Department of English News

Faculty Research Series!

invites you to:
“ ‘I’m Billie Jean & I’m Mad as Hell’:
The Answer Song as Feminist Remix in American Music”
Presented by: Wendy Sharer • Professor of English

Wednesday, April 20 • Noon-1 pm • Bate 1006

Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

TESOL’s Award!!!



At this year’s TESOL convention in Baltimore, Mark Johnson (ECU) and Holly Hansen-Thomas (Texas Woman’s University) congratulated Fares Karam (center) on winning TESOL’s award for an outstanding paper on non-native English speaking teacher (NNEST) issues, which is sponsored by ECU’s Department of English. Fares, a doctoral student at the University of Virginia, presented the winning paper, Syrian Refugee NNESTs: Teacher Identity and the Fear of English, which examined the challenges of teachers in refugee schools in Lebanon.

Multicultural Literature Day!



Multicultural Literature Day (MTL Day) this year is on Thursday, April 21st, from 4:00 to 5:30 in Bate 1026! If you want to assign your students some extra credit, this is the event! Get them to stand up and share their favorite poem or selection from a book that says something significant about the different multicultural experiences that people have in America or around the world!

ECU’s Spoken Word Poetry Team, WORD OF MOUTH, will be performing and our Special Guest Speaker is poet, writer, artist, and educator Tanaya Winder. Please read about her on the attached flyer!

If you want a student or yourself added to the program, please email me ( their name and literary selection. If you aren’t sure yet, anybody can get up and share during the OPEN MIC part of the event! Please read the attachment below. Of course, you don’t HAVE to participate, you can just come and enjoy the readings, the talent, and the special guest!

Refreshments will be served after the event!

Sponsored by Multicultural and Transnational Literature
Co-Sponsored by The English Department, the English Club, Ethnic Studies, and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center

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.

Congratulations, Ashley!

English department graduate Ashley Weston has accepted a position as a quality document control administrator with Xellia Pharmaceuticals. She’ll be re-formatting their policies and procedures documents.

“My experience with the PCAC’s policies and procedures was a huge help in getting this job, so I’m really grateful for the internship opportunity I had,” Ashley said.

Congratulations, Ashley!

Shelor wins O’Neal Award

The English department is proud to announce Rose Shelor as the winner of the Debbie O¹Neal Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements in Linguistics/TESOL.

The Linguistics faculty nominated Shelor, a Hispanic Studies major and a Linguistics minor, for the award. Professor Michael Aceto said she is a model student.

“She comes to each class meeting prepared,” he said. “She asks great questions and raises the level of the class discussion just by her presence. She produces quality written work.

“Rose comes to office hours to get further information as well as to discuss research paper topics.  In fact, since she took classes with me with graduate students in related course numbers, I found her work was often as good as any of the graduate students.

“Rose is a wonderful student.”


The award is named for Debbie O¹Neal, an instructor in the English Department, who died in a plane accident in 2013. She was passionate about linguistics and TESOL, working on many projects involving language variation and educating people on language. The memorial award is funded by Carolina TESOL in recognition of her contributions to the TESOL community. The amount of the award is generally $500. Students are nominated by instructors in the Department of English. Any graduate and undergraduate student with an interest in linguistics/TESOL is eligible but preference will be given to those students with a declared interest in linguistics/TESOL (such as an undergraduate student with a linguistics minor or a MA student with concentration in Linguistics or TESOL).

Dr. Andrea Kitta to Present Sept. 2016!

The selection commission of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) Working Group on Ethnology of Religion has accepted a paper by Dr. Andrea Kitta, associate professor in the East Carolina Department of English, for presentation at the prestigious conference “Alternative and Religious Healing in the Modern World.” The conference is 21-24 September 2016 in Amsterdam. SIEF is an international organization that facilitates and stimulates cooperation among scholars working within European Ethnology, Folklore Studies, Cultural Anthropology and adjoining fields.



The 2016 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review has been published:

This year’s issues of the award-winning North Carolina Literary Review celebrate twenty-five years of NCLR and writing in North Carolina. Opening this special issue is an interview with the editor, Margaret Bauer, who reflects on how NCLR has grown over the past quarter century and the importance of writing in North Carolina. Bauer remarks, “I haven’t actually counted but would not be surprised to find that North Carolina has more writers than any other state, and I know that many of the best writers in the country (in a variety of genres) have North Carolina connections. Of course, many of the writers here are not originally from here, and many North Carolina writers have not stayed here. But North Carolina continues to inspire those who have left to live and work elsewhere.” Bauer also announces in the introduction to the issue that, inspired by twenty-five years of success, NCLR has begun working with the ECU Foundation on a capital campaign with the goal of raising a two million dollar endowment that would ensure the next twenty-five years of publication.

Stories and books reviewed in the 2016 online issue showcase the talent of North Carolina writers and their commitment to their craft. Joanne Joy, in her review of Amazing Place: What North Carolina Means to Writers, edited by Marianne Gingher, explains how North Carolina influences and inspires writers. Unique in this issue is Dr. Brian Glover’s essay on how he uses NCLR in his short story class at ECU to encourage students to apply their newfound analytical skills to new stories of their own choosing, and to share their readings of these stories, many from NCLR, with their classmates. He writes, “Above all . . . students have responded to plots about family. Of all the stories NCLR has published in recent years, Leah Hampton’s ‘The Saint’ [a Doris Betts Fiction Prize winner from the 2013 issue] with its intricate mechanisms of time, memory, and bereavement, has raised more enthusiasm than any other.” He also notes how the characters in these stories with military experience resonate with students as well, given that “a significant portion [of his students] are either children and spouses of servicemen and women or active and retired soldiers, . . . [and many] have grown up in communities closely tied to the region’s bases.” The editor says she hopes Glover’s essay will inspire other teachers to consider how NCLR might be used in their classrooms.

The online issue is independent but complementary of the forthcoming print issue. For example, the 2016 online issue includes a short excerpt from James W. Clark’s interview with William S. Price, Jr., brother of the late Reynolds Price, beloved author of numerous books of fiction, poetry and nonfiction; the print issue will contain another and lengthier excerpt of the interview. Kathryn Etters Lovatt’s short story, published in the online issue, received second place in the 2015 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition; the winning story by Brad Field will be published in the print issue. Similarly, several finalists in the James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition appear in this online issue. The first, second, and third-place poems, and more finalists will be published in the print issue.

NCLR has won numerous awards since it was first published in 1992, most recently, the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, which recognized NCLR for expanding to publication of online issues. These open-access issues provide the opportunity to reach a broader audience, enabling the publication to acquaint even more people with North Carolina’s rich literary history, while raising awareness for and interest in the print issue. In addition, the writers and artists can promote their work in NCLR Online by linking to the journal from their websites and social media pages.

NCLR is published at East Carolina University, with additional support from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. NCLR Online 2016 is a winter supplement to the annual print issue, which is published in the summer. NCLR Online maintains the same beautiful design as the print edition, created by the journal’s art director, Dana Ezzell Gay, a faculty member of Meredith College in Raleigh. To read NCLR Online and subscribe to the print issue, go to

Sixth Annual English Graduate Student Conference


Mark your calendars! The Sixth Annual English Graduate student conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, beginning at 9:00 a.m. We hope you will consider attending all or part of the conference to support the graduate students who are presenting. Within the next week, we will also be seeking faculty members willing to introduce conference panels.

Thank you for your instruction and for your support for the English graduate students! If you have questions about the conference, contact Justin Littlefield, EGSO president, at, ​or Brianne Holmes, EGSO vice president, at

The Ethnic Studies Film Series, Spring 2016

All the screenings are free and open to the public; no tickets are needed.
The Ethnic Studies Film Series, Spring 2016
Co-sponsored by the English Department and the Voyages of Discovery Lectures
Both screenings are approved for the Wellness Passport Program.

Windtalkers (Directed by John Woo)
Tuesday, March 22nd, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Sci-Tech Building 307
Guest Introduction: Bobby O’Daniel (Diné), USMC
Post-screening Discussion Planned
Co-sponsored by the Voyages of Discovery Series
Two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Listopad (Directed by Gary Griffin)
Tuesday, April 19th, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Sci-Tech Building 307
Guest introduction: Dr. Lida Cope
Post-screening Q & A with Producer Jeffrey Brown via teleconferencing
LISTOPAD is a tale about the adventures of three teenage boys who become swept up in the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of 1989 in the former Czechoslovakia.