Dear Department of English community and friends,
Happy Holidays! I am writing to introduce myself as the new English department chair. I earned my PhD at the University of Virginia and have taught at ECU since 2006. My specialty is Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. My Shakespeare’s Comedies students just completed their final project: performing scenes from the plays. The performances were excellent: a great cap for the semester!
My own students’ work is just one small piece of what has been a busy and exciting 2016 in English. Some highlights: English majors and graduate students embraced study abroad opportunities, with department faculty leading summer programs in London and Prague as well as a spring break service-learning trip to Vietnam. Undergraduates in our English Professional Seminar course explored the wide range of career paths for liberal arts majors. Graduate students in our MA and PhD programs presented their research at national conferences. Our faculty were active as teachers, scholars, and writers: we celebrated five books written or edited by faculty as well as numerous articles, short stories, poems, book chapters, and even a museum exhibition! We also threw a 25th birthday party for the North Carolina Literary Review, which is produced by department faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate interns. This is just a taste of news from English; for regular updates on department happenings, check out ECUEnglish on Facebook or visit ecu.edu/english.
I invite you to contact me at any time, and please do consider making a year-end gift to the department. Visit our online giving portal; after entering your contact information, in Step #2 choose “Make another gift,” then select “English” or “English Scholarship Pool.”
Thank you for being a friend to the Department of English. Happy New Year!
Chair, Department of English
A story about the wide range of careers for English majors has just been posted on the ECU homepage. The feature profiles English alumni Bridget Todd (who works for tech/social media company Medium), Dan Neil (who writes about cars for the Wall Street Journal), and Megan Oteri (owner of Brick Scholars, which helps kids learn using Legos). Read on for more!
Dec. 8, 2016
By Jules Norwood
ECU News Services
Traditional liberal arts degrees are sometimes overlooked with the current focus on science, technology, engineering and math fields, but students continue to find that degrees like English help build important skills that are sought after by employers.
“Four of the top five traits employers are looking for are teamwork, clear writing, problem-solving aptitude and strong oral communications,” said John Stowe, career development counselor for East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “These are skills acquired in a traditional liberal-arts education. Companies are hiring humanities and social science degree holders for long-term employment due to the skill set they have developed through their liberal arts programs.”
It often makes more sense, Stowe said, to hire employees who can write well and then teach them the specific skills they need, rather than hiring specialists in the hopes that they can become strong writers.
Read the full story here: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/English-Alumni-Use-Degrees.cfm
Congratulations to English MA student, William Eddins, on his first publication! His poem “The Polar Bear” will be published next spring in The Bitchin’ Kitsch.
About The B’K
The Bitchin’ Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. it exists for the purpose of open creativity.
You can also find William’s review of Stephen Dunn’s visit to ECU from October 2016 on our English blog!
The Department of English will host Dr. Katie Manthey as our Tag Lecturer at 6 p.m. Jan 25, 2017, in the Faulkner Gallery in Joyner Library. Please mark your calendars and plan to come out to her talk!
Dr. Manthey’s work has been featured in popular venues like Jezebel, Conditionally Accepted, and The Body is Not An Apology. She is an activist for acceptance of diverse body types and her “Dress Profesh” project critiques the everyday practice of getting dressed for work. She points out the inherent injustices in dress codes and other pressures related to fashion and bodily choices.
Her talk on Jan. 25 is titled Embodied Identities: Ethical Reading, Fat Fashion, and How Not to Be a Troll.” Using fat fashion as an entry point, the speaker will share her own stories about how she learned to un-become a troll through embodied rhetorical analysis. The talk will end with suggestions for how to recognize oppressive notions of “acceptable” bodies and ultimately make space for multiple embodied orientations.
For more information on Dr. Manthey’s work, visit her website at http://www.katiemanthey.com/ or the Dress Profesh site at http://www.dressprofesh.com/
English has made a good showing in the latest issue of Cornerstone magazine!
D’Andre Johnson, who is getting a BA in English and a BFA in animation, is featured on p. 10 of the new issue of Cornerstone magazine in a story on internships. D’Andre, who is especially interested in creative writing, currently interns at the Greenville Office of Economic Development as a student in ENGL 4890, our internship course (supervised by Brent Henze). Dr. Henze and Dr. Marianne Montgomery are quoted talking about internships on p.9.
MA alumna Amanda Tilley is featured on p.6 as the newest member of the college’s Advancement Council.
Our English Professional Seminar for undergrads and Jobs Group for PhD students (both led by Erin Frost) are featured in a story on professional seminars on pp.7-8. Career-building teaching and assistantship opportunities for graduate students are also mentioned.
Cornerstone is the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences alumni magazine and it is now available to download from the college’s website. To download and read the full issue, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cas/ and click on the banner headline, or find the link under “More News.”
Congratulations to 2016 Bill Hallberg Award Winner and English MA student, Cameron Green, on his first publication! His story “The Color of a Bolivar” will be published in the next edition of WILDNESS Journal in January!
WILDNESS is an online literary journal that seeks to promote contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction that evokes the unknown. Founded in 2015, each thoughtfully compiled issue strives to unearth the works of both established and up-and-coming writers.
Congratulations to Mark Johnson, who has recently been elected to the Nominating Committee of the International TESOL Association. The Nominating Committee works closely with TESOL’s Board of Directors and Executive Director to identify candidates for leadership positions within the Association in order ensure balanced representation of TESOL members. His service on the Nominating Committee begins in January 2017.
Join us for the final screening of the Fall 2016 Ethnic Studies Film Series!
Film Title: Ida (Dir. Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
Time: 6pm, Tuesday, 11/29/2016
Place: Sci-Tech C209
Guest introduction: Dr. Susanne Jones and Susan Pearce
Synopsis: Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the German occupation.
Have you met English PhD candidate, Zachary Lundgren yet? Get to know him in the latest student spotlight!
My name is Zach Lundgren and I’m from all over. I was born in northern California, grew up in Virginia, and received my Bachelor’s in Colorado and my Master’s in Florida. This is my second year in the doctoral program at ECU. I also love hiking, hockey, fishing, and I am an active creative writer.
What brought you to ECU?
The great faculty and the support to both teach and focus on my research. I love a program where we are encouraged to grow as both instructors and as academics.
What is your area of study and how did you first become interested in it?
I’m focused on environmental rhetorics, rhetoric of science, and specifically climate change rhetoric. These interests grew from my passion for the outdoors and courses in science and technology studies (STS) I took as a Master’s student. I also believe that climate change is the most pressing issue of our modern day and it is in critical need of rhetorical study and focus.
What are your goals after graduation?
A tenure-track professor position at a research-focused university
What has been most exciting/rewarding about your time in the English department?
Simply interacting with the great faculty and fellow students and the ability to grow and share ideas. We have an excellent population of diverse and intelligent minds here.
What recognitions/achievements in your ECU career are you most proud of and why?
Being recommended for a position within the Chancellor’s office and being elected DESO president were both great honors. Oh yeah, and we also came in second in a sand volleyball tournament.
What would you say to someone considering coming to ECU to study English?
I’d say it’s a diverse, growing program with a lot of opportunities to really get involved and make a lasting impact. The people are great, the weather is fair, and the football can’t be beat.
Congratulations to Andrea Kitta, who recently published an article “The significance of folklore for vaccine policy: discarding the deficit model,” in the journal Critical Public Health. Co-written with medical humanities scholar Daniel Goldberg, the paper addresses the relevance of medical folklore for vaccine policy intended to increase vaccination uptake. The authors make two primary claims: First, that dominant approaches to increasing US vaccination uptake have largely been based on deficient understandings of the root causes of anti-vaccination behavior; and second, that superior approaches to evidence-based policy must enlarge the scope of that evidence base to include crucial findings on belief formation, technical and risk communication, and the folklore of vaccination. They show that the failure to attend to this evidence results in interventions that are disconnected from the factors actually driving vaccination refusal.
The article can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09581596.2016.1235259?journalCode=ccph20