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Panels & Presentations

silentbirthStephanie West-Puckett presented "Silent Birth: Co-opting a Scientologist Doctrine as a Tool of Obstetrical Resistance" as part of a panel exploring childbirth experiences in historical and contemporary contexts at the 2006 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations in Atlanta, April 15-18.  Her essay explores the ways that language and the "rhetoric of risk" shapes child birthing experience.  According to West-Puckett: "[The paper] is part of a larger research project which examines the cultures of birth in America and seeks to reclaim childbirth as a woman-centered experience which holds both personal and cultural significance."

Leanne Smith delivered "Water and Destiny: An Examination of Tony's Journey to Personal and Cultural Wholeness in Rudolpho Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima" (a shortened version of one of her thesis chapters, under a different title) at the "Title Effects: Writing through Watershed" conference at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) on Saturday, April 1.  The presentation was part of the "Wading through the Self: Narrative, Identity, & Water" panel.  Conference participants included graduate students from several UNC system schools as well as several from other states, including Mississippi and Oregon.

topdogChris McDonald presented "Competition and Inheritance in the Drama of Suzan-Lori Parks" at the 30th Annual Comparative Drama Conference at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles, March 30-April 1.  Pictured here is a still photograph from the production of Parks's Topdog Underdog.  The conference was international and interdisciplinary, held this year at the Marina Del Rey Hotel, Marina Del Rey, CA.  According to the conference organizers: "Every year, approximately 150 scholars are invited to present and discuss their work in the field of drama. Over the past 29 years the participants have come from 31 nations and all 50 states.  Papers selected for presentation are assigned to a conference panel that includes other papers with related themes. Sessions are established to cover all the papers selected.  Each year a distinguished theatre scholar or artist whose recent work is relevant to the conference is invited to address the participants in a plenary session."  The keynote speaker for 2006 was Stanley E. Gontarski, editor of The Journal of Beckett Studies and co-editor of The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett.  His lecture "Staging Beckett for a New Century" was given in honor of the Samuel Beckett centenary.

USCSuzanne Nichols attended "Trans--Negotiations and Resistance," the 19th Annual AEGS Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of Southern California, held April 7-8, 2006.  There she delivered her critical study "The Conjure Woman and The Known World: A Century of Change in Views and Writing About Slavery."  Her paper addressed the similarities in the work of Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman (1899) and Edward P. Jones The Known World (2003) and focuses on the differences in what Jones could write in his 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning novel about free Blacks and Black slave masters as compared to expectations of the plantation genre which Chesnutt had to accommodate.

Margaret Bauer read from her book William Faulkner's Legacy: "what shadow, what stain, what mark" at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on April 10.  She read a section from the chapter on Gaines and Faulkner since Ernest Gaines recently retired from the faculty at ULL.  Bauer received her MA from ULL (then the University of Southwestern Louisiana).

facesEllen Arnold chaired a panel on "Pedagogy: Teaching the Contexts" at the annual Native American Literature Symposium titled "Many Voices, One Center: Our Land" held in Mt. Pleasant, MI, April 6-8, at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. The conference featured James Treat, Linda Hogan and Charlie Hill.  At the national meeting of the Association for Studies in American Indian Literatures, held at the conference, Arnold was commended for her work as Chair of the ASAIL Committee on Pedagogy.  The committee sponsored two panels at the conference and has compiled a special pedagogy issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures forthcoming.

Peter Makuck gave a poetry reading at Bowdoin College on April 9. On April 19,  he was the featured reader at the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh in the "Poets-In-Person" series.  Past participants in this series include: Robert Pinsky, Seamus Heaney, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Carolyn Kizer, and Naomi Shihab-Nyelo.

shakesAnthony Holsten performed "Shakespeareance: A Celebration of Shakespeare's Birthday (Language)" at Barnes and Noble on Thursday, April 27th. Also, Holsten along with his wife opened The Greenville Theater Project, a non-profit community theater group in January. the Project had its first show on April 2, an improvisational comedy show called "Ooops! Comedy Improv."  Shows are scheduled to run every month, and the first scripted ("real") production is scheduled for the fall.  For more details, see: http://www.greenvilletheaterproject.com.

Tom Herron co-organized and led a seminar on "Spenser and Shakespeare" at the Shakespeare Association of America meeting in Philadelphia, April 15-18.  Herron also delivered a paper on colonial motifs in the poetry of Sir Walter Raleigh at "Exploring the Renaissance: An International Conference" held in Houston TX, March 9-11 and sponsored by The South-Central Renaissance Society.

Will Banks chaired the annual meeting of the Queer Caucus at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 22-25, in Chicago, IL.  At this same conference, Banks also presented "What's Queer about Writing Program Administration? New Research from the Field."  According to Banks: "This presentation focused on a review of the four major textbook publishers for first-year composition, asking questions about what lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender materials/issues are included as part of the textbook curricula.  This presentation on textbooks reported on the initial phase of a first-of-its-kind comprehensive research project investigating what role(s) if any LGBT writers/issues/concerns play in first-year composition and in Writing Program Administration and teacher-training at the college level."

twintowersCatherine Smith presented "Professional Communication in the Anti-Terror Age" -- a poster presentation at the 2005 Conference of the Council of Professional and Technical Communication Programs held in Lubbock, TX on October 21.  According to Smith: "This poster presentation visually and audibly illustrated my claim that 'terror' functions as a perspective, or frame for interpreting, characterizing, assessing, and arguing in post-September 11, 2001 public policy deliberation.  In poster mode, I reasserted my claim that professionals who communicate in public debate need to be prepared to manage ways their expertise is absorbed within this perspective."

Smith also delivered "AM/FM Radio and the Internet During Weather Emergencies" at the 2006 Conference of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, March 22-25, in Chicago, IL.  According to Smith: "Based on joint research with Donna Kain to study the rhetoric of communicating hurricane risk in the coastal zone of eastern North Carolina, I focused in this presentation on the Emergency Alert System (EAS).  The EAS is the authoritative means by which US governments warn communities about imminent danger.  The EAS originated in Cold War defense policy implemented in broadcast (radio and television) technology to enable the president of the US to communicate with citizens in the event of enemy attack.  Now homeland security policy of the War on Terror calls for an all-hazards (military or other emergency) warning strategy.  With that policy change as well as the broad cultural change to digital communication technologies (internet, satellite, wireless, cellular) for information delivery, and motivated by failures in the EAS during 2005 hurricanes, the EAS's role is under review by the jurisdictional agency, the Federal Communications Commission.  My presentation ended by asking specialists in technical and professional communication interested in the rhetoric of risk to participate in that review.  I encouraged us to submit comments in response to the FCC's call for public comment on whether Internet and cellular technologies should be required (as broadcast technologies are) to transmit EAS alerts."

Donald Palumbo presented "The Monomyth in Star Trek Films" (covering all ten films and their consistent use of a rather complex narrative structure in under 20 minutes, much to the amazement of nearly everyone) on April 14 at the 36th annual Popular Culture Association national convention in Atlanta.  Palumbo attended the conference as a member of the Journal of Popular Culture Advisory Board, as a judge of the Popular Culture Association Peter C. Rollins Documentary Film/Video Award, and as the PCA Film Area Chair, having organized 20 Film Area sessions for the meeting. Palumbo also conducted a session on "Publish your Scholarly Book on SF/F with McFarland Publishers" on April 13, as co-advisor (with C.W. Sullivan III) of McFarland's "Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy" series.

Jan Tovey presented "Service Learning and Professional Development in a Graduate Program" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 22-25, in Chicago, IL.

weedsAlso at this same Conference on College Composition and Communication, Debbie O'Neal and Wendy Sharer, along with Al Smith, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development at ECU, presented a panel titled "The Gatekeeper No More: Using the Composition Curriculum to Foster Critical Understanding of Campus Cultures."  According to the presenters:  "The history of the first-year composition requirement is, in large part, a history of gate keeping.  The course has frequently functioned to 'weed out' those students deemed unfit for the academic rigors of higher education.  Our panel sought alternatives to this restrictive understanding of first-year writing, imaging the composition classroom instead as a place to enable student access to university cultures.  Through a discussion of curricular collaboration among writing program administrators, student development professionals, and composition instructors at ECU, the panel explored ways in which composition can facilitate, rather than halt, a student's entry into college communities."

uppityResa Crane Bizzaro read her essay "A Community of 'Uppity Indians': Binary Threads of Identity" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication on Friday, March 24, 2006.  The presentation was part of a featured session, the second time Bizzaro has received such recognition at the conference.

Donna Kain presented "Sounding the Depths: Developing Criteria for Assessing Multimedia Artifacts and Tools" on March 23 at the 57th annual convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Chicago.  According to Kain: "The presentation addressed engagement and critique of multimodal spaces and lessons learned from usability studies about user-centered design to discuss ways that instructors can assist students and other technology users to develop criteria for evaluating the efficacy of various multimedia communication strategies.  The presentation offered examples from theory and practice of multimedia design to illustrate ways in which students can evaluate tools and multimodal projects to characterize effective uses of multimedia that meet the needs of various audiences."

Joyce Irene Middleton presented "'Shifting the Gaze': On Whiteness and the Rhetoric of Inclusion" at the 2006 Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.  Her talk was part of a larger book project on Toni Morrison, Whiteness Studies, and Racial Rhetoric in the U.S.  Middleton is also Chair of the CCC Diversity Committee that also met in Chicago to discuss plans for its new website that will support the work of the national organization.

Tom Douglass delivered "The Search for the Authentic Life: the New American Value," a study of the short fiction of Edward P. Jones, Alice Munro, and Jill McCorkle, at the 36th annual PCA/ACA national convention in Atlanta, GA, April 14-15.


Copyright © 2006, ECU  Department of English.