Department of English News

Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

Kain wins national service award

Congratulations to Donna Kain, who has recently been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC)’s Distinguished Service Award.  This national-level award is given to only one person per year, and it is awarded based upon an individual’s national reputation relating to aspects of curriculum design and program development in technical, professional, and scientific communication. Donna will be presented with the award during CPTSC’s annual conference, which will take place in Savannah, GA on 6-8 Oct.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Solveig Bosse




Dr. Solveig Bosse is an assistant professor of Linguistics and TESOL in the Department of English at East Carolina University.

MA English/Economics (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)

MA Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

Ph.D. Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)



Where are you from?

I grew up in Verden (Aller), Germany.

What brought you to ECU?

There are very few jobs for graduates with doctorate degrees in Linguistics available, especially on the more permanent tenure-track. ECU offering me a tenure-track position was a great opportunity, so I accepted and came here.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

Officially, I am a theoretical linguist. Most of my research is in theoretical syntax with an added interest in formal semantics. In simpler terms, I analyze the sentence structures of sentences in different languages and try to explain why the sentences have the structure they do and why the sentences mean what they mean.

Unofficially, I am also a psycholinguist – and that is how I first became interested in linguistics. Back in Germany, I took a graduate seminar on first language acquisition. The professor, Prof. Dr. Hamann, decided to offer me a position as a graduate research assistant. I learned a lot about research and academia from her, and when the time came, she encouraged me to apply to Ph.D. programs in linguistics in the USA. I was accepted to the University of Delaware, and there my emphasis slowly shifted from psycholinguistics to theoretical linguistics. While I volunteered in a psycholinguistic lab throughout graduate school, I began to work on my syntactic and semantic research. Eventually, I enjoyed the theoretical work a tad bit more and decided to write my dissertation on a theoretical topic. To this day, I enjoy both theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics, resulting in me discussing collaborative psycholinguistic work with Dr. Curtindale, the Director of ECU’s Infant and Child Cognition Lab, this semester. (Hopefully, the actual collaboration will start next semester.)

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them?

MA English/Economics (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)MA Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)Ph.D. Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

What other life experience prepared you for your role here at ECU?

I have lived in four different US states, in Germany, and briefly in China. In these places, I met a variety of people with diverse life stories and saw how different people handle big and small issues differently. These experiences have probably had the biggest impact on my role here as they allow me to connect with the diverse people in Pirate Nation – the students, my colleagues and others in and around Greenville.

What recognitions/achievements are you most proud of and why?

I consider my Ph.D. degree my biggest achievement. My Ph.D. program at UD was very tough and demanding at times, and despite considering giving up many times, I never did.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I enjoy learning from and discussing linguistics (and some other topics) with others. So my most enjoyable moments are when I am challenged in class by questions from students about concepts and ideas of linguistics, or when I discuss my research or that of my colleagues. These moments allow me to rethink my assumptions, to strengthen my arguments and to think about a problem from a different point of view.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU?

One of the most rewarding courses I taught has been LING3730/ENGL6526. This course was, and usually is, taught as a mixed graduate-undergraduate course. We investigate the sounds and word formation processes present in English. I have had terrific discussions with students about the different sounds that English employs, how the sounds are made, and how dialects of English differ in their sound inventories. I have seen students grow from being completely unaware of the sounds of their language to taking a huge interest in how they themselves speak, what features in their speech mark their background, region and identity, and how they can use the information I taught them to their own benefit.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Marianne Montgomery

Dr. Marianne Montgomery

Dr. Marianne Montgomery is an associate professor of literature (specializing in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama) in the Department of English at East Carolina University.




. . .

Where are you from?

I grew up in Cheverly, Maryland, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. I also lived for four years near Boston and eight years in Charlottesville, Virginia, so I also consider those places home.

What brought you to ECU?

When I was close to finishing my PhD, I “went on the job market,” which meant that I applied for about 70 jobs, all over the country, in my field of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. It’s incredibly hard to find a tenure-track job with a literature PhD, and I feel incredibly lucky that I was hired at ECU! In addition to a good location relatively close to my family in Maryland and my husband’s family in Florida, I like teaching at a regional state university and working with a diverse body of students. I was also attracted to ECU by its balance of teaching and research; I really like both and wouldn’t want to put all my energy towards one or the other.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

My field is Shakespeare studies, which really means that I study Shakespeare and the early modern dramatists who wrote at roughly the same time that he did, like Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, and many others. Shakespeare was part of a vibrant commercial theater scene, and only was elevated above his contemporaries by critics in subsequent centuries. While I was initially attracted to the field by my love of Shakespeare, I now am fascinated by how he fits into this bigger picture and how his plays belong to their time both formally and thematically. My research focuses especially on early modern drama, trade, travel, and cultural exchange.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them?

I have a BA from Wellesley College, a women’s college in Massachusetts. After Wellesley, I went to the University of Virginia, where I earned an MA and a PhD.

What life experience prepared you for your role at ECU?

I have very little work experience outside academia, something I wish I could go back and change. I think working for a few years before pursuing a PhD is invaluable in exposing one to other options and other perspectives. That said, I gained considerable teaching experience in my graduate program that prepared me for teaching at ECU. I had very good pedagogical mentors, especially for teaching writing.

What recognitions and achievements are you most proud of and why?

I am really proud that I wrote a book! It’s called Europe’s Languages on England’s Stages and was published in 2013. A book feels like a significant scholarly accomplishment, and it makes writing a second book less daunting. I’m also proud that I was awarded ECU’s Centennial Award for Service in 2015. It was nice to have my efforts on various university committees and in departmental service recognized.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is seeing students improve and succeed. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with a student over the course of a semester and see major progress in his or her reading and writing.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU.

My favorite courses to teach are the three Shakespeare genre courses: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Shakespeare’s play reward rereading, and I find new things in them every time I teach them. I feel extremely lucky to be able to teach regularly in my area of specialization. I received a teaching grant last summer to develop materials for using film in these classes, so I’ve been using more film clips in class. Shakespeare is meant to be performed, not read, so film helps bring performance into the ECU classroom. My students also memorize and recite speeches from the plays or perform scenes in groups.

Montgomery receives Centennial Award for Excellence in Service


Congratulations to Dr. Marianne Montgomery, who received a Centennial Award for Excellence in Service at Wednesday’s Founder’s Day celebration.

Dr. Montgomery joined the English department in 2006. Soon thereafter, she identified a student need and started the English Club. She has served as Faculty Mentor to English Club since 2008–even while she was simultaneously advising the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. She also works as an advisor and has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies.  She has served on many university committees, including Faculty Senate, Faculty Governance, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Downtown Dialogues in the Humanities committee, the Harriot College Dean search committee, the Department of English Chair’s evaluation committee, and the new University Studies Faculty Oversight Committee–among others. In addition to her membership in these important efforts, she has served as an officer on several committees and is routinely nominated–and often unanimously elected–to positions that show the high regard in which her colleagues hold her.

“Her service to this university has benefited us all,” said Dr. Margaret Bauer, one of Dr. Montgomery’s nominators, “including especially the students for whom we are all here in the first place. Dr. Marianne Montgomery has given so much of herself to ECU.”

English majors, are you looking for a minor? Consider Great Books!

Odysseus and the sirens

A minor in Great Books requires four Great Books seminars and four Great Books electives. Great Books seminars are discussion-based, and most fulfill the humanities Foundations and writing intensive requirements. Great Books classes feel like eighteenth-century salons, in which the big ideas of human nature and culture are identified, discussed, and debated. Our courses are a good fit for many humanities and science majors, but particularly for English majors. We emphasize close reading, and provide a broad intellectual foundation for the texts you read in English courses.

Why is Great Books such a perfect minor for English majors? Because not all great books are written in English, and not all great books are fiction or poetry. Great books are written in many languages and encompass many overlapping disciplines: Literature, History, Philosophy, Classics, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Biology, Physics, and more. Great Books is the one truly multi and interdisciplinary program on campus, drawing from diverse fields, cultures, faculty, and texts.

A Great Books minor will teach you to think critically, to think on your feet while grounding you in the important ideas that have shaped the world in which we live. It will teach you to think independently and collectively. It will prepare you for an increasingly difficult and complex world.

For more information about minoring in Great Books, visit the program website at or contact program director Dr. Helena Feder at


Welcome to the Big Apple


The department extends its congratulations to Dr. Marame Gueye, who has just published a short story entitled “Welcome to the Big Apple” in Transition Magazine. Dr. Gueye will be reading at Harvard Bookstore for the official launch of the issue.

The short story appeared this month in issue 117 of Transition. Transition is a publication of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and is published three times annually by Indiana University Press. According to the magazine’s website, “Transition is a unique forum for the freshest, most compelling ideas from and about the black world. Since its founding in Uganda in 1961, the magazine has kept apace of the rapid transformation of the African Diaspora and has remained a leading forum of intellectual debate. Now, in an age that demands ceaseless improvisation, we aim to be both an anchor of deep reflection on black life and a map charting new routes through the globalized world.”

Dr. Gueye teaches African and African Diaspora Literatures, African Women’s Verbal Art, World Literatures, Global Women’s Literatures, Multicultural and Transnational Literatures, Immigration Studies, and Translation Studies at East Carolina.


Work in Progress: Update on the Texas Czech Legacy Project and the Archives of an Unknown American Czech Scholar

Dr. Lida Cope

Please join the department today at noon in Bate 2024 for Dr. Lida Cope’s talk entitled “Work in Progress: Update on the Texas Czech Legacy Project and the Archives of an Unknown American Czech Scholar.”

Texas Czech, an endangered diasporic dialect of Czech, is on the brink of extinction, making its documentation paramount. The Texas Czech Legacy Project at the University of Texas at Austin represents collaborative effort of scholars from UT and East Carolina University. The Project’s ultimate goal is to document and preserve the dying Texas Czech dialect (in its Oral Archive) and make available various artifacts representing the Texas Czech community’s linguistic and ethnocultural heritage (in its Visual Archive).

Dr. Cope will introduce the Project’s digital Oral Archive and sample its benefits for the community, education, and research. For those already familiar with her work, she will review the most recent developments as we continue building the TCLP and its archive. She will also highlight the contribution of one of the American Czech folklorists and sociolinguists, Svatava Pirkova Jakobson, whose work is an essential part of this digital repository.

Dr. Cope’s talk is part of the Faculty Speaker Series.