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Kathryn Warren Publishes Essay on Thoreau

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Sharing Henry David Thoreau's Walden with her undergraduates has always been a high point of Senior Lecturer Kathryn Warren's semester. But when she spent two weeks in Thoreau's hometown of Concord, MA, as a 2017 Summer Fellow with the National Endowment for the Humanities, Dr. Warren discovered just how much she and her students were missing. Swimming in Walden Pond as the sun came up, walking the paths on which Henry and his friend Mr. Emerson talked transcendentalism, hearing the same birdsong and spotting the same flowers in the same fields . . . all these physical experiences made Dr. Warren start to wonder whether reading Thoreau in the concrete expanses of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex might be akin to listening to the Beatles with only one stereo speaker working: an attenuated and muffled aesthetic experience. How can a reader so far from Concord fully appreciate Thoreau?

Dr. Warren’s essay "Taking Thoreau to Texas," which appears in the most recent Concord Saunterer (the Thoreau Society journal), tackles this question and meditates on the merits of place-based instruction. Hers is one of several essays in the Saunterer's "Teaching Thoreau at 200" roundtable assembled to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Thoreau's birth.

Kenton Rambsy Appears on KERA’s Art & Seek

Assistant Professor Kenton Rambsy was interviewed in this episode of Art&Seek, the popular public radio program. This segment, aired before the 2018 Oscars ceremony, focused on the film Get Out, which received four Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Dr. Rambsy discussed the film’s lasting appeal and impact, such as its connection to the success of Black Panther.

Joul Smith Publishes Article on Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Ph.D. candidate and Lecturer Joul Smith recently had an article published in McFarland's Exploring Picard's Galaxy: Essays on Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to Smith:

"My professional goals are to create a discourse with the world around me and help others do the same, which I primarily accomplish through a study of early modern English, biblical literature, science fiction, and modern American rhetoric. This collection of essays [Exploring Picard's Galaxy] offers cultural and historical readings of Star Trek: The Next Generation to honor its thirtieth anniversary and its impact on the American perception of humanity's future. My essay closely examines the underappreciated character, Counselor Deanna Troi, who was, as I put it, the 'only non‐caricatured mental health professional in popular media throughout TNG's airing.' Through her, the epic quality of Star Trek: The Next Generation resonated with a late twentieth century viewership, who expected to see their American ethos embedded in an improved future. She had the effect of a cognitive restructuring about the necessity of mental health, even for super‐human explorers."

Kathryn Warren Wins Another Prestigious Teaching Award

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Dr. Kathryn Warren was presented with the Honors College Outstanding Faculty Award for 2017-2018 at the Honors Scholarship and Induction Ceremony held on September 13, 2018. Dr. Warren was recognized for the timeliness, innovation, and quality of her courses. She has taught Honors writing courses focusing on “Humanitarian Rhetoric” and “The Rhetoric of Race,” and has worked with numerous students on Honors contracts and senior research projects. Former Interim Dean of Honors, Kevin Gustafson, also a Professor of English, commented of Dr. Warren: “She very much embodies the combination of intellect, creativity, and dedication that makes Honors education possible at UT Arlington.” Dr. Warren has thought carefully about the question of what an English professor in particular has to offer students who are going on to be engineers, doctors, architects, or historians. As well as helping students to develop “a skill set with professional utility,” Dr. Warren also hopes to transform students with her teaching by opening up “opportunities for discovery and growth through intellectual exploration.”

This award recognizes her success in both these goals. But it’s only the latest in a string of teaching awards that Dr. Warren has won in the past two years. In 2016 she was honored with the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award for Faculty Outside the Tenure Stream and the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2017 she was recognized as the Arlington Sunrise Rotary Club Professor of the Year for the Honors College and also won the highly prestigious Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, awarded by the University of Texas System.

UTA Ranks in Top 200 Colleges for Indigenous Students

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The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) will recognize UTA for the fourth year in a row as one of the Top 200 Colleges for Indigenous Students in a forthcoming special issue of Winds of Change. The Department of English and our faculty have promoted Native Students and Writers for decades even as we also help prepare UTA students of all majors for careers in STEM and the humanities after graduation.

For over forty years, our Department has promoted Native American scholarship and voices, and we have long provided sponsorship for Native Students. Since 1972, we have offered courses in Native American literature. Dr. Kenneth M. Roemer, a Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Scholar Professor, has taught courses such as “Contemporary American Indian Novels & Film,” “American Indian Life Narratives,” and “Native Fictions that Reconstruct American History.” He is also a past Vice-President and founding member of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL) and a past Chair of the American Indian Literatures Division of the Modern Language Association (MLA). His edited anthology Native American Writers of the United States and his co-edited Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature won Writer of the Year Awards from Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Dr. Roemer has proudly served as faculty advisor for the Native American Students Association (NASA), “Texas’s longest running Native Student college group,” since their founding in 1995. In March 2018, NASA held its 23rd annual UT Arlington Powwow, which was a great success. Besides Dr. Roemer, Assistant Professor Paul Conrad, who joined the Departments of English and History in Fall 2015, has taught courses on Native American history and Native American Literature. His first book is forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press in their Early Modern Americas series: Captive Fates: Displaced Apache Indians in Colonial North America and the Caribbean, 1600–1830.

Beyond our specific support for Native American voices, our Department helps prepare students of all majors and backgrounds for their future careers. We have long partnered with STEM programs at UTA, including Nursing and Engineering, and we help prepare all majors for future careers through our First Year Writing and Technical Writing and Professional Communication courses and programs. And for English majors, our internship program offers opportunities to earn valuable, professional experience before they graduate and enter the job market.

EGSA Ready to Host Its 6th Annual Conference

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The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) will hold its 2018 conference, titled “(Dis)Unity and Destruction: Surviving the Storm Together,” on Friday, April 13th, on the sixth floor of the Central Library. The day-long event features five distinctive sessions: “i-delink” (9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.), “Deconstructing Pedagogy” (9:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.), “Stormy Spirit in the Early Modern World” (11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.), “Cross-Currents in Feminism” (2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.), and “Posthuman Survival Strategies” (3:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m.). Dr. Priscilla Ybarra, an Associate Professor of English at the University of North Texas who specializes in contemporary Chicana/o literature and ecocriticism, will deliver the keynote address “On Our Backs the Disaster: Climate Crisis in Latinx Creativities” (1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.). Lunch will be provided (12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.). This event has been made possible by generous support from the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of English, the First-Year Writing Program, the Honors College, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The presentations and follow-up discussions should be challenging and fascinating, so we hope everyone will be able to attend at least one of the sessions.

Hermanns Lectures Series 2018: Women & Writing

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The UTA Department of English will hold the 2018 Hermanns Lecture Serieson Wednesday, March 28. This year’s theme is “Women & Writing.” Professors Laura Kopchick, Amy Bernhard, and Tim Richardson have assembled an exciting panel of award-winning women writers whose work exemplifies the three major genres our Creative Writing program features. Starting at 10 AM, Sanderia Faye, author of Mourner’s Bench, will read selections from her fiction. At 11 AM, Sasha Pimentel, author of For Want of Water and Insides She Swallowed, will read selections from her poetry. The third speaker begins at 12 PM when Lina Ferreira, author of Don’t Come Back, will read selections from her creative non-fiction. Later that afternoon, from 3 PM-4 PM, Dr. Desiree Henderson will moderate a roundtable discussion with our three guest speakers entitled “Troubling Domestic Narratives,” which will focus on the way the term “domestic” has been used so often to describe writing by women and so rarely to characterize writing by men. The speakers’ presentations and book signings will be in CAPPA Building (ARCH) 204, and the roundtable will occurin the Lone Star Room at the Maverick Activities Center. We look forward to seeing you there!

Undergraduate to Present at NCUR 2018

Undergraduate UTA English major Chris Floyd has had his paper "Othello: Coming to Terms" accepted for the 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Central Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. The conference will occur April 4-7, 2018. Floyd authored the paper in Dr. Christian Worlow's ENGL 4326 Shakespeare course.

Department of English Graduate Student Expo

Our Department will be hosting its Graduate Student Expo this Friday, February 23rd, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Pickard Hall 113. Students thinking about pursuing an MA or PhD here or at another university are encouraged to meet with Dr. Kathryn Warren and Dr. Jim Warren, who will discuss and answers questions about the whats, ifs, hows, and whys of graduate school. In addition, PhD candidate Sarah Shelton will provide an exclusive look into our Department’s graduate programs. Pizza and drinks will be available.

Professor Ken Roemer Interviewed by Iranian Newspaper

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Mohammand Merarian, a reporter for Vaghaye Etefaghiye [Current Affairs], a national reformist newspaper in Iran, recently interviewed Professor Ken Roemer because of his expertise on utopias and dystopias. The hour-long interview ranged over topics that included the functions of the utopian imagination, the current interest in dystopia, utopias grounded in nostalgia for an imagined past, and the implications of state-mandated utopias. The article was published in Persian, but, for the curious, the citation in English is: "Imagination of Utopia and Dystopia: Hope and Warning,” interview by Mohammad Memarian with Kenneth Roemer, “Perspective,” Vaghaye Etefaghiye, No. 543, Monday, Bahman 16, 1396 / February 5, 2018: 14.

Professor Kevin Porter Appointed to State Higher Education Committee

Professor Kevin Porter, the new Chair of the Department of English, was recently appointed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to serve as a voting member of the English Language and Literature Field of Study Advisory Committee, which is comprised of twelve representatives from public universities and twelve representatives from public community colleges. The Committee is responsible for determining which English courses may be transferred between public institutions of higher education in Texas in order to satisfy the lower-division requirements of a degree program.

Department Chair Bruce Krajewski Retires

It is with deep gratitude that the Department wishes a long and happy retirement to Professor Bruce Krajewski, who joined us from the faculty of Texas Women’s University on 1 September 2013 and whose service as Department Chair extended from that time through 31 January 2018. During his term of office, Dr. Krajewski worked most visibly on overseeing the Department’s efforts to position itself in relation to the University’s Strategic Plan; preparing for, hosting, and responding to an external program review; building on departmental strengths in creative writing, the digital humanities, and technical writing and professional communication; and making and maintaining connections with other units on campus, especially Nursing, Engineering, and the Center for Theory. Despite this heavy service load, Dr. Krajewski remained an active researcher to the end, whether presenting papers at such distinguished events as the annual convention of the Modern Language Association or co-editing (with Joshua Heter) the collection The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy: Subversive Reports from Another Reality (Open Court, 2017). Dr. Krajewski will be greatly missed, and we wish him well.

In Memoriam: Dorothy Estes (1927–2018) and Jim Wood (1932–2018)

The end of January was a very sad time for the Department as we marked the passing of two dear friends, Dorothy Estes and Jim Wood. Our Department extends our deepest condolences to the surviving children, other family, and friends of the Estes family and to Nancy, the surviving children, other family, and friends of the Wood family.

Dorothy Estes photo taken from UTA Shorthorn

Dorothy, the wife of Professor Emory D. Estes, was, among her many remarkable accomplishments, Director of Student Publications at our University (1970–96), a passionate advocate for and teacher of student journalists, the winner of the SPJ Freedom of Information Award in 1995, and a 2003 inductee into the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, alongside such luminaries as Walter Cronkite and Bill Moyers. She was also a strong supporter of our Department who would attend our annual awards brunches in order to meet the winner of the Emory D. Estes Award; and her presence at these brunches will be greatly missed. Dorothy’s service was held on Wednesday, 31 January at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Arlington.

Jim Wood photo

Jim, the husband of Professor Nancy Wood, was a longtime scholar and educator whose interests and expertise in classical rhetoric, public speaking, debate, and film studies led him on a national career that took him to positions at the University of Oregon, Cornell University, Rutgers University, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas Christian University. Around twenty years ago, Jim decided to pursue his love of creative writing, which led to the publication of short stories and a novel entitled The Odd One. Jim’s service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, 10 February at the Wade Family Funeral Home in Arlington, and those members of the Department who knew Nancy and Jim well plan to attend to pay their respects to them both.

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