From The Chair
Panels & Presentations
Awards & Appointments
From The Chair
I find it difficult to believe that fall semester 1998 is nearing its close, but Thanksgiving is almost upon us, to be followed almost immediately by final examinations.
Once more the Department of English will be hosting graduation ceremonies for its December graduates. Because our departmental ceremonies have proven so popular, we have moved to a larger auditorium and a slightly later time. I hope all faculty will join our graduating seniors and their families Friday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Willis Building. Thanks to our administrative staff--Angel Savage, Vicky Best, Debbie Little, Kim Seavey, and Gwen Williams--for their work in arranging the program and reception.
If you haven't seen the newly revised departmental web page, please visit http://www.ecu.edu/english. Luke Whisnant, the recently appointed Director of Departmental Publications, has now posted a number of faculty pages complete with photographs taken by Gabrielle Brant. Gabrielle's photograph of the General Classroom Building, which appears on the departmental home page, is one of the most attractive photographs of the building that I have seen. The department owes Gabrielle and Luke special thanks for their work. Thanks also go to Sally Lawrence, who designed the departmental banners on each page, and to Hal Snyder, who posted the earliest versions of our departmental pages and is largely responsible for our web presence.
This semester Sally Lawrence, Todd Finley, and Gabriel Egan offered workshops on web page construction and related issues. As we faculty become more familiar with the technology of the internet, I expect our web presence to expand in ways that we cannot even envision at present. I think this new facet of education will occupy much of our time in the coming years.
It's been a busy fall for publications. In fact, it's been a busy year for publications: this issue of TCR includes a few items that have heretofore slipped through the cracks:
Alex Albright's review of A New Life: Stories and Photographs from the Suburban South was published last spring in volume 4.1 of Southern Cultures. Alex has also published two poems recently: "476. I Am a Special Agent of God" in the Fall / Winter 97 issue of the Asheville Poetry Review, and "Massage Parlor Loses Its Magical Touch" in the Spring 98 issue of the Sandhills Review.
Pat Bizzaro's article "Should I Write This Essay or Finish a Poem? Teaching Writing Creatively" appears in College Composition and Communication (May 98); his poem "Saying Goodbye" appeared in Cold Mountain Review (Spring 98).
News of Home, our erstwhile colleague Debi Kang Dean's first full-length volume of poetry, was published last month by BOA editions. For more information, click on the title (use your browser "back" button to return to TCR).
Jeff Franklin's essay "Victorian Novel's Performance of Interiority: George Eliot's Felix Holt on Trial" is featured in the current issue of Victorian's Institute Journal, and he has published two poems this fall: "Under the House Foundations Lie" in the Asheville Poetry Review and "Judy as Piñata" in Third Coast.
"Re-Theorizing Non-Fiction Prose as a Tool in the Writing Class: An Argument for Real Books," by Dale Jacobs and Joy Ritchie, appears in the Summer 98 issue of North Carolina English Teacher. Dale and Heidi Jacobs, along with Jennifer Danes and Chauna Craig, collaborated on the article "Evolving Pedadgogies: Four Voices on Teacher Change and the Writing Center" (The Writing Lab Newsletter, June 98).
Seodial Deena's "An Overview of the Socio-Economic and Political Problems Facing Third World Writers" appears in The Proceedings of the Sixth International Literature of Region and Nation Conference.
"The Bulbous Heart of a Worm," a selection from Bill Hallberg's novel Van Gogh's Ear, appeared as the Sunday Reader of the Raleigh News & Observer on 15 November. Sunday Reader showcases work by North Carolina fiction writers; if you missed seeing it in the paper, you can download Bill's piece from the N&O website by clicking on the title.
"The Vampire in the Classroom" by Jim Holte (but of course!) was published in the summer 98 issue of the Translyvanian Journal.
Peter Makuck's poem "Line Squall" appears in the current issue of The Hudson Review; his short stories "The High Price of Dining Out" and "How You Go Under" can be found in the current issues of The Ohio Review and The Texas Review, respectively. "First Books: Good News of Home," his essay-review of four new books of poetry, appears in this fall's Laurel Review.
"Jumping the Broom: Possible Welsh Origins of an African-American Wedding Custom," by Chip Sullivan, appears in Southern Folklore (55.1). This article is an expanded version of a note Chip published in the Journal of American Folklore in 1997.
Gay Wilentz's "No [M]Other to Tongue Me: (Re) Writing the Female Self in Two Afro-Caribbean Women Writers" has just appeared as a chapter in Orality, Literacy, and the Fictive Imagination: African and Diasporan Literatures (Bedford).
Panels and Presentations
On October 29, creative writers from the department participated in the Writers Harvest National Reading, an event organized to raise money for local foodbanks. Reading from their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama were Alex Albright, Pat Bizzaro, Mary Carroll-Hackett, Bill Hallberg, Jeff Franklin, Brett Hursey, Dale Jacobs, Heidi Jacobs, Peter Makuck, Randall Martoccia, Ginger Nickles, Sharon Raynor, Lillian Robinson, Bob Siegel, Robin Springer, and Luke Whisnant; three of Julie Fay's poems were read by Jeff Franklin. Held at the Upper Crust Bakery, in downtown Greenville, the reading was organized by Dale and Heidi Jacobs, and brought in nearly $300 cash and a quantity of food goods for the Greenville Community Shelter.
Three faculty members gave papers at the annual conference of the American Folklore Society, in Portland, Oregon, October 28-November 1st:
Jim Kirkland presented his paper "The 'Old Hag' in Literary Context," and chaired a session on "Healing Ceremonies In Folklore, Biomedicine and Literature."
In the "Recovering Medieval Contexts" session, Chip Sullivan gave "Hunting the Green Knight: An Exercise in Decoding Cultural World View" (click on the title to read an excerpt).
Veronica C. Wang presented a paper, "Balancing Yin/Yang and Exorcising Ghosts: Folk Medical Practices in Maxine Hong Kingston's Fiction."
SAMLA Roundup: A number of faculty gave papers at this month's South Atlantic Modern Language Association convention, November 5-7 in Atlanta:
Margaret Bauer presented her paper "Forget the Legend and Read the Work: Teaching Two Non-Misogynistic Stories by Ernest Hemingway" at the Hemingway Society session (click on the title to read an excerpt).
Meanwhile, in the very next room, Pat Bizzaro was reading his "From Graduate Student to College Professor: Occupational Folklore."
Thomas Douglass was scheduled to give his paper "Letters from Mom: How Folklore Finds Its Way To Fiction: the Case of Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck and Breece D'J Pancake," but as he was unable to attend, his paper was read by folklore panel chair Resa Crane.
In the Women's Studies section "Women Writing Culture," Heidi Jacobs read her paper "Claudia Silenced: Anti-Slavery Sentiments in Carolina Lee Hentz's The Planter's Northern Bride" (click on the title to read an excerpt).
As president of the Women's Caucus Discussion Circle, Gay Wilentz chaired a panel entitled "US South-Caribbean Connections"; Gay also presented her paper "Sites of Healing: Diasporal Connections in Two Black Women Writers," and accepted one of four South Atlantic Association of Departments of English Outstanding Teacher Awards. To read an excerpt from Gay's acceptance speech, click on the link.
The department was also well represented at the English Association of the Pennsylvania System Universities 1998 Conference in Indiana, Pennsylvania, October 15th through 17th:
In addition to chairing the African-American Literature section, Seodial Deena read his "Progression from Single-Dimensional Incompetence to Multi-Dimensional Competence in Wright's Native Son and Gaines' Of Love and Dust and A Lesson Before Dying."
In the same session, Sharon Raynor presented her paper "Historical Oppression in Toni Morrison's Beloved: A Retrospective According to Walter Benjamin."
Graduate student Shella Turner read "The Origin of Negative Black Male Stereotypes and the Effects of These Stereotypes on Society in America Today."
Reginald Watson read "Negative Male Imagery in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Alice Walker's Third Life of Grange Copeland."
At the First International Conference On Caribbean Literature, held in Nassau, Bahamas on November 4-7, Seodial Deena read his paper "Disorder and Mimicry: Colonial Apparatuses In V.S. Naipaul's The Mimic Men."
Earlier this fall, Seodial presented a lecture, "Rebirth of a Nation: Nationalism and the Civil War in Uncle Tom's Cabin," in Edenton NC as part of Duke University's program "Let's Talk About It"; more recently he organized the Second Annual Multicultural Reading Day on Nov. 16, which featured 35 readers and was attended by nearly 100 students, faculty, and staff.
Tom Douglass presented "An Interview with Denise Giardina" at the Emory and Henry College 17th Annual Literary Festival Honoring Denise Giardina, November 12-13th.
This past August found Dale Jacobs back in his native Alberta, Canada, to give poetry readings in support of his book Beneath the Horse's Eye. Dale read in Edmonton, Wainwright, and Camrose. (Click on the title for a sample).
On October 27th and November 12-14, the peripatetic Peter Makuck gave poetry readings at North Carolina State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, and College of the Holy Cross.
Lorraine Hale Robinson presented her paper "John White's Most Excellent Adventure: A Colonial Rule, Britannia," at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Roanoke Colonization in Manteo, NC, September 10-11.
Terese Thonus presented "Language Learning: An Integral Part of ESL Teacher Preparation" at the Southeastern Regional TESOL conference in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 2nd.
Awards & Appointments
Pat Bizzaro's Dream Garden: The Poetic Vision of Fred Chappell (LSU 1997) has been nominated for two awards: the Modern Language Association's James Russell Lowell Award, and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature's C. Hugh Holman Award.
At the North Carolina English Teachers Association fall meeting in Wilmington, Collett Dilworth was appointed to a third four-year term as NCETA's Executive Director.
Tom Douglass's A Room Forever: the Life, Work and Letters of Breece D'J Pancake (U of Tennessee P, 1998) has been nominated for both the NC Mayflower Cup nonfiction award and the C. Hugh Holman Award for the Study of Southern Literature.
Jeff Franklin's poem "The Man at (not on) the Dumb" won an Honorable Mention in the River Styx 1998 International Poetry Contest.
At its annual banquet in Greensboro, on November 12th, the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association presented Michael Parker with the NCPLDA 1998 "Library Friend of the Year" Award. Michael is a member of the Regional Library System's board of directors, and serves as vice-chair of the Kinston-Lenoir County Library Board and president of the Kinston-Lenoir County Friends of the Library Board.
The 1998 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review was published last month. Under the editorship of Margaret Bauer, the new issue features the fiction of Fred Chappell and Lee Smith, and a special section on Oral History in North Carolina. NCLR is $15.00 per copy or $20.00 for a two-year subscription. Please see Margaret for more information.
This past summer, with Pat Bizzaro playing first base, the ECU Faculty/ Staff Softball Team won the Pitt County Industrial League Championship. Pat rallied the team with four hits in the first game, but in the second, he says, "I was so old and tired I was just drinking water and trying not to pass out."
Debra Kang Dean competed in the United States International Kuoshu Championship Tournament, a Chinese martial arts competition held in Baltimore from July 24th to the 26th. Although this was her first Taiji tournament, Debi won a silver medal in "forms" and a silver in "moving-step push hands" (in her characteristically modest way, she downplays the latter, saying she was one of only two competitors in that category).
"Dr. T": Congratulations to Terese Thonus, who successfully defended her dissertation, "What Makes a Writing Tutorial Successful: An Analysis of Linguistic Variables and Social Context," at Indiana University, in Bloomington on October 5th.
Please send corrections, additions, suggestions, and items for the next edition by clicking on "E-mail the Editor."