Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Howard Off to Oklahoma

Michael (Mick) Howard, a Ph.D. candidate in English, has accepted a tenure-track position at Langston University, just outside Oklahoma City, OK.

Howard will serve as Director of the Writing Center and assistant professor of English.

Taras Mikhailiuk Working at the "Keats-Shelley Journal"

Taras Mikhailiuk (M.A., 2013), now a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been appointed an editorial intern at the Keats-Shelley Journal.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

MTSU Hosts the Joss in June Conference

The English Department hosted the second Joss in June conference this past weekend.

Co-chaired by Dr. David Lavery, recent alumni Stephanie Graves, and doctoral candidate Cori Mathis, and co-sponsored by the Whedon Studies Association, the English Department, and the College of Graduate Studies and Liberal Arts, Joss in June brought Whedon scholars from as far away as California and Minnesota to Murfreesboro to discuss the work of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers)

The keynote address—"A Singular Pinocchio: Puppets, Artificial Intelligence & Ultron"was given by K. Dale Koontz, author of Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon.

The English Department was well represented at the conference: among the presenters were undergraduate English major Melody Cook, MA candidate Cheryl Jensen, and Ph.D. students Hillary Yeager, Jenn Kickliter, and Sara Hays. Former MTSU students Cassandra Bishop (now pursuing her Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University), Luke Patton, Dr. Nancy Roche (now teaching at Vanderbilt), Dr. Jessica Allen, Dr. Shiloh Carroll, and Dr. Cynthia Burkhead (Chair of the English Department at the University of North Alabama) also gave papers. English majors Ken Rehberger and Kyle McCarthy and doctoral student Bethany Boswell ably assisted in conference registration and organization.

On Saturday, the winners of the WSA's 2015 Mr. Pointy Awards were announced.

This was the third Mr. Pointy Award for Dr. Lavery.

The first Joss in June, a biennial conference created to serve in the interim between the larger and more international Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses,  was held in 2013 in Shelby, NC.

The first Slayage was held in Nashville in 2004. Also hosted by MTSU, it drew almost four hundred attendees from all over the world and offered over 180 scholarly papers on Whedon's work. Subsequent Slayages have taken place in Barnesville, GA, Arkadelphia, AR, St. Augustine, FL, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Sacramento, CA. Next summer's conference will take place at Kingston University in London. For more information contact Dr. Lavery.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

David Lumpkin's Essay Published in "The Sun"

The English Department's David Lumpkin's "While We Waited" has been published in The Sun. An excerpt can be found here.

Three from the English Department Contribute to New Book on "Faulkner and Warren"

Faulkner and Warren (Suutheast Missouri State U P, 2015), a new collection edited by Christopher Rieger and Robert W. Hamblin, contains three essays by faculty and students from the English Department.

  • "Angelic Acrobats and Fallen Southern Women: William Faulkner and Robert Penn Warren Go to the Circus by Dr. Pat Bradley
  • "The Inadequacy of Language in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Robert Penn Warren's Brothers to Dragons" by doctoral candidate Fadia Mereani's
  • "William Faulkner's Dilsey, Robert Penn Warren's Manty, and Race Politics" by doctoral candidate Dennis Negron. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dr. Pagel Completes His Ph.D.

On June 12, Michael Adam Pagel, a faculty member at Northeast Community College, successfully defended his dissertation, "Humanist and Puritan Traditions in Milton's Pastoral Poetry: Shepherds Upholding Religious Liberty for Dissenting Protestant Groups."

His committee members included Dr. Philip Phillips (Director), Dr. Tom Strawman, and Dr. Amy Kaufman.
Dr. Tom Strawman, Dr. Michael Pagel, Dr. Philip Phillips

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Winners of the Lower Division Teaching Awards Named

Lower Division Director Dr. Tom Strawman announced today the winners of this year’s Outstanding Lower Division Teaching Awards.

The winner of the Outstanding Adjunct Award is Dr. Karine Gavand.

Janice Porth was named the recipient of the Outstanding Lecturer Award.

A prize of $500 accompanies each award.

Dr. Strawman added:
My congratulations and thanks go to the other committed and skilled instructors who were nominated for this year’s awards. We are fortunate, indeed, to enjoy the company and the inspiration of so many seasoned professionals among our colleagues teaching Lower Division English courses, colleagues who are deeply invested in student welfare and in the quality of their teaching.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Clint Bryan Becomes a Member of the Faculty at Northwest University

Ph.D. candidate Clint Bryan has secured a position at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA, beginning this August.

Clint will be a tenture-track assistant professor of rhetoric and composition in the English department, tasked with running the writing center that serves both graduate and undergraduate students and teaching such courses as introductory composition and Intro to Media Writing.

Clint hopes to complete his dissertation (directed by Dr. Mohammed Albakry) by next spring.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Nicole Leonce and Karen Hillman Join the English Department

Leonce and Hillman
Nicole Leonce and Karen Hillman have joined the English Department's staff as secretaries in (respectively) the Upper Division and Lower Division offices.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Two English Faculty to Deliver International Keynotes

Two MTSU faculty, Drs. Linda Badley and David Lavery, will keynote at international conferences this month.

Badley will be a keynote speaker at the 2nd Ekphrasis Conference in Cinema and Visual Culture on “Provocation as Art: Scandal, Shock and Sexuality,” 28-29 May, 2015, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her presentation, “‘Fill All My Holes’: Nymph()maniac’s Sadeian Discourse,” will focus on Lars von Trier’s exploration of pornography as a cinematic language in his most recent film, which also culminates the director’s long-term fascination with the Marquis de Sade.

The conference is organized by the BabeČ™-Bolyai University’s Faculty of Theater and Television, Department of Cinema and Media.

Lavery will be journeying to Manchester in the UK, where he will be a keynoter at the University of Salford's "'I’ll See You Again in 25 Years': The Return of Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult TV" (May 21-22). 

His presentation is entitled "Twin Peaks’ Vision (‘as distinguished from a dream which is mere sorting and cataloging of the day's events by the subconscious, . . . fresh and clear as a mountain stream—the mind revealing itself to itself’) and the Discovery of Television Creativity." It will consider David Lynch and Mark Frost’s series as a supremely influential text in the advent of television’s second—and third—“golden ages” and track how and why Peaks’ memes propagated so widely and pervasively throughout the last two decades of quality television.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dr. Michael Neth Receives College of Liberal Arts Research Award

At this month's CLA Awards Ceremony, Dr. Michael Neth became the first recipient of the College's award for research.

Neth was recognized particularly for his “heroic achievement” in editing Shelley’s Laon and Cythna as well as for his international reputation as a Romantics scholar. Dr. Neth is associate editor of The Complete Poetry of Shelley and co-editor (with Donald H. Reiman) of Volume XVI of Shelley's complete works.

Dr. Neth earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York. He has been a member of the English Department since 1990.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dr. Kaufman Gives Public Lecture

Dr. Amy Kaufman, Associate Professor of English, was the featured lecturer for the English Department’s Community Dialogue Speaker Series held on Thursday, April 16 in the James Union Building.  

Her riveting talk on ISIS propaganda and the New Middle Ages, “Dark Rival,” offered a unique perspective on what makes ISIS tick and considered why people are so tempted to call their actions “medieval.”

The Community Dialogue series is a new lecture series designed to showcase the diversity of scholarship among distinguished faculty in English studies and to engage community members along with MTSU faculty, staff and students in provocative and timely discussions about the interwoven nature of knowledge.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

English Department Awards Given at the College of Liberal Arts Awards Ceremony

On April, at the annual College of Liberal Arts Awards Reception, sixteen students were recognized (see the complete list of recipients below).

Also recognized were Drs. Kevin Donovan and Tom Strawman (for 25 years of service), Drs. Martha Hixon and Pete McCluskey (for 15 years of service), Dr. Kathleen Therrien (as an Outstanding Faculty Adviser), and Dr. Michael Neth, who received the CLA Faculty Research Award.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dr. Tina Johnson Nominated for Athena Award

Dr. Tina Johnson, Professor of English and Director of Women's and Gender Studies, will be a recipient of this year's Athena Award, presented by RutherfordCABLE to recognize women in the nonprofit sector who exhibit exceptional professional and personal leadership.

Also receiving the award will be former English faculty member Dr. B. Ayne Cantrell and Summa Clark, a department alum.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fall 2015 Graduate Course Offering

Fall 2015
English 6270-7270—Studies in Victorian Literature
The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Associates
Dr. Becky King  PH 301  Th 2:40—5:40

Texts: Cecil Lang, The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Circle; Elizabeth Prettejohn, Art of the Pre-Raphaelites

This course explores works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their associates—Dante and Christina Rossetti, William Morris, George Meredith, Algernon Charles Swinburne—as well as excerpts by Ruskin, Pater, Wilde, and Whistler, particularly as they relate to aesthetics and aestheticism. We also duck into Keats as pre-cursor, and Tennyson’s Idylls by way of reveling in Arthuriana! We will read lots of lovely poetry and art (yes, PRB art tells stories!). 

The Pre-Raphaelites were in contact with most of the major artistic and intellectual figures of their era. Often adapting classical and medieval themes and styles for their work, they influenced a wide range of visual arts and literature, architecture and design, and cultural movements. Thus they allow us to explore the rich milieu of mid-to-late Victorian culture.  




Bentley to Pursue Ph.D. at NC State

T. Mark Bentley, M.A. candidate and peer mentor in the Writing Center, has been offered full funding at multiple PhD programs.  After much deliberation, a campus tour over Spring Break, and a few Google Hangouts with faculty members, Mark and his wife Crystal have decided to make the move to Raleigh, North Carolina where Mark will be working in North Carolina State University’s Communications Rhetoric and Digital Media program.  

Dr. Claudia Barnett has a New Website

Dr. Claudia Barnett has a new website devoted to her playwrighting. Click on the image below to visit it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Two from the MTSU English Department to Attend an NEH Summer Seminar

Dr. Rhonda McDaniel and Professor Nancy Blomgren, a faculty member at Vol. State and a doctoral candidate in English at MTSU, have both been chosen as members of an National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on The Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts: Interpretation Through Production, to be held at the University of Iowa.

Gaylord Brewer to Publish Two New Books

Gaylord Brewer has two new books out this spring. Of a ninth book of poetry, Country of Ghost (Pasadena: Red Hen), Robert Olmstead writes that “Brewer writes as if a sly old god, wounded, lost and yet to renounce his magic. Ghost is a tour de force, part Caliban, part Ariel.” The book chronicles successive summers of the titular character haunting the author across Spain, Finland, and France.

The second book, The Poet’s Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire (Nacogdoches, TX: Stephen F. Austin State UP) is a years-in-the-making hybrid of recipes, anecdotal memoir, and poetry. Chapters include “Of Bondage and Blow Dryers,” “Risotto to Kill of Die For,” and “Blood Sausage and the Rudiments of Love.” Martha Hopkins, author of The New Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook, labels the quirky result as “utterly delicious.”

The new issue of the Asheville Poetry Review (issue 24, v. 21, no. 1, 2014), just released, features a 30-page interview with Brewer and fellow poet Keith Flynn in a wide-ranging discussion of poetry and lifestyle, all ostensibly with a focus on the simultaneous 20th(+) anniversaries of that journal and Poems & Plays, which Brewer founded at MTSU in 1993.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dr. Jennifer Kates, Students Attend Literary Festival

Dr. Jennifer Kates (fifth from left in the photo above) took a group of undergraduate creative writers to the Southern Literary Festival at the University of North Goergia this week. Dr. Kates reports:
We attended readings, master classes, and workshops with several great Southern writers including Tony Grooms, Frances Mayes, and Karen Head. Erin Davidson (second from right, in skirt and MTSU sweatshirt) won first place in the SLF undergraduate writing competition for her one-act play “Legs.” She and other students (Heather Hickox, Kelby Fischer, Dale Mills) presented a scripted reading of the play at the festival. Several students also read work at the SLF open mic night. Shelby Rehberger made an impression with her raw and honest memoir “Room 214” about her stay in a psychiatric hospital. Heather Hickox brought down the house with her hilarious short story about a necrophiliac who can’t find love. We shared the 2015 SLF anthology (all MTSU student and alum produced) to rave reviews and gave a preview of the 2016 Festival, which will be hosted at MTSU.