Miscellany – December 6, 2019

MARC student Sam Garcia has been selected as this year’s Outstanding Graduate Student in English.

MFA poetry graduate and Lecturer Melanie Robinson’s poem “Kaboom” was published in Black Bough Poetryhttps://ab383967-0580-4a42-9850-61bcae6657e9.filesusr.com/ugd/065db4_5cffa562ef404520a743896c16baf2fd.pdf

John Blair’s poem “The Shape of Things to Come” is the winner of the 2019 Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize. John will receive $1000, a two-year subscription to Duotrope, and publication in the February 2020 issue of The Ocotillo Review.

“Parable,” a poem by MFA poetry graduate and Lecturer Katherine Stingley, was named a top-four finalist for the 2019 Poetry Prize from The Penn Review. It will be published in the Spring issue next May.

Susan Morrison gave the keynote address, “Beyond the Language of Literary Waste: Gradual Affect, Enduring Impact, and Slow Practice,” at the International Colloquium: “Beyond Waste: Literature and Social Sciences in Dialogue” [“Au delà du déchet. Littérature et sciences sociales en dialogue”], held in Tours, France on November 19, 2019.

Steve Wilson’s poem “The gar” will appear in the February 2020 issue of The Ocotillo Review.  He’ll read at Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston) in January.

Rebecca Bell-Metereau’s Transgender Cinema has received the Outstanding Academic Title award from Choice. The books on this year’s list of awardees were selected from 4,800 reviews and includes 513 titles and 9 internet resources.  Choice explains that “winning titles have been selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatment of their subject.”

Anne Winchell has been awarded Nontenure Line Faculty Workload Release for Spring 2020, allowing her time to work on her young adult fantasy novel Rise of the Phoenix.

Miscellany – November 17, 2015


The following faculty were named “Favorite Professors” by Fall 2015 graduate student inductees to the Texas State chapter of Alpha Chi National Honor Society: Jennifer duBois, Nancy Grayson, Chad Hammett, Rebecca Jackson, Lindy Kosmitis, Jaime Mejia, Cecily Parks, Aimee Roundtree, Robert Tally, and Steve Wilson.

MA Literature student Matthew Hudson presented “Illuminators of the Multitude: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Populist Critique of the French Revolution” at the 40th annual conference for Society for Utopian Studies, held recently in Pittsburgh.

Michael Noll moderated the panel, “Jogging Memories,” at the Texas Book Festival. The panel featured Jill Alexander Essbaum and Keija Parssinen. He also moderated two panels at the Austin Film Festival: “Script-to-Screen: Saving Mr. Banks” with the film’s writer, Kelly Marcel, and director, John Lee Hancock; and “A Conversation with Chris Cooper,” featuring Cooper, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Adaptation. Both AFF panels will be turned into episodes of the PBS show On Story.

Miriam Williams has accepted an invitation to serve as guest speaker during Texas Tech University’s Ph.D. in Technical Communication & Rhetoric Program’s May Seminar, to be held May 22nd through June 4th, 2015.

MATC alumnus Dr. Travis Irby serves as Instructional Designer in Texas State University’s Office of Distance and Extended Learning. His areas of emphasis include self-paced studies and course production.

Several Texas State faculty and graduate students presented at the South Central Modern Language Association conference held in Nashville this past October: MFA fiction students Michaela Hansen, Josh Lopez and Graham Oliver; and faculty members Victoria Smith, Ross Feeler and Anne Shepherd.

One of Susan Hanson’s underwater photos, taken at Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, has been selected for an exhibition at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont. Her photograph was among 54 selected from approximately 600 entries. Judge for the event was Gary Braasch, an environmental photojournalist and writer who documents nature, environment, biodiversity, and climate change around the world.

Miscellany – November 9, 2015


Mark Busby presented “My Night with Ken Kesey” at the Western Literature Association in Reno, NV on Oct. 17.  The talk is based upon Kesey’s visit to San Marcos and Wimberley in 1994.

Rob Tally’s article “An American Bakhtin: Jonathan Arac, or, the Critic in the Age of the Novel” will appear in the next issue of symplokē.

Roger Jones’ poem “Government Bridge” has been accepted by Town Creek Poetry Journal.

At the upcoming Seventh International Research Conference for Graduate Students, sponsored by Texas State’s Graduate College, the following graduate students will present their work: Danielle McEwen will present “Connecting Past to Present: Using New Media Theory in Museum Website Development”; Edward Garza, “Renovating the House on Mango Street: Expanding Latinx Literature in First-Year Composition Classes”; Amanda Scott, The Subject is the Matter: Towards a More Inclusive Understanding of Hybrid Racial Identity in Technical Communication”; and Tyler Dukes, Coleridge and the Hypnagogic State: Blending Folklore and Fairy Tale to Create the Unconscious in “Christabel.”

MATC Alumna Alex Podwalny is Communications Executive with Mercom Capital Group in Austin.  Alex writes that Mercom is a hybrid communications and research firm with clients in the clean tech space.

MFA fiction student Stanislav Rivkin’s story, “How To Survive a Non-Funeral,” will appear in the next issue of Glimmer Train.

Vanessa Couto Johnson’s chapbook manuscript rotoscoping collage in Cork City (a sequence of poems that include quotes from the film Waking Life) will be published in 2016 by dancing girl press.

Dr. Jaime Mejia and MARC students Edward Garza and Clare Murray delivered papers on the panel “Strategies for Teaching Argument and Persuasion in Relation to Latin@ Literary and Cultural Spheres” at the Third Annual Trends in Teaching College Composition conference held this past October in McKinney, TX.

Miscellany – October 29, 2015


MFA poetry student Jason Duncan’s poems “The Botany of Absence,” “The Creation of Loneliness,” “Ghazal of Burning Silk,” “Neurology,” and “Pica” have been accepted for publication in Lamar University’s New Writers Series anthology.

Stephanie Noll’s essay, “The Myth of Gender,” can be found at Graceless: http://graceless.me/the-myth-about-gender/ [archived]. On October 18, Stephanie moderated “Behind the Barrel,” a conversation with authors Elliot Ackerman (Green on Blue) and Texas State graduate Brandon Caro (Old Silk Road) at the Texas Book Festival.

Susan Morrison published a blog post on the recent Texas Medieval Association conference, held at Texas State in October: http://grendelsmotherthenovel.com/2015/10/18/whats-so-medieval-about-texas/. A number of faculty and graduate students from the English Department participated.  MFA poetry student Dorothy Lawrenson received the award for the best essay by a Graduate Student presented at the conference.

On October 22, Alan Schaefer moderated a conversation with documentary filmmaker Pawel Wysoczanski on truth in documentary cinema. Mr. Wysoczanski visited Texas for the Austin Polish Film Festival. His most recent film, JUREK, a documentary about the famous Polish alpine climber Jerzy Kukuczka, was screened at the festival.

MFA fiction graduate Sarah Rafael Garcia’s short story “Little Secrets” (“Mentirillas” in Spanish), which she wrote during a workshop class with author Cristina Garcia, was recently published in English and translated in Spanish in Contrapuntos: http://www.amazon.com/Contrapuntos-III-Live-Anthology-Spanish-ebook/dp/B0163NM0XC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1445271054&sr=1-1&keywords=contrapuntos+iii [archived].

Cecily Parks and Susan Morrison will be reading from their latest books at the Travis Heights Art Trail in Austin on Saturday and Sunday November 7th & 8th.  For more information and the schedule of their readings, please check out this website: http://travisheightsarttrail.org/calendar-of-readings/ [archived].

On Thursday, 11/5, at 3:30 p.m. in FH 230, Dr. Mark Bracher will give a public talk titled “Developing Compassionate Identities through Literary Study.” The talk is part of the Therese Kayser Lindsey Visiting Scholar Series. Dr. Bracher is a leading figure in the cognitive humanities and literary study. His most recent book is Literature and Social Justice: Protest Novels, Cognitive Politics, and Schema Criticism (Univ. of Texas Press, 2013). He is Professor of English at Kent State University.

Miscellany – October 14, 2015


MFA fiction student and MARC alumnus Graham Oliver interviewed the writer David Lipsky for The Rumpus. Lipsky’s 2010 book about David Foster Wallace, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, was recently adapted into the film The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg.  You can read the interview here: http://therumpus.net/2015/09/the-rumpus-interview-with-david-lipsky/

Debra Monroe will be launching her new book, My Unsentimental Education, on Saturday, October 24 at 4 p.m. at BookPeople in Austin, on 6th & Lamar. At the event, there will be introductory remarks by Scott Blackwood, Texas State MFA program alumnus and award-winning author. Two chapters from the book have previously been cited as “Notable” in Best American Essays. Recent excerpts and essays she’s written about it include an essay in Salon; an essay titled “The Memoir of Discovery, Not Recovery” in Kirkus Reviews (widely shared on social media); an excerpt published by Longreads on Oct. 1, reposted by the Internet aggregator, Digg on Oct. 4. Enthusiastic reviews and feature stories have appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; The Dallas Morning News; the Minneapolis Star Tribune; the Houston Chronicle; the San Francisco Review of Books; the Wisconsin State Journal; and Amazon’s recommended books column, Omnivoracious. The review that best captures the unconventional spirit of the book appeared in the Chicago Tribune:


One of Susan Hanson’s photos, taken at Jacob’s Well, received first place in this year’s Texas Photographic Society Members Only Show, judged by Keith Carter. It was one of 50 images selected out of 1020 submissions. The show will open Dec. 10 at the TCC Photo Gallery in Longview: http://d19cgyi5s8w5eh.cloudfront.net/eml/ZvFNIrc7RlCcaGBcgr9OHg?e=carol.serur%40gmail.com&a=H6IyvOlWRZOw5re48l-mqg&f=5f8bee0a&t=1.

MFA poetry graduate and current Lecturer James Knippen will have two poems, “Beggars” and “Lilies,” published in an upcoming issue of Gulf Coast. His poem “Kitchen,” previously published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, will be included in The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, forthcoming from Lamar University Press.

MFA poetry student Ashton Kamburoff’s poem “For the Love of a Cadillac and a Cousin” has been accepted by Rose Red Review.

The Katherine Anne Porter House hosted an interview between Texas authors Mary Helen Specht and Nan Cuba.  The interview is featured in the October issue of Texas Monthly and can be found online: http://www.texasmonthly.com/list/the-10-writers-to-watch-and-read/mary-helen-specht-and-nan-cuba/.

Miscellany – September 17, 2015


Kathleen McClancy’s “Iron Curtain Man versus Captain American Exceptionalism: World War II and Cold War Nostalgia in Marvel’s War on Super-Terror” just came out in Marvel Comics’ Civil War and the Age of Terror: Critical Essays on the Comic Saga, from McFarland. Earlier this summer, “Atomic Housewives: *Shutter Island* and the Domestication of Nuclear Holocaust” came out in the June issue of the Journal of Popular Film and Television.

“No Dancing in Waco” and “Once, and Again After Midnight,” two poems by MFA poetry student Ashton Kamburoff, have been accepted by Shadowgraph Quarterly.

Becky Jackson will participate in the panel “The Extracurriculum Within Our Walls” at the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention. She will also co-chair (with Eric Leake) the annual meeting of the Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists at the conference.

Edna Rehbein, a Lecturer in the English Department and also an Assistant Vice Presdient for Academic Affairs, has been selected for an Alumnae Achievement Award by her alma mater, know formerly as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia but now coed and is simply Randolph College. She will receive the award in Virginia on September 19th and will have an opportunity to teach a class while there. She attended Randolph-Macon in the 1970s and earned an AB degree with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies, graduating with Honors and Magna Cum Laude. Upon graduation she received a Danforth Fellowship for graduate students to study in doctoral programs with the purpose of becoming university professors. Randolph College has a very strong history as a liberal arts college and many of its graduates continue with graduate and professional programs.

Miriam Williams and Octavio Pimentel’s Communicating Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Technical Communication, published in 2015 by Baywood Publishing Company, has been nominated for the 2016 Technical and Scientific Communication Awards sponsored by the Conference on College Composition & Communication.

MFA fiction graduate Sarah Rafael Garcia has been granted an artist-in-residence position at the Grand Central Arts Center in Santa Ana, California from March of 2016 through March of 2017, with which she will develop her of proposed Santana’s Fairy Tales, a collection is inspired by and including one of the feminist fairytales submitted in her MFA thesis. *Santana’s Fairy Tales* is an oral history, storytelling project that integrates community-based interviews to create contemporary fairytales and fables that represent the history and real stories of Mexican/Mexican-American residents of Santa Ana (inspired by the Grimms’ Fairy Tales). The exhibit will present a mixed media installation that will be curated in collaboration with local visual, musical, and performance artists. The exhibit will showcase a fully illustrated published book; an ‘open book’ performance with a narrator and actors; along with the band “Viento Callejero,” who will compose and play a score for a featured story out of the collection. The artist-in-residence position includes a $10,000 honorarium and an apartment in the downtown artist district (near the art center), as well as funds for the artists participating in the project and for all curating expenses. Santana’s Fairy Tales is supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through a grant supporting the Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center.

Miscellany – 4 September 2015


Allan Chavkin published “Looking at Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman through the Lens of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection Theory and Family Systems Theory” in the Spring 2015 issue of the Arthur Miller Journal. He presented “Bellow’s Death Comedy in an Early Draft of Henderson the Rain King at the American Literature Association Annual Conference, held this past May in Boston.

Octavio Pimentel’s book, Historias De ‘Exito within Mexican Comunities: Silenced Voices, in now out from Palgrave Macmillan. His paper “Opening the Gateway: The Power of Dual Language Composition Courses” has been accepted for presentation at the CCCC conference in Houston next spring; and “#RacistTweets: A Critical Analysis of the Ongoing Racism in Social Media” has been accepted for presentation at AESA 2015, to be held in San Antonio. In addition, he has agreed to a one-year term as a member of the 2016 National CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Awards Selection Committee, which recognizes outstanding books and articles in technical and scientific communication in six categories (best book, best original collection of essays, best article reporting qualitative or quantitative research, best article reporting historical research or textual studies, best article on philosophy or theory, and best article on pedagogy or curriculum).

Alan Schaefer’s essay “Reframing a Portrait: Flann O’Brien’s Interrogation of the Artist in ‘Cruiskeen Lawn’” will appear this winter in New Critical Perspectives on Franco-Irish Relations, volume 68 of the Reimagining Ireland series (Peter Lang International Academic Publisher).

In June, Susan Hanson presented “From Matagorda to Mad Island” at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment conference, held at the University of Idaho. In July, her photograph “At the Koi Pond” was one of 60, out of more than 750 submissions, chosen for a juried exhibit at A Smith Gallery in Johnson City. Also in June, two of her underwater photos from the San Marcos River were selected for the 11th Annual Naturescapes Exhibition at the San Marcos Activity Center Walkers’ Gallery. The exhibit will remain up until Sept. 11.

Rob Tally’s article, “The Geopolitical Aesthetic of Middle-earth: Tolkien, Cinema, and Literary Cartography,” translated into Russian by Arja Rosenholm, has now come out in her edited collection of essays, Topographies of Popular Culture(Moscow: New Literary Observer Books, 2015). In Russian, his article is titled “Геополитическая эстетика Средиземья: Толкиен, кино и литературная картография,” and the book information is here: http://www.nlobooks.ru/node/6226.

MATC faculty Scott Mogull and Deb Balzhiser co-authored “Pharmaceutical Companies are Writing the Script for Health Consumerism,” published in the August 2015 issue of Communication Design Quarterly as part of a special issue on medical rhetoric.

Marilynn Olson’s “John Ruskin and the Mutual Influences of Children’s Literature and the Avant-Garde” appears in Children’s Literature and the European Avant-Garde. She also presented at two summer conferences:  “Without Names: Defining Childhood as Audience for Pirate Tales,” at the International Research Society in Children’s Literature conference, held in Worcester, England this past August; and in June, “Billy Whiskers: Mrs. Montgomery Defines Freedom for Young America,” at the Children’s Literature Association International Meeting, held in Richmond, VA.

Miscellany – August 28, 2015


At the 2015 College of Liberal Arts Convocation, the following English faculty were recognized with awards: Kitty Ledbetter received a Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching, Rob Tally received a Presidential Distinction Award for Scholarly/Creative Activity, Steve Wilson received a Presidential Distinction Award for Service, and Kathleen McClancy received a College Achievement Award for Teaching.

Wendy Shan Wen, Professor and Vice Dean in the College of Foreign Studies at South China Agricultural University, is spending the 2015-16 academic year as a Visiting Research Scholar. Professor Wen will work with Steve Wilson.

On Wednesday, August 12, Stephanie Noll raised over $500 and collected several boxes of books for Old Books for New Teachers, her project that supports first-year teachers by helping them build classroom libraries. The fundraiser was a part of Five Things, a reading series that takes place every other month in Austin.

Benjamin Reed’s essay, “Technologies of Instant Amnesia: Teaching Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Harrison Bergeron’ to the Millennial Generation,” was published in the Spring 2015 issue of Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice: http://www.cpcc.edu/taltp/spring-2015-8-1 [archived].

Kitty Ledbetter presented her paper,“’Five O’Clock Tea’ and Dickens’ Young Man: Edmund Yates as Columnist for The Queen,” at the annual conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, held in Ghent, Belgium on July 10. In addition, she has been appointed Assistant Director of Faculty Development for Texas State: her duties will be to coordinate the New Tenure Track Faculty Orientation each fall and the Program for Excellence in Teaching and Learning events throughout the academic year.

Katie Kapurch’s article, “Rapunzel Loves Merida: Melodramatic Expressions of Lesbian Girlhood and Teen Romance in Tangled, Brave, and Femslash,” appears in the Journal of Lesbian Studies.

Steve Wilson’s poem “Selections from a Sketchbook of Birds” will appear in the fall issue of Borderlands.

Miscellany – August 10, 2015


Texas State was represented at the annual Children’s Literature Association conference, held this year in Richmond, Virginia, by Marilynn Olson and Graeme Wend-Walker. Marilynn presented “Billy Whiskers (1902-1930):  Mrs. Montgomery Defines Freedom for Young America,” and Graeme presented “The Excluded Middle in Political Criticism: How Did ‘Liberty’ and ‘Death’ Become the Only Options?”

Keith Needham’s former student teacher and English major, Jonathan Sixtos, has been named Texas Region III Teacher of the Year. He now will advance to compete at the state level.

The 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize has been awarded to John Blair’s Playful Song Called Beautiful. This year’s judge was University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop visiting professor Craig Morgan Teicher, who wrote of the book that “… rolling tercets become the unlikely medium for all manner of slippery, expansive, and emotive thinking. For Blair, poetry’s shifting, mutable meaning is ‘all the comfort you need, all/ thecomfort you get.’” Playful Song Called Beautiful is Blair’s third book of poetry. His work has appeared in literary journals such as Poetry, The New York Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, The Antioch Review, and New Letters. His poetry collection The Green Girls won the 2003 Lena-Miles WeverTodd Poetry Prize; and his short story collection American Standard was awarded the 2002 Drue-Heinz Literature Prize.

MFA Fiction graduate 2012 Evan McMurry has been working as a writer for the small, feisty, always intelligent and well-written political blog Mediaite. He’s just accepted a position as Political Editor for ABC News.

Amanda Scott’s nonfiction piece “Cherry Blossom appears in the latest issue of Word Riot: http://www.wordriot.org/archives/8229 [archived]. Amanda is graduate student (currently MATC, formerly MFA) in the English Department at Texas State.

Alan Schaefer presented “Comic Art and the Music Posters of Austin, Texas” on July 3 at the Amsterdam Comics Conference at the University of Amsterdam.

Annie Shepherd’s essay “Life Outside the Straw” appears in the North Dakota Quarterly.

17 June 2015 – Miscellany


Recent graduate Nathan Machart, winner of the 2013 and 2014 Gates Thomas Award from Persona, has a story, “Poor, Bleeding Country,” forthcoming in Carolina Quarterly.

Cecily Parks’ poem “Morning Instructions for the Doctor’s Wife” appears in the June 22 issue of The New Yorker.

Graduate student Katherine Stingley has been awarded one of only 17 Celebrity Classic Scholarships. The award is a highly competitive multi-year scholarship from Texas State, providing up to $1,500 per semester for the student’s remaining hours in the degree. This year, over 400 students applied for the scholarship.

MATC alumna Whitney Lacey has accepted a position as a Content Specialist at Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in Austin, Texas.  EA develops and publishes EA Sports titles, The Sims, and many other popular videos games. Whitney will write HELP articles and documentation to support EA games.

Susan Morrison’s latest book, The Literature of Waste, is out from Palgrave Macmillan.

MA Literature student Tyler Dukes presented “Sacred Time and Ritualistic Behavior at Harry Potter Book Releases and Film Premieres,” at the June 2015 Fandom and Neomedia Studies (FANS) Conference, hosted by A-Kon in Dallas. The same article will be published in the July edition of The Phoenix Papers, an online peer-reviewed journal.

Michel Conroy, Chair of the Faculty Senate, sent the following note to Dr. Lochman, Chair of the English Department: “To encourage recognition of faculty service on the Faculty Senate and its sixteen committees, as well as the twenty-one university level committees to which the Faculty Senate makes appointments, I am forwarding a list of English faculty serving on these committees for the 2014-2015 academic year: Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau:  Faculty Senate, Supplemental Award Review Committee, University Council; Dr. Roger Jones:  Faculty Handbook Committee; Ms. Amanda Meyer:  Adjunct Faculty Committee Liaison; Dr. Victoria Smith:  Honor Code Council; Dr. Miriam Williams:  Library Committee; Mr. Steve Wilson:  University Arts Committee; Ms. Sarah Youree:  Budget Committee. Thank you for serving on the Academic Governance Committee this year.  Although there are additional university committees on which faculty may serve, in 2014-2015, thirty-eight College of Liberal Arts faculty served on these thirty-seven committees, eight (including you) from the Department of English.”