Also in this issue: Albright Award | TRP 20th | Bedside Books
From The Chair
Tar River Poetry
photo of Julie
From The Chair
We all know that spring is a time of change, but this spring semester has brought more change than I ever anticipated. Even before the semester began, Assistant Professor Gabriel Egan announced that he was resigning his position at East Carolina University after only one semester in order to accept a teaching appointment at a British institution. His wife, Visiting Assistant Professor Joan Fitzpatrick, also relinquished her fixed-term appointment to accept a position in England.
Shortly after the beginning of the semester, Professor Malcolm South announced his retirement from ECU at the end of the coming summer session. Associate Professor Paul Dowell then announced that he would be entering ECU's phased retirement program at the end of the summer. Under the provisions of the phased retirement program, faculty begin to receive retirement benefits for a three-year period while continuing employment on a half-time basis; at the end of the three years, they formally retire from the university. During his three-year period, Dr. Dowell will serve as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences.
And most recently, Associate Professor Jo Allen has submitted her resignation from the university in order to accept a position as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies at North Carolina State University.
These departures have occasioned other changes within the department. Already conducting searches for three new faculty in the areas of composition/rhetoric, Native American literature, and linguistics, the department is now mounting two new searches for faculty with specializations in Shakespeare/Renaissance literature and in technical/professional communication. Additionally, four candidates for chair of the department have been invited for on-campus interviews. A search is also underway for a new departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies who will "shadow" Dr. Dowell for the remainder of the spring semester and assume his duties this coming fall.
On behalf of the department, I would
like to offer best wishes to those colleagues who are entering new phases
of their lives outside the ECU community. I would especially like
to thank professors South, Dowell, and Allen for their many years of service
to the department and university. Their students and colleagues are
very much appreciative of the years that they have given to ECU and to
Albright Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
On November 21st, in Raleigh, Alex Albright accepted the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association's R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award, given in recognition of the recipient's contribution to the preservation and promotion of North Carolina literature--a lifetime achievement award which the ever-youthful Albright has earned, as the citation notes, "before his fiftieth birthday." As founding editor of the North Carolina Literary Review, producer and writer of Boogie in Black and White and Coming Into Freedom: the End of the Civil War, and editor of three collections of poetry with North Carolina themes, Albright's accomplishments led the Society to recognize him as "perhaps his generation's leading promoter of North Carolina Literature, within our state and within the country at large." The citation continues, "Although Alex's accomplishments have already reached 'lifetime achievement' proportions, we gladly anticipate his future contributions to the advancement of North Carolina literature." (To read the complete text of the award citation, click here.)
As usual, if you'd like to read an excerpt from a colleague's publication, just click on the title; use your "back" button to return to TCR.
Margaret Bauer's essay "Ishmael's Reading of The Great White Whale: A Prophecy of the Second Coming," appears in the current issue of LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture. The essay is dedicated to the late Professor James D. Wilson of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, who was Bauer's Melville teacher and one of her mentors.
Patrick Bizzaro published two poems--"Chain Reaction" and "Positions"--in the most recent Asheville Poetry Review; his poem "Twin Cities" appears in the new Southern Poetry Review.
Seodial Deena's article, "Racism and Cultural Imperialism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness" appears in the winter 1998 UFAHAMU: Journal of the African Activist Association.
Julie Fay's third poetry collection, The Woman Behind You, was published in December by the University of Pittsburgh Press as part of the Pitt Poetry Series. (Click on the link for more information; use your browser "back" button to return to TCR.)
Peter Makuck's "Dangerous Difference," an essay on the modernist elements in the work of W.D. Snodgrass, is included in a new collection of essays entitled Tuned and Under Tension (University of Delaware Press; ed. Philip Raisor). Makuck's short story "Hicks and Losers" appeared in the Sunday Reader section of the News & Observer on January 24th. The Sunday Reader showcases the work of North Carolina fiction writers; Makuck is the third member of the department thus featured.
Don Palumbo published two items on Frank Herbert last semester. "The Monomyth as Fractal Pattern in Frank Herbert's Dune Novels" appeared in the November 1998 issue of Science-Fiction Studies; his literary biography "Frank Herbert" was published late in 1998 in Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography Supplement: Modern Writers, 1900-1998.
Richard C. Taylor's review of Protestantism and Patriotism: Ideologies and the Making of English Foreign Policy, 1650-1668 by Steven Pincus appears in the Fall-Winter 1998 issue of Seventeenth-Century News.
Veronica C. Wang's essay "Subversive Extravagance: Women in Hisaye Yamamoto's 'Seventeen Syllables' and 'The Legend of Miss Sasagawara'" appears as a chapter in Women on the Edge: Ethnicity and Gender in Short Stories by American Women (New York: Garland, 1999).
Readings and Presentations
The department was well represented at the MLA conference in San Francisco this past December:
Jeff Franklin delivered a paper titled "Bourdieu Meets Trollope: Plot as the Conversion of Forms of Capital in the Mid-Victorian Novel" in the special session "Practicing Bourdieu."
Dale Jacobs contributed "Sex in the Machine: The Electronic Mail Discussion List as Gendered Space."
Lillian Robinson delivered a paper jointly with Night Market collaborator Ryan Bishop: "How My Dick Spent Its Summer Vacation: Internet Diaries of Sex Tourists Returning from Thailand." (And post-MLA, Robinson gave a reading from her novel Murder Most Puzzling at the Greenville Barnes & Noble on January 19.)
Gay Wilentz presented "Can Comparative Diasporas Be Complementary? An 'In-Outsider' Speaks Out"; she also served as a member of the Advisory Board on American Literature.
In the "Faculty Appearances Overseas" department:
Halloween in Ireland: at Trinity College's Gothic Symposium (October 29-31), Jim Holte presented his "American Gothic: Bram Stoker in the United States," an essay on the status of Stoker and Dracula in American pop culture and the American academy.
C.W. Sullivan III was an invited speaker at the New Directions in Celtic Studies Conference sponsored by the Institute for Cornish Studies of the University of Exeter and held in Truro, England, in November of 1998. Sullivan's paper, "Celtic Myth and English Language Fantasy Literature: Possible New Directions" will serve as basis for his upcoming Rivers Foundation Lecture (17 February, 3:00 PM, GC 1026, with a reception following).
Sandra Tawake served on a panel for the East-West Center evaluation of the Internationalization Forum in Honolulu, August 13-16, 1998.
A bit closer to home, Patrick Bizzaro gave two lectures on Fred Chappell last fall: "Fred Chappell: (Only) A North Carolina Writer" at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, on September 29, and "Fred Chappell's Fictive Techniques: Analysis of Virgil Campbell in Story and Poem" at Barton College, October 6, 1998. Bizzaro was also a featured speaker at the GRE-Verbal Preparation Course for ECU School of Business's Professional Programs, October-November 1998.
Awards & Appointments
Resa Crane Bizzaro is one of ten recipients of the Scholars for the Dream Travel Award given by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The SFD program was instituted to celebrate the scholarly contributions of first-time presenters from traditionally under-represented groups at Four Cs.
Dale Jacobs served as Guest Editor of North Carolina English Teacher's Special Issue on Assessing Assessment (55.4: Fall 1998).
On January 11 Michael Parker was installed as President of the Board of Directors of SAFE in Lenoir County. SAFE operates a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and aids women who are victims of rape and sexual assault.
Lillian Robinson has joined the editorial boards of two journals--Minnesota Review and Women's Studies Quarterly--and one reference project, Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century.
Congratulations to Pat Bizzaro and Resa Crane Bizzaro, who were married on December 5 at Colington Creek, on the Outer Banks.
With a half-dozen English faculty and students in attendance, Mike Hamer's band The Lemon Sisters and the Rutabaga Brothers rocked the house during their annual Christmas Party / Dance at Peasants on December 19th. The Lems and Rutas will be playing a Valentine's Dance on February 13th at the Willis Building; see Mike for details. [By the way, the absence of parenthetical commas around the band name is intentional: "The Lemon Sisters and the Rutabaga Brothers" is a restrictive modifier, as Mike actually has two different bands. --Ed. ]
During the Bath NC State Historic Site's December Open House, Lorraine Robinson gave a lecture / performance entitled "Carols and Early Music," which traced the connections between text and melody and presented examples from a wide array of cultures beyond the Anglo-American. And in January, Robinson presented "An Olde Christmas Program" to the Craven Arts Council and Gallery in which she discussed the relationships between diverse folk traditions and the texts and melodies which exemplify these relationships. This presentation was part of the long-running series which the Gallery has sponsored for nearly a decade and in which Robinson has participated since its inception.
Robert Siegel's play "Overlooking the Park" will be given a workshop production at Charlotte Repertory Theater March 2-6 with performances on March 3 and March 6. The same play has also been accepted for a full production at American Theater for Actors, the time to be determined this spring.
Reginald Watson's play "I've Seen The Mountaintop and It Don't Look So Good" was performed on January 18 in Hendrix Theater in honor of Martin Luther King's birthday and the renaming of West Fifth Street. The play was sponsored by the community acting organization People Act; Greenville Mayor Nancy Jenkins, who originally requested the performance, was in attendance.
A special "best of" double issue, the new Tar River Poetry features founding editor Peter Makuck's favorite poems of the past forty issues, including work by several Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners and some of the best-known names in contemporary poetry: William Stafford, Sharon Olds, Leslie Norris, William Matthews, Louis Simpson, Betty Adcock, John Logan, A. Poulin Jr., Paula Rankin, A.R. Ammons, Carolyn Kizer, Albert Goldbarth, Patricia Goedicke, and many others, including our own Patrick Bizzaro (to read Pat's poem, click here). Copies of the issue are available from the TRP office.
What's on your night table? TCR asked a few folks what they've been reading lately:
McKay Sundwall: "I begin each morning by reading 20-30 pages of a Victorian novel. I've just finished Charles Reade's Cloister in the Hearth--wonderful!--and have just begun R.D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone.And I've also just finished Anita Brookner's latest novel, Falling Slowly--it's tough and unsentimental."
Heidi Jacobs: On the Cold Road,by Dave Bidini: "It's by a guy in a Canadian rock band, all about touring across Canada and interviewing old rock & rollers. And I'm also reading Home Team, a really great book about fathers and sons and hockey."
Kim Seavey: Straight Man,by Richard Russo. "I love this book! It's an up-close-and- personal look at an English department at a small and under-funded university and has all of the necessary quirky characters. It just goes to show that the carnival we all enjoy here seems to be the norm in other English departments as well. (Scary.)"
Marie Farr: "I've just finished Sara Paretsky's attempt at a non-mystery,Ghost Country.It's set in Chicago, which is one reason I love Paretsky: I'm from Chicago. It's about the intersection of a homeless woman, an alcoholic Diva, a daughter of a respected surgeon, and someone who may be a mystical goddess, and it raises questions about sanity, morality, and religious fundamentalism."
Please send corrections, additions, reactions, suggestions, and items for the next edition (due out March 10th or thereabouts) by clicking on "E-mail the Editor," below. Remember to send us a brief excerpt from published work or papers delivered if you'd like us to add a link from your Common Reader item.
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