Kathleen Yancey Wins Donald Murray Prize at 4Cs Convention
Apparently what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.
"I love sharing good news, and this is very good news," wrote Professor Kristie Fleckenstein in an email announcing that Professor Kathleen Yancey received the Donald Murray Prize in Las Vegas during the March 2013 Conference on College Composition and Communication's annual convention.
The Creative Non-Fiction Special Interest Group, in concert with Writing on the Edge, gives out the award, which Yancey and her co-authors Doug Hesse and Nancy Sommers won for their article "Evocative Objects: Reflections on Teaching, Learning, and Living in Between" published in the March 2012 issue of College English. The honor is for best essay or work of creative nonfiction on the subjects of teaching and/or writing during the calendar year.
"I was very pleased to win the award, of course. And more specifically, for three reasons," Yancey says. "One is that in the tradition of Donald Murray himself—a Pulitzer Prize winner—it's an award for writing, for what we make with words; that may be the finest compliment one can make to a writer."
"Second," she continues, "the article winning the Donald Murray Award is very unlike what College English typically publishes: ordinarily, the journal publishes articles that are more research based, so publishing this text was a risk the editor, John Schilb, took, and I'm grateful for that vote of confidence."
"Third and not least, I was pleased to be honored with my colleagues and friends Doug Hesse and Nancy Sommers," Yancey says. "It's a joy to write alongside them; to have our collectively individual efforts acknowledged was splendid."
Gary Taylor Chosen as FSU Distinguished Research Professor
The Council on Research and Creativity recently selected Gary Taylor as FSU Distinguished Research Professor. The Distinguished Research Professor award recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship, scientific research, and creative activity, and it is awarded annually to a select group of no more than four FSU faculty.
Taylor accepted his award during the Faculty Awards ceremony on April 9. The presenter made special mention of his co-editing efforts on The Collected Works of Thomas Middleton, and its companion volume, Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture, published in 2008. For that work, Taylor won the 2011 Elizabeth Dietz Memorial Award for the best book published in Early Modern studies, which followed the 2009 Modern Language Association Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition.
FSU's award also recognizes Taylor's past work on Shakespeare, and the New Oxford Shakespeare project—a multi-platform, multi-format edition of all Shakespeare's texts—of which Taylor is general editor. Taylor has also been reconstructing the "lost" Shakespeare and Fletcher play, "The History of Cardenio," not just the performances, but also the book forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Taylor's newest project, The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton, is the largest collection of new essays on Middleton ever published, and he co-edited it with Trish Thomas Henley, (FSU PhD, ), presently of the University of Cincinnati. The award also takes account of Taylor's work in the history of text technologies and his work on critical race studies—"Buying Whiteness" and the series he general-edits for Palgrave, "Signs of Race."
"I'm very happy to receive this award because it calls attention, within and outside the university, to the depth and breadth of the international research profile of our literature program, specifically," Taylor says. "This award isn't really about me; it demonstrates that English faculty generally, and literature faculty in particular, do research that is just as cutting-edge, and just as important, as the research done in any other department at FSU."
Ralph Berry, chair of the department, points out that the selection of Taylor for the 2012 award is "uniquely significant."
"Following last year's selection of Dr. Kathleen Yancey as FSU Distinguished Research Professor, Dr. Taylor's award represents the first time in two decades that members of the English Department have been selected for this honor in successive years," Berry says. "We can feel very proud that, out of the 1,100 eligible FSU faculty, the English Department has been distinguished so conspicuously, and our thanks to Gary for bringing this recognition to us all."
Kathleen Yancey Receives Distinguished Scholar Award
Purdue University recently named Professor Kathleen Yancey as one of the institution's 2012 Distinguished Women Scholars. The award honors women who earned a Purdue doctorate and have made significant scholarly contributions to their academic communities.
"It's a lovely award, created through the efforts of Purdue's first woman president and of a Purdue alum, Susan Butler, who is very interested in fostering leadership in women," Yancey says. "So the award is made on the basis of scholarship and leadership."
Yancey joined two other Purdue University alumnae at a March 2, 2012, award presentation on Purdue's West Lafayette campus.
"These three women are distinguished scholars from a diverse array of disciplines—management, English and education, and biology," says Beverly Davenport Sypher, Purdue's vice provost for faculty affairs, in a purdue.edu press release. "Purdue is excited to celebrate the successes of these women, who are role models to our many scholars in the making on campus."
Yancey is the first awardee from Purdue's College of Liberal Arts, and she says "that's particularly gratifying given that Purdue is a STEM institution; it's terrific to see in this award—as someone said to me—an equally important recognition of English and of Rhetoric and Composition. And it's particularly gratifying when one of my awardee colleagues has raised $55 million in grants and the other leads the Catholic Relief Services, which responds to crises in over 100 countries. We make different contributions; each one is important."
Yancey received her doctorate from Purdue's Department of English in 1983, where she studied rhetoric and composition and, for her dissertation, developed a model of the composing process.
"I am the first woman from the liberal arts to be recognized, and as you might imagine, I'm honored both by the award and by the company this award has created for me," she says. "And it was such a pleasure to see old and new friends in the English Department and on the Purdue campus."
Margaret E. Wright-Cleveland has an article in the upcoming publication Hemingway and the Black Renaissance (Ohio State UP, 2012). Her selection for the book is a revision of work she did for her dissertation under the supervision of John Fenstermaker, Rip Lhamon, Darryl Dickson-Carr, and Barry Faulk. Wright-Cleveland also has a two-part article on a similar topic scheduled to appear in MidAmerica, the yearbook of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. The first part, scheduled to appear this year, focuses on Sherwood Anderson's mentorship of Jean Toomer and William Faulkner. The second part, which will be published next year, focuses on Anderson's mentorship of Hemingway. This work also comes from Wright-Cleveland's dissertation and claims Anderson's misguided interest in primitivism both shaped these young modernists' writing and alienated them from their mentor.
English Alumna Karlanna Lewis: Rhodes Scholar Finalist
Shortly after graduating in Spring 2011 from FSU with a degree in English, Karlanna Lewis was in the middle of the demanding application process for a Rhodes Scholarship. This long and intense competition culminated with a final interview in mid-November. Unfortunately, she was not selected as a 2012 Rhodes Scholar, but Lewis says that the guidance of three English department faculty members—Barbara Hamby, David Kirby, and Robert Olen Butler—helped her reach that last stage.
"When I told Dr. Hamby, Dr. Kirby, and Dr. Butler I was a finalist for the scholarship, they all shared a few positive words with me," Lewis says. "My confidence and writing abilities would not be the same without everything these professors inspired in me."
Lewis, who submitted a collection of her poetry for her honors thesis and who also received a bachelor's degree in Russian, is an accomplished artist outside of the languages as well. The Tallahassee native attended Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School in her teens with hopes of becoming a professional ballet dancer, and she recently performed as the Snow Queen in a production of "The Nutcracker" by Tallahassee's Pas de Vie Ballet company.
While living in Pittsburgh, Lewis earned her GED after taking advanced placement courses through the Florida Virtual School and finished with a 4.0 grade point average. With a perfect 2400 score on her SATs, Lewis came to FSU and the English department, where she finished her undergraduate work in a mere two years with another 4.0 grade point average.
Hamby directed Lewis's honors thesis and says, "As her thesis took shape, I was continually impressed by how hard she worked. She was rarely satisfied and reworked poems over and over while writing new ones. Her poems deal with the intersection of the self and the world, and her world is a complex one."
During Lewis's thesis defense, Hamby says she was shocked when she found out that Lewis was only 19.
"In two years she has finished her undergraduate degree in our demanding honors-in-the-major program, written a 50-page poetry thesis, learned to read and speak Russian, and maintained a demanding schedule of ballet practice and performance," Hamby says. "Karlanna is a complex young woman, who has developed expertise in three very different worlds—poetry, ballet, and language studies. I admire her willingness to explore more than one art form. It is a quality I rarely see, even in superior students."
Lewis says that Hamby was particularly instrumental in preparing her to be a Rhodes candidate. While working together on Lewis’s honors thesis, Hamby encouraged her to submit poetry to journals for publication. Hamby also helped Lewis to apply for writers' residencies, and while attending one in Colorado in the summer of 2011, Lewis published her first book.
"Every faculty member I have worked with at Florida State has treated me as a colleague, and I appreciate the honest feedback I received from Dr. Hamby, Dr. Kirby and Dr. Butler," Lewis says. "I now hope to become an English professor someday, and I know the wisdom and care these professors showed me was a major influence in that decision. I hope to become a professor on par with the outstanding faculty members in the English department at Florida State."
For a full profile of Karlanna Lewis, visit http://www.fsu.com/News/In-quest-for-Rhodes-Scholarship-Florida-State-s-Karlanna-Lewis-advanced-to-final-round
English Department Faculty Take Part in FSU Authors Day
The Office of Faculty Recognition (OFR) and Dean of Faculties hosted the 2011 FSU Authors Day, held March 21 at the Turnbull Center. All FSU faculty who authored books published during the previous year were invited to participate.
The English Department was well represented—both Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Barry Faulk were featured readers, while five other members of the English Department attended to sign books. In all, seventeen English faculty reported book publications in 2010.
"The goal was to recognize our faculty authors, particularly of the book, which is still the touchstone for academics, and we have many faculty who produce important and noteworthy books," Margaret Wright-Cleveland, director of the OFR, explained. "So we wanted a chance to recognize that, advertise that to the public, and let people know what we are doing and thinking here at FSU, as well as let faculty look at other people's work, to learn what their colleagues are working on."
Stuckey-French read from her new book, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, and Faulk read from British Rock Modernism, 1967-1977. Other English faculty who participated in the event were Janet Burroway and Ned Stuckey-French (Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft); Robin Goodman (Feminist Theory in Pursuit of the Public); Meegan Kennedy (Revising the Clinic: Vision and Representation in Victorian Medical Narrative and the Novel); Jerrilyn McGregory (Downhome Gospel: African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country); and Maxine Montgomery (The Fiction of Gloria Naylor).
NRC Ranks FSU Among Nation's Top English Departments
On September 28, 2010, the National Research Council (NRC) released its new rankings of doctoral programs, placing FSU among the country's strongest English Departments. The NRC is a division of the National Academies, a federally chartered, private non-profit institution, and its rankings include five thousand doctoral programs in sixty-two different fields at more than two hundred universities.
"What these NRC rankings show is simply what our students and faculty have known for years: that FSU's English Department is a remarkable place," department chair Ralph Berry says.
The NRC generated several sets of rankings for each field, some based on narrow criteria such as Research Activity, Student Outcomes, or Diversity, and others that were overall rankings, based either on reputation or on an all-inclusive set of criteria chosen by departments in that field. FSU's English Department was particularly distinguished in the area of Research Activity, where it ranked between 4th and 18th of the 119 departments under consideration, placing it among such programs as Johns Hopkins University, University of Illinois-Chicago, and University of Michigan. In the overall ranking based on all-inclusive criteria, FSU was ranked between 15th and 44th, placing it close to programs at Emory University and Rutgers. Its reputational ranking was 26th to 69th, and its Diversity ranking was 22nd to 67th. The only ranking in which FSU was not securely in the top half of U.S. English departments was Student Outcomes, where the comparatively low level of state funding for higher education in Florida proved disadvantageous.
"Already my colleagues and I are receiving cheers from our professional peers around the country," Berry says. "Everyone is happy that a dedicated and talented faculty at a modestly-funded state university like FSU can compete with programs at the wealthiest elite institutions in the country."
The NRC rankings are among the most trusted indicators of academic standing, both for prospective students and for professionals in higher education. These rankings, which update and replace the last NRC rankings that were published in 1995, included 119 English doctoral programs and were based on data collected during the 2006-2007 academic year.
"There's nothing unusual about these rankings," Berry says. "We simply have some of the most talented faculty and students in the country."
Ned Stuckey-French wins Arts and Humanities Program Enhancement Grant
Ned Stuckey-French has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Program Enhancement Grant from FSU's Council on Research and Creativity. He will use the funds from this award to build a digital archive of materials on the American personal essay, which will be available to students, scholars, and teachers.
Graduate students in the English department will assist Stuckey-French in building the site, collecting ads, illustrations, letters, images, and other material that originally appeared alongside classic essays in various magazines or that were contemporary with their appearance.
This project supplements and develops from Ned's two forthcoming books, The American Essay in the American Century (U of Missouri P), and Essayists on the Essay: Four Centuries of Commentary (U of Iowa P), co-edited with Carl Klaus.
Dennis Moore chosen as president of the Southern American Studies Association
SASA, the Southern American Studies Association, has chosen Dennis Moore as its new president. His two-year term began at SASA’s biennial conference, held February 17-19, 2011, in Atlanta.
With 500-plus members in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, the Carolinas and Virginia, SASA is the largest regional chapter of the interdisciplinary American Studies Association. SASA's biennial conferences focus on new developments and findings in American Studies scholarship as well as ongoing areas of debate about the nature of America and its culture, both nationally and regionally.
"It's a pleasure to be involved in this dynamic organization, working with so many bright and knowledgeable colleagues and graduate students," Moore says. "Being able to serve as president is a special honor, and I look forward to finding ways to get more people actively involved."
Moore has been an active participant at seven of SASA's eight most recent biennial conferences, and his contributions to the organization have been varied and valuable. In 2003, he and FSU art historian Karen Bearor co-hosted the SASA conference on the Florida State campus. That year's theme was "Regionalisms in This Age of Globalization." Since 2004, he has chaired SASA's Critoph Prize competition, which recognizes the best paper by a graduate student at each biennial conference.
"Dennis Moore has become a figure to whom others in our profession consistently look for leadership," says Ralph Berry, chair of the English department. "He is particularly well known for his organizational role in the Society of Early Americanists, where he has repeatedly brought together influential scholars, and he has held offices in several national and regional associations."
In 2007, outgoing SASA president John Lowe of Louisiana State University nominated Moore as his successor representing SASA on the American Studies Association's Regional Chapters Committee, and Moore is currently serving a second three-year term on that national committee. He also leads the national organization's Early American Matters Caucus, which he created in the summer of 2004 and which currently has nearly 400 members.
Later this year, Harvard University Press will publish Moore's revised and enlarged edition of J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur's 1782 book, Letters from an American Farmer. Moore spent last May studying some of the writer's previously unpublished manuscripts, courtesy of the Reese Fellowship in American Bibliography and the History of the Book, from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
"Along with others of his colleagues, Dennis has helped establish our English Department as a national center for far-sighted guidance in the profession," Berry says.
Julianna Baggott and Erin Belieu to be published in Best American Poetry 2011
Julianna Baggott and Erin Belieu have reason to be doubly pleased as 2011 begins. Not only did the editors of Simon & Schuster's Best American Poetry series select the Creative Writing professors' poems for publication in the forthcoming 2011 volume, but this is the second time that the two have appeared in the volume at the same time. They previously had their poems published in the 2000 volume.
"It's a thrill to be included again in Best American Poetry with my fabulous friend and colleague Julianna Baggott," Belieu says about the repeat accomplishment. "This is a nice way to start the new year."
The editors for the series go through thousands of poems that are published in the past year before picking around seventy-five for publication in the annual anthology. For the 2011 edition, the editors chose Belieu's "When At A Certain Party In NYC" and Baggott's "To my Lover, Concerning the Yird-Swine."
"I wander the fringes of the poetry world so it's like someone—well, the editor Kevin Young—shouted my name out from this list of real, true poets, and it startled me," Baggott says about being included in the collection. "I'm a fan of Belieu's work from way back, which adds to the honor."
The Best American Poetry 2011 is scheduled for release in September.
William Boyce graduates in Spring 2011, but he has already received quite a gift for his achievement For more on Boyce's success, click here.
Boyce, an undergraduate in the FSU English Department's creative writing program, has been selected as a Fulbright Full Grant Scholar to the United Kingdom, one of only thirty-five in the United States. Beginning in September 2011, he will spend one year at the Centre for the Study of Literature, Theology, and the Arts at the University of Glasgow, conducting research on theological aesthetics, an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the cross-pollination of religion and the arts. Boyce is specifically interested in the relationships between poets with religious convictions and their creative works.
"As a graduating senior, I am honored to represent my family, friends, and Florida State University in this wonderful opportunity of cultural exchange," he says.
Boyce, also majoring in history and religion, specializes in poetry. David Kirby directed Boyce's Honors in the Major project, titled "Ah! Bright Wings," a 50-page compilation of his writings.
"William goes way beyond the often narrow borders of the undergraduate experience," Kirby says. "He’s a man of parts—his knowledge of books, history, philosophy, and other subjects goes way beyond that of the average undergraduate, and he works this knowledge into his writing in a manner that makes it richer than it would be otherwise. His high-calorie poems you want to devour them again and again."
Boyce will receive a Masters of Literature while at the University of Glasgow. He says, "At least in Scotland I won't be the palest person in the room. But in all seriousness, I want to thank those who encouraged and labored alongside me through the application process. This award is very much shared with them."
Eric Walker Wins SAMLA Book Award
The South Atlantic Modern Language Association awarded Eric Walker the 2010 SAMLA Book Award for his book, Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism: Wordsworth and Austen After War (Stanford UP, 2009). One reviewer praised Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism as "beautifully written, and the result of a career-long investment in a variety of issues whose uncanny connectedness is perhaps paramount among the study's many virtues." Rutgers University Professor William Galperin continues, writing that Walker's book is "as close to the paradigm of the scholarly book as a study is likely to get."
"SAMLA meetings were the first professional gatherings I began attending as a graduate student," Walker says, "so it is especially gratifying to be honored with an award from an organization that helped me learn to take those early professional steps."
Walker will be recognized during the Presidential Address at the November 6, 2010 SAMLA convention in Atlanta, where he will receive the award and a $1,000 prize.
For more on Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism, see Walker's recent profile.
Stan Gontarski wins Bogliasco Fellowship
S. E. Gontarski has been appointed Resident Fellow at the Bogliasco Foundation's Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy, for spring 2011. In residence at the Villa dei Pini, he will continue his work assessing the impact of Tennessee William's theatre in and on Europe, predominantly in and on Italy where Williams spent a significant amount of time.
Kristie Fleckenstein's Book Wins W. Ross Winterowd Award
Kristie Fleckenstein's book, Vision, Rhetoric, and Social Action in the Composition Classroom (Southern Illinois UP: 2009) has been selected by the Journal of Advanced Composition (JAC) as winner of the 2009 W. Ross Winterowd Award for the most outstanding book in composition theory. JAC is an interdisciplinary journal that publishes work on rhetoric, writing, culture, and politics and is recognized for its theoretical approach to issues in rhetoric and composition.
In a feature on fsu.com, Fleckenstein states that the award offers validation for her research and for her contribution to the scholarship in her field. "When researchers write a book, we believe pretty passionately in the argument we present and in the importance of that argument," she says. "But we don't always know if that belief resonates with our readers. An award of this stature provides that feedback. . . . That is a pretty heady experience."
Fleckenstein also gives credit to the English department for reinforcing the importance of teaching and for supporting the research process. "My colleagues are exceptionally generous in their intellectual and emotional support. It is quite simply a wonderful place to develop a scholarly project."
Ralph Berry says that the award confirms Fleckenstein's "tremendous scholarly achievement. This well-deserved honor is a source of pride for all her colleagues here."
For more on Vision, Rhetoric, and Social Action, see Fleckenstein's recent profile.
Recent Graduate Student News
Meaghan Brown Wins International Dissertation Fellowship
Meaghan Brown has been awarded an International Dissertation Semester Research Fellowship for 2011-2012.
Florida State's Graduate School offers the fellowships to advanced doctoral students to facilitate research and timely completion of a doctoral degree that requires extended research time abroad.
Meaghan, under Anne Coldiron's direction, is writing a dissertation that will produce an in-depth historical analysis of the print industry and English identity in the sixteenth-century. Her research on this project itself developed in part out of Meaghan's earlier research trip to London that was supported by a fellowship from the Bibliographical Society of America. In the coming year, she will be doing archival research at the British Library and in the Lincolnshire Archives.
Other Meaghan news: she has been accepted into a Folger Shakespeare Library Seminar, which brings together a selected group of scholars to study the History of the Company of Stationers, 1557-1710. This accomplishment follows the Bibliographical Society of America fellowship she won to do research at the British Library in the summer of 2010; in both cases she was competing with international scholars at all levels—from advanced graduate students to very senior professors.
The English Department made a strong showing at the recent College English Association national conference in San Antonio: Paul Ardoin (PhD, Literature), "The Affective Voice of the Author"; Jenise Hudson (PhD, Literature), "Killing the 'Strong Black Man': Re-reading of William Faulkner's 'Pantaloon in Black' from the New Theoretical Voice of the Black Male Feminist Perspective"; Fiona McWilliam (PhD, Literature), "Telling it Slant: Dorothy Allison's True 'Stories'"; and Aimee Wilson (PhD, Literature), "Lovely Monster: Unspoken Villainy in Richard Marsh's The Beetle."
Catherine Altmaier has received the Julia Burnett Bryant Award, given by the English department to a graduate student advanced in her doctoral study.
In October, Sator Press will officially release The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney, a novel, by Christopher Higgs (PhD, Literature). The book is current availably directly from the publisher's website.
<-->Pete Kunze (PhD, Literature) presented a portion of his dissertation, "Slaughterhouse 9/11: Foer, Vonnegut, and the Poetics of Atrocity," at the annual meeting of the American Literature Association in San Francisco. He also has three entries in the recently released Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Work (editors, Geoff Hamilton and Brian Jones).
Lucy Littler (PhD, Literature) has an article, "The Implications of 'Chosenness': Unsettling the Exodus Narrative as a Model for Black Liberation in Randall Kenan's A Visitation of Spirits," forthcoming in The Southern Literary Journal.
Josh McCall (MFA, Creative Writing) published "The Land of Cockaigne," a nonfiction piece, in The Florida Review (Winter 2009-10). His story "The Ballad of Scrub and Shelly" appeared in Surreal South '09.
April McCray (PhD, Literature) presented her paper "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, Mine's Better: Investigating Blues Ideology and Marriage in Black Women's Narratives" at the National Council for Black Studies Conference in New Orleans.
David Moody (PhD, Creative Writing) presented his paper "True Identity: Bakhtin, Superman, and 'the American Way'" at the 2010 Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery 20th Annual Conference at Colorado State University, Pueblo. He also presented "Poetically Controlling a Commodity of Attention" at the annual AWP conference in Denver.
Two translations by Jacob Newberry (PhD, Creative Writing) will be included in the forthcoming anthology, The Other Francophone World: Francophone Writers of Romanian Origin: Monique Jutrin's "The Trans-Cultural Journey of Benjamin Fondane" and Catherine Rossi's "French as the Language of Free Exchange in the Works of Panaït Istrati."
Natalie Perfetti (MA, Literature) published her chapbook moon's edge with Bronze Man Books. Atlas Poetica will soon publish her tanka sequence "At the Volcano's Rim" as well as her tanka trio "Dream Walk: A Summer Tanka Trio" (written with Randy Brooks and Carmella Braniger).
"Images of Enslavement and Emancipation in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own" by Deborah C. Solomon (PhD, Literature) will be published in the Enslavement and Emancipation volume (editor, Blake Hobby) of Bloom's Literary Themes (series editor, Harold Bloom).