Dr. Tom Shields Published in The Washington Post

ECU English professor Dr. Tom Shields has had his work on the Lost Colony cited in The Washington Post. The Post’s piece focused on Virginia Dare and white nationalism.

To read the article, visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/how-a-child-born-more-th…/….

The article was also reprinted in the News & Observer: http://www.newsobserver.com/opi…/op-ed/article212325244.html.

Go English!

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 http://www.ecu.edu/greatbooks/index.cfm or contact program director Dr. Helena Feder at federh@ecu.edu.



An Evening with Author Amy Stewart


As part of Earth Day 2015 events, the Department of English has helped to bring best-selling author Amy Stewart to campus. Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants, Wicked Bugs, and Flower Confidential, will speak at 8 p.m. April 21 in C307 in the Science and Technology Building.

Stewart is a dynamic and engaging speaker whose books focus on the positive and negative impacts of the natural world on people. Her topics have relevance to scientists, gardeners, and cocktail-lovers everywhere. Books will be available to buy, and a reception and book signing will follow the talk.

This event is a signature North Carolina Science Festival event. Funding is provided by the North Carolina Science Festival, UNC System, and East Carolina University through the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology, Chemistry Department, English Department, and Center for Sustainability: Tourism, Natural Resources, and the Built Environment.


An interdisciplinary colloquium on Corliolanus will be 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in Faulkner Gallery in Joyner Library. Several speakers from the Department of English will be featured:

  • Thomas Herron will discuss “Famine and Rebellion: Contemporary Political Contexts for Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (c. 1608)” at 4:30 p.m.
  • Sean Morris will give a presentation entitled “Tragedy and Satire in Shakespeare’s Corliolanus” at 4:50 p.m.
  • Anna Froula will speak on “Ralph Fiennes’ film Coriolanus” at 5:10 p.m.


Coriolanus colloquium flier

Coriolanus! Interdisciplinary Colloquium… 4-27-2015

An interdisciplinary Colloquium in honor of the legendary figure, theatre performance* and Shakespeare’s 451st Birthday
Joyner Library Faulkner Gallery, 3-6pm Wed, April 22


Free and Open to the Public

3:00-3:10pm:  Welcome by HCAS Dean William Downs
3:10-3:40:  Kevin N. Moll (School of Music):  “Approaching Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture”
3:40-4:00:  Frank Romer (History Dept and Classics), “Coriolanus the Roman”
4:00-4:15:  Questions and Discussion
4:15-4:30:  BREAK with coffee
4:30-4:50:  Thomas Herron (English Dept), “Famine and Rebellion:  Contemporary Political Contexts for Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (c. 1608)”
4:50-5:10:  Sean Morris (English Dept), “Tragedy and Satire in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus”
5:10-5:30:  Anna Froula (English Dept and Film), “Ralph Fiennes’ film Coriolanus”
5:30-6:00:  Questions and Discussion

Sponsors: ECU Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Classics, Film Studies and Great Books Programs; Sigma Tau Delta (English Dept); and the journal, Explorations in Renaissance Culture.  For more information:  herront@ecu.edu

* Shakespeare’s Coriolanus performed by ECU School of Theatre and Dance, McGinnis Theatre, April 23-28, 2015.  Director: John Shearin.  For more information:  theatre@ecu.edu

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at least forty-eight hours prior to the event at 252-328-6799 (voice) or 252-328-0899 (TTY).

Coriolanus colloquium flier

Bauer profiled by grad school


The ECU Graduate School has released a faculty profile of English department distinguished professor Margaret Bauer.

“For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher,” Bauer said in the profile. “Then, during high school, an English teacher, Mrs. Cotton, showed us how much Kate Chopin had packed into her two-page short story, “The Story of an Hour,” and I wanted to learn how to read like that, how to see all of those wonderful details, the numerous nuances that revealed the story of a woman’s whole life in just two pages.”

Read Dr. Bauer’s full profile.

Voyages hosts “Sexual Seduction in John Donne’s Poetry”

Ilona Bell (Williams College) will deliver the Thomas Harriot Lecture entitled “Sexual Seduction in John Donne’s Poetry” at 7 p.m. March 24 in Wright. This presentation is part of the HCAS Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series. For more information, visit the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series webpage.


Faculty Speaker Series: Hoag presents “Natural Sabbath”

Ron Hoag will present “Natural Sabbath: Thoreau’s Mild Sublime” at noon on Monday, March 16, in Bate 2024. A summary follows, and the Faculty Speaker Series committee invites all to join in for light refreshments and scintillating conversation.

Well known to William Cullen Bryant, William Wordsworth, and Henry Thoreau, Edmund Burke’s influential treatise on the Sublime and the Beautiful posits a natural sublime, whose effect on humanity is terror, and a natural beauty, whose effect is pleasure.  For Burke, the sublime and the beautiful are mutually exclusive experiences.  Bryant, Wordsworth, and Thoreau, however, while acknowledging the daunting power of the sublime, also imply a fundamental link between this power and the paradoxically corresponding power in certain experiences of the beautiful in nature.  For these three writers, the wildness in nature is not just sublime but also spiritual, to be reverenced as such if not at the terrifying moment of physical impact then after the fact, upon reflection, when processed as what Wordsworth termed “emotion recollected in tranquility.”  “Reflection alone,” says Thoreau in his college essay on “Sublimity,” “can restore to calmness and equanimity.”