Monday, December 20, 2010

Congratulations to Pat Conner!

Yesterday was the department's big retirement party for former department chair, former director of the WVU Press, and Eberly Centennial Professor of English Pat Conner. TCH regrets that we didn't get pictures of Pat holding forth from the stairs at Laura Brady and Tim Sweet's house. Pat said he'd keep his remarks brief, and, you know what, he did! Maybe too brief, in fact; I for one enjoy Pat's stories and would have liked to have heard a bit more about the midget and the madman hired the same year as Pat. Also, did you know that among Pat's theatrical credits is a turn as Uncle Willie in a production Philadelphia Story? Wish we had a photo of that...

And as Pat assured us, he'll continue his research. As regular readers of the blog know, Pat is pretty hot stuff in his field. Remember that post about Our Recent Achievements? Well, while the rest of us were achieving at a respectable level, Pat was busy presenting papers at a conference in, oh, Malta, among other locales, and basking in the glory of two upcoming sessions in his honor at the 46th International Congress of Medieval Studies to be held in Kalamazoo in May 2011. In addition to those sessions—"Rethinking Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: Papers in Honor of Patrick W. Conner" and "Anglo-Saxon Exeter and Its Afterlife: Papers in Honor Patrick W. Conner"—the international "Sources of Anglo-Saxon Culture" is sponsoring a third session, "Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Digital Age: A Session in Honor of Pat Conner." Quite frankly with this level of fame it's a wonder Pat ever had time for us!

Of course thanks to our hosts, Laura and Tim, for allowing us to drape our coats all over the place and for providing the food and the decorations, the memory book and—get this—a card basket! Do these two think of everything or what?

But most of all, congratulations and thanks and best wishes and happy trails and good stories and martinis to Pat for all he's done for the department and the university and for the friendship he's so generously extended to all of us.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Appalachian Prison Book Project

The Appalachian Prison Book Project has once again made the news. For a nice writeup, see the story in the Charleston Daily Mail.

The APBP website is here, which does a very nice job of explaining their efforts to provide free books for men and women in prison. Dictionaries are in particular demand so, if you've got a spare one, the APBP would love to be able to send it to someone who could really use it.

Call For Papers: Undergraduate Literature Symposium at Wheeling Jesuit University

Nineteenth Annual Literature Symposium for Undergraduate Students
Hosted this year by Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling, West Virginia
Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sponsored by the WJU Department of English

Analytical, theoretical, or interpretative studies of literary works, films, or culture are invited for this annual literary symposium. The top three papers will receive cash prizes. Completed papers should be appropriate for a 15-minute presentation and, therefore, should not exceed 8-10 double-spaced, typed pages (the selection committee will not read any submission beyond the tenth page). One submission per person, please. Only papers written during the 2010 calendar year are eligible. Send a completed paper along with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable) to:

Joseph S. Brumble
Department of English
Wheeling Jesuit University
316 Washington Avenue
Wheeling, WV 26003-6243

Papers must be postmarked by Monday, December 20, 2010. Students will be notified of their status by Monday, January 24, 2011. For more information, call 304-243-2338, or e-mail

An Academic Field Implodes: Anthropology

The tremors of change have radiated out from Anthropology over the last week, and related fields are feeling queasy from all the turmoil.

What is the fuss? It seems the executive board of the American Anthropological Association has stripped the word "science" from its long-range goals for the field. Only cultural anthropologists who do not rely on data are welcome (so it seems).

How long has this been going on? The lead up to it has been unfolding over the last decade, with clear lines drawn in the funding-agency sands over the last six. Agencies, such as the NSF, have had the audacity to require actual methods and data to support anthropological claims. Cultural anthropologists have been outraged by what they claim to be oppressive enforcement of European, positivist thought.

How hot is it getting over there? The science-based anthrofolk are now calling the cultural anthrofolk names, arguing that their supposed scholarship has as much quality as that of "creationists".

Why should folk in an English department be interested? Anthropology as a field is very much like many English departments. Linguists would play the role of the science folk, and cultural studies faculty would play the role of the cultural anthropologists (where words like hegemony and hermeneutics come up a lot).

Language Log has several good discussions here and here (with many links and updates therein).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sorry to keep you waiting!

So, yes, wow, hallucinations: not sure, but something powerful happened, because it's taken me a couple of days to recover from Friday's Emily Dickinson birthday party. Not that the poets were all that wild or anything... but that famous, maybe-hallucination-inducing Black Cake plus those poems... well, it was a potent combination, that's all I know.

And just what does Dickinson's Black Cake look like? Like this, one of four small loaves made by yours truly:

And what does it taste like? Like fruit cake, but delicious. Especially when paired with hard sauce, which is—drumroll, please—confectioner's sugar + butter + brandy or rum or whiskey. I made all three, so we could do a definitive taste test. My personal favorite? Whiskey, thanks for asking.

So the poets partook, as you can see in this next photo. That's Charity Gingerich in the foreground dressed as "'Hope' is the thing with feathers— / That perches in the soul — " (note the red bird as corsage...) and Danielle Ryle way in back dressed as "It's all I have to bring today — / This, and my heart beside — " (she cut out that red heart while waiting for her students to drop off their portfolios: talk about time well spent...).

And then we each chose a short (but oh-so-intense) Dickinson poem to read aloud. I got #28:

We lose — because we win —
Gamblers — recollecting which —
Toss their dice again!

—which makes you think, doesn't it? And say it out loud—it'll just take a few seconds and really does sound so good.

And then, finally, toward the end of the evening, those remaining gathered by the fireplace for this photo, with MFA alum Beth Staley calling out Dickinson lines for us to say as she snapped the pictures.

So, yes, we had a nice time and we wished you were there and next year everyone is invited and we'll have Black Cake and hard sauce, hallucinations and poems. I promise.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Congratulations to our creative writing students...

who shared work from their English 418: Creative Writing Capstone projects at yesterday's reading. And congratulations and thanks to our MFA students who served as mentors.

Here's the group: back row, left to right: Justin Anderson, Micah Holmes, Matt London, Danielle Ryle, Seth May, Tori Moore, Rebecca Schwab, Rachel King; and front row, left to right: Dave Palmeri, Stefania Piatkiewicz, Tiffany Burrow, Selby Stanton, Jordan Weisenborn, Carolyn Brewer.

Students, faculty, mentors, and parents all agreed: it was a terrific reading!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Better set aside some time this weekend...

for reading the blog because you'll want to; after all, Friday, December 10, is Emily Dickinson's birthday and the poets are celebrating at my house. Her famous Black Cake is a fruit cake, which is perhaps a negative, but good authority tells TCH that it's also an hallucinogen, which is certainly a positive. Also, the contemporary version of this intimidating cake is served with hard sauce—you're liking that already, aren't you?—which is, of course, just an alcohol delivery system. As is the cake, truth by told. It's one thing to eat a fruit cake; it's quite another to eat a fruit cake after the fruits have been macerated in brandy. So stay tuned. If we hallucinate, we'll let you know. And regardless, some of the poets are dressing up as Dickinson poems. Yes! Can't wait to see circumference. And to put you in the spirit of things, how 'bout this seemingly small poem, #1568:

Sweet Pirate of the Heart,
Not Pirate of the Sea -
What wrecketh thee?
Some Spice's Mutiny -
Some Attar's perfidy?
Confide in me -

Here's hoping for pirates and confidences. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Andrea Bebell, ABD

This morning the Tenants were happy to see the following announcement from Gwen Bergner:

"I'm so pleased to announce that Andrea Bebell passed her booklist exams and oral with flying colors! She did a truly outstanding job. Thanks to Andrea's committee of Cari Carpenter, John Lamb, John Ernest, and Donald Pease for creating a rich and productive scholarly community for Andrea's project."

Bolton Reading...

Congratulations to the undergrads who braved both the cold and their own first-time-reading nerves to share their work at this past Sunday's Bolton Creative Writing Workshops reading at the Honors Hall. We enjoyed listening to your stories and poems! Here's a pic of some of them:

And... here's a pic of just their teachers, talented and hard-working MFA students without whom the Bolton workshops would not exist. (back row: Justin Anderson, Charity Gingerich, Heather Frese, Danielle Ryle; front row: Lisa Beans, Kelly Sundberg, Tori Moore):

And here's one of three Boltoneers from Bennett Hall who seem to be enjoying the reading, their baked goods, and their hats.

Thanks as always to Russell and Ruth Bolton whose generous gift to WVU/the Eberly College makes the Workshops possible. More to come next semester. See you then!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pushcart II

And I failed to mention another WVU Pushcart Prize nominee:

MFA grad Ann Claycomb, whose story "Proof of a Wedding Photo, 1969" now moves on to the final round.

Go, Mountaineers!

Go, Ann!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pushcart Prize nominees

Thanks to the extraordinary literary taste of a sagacious sprite*, WVU is rolling in Pushcart Prize nominations. A partial list:

Connie Pan (first-year MFA) "The Patron Saint of Exits" (fiction)
Katie Fallon (MFA graduate) "The Youngest Eagle" (nonfiction)
Charity Gingerich (third-year MFA) "Of the Meadow" (nonfiction)
Sara Pritchard (MFA graduate) "Help Wanted: Female" (fiction)
Kelly Sundberg (second-year MFA) "Secrets and Lies" (nonfiction)
John Shumate (MFA graduate) "Contessa's Diesel Phone" (fiction)
Justin D. Anderson (second-year MFA) "Brushfire" (fiction)

* The sagacious sprite is none other than WVU MFA student (and Pushcart Prize winner) Sarah Einstein.

Best of luck, everyone!


Winter Comes to Colson Hall

Both seasonally and meterologically appropriate and probably the first time the song has been sung by two guys (well, in public anyway). Discuss.

P.S. Warning: within the diegesis, the lyrics promote alcohol and tobacco consumption by minors. Viewing by assistant professors requires senior faculty approval.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hello Kitty says...

Hello Kitty is just skatin' by to say congratulations to, well, her, and Sanrio, on the occasion of the company's 50th anniversary. Kitty herself is younger (b. 1975) but still deserving of applause, don't you think? A round of applause for Kitty, please.


And Hello Kitty also wants to congratulate our MFA students whose work has been selected to represent WVU in the 2011 Intro Journal Awards competition sponsored by AWP.

In poetry: "Light and Its Results I Feel Deeply" by Lisa Beans and "Discovery Isn't Always about Space" and "Poem for a Late Summer Day" by Charity Gingerich

In fiction: "Like an Eagle, a Real One" by Heather Frese

In creative nonfiction: "Diorama" by Kelly Sundberg

Congratulations to all, especially Kitty of course, and best of luck to our writers.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Professional Writing and Editing capstone event

On Thursday, December 2, four Professional Writing and Editing (PWE) students showcased the work they've done this semester in their respective internships. The students created posters that featured examples of their writing and editing projects and described the rhetorical strategies and organizational knowledge they drew on to produce each text. M.A. in PWE students also participated in the event, as they judged the posters as well as the capstone students' oral presentations on their work. Congratulations to Alexandra Castillo, who interned with the WVU Community Design Team; Candace Nelson, who supported tenants within the WVU Business Incubator; Lyndsey Loughry, who worked for the WVU Alumni Association; and Amanda Farley, who wrote for M.T. Pockets Theatre Company.

CFP: RSAP Prize for Best Article on American Periodicals

ProQuest and the Research Society for American Periodicals (RSAP) proudly announce a $1000 Article Prize for the best article on American periodicals by a pre-tenure or independent scholar in an academic journal with a publication date during 2010.

The second annual ProQuest-RSAP Article Prize will be awarded at the American Literature Association conference in Boston, MA May 26-29, 2011. Articles will be judged by a committee of three scholars drawn up by the RSAP Advisory Board. The winner and two honorable mentions will be notified by January 28, 2011 and will be featured as panelists on an RSAP-sponsored distinguished papers panel at ALA.

Applicants are invited to submit three print copies and one electronic copy of their articles together with a registration form available at <>. Thanks for forwarding ONE electronic copy to the committee chair and for sending THREE paper copies to the following address:

Kathleen Diffley
Department of English
University of Iowa
310 English-Philosophy BLDG
Iowa City, IA 52242-1492

All copies should be formatted for blind review and thus without identifying references or title. Applicants for the ProQuest-RSAP Article Prize must be current members of RSAP when they submit their work.


*RSAP encourages submissions from individual authors as well as from journal editors
*Submissions are not limited to work utilizing electronic databases
*Winners must agree to register and attend ALA 2011.
Become a member of the Research Society for American Periodicals by subscribing to American Periodicals

....Tomorrow, The World

Click to expand

And now, as promised, here's the world map of visitors to TCH. If anyone is planning on going to Greenland during break, please let us know.

Today, America.....

Click to expand
The Tenants would like to thank Holly Wendt of Casper College for taking some time from shooing the antelope out of her yard in order to check out TCH and complete our map, giving us visitors from every state. Thanks too to Dave Foreman for, we gather, keeping the yard antelope-free long enough that Holly could log on to the computer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dr. Matthew Ferrence

Not Dr. Ferrence
The final piece of paperwork (the Electronic Thesis filing sheet) is now circulating among the members of Matt Ferrence's committee: John Ernest, Chair; Gwen Bergner; Tim Sweet; Dennis Allen; and John Grammer (of Sewanee University), and congratulations are in order to Matt for successfully defending his dissertation, “You Are and You Ain’t: Redneck Literature and the Imposition of Identity.” If you would like to congratulate the thesis itself, its Facebook page is here.

Oh C'mon!

Click to enlarge. Number of visits by state indicated in virtually identical shades of green.
As regular readers of TCH will recall, we noted in July that we'd received visits from every state but one. Although alumnus Dave Foreman pledged to set off to Wyoming and log in from there, we haven't heard a word since we handed him a basket of fried chicken through the car window and waved him goodbye down the road. As of today, matters still stand as pictured above. Dear Wyoming, it's okay if you want to ignore us, but we'd like Dave back, please.

Just In Time For The Holidays: Proofreading Job at the Dominion Post

The Dominion Post has an immediate opening for a part-time proofer. Applicants must work well under deadline pressure and be available to work nights, weekends and holidays. Sharp knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation is required; knowledge of Associated Press style is a plus.

E-mail cover letter and resume to Managing Editor Pam Queen

Dr. Jon Harvey

This morning, over their coffee, The Tenants were very pleased to see the following announcement from Katy Ryan:

"I am delighted to report that Jon Harvey passed his dissertation defense. His dissertation, 'Mythscapes: Violent Spaces in Postmodern Literature and Culture,' inspired a lively discussion about space, violence, fiction, and affect. The defense also had the unusual visual of one committee member slowing bleeding from the head throughout. My great thanks to his fantastic committee: Gwen Bergner, Sandy Baldwin (who slipped on his way to the exam), Ryan Claycomb, and Lisa Yaszek (from Georgia Tech)."

Dr. Harvey has agreed to let us issue a commemorative plate in his honor, which we hope will be the first in a long series celebrating graduates from the doctoral program. Instructions on how to place advance orders will be available soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tenure-Track Position in Gender Studies at McMaster University

The Department of English & Cultural Studies and the graduate program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research at McMaster University jointly invite applications for a tenure-track appointment in Cultural Studies and Gender Studies at the rank of Assistant Professor to commence July 1, 2011. Specific areas of expertise are open, but might include indigenous studies, sexuality studies, queer studies, visual culture, youth cultures, critical race studies, consumer culture, and popular culture.

The successful applicant’s primary appointment will be housed in the Department of English and Cultural Studies in which tenure, if awarded, will be held, but her/his duties will include teaching courses in the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research, and the undergraduate Women’s Studies minor. The current minimum salary for an Assistant Professor is $60,997 per annum. McMaster is a research-intensive university. Its Department of English and Cultural Studies has both an Honours BA and an MA program in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory. Many of the Department’s doctoral candidates are pursuing dissertations in the areas of gender studies and cultural studies. The new Graduate Program in Gender

Studies and Feminist Research offers an MA degree and a diploma program for PhD students in a number of Humanities and Social Science departments at McMaster. The successful candidate will have a PhD and demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, with a clearly defined research program and a promising record of publication. She or he will be expected to supervise graduate students for both the Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Program, and to contribute to the administration of both.

Applicants should send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a sample of writing (e.g., an article or chapter of a book/dissertation—maximum 25 pages), and a statement of teaching philosophy to:

Dr. Peter Walmsley and Dr. Susan Fast
Department of English & Cultural Studies
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L9

Applications received by January 17, 2011, will be assured of full consideration. Applicants should arrange for three letters of reference and graduate transcripts to reach the Department by the same date. All documentation submitted in support of your application becomes the property of the University and is not returnable.

For further information on the Department of English & Cultural Studies, see

For Gender Studies and Feminist Research, see

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. However, Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority. McMaster University is strongly committed to employment equity within its community, and to recruiting a diverse faculty and staff. Accordingly, the University especially encourages applications from women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, members of sexual minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

Hope so! And are you ready for the next big event of the semester? That's right, the English 418: Creative Writing Capstone reading is next Wednesday, December 8, at 4:00 p.m. in 130 Colson. This semester's readers include fiction writers Carolyn Brewer, David Palmeri, and Jordan Weisenborn, and poets Tiffany Burrow, Seth May, Stefania Piatkiewicz, and Selby Stanton, who will be introduced by their MFA mentors—Rachel King, Justin Anderson, Rebecca Schwab, Danielle Ryle, Matt London, Micah Holmes, and Tori Moore. So come hear some stories and poems and eat some flying WV cookies. We know you love 'em.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the above papier-mache turkeys are part of the Big Head Corps of the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pretty cool, huh? Look at those little hats!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekend Re-cap

---Last weekend, that is. I mean: wow. Sorry for the delay, but it takes a little time to find the right words, you know? Because we're, like, artsy, and artsy is exhausting. But, here, finally, are the highlights:

… Friday night’s COW (Council of Writers; a hearty moo shout-out to all of them) reading at Zenclay. Nothing I could write could capture the night better than the post already, um, posted by Miss Rebecca and Miss Connie, but let me just add that the kids made yours truly very proud. Also, this reading featured the most disconcerting podium ever: made of clear plastic and thus entirely see-through and thus not really a podium (read: hiding place) at all. Most upsetting.

… also this past weekend, The Play. You know “The Morgantown Play, or Dreams from a Shady Glen," written by the department’s own Bill French and featuring some familiar faces: Pat Conner, who juggled several roles, including a rather serious Waitman Willey (always wondered who he was, didn’t you? if you went to the play, you now know); young up-and-comer Walt Harms as the main player of the play within the play; and best actress Cindy Ulrich as the Mountaineer’s ever-lovin’ wife. Congratulations to all of them for breaking a leg in the theater sense but, thank goodness, not in any other way.

… and congratulations to 3rd year MFA Danielle Ryle who won a big fat $1000 poetry prize from Mid-American Review. We just know that Danielle will want to share her monetary award with her fellow poets… especially her teachers. Thanks, Danielle, and congratulations on this much-deserved recognition.

… and while we’re in a congratulating mood, it seems our (“our”?) sports teams won a few games last weekend. So go team! to them as well. Next time, though, try not to schedule your games during our readings and plays, ’k?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tenure-Track Faculty Position at West Liberty University

English: English/Humanities Faculty Position West Liberty University. The Department of Humanities invites applications and nominations for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position in English, in any area of specialization. All members of the English faculty teach a mix of composition and literature courses appropriate to their expertise. Candidates should have a commitment to excellent teaching and college service, including participation in student advising, recruitment, and retention. Doctoral degree is preferred, ABD candidates may be considered. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience and includes a comprehensive benefit package. Anticipated starting date: August 16, 2011. Interested individuals are requested to submit a current curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, copies of student evaluations, a sample syllabus, and transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work to: West Liberty University, Human Resources Department, 131 Campus Service Center, P.O. Box 295, West Liberty, West Virginia 26074-0295 or to Any further materials will be requested if needed. West Liberty University ( is an accredited, multipurpose, coeducational, state-affiliated institution under the auspices of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. WLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Individuals with disabilities who need assistance in the application process may contact Brian Warmuth at 304-336-8139 or e-mail to Successfully passing a background screening report is required for final employment. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fear and Loving in First Readings

Last Friday, as Connie Pan and Rebecca Thomas watched the traffic pass by on University Avenue, they briefly contemplated suicide. Instead, they played live-action Frogger, crossed the street, and entered Zenclay to prepare for Friday night’s reading.

“Why did I volunteer for this?” Rebecca asked Connie, as they waited in line for their delicious beverages.

“So we can get it over with,” Connie said and ordered a cold, blue beverage.

They clutched their delicious beverages, holding them up to their foreheads, wiping away beads of sweat, waiting to receive the line-up for the night.

With their beverages in hand, suddenly a little braver, they ascended the stairs and witnessed the sea of chairs that would soon be full of people.

They wanted to vomit. This is why they gave up hopes and dreams of becoming rock stars: stage fright.

“Do we know the line-up yet?” they asked Heather Frese, but she shook her head no. Christina Rothenbeck was stuck in cursed Morgantown traffic.

So they sat, in the back of the room, waiting, drinking, and exchanging smiles that did not comfort each other.

“I hope I get to go early,” Rebecca said.

“I don’t,” Connie said.

Christina entered. They received their fate. It was a fear sandwich: Connie first, Rebecca last. They considered Parent Trapping it and being the other for the night. Instead, they finished their beverages and waited for the night to begin.

Alex Berge emceed, started the show, and Connie Pan walked to the plastic podium. She had been hoping for something solid, something to hide behind or lean against, but instead, she was forced to work with a transparent croquet wicket. She started to read, she finished, and she doesn’t remember anything in between.

The top bread of the fear sandwich was finished (Authors’ note: We recognize that although nobody eats a sandwich this way, we thought our audience might like the nod to deconstruction.). However, the bottom half of the bread still wanted to vomit. Luckily, the innards made for a delightful distraction.

Connie and Rebecca sat, one a little more relaxed than the other, and were swept away on a wave of words by such wonders as: Ben Bishop, Justin Crawford, Charity Gingerich, Christina Rothenbeck, Danielle Ryle, Rebecca Schwab, Shane Stricker, and Christina Wulf.

Everyone had gone. Rebecca knew her time had come. Alex deftly introduced her, and with a sinking stomach, she walked up and began to read. The next thing she knew, she was finished.

As Connie and Rebecca left Zenclay that night, they crossed the street without having to dodge any traffic. No longer did they feel the urge to jump in front of a car.

Can’t wait to see the rest of the first years for Spring 2011: Jamie Kegg (you were missed!), Rebecca Childers, Sara Kearns, Andi Stout, Jeremiah Shelor, Anthony Fabbricatore, and Melissa Atkinson.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MFA Reading

Just a reminder from your friendly Counil of Writers (COW) that the Fall MFA reading is taking place this Friday, November 12. We'd be as happy as the above cow if you all came to Zenclay at 6pm to hear some delightful fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Featured readers are Rebecca Schwab, Charity Gingerich, and Christina Wulf, who will headline a stellar line-up of authors reading their work. (And in case you need further incentive, we hear that Zenclay now serves beer.)

Reminder: The Rally to Restore Two Things

The Return of Charles II to Whitehall in 1660
by Alfred Barron Clay
This Friday, November 12th, the annual doctoral student meeting will be held in 130 Colson from 3:30-4:15. After discussing various academic matters, we'll vote on what to restore and then restore it.

Immediately afterward at 4:15, EGO will hold its monthly meeting. Although the exact agenda has not yet been released, given EGO's current financial situation the rumor is that the "meeting" will consist largely of EGO members shooting Cristal at each other out of Super Soakers.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Call for Submissions: Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review

The Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review (MURR) is accepting submissions for its spring 2011 publication. MURR publishes outstanding research performed by undergraduates at WVU. Papers based on faculty-mentored research completed by students in any discipline will be considered for publication. Papers are selected based on reviews performed by qualified faculty members at WVU.

Submissions may be:
* Full-length research papers
* Short papers, e.g. papers adapted from a poster presentation
* Literature reviews

Chicago style is preferred.
Deadline for submission is Friday, January 14, 2011.
All submissions and questions should be directed to the editors at

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Unofficial Potluck Poet's Dinner

On October 15th, many of the Poetry MFA's met at Christina Rothenbeck's apartment for an entertaining evening of good food, light conversation, and vigorous writing. A community of writers who came together in the hope of breaking in some of the new poets, as well as, gathering resources in a productive and exciting way. This was the first of the Potluck Poet's Dinners, but it certainly will not be the last. The evening eased into action with the ceremonial breaking of cornbread with chili, chips, and salsa: a regular potluck feast to help set the informal tone of the evening’s events. Charity, Micah, Tori, Christina, and Lisa brought in poems to read and discuss, and it was a rather pleasant and calm gathering of minds to talk loosely about the craft and tools of poetry. The one first year who was able to make it, Melissa Atkinson, who was inducted into the group with open arms, also read one of her newer poems. The process was light, helpful, and often very humorous (the evening grew giddier as the night went on). Though other new poets could not make it to the event, another dinner coming up soon will hopefully allow everyone to come together for second and third years to get to know the first years (and vice versa).
Christina put together a writing exercise where a notebook was passed around and each person in the group wrote a stanza of the poem. There was no particular theme or thread involved, and it was just a free form exercise where anyone could really do or say anything they felt. The poem was a success: a rather twisting narrative of odd juxtapositions strung together until the meaning of the poem was completely obscured—all that was left was the rather hysterical overview of a mixed bag of images and sounds. The end product was a collaborative effort and a great way to end the evening.
The first of the Poet's Dinners was such a success that everyone was asking about the next dinner by the end of the night. It was a great way for writers to break up their class and workload, and for them to really unwind with the one thing they all have in common, the love and aspiration of writing. WVU's strong community of creative writers had just gotten stronger.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Artistic Interlude

Being ardent fans of artistic innovation, the Tenants are currently enamoured of the work of Gregory Thielker, which, although it always looks like a photograph, is always actually a painting.

The work above ("Transference") is a particular favorite since it reminds some of the Tenants of a poorly conceived and particularly disastrous roadtrip to Atlantic City in Colson Hall's "Scone Express" (a 1987 Dodge Caravan of dubious reliability) in an attempt to parlay the proceeds from the EGO Bake and Book Sale into some "serious money." The scene depicted above is the perfect graphic representation of the point in the return trip where the Tenants discovered that Professor Hazen had spent the last of the remaining money on a package of Twizzlers during the rest stop at the Exxon Station and that, due to poor navigation, they were now somewhere near Toms River.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CFP: Bloodwork: The Politics of the Body, 1500-1900

Conference: “Bloodwork: the politics of the body 1500-1900
May 6 and 7, 2011 at the University of Maryland, College Park
Sponsored by the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, Department of English
Conference Organizers: Ralph Bauer, Kimberly Coles, Zita Nunes, Carla L. Peterson

This conference will explore how conceptions of the blood—one of the four bodily fluids known as humors in the early modern period—permeate discourses of human difference from 1500 to 1900. “Bloodwork” begins with the assumption that the concept of “race” is still under construction and that our understanding of the term would profit through an engagement with its long, evolving, history. Specifically, it asks how fluid transactions of the body have been used in different eras and different cultures to justify existing social arrangements.

Recent scholarship has opened up the question of the continuities and discontinuities between early modern and modern rationalizations of human difference. In early modern England, “race” commonly referred to family lineage, or bloodline, and relied upon pervasive notions of what were believed to constitute the properties of blood. The anxieties anatomized in Thomas Elyot’s Boke named the Governour (1537) about the degradation of “race,” or the corruption of noble blood, describe the physical technologies by which virtue—both physical and moral—was thought to be conveyed through bloodlines. Daniel Defoe’s later satire “A True-Born Englishman” (1708) echoes this rationale for difference. The language of his poem not only insinuates the crossover of the term “race” from family lines to national groups, but also supplies evidence that both kinds of racial ideology—whether affirming social hierarchy or national superiority—rest upon the invisible qualities of the blood. In late eighteenth-century Anglo-America, Thomas Jefferson invokes such notions as "White," "Indian," and "Negro" blood in order to suggest an essential difference between what he calls "the races," a difference that he sees as "fixed in nature," thereby anticipating modern racialism.

A comparative conference such as ours, that is trans-historical and transnational and draws literary critics and historians of cultures on both sides of the Atlantic world, will make a significant contribution to this ongoing debate about the “invention” of race.

Plenary Speakers:

Jennifer Brody, Department of African and African American Studies, Duke University
Michael Hanchard, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Ruth Hill, Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, The University of Virginia
Mary Floyd-Wilson, Department of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


•How does blood rationalize bodily difference in the period in which you work?
•How is blood used as a metaphor in your period? How is it contested?
•How—and why—is the idea of blood transforming? How does it operate in the body?
•What are the physical technologies of the body and how are these pressed into the service of difference? Conversely, how is the rationalization of bodily difference embedded in “scientific” discourse?
•Is religious difference figured in cultural or somatic terms?
•Does the body have a moral constitution?


Monday, November 1, 2010

"I'll Take You There"

This particular tenant never thought he'd say this, but Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear has him wondering whether Slavoj Zizek might actually be wrong about something. Bear with me for a moment....

In The Sublime Object of Ideology, Zizek tries to determine why, in a cynical age, people continue to act against their best interests simply because someone else tells them that his or her best interests are their best interests, even if they're not. One of the few options you have nowadays, according to Zizek, is what he calls kynicism, where you make fun of the hypocrisy and self-interest of official pronouncements although, Zizek makes clear, this actually has very little effect on those in power (however you want to construe that concept), who are as cynical as everyone else and just keep on doing what they're doing.

Now, kynicism is obviously the stock in trade of The Daily Show, and insofar as it seems entirely unlikely that politicians or cable news networks are going to change the fever pitch of their rhetoric in response to  Stewart's call, during his speech on Saturday, for a more measured public discourse, Zizek may be right: not much will change. Except....

Stewart's speech really seemed to be less about something that should happen than about something that already does: the fact that, despite serious differences in opinion, most people most of the time cooperate quite well ("You go, then I go"). It was a different view of America than one usually gets from cable news or political ads (where every politician's opponent seems to have been deliberately determined, from the moment of his or her birth on a Nazi eugenics farm, to harm the American public as much as possible), and the best part was that this America seems to have been enacted by the crowd itself, which, by all accounts, had a very nice vibe.

It looked good to me. It was an America with music (Ozzy! Mavis Staples!), and witty, original signs, and an allegorical puppet show in which Fear was killed by Sanity (and John Oliver), and ironic Hitler mustaches, not to mention people climbing trees without getting yelled at.

So, while Zizek might say that this was just a momentary triumph of the kynical and the ludic, I think he might be wrong. I think the whole point was that this moderate America is out there--you could sort of feel it stretching out from the rally across the continent, Benedict-Anderson-like, into an imagined community all reading The Onion at the same time. I bet you the people in DC even picked up the trash when they left.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"WVU Student Voices: Undergraduate Writing on Display"

As part of WVU's upcoming Mountaineer Week festivities, students from several undergraduate English courses will showcase their writing at the following event:

"WVU Student Voices: Undergraduate Writing on Display"

Friday, November 5, 4-5 p.m.

Bluestone Room, 2nd floor, Mountainlair

This event will be a great opportunity to learn about the many interesting and intellectually engaging ways that WVU undergraduates use writing in their academic lives. A variety of the English department's courses and programs will be represented, including the Undergraduate Writing Program (English 101, 102, and 103); the Shakespeare course (English 363); the Professional Writing & Editing program's Multimedia Writing course (English 303); and the Creative Writing and Literature capstone courses (English 418 and 496).

Please support our undergraduates and their writing by attending this fun, enlightening event.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Richard Ford, Kids, and the MFA

In case you haven't seen it, Richard Ford gives his list of ten rules for writing here.  For the most part, I think they're pretty good rules.  I get it.  I shouldn't drink and write.  The same advice probably goes for drinking and Facebooking too.  And drinking and blogging, which I'm not, by the way, doing right now.

Still, I struggle with advice #2, which says "Don't have children."  I'm a parent, and I just don't agree with that.  I'll be the first to admit it's not easy trying to write and raise a child, but it's no harder for me than for the person who has to work an extra job proofreading at night, or the person with insomnia, or the person with a chronic illness.  And I'm inherently resistant to the implication that there is one writing process that works unilaterally.  For that reason, I also struggle with Annie Dillard's, The Writing Life, because ahem, I have a life life.  I can't go isolate myself in a windowless tool shed and write for twelve hours a day.  Does that make me less of a writer? 

Well, actually, yes it does, but maybe someday, I'll have the luxury of time.

For now, I may not have marathon nights of manic writing, but I have Sunday mornings where I sit in my office with the sun coming through the window, a cup of coffee next to me, and my laptop on the desk.  The writing still happens; it just happens differently.  My MFA gives me the structure and allows me time to be a writer, rather than just a parent, and our program here has a diverse population with multiple candidates like me. Fortunately for us, this program provides that space for difference. 

You can see my work here .

And you can read more about the WVU MFA here .

From Kelly Sundberg: Secretary, Council of Writers.  Moo.

EGO's Annual Book Sale/Bake Sale

Last Wednesday, October 20th, was EGO's annual book sale/bake sale extravaganza in Colson 130. The doors opened at 9AM, and there was a fair amount of traffic until we closed the doors at 4PM. We had many awesome book donations and over 25 people who donated baked goods.

VP Rebecca Schwab setting up the baked goods table.

Overall, we had a successful day. There were many delicious treats--apple pies, mocha brownies, Halloween-themed cookies, cupcakes, etc.--and a great selection of books, with sections ranging from fiction to history to religion & philosophy.

Want to know the best part?
EGO made $1,056.68. The bake sale brought in $210.50, and the book sale made $846.18 (why yes, yes I am counting the spare change found on the floor). So a very big thank you to the donators, the volunteers, and everyone who supported EGO last Wednesday.

This post brought to you by Allison Hitt, EGO secretary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

News of Student, Faculty, and Staff Professional Activity
Issue 2010 No. 4

PATRICK CONNER presented two papers from his research on the work of early medieval guilds this summer: “A Collection of Anglo-Saxon Additions to a Gospel Book from England:Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS. 671,” was presented to the International Association of University Professors of English at its triennial meeting in Valetto, Malta on July 20, 2010.

Conner also presented “Fifteenth-century Abingdon’s Richard Forman, Ironmonger and Poet,” to the International Association of University Professors of English Pre-Conference Medieval Symposium in Sliema, Malta on July 16, 2010.

A family emergency kept Pat from attending the Medieval Association of the Midwest, Iowa City, IA, on September 15-17, 2010, to present "Abingdon‘s Bridge Poem, A Fifteenth-Century Monument to Labor"; it was nevertheless read there, and a report of its very positive reception was shared with him.

On October 27, 2010, Pat was invited to present "Clues in the Exeter Book: A Case History in Manuscript Study" at the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College in the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College.

Conner will present "Abingdon's Guild of the Holy Cross, Celebrating the Subjugation of Nature" to the Southeastern Medieval Association on November 20, 2010, in Roanoke VA. This year's conference is sponsored by Virginia Tech and Roanoke College.

Pat is moreover humbled by a rare honor. The Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research at Western Michigan University has issued a call for papers to sponsor two sessions for the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI in May, 2011. The sessions will be titled “ Rethinking Anglo- Saxon Manuscripts: Papers in Honor of Patrick W. Conner” and “Anglo-Saxon Exeter and Its Afterlife: Papers in Honor of Patrick W. Conner.” Furthermore, the international project known as “Sources of Anglo-Saxon Culture” is also sponsoring a session titled “Anglo-Saxon Studies in the Digital Age: A Session in Honor of Pat Conner.”
A full call for papers can be accessed at

MARY ANN SAMYN published five poems- “The Moon Through a Skylight,”
“Octoberish,” “Speaking of Ferocity at Sunset,” “You Can Thank Me
Later,” and “You Got Your Wish; I Got Mine"-in POOL. A review of her
most recent book, Beauty Breaks In, appeared in Mid-American Review.

JIM HARMS read with Sharon Olds as part of theConcord Literary Festival to benefit the New Hampshire Writers Project (October16, 2010). He has five poems inthe current issue of Hamilton StoneReview: “What Leonardo Knew,” “Wetback(1967),” “Understanding Opera,” “Thom Gunn,” and “The Sunday Birds.” His poems “Condition Blue” and “TheBuilding” are in the current issue of TheLouisville Review. Finally, Animals in Distress & Pluto, a limitededition book of two stories, will be published by Wallflower Press (New York)in March 2011.

KIRK HAZEN published a chapter entitled "Labov: Language Variation and Change" in The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics. The chapter is an argument for William Labov's place as a linguist, rather than a sociolinguist, in modern language study. SAGE (who uses the full capitalization as bumper nuts in the publishing world) was able to shrink down the 10,000 word article to 15 pages with double columns and 9 point font.

JOHN SHUMATE's short story "Garfield Park" will appear in this fall's themed ("nourishment") issue of 5X5 Literary Review.

RUDY ALMASY's essay "The Elizabethan Church as Restoration: Notes on Richard Hooker's Rhetorical Strategy" has just appeared in Renaissance and Reformation, Volume 32, Fall 2009.

Rudy also participated in two sessions sponsored by the Richard Hooker Society at the recent Sixteenth Century Society Conference held in October in Montreal. He was one of three individuals on the Richard Hooker Roundtable: The Future of Hookerian Studies, and he presented "The Redeemed and Unredeemed Mind at Work: Hooker's Rhetorical Strategy in Two Sermons." He also continued on the Executive Council for the Society for Reformation Research, and was elected to a term on the nominating committee for the Sixteenth Century Society.

IRINA RODIMTSEVA’s article “On the Hollywood Chain Gang: The Screen Version of Robert E. Burns’s I am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! and Penal Reform of the 1930s-1940s” came out in the Fall 2010 issue of Arizona Quarterly.

VLADIMIRA DUKA recently presented a paper titled "Cultural and Linguistic Pluralism in the Writing Classroom" at the Watson Conference, in Louisville, KY on Oct 15 2010.

DONALD E. HALL gave a paper titled "Is There a Transnational Queer Studies?" at a workshop on transnational issues in American Studies sponsored by the University of Graz at the City College of New York.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lisa Russ Spaar Reading

Poet Lisa Russ Spaar will read at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21, in the Robinson Reading Room of the WVU Library. This reading is sponsored by the Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences. It is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Spaar is the author of Satin Cash (Persea Books, 2008), Blue Venus: Poems (Persea Books, 2004), and Glass Town: Poems (Red Hen Press, 1999), for which she received a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Women Writers in 2000. Twelve of her poems appear in The Land of Wandering: Exquisite History, Volume 1 (The Printmakers Left / University of Virginia Press, 2005), and numerous anthologies, most recently in Best American Poetry 2008. She is the author of two chapbooks of poems, Blind Boy on Skates (Trilobite/University of North Texas Press, 1988) and Cellar (Alderman Press/University of Virginia, 1983), and is editor of Acquainted With the Night: Insomnia Poems (Columbia UP, 1999) and All That Mighty Heart: London Poems (University of Virginia Press, 2008).

Spaar's work has appeared in many literary journals, including Denver Quarterly, Image, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Slate, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Spaar is the Director of the Area Program in Poetry Writing at the University of Virginia, where she is Professor of English and Creative Writing, an Advising Fellow, and the winner of an All-University Teaching Award, a Harrison Award for Undergraduate Advising, and a Mead Honored Faculty Award.

"It's an honor and a pleasure to have Lisa Russ Spaar read her work at WVU," said Mark Brazaitis, the director of WVU's Creative Writing Program. "Her poety is precise, elegant, and evocative. And her insomnia anthology is must reading for anyone who has ever been acquainted a little too intimately with deep hours of the night."

For more information, contact Mark Brazatis, director of creative writing, at (304) 293-9707 or

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Temporary Positions at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

DATE: October 20, 2010

TO: Applicants for Anticipated Temporary Positions in the Department of English

FROM: Dr. John Marsden, Temporary Faculty Recruitment Chair.

SUBJECT: Procedure for application

We invite applications to generate a pool for anticipated temporary positions for Spring 2011. Applicants must have a master’s degree (ABD or PhD preferred) and experience in teaching both composition and literature.

Deadline for application: The Recruitment Committee will begin reviewing applications November 20. 2010. Applications should contain:

A letter of application including a statement of the numbers of years’ experience and courses taught.

A curriculum vitae including date and place of employment as well as your status (full time, part time, TA, etc.) for positions you have held. The c.v. should also provide full evidence of scholarship and professional growth, and detail the extent of department/ university/ community service.

A one-page statement of teaching philosophy making clear how your teaching practice is informed by and reflects your philosophy.

A select packet of recent material to indicate the quality of your teaching including materials such as:

•student evaluations and peer observations
•sample syllabi and sample assignments
•list of relevant course work

Transcripts (unofficial acceptable at this time)

Three letters of recommendation


1. Initial reading of applications

Members of the R&S Committee will independently read and evaluate applications.

2. Ranking

Teaching ability and experience is the most significant qualification for this position. Scholarly growth and service will also be taken into account. After reviewing applications, the R&S Committee as a whole will discuss and rank candidates and prepare a list for departmental approval. Review of files will begin on November 20, 2010 and a meeting to rank qualified applicants will follow shortly thereafter.

3. The departmental vote to approve candidates

Candidates’ materials will be open to departmental scrutiny prior to voting. Once presented with a slate of candidates, the department will vote to approve or not approve each candidate listed individually. To be approved for a temporary position, the candidate must be approved by the majority (50% plus one) of tenured or tenure track faculty in the department. The departmental vote will take place over two full days.

4. Final approval

Once approved by the department, the candidates’ folders of materials along with official transcripts will be forwarded to the Dean’s office for approval.

5. Notification

Notification in writing that a candidate has been approved by the department for teaching will come from the Chair of the R&S Committee after the departmental vote. The official offer of employment will come from the Dean.

According to current English Department policy, temporary faculty may teach for a maximum of three years in the Department.

Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions you may have concerning the recruitment and selection process.

English Department
110 Leonard Hall
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15705
Phone: 724-357-2261

[Blog Editor's Note: This should entail a 4/4 courseload, but, since Pennsylvania schools are unionized, the positions at IUP tend to pay quite well. Note the possibility, suggested at the end, that this position might be renewable for up to three years.]

From the Second-in-Command COW Officer

Attention: The Book Sale/Bake Sale is going on right now! Colson 130. You can find great books, scrumptious baked good, and free coffee all in an 800 square foot room. What a deal.

I am continuing what Heather Frese started last week--ie. musings from us MFAers. First, I want to give a shout out to Charity Gingerich, whose essay “Of the Meadow”, was recently accepted for publication in Ruminate. Nice work, Charity! I also want to give a shout to all the Tenant professors who graciously agree to conduct independent studies. My two studies, led by Mary Ann and Katy Ryan, have been invaluable. Go give your independent study prof a hug, or better yet buy them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. They don’t get paid for this folks.

Now for the art over which I’ve recently obsessed:

-David Simon's The Wire: This Baltimore-based TV drama should be required viewing for every aspiring novelist. I tried to convince myself the characters weren’t real people by watching actors’ interviews. It didn’t work; I still keep thinking about them when falling asleep.

-Veronica by Mary Gaitskill: The minute I finished this book I immediately typed out paragraphs so I could study Gaitskill’s writing. Yes, it’s that good. I especially love the precise and innovative way she describes characters’ physical movements and emotions.

-Andrew Wyeth’s painting, esp. his Helga series: An occasional bright color among earthy tones. Use of light and shadow to illuminate his subjects. His own descriptions of his painting.

While in an independent study on ekphrasis, I wrote flash-fictional vignettes based on photographs in Robert Frank’s The Americans. I included a vignette below. You can find the "Bar--Las Vegas, Nevada" photograph, and other Frank photographs, here.

Bar—Las Vegas, Nevada

A man gazes at a list of song selections on a jukebox. It’s early morning, and light from large round windows form three spotlight-like circles across the white floor. The man stands between torn tiles and cement on which the jukebox sits. The light is harsh on his eyes. He’s had a long night—an average night around here. He’s kept his shirt tucked in, remnants of gel hold down his very black hair. Except for face, revealing his too many beers, and his slouching, he could be ready for another night on the town. Having mused too long over his final gambles, he hasn’t thought left to pick a song. He wants something more upbeat than the last selection--”Earth Angel”, something to wake him so he head north, home. His wife will have breakfast waiting—pancakes and eggs, good crispy bacon, not like the floppy stuff around here. She doesn’t complain. One of the lucky ones, he never loses. He never wins much, either but he always breaks even. “How does he do it?” Women on the reservation ask his wife. “Good luck,” she says and grins. “Only Indians would call breaking even good luck.” All the women laugh. “I call it good luck when my drunken man collapses on the couch and not the front steps,” another woman says. And they all laugh again. The song titles finally focus in the man’s eyes. Afraid they’ll merge again, he hastily chooses, “Rock Around the Clock.” He turns his body away from the noise, the tune grating on his nerves rather than waking him. A thin white man slides off a bar stool, whoops, and, standing in one of the rings of light, moves his body to the song’s rhythm. The light’s glare doesn’t hurt the man’s eyes as much now, or maybe he’s used to it. He rubs his pupils with his fists and spits on a palm and rubs the spit against his shoes to polish them. No matter how he’s feeling or how much money he’s got, it’s important to him to look good. Listlessly his eyes search the bar for his friend in whose car he road down. He knows he’ll have to hitchhike. No big deal, he thinks. Done it dozens of times. Resisting the urge to sit back down, he completes his hardest task of that day: pushing himself out the double doors and into the very bright morning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Too Good Not To Share

Today, Sarah Palin endorsed John Raese for the Senate seat....representing Pennsylvania.

David Jolliffe Lecture

"Literacy--Urban, Rural, Suburban: What's the Difference, and What Difference Does It Make?"

Eberly College Alumni Recognition Award & Lecture
Honoring David Jolliffe
Wednesday, October 27th
4:30 p.m. Gold Ballroom, Mountainlair, WVU

David Jolliffe was born in New Martinsville, West Virginia, and received his B. A. from Bethany College and his M. A. from West Virginia University before moving to Texas, where he earned his Ph.D. in English, with a specialization in rhetoric and composition, at the University of Texas at Austin. A former high school English teacher (at Wheeling Park High School), Jolliffe taught for 10 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago and 11 years at DePaul University. Since 2005, he has been Professor of English and Curriculum and Instruction and the initial occupant of the Brown Chair in English Literacy at the University of Arkansas.

In his address, David first will provide an overview of what many commentators characterize as 'the literacy problem' in contemporary culture. He will then clarify a definition of literacy that focuses on a person's ability to recognize and deal with situations in his or her life that involve substantial reading and effective writing, and he will explain the degree to which several features of urban, suburban, and rural communities support the development of this critical literacy. He will conclude by offering five specific recommendations that will, ideally, help residents of different kinds of communities confront the literacy demands that 21st-century life and work present. There should be time for questions at the end of the talk.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Call for Submissions: NCSA Article Prize and Emerging Scholars Award

NCSA Article Prize

The Nineteenth Century Studies Association (NSCA) is pleased to announce the 2011 Article Prize, which recognizes excellence in scholarly studies from any discipline focusing on any aspect of the long 19th century
(French Revolution to World War I). The winner will receive $500 at the 32nd Annual NCSA Conference, hosted this year by the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, from March 3 to March 6, 2011.

Articles published between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010 are eligible for consideration, and may be submitted by the author or publisher of a journal, anthology, or volume of independent essays. The submission of essays that take an interdisciplinary approach is especially encouraged.

The winning article will be selected by a committee of NCSA scholars representing diverse disciplines. Please send three hard copies and full bibliographic citation of the article to the chair of the committee: Professor Jeremy King, Department of History, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley MA 01075. Questions may be addressed to him at Applicants must verify date of actual publication for eligibility, and provide an email address so that receipt of their submission may be acknowledged. One entry per scholar or publisher is allowed annually. Essays written in part or entirely in a language other than English must be accompanied by English translations.

Deadline for submission is November 19, 2010.

NCSA Emerging Scholars Award

The Nineteenth Century Studies Association (NCSA) is pleased to announce the 2011 Emerging Scholars Award. The work of emerging scholars represents the promise and long-term future of interdisciplinary scholarship in 19th-century studies. In recognition of the excellent publications of this constituency of emerging scholars, this award recognizes an outstanding article or essay published within five years of the author's doctorate. Entries can be from any discipline focusing on any aspect of the long 19th century (the French Revolution to World War I), must be published in English or be accompanied by an English translation, and must be by a single author. Submission of essays that are interdisciplinary is especially encouraged. Entrants must be within five years of having received a doctorate or other terminal professional degree, and must have less than seven years of experience either in an academic career, or as a post-terminal-degree independent scholar or practicing professional.

Only articles physically published between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011 (even if the citation date of the journal is different) are eligible for the 2011 Emerging Scholars Award. Articles published in any scholarly journal, including on-line journals, or in edited volumes of essays are eligible and may be submitted either by the author or the publisher of a journal, anthology, or volume containing independent essays. In any given year, an applicant may submit more than one article for this award. The winning article will be selected by a committee of nineteenth-century scholars representing diverse disciplines. Articles submitted to the NCSA Article Prize competition are ineligible for the Emerging Scholars Award. The winner will receive $500 to be presented at the 32nd annual NCSA Conference,"Money/Myths," in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 3-6, 2011. Prize recipients need not be members of the NCSA but are encouraged to attend the conference to receive the award.

Deadline for submission is November 19, 2010.

Send three off-prints or photocopies of published articles/essays to the committee chair: Phylis Floyd, Associate Professor of Art History, Michigan State University, 25 Kresge Art Center, East Lansing, MI 48824-1119. (Electronic submissions will not be accepted.) Address all questions to Please note that applicants must verify date of actual publication for eligibility and provide an email address so that receipt of their submissions may be acknowledged.