Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Reading (Sort of)

You might think that life at Colson Hall primarily consists of waking at noon and then playing a little tennis or taking a stroll through The Poet's Garden, which contains all the plants mentioned in the works of e.e. cummings, before it's time to dress for dinner, but, in fact, the Tenants live lives crammed with incident, spending much of their time pursuing research. As it so often does, the Internet seems to have noticed, and we present a couple of bits of holiday reading, although, to be honest, these are mostly holiday reading in the sense that you can peruse them while you're waiting for the cookies to be ready to come out of the oven.

The first is an interesting news story from WBOY (Channel 12) on some of Kirk Hazen's research on West Virginia dialects.

The second is an equally interesting writeup by Eileen Joy on the special issue of the journal postmedieval on "The Intimate Senses" that our own Lara Farina co-edited with (somebody else's) Holly Dugan.

Coming up next in our series of misleadingly holiday-themed posts: the substantially less misleading Auld Lang Syne post, in which we survey the whereabouts and doings of some of our alums. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

End of the Semester Revelry

Some of the doctoral students celebrating the holiday season:

Stolen off of Facebook in complete violation of intellectual property laws.
The faculty celebrating the last day of Finals (hidden cam footage):

The Appalachian Prison Book Project Makes a Video

Always on the cutting edge of the 21st Century, this week the Tenants are saturating the media. As you already know, Mark Brazaitis has been on the radio, and, as you'll soon learn, Lara Farina has entered the book trade while Kirk Hazen has been hanging out with people from television. In the meantime, Katy Ryan appears in a video on that YouTube thing that all the kids like. You can see it below:

It would be completely unlike her, so we don't give any credit to the rumor that, every time Professor Ryan passes Professor Brazaitis in the hall, she softly hums "Video Killed the Radio Star."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In Case You Missed Mark Brazaitis's Interview....

Thanks to the magic of technology, in which the radio is now an internet (or something like that), those of you who missed Mark Brazaitis's radio interview on the Diane Rehm Show can find it  here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jacques Derrida, Unlikely Meme

.....which is somewhat, but not entirely, different from "Jacques Derrida, Unlikely Mime." In any case, here you go:
Our thanks to undergraduate extraordinaire Jack Flesher, who came running into Colson Hall with the clipping in his hand, saying "Look at this! Look at this!"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mark Brazaitis, Radio Star

Mark Brazaitis will appear tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11 a.m. on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss his short story collection The Incurables. Broadcast from Washington, D.C.—a block from Mark's high school—the Diane Rehm Show has been called "the gold standard of civic, civil discourse" and reaches more than 2.2 million listeners via NPR. Past guests have included Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Julie Andrews, and Toni Morrison. 

"I have a lot in common with these guests," Mark says. "We are, for example, all inhabitants of planet earth."

He goes on to say, “I’m thrilled to talk about my book, and about how the themes of my book connect to the work I’ve been doing at WVU—my teaching, my work with the Appalachian Prison Book Project, and my talks at the Health Sciences Center on the importance of listening to and understanding patients.”

The Diane Rehm show is broadcast from WAMU 88.5.  For more information about Mark's upcoming appearance, see:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Last Lecture Postponed

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond mine, Lisa's, or Lowell's control, the Last Lecture will need to be postponed until an as yet undecided date in January.

When more info becomes available, I will keep you appraised of the situation.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Very Colson Christmas, Part III

Since our GTAs are, indeed, the best, for the first time this year we decided to decorate the foyer of the Graduate Student Spa as a token of our appreciation. Note the bust of Mary Ann:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

We're in the newspaper!

Yes, really! Not one but two items on today's "Campus Life" page of The Dominion Post.

First, there's an article about our new T-shirts with their ill-fated motto. Except this was written before we found out that our motto is totally against the rules. So one more moment in the sun, I guess, and then hang on to those suddenly collectible shirts and hoodies. Vintage happens pretty fast, sometimes.

Second, and much more thrilling, is the profile of MFA Rebecca Childers. Yep, Rebecca is featured in this week's "WVU Student Spotlight." Just how does this happen to someone? Maybe Rebecca can fill us in. As you no doubt know, the "spotlight" includes all kinds of info about the selected student's spare time activities (petting cats and playing disc golf and reading romance novels, says Rebecca) and favorite foods and celebrities (fried chicken and Cary Grant) and best-loved book (Middlemarch) and best class ("English 101!"). What is Rebecca's one wish? "For all the cats to have somebody to hug them." Isn't that just about the sweetest thing you ever heard? Our GTAs truly are best... which is why we put up this year's Christmas tree early when they begged. 

Christmas at Colson, Part II

As part of our ongoing series on the Colson Hall Christmas decorations....

On their way to turn in their English 101 portfolios, two freshmen pause to gaze in wonder at one of the Christmas trees in the main hall:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Comes to Colson Hall

Since we know that many of our alums and loyal blog followers will want to see this year's Christmas decorations, we thought we'd post some photos as part of a continuing series. First off: the tree goes up in the GTA Dining Room. (Note the portrait of Mary Ann.)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Aaron Percich, ABD

This news just in from Lisa Weihman:

"Aaron Percich has successfully completed his candidacy exams. Congratulations, Aaron!

Many thanks as well to his fine committee: Dennis Allen, Gwen Bergner, John Lamb and Enda Duffy (of UCSB), for their insights and suggestions.

Onward to the dissertation, Aaron!"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Irish Lesbian Terrorists! Or, How I Stopped Worrying about Yeats and Learned to Love The Bomb--The Last Lecture, by Lisa Weihman

The English Graduate Organization Presents
The Fall 2012 Last Lecture, by Lisa Weihman:
Irish Lesbian Terrorists!
Or, How I Stopped Worrying about Yeats and Learned to Love
The Bomb


Friday, 7 Dec. 2012 at 7:30PM
Colson 130

Oh, look, here come some of our undergraduates now!

They must be on their way to the upcoming readings!

Why don't you join them?

On Sunday, December 2, students from the Bolton Creative Writing Workshops will read at 6:00 p.m. in the Honors Hall.

On Thursday, December 6, students who've just completed ENGL 418, the Creative Writing Capstone, will read at 1:00 p.m. in 130 Colson Hall. 

I can pretty much guarantee brownies at the former and Flying WV cookies at the latter, so you choose. 

See you there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Faculty Research Colloquium

The Department of English presents:


The Faculty Research Colloquium



Headless and Loving It: Tactile Beings of the Middle Ages


by Lara Farina


Lurking at the edges of medieval maps, strange creatures display their bizarre anatomies. Sciapods rest in the shade provided by their torso-sized feet, Panotti wrap themselves in their dangling ears, and Blemmyae stare ahead with eyes sunk deep in their chests. The exaggerated extremities of the “monstrous races” enabled speculation about the operation and possibilities of the human body and about sensation in particular. This talk will follow the cultural career of one of these figures, the headless Blemmyae, to explore medieval ideas about tactility and the role of touch in practices of reading. Texts to be touched upon include The Wonders of the East, Mandeville’s Travels, and the works of the “Pearl Poet” manuscript (Cleanness, Pearl, Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.)


December 5, 2012

2:30 p.m., 130 Colson Hall

Thursday, November 22, 2012

UPDATED: APBP Makes National News

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Appalachian Prison Book Project got a great writeup in US News.


...and not only US News. Katy Ryan notes that the story was on the Associated Press wire service and picked up by a number of sites:

"Vicki Smith, a local AP reporter, wrote a nice story on APBP, which was picked up by a lot of sources yesterday, including US News & World Report, Yahoo, HuffingtonPost, Salon.Com. I saw online newspaper versions from Hawaii (!), Washington, California, Idaho, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Maryland.

Thanks to PhD student Dominique Bruno for her interview. Pictures are included in some of the articles. ("Cute chick," says one particularly astute Yahoo commentator. :-)

Our website usually gets about 10 hits a day. We were over 600 yesterday. And we've received 450.00 in donations. A few minutes in the sun!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CFP: Comparative Drama Conference April, 2013

37th Comparative Drama Conference
Baltimore, MD
April 4 – 6, 2013

2013 Keynote Event with

Edward Albee

Comparative Drama Conference Keynote Address

by Edward Albee

On Saturday, April 6, 2013, the Comparative Drama Conference will welcome Edward Albee, winner of three Pulitzer Prizes and four Tony Awards, including a Tony for Lifetime Achievement, as our Keynote Speaker. A reception will follow to honor Albee, who has been hailed by The New Yorker as "America's greatest living playwright.” Join us for an engaging evening with this inspiring innovator and advocate of drama whose challenging plays have radically influenced the contemporary stage.

Call for Papers

Submission Deadline: 3 December 2012

Papers reporting on new research and development in any aspect of drama are invited for the 37th Comparative Drama Conference hosted by Stevenson University in Baltimore, MD, April 4-6, 2013. Papers may be comparative across nationalities, periods and disciplines; and may deal with any issue in dramatic literature, criticism, theory, and performance, or any method of historiography, translation, or production. Learn More...

Pre-organized Panels

Pre-organized panels will also be considered. A pre-organized panel should include three papers. Each paper should be 15 minutes in length. Learn More...

Staged Readings

The conference board invites proposals for staged readings of new plays. 2-4 new plays will have staged readings during the course of the conference. Each staged reading will also feature a talkback with the audience led by a dramaturg. Learn More...

Text & Presentation

For 30 years, The Comparative Drama Conference Series has been publishing the best papers presented at its annual meetings, keeping readers current in scholarship and performance aesthetics in drama internationally. Learn More...

Constantinidis Award

The Philadelphia Constantinidis Essay in Critical Theory Award will be given to the best comparative essay on any aspect and period of Greek drama or theatre that was published in English in any journal or anthology in any country between January 1 and December 31 in the prior year. Learn More...

Conference Registration


The 2013 pre-registration fees are valid until February 28, 2013, and are as follows:
  1. Presenter, Reader or Presenter Session Chair: $99 for faculty members, $89 for graduate students
  2. Non-presenter Session Chair: $79
  3. Guest: $69
  4. Student Guest: $39
  5. One-day guest passes: $30 ($20 for students)
The pre-registration fee covers all conference events and services for categories 1 – 4, including a copy of the conference Programs and Abstracts book, a copy of the current edition of Text and Presentation, admission to all conference events and the conference reception, and a ticket to a play yet to be determined. Tickets for the play must be requested with registration by February 28. One-day passes include conference admission only (including plenaries and keynote event). Learn More...

Conference Hotels

The Pier 5 Hotel is the conference site, and The Admiral Fells Inn, which is a 15- to 20-minute complimentary shuttle ride away, is also providing attendees with a conference discount:
  • Pier 5: $169 per night plus tax for up to four.
  • Admiral Fells Inn: $129 per night plus tax for up to four, breakfast included.
All reservations must be made on an individual basis by February 28, 2013 to receive the discount. Call Harbor Magic Hotels at 866-583-4162 to make your reservation. Please be sure to ask for the Comparative Drama Conference discount. Learn More...


SuperShuttle will give a discount for conference attendees. Round-trip between Baltimore Washington International Airport and the Pier 5 Hotel is $28. SuperShuttle also runs from Washington National and Washington Dulles, and can take you to The Admiral Fells Inn from any of the airports. The rates from National and Dulles to either hotel are approximately $180 round-trip. Learn More...

37th Comparative Drama Conference

The Comparative Drama Conference is an international, interdisciplinary conference founded by Dr. Karelisa Hartigan at the University of Florida in 1977. Every year, approximately 150 scholars are invited to present and discuss their work in the field of drama. The conference draws participants from both the Humanities and the Arts. The papers delivered range over the entire field of theatre research and production. Over the past 36 years, participants have come from 32 nations and all 50 states. Each year a distinguished theatre scholar or artist is invited to address the participants in a plenary session.

Stevenson University

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eric and Josh

Mr. Johnson (left) and Mr. Wardell 
Always concerned to keep up with the latest news and events, the Tenants spend countless hours in the newly refurbished Digital Command Center right next to the solarium on the third floor of Colson Hall, electronically leafing through the websites of other universities. If we recall properly, it was just about the time the butler was bringing in the coffee that someone discovered the following story, "Morris Alumni Gain Recognition, Share Wisdom," on the University of Minnesota--Morris website about recent MA graduate Josh Johnson (2012) and presumed eventual MA-PWE graduate Eric Wardell (2013). We've stolen the picture above from the article, if only to demonstrate that people in Minnesota seem to dress much better than the folks around here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

More Praise for Mark Brazaitis

The reviews keep rolling in for Mark Brazaitis' latest book The Incurables.

After being reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement, New Pages has called The Incurables "[masterful]," "hilarious," and "haunting."

Furthermore, they write "These stories, much like their characters, will surely carry on." We think so, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Congratulations to Eric Cipriani

Congratulations to recent WVU grad Eric Cipriani, who won first place in a fiction contest sponsored by New Southerner magazine for his short story "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere."

Way to go, Eric!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Grads Make Good

The "New Library" in the East Wing of Colson Hall
This just in from Jill Higgins Woods:

"Three cheers for Natalie Sypolt, English department adjunct and MFA graduate!

She has won Glimmer Train's New Writer's Contest.  Her craft essay will appear in November's Glimmer Train Bulletin and her story, 'My Brothers and Me,' will appear in either the November or February Glimmer Train. Way to go, Nat!"


Doctoral graduate and Assistant Professor of English at Coppin State Anthony Zias reports that his essay “‘A Body That Seemed Not Strong Enough to Contain the Raging Energies’: Transforming the Incredible Hulk and Mr. Hyde into Ideological Criticism” is forthcoming in The Mid-Atlantic Almanack 21 (2012) right about now.

The Tenants are already settling down in the library, their raging energies contained, with their November reading all planned.

Ethel Morgan Smith Reading Weds., Nov. 7th

The Department of English and
The Eberly College of Arts & Sciences
present a reading by

Ethel Morgan Smith
English Department Faculty Member and 
Author of
Reflections of the Other: Being Black in Germany

Writer, professor, and international culturist Ethel Morgan Smith was born in Louisville, Alabama. In addition to teaching at West Virginia University, she has taught at the University of Tübingen, Randolph Macon Woman’s College, and Virginia Tech and has given guest lectures all over the world.

Smith is the author of
From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community at Hollins College and Reflections of the Other: Being Black in Germany. Her essay "Love Means Nothing" was the winner of the 2005 Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Award. Smith has published in national and international journals, including Callaloo and African American Review. She is also the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in Bellagio, Italy, a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, a Visiting Artist-American Academy in Rome Fellowship, a DuPont Fellowship, and a Brandeis University-Women’s Research Center-Visiting Fellowship.

On Reflections of the Other:

"[A] lively, captivating memoir that makes an important contribution to our endless American discussion on the ins and outs of ‘otherness.’"

—Andrea Lee, author of
Lost Hearts in Italy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

7:30 p.m., Gold Ballroom, Mountainlair

Free and open to the public. Reception and book signing
to follow 

Public Talk: Rosemary Hathaway Explains the Mountaineer

The Department of English presents:

The Faculty Research Colloquium

Montani non semper albus’: Class, Ethnicity, and the
Changing Image of WVU's Mountaineer Post-WWII

 by Rosemary Hathaway

The post-World War II years were a contentious time for the image of the Mountaineer at WVU: in the wake of the first "Mountaineer Day" in 1947, administrators vied with students for control of the meaning of the term, while students waged a playful battle about class, ethnicity, and the mountaineer icon. This paralleled a larger shift in the definition of the term "mountaineer" regionally: early in the 20th century, Presbyterian missionary Samuel Wilson proposed the term "mountaineer" as a less pejorative term than the more common "mountain white"; however, he did so not so much to eliminate the perception of backwardness and ignorance, but because the idea of "mountain blacks, browns, and yellows" seemed so absurd. This presentation uses oral histories about early Mountaineer Day celebrations, official WVU documents, and materials collected by the West Virginia branch of the Federal Writers Project to explore how ideas about the "mountaineer" were shifting during this period.

November 14, 2012 2:30 130 Colson Hall

Elissa Hoffman, MFA

The Tenants were very pleased this week to see the following announcement from Kevin Oderman:

"On Monday, Elissa Hoffman defended her MFA thesis, 'Girl on a Roll,' to her very impressed examiners, Mary Ann Samyn, Rosemary Hathaway, and me, KO. As you'd expected, the discussion was wide ranging and full of insight, thanks to Elissa. Well done!"

Congratulations, Elissa!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fellow English Department Folk,

The CLC recorded the readings from Katy Ryan, Michael Blumenthal, Bruce Bond, and Jaimy Gordon, and we want you to know that it's available for download from our webpage or through iTunes.

Here's the direct link to the CLC's podcast page for creative readings:
The latest recordings are towards the top of the page.

Or you can subscribe to our podcast service through iTunes. Paste the following link into your browser:



Friday, November 2, 2012

Andi Stout's New Review of Jason T. Lewis' The 14th Colony

Our MFA program's own Andi Stout has a new review, entitled "Nowhere Else To Go But Home: A Review of The Fourteenth Colony," published through Connotation Press (you can read the review here). This is Andi's second review with CP, the first was of Jim Harm's Comet Scar.

Andi reviews Jason Lewis' new (2012) novel The Fourteenth Colony: a Novel With Music. Lewis is a from a small West Virginia town, so it is fitting that a WVU student and fellow West Virginian write the review.

One thing that is even more impressive about this review is that Andi wrote it in just one day. She was asked to write the review just a few days before the deadline and she took up the challenge with admirable results.

I encourage you all to read the review, then buy Lewis' book. And congratulate Andi next time you see her on another published review.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fellowships and Post-Docs at the Clark Library at UCLA

sponsored by

UCLA Center for 17th-& 18th-Century Studies

and the

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Combined fellowship information can be found here:

Post-doctoral application forms can be accessed directly via this link:
Clark Short-Term Fellowships

Fellowship support is available to scholars with research projects that require work in any area of the Clark's collections. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree or have equivalent academic experience. Awards are for periods of one to three months in residence.

Stipend: $2,500 per month in residence.

Application deadline: 1 February 2013

ASECS/Clark Fellowships

Fellowships jointly sponsored by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Clark Library are available to postdoctoral scholars and to ABD graduate students with projects in the Restoration or the eighteenth century. Fellowship holders must be members in good standing of ASECS. Awards are for one month of residency.

Stipend: $2,500 for one month in residence.

Application deadline: 1 February 2013

Kanner Fellowship in British Studies

These three-month fellowships, established through the generosity of Penny Kanner, support research at the Clark Library in any area pertaining to British history and culture. Fellowships are open to both postdoctoral and predoctoral scholars.

Stipend: $7,500 for three months in residence.

Application deadline: 1 February 2013

Clark-Huntington Joint Bibliographical Fellowship

Sponsored jointly by the Clark and the Huntington Libraries, this two-month fellowship (one month at each library) provides support for bibliographical research in early modern British literature and history as well as other areas where the two libraries have common strengths. Applicants should hold a Ph.D. degree or have equivalent academic experience.

Stipend: $5,500 for two months in residence

Application deadline: 1 February 2013

Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellowships 

This theme-based resident fellowship program, established with the support of the Ahmanson Foundation of Los Angeles and the J. Paul Getty Trust, is designed to encourage the participation of junior scholars in the Center's yearlong core programs.

 The core program for year 2013–2014:

Iberian Globalization of the Early Modern World

Organized by Anna More (UCLA) and Ivonne del Valle (UC Berkeley)           

Iberian imperialism was one of the first attempts to link the globe through supposedly universal
values, in this case derived from Christianity. Yet Spanish and Portuguese monarchies strove to achieve this global reach with technological, scientific, and juridical practices that accompanied and at times competed with their evangelical pursuits. These attempts to overhaul vast cultural territories between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries resulted in a variety of consequences and responses, from absolute upheavals, to compromises and new syntheses. The purpose of this core program is to examine the radical changes that Iberian empires brought to areas such as land tenure, technological practices, racial classifications, and cultural expression in light of the deep histories of the indigenous, African, and Asian regions they affected. Through this investigation, we wish to arrive at a more precise concept of globalization in its early modern guise.

Session 1: Contested Cultures of the Sacred, Oct. 25-26, 2013

This conference will address the role of religion in the transformation of pre-Hispanic, African and Asian worlds into Westernized milieus. It will address Christianity not as dogma but as a flexible corpus of ideas and practices engaged by the different local populations in novel ways. Sessions may investigate the relationship between religion and the arts (theater, painting, music) as a source of popular culture that remains significant even now. Likewise, since evangelization had the double task of Christianizing and civilizing the native populations, another field covered will be the impact of religion, both Christian and native, in a variety of non-religious practices and institutions such as knowledge production, the university, and politics. Through these themes, the conference will question the sharp divide between a religious and a secular base for modern societies.

Session 2: Instrumental Transformations: Technology, Labor, Nature, Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2014

While often supposedly a neutral instrument for gathering knowledge or transforming nature, technology, understood broadly as an instrumental practice toward a material end, had an enormous impact on the creation of a colonial world. Mining, cattle, agriculture, urbanism itself, radically transformed not only the environment of the newly acquired territories, but through this, the relationships of people to their surroundings, their practices and to themselves. Furthermore, the labor required for new endeavors such as mining, pearl diving, and textile production was frequently secured by the forced relocation of local or external populations, and therefore the uprooting of cultural practices, including technological and scientific, that had preceded the colonial ones.  Drawing on new work in history of science, labor and cultural studies, panels will address the material effects, both designed and unintended, of technological practices in the Iberian empires. 
Session 3: New Ideas and their Global Locations, May 2-3, 2014

This conference will explore the changes brought about to the traditional epistemologies and imaginary structures of both Europeans and non-Europeans when faced with the consequences of Iberian expansion.  Reflecting the creative spaces in which ideas took form, it will consider not only such emerging genres as the novel but also those more prevalent in Iberian colonies, such as histories, sermons, theater and poetry.  Through these it will address the responses of European and colonial authors to the massive challenges posed by the novelty, violence and desire unleashed in global expansion.  At the same time panels will also consider the impact of non-written cultures on erudite culture, as well as ways that ideas circulated outside of the written word.  Panels will thus explore how knowledge was produced through processes of exchange that involved all sectors of society, including African and indigenous peoples.


Scholars will need to have received their doctorates in the last six years, (no earlier than July 1, 2007 and no later than September 30, 2013). Scholars whose research pertains to the announced theme are eligible to apply. Fellows are expected to make a substantive contribution to the Center’s workshops and seminars. Awards are for three consecutive quarters in residence at the Clark.

Stipend: $39,264 for the three-quarter period together with paid medical benefits for scholar and dependents.

Application deadline: 1 February 2013

Clark Summer Institute

To support our fellows in residency at the Clark we offer the Clark Summer Institute. Each year a professor from UCLA leads this interdisciplinary research group based at the Clark. Each Summer Institute focuses on new developments in the field and shared works-in-progress. Attending the Summer Institute is encouraged but is not a requirement of the fellowship. This coming summer’s Institute is:

The Future of Early Modern Studies (July 22 thru August 10, 2013)
led by Helen Deutsch (UCLA).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spring Courses from the Office of Graduate Education's Graduate Academy

GRAD 594 Seminar: Leadership Essentials

This 1-credit course will help graduate students develop fundamental leadership skills that contribute to career success in any field. The instructor, Robert Wickboldt, Jr., retired from the United States Navy as a Master Chief Petty Officer (E/9), following a 30+ year career that included assignments to ship and shore commands from the Far East to Eastern Europe. He was directly responsible for training and leadership qualification of senior enlisted personnel and junior officers. CRN: 18193

GRAD 710 Scholarly Teaching

This pedagogy course provides teaching strategies drawn from current research on college education. Students will practice and apply these teaching skills in their own disciplines in order to become effective college instructors.

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Withers. CRN: 15123


GRAD 794A Seminar: 21st Century Teaching

This course will offer strategies for combining effective teaching with research. The course explores the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to develop research that is based on teaching. Instructor: Dr. Jessica Deshler. CRN: 17259 


GRAD 694B Seminar: Preparing Future Faculty

This seminar helps graduate students chart their course into faculty careers by exploring types of faculty positions, current issues in higher education, and even careers outside of academia. Instructor: Dr. Jenny Douglas. CRN: 16453


GRAD 685: Teaching Capstone

This is the capstone course for the Certificate in University Teaching and is intended to help students prepare teaching portfolios for university faculty positions. Instructor: Dr. Jenny Douglas. CRN: 17118

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CFP: MELUS in Pittsburgh, March 14-17, 2013

 The 26th MELUS Conference

Call for Papers
March 14-17, 2013
Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Theme: The Changing Landscapes of American Multiethnic Literature through Historical Crisis 

When we look back, what kinds of historical, global, national, institutional, political, cultural, racial, socio-economic, and sexual crises has American multiethnic literature engaged in, critiqued, reflected, challenged, reacted to artistically, and moved beyond? How have the various landscapes of American multiethnic literature changed? How has the American multiethnic literature challenged and enriched the American national literature and culture as well as contributed to the Anglophone global literature? How has the multiethnic genre changed and evolved? How have the multiple critical categories of language, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, culture, power, history, nation and geography complicated and enriched our scholarship and pedagogy in American multiethnic literature?

As we look forward, what are the new directions in American multiethnic literature in the 21st century? How do globalization, transnationalism, postcoloniality, and diaspora impact the studies and teaching of American multiethnic literature? What are the new studies in American multiethnic women’s literature? What are some of the cross-ethnic comparative literary analyses that can be exciting?

We invite paper abstracts and complete panels, workshops, and roundtable proposals on all aspects of the American multiethnic literatures of the United States. We are particularly interested in proposals that explore the changing landscapes of American multiethnic literature either in the past centuries and decades through multiple global, national, institutional, or cultural crises, or the various new directions in American ethnic literature in the 21st century. Any proposal for a complete panel, roundtable, or workshop should include a short description of the central topic, supplemented by brief individual abstracts. Please also indicate clearly if you need audiovisual equipment.

Deadline for abstracts and proposals (250 words in Microsoft Word): Oct. 31, 2012
Please email abstracts to both Professors Lingyan Yang ( and Kim Long (, MELUS 2013 Conference Committee co-chairs.

EGO/COW Book & Bake Sale this coming Monday 29 Oct.

For those of you who haven't heard (or hadn't heard before the title of this post), this coming Monday 29 Oct. EGO and COW are hosting our annual Fall Book & Bake Sale. From roughly 10-4 on Monday EGO members will be staffing the Sale in Colson 130 and COW members will be selling baked goods at a table in front of the Mountainlair.

As many of you know, this is our main fundraiser for the year, so please try to stop in and buy some cheap lovely books and some delicious baked goods. Your grad students very much appreciate the support.

Also, on Sunday 28 Oct. we will need assistance bringing the books down and unpacking them, then help on Monday after 4 to repack them. Anyone who shows up will be much appreciated (and we will be having pizza Sunday).
The last call for assistance is to anyone with a truck. We will be getting several shoping carts from the Giant Eagle on Green Bag Road, and a truck (or van, or SUV) would be a great help in transporting them (I only have a Chevy Cobalt, so I might be able to fit two carts in there, but it will be awkward).

Many thanks in advance.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sigma Tau Delta Initiation Tonight (10/24/12)

This just in from Anna Elfenbein:

We want to invite you to tonight's [10/24/12] initiation ceremony at 7:30 p.m., in E. Moore Hall.  We will be conferring membership in the English honorary Sigma Tau Delta on 20 new members. They are:
Caleb Alvarez, Stephanie Anderson, Khali M. Blankenship, Melissa Ferrone, Mariah Fowler, Emily Christine Greene, Cassie Griffith, Paige Jarvis, Andrew Lovejoy, Shawnee Moran, Kellene Lila O’Hara, Suzanne Ripley, Billette Ripy, Kassandra Roberts, Abby Rebecca Steele, Mike Secret, Madeline Lois Vandevender, Kevin Walden, Margery Webb, and Brendan Wood.
We know that many of you have had them in your classes.  Here is your chance to raise a cup or two of punch to honor them.   Feel free to congratulate them if they are currently in one of your classes.
We are hoping to see you tonight!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Article Prize

NCSA Article Prize

The Article Prize 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 a cash award of $500 to be presented at the annual meeting of NCSA in Fresno, California (March 7-9, 2013).

Articles published between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012 are eligible for consideration for the 2013 prize and may be submitted by the author or the publisher of a journal, anthology, or volume containing independent essays. Submission of interdisciplinary studies is especially encouraged. The winning article will be selected by a committee of nineteenth-century scholars representing diverse disciplines.

Send three copies of published articles/essays to the chair: Professor Christine Roth, Department of English, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901. Questions should be sent to: Applicants must verify date of actual publication for eligibility and provide an email address so that receipt of their submissions may be acknowledged. One entry per scholar or publisher is allowed annually. Essays written in part or in whole in a language other than English must be accompanied by English translations. Deadline for submission is November 15, 2012.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Now's a good time...

to read John Keats' "To Autumn," though I read the poem a lot over the summer when I was teaching that lyric poetry class, and summer felt like a pretty good time to read it too. I guess great poems truly are season-less as well as timeless.

Poet Stanley Plumly says that three of Keats' odes—"Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and "Ode on Melancholy"—are "almost beyond praise." "To Autumn," he says, "is beyond praise."

Plumly also says that Keats is the inventor of the modern lyric, "the poem that both acts out and contemplates itself." Have I told you this before? Even so, it's interesting to think about and thus worth repeating.

So with those recommendations—as well the recommendation of autumn itself, which seems in a particularly good mood today—here is that rightly famous poem.

You might even read it aloud; it does sound nice.

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ethel Smith Reads at "Sheer Good Fortune"

Professor Smith reading at Virginia Tech
There are so many recent achievements that the Tenants have to confess that they can barely keep up with them, so fast and furiously do they come upon us and then speed by. The very latest is that Ethel Smith was a featured reader at "Sheer Good Fortune":  Celebrating Toni Morrison, a celebration of the Nobel Laureate held recently on the Virginia Tech campus.  The event was hosted by Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovani and Joanne Gabbin, and among the other featured readers were Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Edwidge Dandicat and Angela Davis.
Faithful readers of the blog will already know that Professor Smith is scheduled to read tonight (Friday, Oct. 19th) at 7:30 in Colson 130.

CFP: English Graduate Conference at UVA

Subject to Change: Nature, Text, and the Limits of the Human

The University of Virginia Department of English Graduate Conference
March 22-24, 2013

We invite you to join us as we explore the ontological, environmental, ethical, and aesthetic implications of living in a world in which the primacy of the human has been called into question.  

What does it mean to read an object if we, too, are objects? Do inanimate subjects have a claim to the agency that humans have usually taken to be theirs alone? How are artists and scholars supposed to see into the life of things: the animal, the synthetic, the digital, the inert, the abject?  How do we read after nature in a world of things?

Keynote Speech by Timothy Morton

A Roundtable Discussion with

Timothy Morton and University of Virginia professors

Bruce Holsinger and Jennifer Wicke


Subjects (or is it objects?) of interest include, but are not limited to:

-Object-oriented ontology and the "democracy of objects"
-Whither the human?
-The anthropocene and anthropocentrism
-Nature and the unnatural

-Systems and ecosystems, digital and analog, network and wetwork

-Animism and a living world
-Environment and catastrophe

-Dark ecology and black ecology

-Speculative Realism

-Feminist and postcolonial possibilities after nature
-Translation and metaphor

-Textual history; books as physical objects

-Words for things/things for words
-Humanities without the human

-New ecology and community
-Ethics and bioethics in a posthuman world
-The limits of the body

-Conceptual art and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry
-Natural supernaturalism

-Goethean science

-The sublime; Romanticism and its afterlife


This conference is interdisciplinary: We welcome submissions from a variety of fields.  Send an abstract (of up to 350 words) for your 15-minute presentation to Include your name and institutional affiliation.


Responses are due by November 30, 2012.


Find more information, updates, and a growing forum on the nonhuman at


Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair of English at Rice University. He is the author of Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (forthcoming), Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (forthcoming), The Ecological Thought (2010), Ecology without Nature (2007), seven other books and eighty essays on philosophy, ecology, literature, food, and music.

Bruce Holsinger is Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Neomedievalism, Neoconservatism, and the War on Terror (2007), The Premodern Condition (2005) and Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture (2001).  His interests include Critical Theory and Medieval Literature.

Jennifer Wicke is Professor of English at the University of Virginia.  She is the author of Feminism and Postmodernism (1994) and Advertising Fictions: Literature, Advertisement, and Social Reading (1988).  Her interests include Critical Theory and 20th-Century Literature.