News & Events (Archive)
Recent News and Events
Department Newsletter - A Year in Review, 2012
Check out the Department Newsletter for a review of highlights from this year.
Graduate and Undergraduate Student Conference on Literature, Composition, and Rhetoric - March 23-24
The Xi Alpha chapter of Sigma Tau Delta will host a graduate and undergraduate student conference on literature, composition, and rhetoric on March 23-24. Students are invited to submit proposals to present critical work. The conference flier contains relevant information.
Questions should be directed to Laurel Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Balázs Publishes Omicron Ceti III!
A triptych of nine darkly comic stories, Omicron Ceti III treads on the margins of American middle class intelligentsia. A high school English teacher rumored to be an undercover agent for the FBI, an international investment banker driven to extremes in his quest for a culinary soul mate, and an orthodontist’s son obsessed by the number three are a few typical characters in this literate, playful, and sometimes disturbing collection. Balázs incorporates drawings, lists, and allusions ranging from Star Trek to Middlemarch, testing the boundaries between high and low, comedy and pathos, light and dark. Visit Dr. Balázs' website.
Robert Pinsky Visit - February 7th
[24 January 2012]
On February 7th, former US Poet Laureate, Dr. Robert Pinsky, will be on campus. English majors, graduate students, and faculty have a unique opportunity to visit with Dr. Pinsky throughout the day. All are invited to atttend:
- 11:00-12:00 – Poetry Forum (discussion of craft and Q&A with English majors, grad students, and faculty), Raccoon Mountain Room (UC)
- 1:30-2:45 – The Work in/of Translation: Dante's Inferno (discussion of the text, plus Q&A with a more general audience of students and faculty), Raccoon Mountain Room (UC)
- 7:00 p.m. - Public lecture; Roland Hayes Auditorium (Fine Arts Center).
More on Pinsky's visit is available here.
Fall 2011 Meacham Writers' Workshop
[16 Nov 2011]
THe Fall 2011 Meacham Writers' Workshop is featured in Chapter 16, a publication of Humanities Tennessee. Read the feature review from Chapter 16 from 2011
Sybil Baker Publishes Second Novel, Talismans
[22 Feb 2011]
Assistant Professor of English Sybil Baker is celebrating the release of her second book, Talismans. Talismans follows Elise from her suburban Virginia town to Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and more as she searches for a connection - with the ghost of her Vietnam veteran father, with other travelers, with the foreign culture and environment she experiences - and struggles to decide what she must hold onto, and what she must leave behind.
David Jauss, author of Black Maps and Alone with All That Could Happen calls the book "a contemporary Heart of Darkness." Patricia Henley, author of Hummingbird House and In the River Sweet, says about the protagonist, "The young woman is brave; Sybil Baker is brave, as well, for writing with such keen honesty." Anis Shivani from the Huffington Post calls Baker "an emerging star in fiction."
The allure and alienation of American travelers and expatriates have heavily influenced Baker's writing. Her first novel, The Life Plan, about a D.C. patent attorney who follows her husband to Thailand to save her marriage, was published in 2009 by Casperian Books. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Upstreet, Transnational Literature, and The Writers' Chronicle. After living abroad for twelve years, Baker returned to the United States in 2007 and is currently an Assistant Professor of English at UTC. Talismans was published by C&R Press, a literary press committed to publishing books from new and emerging writers whose work might otherwise be ignored by commercial publishers. Talismans is available at crpress.org and amazon.com.
Richard Jackson Publishes Two New Books in 2010
[16 Nov 2010]
Richard Jackson, UTNAA Professor of English at UTC, has published two books this year. Resonance, a book of poems, appeared in the spring and has been praised by numerous writers and critics including Pulitzer Prize winner James Tate, who called Jackson "one of our most important poets." He also translated, with two other poets, Giovanni Pascoli's Last Voyage: Selected Poems, which appeared in October 2010.
Jackson, who is regularly a guest writer at the Prague Summer Program, Iowa summer Programs, Slovenia Translation Workshop, and Vermont College of Fine Arts Program, and other programs across the country, has previously earned the prestigious AWP (Associated Writing Programs) George Garrett Award for teaching, and Guggenheim, Fulbright, NEA, NEH, and Witter-Bynner fellowships for writing. He has also received the Order of Freedom medal from the President of Slovenia for his Humanitarian and Literary work in the Balkans. A winner of a reader's Choice award from Prairie Schooner Magazine, the Crazyhorse Prize, Juniper Prize, Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, his work appears in dozens of journals. He has published 10 books of poems, two anthologies of Slovene poetry, a critical book, 2 books of translations, several chapbooks of translations, a book of interviews, and has edited several books by European poets. His poems have been translated and published in 15 different languages and he has won five Pushcart prizes, a Choice Award, and Agee Award, as well as Appearing in Best American Poets and the Pushcart Book of Poetry anthology. He has also edited special sections of Poetry International and Hunger Mountain, and edits Poetry Miscellany and the PM East European Chapbook Series. He has also published nearly 100 reviews, essays and book introductions. A winner of college and system teaching awards at UTC and the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he has given about 100 readings and workshops and universities here and abroad including Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, Bosnia and Slovenia. Jackson's poetry students have won numerous awards: they have published around 50 books, and 100% of his UTC Students have won fellowships to the best MFA programs in the country, a record no other program can equal, and which helps rank UTC's Creative Writing Program as among the very top undergraduate programs in the country. Jackson founded the UTC Creative Writing Abroad Program 20 years ago which takes 10-15 students for three weeks a year to meet writers and students in Europe, a program he also adapted for Vermont College, and advised for several other national programs. He founded and directs the bi-annual Meacham Writers' Workshop which has achieved an international reputation for its teaching and its philosophy of a free and open conference where students, faculty and townspeople mix with internationally known writers. Jackson joined the UTC faculty in 1976 after earning his PhD at Yale, and teaches in the University Honors Program as well as the English Department. He is married to Teresa Harvey.
Aaron Shaheen's New Book Published: Androgynous Democracy...
[30 Jun 2010]
A new book by Dr. Aaron Shaheen, UC Foundation Assistant Professor of English, is now available from The University of Tennessee Press. Androgynous Democracy: Modern American Literature and the Dual-Sexed Body Politic examines how the notions of gender equality propounded by transcendentalists and other nineteenth-century writers were further developed and complicated by the rise of literary modernism. Dr. Shaheen specifically investigates the ways in which intellectual discussions of androgyny, once detached from earlier gonadal-based models, were used by various American authors to formulate their own paradigms of democratic national cohesion. Indeed, Henry James, Frank Norris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, John Crowe Ransom, Grace Lumpkin, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Marita Bonner all expressed a deep fascination with androgyny - an interest that bore directly on their thoughts about some of the most prominent issues America confronted as it moved into the first decades of the twentieth century. Shaheen not only considers the work of each of these seven writers individually, but he also reveals the interconnectedness of their ideas. He shows that Henry James used the concept of androgyny to make sense of the discord between the North and the South in the years immediately following the Civil War, while Norris and Gilman used it to formulate a new model of citizenship in the wake of America's industrial ascendancy. The author next explores the uses Ransom and Lumpkin made of androgyny in assessing the threat of radicalism once the Great Depression had weakened the country's faith in both capitalism and religious fundamentalism. Finally, he looks at how androgyny was instrumental in the discussions of racial uplift and urban migration generated by Du Bois and Bonner.
Visit the University of Tennessee Press catalog.
Bryan Hampton Wins UT Alumni Association Teaching Award
[5 Jan 2009]
Dr. Bryan Hampton, Assistant Professor of English and Co-ordinator of UTC's Humanities program, was recently honored as 2008 Outstanding Teacher by the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association. The distinction, which honors classroom excellence and unusual committment to students, is given each year to only two faculty members from each of the four UT system campuses. Past winners from the UTC English department include Professors Edgar McDowell Shawen, Katherine Rehyansky, Christopher Stuart, Gregory O'Dea, Immaculate Kizza, and Earl Braggs.
Richard Jackson Wins Garrett Award from Associated Writing Programs
[5 Jan 2009]
Richard Jackson, UTNAA Professor of English at UTC, has won the prestigious AWP (Associated Writing Programs) George Garrett Award. The award is given once a year to a nationally prominent writer who has contributed to the art and will be presented at the Annual AWP Conference in Chicago. Jackson, who has also taught at the Prague Summer Program, Iowa summer Programs and Vermont College of Fine Arts Program, as well as programs across the country, has previously earned Guggenheim, Fulbright, NEA, NEH, and Witter-Bynner fellowships for writing. He has also received the Order of Freedom medal from the President of Slovenia for his Humanitarian and Literary work in the Balkans. A winner of a reader's Choice award from Prairie Schooner Magazine, Crazyhorse and other journals, he was nominated for the Garret Award by numerous former students, colleagues and internationally known writers. He has published 9 books of poems, two anthologies of Slovene poetry, a critical book, several chapbooks of translations, and a book of interviews. His poems have been translated and published in 15 different languages and he has won 5 Pushcart prize appearances in the Pushcart Anthology, a Choice Award, and Agee Award, as well as Appearing in Best American Poets and the Pushcart Book of Poetry Anthology. He has also edited special sections of Poetry International and Hunger Mountain, and edits Poetry Miscellany and the PM East European Chapbook Series. He has also published nearly 100 reviews, essays and book introductions. A book of translations of the Italian poet, Pascoli and a book of his own poems, Resonance, will appear in the next two years. A winner of college and system teaching awards at UTC and the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he has given about 100 readings and workshops and universities here and abroad including Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, Bosnia and Slovenia. Jackson's poetry students have won numerous awards: they have published around 50 books, and 100% of his UTC Students have won fellowships to the best MFA programs in the country, a record no other program can equal, and which helps rank UTC's Creative Writing Program as one of the top couple of programs in the country. He founded the UTC Creative Writing Abroad Program 20 years ago which takes 10-15 students for three weeks a year to meet writers and students in Europe, a program he also adapted for Vermont College, and advised for several other national programs. He founded and directs the bi-annual Meacham Writers' Workshop which has achieved an international reputation for its teaching and its philosophy of a free and open conference where students, faculty and townspeople mix with internationally known writers. He is assisting UTC Prof. Sybil Baker in founding an annual writers conference at UTC for high school, college, and graduate students as well as post-graduates next August. Jackson joined the UTC faculty in 1976 after earning his PhD at Yale, and teaches in the University Honors Program as well as the English Department. He is married to Teresa Harvey.
Bryan Hampton and Rebecca Cook Honored for Teaching and Scholarship
[Nov 28, 2006]
Two members of the English department faculty were recently presented with College of Arts and Sciences Awards at UTC's Faculty Honors Day. Dr. Bryan Hampton, Assistant Professor of English and Co-ordinator of Humanities, won the College's Outstanding Teaching Award. Rebecca Cook, Lecturer, won the College's Outstanding Creative Scholarship Award. Congratulations to both for these important recognitions!
Dr. Jennifer Beech's Scholarship Named by the Chronicle of Higher Education
[Nov 28, 2006]
For the second time since coming to UTC, Dr. Jennifer Beech's scholarship has been recognized in the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the November 17, 2006 print and online versions of the Chronicle, Beech's lead chapter from the book Reflections from the Wrong Side of the Tracks: Class, Identity, and the Working Class Experience in Academe (Rowman and Littefield, 2006) is detailed in Robin Wilson's review of the book. In June 2004, Professor Beech's co-authored article, "The Work Before Us," was recognized on the front page of the online Chronicle as an important piece of scholarship for English studies. With Professors Ira Shor (CUNY) and William Thelin (University of Akron), Professor Beech is the co-chair of the Working-Class Culture and Pedagogy Special Interest Group of the Conference on College Composition and Communications.
Dr. Edgar McDowell Shawen Named UTNAA Outstanding Teacher
[May 10, 2006]
Dr. Edgar McDowell Shawen, Associate Professor of English, was recently honored as 2006 Outstanding Teacher by the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association. The distinction, which honors classroom excellence and unusual committment to students, is given each year to only two faculty members from each of the four UT system campuses. Past winners from the UTC English department include Professors Katherine Rehyansky, Christopher Stuart, Gregory O'Dea, Immaculate Kizza, and Earl Braggs.
Dr. Richard Jackson's Poetry and Prose Featured in Online Literary Magazines
[Jan 23, 2006]
The January 2006 issue of The Cortland Review, a prize-winning online literary magazine, features five new poems and an essay by Dr. Richard Jackson, UC Foundation Professor of English at UTC. Jackson's poems are presented as text and with audio; his essay, "Language-Driven Poetry: An Introduction to the Principle of Generating Poems," "begins with Dante and Petrarch and walks us through poems of Wordsworth, Keats, Robert Frost, Andre Breton, Cesare Pavese, Richard Wilbur, Wislawa Szymborska, Anna Akhmatova, all the way to Heather McHugh to demonstrate that the imaginative vision possible to us through poetry exists not in the dressing up of ideas, feelings or events that the poet tries to find words to describe, but in its exploration of language, 'not merely a record, but a gesture always trying to escape itself, escape our human condition towards something universal...'."
Jackson has also recently collaborated on a multimedia presentation of his poem "Midnight" in Born Magazine.
Dr. Gregory O'Dea Receives Humanities in Medicine Award
[Nov 5, 2005]
The Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Physicians has named Dr. Gregory O'Dea, UC Foundation Professor of English and Director of UTC's interdisciplinary honors program, as the 2005 recipient of the Clifton R. Cleaveland Humanities in Medicine Award. The award recogonizes outstanding contributions to humanism in medicine, as well as scholarly achievement in history, literature, philosophy, and ethics. In presenting the award during the Tennessee ACP's annual meeting in Nashville, Dr. Stephen Miller, Governor of the College, noted Professor O'Dea's "deep awareness of the importance of humane letters, particularly literature and history, to the work of physicians" as well as his "unstinting commitment to teaching medical humanities, and his invaluable contributions to the success of the humanities and medicine programs he directs in Tennessee, Georgia, and at the national level. His teaching expertise is legendary; at each venue, his workshops and lectures are over-subscribed. His devoted audience for the Tennessee programs alone is drawn from over half a dozen states."
Dr. O'Dea also delivered the keynote address at the conference, entitled "Who are the Humanists?: Reading and (Re)Writing the Human Body."
Dr. Jennifer Beech Elected to CCCC Nominating Committee
[Oct 12, 2005]
Dr. Jennifer Beech, Assistant Professor of English and Writing Center Director, has won a national election for a seat on the 2006 Nominating Committee for the Conference on Composition and Communication (CCCC). CCCC, an affiliate organization of National Council of Teachers of English, supports and promotes the teaching and study of college composition and communication by 1) sponsoring meetings and publishing scholarly materials for the exchange of knowledge about composition, composition pedagogy, and rhetoric; 2) supporting a wide range of research on composition, communication, and rhetoric; 3) working to enhance the conditions for learning and teaching college composition and to promote professional development; and 4) acting as an advocate for language and literacy education nationally and internationally. As a member of the Nominating Committee, Beech will work with other CCCC elected officials to nominate dedicated and qualified CCCC members for a variety of important committees within the organization.
Faculty Publications and Awards
Sybil Baker’s recent fiction projects include Into This World, a novel which is forthcoming August 2012. She will publish "The Age of Spiritual Machines" in Prime Number this Fall. “Women Who Smoke” will be published in the summer issue of Prime Mincer, and “Agamemnon’s Wife Speaks from Hades” is due out in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts in August. Sybil’s nonfiction includes “Anis Shivani: Anatolia and Other Stories” (Prairie Schooner, Summer 2011), and "Author Talk: Xu Xi and Sybil Baker" Daily s-Press, June 2011). This summer, Sybil taught in the MFA program at City University of Hong Kong
Sarah Coffman successfully acquired an Access and Diversity Grant for $10,000 to fund stipends for underrepresented students to become Student Ambassadors for the new ThinkAchieve Student Awards Program (part of the QEP).
Bryan Hampton’s publications since last summer include “Purgation, Exorcism, and the Civilizing Process in Macbeth” (Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900), a book review of Joad Raymond’s Milton’s Angels: The Early-Modern Imagination (Renaissance Quarterly) and his manuscript Fleshly Tabernacles: Milton & the Incarnational Poetics of Revolutionary England has been accepted for publication with U. Notre Dame Press. Congratulations, Bryan!
Rick Jackson won The Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry for Resonance (Ashland Poetry Press). He also had papers accepted at Cerise Press in Paris (“The Elegy of Style, The Style of Elegy”) [ 21 pp], and at Primerjalna Knjizevnost in Slovenia (“Human Hearts Are Small and Cages Are Big: Political Poetry From and American Perspective”) [18pp]. Rick had 20 poems accepted at 11 journals: Georgia Review, Café Review, Atlanta Review, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, Brilliant Corners, Cutthroat, Upstreet, Salon 615, Borderlands, and Southern Poetry Anthology. He was interviewed for Blackbird Magazine which will appear this Fall. Amidst workshops and readings, Rick, with Rebecca Cook and their respective spouses, took a group of creative writing students to Rome and surrounding places for two weeks of cultural sightseeing and workshops.
Chad Littleton became Dr. Chad Littleton on August 5th when he completed his PhD in English Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Andrew McCarthy was awarded the J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize Honorable Mention for best dissertation in Shakespeare studies by the Shakespeare Association of America. His co-edited collection of essays, Staging the Superstitions of Early Modern Europe is forthcoming (2012) through Ashgate Press. Andrew’s essay on King Lear and masculine grief will appear in the collection, Violent Masculinities, eds. Jennifer Feather and Catherine Thomas, and his essay "Marlowe's Ars Moriendi has been solicited for publication by Marlowe Studies.
Tiffany Mitchell taught the writing portion of UTC's School of Nursing (SON) DREAMWork program this summer.
Andrew Najberg got married over the summer, and his poem "Reverence" was accepted for publication in the North American Review. Likewise, his poem "Getting it Right" will be published in Nashville Review.
Aaron Shaheen and his family traveled to Austria. "Androgyny and Social Upheaval: The Gendered Pretext of John Crowe Ransom's New Critical Approach" coming out in an edited collection through Ohio State University Press.
Charles Sligh traveled with students to London and taught a course titled “London Underworlds & Otherworlds” between July and August. The class had an enrollment of 14 students, including eight students from UTC. Highlights included watching a fabulous production of "Much Ado about Nothing" at Shakespeare's Globe, attending Choral Evensong at St. Paul's, visiting London's Roman Amphitheatre (recently discovered below the medieval crypt of Guildhall), and drinks one evening in the garden behind the Spaniard's Inn (built 1585).
Richard Jackson and Sybil Baker Lead Students on a Creative Writing Tour of Europe
[August 15, 2008]
This past May Professors Richard Jackson and Sybil Baker led a group of UTC creative writing students and alumni on a three-week tour of Europe, including prolonged stays in Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. You can read Rowan Johnson's full report -- with pictures -- here (pdf document).
Herbert Martin Inaugurates Paul Laurence Dunbar Celebration
[Sep 20, 2006]
When: Wednesday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Roland Hayes Concert Hall
One hundred years after Paul Laurence Dunbar's death, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is sponsoring a year-long celebration of his life and work. The initial event occured October 4 when Herbert Martin, an internationally acclaimed scholar and interpreter of the works of Dunbar, brought his one-man performance to Chattanooga.
Through dramatic portrayals of Dunbar's work, Martin has captivated audiences for more than three decades. A poet himself, with six published volumes, Martin is widely acknowledged as Dunbar's foremost interpreter. He actually dresses in the role of Dunbar and performs, rather than reads, a wide variety of Dunbar's work.
Growing up in Alabama, Martin says that he felt the spirit of Dunbar hovering over him, but in a rather negative way. His physical resemblance to America's first nationally-acclaimed African American poet was often noted, and teachers frequently asked him to read Dunbar's poetry aloud. Martin grew irritated at the comparisons and was thus inclined to turn away from Dunbar.
When he accepted a position at the University of Dayton in 1970, however, he found himself in Dunbar's native city, and he began to study Dunbar. His attitude toward Dunbar changed rapidly, and he soon became a champion of Dunbar's poetry. In 1972 he organized a Dunbar festival that attracted top African-American poets.
That same year he also began performing his one man show, expanding on his earlier experiences reading in coffee houses. Martin presents both the works written in standard English and those in the dialect of the black community of Dunbar's day. He even sings some of Dunbar's verses, emphasizing the musical nature of the poetry. He also captures the humor inherent in much of Dunbar's work, emphasizing that Dunbar had the ability to see humor in nearly everything.
Martin has performed numerous times for schools, reading clubs, the general public, Black Entertainment Television, cable television, and even a Fortune 500 company. He is also an accomplished scholar, teacher, poet, and musician. A biography entitled Herbert Woodward Martin and the African American Tradition in Poetry traces his career as a writer and performer. The Mellon Poetry Prize, an honorary doctorate from the University of Dayton, a Fulbright Scholarship, the 2002 Governor's Award for the Arts (Ohio), and the Mark Twain Award for Creative Writing are among the numerous awards given to Martin.
The event is sponsored by the Departments of English,
Music, and Art and is free to the public.