The English Major Volume 6, Issue 4
March 12, 2010
Over-achieving undergraduates: David Mulry Schreiner’s English majors outdid themselves (as ever) by taking this year’s National Undergraduate Literature Conference by storm. Christopher Fuqua presents a short fiction work: “Operation Iraqi Freedom”; Katie Wright and Katie Stout were both selected to present their poetry; Katie Stout is also sched-
uled to present her paper, “A Psychoanalytic Examination of Lawrence Selden in ‘The House of Mirth.’” She is alongside other majors presenting literature research, including Heather Stevens-Shaffer with “Seriously, It‘s Not About Puritans,” Bri Hamlyn, excited to “spend a
few days with other lit nerds like me” with
“Surviving Slavery: Dealing with a Post-Abolition Culture in Toni Morrison‘s ‘Beloved,’” and Dolores Kimball, president of Schreiner’s English Honors chapter, with “‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’: A View of Capitalist Patriarchy.” The conference is held in beautiful Ogden, Utah, at Weber State University between March 31-April 3.
Liebestänze: Silke Feltz In April, Silke Feltz will read several of her poems at the CSUF Creative Writing and Composition Conference in Fullerton, CA. This is the first time she shares her creative work
with published poets and creative writing professors. Her collection, called Liebestänze, is comprised of poems that focus on love and relationships.
Feltz regularly leads a Stammtisch or discussion table for Germanophiles on campus. Contact her at email@example.com for more.
Inside this issue: Undergrad Research
Bossing the Jersey Shore
Texas Writer’s Conference
Music Notes: Kathleen Hudson The Texas Music Coffeehouse is providing a place for writers to emerge and be heard. The student participation keeps growing with over 100 students attending the February Coffeehouse featuring a tribute to Black History Month. March 3 honored Women’s History Month and featured Shelley King, and April 7 is Spoken Word with slam poetry and Thom
Moon the poet. This project is produced by the Texas Heritage Music Foundation (started in 1987 by Kathleen Hudson), along with student activities and the Center for Innovative Learning. Events start at 7 with an open mike, feature a special guest at 7:30 and end with another open mike. The list of student performers just keeps growing. Hudson says, “As
the Cactus Café is closing on the UT campus in Austin, the premier listening room for songwriters in the state, there’s a possibility for our own Lion’s Den to fill that space.” Hudson, a noted authority on Texas music, will be teaching a course on it next fall, along with two freshman composition courses on the singer/songwriter in American music.
• Needed: team of Schreiner students to do spring planning for Living History Day, held on September 24, 2010. Call Hudson at ext. 7409 to participate! • June 24-26, Young Rhetorician’s Conference in Monterey, California. Hudson cochair and working with Schreiner student on research for a panel. Past participants from Schreiner are Dolores Kimball and Dianne Robertson.
The English Major
Bossing The Jersey Shore: William Woods alongside leading music and popular culture scholars in the nation, and then of course, to hang out in the same neck of the woods where Bruce got his start." According to the official Web page, Springsteen’s influence "extends from the stage into the classroom, and his works have turned up in the syllabi of courses across the United States and around the world.”
For a lifelong Bruce Springsteen fan, it was a dream come true. Last semester, Dr. Woods, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and English department faculty member, made the pilgrimage to the Jersey Shore in order to present his paper, “Bruce Springsteen and the End of the World: An Examination of Marvel Comic’s ‘The Stand’” at the 2009 Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium cosponsored by Virginia Tech and Monmouth University. "What a treat," said Woods. "First just the excitement of having my paper accepted,
Woods’ paper focused upon the cartoon character of Larry Underwood in Marvel Comic’s new series, “The Stand” and his links to ‘The Boss.’ “Talk about a perfect storm coming together,” said Woods. “With this paper I was able to combine my love of graphic novels and rock and roll music with some literary criticism of one of my favorite authors, Stephen King.” According to Woods, the paper came out of IDST 3260 Aesthetics last summer. “We focused upon the incredible artwork out there in some comic books these days, using Scott McCloud’s
Understanding Comics’ and David Carrier’s ‘The Aesthetics of Comics’ as a starting place.” As his students began writing about graphic novels, Woods began examining the Marvel Comic “The Stand.” Woods says he felt “honored” to be at a gathering of so many intellectuals and theorists who also happen to be Boss fans. “It’s funny, because we were engaged in some heavyhitting academics; I was in rooms with some remarkably bright scholars, but during the break-out sessions, we all quickly reverted to geeky Springsteen fans." And although sadly for Woods Bruce never showed up—despite rumors that he might—he says he wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything in the world. “Just to be at the legendary Stone Pony nightclub where Bruce first stepped on stage, or to be standing on the Asbury Park boardwalk next to Madam Marie’s or all the other spots Bruce sings about, well, what a kick.”
presentations, the symposium was covered by national and international press, including The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the BBC. Woods’ research and scholarly interests have long been tied to the field of popular culture studies. He is the founder and coordinator of the annual Schreiner University Popular Culture Symposium.
“a perfect storm...graphic novels and rock and roll music.”
With more than 300
Data Day Research: Silke Feltz In March, Dr. Kirsten Komara, the Writing Center Director and Silke Feltz, a new English faculty member, will present their research at the Conference of College Teachers of English (CCTE) in Beaumont, Texas. Since spring 2008, Komara and Feltz have Page 2
been collaborating to integrate Writing Center tutoring into freshman English classrooms, and workshops, believing that deep learning occurs by balancing classroom discussion, individual feedback and workshops
that reinforce both. The initiative has been a particular success and student data has been gathered throughout the last academic year in order to support and refine their theory supporting Writing Center
work as a key part of the learning environment in composition classes (and other classes across the curriculum). They will discuss their collaborative work and data with college English professors
The Creative Voice: Kathleen Hudson Tim Hazell is returning as our School of Liberal Arts Artist in Residence for the week of March 22-26. He is scheduled to meet with Spanish classes, aesthetics classes, education classes, English classes and art classes. See www.tim-hazell.com for more information on this Swedishborn artist/writer living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He has interacted with the IDST classes that Dr. Hudson takes to San Miguel from Schreiner, and he has had a book of poetry printed at Schreiner as a result of his last residency. Truly Renaissance in his approach to life, Tim paints, writes, composes and consults on education programs at universities in Mexico. If anyone has interest in a private consultation with Tim (writing, research, composing, art), please schedule with Dr. Hudson at ext. 409. April 22 is the date for our annual Texas Writers Conference, a CIL project. This year the featured guest is Gabriel Rico, author of several books on writing and revered as a
Volume 6, Issue 4
mentor for many writers and teachers. Her book, “Writing the Natural Way,” celebrated a 25th anniversary several years ago, and has changed the way we view the teaching of composition. Hudson uses her methods in all her own classes and attended a workshop with Rico in San Jose last year. Recreations is a book that points to a specific technique that helps all people write what is bubbling inside. According to her Web site: “Dr. Rico, a professor of English and Creative Arts at San Jose State University, lectures widely on the application of brain research to writing, to learning, and to creative process—most recently on the roles of improvisation, play, and human timeconsciousness in creativity. Focusing on creativity, splitbrain research, and the writing process, she developed clustering in her doctoral dissertation at Stanford University in 1976. Honored as President’s Scholar in 1986, she was selected Teacher/Scholar in 1993. In 1992 she held an Endowed Chair at Notre Dame in Bel-
Left: Tim Hazell (and friend); Right Gabriele Rico’s new book “The Power of Story.” mont, CA. Her classic ‘Writing the Natural Way,’ which sold over half a million copies, is out in a newly revised second edition (March, 2000).” In other news from the Writer’s Conference, Dos Gatos Press will provide a workshop at 1 p.m. with a look at poetry and publishing. Rico’s workshop will cover finding the creative voice and will be from 34:30 p.m. Display tables will feature work from the Hon-
ors Program, Sigma Tau Delta, “The Muse,”` Children’s Literature, and local authors. The evening performance will start with a student reading at 7 p.m. followed by a presentation by Gabriele Rico. The public is invited at no charge. The list of past featured writers includes James McMurtry, Tish Hinojosa, Robert Flynn, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sandra Cisneros, Elmer Kelton and Kinky Friedman.
The Tutors: Kirsten Komara No, not the HBO series. Even better than that. Do you enjoy writing? Do you enjoy talking about writing? Do you want to work on improving your own writing? Are you a good listener? If you answer yes to these questions, then perhaps you should consider applying for a position as a Writing Center peer tutor. SU Writing Center tutors ap-
proach writing as a process, and help other writers work on paper issues, such as focus, organization, development, and tone. (And, yes, we show students how to use grammar handbooks and on-line grammar sites.) Prospective tutors should be people who really want to listen to their peers in order to help them develop ideas in a way
that will effectively communicate purpose. For more information about being a Writing Center tutor, check out our Writing Center Web site at www.schreiner.edu/ academics/writing/ index.html, or contact Dr. Komara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Consider applying for a position as a Writing Center peer tutor.”
You Can Quote Me On this:
Schreiner University Dr. David Mulry, Editor The English Major Department of English 2100 Memorial Blvd Kerrville, TX 78028 Phone: 830 792 7402 Email: email@example.com
“I want everyone to know my name. Not like you. You carry your name like a man with a knife hidden in his boot. You should wear your name like a red bow tie.” (Christopher Moore, “Coyote Blue”)
Poetic Mode: Sally Hannay Sally Hannay presented poems from a collection she calls, “In the Great Big Middle,” at the 2010 Angelo State University Writers Conference in San Angelo, Texas, in late February. The conference was in honor of much loved Texas writer, Elmer Kelton, and the featured author was best-selling memoirist and poet, Mary Karr. Hannay enjoyed the opportunity to read with, listen to and commune with dedicated and
accomplished writers, especially since there continues to be a great interest in Creative Writing at Schreiner. In fact, Hannay will be teaching the new advanced Creative Writing class this fall for the first time—a class that she recently designed and brought forward in response to student interests in the English program. Hannay also presented poems from the same collection at the 2010 Conference for College Teachers of English in Beaumont, Texas in early March.
This conference welcomed presenters in composition, literature, creative and educational—process, pedagogy and creative writing, and the diversity made it a most rewarding, friendly and educational conference—even without the Cajon cuisine. Hard on the heels of her recent Hosler award, Hannay won the Creative Writing award for Poetry at the conference, and a few of her poems will be published in the 2010 journal “CCTE Studies.”
Evolving Research: David Mulry David Mulry recently targeted the undergraduate favorite journal, Explicator, for an article on one of (he argued) Wordsworth’s most interesting poems, “To the Cuckoo.” His article “A Voice, A Mystery”: Wordsworth’s Cuckoo.” examines the bird as an image of transition and change in Romantic poetry. He wrote the piece to compliment his British literature class, and provide a useful compact model research paper for English majors and writing students. Another piece, on working in a Community College setting, is scheduled for publication in April in the academic trade paper, “The Chronicle of Higher Education.”
Online, Mulry has set up a website that focuses on audio criticism of Joseph Conrad— his major research interest. “Vox Et…” the online audio journal is being supported by and is affiliated with the Joseph Conrad Society (UK) and features prominent Conradian scholars: find it at, www.conradpodcast.org. The most recent addition to the site is a radio documentary originally produced for Radio Netherlands by David Swatling, on Conrad’s “The Secret Agent,” featuring Mulry being interviewed alongside internationally renowned Conrad scholars Keith Carabine and John Stape. In other news, Mulry has just presented a paper called
“Atavism, Recidivism and Degeneracy: Conrad and the evolution of the Fin de Siècle divided self,” during the Conrad Session at the MLA, Philadelphia. The paper examines Conrad’s treatment of patterns of decline and the divided self—as a revision of late nineteenth century doppelganger fantasies like Stevenson’s “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” That paper was well-received and work is ongoing for publication possibly in book format. Mulry has also been selected to present, as has one of his students, English major, Heather Stevens-Shaffer, at the International Conrad Conference in Paris, 2010, hosted by the Societé Conradienne Français.
His paper on “Turgenev’s ‘Twin Antitypes:’ Duality in characterization in Conrad’s ‘Under Western Eyes,’” is about Conrad’s Secret Sharers and Turgenev’s influential critical essay ‘Hamlet and Don Quixote.’ Stevens-Shaffer’s paper, actually much more interesting, and currently being developed under Mulry’s supervision as her senior project, is a fascinating look at the treatment of women in the novel, ‘The Secret Agent,’ and mass-culture influences (including primary research in the magazine print culture of early serialization) that helped shape some evolving textual shifts and changes in their characterization.