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Shanna Swendson speaks at FIG

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Launched in Fall 2018, UTA’s new Student Success program is now organized by major. The new course in the Department of English, UNIV 1131, focuses on helping students acclimate to the university environment as well as understanding their future as English majors, both during their college experience and beyond. With so many of these first-semester freshmen interested in a Creative Writing minor , Dr. Joanna Johnson invited local published author, Shanna Swendson, to speak to her class about the writing and publishing process. Swendson earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and then had a career in public relations before becoming a full-time novelist. She’s the author of Rebel Mechanics, a Young Adult series which earned a spot on the 2016 Lone Star Reading List, and the popular adult romantic-fantasy series “Enchanted, Inc.” She lives in Irving, TX. For more information, visit her web site.

Students Learn More Lost Arts during the 2018–19 Workshop Series

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Established in 2017, the Lost Arts Collaborative (LAC) has continued its successful workshop series during academic year 2018–19. A group of faculty dedicated to sharing the lost art of making things from the past, the LAC has so far this year offered hands-on workshops in “Making Early Modern Chocolate,” led by Dr. Amy Tigner, “Marbling Paper” by Dr. Cathy Corder, “Making Love Poetry in Two Languages” by Drs. Amy Austin and Jacqueline Fay, and, upcoming in March 2019, “Making Ink and Quills” by Dr. Tigner. Open to anyone in the DFW community, the workshops are held in the FabLab at the UTA Central Library and typically attract a large number of students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Karen Otto Wins Major Teaching Award

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PhD student Karen Otto has been recognized by the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts as the 2019 High School Teacher of the Year. A public school teacher in Texas for over twenty years, Otto currently teaches English II GT at Southlake Carroll High School. For two decades her passionate and innovative teaching has instilled a love of reading and writing in her students. Her dissertation, supervised by Dr. Jim Warren, examines prevailing high school teaching practices in light of contemporary scholarship in Rhetoric and Composition Studies. For more information, click here .

Students Create Experimental Sound Project

As part of their discussions about sound and accessibility, students in Dr. Tim Richardson’s “Composing with Sound” course, which was offered in Fall 2018, performed Paragraph 7 of Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning, a piece for choir written in plain language for trained and untrained singers. By not using traditional notation, the work is a composition that invites participation and experimentation instead of insisting on professional hierarchy and specialist status. A copy of the score for Paragraph 7 and more information can be found here.

Lost Arts Collaborative Events and T-shirts for Purchase

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The Lost Arts Collaborative, a group of CoLA faculty dedicated to increasing general knowledge about the art of making things in the past, will be offering a second year of hands-on workshops in AY 2018–19. Dr. Amy Tigner, Associate Professor of English and expert on early modern literature and culture, will offer “Making Early Modern Chocolate” on Monday, October 15th from 12-1, and Dr. Cathy Corder, Undergraduate Advisor for the Department of English, will lead“Marbling Paper” from 12-1 on Monday, November 12th. Both workshops will take place in the FabLab on the first floor of UTA’s Central Library, are open to all, and are free. Rather than just hearing about what life was like in the past, participants in these workshops can expect to learn by doing and to produce something that they can take home. Sign up for a place in one or both workshops by emailing jacqueline.fay@uta.edu. In addition, if you have an idea for and skills to run a future LAC workshop, please contact the LAC at the same email address.


And if you want to wear your love for the lost arts of making, then purchase a Lost Arts Collaborative T-shirt, designed and printed by CoLA faculty. Priced at $5 for students and part-time faculty, and $10 for full-time faculty, shirts will be available at workshop events. Or you can download the order form here and email it to jacqueline.fay@uta.edu

Arna Hemenway Reading and Master Class

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On October 3, 2018, Pen/Hemingway Award winning author Arna Hemenway, Assistant Professor of English at Baylor University, visited campus to participate in two events sponsored by our Department. The first was a reading from his collection of short fiction, Elegy on Kinderklavier. Hemenway selected passages from the title piece, a story about a father whose son becomes ravaged by cancer. Members of the audience then asked Hemenway questions about his writing process, his beliefs about the purpose of literature, and his advice for developing great characters. Later the same day, Hemenway taught a master class for Creative Writing minors. He discussed writing style and the teaching methods he uses with his students at Baylor for his creative writing classes. He also discussed his own writing process and gave advice to students about the publishing world and writer’s block.

Medieval Writing Workshop Comes to UTA

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Four scholars of medieval literature— Britt Mize of Texas A & M , Renée Trilling of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Robert Upchurch of the University of North Texas, and Elizabeth Watkins of Loyola New Orleans--converged at UTA from September 28 to 30 to workshop their current writing projects. The four were joined by organizer, Jacqueline Fay, Associate Professor of English, and Jason Hogue, PhD candidate in the English Department and specialist in Early Modern and Environmental literature. Each participant received intense commentary on their work, on topics ranging from relics, romance, penitence for soldiers, medieval play-writing, medical remedies, riddles, and documents. The Medieval Writing Workshop convenes annually, and has previously been held at Stanford University, UC-Boulder, UW-Madison, Columbia, and UC-Irvine/Riverside.

Ned Schaumberg joins English Department as a Postdoctoral Fellow for 2018-19

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Dr. Ned Schaumberg, who holds an MA and PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle, will spend academic year 2018-19 here in the English Department at UTA as the Seedbox Postdoctoral Fellow. The Seedbox is a research clusterbased at Linköping University, Sweden, and funded by two Swedish grant agencies, Mistra and Formas. It aims to examine the role of the humanities in understanding and approaching complex environmental problems. Professor of English, Stacy Alaimo, and Professor of History, Chris Morris, successfully secured a Seed Box grant in the Environmental Humanities/Blue Humanities in order to fund the postdoc. While at UTA, Ned will be leading workshops on interdisciplinary pedagogy for graduate students and faculty, and working on his current book project, Waterlogged: Narrating Hydroecologies in the Anthropocene. By looking at a range of texts that attempt to describe the experience of water’s flow and circulation, this project argues that figurative language and narrative structures play an increasingly important role in understanding water across space and time, and in building sustainable relationships with it. You can learn more about Ned’s background and scholarly interests on his website. Click here to contact Ned Schaumberg directly by e-mail.

Dr. Estee Beck Wins the 2018 CoLA Outstanding Teaching Award for Tenure-Track Faculty

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Dr. Estee Beck, Assistant Professor of English, was announced the winner of the prestigious 2018 CoLA Outstanding Teaching Award for Tenure-Track Faculty in May, and on September 20th she was presented with the award at the CoLA New Faculty Reception and Faculty Awards Ceremony. She was selected for this award due to her innovative pedagogy, for example incorporating projects at the FabLab into her courses, and for her skills in bridging the digital with the humanities. Dr. Stacy Alaimo, Professor of English, listed numerous reasons why Dr. Beck deserved to win this award, including her “teaching philosophy, course design, pedagogical practices, and generosity toward her students,” summing up with the statement that, “Dr. Beck is an exceptionally talented and hard working teacher.”

Yubraj Aryal publishes article in Textual Practice

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Lecturer in English, Yubraj Aryal just published the article “Affective politics and non-sovereign identity” in the journal, Textual Practice. The paper argues that 'non-sovereign' individuals can self-fashion their identities beyond the existing power relations in which they find themselves. The article is rooted in Michel Foucault’s ethical project of self-fashioning and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s idea of ‘lines of flight’. Dr. Aryal received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2014, has been the editor of The Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry, and has interviewed many notable scholars, including Richard Rorty, Anthony Appiah, Brian Massumi, Marjorie Perloff, Charles Altieri, Robert Young, Laurent Berlant and Susan Stewart. He is the editor, with Vernon Cisney and Nicolae Morar, of Between Foucault and Derrida, published by Edinburgh University Press in 2016.

Local Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta Reactivated

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In Fall 2018, the UTA English Department reactivated the Mu Theta local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an international honor society established in 1924 to confer distinction for high achievement in English language, literature, and writing.

With more than 875 chapters in the United States and abroad, Sigma Tau Delta is the second largest member of the Association of College Honor Societies, and student membership offers many benefits:

  • Members are eligible to apply for a variety of Sigma Tau Delta scholarships, valued at up to $5,000 each.
  • Members may apply for summer internship opportunities and stipends with a major publisher, an online bookstore that funds worldwide literacy initiatives, and several Washington DC-based internship programs.
  • Members may submit papers for presentation at Sigma Tau Delta’s annual spring conferences. Works accepted for presentation are also eligible for awards and monetary prizes.
  • Members may submit papers for publication in The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, a journal of creative writing, and in The Sigma Tau Delta Review, a journal of critical writing. Works selected for publication are also eligible for awards and monetary prizes.

Student membership is by invitation only. Candidates for undergraduate membership must have completed a minimum of two college English courses beyond the usual requirements in freshman English. Candidates must have an overall 3.0 GPA and must have completed at least three semesters of college course work. Candidates for undergraduate membership need not be majoring or minoring in English.

For more information about the Mu Theta chapter, including the Spring 2019 initiation and other sponsored events, please contact Cathy Corder at ccorder@uta.edu.  And check out www.english.org for more information about Sigma Tau Delta.

Jennifer Miller and Class Participate in HERstory Edit-a-thon Event

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Department of English Lecturer Dr. Jennifer Miller and her Women’s Speculative Fiction class will participate in “Preserving HERstory in Texas: A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” on March 28, 2018. The event coincides with Women’s History Month and is part of a move to increase the number of women editors as well as the number and quality of articles about women on Wikipedia. Dr. Miller’s students will revise existing Wikipedia articles about speculative fiction and, more generally, women’s creative work. Special Collections Archivist Samantha Dodd is coordinating the event, which is sponsored by UTA Libraries and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. According to Dodd, the event was created to “serve as a general introduction for students to the backend of Wikipedia” and “pique their interest.” In the future, Dodd hopes to create a “more in-depth training series where students will spend several weeks learning the ins-and-outs of this resource from the idea stage, to the research, writing, publication, and review stages.”

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