Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rachel Brooks Travels to Liverpool


Last month, M.A. student Rachel Brooks presented her working thesis at the Theorising the Popular Conference in Liverpool, England. The conference spanned two days and featured the work of students and professors alike from many international backgrounds. Rachel was honored to be a part of this engaging academic experience. (Photo: Liverpool Hope University, Eden Building).

Brooks' thesis, currently titled "I Loooove Women: Louis C.K.'s Deconstruction of Romance Norms in the Media," examines comedian Louis C.K. (Louis Szekely) through the lenses of popular romance tropes, sex and gender studies, as well as specific elements of comedy and the philosophy of absurdism. Drawing from a number of sources, her research explores expectations found in popular media and explores the background of the critical response to Louis C.K.'s absurdist skits and scenarios found in both his show and stand-up comedy acts.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Founding Directors of the English Department's Writing Center

This photo from 1996 (best guess) shows the founding Directors of the English Department Writing Center, Kelly Thacker (McKee) and Margaret Ordoubadian, for whom the (now) University Writing Center is named.




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Thurston, Lute, Ettehadieh Complete Their Degrees

Dr. Lute
Three candidates for graduate degrees have successfully completed the requirements for their work.

On July 8th, Jonathan Thurston successfully defended his M.A. thesis, "Horse-Handling in Shakespeare’s Poems and Renaissance Codes of Conduct." Dr. Marion Hollings directed the thesis, and Dr. Kevin Donovan served as reader.

Dr. Ettehadieh

On July 11th, Dr. Khristeena Lute successfully defended her dissertation Between Grace and Grit: Modernity, Liminality, and Grace KingDr. Pat Bradley served as chair, and Drs. Mischa Renfroe and Ellen Donovan were her readers.

And July 12th saw the successful defense of Dr. Brandi Williamson Ettehadieh's "Then it's a lie, of course": Lying, Secrecy, and Deceit within Selected Works of Horatio Alger, Jr., directed by Dr. Renfroe. Drs. Carl Ostrowski and David Lavery served as readers.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

General Education Writing Awards Announced

Dr. Kate Pantelides and Dr. Julie Barger, Co-Directors, Lower Division English, have announced the winners of this year’s General Education Writing Awards.

This year’s judges (in addition to Barger and Pantelides) were Dr. Jim Hamby, Dr. Mark Jackson, Dr. Ron Kates, Janice Lupo, Candie Moonshower, and Marla Smith. (Each category--1010, 1020, and 2020/2030--had three judges.)  No essay won a prize without being on at least two judges’ lists.

First-place winners receive $300 prizes, second-place winners $200, and third-place $100. 

Barger and Pantelides wish to extend their thanks to everyone who nominated student writers, to the judges who spent several hours this summer reading student essays, and to the instructors who inspired and guided their students to compose award-winning work.

The winners are:

Category 1 (ENGL 1010)
1st Place: Jacob Myhre with “The Empathy of Poetry” -- Lori McClure-Wade, instructor
2nd Place: Adam Newbern with “Look at this Face: Breaking Feminism” – Jennifer Kates, instructor
3rd Place: Sarah Bowen with “Dancing with Angelina” – Alyson Lynn, instructor
Honorable Mention: Dillon Matheny with “The Rise and Fall of the Music Industry” – Deborah Barnard, instructor

Category 2 (ENGL 1020)
1st Place: Aislinn Joy Potts with “Playing a Dangerous Game” – Laura Dubek, instructor
2nd Place: Courtney Branum with “Halloween Sadism and How Children are Being Tricked out of their Treats” – Ryan Reed, instructor
3rd Place: Deeksha Adiani with “Women in Computer Science (or the Lack…)” – Julie Barger, instructor
Honorable Mention: Kaylee Schilling with “Star Wars: Why The Force Awaking Failed to Meet Expectation” – Julie Barger, instructor

Category 3 (ENGL 2020/2030)
1st Place: Emilia Suggs with “To His Coy Mistress”: A Matter of Form – Elvira Casal, instructor
2nd Place: Justin Whited with “On Trump” – Patricia Baines, instructor
3rd Place:  Freya Cartwright with “Poe and Dickinson’s Poems on Grief” – Carl Ostrowski, instructor
Honorable Mention:  Jessica Rigsby with “The Use of Animal Motifs in ‘White Chalah’” – Elyce Helford, instructor and  Rachael Drake with “Wild Nights, Wild Nights, only Man’s Delights” – Aaron Shapiro, instructor

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dr. Allison Smith Receives Emeritus Status

Dr. Allison Smith, a member of the English Department from 2002 until her retirement in 2014, has been honored by the Tennessee Board of Regents as an Emeritus Faculty member.

Go here to read Dr. Laura Dubek's tribute to her former colleague.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Howard Completes His Ph.D.

Michael Howard II successfully defended his dissertation, A Course in Cyborg Semiotics: Encoding and Decoding the Technorganism, today.

Dr. Marion Hollings directed the dissertation. Dr. David Lavery and Dr. Elyce Rae Helford served as readers.

Dr. Howard is a faculty member and Director of the Writing Center at Langston University in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dr. Will Onstott to Join Faculty at MBA


Dr. Will Onstott (Ph.D, 2014) has accepted a teaching position at Nashville's prestigious Montgomery Bell Academy, beginning Fall 2016.




Six English Department Faculty and Doctoral Students Present at Children's Literature Association


The English Department was well represented at this summer's Children's Literature Association annual meeting at Ohio State University. The following individuals, faculty, doctoral students, and former students--presented papers:
  • Sara Hays--"'If You Like This, You Should Read the Book!": The Great Gonzo as Narrator in The Muppet Christmas Carol"
  • Traci Cruey--"The Fork in the Road: The Right Path for Video Games Based on Fairy Tales"
  • Dr. Philip Shafer--"Drawing Boundaries: Constructions of Children and Adults in Selected Pixar Animated Films"
  • Dr. Jenny Marchant--"Let's Get Real: What the Velveteen Rabbit and Edward Tulane Tell Us About the Animal-Human Relationship"
  • Suzanne Messer--"Disney's The Princess and the Frog: Mainstreaming Black Culture into Acceptability"
  • Dr. Martha Hixon: "Backstories and Subtexts: Disney’s Self-referentiality and the Story Behind the Story"
The ChLA website is here. The conference program is here.

English Department Graduate Students Contribute to New Issue of "Scientia et Humanitas"

Issue 6 of Scientia et Humanitas has just been published, and the MTSU English Department represented a healthy selection of contributions. Four English grad students had their articles published in issue #6: Nick Dalbey, Morgan Hanson, Jacquelyn Hayek, and Savanna Teague. The issue also included "Joss's Jesus: Christ-figures in the Whedonverses" by Melody Cook, an undergraduate English major.

Moreover, Dalbey won the Deans' Distinguished Essay Award, selected by Dr. Phillips and Dean Vile.

Several English grad students also provided significant aid in reviewing articles, copyediting, and proofing: Erica Anderson, Dalbey, Rachel Donegan, Capron Hedgepath, Aaron Shapiro, and Hillary Yeager.

Scientia's Editor-in-Chief, was Morgan Hanson, and its Associate Editor was Dennis Wise.

Copies are available in the Honors College and will soon be available in various locations throughout campus.



--Adapted from a Facebook post by Dennis Wise

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bryan, Shafer, and Michael Awarded Ph.D.'s; Brown and Latham Earn M.A.'s

Drs. Renfroe and Michael | Dr. Shafer and His Daughters | Dr. Bryan and His Wife Sally

Brown (2nd in the line to the left)
 and Lathan (behind Brown)

On May 6th, at the first ever College of Graduate Studies' solo commencement, Dr. Clint Bryan (hooded by Dr. Mohammed Albakry), Dr. Phil Shafer (hooded by Dr. Martha Hixon), and Dr. Shellie Michael (hooded by Dr. Mischa Renfroe) were awarded Doctor of Philosophy degrees in English.

Will Brown (who wrote his thesis under the guidance of Dr. Gaylord Brewer) and Mary Marley Latham (working with Dr. Marion Hollings) both received M.A. degrees.
Drs. Albakry and Hixon
Dr. Hixon Hoods Dr. Shafer

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gaitely's Book to be Published

Dr. Patricia Gaitely's book on the novels of Louisiana writer Dave Robicheaux will be published by L.S.U. Press in August. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dr. Dawn Hall Receives Award

Dr. Dawn Hall (Ph.D., 2014) recently received the University College Research and Creative Activity Award at Western Kentucky University.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Three English Ph.D. Candidates Granted PDWFs

Three doctoral candidates, Khristeena Lute, Dennis Wise, and Sarah Gray, have been awarded Provost's Dissertation Writing Fellowships for 2016-2017.

These PDWFs will enable Kristeena (working with Dr. Pat Bradley), Dennis (working with Dr. David Lavery), and Sarah (working with Dr. Mischa Renfroe) to complete work on their dissertations during the upcoming school year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Catching Up with Mary Marley Latham

Mary Marley Latham recently defended her M.A. thesis Apologia pro Semanalyse: Kristeva and Wordsworth’s Maternal Sublime at MTSU. The thesis was directed by Dr. Marion Hollings. She has begun working towards a Ph.D. in English Literature at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. 

Latham also contributed “James Bonds of Feminism: Julia Kristeva, Stephanie Delacour, and the Feminist Intellectual Antihero” to the Cultural Studies collection Crime Uncovered: Antihero, edited by Rebecca Stewart and Fiona Peters (a book that was recently reviewed by Jonathan Barnes in the Times Literary Supplement.)

Additionally, in January Latham presented “The Situated Significance of ‘Transcendence’: From Wordsworth and Emerson to de Beauvoir” at an MLA session sponsored by the Simone de Beauvoir Society.

Latham has been accepted to this year’s Cornell Summer Theory and Criticism program where she will participate in the seminar The Right to Ignorance: Psychoanalysis and Secrets in Times of Surveillance, taught by Renata Salecl. She has also been invited to this year’s Kristeva Circle Conference in Stockholm, Sweden to deliver the presentation “The Maternal Sublime: Aesthetic Implications of Klein’s Object-Relations Theory.”



English Department Graduate Student Poets Showcased in the Spring 2016 "Collage"

In the new (Spring 2016) issue of Collage, five of the fourteen selections in the poetry section were authored by English Department graduate students Amy Harris-Aber, Will Brown, and StarShield Lortie.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's Administrative Professionals Day

On this, Administrative Professionals Day, let's all praise the English Department's superb staff.


Michelle Wise Defends Her Dissertation

Michelle Wise has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, "I am a Monster, Just Like She Said”: Monstrous Lesbians in Contemporary Gothic Film.

Dr. David Lavery directed the dissertation, and Drs. Linda Badley and Will Brantley served as readers.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Will Brown to Pursue M.F.A. at WKU


Will Brown, who recently defended his thesis “From Near Darkness: Experimenting a Way into Contemporary Poetry" at MTSU under the direction of Dr. Gaylord Brewer, has been accepted into the M.F.A. program at Western Kentucky University.

Rebekah Taylor Earns Ph.D. at Kent State University

Rebekah Taylor (M.A. , 2010), successfully defended her doctoral dissertation "Anthropocene Modernisms: Ecological Expressions of the 'Human Age' in Eliot, Williams, Toomer, and Woolf" at Kent State University.