Department of English Newsletter: June 2015

in this issue

Grad Student Awards Ceremony/Faculty Notes/Ongoing Projects:William Rogers/Alumni News/Graduation 2015

English Graduate Student Awards Ceremony

On April 28th, the following awards were presented:

Adrian/Salomon Dissertation Fellowship:
Eric Earnhardt, fourth-year PhD
Cara Byrne, fourth-year PhD

Macintyre Essay Prize:
Eric Earnhardt, fourth-year PhD

Calhoun Poetry Prize:
Cammy Sray, second-year MA

Graduate Dean’s Instructional Excellence Award:
Thom Dawkins, third-year PhD

Pictured above, left to right, are Cammy Sray, Thom Dawkins, Eric Earnhardt, and Cara Byrne.


Wells Addington received the 2015 Writing Resource Center Excellence in Consulting Award.

Michael Clune‘s book Writing Against Time inspired this musical composition by Christopher Trapani.

Joseph DeLong‘s poem “Gathering” appears in issue 13 of Mantis.

Gusztav Demeter presented “Integrating simulations in a seminar based approach to EAP writing” at the 49th Annual International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) Conference and Exhibition in Manchester, United Kingdom, in April.

Malcah Effron gave a lecture at Sheffield Hallam University on Tuesday, May 11: “Narrative Fictions Teaching Facts: Introducing the Realism Effect.”

T. Kenny Fountain presented “From Analogy to Narrative: Trained Visions of Empathy in the Gross Anatomy Lab” at The 4th International Health Humanities Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Sarah Gridley’s “Poetry Makes Nothing Happen” was posted as part of Cuyahoga County Public Library’s “30 Days of Poetry.”

John Higgins recently published an article, “‘Servant obedience changed to master sin’: Performance and the Public Transcript of Service in the Overbury Affair and The Changeling” in the Journal of Early Modern Studies.

Denna Iammarino will present a paper, “There’s No Place Like Home: Spenser and the Pastoral as Poetic Retreat,” at the Fifth International Spenser Society Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Kristine Kelly‘s essay “Dangerous Insight: (Not) Seeing Australian Aborigines in the Narrative of James Murrells” is included in the collection The Geocritical Legacies of Edward W. Said: Spatiality, Critical Humanism, and Comparative Literature, edited by Robert Tally.

Dave Lucas‘s poem “November” will appear in the forthcoming Bedford/St. Martin’s anthology Thinking and Writing about Poetry, edited by Michael Meyer.

Marilyn Mobley has been awarded a Judson Smart Living Award in Education.

Gabrielle Parkin presented a paper,”Feeling Faith: Interpreting Private Lives from Medieval Books of Hours,” at Kelvin Smith Library on May 1st.

Jim Sheeler spoke to journalism and nonfiction creative writing students at Lorain Community College.

Robert Spadoni‘s article “New Worlds and Dark Traditions: Back Winding and Forward Propulsion in The Woman Came Back has been published in The Cine-Files.

Thrity Umrigar gave the opening keynote address at the Massachusetts Library Association Conference in Boston.

Ongoing Projects:
Manuscripts from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and Priory

by William Rogers

The foundations of the early English canon are increasingly the focus of a certain kind of scholarly attention, as late medievalists work to locate the spaces for scribal activities, identify the scribes copying the works of medieval authors, and complicate the boundaries among author, compiler, and scribe.

Of course, London of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries has proven essential to these scholarly endeavors, and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and Priory looms large in these narratives of scribal work and canon creation. John Shirley retired there, rented rooms, and copied manuscripts containing what we might call the greatest hits of Chaucer and John Lydgate. In his Survey of London, John Stow recalls St. Bartholomew’s again and again, describing Shirley’s tomb. Further, Stow owned several copies of manuscripts that were copied or held in the monastic library. And the sixteenth century sees an explosion of printing in and around St. Bartholomew’s, further cementing it as a place of great importance to the rise of the early English canon.

Currently, as a 2015-2016 Freedman Fellow, and with financial assistance from the Baker-Nord Center, I am exploring the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century manuscripts and scribes associated with this monastic foundation. The project consists of both a digital archive—created through Omeka—and a GIS map that will allow users to pinpoint and visualize the origins, journeys, and destinations of manuscripts copied and held at St. Bartholomew’s, along with information about dialect and scribe. The digital archive will present images of various documents and objects, including the twelfth-century seal certifying the foundation of St. Bartholomew’s, and facsimiles and transcriptions, which I will complete, of documents and manuscripts in Middle English and Latin.

Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 59, for example, demonstrates the kind of connections one might draw from texts in their manuscript contexts. Copied by John Shirley at St. Bartholomew’s, MS Ashmole 59 contains one of two extant versions of Henry Scogan’s Moral Ballad, a text supposedly written for Henry IV’s sons; a copy of John Lydgate’s “The Kings of England”; and a Middle English copy of the widely popular Secretum Secretorum. By describing and mapping these manuscripts, this project sheds light not only on what manuscripts were produced at St. Bartholomew’s, but also what copy texts would have been available to scribes working there.

These kinds of digital projects advance aims that are central and have been central to medieval studies and the humanities in a larger sense for centuries. As humanists, we should value access, and seek to make available knowledge that, for a number of reasons, is not open to the public. Digitization offers new avenues of access for materials that are often only available in research libraries, which necessitates a certain amount of money (traveling to England, Los Angeles, or Paris), privilege (letters of introduction from manuscript studies scholars), and a willingness to battle reluctant curators and archivists for access to manuscripts. By making more widely available these materials, I hope to show to my colleagues in and out of the field, and a public interested in Tolkien and Game of Thrones, another version of medieval England and its literary and documentary culture.

Alumni News

Danny Anderson (’12) has accepted the position of Assistant Professor of English at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania.

Shelley Bloomfield (’83) and Brad Ricca (’03) appeared at the Ohioana Book Festival in April.

Alum (’10) Iris Dunkle‘s poem “Let me Introduce you to the Season of Want” is up at Coal Hill Review‘s Summer Issue.

Nicole Marie Emmelhainz-Carney (’15) has a poem in the current issue of Foliate Oak.

Amy Kesegich (’01) and Mary Turzillo (’70) were among the poets invited to take part in “Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond” at Heights Arts.

Danielle Nielsen (’11) has just won the College of Humanities and Fine Arts Teaching Excellence Award from Murray State University. This year, she has also been awarded the College English Association’s Robert Hacke Scholar-Teacher Award.

Brandy Schillace (’10) will present “Steampunk Science” as one of three CWRU scholars participating in TEDxCLE 2015.

Carrie Shanafelt (’03) has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of British Literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Metropolitan Campus, in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Graduation May 2015

Nicole Marie Emmelhainz-Carney (PhD), Monica Orlando (PhD), Associate Professor Kimberly Emmons, Cammy Sray (MA), and Caitlyn Tierney (MA).

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