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California State University, San Bernardino English Department Newsletter April 2019 Spring has been a productive time for the Department of English at California State University! Alumni & Students Alexandria Precie Recent alumna Alexandria Precie (B.A. 2018) was accepted to the Master of Management in Library and Information Science program at University of Southern California and is very much enjoying her coursework there. Precie writes this about her experience as a graduate student: Being a part of the USC’s Management of Library and Information Science online program has been a wonderful academic and personal learning experience. . . Not only are we learning the necessities of librarianship, we also learn how to effectively lead and communicate with others. I especially enjoy the opportunity to connect with peers and leaders in the profession from all around the country. I’ve already seen personal growth from what I have learned thus far, and I cannot wait to see where my experience in M.M.L.I.S. will take me. Lupina Hossain Lupina Hossain is in her second year of the MA in English Composition Program at CSUSB. In March, she presented her paper ‘Edgar Allan Poe and the Arabesque as a Border That Evades Borders’ at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference, held at Georgetown University. Hossain’s paper was very well received at the conference and it was nominated for the Horst Frenz prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student. Faculty Chad Sweeney Congratulations to Professor Chad Sweeney on the publication of his new book, Little Million Doors (Nightboat Books, 2019). Winner of the 2019 Nightboat Prize, Little Million Doors is a book-length elegy for Sweeney’s father. In her review of Sweeney’s book, Carmen Jiménez Smith comments, “Chad Sweeney’s book Little Million Doors enacts the starkness of Barthes’ Mourning Diary but with the potency of the long poem, a meditation on the “living shadow on the wall.” This moving work considers how the body finds solace in the world-building of elegy. This book is also an extended meditation on elegy as subjectivity. Little Million Doors is an original.” This March, Sweeney gave three readings of his poetry in Portland at the American Writers and Writing Programs Conference. Miriam Fernandez Assistant Professor Fernandez joined the English department this academic year and teaches rhetoric and composition. She completed her Ph.D. at Washington State University and has won the James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation 2019 Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The award recognizes Fernandez’s dissertation, Tropes of the Nation: Tracking the Colonial Origins of the Matriarchal Figures of Mexican Nationalism. An article on Fernandez’s prestigious award can be accessed here: http://iecn.com/cal-state-sb-english-professor-miriam-fernandez-honored-for-dissertation David Carlson Professor and Chair David Carlson presented on Dugan Aguilar’s (Pit River/Maidu/ Paiute) photography at the Native American Literature Symposium in Minneapolis (March 7-9). His talk was titled “Irony and Iconicity in the California Indian Photography of Dugan Aguilar.” Karen Rowan and Alexandra Cavallaro Karen Rowan and Alexandra Cavallaro’s article, “Toward a Model for Preparatory Community Listening,” was published in the Community Literacy Journal in Fall 2018. This special issue of Community Literacy Journal demonstrates a commitment to developing equitable partnerships with the concept of “community listening.” Professors Rowan and Cavallaro contribute to the issue by focusing explicitly on approaches to community listening in the early stages of building community partnerships, a stage of the process often overlooked in scholarship. They address this gap by drawing on a case study of “preparatory community listening” in San Bernardino, California. In this case study, they articulate an asset-based method for practicing community listening that emphasizes attention to discursive, material, political, and economic dynamics, particularly in communities shaped by deficit narratives. Alexandra Cavallaro Professor Cavallaro presented her paper, “Preparing to Go Inside on the Outside: Cultivating Allies and Advocates” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Pittsburgh (March 12-16th). Cavallaro also published an article in Literacy in Composition Studies, “Making Citizens Behind Bars (and the Stories We Tell About It): Queering Approaches to Prison Literacy Programs.” The journal is open access and the article can be found here: http://licsjournal.org/OJS/index.php/LiCS/article/view/206 Jennifer Andersen Professor Andersen presented “The Struggle to Control the Meaning of the Marprelate Controversy” on Thursday, March 14th at the University of Maryland, College Park. The talk was sponsored by the Graduate School Field Committee in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Luz Elena Ramirez Professor Ramirez has been conducting field work in Tulum and Chichen Itza, archaeological sites documented by Victorian artist Frederick Catherwood. Ramirez presented her research on Catherwood this March at the Pacific Coast Conferences on British Studies Conference held at University of California, Merced. Her paper was entitled, “British Interpretations of the Maya Past: Catherwood’s Vision of the Yucatan.” Jason Magabo Perez Professor Perez published an interview with Craig Santos Perez on poetics, archives, and ethnic studies in Ploughshares. That interview can be accessed here: http://blog.pshares.org/index.php/poetic-archives-as-ethnic-studies-an-interview-with-dr-craig-santos-perez/ Perez also published a creative nonfiction essay excerpted from his ongoing research in Entropy Magazine. Perez’s Because Love is a Roar: Sketching a Critical Race Poetics can be accessed here: https://entropymag.org/because-love-is-a-roar-sketching-a-critical-race-poetics/ Perez is faculty director of the Pacific Review, which is edited by students in his English 543 Literary Production seminar. This March, several students working on the journal joined Perez at the American Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Portland. Holly Henry Professor Holly Henry wrote the preface to the Chinese edition of her book Dreams of Other Worlds, which Princeton University Press will publish in China this year. Co-writer and astronomer Chris Impey also contributed to this new edition. Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp Lecturer Michaelsun Stonesweat Knapp published an essay titled “On ‘At What Number Are Numbers No Good?’ and Tecumseh’s Speech to the Osages” in the anthology Native Voices from Tupelo Press. Stonesweat Knapp read his poetry this year at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona; at the American Writers and Writing Programs annual Conference in Portland; and at Center Justify, at an offsite AWP event at Portland State University. Diane Adams Lecturer Diane Adams presented at the Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival at University of Redlands on March 9. The topic of her presentation was “Teaching Empathy and Connection through Children’s Books.” Events With support from CSUSB’s University Diversity Committee, the English Department invited writer and editor Theodore C. Van Alst to campus on March 14. Van Alst, Jr. is Associate Professor and Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. He is co-editor and Creative Editor for Transmotion (an on-line journal of postmodern indigenous studies). Van Alst read from his debut fiction collection, Sacred Smokes (University of New Mexico Press, 2018).
Department Activity Fall 2018 has been an exciting time for the Department of English! Convened by chair Dr. David Carlson in September 2018, over thirty faculty members met at the department retreat at Castaway Restaurant in San Bernardino. We welcomed three new tenure-line faculty to our Department: Angela Peñaredondo joins the English department as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performance Arts from University of California, Riverside in 2015. She also holds a B.F.A. in Studio Art, with an emphasis in Photography & Installation, from San Francisco State University. Miriam Fernandez was hired as Assistant Professor of Composition/Rhetoric. Fernandez earned her Ph.D. from Washington State University in 2018. She holds an M.A. in English Literature at California State University, Fresno (2013), a Certificate of Advanced Study in Composition (2011) and a B.A. in Sociology from University of California, Los Angeles (2007). Jasmine Lee joins the English faculty as Assistant Professor of Composition/Rhetoric. Lee earned her Ph.D. with emphases in Composition/Rhetoric and Critical Theory from University of California, Irvine in 2018. She also holds an M.A. in English from University of California, Irvine (2013), an M.A. in English Composition with Dual Concentrations in Composition and Literature, from California State University, San Bernardino (2011), and a B.A. in Literature (Writing) from University of California, San Diego (2008). Beginning fall 2018, The Pacific Review will publish online throughout the academic year with an annual print edition to be released in spring. Directed by Dr. Jason Magabo Perez, the student-run magazine seeks to bridge the literary, artistic, and political conversations between students and local communities in San Bernardino, the Inland Empire and beyond. Pacific Review seeks ambitious and thoughtfully crafted work in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, play writing, screenwriting, comics, photography, visual art, and cross-genre and experimental forms. Submit work to: https://pacificreview.submittable.com/submit Students and faculty gathered for the annual English Fair on October 30 and October 31, 2018! Organized by Associate Department Chair Dr. Sunny Hyon, the English Fair provided information on: Advising Internship Opportunities Careers for English Majors Pacific Review literary magazine Single-Subject Teaching Credential and English Teacher Preparation Program M.A. in English Composition Program Professional Writing Certificate and Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate Opportunities to write for The Coyote Chronicle What’s new in the classroom? In English 303B, students of Dr. Ana Garascia celebrated Hallowe’en by engaging with literary texts, visual objects, and other nineteenth-century ephemera. Stations included a record player to play Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” as well as examples of Spiritualist photography (pictured below). Garascia asked students to reflect on how this interactive literary activity relates to questions about science, technology, and gender, as well as to consider cultural connections between the nineteenth- and twenty-first centuries. On October 31, 2018 students and faculty participated in the Department’s annual Halloween Contest. Pictured below is contestant Melony del Real. And the contest winners. . . 1st place was awarded to lecturer, Michael Buckhoff, “Ghostbuster” and 2nd place to Assistant Professor, Jasmine Lee, “Effie Trinket.” On November 1, 2018 the English Department welcomed Diné (Navajo) poet Sherwin Bitsui to CSUSB. Bitsui read from his new book, Dissolve. The Department celelebrated its Honors students on November 28, 2018. The fall program, coordinated by Dr. Chad Luck, featured the work of five aspiring creative writers and literary critics, pictured below. Krista Fenton: Cycle of Six Poems.(Dr. Chad Sweeney) Shelby Reinsch : “Give and Take: Examining Female Agency through the Male Gaze in ‘Ligeia’ and ‘Morella’” (Dr. Chad Luck) Melissa Lewis: “Sisters and Saboteurs: The Representation of Female Characters and Relationships in Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth” (Dr. Chad Luck) Jamie Wyman: “The Death of the Father: Sylvia Plath and Sharon Olds Defeating the Patriarchy” (Dr. Jessica Lewis Luck) Daisy Cortes: “Art and Advocacy: Displaying the Beauty and Inelegance of the World.” (Dr. Chad Sweeney). Faculty News Professor Wendy Smith presented her research at the Second International Conference on Sociolinguistics in Budapest, Hungary (September 6-8, 2018). She presented “Power and Agency in the Construction of Identity in a Deaf NGO” with Professor Tamar Makharoblidze from Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. Dr. Smith also taught a graduate seminar, “Research Methodology and Design” in the Linguistics Department at Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia). In July, Dr. Smith attended the Fourth Usage-Based Linguistics Conference at Tel-Aviv University (July 3-5, 2018). Apology to the Young Addict, by Professor James Brown, will be published in hardcover, audio CD, and Kindle in 2020 by Counterpoint Books. Counterpoint Books has purchased the English rights to Brown’s third memoir. Professor Jason Magabo Perez was invited to deliver the 15th Annual Eugene M. Labovitz and Gail A. Perez Lecture in Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego on October 17, 2018. Performing excerpts from his book, This is for the mostless, and screening some of his documentary film work, Professor Perez reflected on his family and community histories and on the urgency of ethnic studies scholarship and activism. Dr. Alexandra Cavallero was awarded a CSUSB Mini Grant and the Anthony and Lois Evans Faculty Development Award for her proposal, “Queer Legal Literacies.” This project examines the ways that LGBTQ people use literacy practices to navigate and resist legal disenfranchisement, ultimately disrupting conventional accounts of queer legal history by examining the everyday literacy practices of the people working and living at its edges and in its crevices. She will be undertaking this research in winter 2019. Professor Renée Pigeon’s article “’The Arcadian Past’ in Kate Atkinson’s Started Early, Took My Dog,” appears in the current volume of Clues: A Journal of Detection. Pigeon’s article explores how Atkinson contrasts acts of intervention to achieve justice with nostalgia for the past as a lost Arcadia, making ironic use of motifs and narrative structure from classical romance to subvert some of the conventions of traditional crime fiction. Professor Pigeon is spending Fall 2018 on sabbatical writing about Atkinson, whose works she has enjoyed teaching in the department’s Women Writers Seminar and Senior Seminar. In July 2018, and with the support of a CSUSB Mini-grant, Dr. Luz Elena Ramirez published “Darwin and the Nautical Gothic in William Hope Hodgson’s The Boats of the ‘Glen-Carrig’” in the Journal of Science Fiction. Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’ focuses on John Winterstraw’s unexpected journey to remote southern seas and his observation of man-eating plants, colossal crabs, monstrous devil-fish, and blood-sucking “weed men.” Ramirez argues Winterstraw’s narrative, written in 1757, “anticipates” moments of discovery in Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle (1845), Insectivorous Plants (1875) and Origin of the Species (1859). Dr. Suzanne Roszak presented two papers at the Italian American Studies Association conference in Chicago this fall. Her roundtable presentation was entitled, “Teaching Italian America in Composition and Literature: Subversive Approaches.” She delivered a second paper entitled, “Representation Matters: Visions of Italian America in Malamud’s The Assistant. ”
We have lots of good news and congratulations to share in this final post of the 2017-2018 academic year, but first, we’d like to wish all the very best to our graduating students: we’re immensely proud of you all! Please stay in touch and send us your news, join our Facebook group, CSUSB Department of English Alumni, and keep track of department news on our Facebook page (CSUSB English Department) and of course, this blog! Student Awards Devin Almond, our department’s Commencement Speaker for 2018, will be graduating with his BA in English, Creative Writing Concentration, with a CSU GPA of 3.81. In addition to being a stellar student, Devin has been extraordinarily active in numerous roles on campus. He has served faithfully as a program assistant in the Queer and Transgender Resource Center. He led the programming on campus for the Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil as well as the on-going community discussion series entitled Trans Talk Tuesday. He has served as fiction editor of the English Department’s national literary journal, Ghost Town, and currently is curating and editing his own project, an anthology of trans narratives from around the nation, entitled The Albatross Anthology. Devin also is an intern at the Inlandia Institute and has performed his own poetry in multiple venues, including the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona. We are proud indeed to have Devin “on the big screen” representing the department at the June 16 Commencement ceremonies. The English Department’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student for this year, Paul Nuñez Figueroa, will be graduating in June with a BA in English with a 3.965 GPA. While Paul is a concentrator in linguistics, he has also taken a number of literature and creative writing courses along the way. As one of the faculty who nominated him for this award noted: “Paul is thus the unusual English major who excels equally in all of the different areas of the field, from early literary history to linguistics to creative writing.” That same faculty member has this to say about him: “I am always struck in Paul’s papers by how closely and carefully he engages with texts and the highly original interpretations and insights that result…Paul always strikes out into new, exciting terrain, fueled by the sharpness of his observations and the rigor of his logic.” Paul’s omnivorous interests and his skill has a writer have also led him to write occasional pieces for the Coyote Chronicle, such as an article he wrote in Fall 2017 about a public academic talk regarding the removal of public statues of Confederate generals. There was a broad consensus among our faculty in choosing Paul as our Outstanding Undergraduate Student this year and we are thrilled to recognize him for his outstanding academic achievement in our department. Not only was Erika Quiñonez the English Department’s nominee as outstanding graduate student in our MA program, she also was selected as the Outstanding Graduate Student from the entire College of Arts and Letters. One faculty member nominating Erika for the award noted that her “papers and research projects are not only always eloquently written, but also reflective of an analytical approach to language that deftly connects conceptual themes across diverse theoretical readings and bridges them with real-life experiences.” And it is precisely this type of connection to real-life contexts that was the driving force behind her choice of topic for her Master’s thesis, entitled (Un)Welcome to America: A critical discourse analysis of anti-immigrant rhetoric in mainstream conservative media. As one of her thesis advisors explains, “Erika worked diligently and passionately on her thesis. She views this endeavor as not simply an instance of scholarly work, but, crucially, as a social advocacy project, and one that she hopes will raise awareness about naturalized ideologies of racism and discrimination.” Beyond her stellar academic achievements, Erika has also been involved in many other activities outside of the classroom during the past few years, among them heading the University Advancement Division’s 2017 drive for the CSUSB Obershaw DEN Food Pantry to provide groceries, toiletries and other basic necessities for students experiencing food insecurity at CSUSB; her small division took the first-place trophy, raising more than 1,100 pounds of food items and supplies. Erika exemplifies the ideals in learning, scholarship, and community involvement that we strive to promote as a department and institution. We are extremely proud to be able to recognize her in this small way. Felix Guadalupe Valdez Creative Writing Prize The Felix Guadalupe Valdez Creative Writing Prize was established by Leo and Lupe Valdez in memory of their son. The winners are chosen annually by the student editors of the Pacific Review. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Poetry Prize: Ian Ovekimyan Ruiz-Hernandez Poetry Runner-up: Devin Almond Prose Prize: John Allen Prose Runner-up: Jonathan Tovar MFA Program Acceptances Stephanie Segura, graduating with a BA in the Creative Writing track this June, has selected the MFA in Poetry at University of Washington/Bothell. Alumna Savannah Solorio (BA ’17) will join the Writing for the Screen MFA program at Loyola Marymount University, and alumnus Scott Bentley (BA ’16) will join the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry at CSU Long Beach. Kellie R. Rayburn Thesis Award The 2018 Rayburn Award for Outstanding Thesis in the M.A. in English Composition program went to Ambar A. Perez for “Language Culture Wars: Effects of Language Policy on Language Minorities and English Learners” (Readers: Caroline Vickers and Parastou Feiz). The Awards Committee noted that in her thesis “Utilizing an array of resources, including federal and state sponsored language policies in the United States and interviews with K-12 educators, Perez argues that an educational enforcement of a monolinguistic practice of English, carried out by dismantling bilingual education and isolating second language learners from their peers, serves to disenfranchise these students by labeling them as deficit language users. Over the course of the thesis, she also examines the ways in which this belief in a singular language acquisition and “mastery” normalizes the supposed hierarchical distinction between “native” and “non-native” speakers, when it fact it works by continually perpetrating deep-seated xenophobic and anti-immigrant ideologies that run rampant in the United States.” Rayburn Honorable Mention Awards went to: Dustin L. Shepherd for “The Functionality of Reboots” (Readers: Renée Pigeon and Mary Boland), whose thesis the committee found “offers a helpful complication to our sometimes knee-jerk reactions to so-called ‘reboots’ of older film franchises as mere capitalistic ventures by movie studios hoping to cash in on their popularity. Instead, Dustin makes a fascinating hypothesis that reboots, as an act of adaptation, allow audience members of the original franchise to become authors, and ultimately critics, of the texts themselves by highlighting, expanding, or even disregarding themes found in the original film series.” Erika Quiñonez for “(Un)Welcome to America: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in Trump’s Speeches and Conservative Mainstream Media” (Readers: Parastou Feiz and Caroline Vickers), whose thesis provided “a timely and important analysis of the national narrative of xenophobia that emerges in speeches and discussions of immigration on the political right. Analyzing transcriptions of more than 100 speeches delivered by Donald Trump, both before and after the election, as well as a set of ten news stories on immigration from conservative news outlets such as Fox News, she uncovers some subtle discursive strategies that are used to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment and fear and strip immigrants of their humanity.” 2018-2019 Teaching Associates The following students in the M.A. in English Composition program have been awarded competitive positions as Teaching Associates for 2018-2019, including two who will be part of a pilot program for a Literature TAship. Lilia Sanchez Ruby Sanchez Melony DeReal Heather Seals Marisol Rivera Karina Garcia Carlee Franklin Monique Dixon Ed Ferrari (Literature) Leilani Martinez (Literature) Alternative Thesis Presentations On June 5, students completing the Alternative Thesis in the M.A. in English Composition, an inter-related sequence of scholarly texts that demonstrate mastery of both the subject matter and the written discourse of the discipline, shared their research: Angel Lua – “History that Hemorrhages: Corridos and Simulacra in Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing” (shown in photo) Russell Kapryn – “The Distinction of Intelligibility of the Bostonian and Los Angeles Accents Found Between Non-native and Native Speakers of English” Katie Orr – “Roller Derby Performativity: Utilizing Alt Narratives in the Composition Classroom” Jeremy Lunasco – “Freedom by Design: Universal Design for Learning as Liberatory Pedagogy in Prison” Mikhel Hudrlik – “Prosthetic Adaptation: Disability in Manga Shakespeare’s Richard III” Honors Celebration Our annual English Department Honors Celebration and Sigma Tau Delta installation on June 8 celebrated our award-winning students and their accomplishments, including this year’s students in Linguistics, Creative Writing, and Literature earning Departmental Honors by maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all English courses at CSUSB and completing a two-unit course, English 517, which involves writing a substantial paper and presenting it to faculty and students at an honors colloquium: Jeffrey Hinkle: Gamer Talk: Hedging and Overlapping Within an Xbox Live Party Amy Becerra: Embracing Chicano English: The Value of Non-Standard Dialects Within American Society Miguel Vega: Our Innocent Blood Lucinda Crespin: Chicana Latina Loca: Poetry and Prose by Lucinda Crespin Christopher Surnovsky: Through the Eyes of Empathy Austin Muniz: The New American Folktale: Puritan Portrayals and the Liberation of the Female Voice in The Witch: A New-England Folktale Brianna Deadman: Feminist Princess: The Deconstruction of Gender Roles in Classic and Reimagined Fairy Tales Stephen Milligan: The Grotesque Mirror: A Significant Other in Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood Kate Wright: Breaking Down Domestic Doors: Merry Negations, Symbiosis, and Individual Wildness in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus and “The Tiger’s Bride” Students Sandra Vahine and Jeannie Le completed the English 517 Honors project in Fall 2017. A highlight of the Honors Celebration was the induction of new members into the CSUSB chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society by the Faculty Sponsor, Jenny Andersen, witnessed by friends and family. Show are Professors Carlson and Hyon with Kimberly McKenney; Professors Carlson and Andersen with Lucinda Crespin; and James “Jaye” Johnson with their family. Korissa Clay JW Cradduck Lucinda Crespin Jill Dixon Jackeline Espinoza-Camacho Trisha Michelle Felix Celina Freeman Savannah Grossberg Steven Hinkle Jeanette Jetton-Rangel James “Jaye” Johnson Kimberly McKenney Steven Murray Katherine O’Neil Shelby Reinsch Kathleen Sarikas Suzanne Throckmorton Jonathan Tovar Xochilt Trujillo-Flores Mariza Vasquez Jamie Wyman Once again, congratulations and our very best wishes to all our graduates: we’re excited about your bright futures. And a very happy summer 2018 to all our readers.
Faculty and Alumni News Congratulations to Parastou Feiz on the publication of her book, Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts: A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar, published by Routledge and co-authored with Susan Strauss and Xuehua Xiang. Written for “language teachers and learners,” the book “focuses on the meanings of grammatical constructions within discourse, rather than on language as structure governed by rigid rules. This text emphasizes the ways in which users of language construct meaning, express viewpoints, and depict imageries using the conceptual, meaning-filled categories that underlie all of grammar.” Chad and Jessica Lewis Luck have an exciting summer ahead of them: they have been invited to be Visiting Professors at Université Paris Diderot. They will be in Paris for a month, followed by two weeks of traveling (accompanied of course by son Fletcher, already a seasoned world traveler). Congratulations to recent alumnus James Speer, who has been accepted into the competitive JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program for the upcoming year. James, who completed his B.A. in English, Literature Track in Fall 2017, writes the following about his exciting new position: “For the JET Program I will be working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), teaching alongside Japanese English teachers to provide the knowledge and fluency of a native English speaker. I’ll be living in a small town on the southern tip of Hokkaido (Japan’s northern island) called Matsumae, and I’ll be helping teach English in different schools around the area. My primary school will be Matsushiro Elementary School, which is a 15-minute walk away from the house I’ll be living in. In addition to teaching, I’ll be participating in extracurricular activities such as club events, cultural festivals, and whatever else is requested of me by the Board of Education in my area (which is technically my actual employer).”
Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Kellie Rayburn Outstanding Thesis Awards in the M.A. in English Composition program. The award is presented in memory of Kellie Rayburn (1962-2001), an alumna of the M.A. program and long-time lecturer in the English Department. This year’s winners were presented their awards at the final Graduate Committee meeting of the academic year on Wednesday afternoon and their accomplishment celebrated by the committee and their thesis readers. 2018 Rayburn Award for Outstanding Thesis: Ambar A. Perez for “Language Culture Wars: Effects of Language Policy on Language Minorities and English Learners” (Readers: Caroline Vickers and Parastou Feiz) Honorable Mention: Dustin L. Shepherd for “The Functionality of Reboots” (Readers: Renee Pigeon and Mary Boland) Erika Quiñonez for “(Un)Welcome to America: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in Trump’s Speeches and Conservative Mainstream Media” (Readers: Parastou Feiz and Caroline Vickers)
Ellen Gil-Gomez’s Retirement Ellen Gil-Gomez, shown with her husband Kelly Alls, will be among the faculty honored at the President’s Annual Retirement Luncheon on June 7, as she joins the ranks of our emeriti faculty. She came to the English Department in 2001, after earning her PhD at Washington State University. A specialist in Chicano/Latino and Women of Color Studies and the author of Performing La Mestiza: Textual Representations of Lesbians of Color and the Negotiation of Identities (Garland 2001), she has published numerous articles and chapters; her most recent publications center on comics, disability studies, and online pedagogy. Her expertise in Distributed Learning led her to develop many popular online courses for the English Department on topics such as Graphic Novels, Queer Theory, and the Chicano Renaissance, and to act as a mentor to other faculty teaching online. She was celebrated as an “Outstanding Originator in Distributed Learning” by CSUSB in both 2007 and 2013. She served as the first Distributed Learning in Literature Coordinator for the English Department, a post she helped to created, and she also aided in shaping our departmental distributed learning policy. She shared her talents through service in many other ways over the years: as a Faculty Senator, as a member of the Educational Policy and Resources Committee, as co-chair of the Diversity Committee, as Interim Coordinator of the Women Studies Program, as a faculty adviser for English majors, and as CAL Elections Officer, among other posts. After coping with debilitating chronic illness with grace and courage for the last decade while continuing to teach full time online, she opted to take a disability retirement in October 2017. We know our readers will join us in thanking her for her service to our students, our department, and our campus, and in wishing her and her family the best in this new chapter of her life. Recent Events MA Open House: On May 30, the Graduate Committee hosted an Open House for the MA in English Composition program. Prospective students began the day with a research panel with presentations by faculty members in our three concentrations–Yumi Pak (in literature), Karen Rowan (in composition), and Caroline Vickers (in linguistics). Afterward, they had a chance to visit a graduate seminar, and attended a Q&A session about the program both in person and via Zoom. What can you do with an English major? On April 26, the English Department hosted a “SEE” (Strategic Employability in English) panel to help students find out some interesting answers to that question. Organized by Associate Chair Sunny Hyon, the panel featured the following alumni, sharing advice about their career paths (Dan Reade and Andrea Nikki Harlin are pictured): Jessica Lee, Technical writer and cyber threat intelligence analyst, Chevron and Principal Financial Group Andrea Nikki Harlin, Field Representative, Congressman Pete Aguilar District Office; Mischa Tacchia, English teacher and grant writer, Indian Springs High School (and winner of the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching from the San Bernardino Unified School District); John Neiuber, CEO of the nonprofit Trinity Youth Services, Claremont, California; Dan Reade, Tenure-track Assistant Professor of English, Norco Community College; also former middle school teacher in Japan and staffer for U.S. Senator; Sarah Sikora, Current senior English major at CSUSB, who completed a summer internship in writing for cosmetics/fashion in New York City and was recently offered a job as an editor for a cosmetics company in San Francisco. Faculty and Alumni News James Brown recently submitted his new book, tentatively entitled Clearing the Attic, to his representative at The Ryan-Harbage Literary Agency in New York. The film option for Brown’s The Los Angeles Diaries was renewed this year by producer and director Jude Prest of Lifelike Productions; the film option from a selection from Brown’s second memoir, This River, has also been renewed by Australian director Aaron Wilson, whose film Canopy received the Grand Prize at Internationales Du Cinema Des Antipodes St Tropez. Australian actor Nick Barkla and Australian director and producer Ian White have optioned another selection from Brown’s This River in April 2018. White directed Before the Fall, 2015, about the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war, and the documentary Bactor: A Refugee Journey, 2017, about gang members being returned to their native Cambodia after release from American prisons. Department Chair Dave Carlson presented two conference papers, “George Morrison’s Abstract Indigenism,” Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, May 2018; and “Lewis DeSoto’s Empire: Indigenous Photography in Southern California,” Native American Literature Symposium Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN, March 2018. Congratulations to Nikia Chaney (BA ’06, MFA ‘12) on the publication of us mouth (University of Hell Press, 2018), her first full-length volume of poetry. A CSUSB alumna and lecturer, she is the current Inlandia Literary Laureate (2016-2018), and has previously published two chapbooks, Sis Fuss (Orange Monkey Publishing 2013) and Ladies, Please (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). Jason Magabo Perez continues to tour his debut book, This is for the mostless (WordTech Editions, 2017), which Hyphen Magazine has celebrated as “a textual and literary embrace.” He has recently been invited to share his work and lead creative writing workshops at the following campuses/venues: Riverside City College (March 21); San Bernardino Arts Fest (March 24); San Francisco State University (March 28); Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco (March 28); Cal State Fullerton (April 12); Philippine Expressions Book Shop (April 14); San Diego Mesa College (April 17); UC Davis (April 26-27); UC Riverside (May 1); College of San Mateo (May 5); and Oregon State University (May 10-11). Most notably, Perez was invited to deliver the keynote address for Humanities and Social Sciences Week at Cal State Fullerton; and his film, Leonora, archive of, was screened as a part of the Asian Pacific American Film Festival at College of San Mateo. Perez has a few more upcoming local readings and performances scheduled for this academic year: Poetic Research Bureau LA (May 27); UCSD (June 1); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions/LACE (June 9); Other Books/Otros Libros (June 10). Paula Priamos’ thriller Inside V is a 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award finalist in Thriller & Suspense (Adult Fiction). Thousands of entries were reviewed by a panel of 120 librarians and booksellers, and winners will be announced on June 15. Congratulations and best wishes to Suzanne and Jonny Roszak on the birth of their son, Sander Axel Roszak, born on March 11 (7 lbs, 8 oz, 19 inches, even though he was four weeks early!). And she is keeping very busy: Roszak presented “Making Discussion Forums Matter: One Approach to Empowered Student-Student Interaction Online” at Digital Learning in the Humanities and Beyond, A UC Irvine-Tel Aviv University Symposium, May 3-4 2018, a paper which shares an approach that she uses in online Humanities and English courses at CSUSB, and she has a book chapter forthcoming, “Where Spirituality Ebbs and Flows: Religion and Diasporic Alienation in John Fante’s Ask the Dust” which will appear in an edited collection on John Fante from Fordham University Press. Wendy Smith will once again be in the Republic of Georgia until mid-September, teaching a short course on research design at Ilia State University. She is continuing her research project studying the construction of Deaf identities and community at an NGO, the Union of the Deaf, her study of the construction of Deaf identities and community at an NGO, the Union of the Deaf, and will be extending the data in order to look at gender and power. She will be presenting a paper on the research in Budapest in September. Congratulations to Jaclyn Vasquez (BA ’07, MA ’14), who has left her post as an English Department Lecturer for a full-time lectureship in UCR’s Writing Program. She completed a dual concentration in English Composition and Applied Linguistics/TESL in the MA program and won an Honorable Mention Rayburn Award in 2014 for her thesis “To Peer or Not to Peer? Locally Co-Constructing Expertise, Noviceness, and Peerness in Writing Center Conferences,” directed by Caroline Vickers and Karen Rowan–and in another notable department award, she took first prize last October in our inaugural Halloween Costume Contest for her “Tea-Rex” costume. We wish her the best in her new post! Congratulations to Caroline Vickers on her appointment as faculty director of the Office of Graduate Studies. She will oversee the day-to-day activities of the office staff and will work closely with graduate student program coordinators, advisors and faculty to improve the graduate student experience at CSUSB. The M.A. Program and Q2S: Conversion to Semesters Associate Graduate Coordinator Jessica Luck shared the following news about how our Master’s program will change as we shift to a semester schedule in Fall 2020: For the campus conversion to semesters, we tried to build on the strengths of our current MA program and make some exciting changes that we think will benefit students and help us better meet our goals and serve our community. First, the name will change from the MA in English Composition to the MA in English and Writing Studies. We feel this name better reflects the breadth and interdisciplinarity of our new program. A common core of classes from each sub-discipline still grounds the degree, emphasizing the development of a scholarly identity and acting as a foundation for students’ chosen concentration(s). We will continue to have concentrations in Applied Linguistics and TESL, Composition and Rhetoric, and Literature. In addition, we have created two interdisciplinary “professional concentrations” for students interested in developing expertise in Pedagogy or Public and Professional Writing. We have also revised the curriculum to include improved internship support, replacing the current Blackboard-based online component with an internship course that meets in person, including students doing pedagogical or workplace internships. We also created a semester long course for both the thesis and the comprehensive exam that will allow students to complete the culminating experience in the last semester of coursework. Our hope is that a culminating course that creates structure will help students complete the culminating experience more expeditiously. Finally, we are planning to offer grad classes in 2.5 hour blocks meeting once a week rather than twice a week as we do now. We will build in a grad program hour before classes meet that will be open for various grad program related events, speakers, advising, and grad student socializing.
On Tuesday, May 22 disabled writer-activists Ona Gritz and Daniel Simpson will give a reading/talk for the campus in honor of Disability Awareness Day. In addition to the reading at noon in the SMSU, the English Department is sponsoring a writing workshop with the two of them. “Imperfections Are Where Our Stories Live” A Workshop with Poet/Writers Ona Gritz and Daniel Simpson Tuesday, 5/22 4:00-5:30 pm UH 053 3rd Annual Ability Awareness Event
CSUSB will convert from quarters to semesters in Fall 2020, and the conversion process is now well under way. Dave Carlson, our department chair, shared an overview of coming changes to the undergraduate English major. We’ll share news about the M.A. program in a future post! For the past two years, the English Department has been working hard to transform our B.A. from its current quarter structure into a new semester one. From the start of this process, we have kept the needs of our students as our central focus. As most people reading this blog will know, the vast majority of our English majors grew up in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. A large percentage are first-generation college students, and many work at least part-time, with a significant number working full-time. Roughly 40% use our program as a springboard into a single subject teaching credential in language arts. A number of courses in our major also serve students in the Liberal Studies program seeking to enter a multiple-subject credential program. It has been important for us, then, to construct a new semester program that continues to serve future teachers at multiple levels in the K-12 system. Many of our students also continue their education at the graduate level (with our own M.A. program being a common destination), so providing a broad foundation in English Studies has also been a priority. But it has also become clear to us in recent years that an increasing percentage of our students seek to use their English degrees to pursue careers outside of teaching. Our final goal in the transformation process, then, has been to better position those not intending to go on to a teaching career to be able to recognize and articulate (to themselves and others) the skills they obtain by earning a degree in English Studies. Here is little teaser overview of how we have done so. In its current form, the B.A. in English is a 73 quarter-unit major that consists of a substantial core (dominated by literature classes) and three concentrations: creative writing, linguistics, and literature. Students pursuing a single subject credential complete, in addition to their chosen concentration, our ETPP (English Teacher Preparation Program), which is a cluster of courses (some of which count as electives elsewhere in the major) that satisfy remaining CTCC requirements not automatically addressed elsewhere in a student’s course of study. The transformed BA in English will be a 48 semester-unit major (where students will also have to opportunity to “double-dip” in satisfying GE C2, thus freeing up additional general electives). A new core has been designed expressly as a broad introduction to English Studies as a field, taking advantage of our department’s unique strengths: we are the only English department in the CSU system, and one of a handful nationwide, that includes faculty in literature, linguistics, creative writing, and rhetoric/writing studies. Key points: We have significantly redesigned the creative writing concentration, developing a structure that allows students to pursue multi-modal and multi-genre work across multiple platforms (digital and conventional). We have created a new concentration in Rhetoric and Writing Studies, which expands on the structure we currently use in our Certificate in Public and Professional Writing. Here again, we have created more space for multi-modal writing, while also placing new and additional emphasis on community-based writing, writing in the public sphere, and theoretical grounding in rhetoric and literacy studies. Our linguistics and literature concentrations have been streamlined (largely through the elimination of some pre-requisite and sequencing issues that created barriers to student progress) and updated. We have created a new individualized concentration where students, under the direction of a faculty advisor and with approval of faculty committee, can create their own course of study to meet any career goals not clearly addressed by our other concentrations. Finally, in all our concentrations we are seeking to emphasize and encourage students to enroll in “High Impact Practice” classes, some of which we currently offer and some of which are new. We are particularly encouraging students to incorporate study abroad, an internship, an English Practicum (a project-based learning class), or an Honors/Research project into their program of study. This new curriculum is currently working its way through the campus’ approval process-and hopefully will sail through without any hitches. We are now looking forward to being able to turn our focus to preparing to teach in this new structure. There will by many opportunities for exciting and innovative classes. We can’t wait to teach them!
• 3:00 pm RESEARCH PANEL (UH 053): Learn about the dynamic research projects of our faculty. • 4:00 pm: GRADUATE SEMINAR (UH 054): Sit in on a current graduate seminar. • 6:00 pm Q&A SESSION (UH 053)* Talk with our faculty & students, & learn about our three concentrations, curriculum, program requirements, admissions process, student theses, career options, & more. * Q&A SESSION will also be held via Zoom, a web-conferencing software. Please REGISTER at the following link & we will send you instructions for how to join us: https://goo.gl/rN3m9v FOR MORE INFO: KROWAN@CSUSB.EDU
What can you do with your English degree? Come SEE at our Strategic Employability in English event on Thursday April 26 WHAT: A panel of CSUSB English Alumni will discuss their career paths as writers, editors, teachers, nonprofit CEOs, congressional aides, and cyber security analysts. They will also offer job search advice for current English students. WHEN: Thursday, April 26 5:15-7:00 pm WHERE: Pfau Library 5005