Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Here they are!

… your newly minted MFAs: Christina Seymour, Troy Copeland, Jessi Lewis, Sara Lucas, Rebecca Doverspike, Jesse Kalvitis, and Nathan Holmes.

It really was one of our best readings ever. Congratulations and thanks to these writers. It's been great working with all of you.

For more pics, visit the creative writing blog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Perks of Being the WVU Figure Skating Club Adviser

With Olympic gold-medal-winning ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White after a "Stars on Ice" show in Pittsburgh...

Friday, April 25, 2014

Interesting Course for Fall: FCLT 393L -SPTP GENDER, SEXUALITY & FILMS

If you're an undergrad and you're still working on your schedule for next fall, there's a special topics course in the World Languages Department that looks really interesting. Gender, sexuality, and films: what more could you ask for?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Poem in Your Pocket Day is tomorrow

Best be prepared. Here's a poem that you can carry around. After all, many people have, for many years.

They Flee from Me

  by Thomas Wyatt

They flee from me, that sometime did me seek,
With naked foot stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them, gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild, and do not remember
That sometime they put themselves in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be Fortune it hath been otherwise,
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array, after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small,
And therewith all sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"

It was no dream, I lay broad waking.
But all is turned, thorough my gentleness,
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go, of her goodness,
And she also to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindely am served,
I fain would know what she hath deserved.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The 2014 CONference Schedule

   Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back:
the ENGL 680 Spring CONference 


(wherein literary research methods are simulated, stimulated, undermined, overthrown, explicated, illuminated, de-luminated, and generally ridiculed)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
4 pm
Colson Hall, 130


4:00 – 4:20     Plenary Session

Introduced by ?

·       Sarah Neville: “The History Book on the Shelf is Always Repeating Itself: Collation, Cruzes, and Spandex in Abba’s ‘Waterloo’”


4:20 – 4:40     Losing Your Fruits: Wayward Epistemologies in 20th and 21st Century


Chaired by Rachel Hoag

·       Sara Kearns ~ “Revising Bedlam: Sexton and Plath in a Psychiatric Treatment Setting”

·       Victoria Dickman-Burnett ~ “Trapped in the Bananastand: Arrested Development as a Rewriting of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit”


4:40 – 5:00     Pulling Her Hare: Transgressive Accelerations in Modern Mass Culture

Chaired by Natalie Carpini

·       Meagan Szekely ~ “Swift Studies: Quick Queries about a Rapid Relationship” (Taylor Swift)

·       Jonas Oliver ~ “Write of the Lepus: Lagomorphic Violence in Heinrich Hoffmann’s Slovenly Peter and Beyond”


5:00 – 5:20     Restriction and Release: Reconceptualizing Captivity Within and Without the Academy

Chaired by Jonas Oliver

·       Tatiana Robinson ~ Tying the Knot: Princesses and Bondage in the Films of Disney

·       Rachel Hoag ~ “Me-search” and Therap “e-cards”: Creating Online Mental Health Spaces for Graduate Students


5:20 – 5:40 Peniary Session

Introduced by Meagan Szekely

·       Natalie Carpini ~ “The Penicule of Their Existence: Penis Graffiti as Evidence of Increased Literacy”


6pm   Adjourn to the Black Bear: All Welcome!

Faculty Research Colloquium

The Department of English presents:

The Faculty Research Colloquium

“‘Break[ing] into this woman’s mood’ The Lab Space of

Shakespeare’s Henry IV 

by Sarah Neville 

In Jean Howard’s words, Shakespeare’s histories seem to “tap into a yearning for a return to masculine rule and marital values.” By 1598, when the first part of Shakespeare’s Henry IV was being written, the virgin queen Elizabeth had been ruling England for over 30 years, and concerns over her succession were reaching fever pitch. Shakespeare’s similar preoccupation with primogeniture in his two Henry IV plays – a preoccupation that he passes along to his titular character – is thus rooted in the specific concerns of his present day. My talk will explore the ways that the current production of Henry IV onstage at WVU’s Creative Arts Center subverts the underlying patriarchal messages at the root of Shakespeare’s tetralogies to turn a pair of history plays into a feminist tragedy for our modern age. 

The talk is accompanied by an exhibition of the First Folio and other Shakespeareana curated by Stewart Plein, WVU libraries.

                                                 Free Public Lecture

April 23, 2014

2:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room, WVU Downtown Library

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Congrats to PWE capstone students on a successful poster exhibit!

On Tuesday the Professional Writing and Editing (PWE) program hosted the biannual PWE Poster Exhibition. PWE concentrators are required to complete a capstone internship  in professional or technical communication, and their posters are an opportunity for them to showcase their work for the university community. This spring, eleven students shared posters at the event, representing a diverse range of internships, from the English department’s own Center for Literary Computing and Writing Center to WVU Library Services and FiT Publishing.

Prizes are awarded for the best posters, and this semester the top prize went to Brianna Pethtel for her poster "Working Remotely: Writing to Connect Academic Researchers with Industry Partners," which showcased her work for WVU’s LIINC program.

 Second prize went to Rebecca Sandmeier for her poster “Connecting Literature and Technology: Interning at the Center for Literary Computing.”

Third prize went to Shawnee Moran for her poster “New South Media: Regional Publications for National Audiences.”
(Photo credits to PWE graduate and former poster winner Alex Ries.)

Congratulations to all of the interns on their accomplishments this term, including:

  • Jonathan Cook, who interned with the CLC. His poster highlighted the collaborative nature of an editor’s job (and the revolving door an editor’s desk becomes).
  • Emilee Justiss, who interned with WVU Library Services conducting research on the types of resources used most frequently by composition students.
  • Alexandra Kirk, who interned with FiT Publishing, proofreading journals and designing PowerPoint presentations to accompany sports management textbooks.
  • Jonathan Miltenberger, who interned with the CLC, and astutely communicated the long-term benefits of editing for clarity and consistency in the early stages of a book project.
  • Shelby Schwabb, who interned with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She worked on fundraising and wish-fulfillment communications, successfully balancing the advantages of form letters with the unique stories of individual children’s wishes.
  • Mollie Simonton, who interned with the Writing Center, designing marketing materials, editing tutorials on working with STEM students, and researching multilingual students’ experiences in writing-intensive courses.
  • Allen Utterback, who interned with the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. He wrote and edited articles and speeches for special events and internal publications.
  • Margery Webb, who interned with Administrative Technology Solutions, developing training materials for WVU’s Mountaineer Administrative Processes website.

Thank you to everyone who supported these talented English majors by attending the poster exhibit, especially the three graduate students (Sara Ash, Jay Kirby, and Will Deaton) who performed the difficult task of evaluating and narrowing down the top three poster presenters.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MFA Thesis Season

Once again, we have come to the happy conclusion of another MFA thesis season. Congratulations to the writers, and their committees, who made us proud. And remember to come out and hear them read their work on Thursday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhododendron Room.

And now—drumroll, please—we present our graduating MFAs:

Jessi Lewis, She Spoke Wire (novel). Committee: Mark Brazaitis (chair), Kevin Oderman, Glenn Taylor.

Christina Seymour, This Perfect World (poems). Committee: Mary Ann Samyn (chair), Jim Harms, Kevin Oderman.

Sara Lucas, Wheatfield (novel). Committee: Glenn Taylor (chair), Mark Brazaitis, Rosemary Hathaway.

Rebecca Doverspike, When an Aspen Quakes (essays). Committee: Kevin Oderman (chair), Mary Ann Samyn, Lara Farina.

Jesse Kalvitis, Lives Like Dollars (essays). Committee: Kevin Oderman (chair), Ethel Morgan Smith, Tim Sweet

Nathan Holmes, The First Regent (novel). Committee: Mark Brazaitis (chair), Glenn Taylor, Ethel Morgan Smith.

Troy Copeland, Myself That I Portray (essays). Committee: Kevin Oderman, Mark Brazaitis, Katy Ryan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 Writing Contest Winners


Jon Scott Nelson Freshmen Creative Writing Contest



Mitchell Glazier


Instructors: Mary Ann Samyn (English 313) and Christina Seymour (English 213)  



Elliot Ross


Instructor: (not listed)



Rachel McBride


Instructor: Tia DeShong (English 101)



Jessica Guzman

Hannah McPherson

Marianne Casey



Jon Scott Nelson First-Year Writing Award


Michael Hylton


Instructor: Carol Fox                                


Rachel McBride

“Choosing a Revolution”

Instructor: Tia DeShong


Elliot Ross

“Shadows on the Walls of my Mind”

Instructor: Melissa Ferrone



Hailey Foglio

Sadie Shorr-Parks

Katherine Richards,

Ami Schiffbauer

Shane Stricker

Tom Sura






Jon Scott Nelson Professional Writing and Editing Award



Shana Burleson


Instructor: Catherine Gouge (English 302) and Elizabeth Juckett (English 304)




Kylie Barnhart


Instructor: Elizabeth Juckett (English 304)



Allen Rickards


Instructor: Elizabeth Juckett (English 304)



Brian Ballentine




Waitman Barbe Creative Writing Contest



Allison Eckman

“Shenandoah Season”

Instructor: Glenn Taylor (English 312)


Honorable Mention:

Paige Jarvis

“In Time”

Instructor: Rebecca Thomas (English 318)




Stephanie Anderson

“In the Garden”

Instructor: Mark Brazaitis (English 418)


Honorable Mention:

Benjamin Aultman-Moore

“Arkansas Sunshine”

Instructor: Mark Brazaitis (English 418)




Caleb Milne

Various poems

Instructor: Mary Ann Samyn (English 313)


Honorable Mention:

Deborah Cruse

Various poems

Instructor: Mark Brazaitis (English 418)




Kevin Oderman



James Paul Brawner Expository Writing Contest


Undergraduate Division



Jennifer Head

“Sex, Power, and Fear of the Seductress in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Instructor:  John Lamb (English 369W)



Madeline Vandevender

“Sylvan Sabotage: Emily Bronte’s ‘There are two trees in a lonely field’”

Instructor:  Maria Barron (English 262)



Megan Vealey

“Deconstructing Notions of Identity Authenticity in Chicana Falsa

Instructor: Gwen Bergner (English 387)




Michael Buso

Elizabeth Juckett

Phillip Zapkin



102 Division



Mariah Moore

“Art Censorship: The Broader Impact”

Instructor: Jason Kapcala



Maddie Clouser

People For Profit: Obama’s Executive Order Against Human Trafficking

Instructor: Jason Kapcala



Sarah Kennedy

“Who’s Spreading the Word?: Increasing the Awareness of Diabetes Mellitus”

Instructor: Jason Kapcala



Andi Stout

Natalie Sypolt

Rebecca Thomas



Graduate Division



Harrington Weihl

“The Sublime Object of Form: Modernism and Experimentation”

Instructor: Dennis Allen (English 782)




Dibyadyuti (Dibs) Roy

“Trinh.T Minh-ha’s Reassemblage: Re-conceptualizing Transnational Feminism through Rhizomatic Testimonies”

Instructor: Ryan Claycomb (English 695)



Phillip Zapkin

“Historiography’s Linguistic (Re)Turn: Aristotle’s Rhetoric and the Ethical Role of Multiplicity in Contemporary Historiography”

Instructor: Tom Sura (English 601)



Sandy Baldwin

Gwen Bergner

Cari Carpenter




Russ MacDonald Graduate Creative Writing Contest


Fiction Division
Shaun Turner

“A Deep Plane Facelift”

Instructor: Mark Brazaitis (English 618A)


Honorable Mention:

Nathan Holmes

“The Usual Sleep: or A Stranger’s Grave Under the Oak Tree”

Instructor: Mark Brazaitis (English 618A)


Nonfiction Division
Jessica Kalvitis


Instructor: Katie Fallon (English 618B)


Honorable Mention:

Rebecca Doverspike


Instructor: Katie Fallon (English 618B)


Poetry Division

Christina Seymour

Various Poems

Instructors: James Harms and Mary Ann Samyn (English 618)


Honorable Mention:

Jessica Guzman

Various poems

Instructors: James Harms and Mary Ann Samyn (English 618)




Tom Noyes – fiction

Kelly Moffett – poetry

Erin Tocknell - nonfiction



Appalachian Writing Award


Rachel Bainbridge

“Mourning Falls”

Instructor: Glenn Taylor (English 312)



Cassidy Cline

“A Child’s Perspective”

Instructor: Anna Elfenbein (English 252)



Dwight Harshbarger