Sept 2000

Volume 18

Number 1


In This Issue

From The Chair

In Print

Panels &

Awards &


From the Editor



Luke Whisnant

Assistant Editor

Eric Rondeau

Written by

Eric Rondeau

Luke Whisnant


Gabrielle Brant

Reid Anderson

Jenn Karasow

Eric Rondeau

... The Common Reader

From the Chair

The months since the end of the spring semester have seen a number of personnel changes within the Department of English.  Several faculty left their positions at East Carolina University to accept new positions at other institutions, to pursue doctoral studies, or to move their lives in new directions.  In addition to those mentioned in the last issue of The Common Reader, leaving the department during the summer were Joseph Campbell, Dennis Eadus, Kathryn Fladenmuller, Marianna Hardison, Dale Jacobs, Heidi Jacobs, and Denise Wood.  The department also said goodbye to three members of the administrative staff, all of whom accepted promotions to other positions within the university: Debbie Little, Kim Seavey, and Kim Thompson.

B. Southard
<   B. Southard

The faculty vacancies left by these various departures have been filled this semester by a number of new colleagues.  Joining the department as lecturers are Christy Baker, Wellyn Dawson, Rodney Dotson, Micah Harris, Chad Holliday, Jennifer Hughes, Bryan Oesterreich, and Susan Wilson. New Visiting Assistant Professors are Richard Quinn, Anthony (Andy) Robbins, David Ross, and Roger Schlobin. New Assistant Professors are Michael Aceto and Ludmila (Lida) Dutkova-Cope. [Click on the names in blue to visit the new faculty members' web profile pages. --Ed.] 

A number of new colleagues will also be joining the department next year, as the Executive and Personnel Committees have recently recommended that five search committees be formed to recruit seven new tenure-track faculty for the 2001-2002 academic year.  Searches will be conducted for two faculty in each of the fields of technical/professional communication and rhetoric/composition, while searches will also be conducted for one new faculty member in each of the areas of children's literature, contemporary literature, and film.  Remaining to be filled for the 2002-2003 academic year are positions in medieval literature and Victorian literature.

The department is also gearing up to institute a number of curricular revisions planned last year.  Committees will soon be developing a new 1000-level literature course, a 3000-level required survey course, and a 3000-level literary theory course.  Changes are planned for other courses currently being offered in order to secure Writing Intensive credit or Humanities credit.

Of great import to ECU are changes taking place in its writing program.  Pat Bizzaro has agreed to serve as interim director of Writing Across the Curriculum and to institute a new University Writing Center that will have a "hub" tutorial facility in the General Classroom Building and satellite tutorial centers throughout the campus.  The former "Writing Center" is now becoming the "Tutorial Center for First-Year Writing."  With this change, the department will concentrate its resources on its English 1100 and 1200 courses.  Under the supervision of Rick Taylor, Director of Freshman Composition, graduate assistants formerly "on call" for "walk-in" tutorial assistance are now being assigned to work with specific faculty and groups of students.

Although we're only in the third week of the fall semester, the department has been incredibly busy, has accomplished a great deal, and has even more activities awaiting it.

--Bruce Southard


In Print

Click on the links (in end-of-summer sky blue this issue) for more information on the items below; use your browser's "back" button to return to TCR.

<   Makuck

The prolific Peter Makuck had a productive summer, publishing poems, stories, and reviews all over. Fiction first: his story "Palliatives" appears in the Spring 2000 issue of Kestrel; his story "Piecework," originally printed in the Hudson Review, has just appeared in This Is Where We Live, a new UNC Press anthology of fiction by 25 contemporary North Carolina writers. Poems: "Pennywort, After the Storm," was printed in the venerable journal Poetry, June 2000, and was republished on the Poetry Daily website, June 27, 2000; and two new anthologies feature reprints of previously published Makuck poems: "Prey" appears in Urban Nature: Poems About Wildlife in the City (Milkweed Editions), and "Back Roads by Night," "Hunger," and "Nights" have just come out in Wildsweet Notes: 50 Years of West Virginia Poetry. And finally, the new Laurel Review features Makuck's "Poets in Prose," a long essay-review on books by Samuel Hazo, David Mason, and W.D. Snodgrass.

Sandra Tawake's article "Transforming the Insider-Outsider Perspective: Postcolonial Fiction from the Pacific" appears in the current issue of The Contemporary Pacific (12.1).

"Roundup--Wild Ponies at Okracoke," a poem by Mary Carroll-Hackett, was published late last spring in Mankato Poetry Review.

The Spring 2000 issue of The University of Notre Dame's journal Religion and Literature (32.1) features Doug McMillan's essay-review of John L. Mahoney's Seeing Into the Life of Things: Essays on Literature and Religious Experience (1998); Terence J. Martin's Living Words: Studies in Dialogues About Religion (1998); John Morreall's Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion (1999); and Frederick J. Ruf's Entangled Voices: Genre and the Religious Construction of the Self (1997).

<   Schlobin

"Resources for the Study of American Fantasy Literature Through 1998," an article by Roger Schlobin, appeared in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (10.4).

Margaret Bauer published an article on Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury entitled "'I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood': Quentin's Recognition of His Guilt" in the Southern Literary Journal (32.2).

Seodial Deena's abstract "Synonymy of Multiculturalism and Postcolonialism through Globalizaton" was published in the Eighth International Literature of Region and Nation Conference, Abstracts; his article "Colonization and Canonization: Class Marginalization through Education," appeared in Terranglian Territories: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Literature of Region and Nation (Peter Lang, 2000).

Gay Wilentz's essay "Afracentrism as Theory: The Discourse of Diaspora Literature" was published this summer in New York University's Passages: A Journal of Transnational and Transcultural Studies.

S. Southard
<   S. Southard

Two papers by Technical & Professional Communications faculty and students have been published in the Proceedings of the 47th [International] Society for Technical Communication Annual Conference (STC, 2000): "Guidelines for Accessible Web Sites: Technology & Users," by Michele Ward, Philip Rubens, and Sherry Southard; and "Online Collaboration: Distance Learning and Professional Forums Display Advantages and Disadvantages," by Andrea House and Holly Siegelman. Both papers were given at the STC Conference, May 21-24, in Orlando, FL.


Panels & Presentations

<   Rubens

And continuing with TPC faculty news, Philip Rubens and Sherry Southard also presented "Training in Intranet & Internet Learning Environments" at the 8th Annual STC Carolina Chapter Summer Conference, August 11-12, 2000, Chapel Hill, NC.

At the 7th International Pragmatics Conference, in Budapest, July 9-14, Agnes Bolonyai gave her paper "Intentionality at the Crossroads of Bilingual Choices: Managing Power and Linguistic Asymmetry"; she also organized a panel, "From Intentionality to Variability: Pragmatic Motivations for Codeswitching."

C.W. Sullivan III was an invited plenary speaker at the Children's Books Ireland annual conference in Dublin, May 2000. The conference theme was "New Worlds," and Sullivan's presentation was entitled "J.K. Rowling And Ursula K. LeGuin: Creating the Series-Book Fantasy World."

The second half of summer found Seodial Deena in Austin, TX, at a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar. According to Deena, he spent six weeks with one of his two "former lovers (History)--the other being Math--and had the most delightful stimulation." During the seminar he gave three presentations: "The Present State of Caribbean Literature and Criticism," "A Response to Dane Kennedy's 'Imperial History and Post-Colonial Theory,'" and "A Critical Review of Sarvepalli Gopal's Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography." Deena also presented a paper, "Synonymy of Multiculturalism and Postcolonialism through Globalizaton," at the Eighth International Literature of Region and Nation Conference, Ostersund, Jamtland, Sweden, August 2-6.

On June 2nd, Peter Makuck presented the Commencement Address at Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, NC.

Overlooking the Park, a play by Robert Siegel (with original music composed by Luke Whisnant), was produced by the American Theater For Actors in New York this past July.

On August 25, Reginald Watson gave a presentation to an Honors class at D.H. Conley High School (Donna Mills, instructor) on Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

In July, Ron Hoag presented a paper at the Thoreau Institute (Lincoln, MA) on "The Mountain Wildness of Walden and 'Walking,'" arguing that Thoreau's excursion to Katahdin in the middle of his two-year stay at Walden Pond informed his famous essay "Walking, or the Wild," and also led directly to a number of famous passages about wildness in Walden, making it a wilder book than it otherwise would have been. Also in July, Hoag attended the board of directors meeting and subsequent annual convention of the Thoreau Society in Concord, MA.


Awards & Appointments

Reginald Watson was recently appointed to the Executive Board of the Greenville Community Development Corporation Board and to the Pitt County Weed and Seed Board. At the August 14th faculty meeting, Watson was elected Faculty Senator.

<   Snyder

Harold Snyder was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition "for service during the period of the Cold War (2 September 1945-26 December 1991) in promoting peace and stability for this Nation. The people of this Nation are forever grateful."  The certificate is signed by the Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen.

The National Academic Advising Association has named Sherry Southard an Outstanding Advisor Winner. (The link leads to an ECU press release about the award.)

Cheryl Dudasik-Wiggs and Christa Reiser (Sociology) have been named the new co-directors of the ECU Women's Studies Program. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the program.

The North Carolina Literary Review has been selected from more than 1400 print entries to appear in the 2000 Design Show of the University & College Designers Association (UCDA). Congratulations to Art Director Mary Thiesen.



Seodial Deena spent First Summer Session in Belize, teaching a course on Colonialism and Christianity. He gave three radio talks about Culture and Spirituality on the Guyana Broadcasting Station.

<   Harding

Steve Harding spent the summer working with the not-for-profit organization HIS Right Hand Ministries, bringing over 360 teenagers and their adult leaders into the Greenville area to work on flood recovery projects. The group helped repair over a dozen homes, worked on four Habitat for Humanity projects, provided programs for children in the FEMA trailer parks, prepared food boxes at a food bank, sorted clothing, and did countless other small projects for flood victims.

An American Cafe, an original play by Gay Wilentz and Todd Lovett, is being produced as a video by UNC-TV; it will air as part of their Race Initiative series and will be used for educational purposes in high schools and community development groups. The production is funded in part by a $20,000 grant from Z. Smith Reynolds's "Race Will Not Divide Us" initiative and over $80,000 in grants raised by the Multicultural Literature Program and the community theater group PeopleAct. 

C.W. Sullivan III served as a Visiting Professor for the Hollins University Summer Graduate Program in Children's Literature, teaching a seminar entitled "The Fantastic in Children's Literature." Sullivan is one of a number of Visiting Professors who teach at Hollins on a rotating basis; he is scheduled to be there again in 2003.

Gay Wilentz was among the four faculty members and 47 students--the largest group to date--who participated in the ECU/UCB Summer Study Abroad Program in Cultural Studies.

<   Hoag

In June, Ron Hoag spent three days in the Maine back country doing on-camera commentary for a feature-length documentary entitled "Wilderness and Spirit: A Mountain Called Katahdin." The film, by award-winning filmmaker Huey Wentzell, has been in production for two years and will be released in 2001. Hoag's commentary dealt with the Thoreauvian history and significance of the mountain, which Henry Thoreau climbed in 1846 and wrote about in his 1848 magazine essay "Ktaadn," later included in his book The Maine Woods. Hoag, a specialist in Transcendentalism, says that he was already something of a "transparent eyeball," so "the transition to talking head seemed more or less natural."

Congratulations to Laura Micciche and Gary Weissman, who were married on August 12 in Akron, OH.


From The Editor

Now that we've made it through this first issue, the next item on our agenda is the annual autumnal update of faculty profile webpages. You can help. Since last year, have you 

  • changed offices or phone numbers?
  • developed a new area of interest?
  • taught a new course?
  • published a syllabus on the web? (we can add a link to it)
  • developed or discovered links you want added to your page?
It's also possible to include links to publications, vitae, writing samples, etc. To review your profile page, go to Faculty Profiles; use the "directory" to check your listing, making sure your office number and phone are correct; and then click on your name. To request revisions, email the website manager (, or send me a hardcopy note via departmental mailbox. And if you absolutely can't stand your profile page photograph, please email Assistant Editor Eric Rondeau ( to schedule a re-shoot. 

The next issue of TCR will be published in mid-October; we'll have a call for copy around October 1st. Please hold all news and notes until then.

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