“What do you write about?”: Brian Morrison on the origin of Take 3

The faculty in the English Department belong to one of five subareas:

  1. Literature
  2. Creative Writing
  3. Rhetoric and Composition
  4. Linguistics
  5. English Education

What’s the difference between all those areas? Do you sometimes wonder what your professors are working on when they aren’t teaching?

If so, you might be interested in the Take 3 Faculty Lecture Series, a brand new lecture series directed by Brian Morrison, Assistant Professor of English.

Below, Brian answers the question, “Where did the idea for Take 3 come from?”

The Inspiration

My first day at Ball State, I must have been asked fifty times, “What do you write about?”

The fact that I felt awkward answering the question was (and is) always surprising. Primarily because it’s not a simple answer. It rarely is. Within each of the subareas of the English department, we’re forced to wonder about what others are doing. We have no access–both because we do our research primarily in private and because we lack the training to understand each other’s discipline.

As long as I’ve been employed as a teacher who writes, my work and my personal interests have been kept separate, though, of course, they’re intrinsically linked. One isn’t possible—practically—without the other. Holding academic positions requires publication. But at work–and I’m speaking to the routine of earning a paycheck–the intellectual interests of the individual are often forced to the private realm.

A gap in the intellectual process develops. I write at home. I teach (happily) at work.

Bridging The Gap

I’m trying to bridge the gap by allowing the personal to intersect with the professional. Teaching is rewarding, but so is the research and writing we do.

I’m trying to develop a means by which faculty can bring their research and writing to the forefront of their life at work.

I want conversations about our writing and research to come up as naturally as about our teaching practices.

I’m interested in what others are researching and writing. I’m curious. And that’s the thrust. That’s why I created this lecture series, which will bring together three faculty members from different areas of the department to talk about their research and writing.

I think all faculty can benefit from a public venue to share our otherwise private work, a way to have an easier answer when someone asks what we write about.

We benefit from interdisciplinary events that bring faculty from varying subareas together.

The Event

The first installment of the Take 3 Faculty Lecture Series will take place September 19th, 2014, in Robert Bell 361, from 4:30-6:00 PM.

Our faculty lecturers are:

  1. Adrienne Bliss
  2. Mary Lou Vercellotti
  3. Emily Jo Scalzo

Both faculty and students are encouraged to attend.

We hope to see you there!

 

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