Sunday, September 27, 2015

Student Fair on Founder's Day

On Saturday, September 26th English and Modern Languages participated
in the student fair during Founder's Day.  Kaye Adkins, Michael
Charlton, Marianne Kunkel, and Miguel Rivera-Taupier were on hand to
discuss majors with prospective students for next fall.  
Chris Pankiewicz, a senior English major and current managing editor for the
Mochila Review, and Rachel Stancliff, a graduate of the MAA program in
Technical Communication, were
also on hand to talk with visitors.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Liu Yiming hosted students, faculty and community for the annual harvest celebration on September 25th.  Poetry, music, games and mooncakes made for a memorable event.

 A highlight of the event: Yiming sang a love song, accompanied by Fred Weems on guitar. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Conferences, Institutes and Symposia, Oh My!

Marianne Kunkel attended the North American Review Bicentennial Creative Writing and Literature Conference in Cedar Falls, Iowa June 11-13. She presented on four panels, two of which also featured Mary Stone: "Writing the Hard Thing: A Reading by Three Women Authors (Poetry and Creative Nonfiction)" and "Writing the Hard Thing: Advice for Creative Writers with Ambitious Subjects." 

Joining Marianne on two  other panels were Mochila and Canvas undergraduate staff members Crystal Crawford, Lindsey Lucas, and Chris Pankiewicz. These panels were titled:  "The Beat of the Drum: Drumming up Campus-wide Interest in a University Literary Journal" and "How a Literary Journal can Catch up and Stay Ahead in a Digital World."

Mike Cadden presented “The Real, the Exaggerated, and the Impossible Character” at the Children’s Literature Association Conference, Richmond, VA in June.  

Michael Charlton attended the Freeman Institute hosted by Japan Studies Association at the University of Hawaii May 25th--June 13th.  

Kaye Adkins was selected to participate in the iFixit Technical Writing Symposium that met at iFixit's international headquarters at San Luis Obispo, California, May 21-23. The symposium, offered by iFixit's education department, supports technical writing instructors who want to include real-world documentation in their classes. Dr. Adkins will be using the materials in her Introduction to Technical Communication and Technical Documentation classes, as students create repair manuals that will be published on iFixit's web site. 

Susan Martens gave a presentation titled "Adapting Ecocritical Approaches to Mapping Techniques in the Writing Marathon" at the Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment at the University of Idaho on June 24th.

Applied Expertise
Elizabeth Canon served as abstract reviewer for the national conference of the Linguistic Society of America.

Marianne Kunkel served as guest judge of The Northridge Review's annual Rachel Sherwood Poetry Award, selecting from the literary journal's 2015 issues a winning poem and runner-up. The Northridge Review is based out of California State University-Northridge.

Susan Martens served as Adjunct Retreat Leader at the New Orleans Writing Marathon Retreat, hosted by the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project and Southeastern Louisiana University on July 13-17.

Congratulations to Dawn Terrick, who received the annual Chairpersons Award for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. 

Cynthia Jenéy published "Horses and Equitation" for the Handbook of Medieval Culture, edited by Albrecht Classen and published in Berlin with de Gruyter Publishers.

The Prairie Lands Writing Project's work in the National Writing Project’s College Ready Writers Program has entered its third year.  Funded through an i3 (Investing in Innovation) grant, the program this year involves several Teacher Consultants working in new partnerships with administrators and teachers in the Osborn, Trenton, and Winston school districts as well as in sustainability partnerships with districts in Braymer, Breckenridge, and Hamilton.  This work is being coordinated by Program Manager Jane Frick, Lead Facilitators Tom Pankiewicz and Kathy Miller, and professional development leaders Amy Miller, Janet Jelavich, Terry McAvoy, Maridella Carter, and Valorie Stokes.  

The Spoken Word
The First Thursday Open Mic at Café Acoustic kicked off on September 3rd with a potluck that This monthly event is organized by Mary Dockery.

The Writers Place Reading Series at UMKC featured Marianne Kunkel and Mary Dockery reading their poetry on September 18th.

Community Outreach
The Prairie Lands Writing Project hosted the Summer Writing Project for the Saint Joseph School District May 19- June 11.  Approximately 130 students in grades 3-8 attended daily sessions at MWSU and gave readings to family and friends on the final day of the program, coordinated by PLWP Co-Director Mya Ezzell and Graduate Assistant Josie Clark.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Breaking News!

They have arrived!
Betty Sawin and husband Fred are grandparents to Addison Marie (6 lbs 7 oz) and Kelson William (6 lbs 13 oz), both born on August 31st to the Sawins’ daughter, Jennifer. Both grandparents are already helping out, rocking the twins and sometimes changing tiny little diapers.

Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Ken Rosenauer has been named Distinguished Alumni by the Missouri Western Alumni Association and will be honored at the Alumni Awards Banquet on October 16th. Ken retired from our department in 2013, but racked up an impressive record of service, teaching and professional work during his time at Missouri Western.  Our collective EML heart swells with pride to have a former colleague and department chair recognized in this way.

Among his accomplishments, Ken created the convergent media degree. He was a founding member of the AIM graduate faculty, leading that group for a time. He was EFLJ chair for six years, he was newspaper adviser for 14 years and yearbook adviser for 3 years.

Ken has been honored with the Mehl award for scholarship and was national president of the College Media Advisers organization. Ken is a recipient of the Golden Key award from Columbia U. and is in the College Media Advisers Hall of Fame. He also won the Scanlon service award (his list of community activities is impressive, not least of which is being president of the Apple Blossom parade since 2000 and serving on the Savannah school board. Ken even served as mayor of Savannah from 87-91.  As a MWSU alumnus and former faculty member, his accomplishments are emblematic of dedication to the discipline and service on many levels.  Congratulations, Ken! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Off to a New Year!

New Colleagues

The Department of English and Modern Languages is pleased to welcome new and visiting faculty this fall.

 Dr. Elizabeth Canon hails from the Atlanta area. She completed her PhD. in linguistics at the University of Georgia, where her dissertation involved a corpus-based, computer-assisted analysis of verbal patterns in the polemical works of the first translator of a printed English Bible. She is a recognized expert on the Tyndale Corpus.  She also conducts research on the use of dialects of American English to characterize the individuals who speak them, with particular attention to language-based discrimination.  In her teaching, Dr. Canon asks students to conduct their own research on dialect prejudice.  Additional interests: analyzing electronic corpora to examine images in the work of English Reformation authors, innovative word formation in Early Modern English, and analysis of lexical innovations in the writings of medieval German and English mystics.

Dr. Gaywyn Moore completed her PhD. at KU and has returned to the Midwest after teaching in Minnesota. A specialist in British literature before 1800 and Shakespeare, Gaywyn’s dissertation, “Exhuming Henry VIII’s Court: The Tudor Household on the Jacobean Stage,” takes up Henry VIII’s historical significance when England’s government was again undergoing the transition from Elizabeth to James. Her research engages with the fissures in Henry’s household as part of a larger conversation about the queen’s role in the commonwealth and spiritual health of England.  Additional interests are Renaissance literature, drama from ancient Greece to today, and Utopian literature. Dr. Moore values the impact of study abroad, having led students to England and Scotland. Her teaching emphasizes viewing the text within its historical moment, such that students can grasp the connections between historical and contemporary performance of textual theme and description.

Joining us from China, Liu Yiming brings expertise in the relevance of culture in translation. She is currently an instructor of English at the School of Foreign Languages at Xidian University. She is also a researcher with a focus on literary translation. Liu received her M.A. from Northwest University in 2010. Her dissertation was entitled “On Translation of Culture-loaded Words in the Relevance-theoretic Account --- A Case Study of Mo Yan’s novel ‘Big Breasts and Wide Hips.’” . She is fond of teaching and has high expectations for students; she tries to make her classes lively and interesting. In 2012, she ranked second in the SFLEP National Foreign Language Teaching Contest (Shaanxi Division).

Paul Dijkzeul will teach German as a Fulbright scholar this year.  Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, he has spent the last five years studying in the central German town of Göttingen, which is roughly the size of St. Joseph and also features the lower Saxony State University, where he completed his degrees in Mathematics and English last year. For the last two years, he has been teaching semantics to undergraduate students, which led to teaching English as well. He has come to the US hoping to improve his teaching skills as well as share some of his German culture.  In his free time, he enjoys dancing in a wide variety of styles, from European ballroom dances to Latin American classics. He also serves as chairman of a self-organized student café, where he spends most of his breaks during the day. Besides that, he loves travelling, especially to neighboring European countries.

Summer Celebration

Dr. Marianne Kunkel and husband Dave anticipate the arrival of a bundle of joy later this fall. Colleagues and friends joined in the baby shower hosted by Brooksie Kluge. It is said that delicious food and lovely gifts were enjoyed.

Publications and presentations                            in splendid settings

Kaye Adkins participated in the Rocky Mountain Writers Retreat held July 24-27 at Grand Lake, Colorado. The Retreat brings researchers together in a supportive environment to develop, write, and share projects in professional writing.

Claudine Evans attended the annual convention of the American Association of Teachers of French in Saguenay, Quebec. She moderated a session and presented  "La réforme territoriale en France: enjeux, réactions et activités pédagogiques / French Territorial Reform: issues, reactions, and pedagogical activities."

Susie Hennessy’s book, Consumption, Domesticity, and the Female Body in Emile Zola’s Fiction, was published by the Edwin Mellen Press.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

News from China

A Much Needed Boost of Energy from St. Joe
(Short Blog Entry for a Short Visit)

            Yes, I have (mostly) loved it here on my own—living, learning, being—as Xi’an has gone on without a worry or concern for this American. And, yes, I have immersed myself into a routine during the ten months; building a connection with my students, taking in the culture, haggling over a head of broccoli at the local open-air market, perfecting my stir-fried veggies while still clinging to an early morning cup o’ joe from Starbucks; taking in a museum here, a pagoda there, a subway ride to a distant art village, but… BUT, I must say that after a while, well, homesickness has occasionally crept in and I have had to resort to a little bit of Thich Nhat Hanh to affirm that I am, indeed, still breathing in order to keep it at bay.  And then, happily, there was a visit from my dear bff, Rosie Lammoglia. The ten days we had, exploring, visiting sites, and simply hanging out to watch some DVDs of American TV shows (namely, The Newsroom—take that Michael Charlton!) brought me a second-wind for the months leading up to my inevitable departure from behind the Great Chinese Firewall.
            Our first stop was the famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Now, I know Kay and Z have also visited the site, and scrolling back through previous blogs will reveal her (different) review of it. The place is impressive. It’s fascinating. It is something I have wanted to see. We had a driver for the day (¥200, about $35) because it’s an hour’s drive northeast of Xi’an and difficult to get to via subway and bus. We also had a tour guide for ¥150 (about $25). 

The guide told us the history of the site, of farmers who were digging a well some forty years ago and how one of the farmers sent buckets of dirt up to his friends while he toiled down in the hole. He hit a few pieces of what he thought was pottery. He had the sense to know what he found was possibly important, so his friends pulled him out of the hole and he insisted they alert authorities. It turned out that his find was huge—an army protecting the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in his afterlife. Now the farmer, who is still alive, receives ¥1000 per year ($160) as a stipend. (A measly hundred and sixty bucks a year for one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in China. Meanwhile… ah, well, I won’t.) The photos show the enormity of pit number one and how a hole for a well turned into rows and rows of warriors and horses and carriages and weapons (and hundreds of millions of tourist RMBs). Pits numbered two and three are less dramatic, with only a few rows of excavation having been completed. For some reason, along the walkways of pit two, there is an enclosed glass case that holds the only undamaged warrior of all the thousands of warriors they have uncovered. It’s actually very cool.
            Yet, simple photos don’t quite capture everything about it. I mean, until recently, former President Clinton was the only foreigner allowed down in the pits, other than archaeologists. But they don’t call me lucky for nothing. Yeah, Rosie and I had a good time.

            During other days, we shopped and ate and saw fireworks and strolled amongst huge lanterns atop the city wall during the spring festival and New Year. One of the best places to visit in Xi’an is the Muslim Quarter, which is close to the Bell Tower. The Quarter is a few narrow streets of some shops offering knock-off designer labeled purses, wallets, and watches, while other shops sell cheap knick-knacks made in China (like selfie stick extensions for cell phone cameras, tiny plastic toys, and small silk purses). Other vendors cooked up “stick food” (wooden skewers) with squid or quail eggs or mutton.  The streets are always crowded and moving along takes time. However, Rosie and I continued to walk until the crowds disappeared and the streets widened just a bit. We came across a restaurant with about six tables inside where three women sat while making dumplings for a steamer. A young cook came in and grabbed bamboo trays full of the dumplings and went back out front to steam them up. Rosie had the mutton and I had the veggie. Delicious! The restaurant was a great find. Most of the time at the Quarter, though, was spent strolling through the crowds, haggling over satin robes or chopsticks or anything else that looked interesting to us. Fun, really.

          And then, unfortunately, Rosie had to leave. It was a sad day, but I will be forever grateful that my dear friend took the time and spent the money to travel halfway around the world. It was a great visit for both of us.
            Recently, I got back from my visit to Lhasa, Tibet. It was incredible and whatever I write about the experience, well, whatever I write just won’t cover how amazing it is. But…I’ll save that for now and send along another blog entry about it in a few weeks (when I’m making my way back to the States). Until then, see you all sometime in August.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring News

Cynthia Bartels attended the Popular Culture Association meeting in New Orleans to present "Who is George Harrison? Educating Our Youth."

Both Ana Bausset-Page and F. Eduardo Castilla attended the XLI International Symposium of Hispanic Literature, hosted by California State University Dominguez Hill. Dr. Bausset-Page moderated a session and presented "Literature and Cinematography; revelations of two worlds: J. Luis Borges and his Pierre Menard, author of Don Quijote."

Dr. Castilla-Ortiz presentedNo se trata si Cervantes o Quijote fueron queer, sino si este último es una identidad quijotesca/ It is not whether Cervantes and Don Quixote were queer, but if the latter is a quixotic identity.

Kara Bollinger’s editorial was published in the Kansas City Star, in the “As I See It” section. Bollinger wrote about Rosedale Ridge, a low income apartment complex in Kansas City, Kansas, where she volunteers. Read here:  

On April 1 and April 15, several PLWP Teacher Consultants were invited guests on Teacher Teaching Teachers, a weekly webcast on the Ed Tech Talk channel of the WorldBridges network, for a two-part show on rural education.  Hosted by the New York City Writing Project’s Technology Liaison, Paul Allison, the show featured commentary from TCs Linda Gaines, Jody Yuille, and Robin Rozell-Estenbaum (Breckenridge), Terrance Sanders (Braymer), Mary Lee Meyer (Jefferson, retired), Tom Pankiewicz (MWSU, retired), and Susan Martens (MWSU). 

The PLWP Open Writing Marathon, hosted by PLWP Director Susan Martens on April 11, drew five area teachers and writers for a day of exploring, writing, and sharing in diverse locations such as the St. Joseph Visitors Center, Pronto Café, The Albrecht Kemper Museum, Ashland Cemetery, and Boudreaux’s. 

Our spring graduates
Master's students and graduate faculty

Sarah Verduzco and Dr. Rivera

Dr. Charlton and Wenfei Zhao