original oak built-ins. It has eight rooms, including a finished attic. The kitchen and bathroom were recently remodeled; the kitchen has new stainless steel appliances and soapstone countertops.
The furnace and gas lines were also replaced recently, and the chimneys have been recently re-pointed. There is a working gas log fireplace in the living room. The house is in great condition and has no moisture in the basement or structural issues. It is located on a quiet, flat,one-way one-block street in South Park (between Park and Grand), within 15 minutes’ walking distance to campus.
(Cat not included.)

Asking price is $205,000. Anyone interested can contact Lara Farina at Lara.Farina@mail.wvu.edu

N.B. In deference to her neighbors, Professor Farina would prefer to sell to a family rather than to students or parents of students. Prospective buyers will be asked to spell "existentialism." If they look particularly young, they will be asked to define it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations to Dennis Allen

Congratulations to Dennis Allen who was recently named one of the Eberly College's Outstanding Teachers for 2009-2010.

As one student wrote about Professor Allen's teaching, "somewhere the baby Jesus is smiling..." We at TCH heartily concur. And we definitely agree: "he's a charmer... [and] looks like [a] Swami, only without the saffron robe."

Congratulations, Dennis!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Donde Esta Las Bibliotecas?

I'm pretty sure many of the tenants have dreamed of a library with a spiral staircase. Did anyone else re-watch the scene in the Beauty and the Beast Disney Movie where the eponymous Beast gives Belle the library as a gift? No? ... never-mind.

Anyway, on the blog "Oddee" you can view a collection of "20 of the World's Most Beautiful Libraries," find a link to more, and view additional pictures of libraries readers felt had been left out. A fun distraction from grading finals!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Poets, Again

So, yes, this really is how poets dress for pizza parties. Pretty fancy, huh? Of course there were gifts, too. From the Dollar Store. Why? Just because we like each other so much.

From left to right: Michael Belknap, Danielle Ryle, Lisa Beans, Christina Rothenbeck, Tori Moore, Lauren Reed, Micah Holmes, Aaron Rote, Matt London, Mary Ann Samyn, Charity Gingerich.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Poets
















The gentlemen: Aaron Rote, Micah Holmes, Michael Belknap, Matthew London.

And, of course, the ladies: Lisa Beans, Tori Moore, Lauren Reed, Mary Ann Samyn, Danielle Ryle, Christina Rothenbeck, Charity Gingerich.

Need I say more?


Friday, December 11, 2009

Broadway Comes to Colson Hall

Katy Ryan suggests that you:

Come enjoy original performances of drama, music, and online political creativity by graduate students in ENG 693 & the Center for Literary Computing!

7PM Tonight--Friday, Dec 11
Colson 130



(Performance by Lea Michele not guaranteed.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Creative Nonfiction Job at Emerson College

Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts

The Department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing seeks a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor in the area of Creative Nonfiction writing. An M.F.A. or other terminal degree, or equivalent professional experience, with a significant national publication record including at least one published book, are required. Essential to the position will be the teaching of undergraduate workshops, graduate level workshops in a thriving M.F.A. Program, as well as courses in column writing, feature writing, and the literature of narrative nonfiction. Ability to teach literature courses that focus on minority and diverse cultures is also essential. Additional faculty responsibilities will include maintaining professional development and scholarship activities, academic advising and participation on faculty and College committees.

Emerson College values campus multiculturalism as demonstrated by the diversity of its faculty, staff, student body, and constantly evolving curriculum. The successful candidate must have the ability to work effectively with faculty, students, and staff from diverse backgrounds. Members of historically under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

Emerson College is an Equal Opportunity Employer that encourages diversity in its workplace. Please visit our web site for a full listing of academic positions:

http://www.emerson.edu/academic_affairs/faculty/Faculty-Employment.cfm

Send a letter of application, a curriculum vita, and writing sample to Search Chair, Nonfiction Writer, The Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2009 and continue until the position is filled.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jess Queener, ABD

This afternoon, Jess Queener successfully passed the Qualifying Exam for Admission to Doctoral Candidacy. In the words of Donald Hall, her committee chair, she was "very poised, very smart, very excellent!"

As an added bonus, if you need someone to explain how to satirize a person's subjectivity in a periodical publication, Jess can help you out.

I'll Make Book You'll Be Interested . . .

Pictorial Webster's: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Creative Writing Capstone Readings

---yep, that's right: there'll be two chances to hear undergrad creative writers read their work this week: Tuesday, December 8, 2:30-3:45 p.m., and Thursday, December 10, 2:30-3:45 p.m., G11 Woodburn Hall for both dates.

Hope to see you at *both* readings. Flying WV cookies provided (probably).


Monday, November 30, 2009

Sedgwick CFP Deadline Extended

This just in:

"Although we've received many excellent submissions, we are extending the call for papers to January 1, 2010. If you were intending to submit a proposal but missed the deadline, please consider sending your abstract by January 1.

Please disseminate widely to potential participants.

"Spanking and Poetry": A Conference on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
English Student Association Conference, Feb 25-26, 2010
The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
New York, New York

Submit abstracts of 300 words or less to sedgwickconference@gmail.com by January 1, 2010. Check http://sedgwickconference.wordpress.com for further information as the conference approaches."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Take Emily Mitchell With You Wherever You Go

This just in from the Center for Literary Computing:

Emily Mitchell gave an excellent reading tonight at the MAC from her novel The Last Summer of the World, and now the recording is available for download! Thanks to the Morgantown Poets for allowing us the opportunity to hear some of our talented faculty reading off campus.

If you've got a long car ride tomorrow, put this on your ipod or burn it to a CD in case you missed the reading.

Here's a direct link to the MP3 file:
http://clc.sitespace.wvu.edu/resources/444/1258692191.mp3

Here's a link to subscribe to the RSS feed so you can stream or download any of our readings through iTunes:
http://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Feed/wvu.edu.1474514603.01474514609

And finally, here's the link to the CLC site that hosts all of our Creative Readings series.
http://clc.sitespace.wvu.edu/projects/creative_reading_podcasts

I hope you like the recording, and have a great break!

Tony and the CLC

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

While We're Plugging Books...

Michael Germana's book Standards of Value:Money, Race, and Literature in America has just been published by U of Iowa Press, and is likely to make Dr. Germana a superstar. Especially if we can find a way to harvest the money out of the cover image of the book. Congrats, Michael!



Also, Catherine Gouge has a great essay on Web-based writing courses in Writing Against the Curriculum: Anti-Disciplinarity in the Writing and Cultural Studies Classroom, edited by Randi Kristensen and yours truly. EGO members who saw my Last Lecture in April will also recognize some ideas from my essay in the collection "Performing/Teaching/Writing."

Game Plan Continued


Those of you who have been following my game plan to become a minor celebrity through my academic writing will be interested to know that the book on which this all hinges, The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, has just come out from Indiana University Press and is now rocketing its way up the Amazon charts (today: #13,827 in Books).

The Next Steps:

1. Get some people.
2. Have my people get me a cameo on Glee.
3. Wait for Robert Pattinson to call and ask me to be his wingman.

If everything goes as planned, I should soon be taking applications for members of my entourage. I'll keep you posted on the details. For now, you can just leave your 8 x 10 glossy with Amanda.

Nov. 20th update: Now #14,481 in Books. Slipping! No wonder Pattinson hasn't called.

Morgantown Dance Brings Christmas to the Tenants of Colson Hall


Irina Rodimtseva reports:

"On December 5 and 6, Morgantown Dance is presenting its biennial production of The Nutcracker. Because the Met is under renovation this year, the performance is going to be at MORGANTOWN HIGH SCHOOL.

Show times: Saturday 2:30 and 7:30, Sunday 2:30.

Another, more exciting change is new original choreography for the Snow variations by our own Renee Nicholson who is not only one of the directors of the show but will also appear in a cameo role. After a fifteen-year break and hundreds of graded papers, Renee is back on stage! Don't miss this great occasion!

Come and bring your kids--it's going to be great fun. Our young dancers have been working very hard on this show, while their parents have put many volunteer hours into sewing costumes and fundraising.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children, students, and seniors. For groups of 10 and more, the rate is $10. To buy tickets, call (304) 292-3266, go to www.morgantowndance.org, or visit Kleeb's Music, Slight Indulgence, or Arts Monongahela.

Morgantown Dance is a non-profit non-competitive community organization that gives scholarships to students from low-income families."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grand New, Brand New Book


Tom Bredehoft's Authors, Audiences, and Old English Verse, really, really hot off the press, re-examines the Anglo-Saxon poetic tradition from the eighth to the eleventh centuries and reconsiders the significance of formulaic parallels and the nature of poetic authorship in Old English.

Toronto University Press, Tom's distinguished publisher in things Anglo-Saxon, wants us to know that Tom offers "a new vision of much of Old English literary history," by tracing "a tradition of 'literate-formulaic' composition in the period and contends that many phrases conventionally considered oral formulas are in fact borrowings or quotations. His identification of previously unrecognized Old English poems and his innovative arguments about the dates, places of composition, influences, and even possible authors for a variety of tenth- and eleventh-century poems illustrate that the failure of scholars to recognize the late Old English verse tradition has seriously hampered our literary understanding of the period. Provocative and bold, Authors, Audiences and Old English Verse has the potential to transform modern understandings of the classical Old English poetic tradition."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

English 102 Brownbag on Themed Courses Next Tuesday


Jason Stupp announces:

"Our English 102 special interest group has put together a brownbag, roundtable discussion on how to create a 102 course that focuses on a topic of interest to the instructor (and, hopefully, the students!). We will speak about how to set up a themed course as well as the many considerations that guide such a class. In addition, we will have sample assignments, syllabi, and other handouts to help those considering teaching a themed course get started. Everyone is welcome to attend, and we will have drinks, cookies, and more to bribe you with.

This brownbag will be held on Tuesday, 11/17 in Colson 223. We hope to see you there!"

Monday, November 9, 2009

First World War Poetry Archive


Some of you have met Stuart Lee and will be happy to read about the continued success of his First World War Poetry Archive at Oxford University, which was announced yesterday in the arts section of the New York Times. Siegfried Sassoon's manuscripts will come on line on Wednesday, 11 November, still called Armistice Day in England. The project includes similar collections of the work of Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg and Vera Brittain. The WWI Poetry Archive also includes the digitized Great War Archive, which collected and digitized over 65,000 items from members of the public, now in Second Life, also represented on YouTube with selected interviews and appropriate graphics. Even if you don't find yourselves teaching in the period, the manuscripts provide an excellent chance for your students to see poetry in process, as well as an excellent example of designing, building, and maintaining digitized literary materials.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jim Harms and the Poetic All-Stars

Kudos to Professor Jim Harms, who as guest editor (poetry) of this month's Connotation Press (www.connotationpress.com) has put together a stellar lineup of poets from around the world.

Jim's special section leads off with work by Tomaz Salamun, frequently mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature and featured on the back of today's New York Times' Week in Review. Things hit a brief rough spot with poems by a fiction writer masquerading as a poet (whose name and mug shot are suspiciously similar to mine) before soaring again with poems by Professor Mary Ann Samyn, MFA graduate Maggie Glover, WVU BA in English graduate Ben Doyle (now Ben Doller), and a dozen (non-WVU-affiliated) others.

There's nothing more to want -- except, perhaps, for an acrostic poem or haiku—or, heck, even a grocery list—from the pen of Professor Dennis Allen. But then we'd be greedy.

Connotation Press is founded by WVU MFA in Creative Writing grad Ken Robidoux. Check it out.

Salud!

Mark

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The 2nd Annual EGO and COW Book & Bake Sale

Take heart literature lovers, for reasonably priced books and baked goods will always sell. The English Graduate Student Organization and Council of Writers held their second annual fundraiser to great success, exceeding last year's total by nearly 600 big ones. Thanks to the efforts of the English Department and its supporters we managed to raise 1,500 dollars for this year's events! Every last penny will help ensure our grad student organization run events will continue to flourish and grow in scale. Even the Appalachian Prison Books Project made off with some new books, gratis.

EGO plans to put their funds toward the Spring 2010 Graduate Student Colloquium. Our event will bring a nationally recognized speaker to campus and host graduate students from parts near and far in a conference for the exchange of creative and critical work in fields of English. COW will be hosting the wonderful Dinty Moore for a reading and workshop this Spring.

It was an eventful twenty-four hours including, but not limited to: lifting, sorting, baking, pricing, tasting, wrapping, selling, running, raffling, adventuring in a cargo van after shopping carts (borrowed with PERMISSION), one man in a Guy Fawkes mask (identity unknown) and lots and lots of coffee. Many thanks are due to all those who baked, donated books, volunteered their time and shopped the sale and I'll do my best to credit them all here. If I overlook someone I promise it wasn't on purpose and beg you to add that person's due thanks in the comments.

Special thanks to: Rebecca Schwab, who organized a gorgeous bake sale (yes, it was gorgeous); Lindsey Joyce for designing and distributing our fetching flyer; Sarah Einstein, for making sure the volunteers were fed and caffeinated; Kori Frazier for PR services; Doug Terry, enlister of volunteers extraordinaire (second year running!); Andrea Bebell, van co-pilot and WVU Press liaison; Erin Johns, her husband Mike and Sohinee Roy, room set-up and table wranglers; Tim Adams for the mother-load of book donations and Amanda Riley for assistance with the locating and relocating of said cache.

Thanks goes to Macall Allen (our WBOY "in" and lovely wife of PhD student James Holsinger) for getting the sale on channel 12. To Rhonda Prisner (talented mother of PhD student Kayla Kreuger) for yet again making us the most beautiful baskets of homemade soaps and other goodies to raffle off. JoAnn Dadisman deserves special thanks from all of us and her students for treating the latter to the baked goods of their choice on her tab. JoAnn, they looked more than thrilled to be getting a sugar rush on the house. And thank you to Mary Ann Samyn for allowing us to sell copies of her new book Beauty Breaks In.

Thanks to the Talented Bakers of the department: Charity Gingerich, Jessica Duda, Ashley Kunsa, Jason Markins, Sohinee Roy, Erin Johns, Teresa Pershing, Heather Frese, Elissa Hoffman, Layla Al-Bedawi, Bryan Coyle, Christina Rothenbeck, Rachel King, Kelly Sundberg, Rebecca Schwab, Allison Hitt, Tori Moore, Cari Carpenter, and JoAnn Dadisman.

Thanks to all those who helped set-up, work, and tear down the sale: Maggie Hannan, Irina Rodimsteva, Nevena Stojanovic, Andrea Bebell, Danielle Ryle, James Greene, Kristen Davis, Patrick Faller, Katherine Harclerode, Micah Holmes, Courtney Novosat, Bryan Coyle, Teresa Pershing, Bryan Coyle, James Holsinger, Lisa Detweiler Miller, Lauren Reed, Kori Frazier, Jason Kapcala, James Greene, Aaron Percich, Rebecca Schwab and Joel, Kate Ridinger, Christina Rothenbeck, Layla Al-Bedawi, Jason Markins, Randi Smith and Brad Eddy.

Thank you, everyone, for your help and support with the sale. It shall return again next November!

Bright Star...



Yes, the poets went to the movies again, and yes, we were changed and we did stagger from the theater.

Before: photos on the stairs at the Warner. After: no photos, please—.

John Keats. Fanny Brawne. It was Romantic and romantic.

It wasn’t what happened—we knew what was going to happen—it was how. Just like with the best poems: it was how.

(Photo: Michael, Micah, Tori, Lauren, Mary Ann, Lisa. Also in attendance: Danielle and husband Justin, Charity, and Special Guest Poet/Photographer Erin Veith.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reminder: Graduate Application Seminar Tonight

Emily Mitchell reminds us that "the grad school application seminar is this evening at 7pm in Colson 130. Anyone who is thinking about pursuing graduate study in English is encouraged to attend."

A Genuine Letter from Santa

. . . to your little kid, or to your friend's little kid, will do wonders to combat the ugly rumors that the bewhiskered Victorian spirit of Xmas is dead. TO THAT END, there are applications in the English Department Mailroom which will be forwarded to the Jolly Old Elf himself (at $5.00 ea.) and which will guarantee that a letter arrives in the hands of its intended sometime around December 15, 2009, addressing the urchin by name and indicating his or her name for you (if that name is socially acceptable) composed and signed by Mr. Claus (no automatic pens are used to sign the letter). SC, being a socially responsible sort of fellow, allows the sawbuck to be kept by the Monongalia County Literacy Volunteers in conjunction with the United Way Corporate Volunteer Council. Remember: Literature can only come after Literacy, in life as in the dictionary.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Structurally Sound Time to Die

"Claude Lévi-Strauss, the French anthropologist who transformed Western understanding of what was once called “primitive man” and who towered over the French intellectual scene in the 1960s and ’70s, has died at 100," reports the New York Times today. In the days when Structuralism was king (not the days of the Silent Movies, either) he reigned, as much for his work with myth and its contexts and contents as for his work with individual groups, most often in Brasil. A scholar like him should live and die once in a hundred years.

Monday, November 2, 2009

EJS ABD: Congratulations Erin

Lisa Weihman asks us to join in congratulating Erin Johns Speese "on the completion of her Examination for Formal Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy. Erin braved the potentially sublime experience of the exams with characteristic intelligence and enthusiasm. Brava!"

Panel on Applying to Grad School: Thursday at 7:00

If you are planning on applying to grad school in English, please consider coming to the grad panel this Thursday evening at 7pm in 130 Colson Hall. Patrick Conner, Mary Ann Samyn, Brian Ballentine, Emily Mitchell, and Michael Germana will be fielding questions you might have on the process and progress of graduate study in English. Take advantage of this great opportunity!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Local Boy (and Prison Book Project) Make Good

The Daily Athenaeum just ran a great story about Jason Stupp's innovative English 102 class. It also has a nice photo of Katy and publicizes the Appalachian Prison Book Project. You can check it out here.

Creative Writing's New Web Site

Hello, friends --

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Creative Writing Program's new Web site, which you may access here:

http://creativewriting.wvu.edu/

or here:

http://creativewriting.wvu.edu/about_the_program

or here:

http://creativewriting.wvu.edu/stories

but, alas, not here (yet):

DennisAllenForProfessorOfTheMillenniumAndChauffeurToTheStars@greatteaching.wvu.edu (forthcoming)

We're proud of our students, our faculty, and our staff (which is to say everyone in the Department) -- and we hope our Web site shows what makes the Creative Writing Program at WVU special.

Big thanks to the Creative Writing Program's graduate assistant, Emily Watson, as well as Rebecca Herod and Dustin Mazon in the Eberly College, for their fine work on the Web site.

Enjoy!


Mark Brazaitis
Professor of the Moment and Chauffeur to His Children
Oh -- and Director of the Creative Writing Program

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Doctoral Student Meeting


The annual doctoral student meeting will be this Friday, October 30th, from 3:30-4:30 in 223 Colson, the Seminar Room. As it turns out, Lindsay will not be able to attend, but she did send gift bags so the first twenty people to show up will receive legwarmers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Writing Center Podcasts

The WVU Writing Center has several informational/instructional podcasts available for download. Our two newest episodes are:

# 3 - Making the Most of your Writing Center Visit. In this episode John and Nathalie talk about ways to make your tutoring session successful.

and

# 4 - How to Write a Professional Email (with Attachments). In this episode, Emma creates a screen cast to show the audience the most appropriate ways to write a professional e-mail. From the salutation, to adding an attachment, she includes everything that you need to know.

If you don't have iTunes visit the official WVU Writing Center website to stream all of our podcasts from your web browser.

Stay tuned to Tutor Talk, as there will be plenty more video podcasts on the way!

We recommend downloading Tutor Talk through iTunes via this link. iTunes is a free download to all users both Mac and PC. If you don't have iTunes, stream any of the podcasts from your browser by clicking HERE.

Pumpkins!

Can you guess which pumpkin belongs to which TCH blogger? Oh, and yeah, we did grow them ourselves. And thanks, they are pretty darn impressive. We're glad you like them.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

James Kincaid Lecture

The Department of English and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences are sponsoring the next Jackson Distinguished Lecture on October 27, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in 130 Colson Hall.

James Kincaid's lecture is titled "Here’s Looking at You Kid." The lecture will discuss what we see when we look at a child. More to the point, what is involved in manufacturing that "child" in our culture, in causing us to look at all, and in forming the way we see? What constitutes illicit looking at kids? This talk is an experiment in looking, shifted over to the field of reading, exercising on The Catcher in the Rye a reading-through-the-eyes.

James Kincaid is Aerol Arnold Professor of English at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting and Annoying the Victorians.

For more information, contact Donald Hall, Department of English, West Virginia University at 304-293-3100 or donald.hall@mail.wvu.edu.

Poets Do the Darnedest Things


What you have heard is true. The grad poetry workshop did end early last evening so that we could go, as a class, to see Where the Wild Things Are. And it was like watching a really intense lyric poem, so we’re pretty sure it still counts as class time. And we won’t spoil it for you, but we’re thinking it’s not a movie for kids. Or at least not for the footed pajama-wearing toddler who was up way past bedtime. This was the 9:30 show, after all, and teenagers were out in full force to prove that “school nights” mean nothing nowadays. We’ll include two photos for your enjoyment. One because we like the word “condiments,” and one because it’s actually pretty good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's Your Story? (6 words or less)

So. . . .today is the day you've all been waiting for: the first-ever National Day on Writing.

In addition to browsing the many, many contributions to the WVU gallery of writing at http://writing.wvu.edu, do some writing.

Today's challenge: tell a story in 6 words or less. Ernest Hemingway (the inspiration for the challenge) offered: For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.

What's your story?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Five College Dissertation Fellowships

Five College Fellowships offer year-long residencies for doctoral students completing dissertations. The program supports scholars from under-represented groups, and/or scholars with unique interests and histories, whose engagement in the Academy will enrich scholarship and teaching. Normally, four fellowships are awarded each year.

Each Fellow is hosted within an appropriate department or program at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College or Smith College. (At Smith, recipients hold a Mendenhall Fellowship.) Fellows are provided research and teaching mentors and connected through the consortial office to resources and scholars across the five campuses, which include UMass Amherst. The office also supports meetings of the Fellows throughout the year.

The fellowship includes a stipend of $30,000, a research grant, health benefits, office space, housing or housing assistance, and library privileges at all five campuses belonging to the consortium.

While the award places primary emphasis on completion of the dissertation, most fellows teach at their hosting institution, but never more than a single one-semester course.

Date of Fellowship: August 31, 2010 to May 31, 2011 (non-renewable)
Stipend: $30,000
Review of Applications Begins: December 1, 2009
Awards will be announced by March, 2010

Application Materials are available here.

Ethel Smith and Ruby Dee


Ethel Smith provides the following report on her recent visit to Virginia Tech: "October 12th at Virginia Tech, Poet and Distinguished Professor Nikki Giovanni led more than 12 acclaimed artists in the reading of 100 of the best African American poems, which will be a book, CD, and DVD. But it was the amazing and acclaimed Ruby Dee reading poems by Gwendolyn Brooks who made us all feel bigger and better than we were. Other noted artists included Virginia Fowler, Joanne Gabbin, Val Ward Gray, Novella Nelson, and Ethel Morgan Smith. The event ended with the group singing "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks led by Ruby Dee."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is this a good-looking audience or what?

A large and enthusiastic and pretty darn attractive audience gathered for the COW reading this past Friday at Zenclay. Readers included creative nonfiction writers Sarah Einstein and Kelly Sundberg, fiction writers Aaron Hoover, Jason Freeman, Tony Clavelli, Justin Crawford, and Rebecca Schwab, and poets Lauren Reed, Danielle Ryle, and Christina Rothenbeck. Host Aaron Rote delivered his usual inspired haiku introductions, and copies of Joinery, the limited edition MFA publication, were available. In addition, in case you needed further convincing that our MFA program is the best ever, Aaron Hoover told us just that, remarking that we were, in fact, a much more receptive and attentive crowd than anything Purdue could ever muster. And Lauren Reed concurred with a story about a car accident, a phone tree, a text message ("Aaron Rote will come get you!"), and a rainy night rescue from near-certain doom. Elissa Hoffman won the raffle (a copy of Kevin Oderman's limited edition chapbook), and Mark Brazaitis, Ellesa Clay High, Ethel Morgan Smith, John Ernest, and yours truly nodded at all the right moments. Thanks to our COW officers and to our wonderful readers. See you next time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today in Pride Week: Friday = Dance Party

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
All Day, Mountainlair Food Court: Stop by our booth as we wrap up Pride Week and get ready for our fundraiser benefit.

10:00 PM, Vice Versa, 331 High St.
Vice Versa alternative dance club, presents a fundraiser benefit for BiGLTM. Members of the group will be on hand to distribute informational pamphlets, fliers, promotional items and other free stuff, and to accept donations.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today in Pride Week: Thursday = Sense (including our own Professor Komisaruk) and Sensibility

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15
11:30 AM, Gluck Theater, Mountainlair
BiGLTM in association with the Office of Multicultural Programs presents a brown bag lunch and discussion on the film "Prayers For Bobby."

7:00 PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair
WVU Faculty Forum. A panel discussion with five distinguished WVU lecturers who will discuss several topics of interest to the LGBT community. Open audience Q&A will follow. Panelists include Dr. Scott Crichlow, Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science; Dr. Daniel Ferreras, Associate Professor, Dept. of Foreign Languages; Dr. Adam Komisaruk, Associate Professor, Dept. of English; Nina Spadaro, Lecturer, WVU Honors College; and Melissa Chesanko, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Women's Studies.

Women's Studies Website

The Center for Women's Studies has a brand new website. You can check it out at http://wmst.wvu.edu/

Super Baozi

Since we don't have a Fall break around here, I think we all could use a minute and a half interlude in which a steamed bun and a sushi roll recreate a scene from a Bruce Lee movie. Relevance? Once again, we'll call this Cultural Studies.

Super Baozi vs Sushi man from sun haipeng on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today in Pride Week: Wednesday = Wedding Day


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14
11:20 AM, Mountainlair Free Speech Zone
Equality Weddings. A series of mock ceremonies in which WVU students get "married" in protest of all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that real same-sex couples continue to be denied.

7:00 PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair
Stephen Skinner, attorney, LGBT advocate, and chairman of the board of Fairness WV, gives a presentation on the current state of LGBT legal equality in West Virginia. What rights do we have, what rights do we not have, and what can we all do to help bring about change?

Jobs: Frederick Douglass Teaching Scholars, Summer 2010

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is offering summer teaching opportunities to graduate students entering the final year of terminal degree and doctoral programs and preparing to be college teachers. These summer teaching positions are available at various PASSHE universities throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Selected scholars will teach and/or co-teach one course during one of the two 5 or 6 week Summer Sessions. The respective dates vary among each university but run from May 2010 through August 2010. At the discretion of individual campuses, Douglass scholar applications may be considered for full or partial year appointments.

In keeping with the spirit of Douglass' life of public service, the Frederick Douglass Teaching Scholars Summer Program is designed to provide graduate students teaching experiences and potential employment opportunities within university settings that are strongly committed to cultural diversity. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage applications from diverse candidates, especially candidates from historically under-represented groups who will enrich the cultural diversity of our Universities.

Minimum requirements are: Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Enrollment into a doctoral program required and ABD or current doctorate degree preferred; academic background in one of the fields taught; and at least three favorable letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals in the student's field, including the student's advisor. Preferred: experience teaching or as teaching assistant. Scholars will be compensated as adjunct faculty, according to each university's collective bargaining agreement. Scholars may be expected to reside in on-campus residences or housing in an apartment that may be provided at no charge and to participate in campus activities. The appointment is for the scholar alone, not families, and scholars should have their own transportation. Priority consideration would be given to completed applications postmarked by November 6, 2009. Application and submission instructions can be obtained online at:

http://www.lhup.edu/equity/frederickdouglass.htm

Please contact each campus representative for more information about and academic disciplines.

Call for Papers: Open Words

Special Issue of the Journal

Open Words: Access and English Studies

Devoted to Disability Studies


Open Words: Access and English Studies is a journal dedicated to publishing articles focusing on political, professional, and pedagogical issues related to teaching composition, reading, ESL, creative writing, and literature to open admissions and non-mainstream student populations.

We will be devoting issue 5.1 (Spring 2011) to articles focusing on Disability Studies.


We invite manuscripts to explore Disability as identity, Disability Rights as a political movement, disability as rhetorical and as theoretical lens, disability and pedagogy, as well as the ways that

disability intersects with other approaches, identities, histories, and movements. Given the inter- and intra-disciplinary nature of the field of Disability Studies, a diversity of methodologies and modes of inquiry are invited.


How has disability shaped or been shaped by English studies? How can Disability Studies approaches help us to better understand issues of access? How are words such as “basic,” “normal,” “mainstream,” or “remedial” rhetorically charged by disability and how does this shape

space and practice? What are the locations of disability in education, and how might this geography be remapped?


Contact Guest Editor Jay Dolmage with submissions or with questions:

Jay.Dolmage@mail.wvu.edu


Deadline for Submissions: May 22, 2010


View past issues of Open Words HERE.

Alumni News: Marisa Klages

TCH always welcomes news of former tenants who have left to make their way in the larger world. Today, we're happy to be able to share the following update from Marisa Klages (Ph.D. '08):

I'm an Assistant Professor at LaGuardia Community College. In the Spring I was appointed as the Director of Outcomes Assessment and I have also been appointed as the Project Director for a new grant funded by the Gates Foundation entitled "Global Skills for College Completion" which is LaGuardia Community College in conjunction with the League for Innovation in Community College and Knowledge in the Public Interest.

I recently had an article published in the Journal of Basic Writing with my co-author J. ELizabeth Clark entitled "New Worlds of Errors and Expectations: Basic Writers and Digital Assumptions." I also had another article published with my co-authors Patricia Sokolski and Evelyn Burg in the Journal of Learning Communities Research, "Beyond *Parallel Play*: Creating a Realistic Model of Integrative Learning with Community College Freshmen."

Today in Pride Week: Tuesday=Pie

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13
12:30 PM, between Woodburn Circle and Armstrong Hall: Pie In the Face of Intolerance

For a small donation, throw a pie at volunteers from all over the WVU campus, including BiGLTM president C.G. Shields, and cardboard cutouts of a couple of your least favorite people.

8:30 PM, Blue Moose Cafe, corner of Walnut St. and Spuce St.

The Rev. Kris Haig, pastor at First Presbyterian Church and lecturer in New Testament studies at Waynesburg University, discusses contemporary Biblical scholarship on sexuality issues, and modern-day interpretations of what the New Testament texts really say about sexual identity. Audience Q&A follows. BiGLTM will provide a free coffee or beverage for all in attendance.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Recent Achievements in English: October 2009

RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS IN ENGLISH
News of Student, Faculty, and Staff Professional Activity
Issue 2009 No. 6

REBECCA SKIDMORE BIGGIO's essay "The Specter of Conspiracy in Martin Delany's Blake" appears in African American Review 42.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2008): 439-454.
*
MARK BRAZAITIS's short stories appear in recent volumes of New Madrid ("Mouse") and the Notre Dame Review ("Classmates"). His story "One Long Last Drive," featuring -- gasp -- a hallucination in the form of John McCain -- is forthcoming in as-yet-untitled anthology on the 2008 presidential election. His short story "The Incurables" was shortlisted for the Best American Short Stories 2009. Ever since he stepped into John Ernest's class to read a poem unannounced, he has had fantasies about doing this in other venues, including, most recently, the Sideling Hill Exhibition Center.
*
From ALLEN MENDENHALL: The Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives has accepted my paper, tentatively titled "Haunted by History: A Literary Critique of the Dred Scott Decision and its Historical Treatments," for publication in 2010 (Vol. 1, No. 2).
*
SCOTT WIBLE published a review of Internships: Theory and Practice by Charles Sides and Ann Mrvica in the October 2009 issue of Technical Communication Quarterly.
*
KIRK HAZEN will give the keynote address at the 2010 OSU Linguistics Pedagogy conference.
Details at http://linguistlist.org/issues/20/20-3182.html
*
MICHAEL GERMANA's book Standards of Value: Money, Race, and Literature in America, was published by University of Iowa Press. See http://www.uipress.uiowa.edu/books/2009-fall/germana.htm for details.
*
Publications by ETHEL MORGAN SMITH:
(Essays)
"Outside of Dreams" Shaping Memories: Reflections of African American Women Writers, ed Joanne Gabbin. University Press of Mississippi.

"Deferred Dreams" Thatminoritything.com-April 6, 2009 (featured writer)

"Mother" The New York Times- Motherlode a very popular online site about parenting-May 9, 2009

Note: That Minority Thing is an online community for individuals and groups currently underrepresented in the mainstream media. It’s a place where minority voices - ethnic, racial, religious, the disabled, gender and sexual minorities - can come together, united in their interest and need to express themselves. In addition to being a forum for interaction and discourse, That Minority Thing is also a reliable filter for news from across the globe that is of special interest to these traditionally underrepresented groups. By providing specialized news and a distinctive community, That Minority Thing is the go-to site for meaningful dialogue about the unique issues facing the diverse audiences in our society today. And it is the second largest of such a site.

Honors and Awards:
West Virginia Writers Contest-Second prize-novel-The House of Flowers
West Virginia Writers Contest-Third prize-play for the stage-African Violets
*
KIRK HAZEN received a Research Experience for Undergraduates supplement to his current NSF grant on Englishes in Appalachia. This grant, funded by the NSF, allows for interactive learning about linguistic research for two undergraduate students.

KIRK HAZEN will also serve on the National Science Foundation Linguistic Advisory Panel for Fall 2009, his eighth semester in all.
*
NATALIE SYPOLT recently won first place in the West Virginia Fiction Competition sponsored by Shepherd University (judged by Silas House) and the Ruth Gabehart Prize sponsored by the Kentucky Women Writers' Conference. She was also awarded second place in the James Still Short Story Contest judged by Ann Pancake. Additionally, Natalie has had two flash fiction pieces accepted for publication: "Boy in the House" will appear in the fall edition of Flashquake and "What Will Be Saved" will appear in a upcoming issue of The Queen City Review.
*
HEATHER FRESE: three of my poems ("August--," "Domesticity," and "Did it Call to Mind the dead in Your Life, Too") got picked up by the journal Front Porch.
*
MARILYN FRANCUS presented "'When will these discoveries end!': Gothic Motherhood in Radcliffe's The Italian" at the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference in October.
*
LORI ZERNE presented "That Amiable Family: The Redefinition of Female Duty in Sarah Scott's Millenium Hall" at the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference in October.
*
DONALD E. HALL's article "Building Bridges" appeared in the inaugural issue of the journal TEACHER-SCHOLAR: THE JOURNAL OF THE STATE COMPREHENSIVE UNIVERSITY. He served on the NCTE/MLA response panel to the new state standards for English Language Arts proposal being overseen by the American Council on Education.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Students, Faculty, and Staff Members in English are encouraged to send notices of all recent professional achievements to donald.hall@mail.wvu.edu for collation and distribution to the department in the next issue of "Recent Achievements in English," appearing soon.

Today In Pride Week

All Day: WVU Coming Out Day / Blue Jeans Day
Stop by our booth in the Mountainlair Food Court for information about National Coming Out Day and the coming out process. Wear blue jeans to show your support for those WVU students who are coming out today!

6:00 PM, Rhododendrom Room, Mountainlair:
Dr. T. Anne Hawkins, interim clinical director at the Carruth Center, speaks about the coming out process. A panel discussion follows, featuring coming out stories from members of WVU's student LGBT community.

Last Call

. . . for contributions to the online gallery of writing: http://writing.wvu.edu/

The deadline is midnight tonight (Oct 12).
The gallery goes live a week from tomorrow (Oct 20).


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Congratulations to Irina

Always the bearer of good tidings, Professor Ryan relates:

"I am honored to announce that Irina Rodimtseva has passed her booklist exam and joined the austere company of ABD. Serving on her committee were Gwen Bergner, Tim Sweet, Kayode Ogunfolabi, Katy Ryan, and Nancy Condee (U of Pitt). Congratulations to Irina! A wonderful performance, an extraordinary journey."

Friday, October 9, 2009

We could help


Read the heartbreaking article here and join me in responding by collecting money to have cookies sent to Harvard's English Faculty. It would a positive and sweet thing to do, given the state of their affairs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CFP: "Spanking and Poetry": A Conference on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

"Spanking and Poetry": A Conference on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
English Student Association Conference, Feb 25-26, 2010
The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
New York, New York

Submit abstracts of 300 words or less to sedgwickconference@gmail.com by November 15, 2009. Check http://sedgwickconference.wordpress.com for further information as the conference approaches.

"When I was a child the two most rhythmic things that happened to me were spanking and poetry." (Tendencies 182)

Eve Sedgwick lovingly, if none too gently, slapped open the sphincter-tight boundary rings of critical scholarship on the sexual and affective relations between bodies. This conference invites continued play with the tools she created for examination of "all the different surfaces that make a self for most of us, printed pages, 'our' ideas, institutional relations and activism, vibrations of a voice, the gaping abstractions and distractions of creativity, the weird holographic projections of our names and public personae, the visible and impressible extent of the parts of our bodies" (Tendencies 104-05). We welcome paper proposals on any aspect or application of her critical, literary, and artistic work, inviting scholars to broadly consider and reconsider Sedgwick's intersections with and influences upon their fields. In the spirit of her own perversion of academic style, we particularly encourage proposals that expand the boundaries of the conventional conference paper through experimental or creative critical practices. We also seek papers engaging with Sedgwick's pedagogical practices and proposals, as expressed in her written work or as performed in her classes at The Graduate Center or other institutions.

Professors Jonathan Goldberg and Michael Moon of Emory University will be presenting the keynote address entitled "On the Eve of the Future." Professor Goldberg will be discussing the Eve Sedgwick's unpublished work that he's assembling as her literary executor, while Professor Moon will speak about the continuing impact of Sedgwick's work.

Topics may include but are in no way limited to
Aesthetics of the critical eye
Affect and the critical project
Beside the repressive hypothesis
Binary structures and Buddhist practice
The body in queer theory
Experimental critical writing
Fisting-as-écriture
Habit
Identification and loss
Near-miss pedagogy
Non-Oedipal & postmodernist psychologies
Performativity and peri-performativity
Queer gods and goddesses
Queer theory and mortality
Reparative reading
Sedgwick and Ricoeur's 'hermeneutics of suspicion'
Shame and generic discipline
Textiles & fiber art

The conference is open to scholars at all levels. Contact Tracy Riley and Margaret Galvan at sedgwickconference@gmail.com with any questions about the conference.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ethel Morgan Smith Reading on October 15th

Author Ethel Morgan Smith will be the featured speaker during Morgantown Poets 7 p.m. literary event Thursday, Oct. 15, at Monongalia Arts Center (MAC).

The reading is free and open to anyone interested in the arts. The MAC is at 107 High St., Morgantown.

Smith is the author of From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community at Hollins College as well as the winner of numerous prizes and awards.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coming Soon: Pride Week at WVU

During the week of October 12th, WVU will celebrate Gay Pride Week. The program offers a series of events designed to promote visibility of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and allied community at WVU, to raise awareness about issues of importance to that community, and to have a little fun. BiGLTM (Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian & Transgendered Mountaineers) and others have planned a series of events, speakers, and panels that will appeal to a wide variety of students, faculty, and staff at WVU.



MONDAY, OCTOBER 12
All Day: WVU Coming Out Day / Blue Jeans Day
Stop by our booth in the Mountainlair Food Court for information about National Coming Out Day and the coming out process. Wear blue jeans to show your support for those WVU students who are coming out today!

6:00 PM, Rhododendrom Room, Mountainlair:
Dr. T. Anne Hawkins, interim clinical director at the Carruth Center, speaks about the coming out process. A panel discussion follows, featuring coming out stories from members of WVU's student LGBT community.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13
12:30 PM, between Woodburn Circle and Armstrong Hall: Pie In the Face of Intolerance
For a small donation, throw a pie at volunteers from all over the WVU campus, including BiGLTM president C.G. Shields, and cardboard cutouts of a couple of your least favorite people.

8:30 PM, Blue Moose Cafe, corner of Walnut St. and Spuce St.
The Rev. Kris Haig, pastor at First Presbyterian Church and lecturer in New Testament studies at Waynesburg University, discusses contemporary Biblical scholarship on sexuality issues, and modern-day interpretations of what the New Testament texts really say about sexual identity. Audience Q&A follows. BiGLTM will provide a free coffee or beverage for all in attendance.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14
11:20 AM, Mountainlair Free Speech Zone
Equality Weddings. A series of mock ceremonies in which WVU students get "married" in protest of all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that real same-sex couples continue to be denied.

7:00 PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair
Stephen Skinner, attorney, LGBT advocate, and chairman of the board of Fairness WV, gives a presentation on the current state of LGBT legal equality in West Virginia. What rights do we have, what rights do we not have, and what can we all do to help bring about change?

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15
11:30 AM, Gluck Theater, Mountainlair
BiGLTM in association with the Office of Multicultural Programs presents a brown bag lunch and discussion on the film "Prayers For Bobby."

7:00 PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair
WVU Faculty Forum. A panel discussion with five distinguished WVU lecturers who will discuss several topics of interest to the LGBT community. Open audience Q&A will follow. Panelists include Dr. Scott Crichlow, Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science; Dr. Daniel Ferreras, Associate Professor, Dept. of Foreign Languages; Dr. Adam Komisurek, Associate Professor, Dept. of English; Nina Spadaro, Lecturer, WVU Honors College; and Melissa Chesanko, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Women's Studies.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
All Day, Mountainlair Food Court: Stop by our booth as we wrap up Pride Week and get ready for our fundraiser benefit.

10:00 PM, Vice Versa, 331 High St.
Vice Versa alternative dance club, presents a fundraiser benefit for BiGLTM. Members of the group will be on hand to distribute informational pamphlets, fliers, promotional items and other free stuff, and to accept donations.

How to Submit Writing to the Gallery

Step-by-step guides to help you (and your students) contribute writing to writing.wvu.edu can be downloaded as PowerPoint or Word documents. Deadline for contributions: Oct 12.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Congratulations to Jason Stupp

Professor Ryan reports:

"Congratulations to Jason Stupp, who passed his booklist exams with grace & verve. If world enough and time, his committee--Michael Germana, Catherine John (U of Oklahoma), Gwen Bergner, John Ernest, and Katy Ryan--would have continued to ask questions about his important work for many more hours. Well done, Jason!"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Five Month Anniversary

It was just a little over five months ago that the Tenants came up with the idea of doing a blog one sultry afternoon in their clubhouse when there was nothing good on TV. Since then, we've passed the 5,000 "unique visitors" mark (and all our visitors are unique) and are rapidly approaching 10,000 pageviews.

In celebration of that, we're posting the map showing which states our visitors are from. The different shades of green, admittedly a bit difficult to see given the picture size, show the numbers of visitors from each state. Aside from West Virginia and Pennsylvania, we are particularly popular in New Jersey (possibly because of that mention on Real Housewives) and Iowa. Sadly, there are eight states where our existence is as yet unknown so, if you know someone who lives in one of these places, have them give us a look so we can finish up with this and get started on our collection of state quarters.

P.S. The blog has also had visitors from 45 other countries. More on that later.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Congratulations to Beth Staley

Congratulations to Beth Staley who passed the Examination for Admission to Doctoral Candidacy.


Beth's sure-to-be dazzling dissertation will focus on Emily Dickinson's "fragments."

Beth's booklist committee included Dennis Allen, John Ernest, Katy Ryan, Marta Werner (D'Youville College), and Mary Ann Samyn, all of whom were impressed and proud, a little humbled and, truth be told, a little tearful at the conclusion of such a lovely exam.


Congratulations, Beth!


Celebrate Writing--Please!

Please demonstrate the value of writing at WVU by submitting a sample of new _or existing_ writing to http://writing.wvu.edu/

Simply upload documents (or links to existing online writing) to the gallery website or at http://writing.wvu.edu/. Be sure to choose the Local Gallery called "Celebrate Writing at WVU" as the site where work will appear.

Deadline for Submissions: Oct 12, 2009 (one entry per person). Gallery submissions will be on public view starting October 20, 2009.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spring Course Offering From Our Friends in Education

Are you looking for a graduate elective for Spring 2010?

C&I 694(c): Special Topics: Media Literacy in Education
4-6:50 T

This course will have three dimensions: 1) exploring research and common concerns related to children/adolescent engagement with media and popular culture; 2) understanding debates about identity formation and representation of culture in the media; and 3) exploring strategies for bringing the study of the media and popular culture into the K-12 curriculum.

Readings will include: Buckingham, D. (1996). Moving images: Understanding children’s emotional responses to television; McCloud, S. (1993). Understanding comics: The invisible art; selections from various media and cultural studies theorists (e.g., Adorno and Horkheimer, Althusser, Sholle and Densky, Jenkins).

Contact Dr. Sheila Benson (sheila.benson@mail.wvu.edu or 293-9445) for further information. Graduate-level students from across programs are welcome

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society

Scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the doctorate are invited to apply for the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship, a year-long residential fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society. The purpose of the post-dissertation fellowship is to provide the recipient with time and resources to extend research and/or to revise the dissertation for publication. Any topic relevant to the Society's library collections and programmatic scope, and coming from any field or disciplinary background, is eligible. AAS collections focus on all aspects of American history, literature, and culture from contact to 1876, and provide rich source material for projects across the spectrum of early American studies.

The Society welcomes applications from those who have advance book contracts, as well as those who have not yet made contact with a publisher. The twelve-month stipend for this fellowship is $35,000. The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow will be selected on the basis of the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the appropriateness of the project to the Society's collections and interests, and, above all, the likelihood that the revised dissertation will make a highly significant book.

Further information about the fellowship, along with application materials, is available on the AAS website, at http://www.americanantiquarian.org/post-diss.htm. Any questions about the fellowship may be directed to Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at AAS, at perickson@mwa.org.

The deadline for applications for a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship to be held during the 2010-2011 academic year is October 15, 2009.

NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY!!!!!!!!


Just a reminder to celebrate. The official holiday is supposed to celebrate the "importance of proper punctuation." I'd like to think we can also celebrate rebel, rude, and rowdy punctuation.

If you check out this site, you can download a PDF file of a recipe that will allow you to cook the "official meatloaf of national punctuation day."

How Old English Stuff Becomes New


One honking big hoard of gold and silver items has just been announced in England. The contents are dated to the seventh century, the age of Bede. "Experts said that the collection of more than 1,500 military artefacts, including helmets, sword pommels and sword hilt ornaments possibly looted on the field of battle 1,400 years by a victorious warlord, is unparalleled in size and may have belonged to Saxon royalty," according to a description with a video at Timesonline. The BBC reports the story here, and there is currently a mass of photographs on Flickr. (That incomparable online resource for this is provided to us by Dr. Stuart Brookes, University College, London, via ANSAXNET.) Hilary Attfield sent me the incredibly rich Daily Mailsite.

My first take on all of this, beyond what is said in the sources I've given you, is that the prevalence of Latin inscriptions, all from the Bible insofar as I can see now, seem to have talismanic purposes at the same time that they assert those Christian warrior notions of "God as my shield, etc." For those teaching Beowulf and who adhere to the notion that the poem is from the period of this hoard, here is further material cultural comparanda; for us late daters, it confirms what the poet tells us of heirloom swords and shaky Christianity of the poet's ancestors, to the degree that this poem is about English culture, having been written in English, although it engages no English folks in it, excepting a passing reference to Offa of Mercia who was known throughout Europe.

For those who aren't teaching or reading in the Old English period, try to imagine how a parallel discovery would open discussion in your own area of study.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Contribute to the Journal Open Words: Access and English Studies

Hi All,

I am an editorial board member for this journal, and I hope some of you might consider contributing. The journal is now very actively looking for articles! Stay tuned, as I'll also be guest-editing a special issue of the journal on Disability Studies in the coming year.

CFP: Manuscripts for the Journal Open Words

Open Words: Access and English Studies is a refereed journal dedicated to publishing articles focusing on pedagogical, political, and professional issues related to teaching composition, reading, ESL, creative writing, and literature to open admissions, at-risk, and non-mainstream student populations. We seek critical work in areas such as instructional strategies, cultural studies, critical theory, classroom materials, technological innovation, institutional critique, student services, program development, etc., that assist educators, administrators, and student support personnel who work with students in pedagogically difficult settings. Articles should consider the particularities of these settings—issues, for example, surrounding the identifier of “open access,” intersections of race, class, gender, disability, and sexuality, regional and cultural differences, and the range of competencies students bring with them to classrooms—in light of the aims of English studies to empower students’ critical and creative endeavors.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please send an electronic copy to both John Tassoni at tassonjp@muohio.eduand William Thelin at wthelin@uakron.edu.