Fall quarter kicks off with faculty retreat and welcome of three new professors

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.

Photo of faculty

English Faculty gather at Department Retreat 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!

Students and Faculty advising at the English Fair

The English Fair

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).

Record player               Students

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.


M. 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.”

Buckhoff                               Lee

On November 1, 2018 the English Department welcomed Diné (Navajo) poet Sherwin Bitsui to CSUSB.  Bitsui read from his new book, Dissolve.

Bitsui Reading

Audience at Sherwin Bitsui Reading

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.


English Honors Students

  • 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.

Bridge              Sign on bridge

Dr. Smith also taught a graduate seminar, “Research Methodology and Design” in the Linguistics Department at Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia).


Graduate students from the Linguistics Department at Ilia State University

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 Brown

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.

Magabo Perez

Dr. Alexandra Cavallaro 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.

Cover of CluesPigeon’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. 


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