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Miscellany, The Department News

Department of English


8 October 2018


In the Acknowledgments section of his new book, Beautiful Country Burn Again, recent holder of the Endowed Chair in Creative Writing Ben Fountain writes, “I’m tremendously grateful to the faculty and students in the writing program at Texas State University.” In a book that will be widely reviewed — NPR interviewed recently him — and widely read, the program and school are also recognized on the book jacket.

MATC graduate and Senior Lecturer Amanda Scott’s essay "Room with Bright Window" will be published in Crab Orchard Review this fall. Her article, “Cultivating Activist-Based Pedagogy in the Age of Generation Z,” will appear in Cuentos & Testimonies: Diversity and Inclusion at Texas State (an anthology edited by Miriam Williams and Octavio Pimentel) later this fall; she’ll present the article at the Decolonizing Conference to be sponsored by the University of Toronto’s Center for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies this November.

The Department of English was well represented at the College of Liberal Arts’ Innovation Day, which was held across campus on Monday, September 24. The current NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English, Dr. Robert T. Tally, offered students a glimpse into his research on the relationships among space, narrative and representation during the panel titled, “Space and Place Matter.” The “New Perspectives on Race and Gender” panel included three representatives from the English Department. Dr. Katie Kapurch discussed her ongoing research on girl groups and girl culture influences on the Beatles. Dr. Geneva M. Gano shared research on Chicana author Sandra Cisneros’ relationship to San Antonio and Texas and discussed her Spring 2019 course that will offer students the opportunity to undertake directed student research in the Wittliff Archives at Alkek Library. Dr. Samuel Saldívar III presented his research on race and comics, with a special focus on Django Zorro. Lead organizer for the CLA’s Innovation Day was Dr. Aimee Roundtree, Professor in the English Department and Associate Dean for Research and Promotion in the College of Liberal Arts.

Jennifer duBois will participate in the “Literary Death Match” in Odessa, TX on October 12, and will be giving a presentation on Writing from Imagination through the Writers' League of Texas’ “Texas Writes” program in Olton, TX on the 13th. Jennifer’s short story "Racing the Train" was accepted for publication by Shenandoah, and her third novel The Spectators will be published by Random House this April.

At an awards ceremony on October 17, Foundations of Excellence will recognize Assistant Professor Cecily Parks as one of ten Texas State University faculty and staff members who make a significant impact in both the lives of the general student population and on the university community.

On Oct. 3, Whitney May, Shannon Shaw, Meg Griffitts, Amanda Scott, and Ali Salzmann led a Philosophy Dialogue Series talk on “Changing the Language of Sex: Disrupting Silos of Sexuality and Re-Envisioning Dialectics of Pleasure.” Their objective with this project is to re-conceptualize how we understand sexual identity, orientation, and behavior rhetorically, so that we may begin to disrupt traditional notions of sexuality in both private and social contexts, and to cultivate healthier, responsible, and inclusive perspectives that embrace progressive notions of selfhood, sexuality, and social justice/wellbeing. This was the leaders’ first discussion and introduction to their hypothesis, which they plan to test in a future research project.

Katie Kapurch’s “'Come on to Me' is Paul McCartney's Guide to #MeToo-era Flirting” appeared in a recent issue of Pop Matters:

On October 5, Cyrus Cassells read at UT-San Antonio as part of the UTSA Creative Writing Reading Series. He’ll also read at the Texas Book Festival in Austin on October 28.

Department of English


September 24, 2018


Meg Griffitts has had three poems accepted by pioneertown.

Octavio Pimentel has been named to the editorial board of Technical Communication Quarterly.

MA Literature graduate and Lecturer Sean Rachel Mardell will present “Systemic Colonization and the Criminal Caste in Orange is the New Black” at the South Central MLA meeting, to be held in San Antonio next month.

Autumn Hayes, MFA poetry graduate and Senior Lecturer, has a poem, "On Them," in the latest issue of Storm Cellar; as well as an article, "The E-Racing of Meghan Markle," in The Washington Spectator. Her workshop, "Using H5P Tools to Foster Higher-Order Thinking," has also been accepted for the second annual H5P Conference in Melbourne, Australia, which will take place this December.

On September 14th and 15th, MA Literature graduate and Lecturer Shannon Shaw participated in the intensive interdisciplinary research start-up program, CoSearch, organized by the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Out of 22 research pitches, Shannon's proposal, "Changing the Language of Sex," was one of five finalists selected by vote to present at the Texas State Performing Arts Center. She is currently collaborating with colleagues Amanda Scott, Meg Griffitts, Whitney May, and Ali Saltzman to develop the project.

Anthony Bradley, current MFA poetry student, has a poem in the fall issue of Prairie Schooner.

MFA fiction student Ryan Lopez will present "Escaping Our Shared Illusions: A Style Analysis of 'Jon' by George Saunders" at "Reflections in the Funhouse Mirror,” a visual culture conference for graduate students, to be hosted by The Department of American Studies at Saint Louis University in late October.

Espacialidade, a Portuguese translation of Rob Tally’s 2013 book Spatiality, has just been published. Rob also has a busy speaking schedule over the coming weeks. Along with colleagues Katie Kapurch and Geneva Gano, he will take part in the College of Liberal Arts' "Innovation Day" (organized by Aimee Roundtree) on September 24, 2018. He will serve as keynote speaker of the "Jornada Internacional de Estudos sobre o Espaço Literário" (International Study Days on Literary Space) conference in Viseu, Portugal, September 26, 2018; his speech, "Mapping Literature," was video-recorded for presentation at the event, and he’ll conduct a Q&A session over Skype. Rob will present "The Spatial Turn in Literary Criticism," at the Southeast Modern Language Association (SCMLA) conference in San Antonio, October 11-13, 2018; "Monstrous Accumulation: Topographies of Fear in the Age of Globalization," at the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts (SCLA) conference in The Woodlands, Texas, October 19, 2018; and "Charybdis: Migration, the Mediterranean, and the World We Live In," at the Ninth Biennial Race, Place, and Ethnicity conference in Austin, Texas, October 24, 2018. Rob will serve as keynote speaker for the Central Texas chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French's meeting in San Marcos, Texas, October 27, 2018, discussing "What is Geocriticism?" He will also be keynote speaker for the Symposium on the Geographic Approach to Language, Literature, and Culture, sponsored by the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, China, on November 3, 2018. His address, "Geocriticism: Literary Studies after the Spatial Turn," has been video-recorded for presentation at the event. He will also present "Homo Cartographicus," at the World Humanities Forum in Busan, Korea, on October 31, 2018.