Department of English News

TESOL / Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference

Organized by the Linguistics and TESOL graduate students and faculty, TALGS aims to provide a serious but relaxed environment for graduate students and professionals working in TESL/TEFL/FL and a variety of applied linguistics fields to present their work, receive feedback, and network. The TALGS Conference provides graduate students as well as TESOL and other Foreign Language professionals (including ESOL, TESL, EFL, ESL, TEFL, Spanish, French, German, DLI, etc.) a forum to showcase their research and successful teaching practices.

The TALGS Conference will be held February 13, 2016 right here on ECU’s campus featuring guest speaker Luciana C. de Oliveira.

Luciana C. de Oliveira is an associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami, Florida. Her research focuses on issues related to teaching English language learners (ELLs) at the K-12 level, including the role of language in learning the content areas and teacher education, advocacy and social justice. Currently, Dr. de Oliveira’s research examines the linguistic challenges of the Common Core State Standards for ELLs and their implications for teachers of ELLs. She is the series editor of five volumes focused on the Common Core and ELLs (2014-2016) with TESOL Press.

“We’re very excited/lucky to have Dr. Luciana de Oliveira as our keynote speaker this year. Her plenary address and plenary workshop promise to be very interesting.”

– Dr. Mark D. Johnson

To find more information about this event visit:

Clowes Bibliography celebrates 15th anniversary

Ken Parille’s digital humanities project The Daniel Clowes Bibliography celebrated its fifteenth anniversary on February 1.

Regularly updated since 2001, the site catalogues information on the work of graphic novelist and screenwriter Daniel Clowes, who is widely considered one of the most important living cartoonists. (

Clowes authored the acclaimed graphic novel Ghost World and co-authored the script for the 2001 movie adaptation, which was nominated for an Academy Award. His comic series Eightball is regarded as a highpoint in the history of American comics.

Parille has written extensively on the cartoonist’s work. His most recent book on Clowes is The Daniel Clowes Reader and his essay on Clowes’s David Boring appears alongside writing by John Updike and Jonathan Franzen in The Best American Comics Criticism.

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.

’11 MA grad is playwright, director and actor

Salvadori HeritageIn a sense, we are all actors in the wider play of culture, and each of us is born into peculiar sets of narratives that we are trained to carry forward: our family histories, our national histories, our cultural histories.

Barbara Salvadori Heritage is a playwright, director and actor interested both in exploring these cultural narratives and in the power of theater to transform them.

She earned her master’s degree in English, with a focus on dramatic literature, here at East Carolina University, graduating in 2011. Read the rest of her story from the Columbia Tribune

Discussions in Digital Scholarship

Please join us for our next Discussions in Digital Scholarship
“Rebuilding Castles in the Rubble of the Humanities: Centering Spenser, an interdisciplinary website”

Featuring Thomas Herron, Department of English, East Carolina University

Thursday, February 11 at 3:30pm in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery at Joyner Library

with questions or more information please contact Heather White or (252) 328-2870

dISSH Talk . herron.invite

Alumnus Update: Lucas Berrini

Lucas Berrini, a 2013 graduate with an MA in English Studies, is currently the holds, recalls and missing items manager at Joyner Library. He is also an adjunct instructor in composition and literature at Craven Community College. In addition, he is working on his second MA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he is studying in the Library Science program with an emphasis on manuscripts and archives.