Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Commencement, for those who missed it

This past Sunday marked WVU's 144 Commencement and several of your beloved professors (Harms, Sweet, Weihman, Ballentine, Gouge, Farina, Almasy, Brady, Beach, and yours truly) were there to hood the grads and shake hands with the undergrads. If you haven't watched the official video, you really should: it's very sweet. Plus, right around :26 some English faculty are, momentarily, captured on screen during the Eberly grad ceremony. Look for us in that big group in the center of the stage. We're at the far right, in the second row.

And here's a pic from the undergrad ceremony, which really isn't as interminable as you might imagine. This year's event clocked in at just under two hours. Pretty impressive.

Congratulations to all our graduates. And remember to keep in touch---and fill out those exit surveys!

Doctoral Student Presentations 2012-2013 (and looking ahead to 2013-2014)

Always ready to read a paper to you..... From left to right: Ms. Bebell, Ms. Smorul, Dr. Greene, Ms. Queener. Not pictured but visually represented by her paper: Ms. Pershing.
The Tenants are still trying to get things in order after the chaos of Finals. Just today, we discovered a huge pile of doctoral student conference presentations from the past year that were under Mark's dressing table where, apparently, he was using them as a footrest. They've now been organized and archived, as follows (with apologies for the variations in the structure of the entries....we could have normalized them, but it's spring, and we're feeling lazy, and, anyway, it's not the 18th Century). We're not so lazy that we won't correct errors, though, if someone points them out.

Andrea Bebell:
 “Little Ladies Locate the Pacific: U.S. Imperialism in Mary Krout's Alice's Visit to the Hawaiian Islands,” American Comparative Literature Association. Toronto, ON, Canada; 4-7 April 2013.
Dominique Bruno:
“Sympathy with Leprosy and Judgment with Necro-Poetics: Swinburne’s “The Leper” and the Dramatic Monologue”

Presented at “Forms and Fashions:” The Fiftieth Anniversary Conference for The Journal of Victorian Poetry: Morgantown, West Virginia (April 20, 2013)

 “Laboring or Active for the Capitol? Hannah Arendt, the Active Life and the Bildungsroman in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games” Presented at "Pippi to Ripley: The Female Figure in Science Fiction and Fantasy": Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York (May 3, 2013)

Mike Buso:
§  “‘No Summer For This Woman’: The Debt of Deborah in Davis’s Life in the Iron Mills,” Midwest Modern Language Association: Women in Literature Panel, November 2012
§  “ ‘Feared and Hated’: Rethinking the X-Men as Homosexual Metaphor,” College of Wooster Global Queerness Conference, October 2012

Sreya Chatterjee:
2013 “Creating Transnational ‘borderlands’ through Literature: A Comparative Study of the fiction of Eilis Ni Dhuibhne and Mahasweta Devi”. Proposal accepted for the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference. Cincinnati, Ohio. November.

2012 “Public Cinema and the ‘Media-ted’ Revolution: Corruption, Resistance, and the Contemporary Public Sphere in Rang de Basanti [Paint me Yellow]”. 41st Annual Conference on South Asia, Center for South Asia, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. October.

Ryan Fletcher:

“’Where Our Sins Lie Unatoned’: Violence, Family, and Redemption in Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and the Works of Flannery O’Connor.” RMMLA, Boulder, CO: October 12, 2012.

Yvonne Hammond:

Mid-West Modern Language Association, November 2012
Paper Presented: Extending Credit: Gender and Social Recognition
Paper Presented: Behind Cell Doors: Prison Rape in U.S. Culture

Southwest Popular Culture Association, February 2013
Paper Presented: Myth-taken Identities: Gender, Sex and Power in Snow White

James Holsinger: 

“Managing Uncomfortable Sessions in the Writing Center.” Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association (MAWCA). California, PA. April 2013. With Dr. Nathalie Singh-Corcoran, Alexis Smith, Amanda Clark, and Rebecca Doverspike. 

“Troubling Trans-Atlanticism: Dramatic Publications and Closet Drama in Late Eighteenth-Century America.” American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). Nashville, TN. November 2012.

“‘For the Benefit of the Orphans and Widows of Soldiers’: Performance, Payment, and Early American Theatrical Advertisements.”  Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA). Cincinnati, OH. November 2012.

Sharon Kelly:

“The Queer Orientalism of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.”  Queer Studies Conference, Asheville, NC 4/5/13

Battlestar Galactica and the Madwoman in the Attic: The Interruption of the Apparition.” 
International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, FL 3/23/13

Susan Lantz:

“Millennials – Made in America” Keynote speech for the WPWV/Chapter ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Fall Meeting. November 2012. 

Kayla McKinney:

“Frontier Conflicts: Endless Exploration and Gender Limits in World of Warcraft.” Gaming Cultures across Three Continents. Bangor University, Bangor Wales. May 8, 2013.

“The Healing Road: Journeys through Grief in In Memoriam and Neil Peart’s Ghost Rider.” Victorian Poetry Journal Conference: Forms and Fashions. April 18, 2013. West Virginia University. 

“Being a Little More Victorian: Nineteenth Century Mentoring Models and the Modern Composition Classroom.” West Virginia Association of College English Teachers at Potomac State College, Keyser, West Virginia. December, 2012.

Courtney Novosat:  

“(Re)Imagining Nation: Radical Reform and Women’s Utopian Fiction of Nineteenth-Century America,” NeMLA, 2013, Boston, MA

Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang:

“'That Kind of Nonsense': Reverse Migration and the Paradox of Societal Expectation in Ayi Kwei Armah’s Fragments." African Studies Association (ASA), Baltimore, MD. November 21-24, 2013.

"The Game Changing WoW Effect: Binaries and Agency in World of Warcraft's Academic Research." Computer Gaming Across Cultures: Perspectives from Three Continents, Bangor University, Wales, UK, May 8, 2013

Aaron Percich:
“Rereading, Writing, and Terror: Frank Harris’ Transatlantic Bombs.” Modern Language Association, Chicago, Illinois (January 9-12, 2014)

“Irish Mouths, English Tea(pot)s, French Eyes: Poe’s Irish Oral(ident)ity.” American Literature Association, Boston, Massachusetts (May 23-26, 2013)
“Secrets, Shadows, and the Sea: Cross-Constructive Selfhood in Woolf’s The Voyage Out and Conrad’s The Shadow Line.” Modern Language Association, Boston, Massachusetts (January 3-6, 2013)

Teresa Pershing:
“Private v. Public Selves: On Tweeting, Teaching, and Being a Graduate Student.” Modern Language Association Conference. Chicago, IL; 9-12 January 2014.
"Displacing Rationality: Positioning Sensibility and Errancy in Godwin's Memoirs of the Author of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman," American Comparative Literature Association. Toronto, ON, Canada; 4-7 April 2013.

Jess Queener:  

“Sentiment vs. Sensation; Dickens vs. Gaskell”: RSVP Austin, TX, Sep. 2012

Katherine Richards:

“Showing the 'avatar': Representations of Powerful Femininity in Louisa Stuart Costello's Memoirs of Eminent Englishwomen.” East Central/American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (EC/ASECS)Baltimore, MD; November 1-3, 2012

 Dibs Roy:  

“My Project is Sexy and You Better Know It”—The Reterritorialization of Online Gaming by
Ivy League Institutions at Computer Gaming Across Cultures: Perspectives from Three Continents, Bangor University, Wales, UK, May 2013. 

Reassessing the Nuclear Public Sphere: Nuclear Counterpublics and Deabstracting the ‘Secret’ Bomb through Nucliteracy at MIT8-Media in Transition International Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 2013.  

“Leave the men where they lay, they'll never see another day”: Retributive Femininity and the Gendered Apocalypse in Joss Whedon’s Firefly” at the Eaton Science Fiction Conference, University of California, Riverside, April 2013.  

“Snakes and Ladders”: Effectively Handing Tutor-Student Interaction in Writing Centers at Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Associations Conference (MAWCA), California University of Pennsylvania, April 2013.  

“Transforming Nonplaces to Places: Gaining Agency from Trauma in Partition Rehabilitation Camps” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference (ACLA), Toronto, Canada, April 2013.  

“Being Maria: Apocalyptic Modernism and Regendering the Messiah in Metropolisat the Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference (PCA/ACA), at Washington, D.C., March 2013.

{Ed: Not surprisingly, he collapsed from exhaustion on May 20th near the statue of Hypnos, the Roman god of Conference Presentations, on the south side of Colson Hall's French Garden.}

Kate Smorul:

“’A Very Human Song’: The Aesthetics of Performance in Angelina Weld Grimké and Gwendolyn Bennett,” Comparative Drama Conference, April 2013

Erin Johns Speese:
“Mater Sacer: Addie as Sublime Object in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.”  Panel: Modernist Aesthetics and the Spectacle of Violence.  Modernist Studies Association Conference 14: Modernism and Spectacle.  Las Vegas, NV.  19 October 2012.
Valerie Surrett:

“’Before We Went to Sameness’: Dehumanizing Public Spaces in Lois Lowry’s The Giver.” 66th Annual RMMLA Convention. Boulder, CO. 11 October 2012.

Jeff Yeager:  

Waiting for Lefty: Re-Reading In Dubious Battle through Clifford Odets’s Drama.”  The International Steinbeck Conference, San Jose, CA.  May 2, 2013.
“’All the Horses Share a Common Soul’: Myth, Identity, and Deep Ecology in Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses and John Steinbeck’s To a God Unknown.  All the Pretty Horses: the Cormac McCarthy Society’s 20th Anniversary Conference.  Berea, KY.  March 7, 2013.
Phil Zapkin:
“The Hollow Plantain Stem: Shame, Masculinity, and the Stability of Empire in Death and the King’s Horseman.” Comparative Drama Conference. Stevenson University, Baltimore, MD. (April 2013). 

“Transcendent Silence: Christ’s Silence as Traumatic Encounter with the Real in The York Mystery Plays.” (anti)Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Conference. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. (March 2013).  

“‘What I Want to Be’: Performative Shaming and the Maintenance of Empire in Cloud Nine.” Global Queerness: Sexuality, Citizenship, and Human Rights in the 21st Century. College of Wooster, Wooster, OH. (October 2012). 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies

The Department of English and the
Eberly College of Arts & Sciences present 

“Imagining Romantic Emotion”

a public lecture by

Richard C. Sha

Professor of Literature at American University


Thursday, June 6, 2013
7:30 p.m.
130 Colson Hall
Free and Open to the Public
Reception to Follow 

This lecture opens the 2013 WVU Summer Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies, “Romantic Science and the Romantic Imagination,” which Professor Sha will lead from June 6-9.  The public is invited to the lecture; other seminar events require registration.  The seminar is sponsored by the Department of English and the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences. For additional information, contact the Department of English at 304-293-3107 or visit

Richard C. Sha is Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C. His publications include Romanticism and the Emotions, co-edited with Joel Faflak (Cambridge, forthcoming); Perverse Romanticism: Aesthetics and Sexuality in Britain, 1750-1830 (Johns Hopkins, 2009); and The Visual and Verbal Sketch in British Romanticism (Penn, 1998).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dr. Justus Gets A Job

We managed to pry those telegrams out from under the stable boy, and we're glad we did. The first one notified us that Jeremy Justus (PhD 2012) has been offered, and has accepted, a tenure-track job at the University of Pittsburgh--Johnstown.

The Tenants are planning on having champagne with dinner tonight in celebration.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mike Buso is Famous, Part II

Colson Hall after Finals, Spring 2013 (artist's conception)
As is always the case with the end of the semester, the world has been too much with us recently, and grading and Starbucks have certainly laid waste our powers. In short, the Tenants have been a bit harried, Colson Hall is a mess, and we are way behind on reporting the latest news. Just yesterday, Mary Ann found a large stack of postcards stuffed carelessly in a lozenge box in her summer sitting room (the small one), and the missing sheaf of unopened telegrams, it turned out, was being used as a sort of booster seat by the stable boy at the dining table in the Servants' Hall.

To begin catching you up:

Mike Buso has been awarded The Winifred South Knutti Graduate Scholarship in Women's Studies for 2013-2014 for his work in LGBT and Gender Studies and his General Awesomeness. The Tenants would like to think that the scholarship is accompanied by a small statuette (a "Winnie") with a very densely engraved plaque.

Congratulations to Mike!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Mary Ann's Summer Sitting Room (the small one)
The housekeeper, Mrs. Marshall, has announced that it's time to open up the summer wing of Colson Hall so the maids are whisking the dust covers off the furniture in the Solarium, the F. Scott Fitzgerald dining room, the card room, and Mary Ann's small and large summer sitting rooms. We also saw one of the gardeners heading toward the croquet lawn today, which is a definite sign that spring is truly here.

Given the general spirit of renewal, it seems like a good time to tidy up The Tenants of Colson Hall as well (the blog; the Tenants themselves are always impeccably turned out). And so, we've edited down the author list since some of the former Tenants of Colson Hall are now the tenants of other halls. If this includes you, and you'd like your author privileges restored, perhaps so that you can post a New Yorker style "Letter From Bowling Green" (or wherever), just drop yours truly an e-mail.

EGO President's Farewell Address, and Announcement of the 2013-2014 EGO Administration

My Fellow EGOists,
Well chums, looks like we made it through another year more or less in one piece.

I’ll keep this fairly short. On behalf of myself and the other 2012-2013 EGO officers, thank you all for contributing to a successful year of EGO events and activities. Yes, we had a few rough patches, but overall I think everything went well. We introduced two new lecture series—the Current Thoughts and EGO Arts series—and the colloquium was a triumph. Again, our thanks to everyone involved in making these events happen; hopefully the next administration will continue to get your fantastic support.
Also, a special thanks to Lowell Duckert, whose advising and help this past year has been invaluable

Speaking of the 2013-2014 EGO Administration, the new officers will be:
EGO President/PhD Rep: Jeff Yeager (
Vice-President/MFA Rep: Jesse Kalvitis (
Secretary/PWE Rep: Will Deaton (
Treasurer/MA Rep: Carol Fox (
Undergrad Writing Council Liaison: Whitney Sandin (
Activities Officers: Amanda Bailey (
                        Harrington Weihl (
                        An undecided third officer

Again, thank you all for the chance to serve as your EGO President.

Phillip Zapkin

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Who Let the Blogs Out?

It was little remarked in the national media, but, on April 16, The Tenants of Colson Hall turned four (the blog; some of the actual Tenants are older).

In the past four years, we've managed to gather 67 followers, which is four more fans than Insane Clown Posse now has, and to amass, as of this very moment, 99,389 pageviews (so please hit "refresh" 611 times) (do it now).

Our most popular post of all time is "Hello Kitty Says...." from December 4, 2010, possibly because of the graphic, although the Tenants prefer to believe that this is because it chronicles the writing achievements of Mlles Beans, Gingerich, Frese, and Sundberg. Next in popularity are a tribute by Mary Ann to Alice Munro and, as Professor Gouge pointed out at the time, a post where I rick-rolled myself.

Now, we will admit that we have let the blog Google itself, and, in the process, it turned up the following information from WebStatsDomain:

The blog is 100% safe (and, we will add, hypoallergenic).

The blog has an SEO score of 17%, which doesn't sound good enough to get it into a really top notch kindergarten so Mary Ann and I may have to continue home-schooling for awhile.

Perhaps most interesting is the news that the blog has a value of $847 (equivalent to either 2 or 830 Bitcoins, depending on what day of the week it is). Sometimes, sitting on the porch of an evening, Mary Ann and I talk about selling up and trying our luck homesteading in Nebraska but then the light slants just right through the dogwood trees and we think, "Well, maybe next year."

Coda: To justify the horrifying pun in the title, which requires discussion of more than one blog, I should add that, like a Norman Lear sitcom of the 1970's, the blog has its own spin-offs, the most active of which may very well be The Bolton Writing Workshops blog, which is always lively, interesting, and, best of all, has lots of graphics.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Surprise, Dennis!

As another semester comes to a close, and the bustle and activity of the academic year give way to the languor of summer, the tenants have plans to celebrate the foremost chronicler of life at Colson Hall. Regular followers of this blog will know--largely from his descriptions--that the tenants have become accustomed to an elegant lifestyle. We were so Downtown before Downtown was a “thing.” The North Tower with its dusty steamer trunks, the modern library of the East Wing, the Dining Halls and Solarium are all tastefully appointed, inspiring a sense of luxury as well as studiousness. And yet, like all landed gentry, we always have an eye for improvement. To that end, and in honor of a decade’s work as PhD supervisor, the tenants would like to formally announce that plans for the restoration of the West Wing of Colson include the Dennis W. Allen Salon (with pop culture annex).

The Salon has been renovated to keep out the drafts that once plagued its medieval stone (portions of the Hall having been the site of a 12th century abbey) and to afford many a cozy evening sitting by the fire perusing the leather-bound works of everything from Jacques Lacan to Jacqueline Susann.  The wine cellar has been newly stocked, and French doors afford easy access to the path through the poet’s garden down to the docks where the punts are moored. A gentleman’s valet will be in service round the clock, having been pulled from the WVU intern pool and promised credit hours.  Tenants are welcome to join Dr. Allen in the Salon, perhaps for the twice-weekly concert series--we hear the string quintet is creating a version of “Adrift on a Memory of Bliss.” But it is strictly requested that while visiting, no one give utterance to such phrases as “Degree Works,” “just a quick question,” or “Registrar.” 

Please join us in thanking Dr. Allen for his long service as our Sujet Supposé Savoir--if we invested him with the glowing aura of that role it is not simply because we understand him to embody its authority. Rather, it is because he has proven time and again so very worthy of our trust and our appreciation.
--Jess Queener

Monday, May 6, 2013

Recent Achievements, May 2013 Edition

This just in from Jim Harms:
Sandy Baldwin is now Vice President of the ELO, the largest and most significant organization in the field of electronic literature; they just finished a major exhibit at the Library of Congress.

Brian Ballentine published a chapter in an edited collection on digital pedagogy:  “Fighting for attention: Making space for deep learning.” In Randall McClure and James Purdy (Eds.), The New Digital Scholar (83-105). Medford, NJ: American Society for Information Science and Technology.  

Mark Brazaitis's The Incurables is a finalist for ForeWord Reviews' Book of the Year Award in Short Stories:  The Incurables continues to receive good reviews from Mark's immediate family as well as from WOSU 89.7 FM in Columbus (Ohio): and (coming soon) the Mid-American Review:  His Incurables national tour, in which he didn't open for The Cure, has stopped in Notre Dame, Indiana (University of Notre Dame), Sherman, Texas (Austin College), Cleveland, Ohio (90.3 FM WCPN and Mac's Backs Books), Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (bathroom break), and Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania (Slippery Rock University).  His essay on the Heather Bresch/eMBA degree scandal at WVU appeared in The Dominion Post:  His op-ed on Mindy McCready, depression, guns, and suicide appeared in the Charleston Gazette:  His poem "I Imagine My Father's Dying Request" is reprinted in The Waiting Room Reader II edited by Rachel Hadas.  He did fall during his 82-second turn as Cinderella's dad in "Cinderella on Ice" in March. But it was in the script. He swears.  More about Mark below in the Katy Ryan listing.

Joy Carr received the Eberly College Outstanding Teacher Award.

Ryan Claycomb published an essay, "Here's How You Produce This Play:  Toward a Narratology of Dramatic Texts" in the May 2013 Issue of Narrative.  He was also just named the new Book Review Editor for Theatre Journal, the top journal in the field of theatre studies.  

Glenn Clifton has an article forthcoming this summer in the Henry James Review.  The local Morgantown theatre company, M.T. pockets, is producing two of his plays:  the 10 minute play "Souvenir" will be produced June 7-8 as part of their 10-minute play festival, directed by WVU English's own David Beach; his one-act play "Paul and Erin Go to Bed" will be getting a full production in October as a part of their 2013 season.

Patrick W. Conner published "On the Nature of Matched Scribal Hands" in Scraped, Stroked, and Bound: Materially Engaged Readings of Medieval Manuscripts. Ed. Jonathan Wilcox. Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 23 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), pp. 39-73.

His theatrical and film credits include the following:  Select Theatre:

Second Samuel (Frisky) Valley Players, Ligonier 2013; Arsenic and Old Lace (Three characters) Throughline Theatre 2012; Film: Escape from St. Quentin’s (Reader), Scott Peters, Dir.  2013; Foxcatcher (Background actor), Bennett Miller, Dir. 2012; The Umbrella Man (Background actor), Michael Grasso, Dir. & Prod. 2012

Lowell Duckert and Jeffrey J. Cohen co-edited an issue of postmedieval called "Ecomaterialism." Lowell also published an article, "Glacier," in the issue:  Lowell also gave talks at the Shakespeare Association of America conference -- "Exit, Pursued by a Polar Bear (More to Follow)" -- and at George Washington University, "Recreation."

Katie Fallon has an essay in the current issue of The Minnesota Review; another essay was a finalist in Phoebe's nonfiction contest.

A special issue of postmedieval edited by Lara Farina and Holly Dugan was published in December. (See the fabulous cover, with photograph by Anne Hamilton, in the book case!) Her article, "Wondrous Skins and Tactile Affection: The Blemmye's Touch," was recently published in Reading Skin in Medieval Literature and Culture, ed. Katie Walter (Palgrave).  In February, she gave a talk to the faculty of William and Mary at the invitation of the college's Medieval and Renaissance Program.

Marilyn Francus’s article "'Where Does Discretion End, and Avarice Begin?  The Mercenary and the Prudent in Austen," appears in the current issue of Persuasions, Volume 34 (2013): 57-70.  Marilyn presented “Spectral Motherhood: Maternal Absence and the Fulfillment of Domestic Ideology,” at the national conference of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), held in Cleveland in April 2013.  Her short piece on Jane Austen and finance, "Jane Austen, Pound for Pound,” was published in Persuasions Online, Volume 33 #1, Winter 2012.

Jim Harms’s poem, “The Clock” was featured on Poetry Daily (February 7, 2013).  His poems “The Lost Grove,” “Before Speech,” “1970,” and “Third Hand” appeared in A Narrow Fellow 1.1 (April 2013).

Kirk Hazen coauthored a book chapter with former WVDP research assistants Jaime Flesher and Erin Simmons: The Appalachian range: the limits of language variation in West Virginia. 2013. A chapter for Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community. Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward, eds. University of Kentucky Press. 54-69.  He is also part of a team that was awarded a $20,000 ECAS Applied Computational Sciences Innovation Award.

John Jones’ article, "Networked Activism, Hybrid Structures, and Networked Power," has been accepted by Currents in Electronic Literacy, and should appear in the summer/fall of 2013.  His article, "Switching in Twitter's Hashtag Exchanges," was accepted for publication in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication; it should appear in Jan. 2014.  In February he presented a talk titled "Twitter's hashtag networks and writing in the networked humanities" at the Networked Humanities Symposium in Lexington, KY.  In March he presented a talk titled "Writing Information Publics: The Pleasures of the Personal Web" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Las Vegas.  And in June, he will be presenting a paper titled "Hashtags and Network Power" at the Computers and Writing Conference in Frostburg, MD. 

Sarah Neville article, "Nihil biblicum a me alienum puto : W.W. Greg, Bibliography, and the Sociology of Texts", has been accepted for a forthcoming issue (2014) of Variants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship. This spring she has presented papers at the Shakespeare Association of America Meeting in Toronto and at the Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore.

Renée K. Nicholson’s essay “In Sickness” appeared in the Moon City Review and her essay “Out of the Blue” appeared in Cleaver Magazine. Superstition Review invited Renée to guest blog on their site, and her entry, “DIY Arts Entrepreneurship” appeared on April 13th. Her review of the memoir Bleeder (Shelby Smoak/MSU Press) appears in Sundog Lit. On May 2nd, she will facilitate in the American Medical Student Association’s Medical Humanities Series “The Physician in Literature” sponsored by Yale. She was asked to the committee for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre/WVU partnership, and has writing projects with several professional ballet companies. Along with Keegan Lester (WVU/English Dept. Alum), she launched Souvenir: A Journal, which was recently featured on the Poetry Foundation’s blog, Harriet, in an entry by poet Bianca Stone.

Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang’s article: “Rituals of Distrust”: Illicit Affairs and Metaphors of Transport in Ama Ata Aidoo’s “Two Sisters” and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Birdsong” has been accepted for publication in the Autumn edition of the Research in African Literatures journal (44.3).  His conference proposal submission has been accepted for the 56th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association; he also will present a paper with the title “That Kind of Nonsense”: Reverse Migration and the Paradox of Societal Expectation in Ayi Kwei Armah’s Fragments.  He has also been admitted to the 2013 session of the School of Criticism and Theory to be held at Cornell University this summer.

Katy Ryan and Mark Brazaitis were awarded a West Virginia Humanities Council Grant to organize a symposium next spring on Educational Justice and West Virginia Prisons. The grant is for $6,885.90 with $7,785.37 in cost share for a project total of $14,671.27.

Mary Ann Samyn was profiled on the WVU Pros site (, which, appearances to the contrary, is not in fact only about football.

Sadie Shorr-Parks received 2nd place in the Hungry Poets Contest.

Timothy Sweet:  Commentary.  “What Historians Think About Spielberg’s Lincoln.”  Ed. Harold K. Bush.  Cineaste 38.2 (Spring 2013): 13-19.  19.

Natalie Sypolt has work appearing or forthcoming in the following publications: Switchback, r.k.vr.y., and Apeiron Review. Her review essay of Scott McClanahan's book Crapalachia appeared in the March issue of Paste. Natalie is also now a member of the Los Angeles Review book reviewing staff and her reviews appear regularly in both the online and print editions of that journal.

Rebecca Thomas’s short story "Her Time. Their Time." appears in the Spring 2013 edition of Graze Magazine (

Jeffrey Yeager presented two papers at conferences:  “Myth, Identity, & Deep Ecology in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses & John Steinbeck's To a God Unknown” at the Cormac McCarthy Society Conf from March 3-5 at Berea College in Berea, KY. Next week, I'll be presenting a paper: "Waiting for Lefty: Re-Reading Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle through Proletarian Drama" at the International Steinbeck Conference at San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.

Riggle Fellowships:  Lowell Duckert, John Jones, Sarah Neville

Summer Senate Grants:  Lowell Duckert, Glenn Taylor, Lisa Weihman