Monthly Archives: January 2013

First Friday Series: Geri Strecker

This semester’s First Friday Series will kick off with February’s installment featuring English faculty member Geri Strecker. Geri will speak on the subject of Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) in the composition classroom and discuss teaching and tutoring strategies to help students with AS succeed. Her research on this topic won a Writing Program Summer Research Fellowship Award in 2012. Be sure to join us at 4 PM on February 1st in RB 125 for this exciting and informative event.

FF4 Flyer Geri

Creative Writing Major Jeremy Flick Discusses His Digital Publishing Minor

In our latest post, senior Creative Writing major Jeremy Flick comments on the potential intersections between the world of writing and the publishing industry. Below, Jeremy discusses his ambitions to write, design, and print as well as how Ball State’s Digital Publishing minor is helping him bridge the gap between these interests. Continue reading to see what the Digital Publishing minor has to offer and how it can help English majors interested in a career related to publishing and print production.


*Photo provided by Jeremy Flick.

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Tyler Fields Recommends “The Collected Stories” by Amy Hempel

Last Friday we introduced “Recommended Reads,” a new segment in which Ball State students and faculty contribute a short review of a recommended piece of literature. Continue below to read our second installment in the series, which features Tyler Fields, a BSU Senior Creative Writing major, who reviews The Collected Stories by Amy Hempel.

Amy Hempel’s The Collected Stories was recommended to me four years ago as I entered into my Creative Writing degree. As a product of canonized, award-winning, or mass market novels, I had little exposure to independent or short-form fiction growing up. Hempel’s collection inspired me to discover and explore various styles of writing. Her stories also helped me envision those themes and narrative elements I find most important, not only in my own writing, but in all art. Whether to discover your own writing voice or to experience Hempel’s incomparable narratives, The Collected Stories is a book worth reading.

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Alisha Layman Studies Abroad in Greece with the Kentucky Institute for International Studies

In the following blog post, Dr. Paul Ranieri writes about a summer study abroad program to Greece that he frequently teaches in.  In the post, Dr. Ranieri shares the experiences of Alisha Layman, a Creative Writing major who recently completed the program.

*Photo provided by Alisha Layman

*Photo provided by Alisha Layman

Alisha Layman (Creative Writing) always wanted to go to Greece as far back as she can remember.  “When I was in third grade I picked up my first Greek mythology book and I’ve been in love with Greece and mythology ever since. So then I heard about the KIIS Greece trip when I was a freshman at Ball State, and I determined I was going to go before I graduated.”

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Dr. Andrea Powell Wolfe Recommends “Room” by Emma Donoghue

This semester we are introducing Recommended Reads, a new segment in which Ball State students and faculty contribute a short review of a recommended piece of literature. Continue below to read our first installment in the series, Dr. Andrea Wolfe’s review of Room by Emma Donoghue. Be sure to check back for a new Recommended Reads post every Friday.

A thrilling and often heart-wrenching page-turner, Emma Donoghue’s Room also serves as a study of the stages of psychosexual development set out by Lacan and revised by later feminist psychoanalytic theorists.  The novel is narrated by Jack, a seemingly contented boy of five who, at the beginning of the story, has never left the single-room apartment that he shares with his mother.  The only person to enter and exit the room is Old Nick, who comes in the night after Jack is supposed to be asleep in the wardrobe where he sleeps.  Ma eventually reveals to Jack that Nick abducted her seven years ago and that she and Jack are his captives.  The two of them implement an escape plan, and the rest of the novel is about their adaptation to the outside world.

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New Faculty Profile: Dr. Susanna Benko

Last semester, the Ball State English Department began a short series to celebrate and profile our newest faculty members. This week, the department continues the series of new faculty profiles by featuring Dr. Susanna Benko. Continue reading below to see Dr. Benko’s interview conducted by English intern Nakkia Patrick and don’t forget to see past profiles featuring Dr. Miranda Nesler, Dr. Maria Windell, Prof. Liz Whiteacre, Prof. John King, and Dr. Andrea Wolfe.

*Photo provided by Susanna Benko.

*Photo taken by Kelley Bedoloto, Little Heroes Photography.

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Good News: Fall 2012

In the latest installment of our “Good News” series, The Ball State English Department  highlights the accomplishments of the department’s graduate students and faculty during the Fall 2012 semester:

Graduate student Nicki Literland Baker was a co-author on a recent publication: Stewart, J. L., Baker, N. L., Chaney, S. E., Hashimov, E., Imafuji, E. L., McNely, B., Romano, L. (2012). A qualitative metasynthesis of activity theory in SIGDOC Proceedings 2001-2011. Proceedings from SIGDOC ‘12: Proceedings of the 30th annual conference on design of communication. New York: ACM.

In October, Baker presented  “Multitasking in composition classes: Why and how to calm the thumbs and increase the presence” at Indiana College English Association Conference in Valparaiso, IN and received the Best Graduate Paper Award.

Dr. Amit Baishya delivered a talk titled “The Unwatchability of One’s Own Death: Encounters with the Living Dead in ‘Heart of Darkness'” at Butler University on April 10. He also organized a panel titled “Visions of Coexistence: Thinking Beyond Violence in Northeast India” and was a co-organizer of a round table discussion titled “A History of Violence: Assam’s Cruel Summer and its Repercussions” at the 42nd Annual Conference on South Asia held at Madison from Oct. 17-20. Baishya also presented a paper titled “The Politics of Friendship in Makam” and “Violence and its Representation in the Media” at the panel and the round table.

Baishya’s paper ““Counter me, Rape us”: Bare Life and the Mimicry of the Sovereign” was published in an anthology titled Subaltern Vision: Essays in the Postcolonial Indian Text (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) in April.  His paper “Returns to the Past: Violence, Memory and Ethics in Two Contemporary Assamese Novels” is forthcoming in the December issue of Seminar (New Delhi).  Seminar is a well-known intellectual forum in India.  Baishya also co-authored “News Pornography and Mediated Cultures of Violence,” an essay which was published on August 30, 2012 in Kafila–a well-known public intellectual website for South Asia.

Dr. Adam R. Beach is co-editing (with Dr. Srividhya Swaminathan) a collection of essays titled  Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth Century British Imagination: Literature, Politics, Culture.  The collection was recently accepted for publication by Ashgate Press and will appear in 2013.  Beach’s essay “The Good-Treatment Debate, Comparative Slave Studies, and the ‘Adventures’ of T.S” will appear in the collection.

Dr. Sussana Benko’s article, “Scaffolding: An ongoing process to support student writers,” was published in the December/January edition of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Benko’s paper, “Teaching to the Task:  Preservice teachers’ instruction for cognitively demanding writing tasks,” has been accepted for the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).  This paper will be presented as part of a paper session titled “Perspectives on Writing Instruction.”

Dr. Adrienne Bliss presented a paper on November 10th at the Midwest Modern Language Association‘s 54th Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio entitled “The Forever Indebted Body: Creating Identity in Prisoners Sentenced to Life Without Parole.”

On Friday, Nov. 9th, Prof. Beth Dalton presented her creative nonfiction piece, “Magna Mater” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference (SAMLA) in Durham, NC. “Magna Mater” was published this summer in Goddard College’s Clockhouse Review.

Dr. Michael Donnelly co-edited Critical Conversations About Plagiarism with Rebecca Ingalls, Tracy Ann Morse, Joanna Castner Post, and Anne Meade Stockdell-Giesler. The book was published by Parlor Press in their Lenses on Composition Studies Series.

Graduate student Tess Evans’ article “Constructions of Realty: The Rhetoric of the American Dream” was presented at Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, October 2012.

Dr. Robert D. Habich presented “Emerson as Tourist: Italy, 1833” at Conversazioni in Italia, a transatlantic literary conference held in Florence, Italy from June 8-10, 2012.

Graduate student Elmar Hashimov published two papers in the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Design of Communication 2012 (SIGDOC 2012) Conference Proceedings.

Hashimov co-authored (as first author) one of the papers with Dr. Brian McNely, and the other with a group of Ball State rhetoric and composition graduate students, with Jenn Stewart as first author. SIGDOC focuses on the design of communication as it is taught, practiced, researched, and conceptualized in a broad variety of fields.

Hashimov published a first-author publication titled “Left to Their Own Devices: Ad Hoc Genres and the Design of Transmedia Narratives,” which reports on a year-long qualitative study on an immersive-learning class in SIGDOC.

Hashimov participated in a group publication of  “A Qualitative Metasynthesis of Activity Theory in SIGDOC Proceedings 2001–2011,” along with Nicki Baker (see above).

Dr. Darolyn JonesCityWrite project was very successful. They had 341 people writing in Indianapolis at 25 different sites all over the city on National Writing Day.  The mayor even made a proclamation that it was Indianapolis Writing Day.  They now have a Facebook page as well.  Jones had several of her current or former BSU students who volunteered alongside Butler, IUPUI, and Marian students.

Dr. Mai Kuha and Dr. Elizabeth M. Riddle presented “Rude Apologies for a Political Event” at LIAR III: Experimental and Empirical Approaches to Politeness and Impoliteness, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, August 2012.

Prof. Sean Lovelace published a flash fiction piece titled “The Second Time I Met Ellie’s Dad” in the fall 2012 issue of WORD RIOT, and another titled “To-Do List” in the fall 2012 issue of Dogzplot Magazine.  He also had flash fiction pieces accepted in PANK Magazine, Green Mountains Review, and Gihon River Review for upcoming issues.

Dr. Jackie Grustch McKinney’s book, Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers, has been accepted for publication by Utah State University Press. It is scheduled to be published by March 2013.

Prof. Mark Neely’s poems have recently been accepted by Third Coast, FIELD, American Poetry Journal, Columbia Poetry Review, Drunken Boat, and New Ohio Review. Most of these will appear in the coming months.

In addition, Neely has been busy promoting his new book, Beasts of the Hill (Oberlin College Press, 2012). He has done readings at IUPUI, Purdue University, University of Alabama—Birmingham, Ashland University, the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Visible Voice Books in Cleveland, Ohio, and Bozarts Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi.

Dr. Miranda Nesler was a fellowship participant last spring in the Newberry Library-University of Warwick Project on Early Modern Paratexts and was also an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow.  She also spent this past summer as a scholar in residence at the Huntington Library’s Intensive Paleography Institute.

Nesler’s co-edited work, A Semi-Diplomatic Edition of the Letters of Anthony Bagot (1558-1622)  (with Kristen Deiter, Rebecca Fall, Meghan Davis Mercer, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Susan Stafinbil, and J. Case Tompkins) has been released through The Folger Shakespeare Library.  Her article “Performative Education and Educational Disruption: Gender in The Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tam’d was published last summer at This Rough Magic.

Nesler’s blog “Performing Humanity” ( has gained 5000 viewers.

Dr. Martha J. Payne reviewed the book, Exploring Greek Myth by Matthew Clark. The review was published in CJ-Online on the 25th of November. CJOnline is an electronic forum for book reviews for the Classical Journal, a publication of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

On September 28, Payne presented “Channeling Hades” at the Film and History Conference: Film and Myth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The talk focused on representations of the Greek god, Hades, in ancient art and literature and his manifestations in the films Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and Clash of the Titans.

Dr. Rai Peterson’s KVML project was selected as the Miller College of Business outstanding immersive project of 2012.

Prof. Pat Ryan was recognized in the Muncie Star Press for 19 years of teaching in Indiana correctional institutions, including 11 years of teaching English composition in prison settings.