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!

PhD alum Janine Butler

PhD alum Janine Butler published in Rhetoric Review

ECU English’s PhD alum Janine Butler (2017) has published an article, “Integral Captions and Subtitles: Designing a Space for Embodied Rhetorics and Visual Access,” in the journal Rhetoric Review.

Read her work here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07350198.2018.1463500?journalCode=hrhr20.

Janine’s work at ECU focused on accessibility and multimodality. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology. Go English!

Events upcoming on missionary work


Ed and Catherine McGuckin will speak on “Thirty Years with the Gapapaiwa: Bible Translation in Papua New Guinea” from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Faulkner Gallery on Joyner Library’s second floor. In addition, students will have an opportunity for less formal interaction with the McGuckins at a brown-bag lunch, “So You Want to Be a Missionary?” from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8 at the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

The Wellness Passport event on April 9 will include a reception and will focus on the McGuckins’ cooperative Bible translation with the Gapapaiwa people in Menapi village, Papua New Guinea.  The project enabled the translation of the New Testament into the previously unwritten Gapapaiwa language in 2009 and has resulted in bilingual education up to the third grade in the local schools (previously teaching English only).  The Gapapaiwa Translation Team is carrying on the Old Testament translation, with linguistic consultation during Catherine McGuckins roughly twice-yearly trips to Papua New Guinea and with computer transcription and other material assistance from Ed McGuckin in Texas.  The presentation will tell the McGuckins’ story, consider the cross-cultural adaptions of the translation effort, and present the effects of the translation on the language and the people group.  Attendees should RSVP Dawn Wainwright, wainwrightd@ecu.edu.

At the April 8 brown-bag lunch, sponsored by the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, the McGuckins will tell how and why they became Bible translators, answer student questions, and respond to the prepared question of whether missionaries are colonizers. The LWCC will supply drinks and chips. Attendees should RSVP to Melissa Haithcox-Dennis at LWCC@ecu.edu.

Grad students present at RCAW

Graduate students Suzan Flanagan, Ed Reges, Rex Rose, and Christina Rowell represented the English department yesterday at Research and Creative Achievement Week. Rowell’s talk was entitled “The Rise of the Fitbit: Body-Monitoring as Habit, Addiction, and Motivation.” Flanagan, Reges, and Rose presented a collaborative project: “Cemetery Rhetoric: A Visual and Textual Lens for Understanding the Past.”

Reges, Flanagan, Rowell, Rose

Reges, Flanagan, Rowell, Rose (from left)

Reges, Rose, and Flanagan

(From left) Reges, Rose, and Flanagan






First annual DISSH Symposium explores opportunities in digital projects

Renaissance literary scholar and digital humanities expert David Lee Miller will deliver the 2 p.m. plenary talk March 18 at the First Annual Digital Innovation and Scholarship in the Social Sciences and Humanities Symposium (DISSH) at ECU. The meeting runs from 2-6 pm in the Faulkner Gallery at Joyner Library.

This symposium explores the opportunities inherent in digital projects for interdisciplinary and collaborative research and education, hallmarks of the twenty-first century university. Together, the speakers who will inaugurate this annual symposium point to the promise and potential of digital projects to bring people together from across the university setting, creating synergies across academic computing, libraries, departments and interdisciplinary programs.

In addition to Miller’s keynote, the event will feature talks by David Staley (Dept. of History, Director of the Goldberg Center, Ohio State University), Natalie Kononenko (Kule Chair in Ukranian Ethnography, University of Alberta), Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem (Digital Scholarship and Services, College of Charleston Libraries) and Paul Jones (School of Media and Journalism, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill). A lightning-round of presentations will  create a format for presenters already engaged in digital work from East Carolina University and the surrounding region.

For more information, visit the DISSH website.

The latest from Drs. Erin Frost and Michelle Eble in Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society

Excerpt From: Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society

Erin A. Frost and Michele F. Eble

Technical Rhetorics: Making Specialized Persuasion Apparent to Public Audiences

Erin A. Frost, Michelle F. Eble, 2015

As rhetoric and technical communication researchers and teachers, we’re often faced with defining exactly what we mean when we use the term technical communication. Current perspectives on what the term technical communication encompasses are broadening well beyond documentation and user manuals that come with technological artifacts (Haas; Grabill and Simmons; Scott, Longo, and Wills; Slack, Miller, and Doak).1 However, defining technical communication more broadly for ourselves or even others in our disciplines doesn’t always change publics’ (e.g., users/stakeholders/lay audiences) perceptions of this information and how it affects their lives and the decisions they make.

In this essay, we argue that “technical rhetorics” is a concept that has affordances for thinking about how to critically communicate with public audiences about specialized information.

Read More HERE

DISSH: Digital Innovation and Scholarship in Social Sciences and Humanities Symposium 2015


SCHEDULE, May 18, 3-4 pm:

The following offerings are specific to the English Department:

GROUP 1 (Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, Joyner Library)
Moderator –  Dr. Jill Twark

3:00 – 3:10 pm
Dr. Thomas Herron, Department of English, East Carolina University
“Centering Spenser”: a literary-archaeological website of an Irish castle
I will discuss the past development and future goals of the website, “Centering Spenser: A Digital Resource for Kilcolman Castle,” developed by the ECU University Multimedia Center. The website explores the adopted castle in Ireland of the early modern canonical English poet Edmund Spenser. It includes 3-D reconstructive modeling based on extant ruins and archaeological evidence as well as drawings, photos, maps and various essays on Spenser, his work and his neighbors.

3:40 – 3:50 pm
Dr. Lida Cope, Department of English, East Carolina University
Language documentation: The case of Texas Czech
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). The presenter will introduce the Project’s digital Oral Archive and sample its benefits for the community, education, and research.




Faculty Speaker Series: Ron Hoag

Please join us on Monday, March 16 at noon for our own Ron Hoag’s contribution to the faculty speaker series. We’ll be meeting in Bate 2024 for Ron’s talk entitled “Natural Sabbath: Thoreau’s Mild Sublime.”

Description: 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.”

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