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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.”

Four English Department Students Participate in 2018 CoLA Spotlight on Student Research

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On March 20, 2018, four English Department students participated in the College of Liberal Arts’s Spotlight on Student Research forum at University Center. The event showcases excellence in student research and creativity. The four students from the Department of English spoke on the “Learning from Literature” panel:

  • Donald Bradfield, “The Handmaid's Tale: An Ecofeminist Critique”
  • Chris Floyd, “Coming to Terms: Othello”
  • Moises Hernandez, “The Nuevo-Errante: Discovering a New Mythos within the LatinX Identity”
  • Amanda Monteleone (pictured), “The Native Gothic in the Poetry of John Rollin Ridge”

Margie Jackymack Receives Outstanding Maverick Award

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The English Department congratulates Margie Jackymack, one of eight winners of the 2018 Outstanding Maverick Award, which recognizes staff members at the University who excel in terms of promoting diversity, reaching out to the community, performing service duties, and demonstrating commitment to sustainability. Jackymack, our Department’s Coordinator II (Special Programs), does a superb job managing the main office, and she has also taught the MAVS 1000 First Year Experience course for incoming freshmen students to UTA.

Department of English Co-Sponsors Women’s History Month Lecture Series

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On March 6, 2018, our Department co-sponsored with the Women's and Gender Studies program presentations by visiting scholars Dr. Valerie Sperling (Clark University) and Dr. Sylvanna Falcón (University of California at Santa Cruz). These talks were part of the Women's History Month Lecture Series. Dr. Sperling spoke on "Feminism, Feminist Activism, and Repression in Putin's Russia." Dr. Falcón spoke on "Feminists Reimagining Power, 'Human' Rights, and the UN: Intersectionality and Cosmovisions."

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!

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