Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Visiting Position in 18th-/19th-Century British

The English Department at Ohio University invites applications for a visiting assistant professor of 18th and 19th Century British Literature for 2009-2010. Please send cover letter, vita, and three letters of application (at least one should be from a person who has observed the candidate's teaching). Review of materials will begin July 15, 2009, and will continue until position is filled.

You are required to apply online. Follow this link:


Women and other minorities are encouraged to apply. Ohio University is an EEO/AA employer. Further information about Ohio University can be found at the University's web site: http://www.ohio.edu.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Edith Wharton, Reconsidered

According to a New Yorker article by Rebecca Mead, among the info to be learned from letters Edith Wharton (née Edith Newbold Jones) wrote to her governess, Anna Bahlmann, is this little gem: Wharton referred to herself as “the naughty girl, Miss Pussy.”

Naturally, Mead cannot resist and thus goes on to write, when discussing Wharton’s critical view of her own upbringing, “… but the deprivations of Pussy Jones were cultural rather than economic…”

Edith Wharton, the original Bond Girl? Hmmm….

Sort of makes you want to re-read The Age of Innocence, doesn’t it?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Adjunct Teaching Opportunity

West Liberty University has just opened a new off campus site near I-70, just north of Wheeling, and will be expanding the number of courses they offer starting this fall (2009). They would like to increase their pool of available adjuncts to teach any additional courses they may offer (mostly English composition courses). If you're interested, send your resume to Robert Gall, the Director of the Humanities Department:

Robert S. Gall, Interim Chair
Department of Humanities, CSC 130
West Liberty University
PO Box 295
West Liberty, WV 26074

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CFP: International Conference on Sport and Society

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada
8-10 March 2010

The International Conference on Sport and Society and its companion International Journal of Sport and Society provide a forum for wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examination of sport, including: the history, sociology and psychology of sport; sports medicine and health; physical and health education; and sports administration and management. The discussions at the conference and in the journal range from broad conceptualisations of the fundamental logics of sport, to highly specific readings of sporting practices in particular times and places. The conference and journal focus on four logics of sport: Game Logic; Body Logic; Aesthetic Logic; and Organisational Logic.

As well as impressive line-up of international plenary speakers, the Conference will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the Conference Call-for-Papers. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in the International Journal of Sport and Society. If you are unable to attend the Conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic Journal.

Whether you are a virtual or in-person presenter at this Conference, we also encourage you to present on the Conference YouTube Channel. Please select the Online Sessions link on the Conference website for further details.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 9 July 2009. Future deadlines will be announced on the Conference website after this date. Proposals are reviewed within three weeks of submission. Full details of the Conference, including an online proposal submission form, are to be found at the Conference website - http://www.SportConference.com/.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Feature: Search the Blog

Since TCH is now crammed with archived information about everything from job openings to award recipients to bowling, we've added a search feature (at the top of the first page, just above the picture). Go ahead and type in your name--you know you want to.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Final Alice Munro post...

As promised, here, now, is the third and final post featuring excerpts from the work Alice Munro.

This time, a passage from a story entitled “Runaway” from the 2004 collection of the same name. The scene seems at first mystical and then maybe comical but is, as you’ll discover when you read the whole story, anything but.

Not far from the house was a wide shallow patch of land that often filled up the night fog this time of year. The fog was there tonight, had been there all this while. But now at one point there was a change. The fog had thickened, taken on a separate shape, transformed itself into something spiky and radiant. First a live dandelion ball, tumbling forward, then condensing itself into an unearthly sort of animal, pure white, hell-bent, something like a giant unicorn, rushing at them.

“Jesus Christ,” Clark said softly and devoutly. And grabbed hold of Sylvia’s shoulder. This touch did not alarm her at all---she accepted it with the knowledge that he did it either to protect her or to reassure himself.

Then the vision exploded. Out of the fog, and of the magnifying light---now seen to be that of a car travelling along this back road, probably in search of a place to park---out of this appeared a white goat. A little dancing white goat, hardly bigger than a sheepdog.

Clark let go. He said, ‘Where the Christ did you come from?”

“It’s your goat,” said Sylvia, “Isn’t it your goat?”

English Department Alumni Listserv

We have created an English Department Alumni Listserv. If you would like to be added to the listserv, please e-mail marsha.bissett@mail.wvu.edu.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Bowling Photo You've Been Hoping to See

At long last, here is a photo from the grad poetry workshop's bowling night.

Back row, from left to right: Charity Gingerich, Tori Moore, Mary Ann Samyn, Aaron Rote, Lauren Reed, Christina Rothenbeck.

Front: Kori Frazier and Erin Veith.

Not pictured: Danielle Ryle, our cheerleader.

Photo credit: The Bowling Dude

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And More Reading...

My recent beach reading was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the first novel by Mark Haddon, who has also written poetry and children's books. I really enjoyed it, mostly because of its charismatic narrator and partly because of its appeal to people whose inner child (like mine) is a science nerd, and, yes, I would actually watch a TV program about the spotted newts of Micronesia, the role of dust in outer space, or how ferns reproduce.  But even if you wouldn't, Haddon's book would still be a good read.

It is narrated by a fifteen year-old "Special Needs" boy from Swindon, UK, whose "detective work" leads him to investigate the death of a neighbor's dog and ultimately to navigate the inferno of the London Tube. Christopher Boone creatively interrogates his family members, neighbors, and environment and devises unusual strategies to meet the challenges they pose. Along the way, he has funny and provocative things to say about such varied topics as the role of metaphor in communication, the expanding universe, timetables, the population cycles of frogs, rhetorical questions, and prime numbers. 

Here's a sample:

"Mr. Jeavons, the psychologist at school, once asked me why 4 red cars in a row made it a Good Day, and 3 red cars in a row made it a Quite Good Day, and 5 red cars in a row made it a Super Good Day, and why 4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day I don't speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don't eat my lunch and Take No Risks. He said that I was clearly a very logical person, so he was surprised that I should think like this because it wasn't very logical.

I said that I liked things to be in a nice order. And one way of things being in a nice order was to be logical. Especially if those things were numbers or an argument. But there were other ways of putting things in a nice order. And that was why I had Good Days and Black Days. And I said that some people who worked in an office came out of their house in the morning and saw that the sun was shining and it made them feel happy, or they saw that it was raining and it made them feel sad, but the only difference was the weather and if they worked in an office the weather didn't have anything to do with whether they had a good day or a bad day."

Christopher's habits tend to reveal that everyone else is just as OCD (hooray!), and he refuses to be cowed by authority figures despite his discomfort or fright. I won't give away the ending, but I found it very satisfying.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Keep Reading...

Reading Terry Galloway's Mean Little deaf Queer kind of reminded me of the many long evenings I spent as a child listening to the adults in my extended family joyfully telling and re-telling stories about their shared experiences, experiences that I imagined most families tried their best to forget. As the many positive reviews note, Galloway's memoir is "funny as hell" (Dorothy Allison), "gripping" (Doug Wright), and "joyously weirdo-embracing" (Sarah Bird). And, of course, it's also worth noting that Terry Galloway happens to be the younger sister of our very own (though recently retired) Gail Galloway Adams.

So, what's Mean Little deaf Queer about?

From the Amazon book description: "When Terry Galloway was born on Halloween, no one knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system. After her family moved from Berlin, Germany, to Austin, Texas, hers became a deafening, hallucinatory childhood where everything, including her own body, changed for the worse. But those unwelcome changes awoke in this particular child a dark, defiant humor that fueled her lifelong obsessions with language, duplicity, and performance.

As a ten-year-old self-proclaimed 'child freak,' she acted out her fury at her boxy hearing aids and Coke-bottle glasses by faking her own drowning at a camp for crippled children. Ever since that first real-life performance, Galloway has used theater and performance—onstage and off—to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, Terry writes about her mental breakdowns, her queer identity, and her life in a silent, quirky world populated by unforgettable characters. What could have been a bitter litany of complaint is instead an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting take on life."

Alison Bechdel predicts, and I agree, that Terry Galloway's Mean Little deaf Queer "will fascinate, it will hurt, and you will like it."

So...read it. Now.

CFP: Forum on Masculinities and Pedagogy

Arts and Humanities in Higher Education (AHHE), a premiere international journal of teaching and learning, seeks participants for a international forum on the teaching of masculinities in the humanities. We hope to include at least one participant from various regions (US, UK, Canada, Continental Europe, Australia?).

About the Forum

The forum will center on essays responding to an important new collection published in the UK, Masculinities in Text and Teaching, edited by Ben Knights. The volume addresses the gendering of English Studies within higher education in the UK. The collection explores the history and educational practices of the subject and raises important questions of male symbolic power in a discipline where the large majority of students are female. Bringing together the study of text and narrative with classroom experiences, the volume combines textual theory and criticism and pedagogical research in a productive way.

We invite essays that reflect on the issues and concerns raised within the collection from the teaching and learning perspective of the author’s national context. Forum authors should not consider this a review of the volume so much as an opportunity to reflect on the issues the collection raises regarding teaching masculinity in higher education, the relationship of critical gender theory to pedagogical practice, and/or international differences in the teaching of masculinity. We wish to cast a wide net of reflection, using the occasion of publication of this innovative collection as a ‘jumping off point’ to broader reflections on the intersections of masculinity, theory, and pedagogy within the academy.

About the Journal

AHHE publishes significant opinion and research into contemporary issues of teaching and learning critical to educators and researchers in the far-ranging area of arts and humanities higher education.

The journal especially focuses on current teaching methods and possibilities for the future of education. Published in association with the Higher Education Research Group at The Open University, UK, AHHE has steadily expanded its international presence in recent years. This forum seeks to continue that focus by putting an important UK-based publication in an international context. For more information on the journal, visit http://ahh.sagepub.com/.

How to Express Your Interest in Participating

If you are interested in participating in this forum, please contact Dr. Michael Coventry, US Book Reviews Editor (coventrm@georgetown.edu). In your email, please include “AHHE Masculinities Forum” in the subject line and indicate your general interests in teaching and learning and research in the humanities. Please also attach a brief c.v. and any ideas you might have for your ‘angle’ on the book.

Nancy Drew Fan Club

Hey Nancy Drew fans, check out these other series books for girls... and yep, they're real:

The Outdoor Girls; The Moving Picture Girls; The Adventure Girls; The Khaki Girls; The Blue Grass Seminary Girls (motorcycle-riding girls, fyi); The Meadow Brook Girls; The Motor Maids; The Motor Girls; The Flying Girls ("resourceful and plucky"); The Girls of Central High (you know the ones…); and TCH’s favorite, The Linger-Not Girls, who, truth be told, did linger a bit…

For more fascinating Nancy info--and some criticism--, check out Bobbie Ann Mason’s The Girl Sleuth.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Keep Reading

So you’ve been reading Alice Munro and you’re feeling a little devastated---but in a good way--- a real feeling--- exquisite, even---because Munro has told you the thing you didn’t know you knew.  And she did it slowly, so you could take it all in and remember to breathe. 

And you aren’t a bit surprised when you learn that Alice Munro has had a “first-reading agreement” with The New Yorker since 1978.  Yes, 1978.  And say what you will about The New Yorker (for one thing, the poetry is frequently dreadful), this is impressive.

So, in case you haven’t read it yet, here’s a passage from “What Is Remembered” (Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage---terrific book title---2001). 

All you need to know is that Meriel’s husband, Pierre, has died and she is recalling their long life together and, also, a brief encounter she had, many years earlier, with another man, Asher.

There was another sort of life she could have had---which was not to say she would have preferred it.  It was probably because of her age (something she was always forgetting to take account of) and because of the thin cool air she breathed since Pierre’s death, that she could think of that other life simply as a kind of research which had its own pitfalls and achievements.

Maybe you didn’t find out so much, anyway.  Maybe the same thing over and over---which might be some obvious but unsettling fact about yourself.  In her case, the fact that prudence---or at least some economical sort of emotional management---had been her guiding light all along.  The little self-preserving movement he made, the kind and deadly caution, the attitude of inflexibility that had grown a bit stale with him, like an outmoded swagger.  She could view him now with an everyday mystification, as if he had been a husband.

She wondered if he’d stay that way, or if she had some new role waiting for him, some use still to put him to in her mind, during the time ahead.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Note to friends from Rachel Rosolina

Hi guys! I just wanted to let everyone know that I am officially adding my contribution to the working world. I went to Bloomington, Indiana, over Sunday and Monday to interview in person with Solution Tree (www.solution-tree.com), and they offered me a copyediting position with full benefits.

I'll be copyediting manuscripts about education and leadership, and--since this is a new position they have created--I might get to stretch into production sometimes. The plan right now is to start July 6th.

Bloomington is a lot like Morgantown, which I like. There are tons of locally owned restaurants and shops, a huge lake not far away, and Indiana University (in all of its limestone glory) is located there as well. They have a huge co-op grocery store with three locations that I am excited about. The Solution Tree office is in a renovated factory building and is amazing. All brick walls and huge windows (and apparently I get to sit by one of those windows). I'm really excited.

Hope all is going well there! Happy Tuesday!
Miss you,

IMAGE: WVU Press Staff, Rachel's sometime home, with RR front and center

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Reading

Have you begun reading Alice Munro yet?  No?!  Well, you’re missing out. 

Summarizing an entire Munro story might be possible, but it’s certainly not desirable.  Instead, simply enjoy this passage (the first of three Munro posts coming your way in the days ahead), specially chosen to whet your appetite.  

The sentences are so gorgeous---and stealthy---no one can sneak up on you like Munro---read her and you'll know just what I mean---that you might even want to read aloud.

From “Lying Under the Apple Tree” (The View from Castle Rock, 2006):

I did not speak much about myself and I did not listen to him all that closely.  His talk was like a curtain of easy rain between me and the trees, the light and shadows on the road, the clear-running creek, the butterflies, and all that part of myself that would have paid attention to these things if I had been alone.  A lot of me was under cover, as it was with my friends on Saturday nights.  Bu the change now was not so deliberate and voluntary. I was half-hypnotized, not just by the sound of his voice but by the bright breadth of shoulders in a clean, short-sleeved shirt, by his tawny throat and thick arms.  He had washed himself with Lifebuoy soap---I knew the smell of it as everybody did---but washing was as far as most men went in those days, they didn’t bother about the sweat that would accumulate in the near future. So I could smell that too.  And just faintly the smell of horses, bridles, barns, and hay.