Thursday, April 16, 2015

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.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Mia Kathryn Lupo

The English Department 's Janice Lupo gave birth yesterday (3/19/15) to a darling daughter, Mia Kathryn Lupo, 6 lbs 2 oz and 20 1/4" long.

Janice reports: "We are doing great!!!"


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

McDaniel Award Winner Announced

The GTA Observation and Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Khristeena Lute has been awarded the John N. McDaniel Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lute, a doctoral candidate in English, will receive her award at the College of Liberal Arts Awards Ceremony on April 8th.

Winners of the 2015 Wolfe Awards Announced

The Graduate Program in English is pleased to announce the recipients of the William R. Wolfe Graduate Writing Awards. Please join us in congratulating the following students on winning this prestigious award for the best essays written for graduate seminars in 2014.

  • Aaron Shapiro, for his essay "’Let Me Tell But Half': Wordsworth's ‘The Idiot Boy’ as Fragmentary Work," written for Dr. Michael Neth’s English 7210, Studies in English Romanticism: Wordsworth and Coleridge
  • William Ramsey, for his essay “Ben Jonson's Sejanus as Social Tragedy,” written for Dr. Kevin Donovan’s English 6230, Major British Writers: Ben Jonson

Honorable Mention
  • Jacquelyn Hayek, for her essay "The ‘Shadowed Woman’: George Eliot's Maggie Tulliver and Catherine Hubback's Emma Watson,” written for Dr. Becky King’s English 7270, Studies in Victorian Literature
  • Dennis Wise, for his essay “Ward Cleaver, Avant-Gardist: Wallace Stevens and the Poetry of the Last Man,” written for Dr. David Lavery’s English 7330, Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

Thanks to the judges for this year’s awards: Drs. Mohammed Albakry, William Levine, and Rhonda McDaniel.

The awards will be given at the College of Liberal Arts Awards Reception on April 8th.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dr. Jonathan Bradley Secures a Position at Virginia Tech

Dr. Jonathan Bradley, who earned his Ph.D. in English in 2013, will become a full-time staff member with the University Libraries at Virginia Tech beginning in mid-April.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Brandon Hardy to Pursue Ph.D. at ECU

Brandon Hardy, M.A. candidate in English and peer mentor in the University Writing Center, will be heading to East Carolina University in the Fall to pursue his Ph.D. He has been offered, and will accept, a full doctoral assistantship.

You can read an earlier post about Brandon here.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Lavery Joins Editorial Board of Journal

Dr. David Lavery has been asked to become a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Popular Film and Television.

JPFT, a refereed journal, founded in 1971, is published by Taylor and Francis/Routledge and edited by Gary Edgerton and Mike Marsdsen.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tell-Tale Launch of “Baudelaire’s Poe” at Vanderbilt

(L to R) Emily James, Dr. Philip Phillips, and Yvonne Boyer, Bandy Center Librarian (not shown, Erica Rodgers)

"Baudelaire’s Poe: Selections from the W.T. Bandy Collection,” an online exhibition of digital images of rare books and materials from the collection of nineteenth-century literary scholar W.T. Bandy, was launched on January 19, 2015—the 206th anniversary of Poe’s birth—at the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies at Vanderbilt University.

This exhibition was curated by MTSU professor of English and honors associate dean Philip Phillips, with the assistance of associate curators and MTSU alumnae Emily James (MA, '11) and Erica Rodgers (MA, ’12), in cooperation with the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University. 

The exhibition examines interconnections between the lives and works of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and the French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), with special emphasis on the pervasive influence of Baudelaire’s masterful French translations of Poe’s works in France, Europe, and the rest of the world (including the United States). It also provides interactive timelines of Poe and Baudelaire.

Dr. Phillips, currently president of the Poe Studies Association, received a W.T. Bandy Fellowship in 2010-12 to conduct initial research for the project. He will give a presentation on “Resources for the Study of Poe and Baudelaire at the W.T. Bandy Center” as part of a panel on "Poe, Baudelaire, and their Influence" at the Poe Studies Association’s Fourth International Edgar Allan Poe Conference, February 26-March 1, 2015, in New York City.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lavery to be Recipient of Owen Barfield Award for Excellence

The English Department's David Lavery will be the recipient of the 2015 Owen Barfield Award for Excellence, given by the Barfield Estate.

Watch the film about Barfield he co-produced and co-wrote below.

Lavery is presently editing a Barfield encyclopedia, which, though not quite finished, can be examined here:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Joss in June Comes to MTSU

Middle Tennessee State University will play host to the second Joss in June Conference this coming Summer, to be held on campus in (most likely) MTSU's beautiful new Student Center, with attendees staying at Murfreesboro's DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. After a reception on Friday night (6/26/15), the conference will take place on Saturday (6/27/15). Saturday evening and Sunday will be open for those wishing to experience Nashville (30 miles away). The conference website is here.

The conference's co-directors are the English Department's Dr. David Lavery, PhD candidate  Cori Mathis, and recent MA graduate Stephanie Graves. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Helford Essay Nominated for Prestigious Award

An essay by Dr. Elyce Helford, "Figuring Jewishness in George Cukor's A Double Life," published in Jewish Film and New Media 1.2 [2014], was nominated by Wayne State University Press for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2015 Kovacs Award for outstanding scholarship in cinema and media studies.

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014 Peck Awards

In a ceremony at the Thomas Jackson Building yesterday, ten undergraduate and graduate students were named Peck Award Scholars.

Kristen Bezner (introduced by Dr. Claudia Barnett)
Katherine Mayetta Estes (Brewer) (introduced by Dr. James Comas)
Jesse T. Burleson (introduced by Dr. Laura White)
Savannah DiGregorio (introduced by Dr. Pat Bradley)
Mary Marley Latham (introduced by Dr. Marion Hollings)
Khristeena Lute (introduced by Dr. Laura Dubek)
Shellie Melnick Michael (introduced by Dr. Mischa Renfroe)
Adam Sisk (introduced by Dr. Pat Bradley)
Tiara Terrell (introduced by Dr. Kathleen Therrien)
Taffeta Xu (introduced by Dr. Aleka Blackwell)

Front row: Savnnah DiGregorio, Taffeta Xu, Shellie Melnick Michael, Adam Sisk, Khristeena Lute, Jesse T. Burleston; back row: Katherine Estes, Mary Marley Latham, Tiara Terrell, Kristen Bezner) 

Therrien, Barnett
The award ceremony was hosted (for the last time ) by Dr. Claudia Barnett, who passed the mantle to her successor, Dr. Kathleen Therrien.

Photos by Dr. Will Brantley