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.