Immersive learning. As Ball State students, or even local residents, it is difficult to have not encountered this phrase floating around in our daily lives: it’s everywhere from billboards to the university website. Unfortunately, I believe that a true understanding of the philosophy behind this phrase eludes many of us. Students and parents are told that Ball State is unique because of its commitment to immersive learning. We are told that we will be hard pressed to find other comparable universities that have this dedication to immersive learning. Where this might be an effective marketing strategy, the simple, and even unfortunate, truth remains that until the immersive learning approach is experienced first hand, its true benefits cannot be measured. And make no mistake that when I say “benefits,” I truly believe that immersive learning positions students (and even instructors on some level) to examine their strengths and utilize them in a manner that allows for the greatest amount of potential. Continue reading
Check out the latest installment of our “Good News” series, which highlights the accomplishments of the English Department’s graduate students and faculty. Here’s what they’ve been up to:
Victoria Barrett’s fiction press, Engine Books, released its first original title, Patricia Henley’s OTHER HEARTBREAKS, this month. Victoria coordinated the Writers’ Center of Indiana’s “Gathering of Writers” on Saturday, November 12th. Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin gave the keynote address, and twelve writers from around the state formed the faculty. Victoria also read her own fiction at The Writer’s Center of Indiana’s “Indy Underground” reading series on Thursday, September 29th, alongside emerging literary/crime fiction star Frank Bill.
Peter Bethanis has poems “The Deer in the Barns” and “American Future” forthcoming in the Anthony Hecht Poetry Anthology.
Jill Christman’s memoir Darkroom: A Family Exposure has been released in paperback. Recent essays (with accompanying author interviews), “Bird Girls” and “Nineteen Weeks and One Day,” were published last summer in Willow Springs and r.c.v.r.y respectively. In October, she had the pleasure of reading for Vouched Books Presents in Indianapolis and at the fifth annual Mother Words reading in Minneapolis. She’s looking forward to joining her creative writing colleagues—and as many students who can make the trip to the windy city—in Chicago next March at the AWP (Assoc. of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference where she will be reading in Ashland University’s Fifth Year Anniversary Creative Nonfiction reading (Sat., March 3, 2012 at 3 p.m.) and giving a paper on “The Rooted Narrator: Negotiating Time and Narrative Distance in Nonfiction” (Fri, March 2, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.).
Patrick Collier will be directing the London Center next fall. Also, he spoke at a roundtable on the work of Robert Scholes at the Modernist Studies Association in Buffalo in October and read a paper on “Literary and Imperial Spaces in the Illustrated London News” at the “Mediamorphosis” symposium, which he co-organized with Ann Ardis, at the University of Delaware in September.
A musical based on Cathy Day’s novel The Circus in Winter and written by Ball State students was performed by the Ball State Department of Theater and Dance in September and October. The musical sold out all eight of its performances, and the project sparked a number of interesting results, including a Ball State TV commercial. Prof. Day talks about it all on her blog, which can be found here: http://cathyday.com/2011/10/23/the-circus-in-links/#more-1284
Graduate students Tess Evans and Matt Balk attended the Indiana Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. They both completed the 4-week program in July this year. You can find more information, along with some photos, here: http://iwpnews.blogspot.com/2011/07/meet-2011-iwp-teacher-consultants.html
Graduate students Hideki Goya, Jiutian Cai, Qi Ding, and Alison Fecher were published in the 2011 INTESOL Journal as the authors of “Development of Vocabulary Use in ESL Composition.” (Qi graduated this summer and the rest are current graduate students.)
Robert D. Habich has been invited to write the chapter on Ralph Waldo Emerson for Oxford University Press’s new Oxford Bibliographies Online, an interactive web guide networked and linked to online journals, databases, and other electronic resources. He is also working on the essay on biography for the book Emerson in Context (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press) and will be one of three author society presidents giving opening talks at “Conversazioni in Italia,” a transatlantic conference to be held in Florence in June 2012.
Pamela Hartman and Lynne Stallings, with recent department alumni Luke Boggess and Phillip Call, presented “Bridging Literacies: Teaching ELLs to Use Visualization and Drama to Powerfully Create and Read Texts” at the November 2011 National Council of Teachers of English Convention in Chicago.
Mai Kuha presented a poster titled “Indiana Speakers’ Perceptions of Southern Indiana Speech: Nice and Slow” at the Diversity Research Symposium here at Ball State in October. Mai’s essay, “The Case of the Dog Who Ate Bamboo” was published recently in Language & Ecology. For a short commentary see http://www.ecoling.net/dogwhoatebamboo.pdf. Mai has also recently published an essay titled, “Degrees of Anthropocentrism in Accounts of Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions,” in Society & Animals.
Sean Lovelace’s stories “Three Histories” and “Elvis Visits the Blackjack Table” have been accepted by Hobart for its upcoming fall 2011 print issue on the theme of “Luck.” The Chattahoochee Review has accepted his flash fiction “University of A” for its upcoming fall 2011 print issue. Booth Magazine recently published Sean’s story, “Winesburg, Indiana: The Processed Cheese Product Man.” You can find the story here: http://booth.butler.edu/2011/10/07/winesburg-indiana-the-processed-cheese-product-man/. This story will later appear in a print anthology titled, Winesburg, Indiana, which is a homage to and a rewriting of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio. Sean’s new book, Fog Gorgeous Stag, was recently noted by two European reviewers, The Short Review (http://www.theshortreview.com/reviews/SeanLovelaceFogGorgeousStag.htm) and Red Fez (http://www.redfez.net/nonfiction/321)
Carolyn J. MacKay and Frank R. Trechsel presented a paper titled, “Relaciones internas de las lenguas totonaco-tepehuas” at the Conference on Indigenous Languages of Latin America V (CILLA) in October. They have a forthcoming publication, “A Sketch of Pisaflores Tepehua Phonology,” appearing in the International Journal of American Linguistics. Carolyn and Frank have also received $200,000 for an NEH Documenting Endangered Languages Grant to work on A Dictionary of Pisaflores Tepehua.
Michael Meyerhofer’s third poetry book, Damnatio Memoriae (winner of the 2011 Brick Road Poetry Book Contest) was just released, as was his fifth chapbook, “Pure Elysium” (winner of the 2nd Biennial Chapbook Contest from Palettes and Quills). His poem, “December Mourning,” was nominated for both the Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize, and he also recently had poems accepted by Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Indiana Review, Portland Review, and other journals. Two of Michael’s poems, “Dust” and “The Birthdays of Ex-Lovers,” were reprinted on Verse Daily, and he also had a literary fantasy novel accepted for publication, due out as an e-book in about a year. Last but not least, Michael recently gave readings and presentations for St. Fishers College and the Just Poets Group in Rochester, NY, and will be reading in St. Louis this month at the invitation of River Styx Magazine.
Jackie Grutsch McKinney has two forthcoming publications. The first is an article titled, “Beyond Tutoring: Mapping the Invisible Landscape of Writing Center Work” (written with Becky Jackson), and it will be published in the “Focus Articles” section of the Fall 2011 issue of Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. Jackie also has a book review (written with Ball State PhD student Emily Standridge) of “The Online Writing Conference” by Beth Hewitt, which is forthcoming in The Writing Center Journal.
Matt Mullins’ book “Three Ways of the Saw” will be out in February with Atticus Books. Check out the link for more information: http://atticusbooksonline.com/books/three-ways-of-the-saw.
Graduate student Ashley Murphy is involved in a project sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity. She will be interviewed and her class will be videotaped for a series of videos about diverse teaching pedagogies at Ball State. The videos should be available by Fall 2012.
Mark Neely’s book of poems, Beasts of the Hill, won the 2011 FIELD Poetry Prize, and will be published by Oberlin College Press in March 2012. He also has new poems forthcoming in Gulf Coast, The Pinch, PANK, and Hunger Mountain.
Miranda Nesler participated in the Fall 2011 Newberry Library History of the Book seminar, and she was also accepted onto a Shakespeare Association of America 2012 panel on “Non-Shakespearean Drama.” Miranda also received the Ball State Aspire New Faculty Start-Up Grant.
Webster Newbold’s article “Rhetoric, Fiction, and the Appetite for Model Letters in Renaissance England,” was published in Appositions: Studies in Renaissance/Early Modern Literature & Culture. For more information, check out this link: http://appositions.blogspot.com/2011/05/w-webster-newbold-rhetoric-fiction.html
Craig O’Hara’s story “Rodent Town” was published recently in the Main Street Rag Press anthology, Altered States. The Dos Passos Review also accepted his story “The Pawnshop” for publication in their upcoming issue.
Martha Payne gave the presentation ” Ἀναγνώσεως δε ἄξια πράγματα: Using Non-standard Texts in the Myth Classroom ” at the 107th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South in Grand Rapids, Michigan in April.
Rai Peterson was awarded a Provost’s Initiative Immersive Learning Grant. The grant will fund five student groups who will conduct archival research, create a digital humanities database, film oral history interviews, design products, create a traveling museum, and write a 5-year marketing plan for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis. This is a cooperative program between the English and Marketing Departments with support from the Provost’s Immersive Learning Fund, the Vice-President for Information Technology, and ten Indianapolis community sponsors. The funded classes will run during spring and summer semesters 2012, and will culminate with a visit from the new Traveling Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library on Ball State’s campus this summer.
Elizabeth M. Riddle presented a series of 3 invited lectures and 2 workshops on English Linguistics and TESOL at the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica (Brunca Regional Branch) in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica in October.
Mary Theresa Seig received a $1 million, two -year grant funded jointly through the State Department and the Iraqi Government (Higher Council for Educational Development in Iraq) to develop and aid in establishing an Intensive English Program linked to the Prime Minister’s Office to educate Iraqi scholarship students in English prior to their undergraduate or graduate study in an English-speaking country. Grant activities will include creating the curriculum, hiring and training 40 Iraqi instructors, and coordinating the teaching of English in Iraq in both live and DVC formats.
Jared Sexton’s story “It is Wide and It is Deep” was just nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Geralyn Strecker taught a spring 2011 VBC seminar that produced a documentary entitled Black Baseball in Indiana, which was selected for screening at the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual baseball film festival in Cooperstown, NY in September. The festival included 17 films, and Black Baseball in Indiana was the only student project. This was the documentary’s second screening at the Hall of Fame—the first was in June as the opening night event of the Cooperstown Symposium, an annual academic conference for baseball historians. Geralyn was also recently named book review editor for Black Ball: A Negro Leagues Journal.
Trey Strecker was named Coordinator for Ball State’s Indepartmental Minor in Sports Studies.