December 1999

Volume 18

Number 3



In This Issue:

From The Chair

In Print

Panels & 

Awards & 





Luke Whisnant

Assistant Editors

Angela Farrior

Jenn Karasow

Lyndsay Massengill

Written by

Angela Farrior

Jenn Karasow

Lyndsay Massengill

Luke Whisnant


Gabrielle Brant

Reid Anderson

Jenn Karasow

Photo of 
Jim Wright by Lucy Wright


The Common Reader

From The Chair
Bruce Southard

Having survived two hurricanes and the most extensive flooding in the history of Greenville and East Carolina University this fall semester, most departmental members find themselves awaiting the new millennium with hopeful anticipation that events will surely be better during the coming spring semester.

Following the holidays, when most faculty will be in their offices preparing for the spring by creating new syllabi, writing lectures, or organizing classroom activities for new courses, and devoting the remainder of their time to their research and service activities, several faculty will most likely be absent due to research reassignments or teaching assignments at other institutions.  Dale Jacobs and Michele Sharp, for example, have received College of Arts and Sciences Research Awards, while Patrick Bizzaro and Donald Palumbo have received 100% reassigned time for research from the department. 

Gay Wilentz will be teaching at the University College of Belize as part of an exchange program that brings Javier Reyes from Belize to teach in our department for one semester. Peter Makuck will be serving as Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Brigham Young University during the entirety of the spring semester, while Julie Fay will be serving as the Sarah Mathews Self Distinguished Writer at Converse College from January 3 through January 28.
<   Wright

The person whom I will most acutely miss seeing this coming spring, though, is Jim Wright, who is retiring from East Carolina University at the end of the fall semester.  I will never forget Jim's collegial assistance when I joined him as part of the linguistics faculty over ten years ago.  During these past years, I have come to look forward to Jim's horrible puns, to admire his dedication to his students and their learning, and to appreciate the many ways that he has contributed to the well-being and advancement of the department.  Although I will miss him greatly, I look forward to his continuing to join us at our various departmental parties, bringing along his wash-tub bass or finding an available piano, so that we can all say, "Play it again, Jim." 



In Print
compiled by Jenn Karasow

As always, click on the links (in Holiday red this issue) for more information; use your browser's "back" button to return to TCR.

<   South

THE JESUITS AND THE JOINT MISSION TO ENGLAND DURING 1580-1581, by professor emeritus Malcolm H. South, was recently published by The Edward Melon Press. 

THE ASHEVILLE POETRY REVIEW's Fall 1999 issue features Patrick Bizzaro's article, "The Critic as Teacher: Chappell's A WAY OF HAPPENING."

Peter Makuck's poem "Spiritsails" was featured in the Sunday Reader section of the Raleigh NEWS AND OBSERVER on November 7. He has poems in the current issues of THE SWANEE REVIEW and SOUTHERN POETRY REVIEW and in the recently released anthology WORDS AND WITNESSES: 100 YEARS OF NORTH CAROLINA POETRY (edited by Sally Bruckner with an Afterword by Fred Chappell).  Makuck's essay on guns, which originally appeared in the summer issue of THE HUDSON REVIEW, has just been reprinted in the December issue of THE SUN, and he has a review-essay on new books of poetry in the current issue of THE LAUREL REVIEW. 

<   Carroll-Hackett

"Objects in the Mirror," a short story by Mary Carroll-Hackett, was published in the November 1999 issue of WELLSPRING. Her flash-fiction piece "Bread" appeared in the November 1999 issue of PROCREATION: A JOURNAL OF TRUTHTELLING IN POETRY AND PROSE,  and another story, "Dimes," has just come out in MINDKITES: PERCEPTIONS ON THE FRINGE (December 1999). 

C.W. Sullivan III's "The Influence of Mabinogion on Modern Fantasy Literature: An Address to the Welsh Academy, 9 November 1996" has been published in CELTIC CULTURAL STUDIES, an on-line journal edited by Dr. Steve Sweeney-Turner of Leeds University, and hosted by the British Library. 

"The Back-Up Plan, Guardianship, and Disguise: Interrelated Fractal Motifs in Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation Metaseries," an article by Don Palumbo, has just appeared in JOURNAL OF THE FANTASTIC IN THE ARTS 10:3 (December 1999).  This is the sixth article in the past several years that Palumbo has published on chaos theory, Asimov, and Herbert--the subject of the book he plans to complete in Spring 2000 while on 100% research leave from the department.

Gay Wilentz's speech from the SAADE (South Atlantic Association of Departments of English) Teaching Award, presented last November at SAMLA, was featured in the SAADE NEWSLETTER, Fall 1999. 


Panels & Presentations
compiled by Lyndsay Massengill

Now that the autumn conference season is over, we have a number of papers and presentations to report.

<   Arnold

At the first annual Symposium on Native American Literatures, "Strategies for the New Millennium," in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, November 11-14, Ellen Arnold presented "Listening to the Spirits: Leslie Marmon Silko Talks about Writing," a paper based on her 1998 interview with Silko.

On October 23, Gay Wilentz served as Keynote Speaker at the University of Cincinnati's conference "Multiculturalism at Century's End"; her topic was "Healing the Culturally Ill:  Literary Remedies for the 21st Century."  Back home, Wilentz presented a version of this paper for the ECU Women's Studies Program and the English Department Faculty Colloquia on November 18.

Three faculty members presented papers at the American Folklore Society's annual meeting (in Memphis October 21-24): Resa Crane Bizzaro read "Folklore and Literature in First-Year Composition"; C.W. Sullivan III presented his "Gender Roles in the Mabinogi" as part of the "Medieval Folklore and Gender" panel; and Patrick Bizzaro gave his "Narratives of Transition: From Literature Scholar to Compositionist." 

Pat Bizzaro also gave two presentations on "Teaching Basic Writers" at the NC Juvenile Services Annual Conference in Atlantic Beach, NC, on September 9.

Also on September 9, at the Office of Juvenile Justice Teachers' Conference "Educating for the Next Millennium," in Atlantic Beach, NC, Reginald Watson presented "Reaching the Unreachable through Drama and Literature." Watson served as a moderator and also read his "Educate the Head, and the Heart Will Follow" at the Minority Student Coalition Student Forum Promoting Race Relations and Cultural Sensitivity here at ECU on October 20; he was a guest panelist for The Minority Student Coalition Faculty/Staff Forum Promoting Positive Race Relations at ECU on November 17.

Margaret Bauer read a paper, "On Flags and Fraternities: The Lessons of Charles Chesnutt's 'Po' Sandy'," as a panelist of the African-American Literature session at the 1999 SAMLA conference in Atlanta, November 5.

At the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) conference in Denver on November 19-21, Sandra Tawake presented "Meeting the Enemy: Stories of Resistance, Transformation, and Growth." 

On November 11, Seodial Deena presided over the Third Annual Multicultural Reading Day, which featured 42 readers and was attended by approximately 95 faculty, students, and staff.  The event was organized by Deena and sponsored by the Department of English and Joyner Library.

And now for the "Faculty Appearances Overseas" Department:

<    Sharp

Michelle Sharp presented her paper "Words and Persons: Frankenstein and Intellectual Property" at an international conference on the Romantic-era Novel held at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, on November 16-19.

And the peripatetic Lillian Robinson spent Thanksgiving in Scandinavia, where she served as keynote speaker at the Conference on Prostitution in a Global Context, Aarlborg University, Denmark (November 16-18); was honored at a luncheon at the Feminist Research Center, European Studies, Arhus University (November 25); and gave four guest lectures: "In the Night Markets," Feminist Research Center, Aarlborg University (November 19); "Feminism and Mass Culture," Communications Dept., Aarlborg University (November 23); "Monstrous Regiment: The Lady Knight in Sixteenth-Century Epic," Roskilde University Center, Denmark (November 24); and "In the Night Markets," Danish National School of Social Work, Arhus, Denmark (November 25).  Robinson's stateside appearances include a reading and book-signing for her novel, MURDER MOST PUZZLING, at Bookwoman, Austin, Texas, on October 23, and "In the Night Markets: Touring Commercial Sex in Thailand," a guest lecture given November 1 at George Washington University.


Awards & Appointments 
compiled by Lyndsay Massengill

Ellen Arnold was elected Secretary for the Native American Literatures Committee at the November 4-6 meeting of the South Atlantic Modern Languages Association.

In October, five creative writing students from the department were awarded scholarships by the North Carolina Writer's Network to attend the NCWN Fall Conference, in Asheville, November 19-22. Representing ECU were Lynne Frye (nominated by Julie Fay and Bob Siegel), Mark Hunnicutt and Glenda Jakubowski (both nominated by Alex Albright), Brendan O'Donnell (nominated by Bob Siegel), and Jeff Stewart (nominated by Pat Bizzaro). 

On June 18-19, Sharon Raynor, Reginald Watson, and Seodial Deena received a grant of $6,400 from North Carolina Humanities for their Vietnam project entitled "Breaking the Silence: An Oral History of the Unspoken Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans."

Last August, Mary Carroll-Hackett was awarded a partial fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center for Writers for a residency in January of 2000.

THE NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE JOURNAL received the prestigious Claude Hunter Moore Journal Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians at a ceremony in Statesville, NC on November 6.  The citation acknowledges the journal for its "dedication to [the NCSH] goal of preserving and perpetuating North Carolina's great history."  NCFJ is edited by Karen Baldwin; the editorial staff includes Cheryl Dudasik-Wiggs and graduate student Jenny R. Leonard.


compiled by Angela Farrior

A few notes from all over . . . .

R Bizzaro
<   R. Bizzaro

Dr. B: Congratulations to Resa Crane Bizzaro, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation at the University of North Carolina- Greensboro on October 29th.

Margaret Bauer was featured in the EAST CAROLINIAN's "Notch Above the Norm" column on November 18.  Her book, THE FICTION OF ELLEN GILCHRIST, was among six pictured in the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION's October 8 article on 1999 Scholarly Publications. 

Seodial Deena and Tope Bello (Business) organized Project 500, which collected approximately 200 shoe boxes of Christmas gifts and school supplies, 20 jumbo barrels of clothes and shoes, and $2,500 for needy children in Guyana, South America, and children of flood victims in Greenville, NC.

The 1999 issue of the NORTH CAROLINA LITERARY REVIEW (NCLR), edited by Margaret Bauer, with Lorraine Robinson, Luke Whisnant, and Julie Fay, came in from the printer in mid-October, delayed, like everything else, by Floyd. This issue includes several items by English Department members: articles by Heidi Jacobs and Lorraine Robinson, reviews by Jeff Franklin and Peter Makuck, poetry by Jeff Franklin, and photography by Chip Sullivan and Lorraine Robinson, as well as a sidebar and photography by senior English major Glenda Jakubowski. Single issues are available at $15 each (or $20 for a two-year subscription) from Margaret Bauer's office (2111 GC).

On November 20th, Karen Baldwin and spouse Ernie Marshall (Philosophy professor emeritus) participated in the 17th annual Toy Run, sponsored by J&E Harley Davidson.  This motorcycle parade collects toy donations for the Salvation Army, and also serves as an "early mid-winter customary festivity" for nearly 600 regional bikers.  Baldwin notes that neither she nor Marshall are bikers, per se (her definition of a biker: "A guy with a Harley that rides it a lot"), but the Harley riders let them tag along anyway on their Suzuki Intruder. Other news from the Baldwin-Marshall household: their yards in both Greenville and Swan Quarter have been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as Backyard Wildlife Habitats, and they are also the proud new adoptive people for Dinah-mite Dog, a Lab(Chow)rador orphan pup retrieved from the Pitt County Human Society during the flooding.

<   Thompson

SURRENDERING ALL, Kim Thompson's new tape of gospel and inspirational music, has just been released; see the multi-talented Ms. T for details.

And in other departmental musical notes, on November 11, Barnes & Noble hosted a release party / concert for BLACK CROW, Mike Hamer's new CD of original songs. Hamer, on vocals, harmonica, and hammer dulcimer, was supported by The Stoic Colleagues, a pickup band of Frank Farmer on mandolin, Bob Siegel on harmonica and recorder, Luke Whisnant on guitar, Jim Watson (Geology) on accordion, and Sue Luddeke (Art) on harmony vocals.  BLACK CROW was featured on Morning Edition by Public Radio East's George Olsen on November 18 and 19.


From the Editor 
Luke Whisnant

While there's still time before the Y2K lockup (when all webpages such as this shall atomize into the uncharted bytes of cyberspace and we cutting-edge editors shall stagger back to the rusty ol' mimeograph machine with our tails between our legs), I'd like to take a moment to thank my assistants for their hard work on TCR this year. 

<   Lyndsay, Jenn, Angela

A staff of three first-semester graduate students helps bring you The Common Reader. Lyndsay Massengill has not only done most of the compilation chores on this issue, but has also served as co-designer on the new Rhetoric and Composition website (take a look), and is revising the undergraduate program webpages as time permits. Angela Farrior, who has a half-time assistantship with me this semester, compiles TCR's Miscellany, and helped develop the revised Multicultural website (which has been receiving kudos from all over). And Jenn Karasow is our utility infielder. You may have seen Jenn at this week's holiday party taking photos with her trusty digital camera; in addition to editing the "In Print" section, she is also working on stories for next spring's MUSELETTER, and writing content for various webpages.

These three students have worked hard this semester to bring you a departmental newsletter to which you can proudly "link" friends and family. If you like what you've seen these past few months, please let them know. 

The next issue of TCR will be published the first week of February; we'll have a call for copy in late January. Please hold all news and notes until then. Happy Holidays!


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