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Meet Prof. Sreyoshi Sarkar

Sreyoshi Sarkar comes to us from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her doctoral degree in Postcolonial literature and media from George Washington University D.C. this past summer. She specializes in South Asian studies, gender, and eco-criticism, and has published works in journals like Commonwealth Essays and StudiesSouth Asian Review, and Green Letters Journal. She will be teaching courses in world literature and film studies here at Ball State.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I love teaching because for me it is an interactive platform where everyone in class is a participant, including the instructor. My part in this collaborative process is to introduce students to the subject of study, its key concepts, and some important scholarship. But beyond that my classes are highly interactive – an eclectic mix of short lectures interwoven with a lot of in-class discussion, group work, and creative presentations.

The same applies to my written assignments. I always emphasize that students focus on their individual experiences of a text when making an argument about it. For me, “the experience of” is crucial. It invites us (and by “us” I mean both the students and me) to critically analyze the art and craft of the text and our own individual contexts that often inform how we receive a text.

In my experience, such deep thinking enables us to be more self-aware and also more patient with and respectful towards each other and our differences. Sometimes, such moments of teaching-learning go a long way in making us better citizens at home and in the world.

Finally, the teachers who made a difference in my life were always humble, sensitive, and truly caring individuals; they were invested in their students’ making the most out of a class. And that is what I strive to do as well. Continue reading

Meet Prof. Kat Greene

Kat Greene earned her BA in graphic design and Master’s degrees in journalism and English here at Ball State University. She’s currently working to complete her PhD in rhetoric and composition. She will be teaching classes in the Writing Program. Check out her website

When are your office hours?

My fall office hours are MWF from 10-11:50 a.m.

What are you reading right now, if anything?

I’m about halfway through Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

Are you working on any projects at the moment? What are they?

For the past year, I have been working on my dissertation. I spent fall 2016 observing three first-year writing instructors who incorporated Ball State’s (final) freshman common reader, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas into their courses. My dissertation describes their their teaching practices, successes, and challenges with using the book. Continue reading

Spoken-Word Poet Mahogany L. Browne to Visit Ball State

Poet, activist, and visionary Mahogany L. Browne will visit Ball State for a performance and reading in the Student Center Ballroom on September 27 at 8:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Browne is a Cave Canem fellow, founder of Penmanship Books, and Poetry Program Director of Nuyorican Poets Café. She is the author of several collections, including the NAACP Outstanding Literary Works-nominated book Redbone and Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-Line. She is also an Urban Word NYC Poet-in-Residence (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room (housed on Pratt Institute), and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Check out selections of her work at https://mobrowne.com/

This event is a part of the Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series and is sponsored by the Departments of English, African American Studies, and Sociology; the Multicultural Center; and the Office of Institutional Diversity.

If you need an accommodation to fully participate in the event, please contact Professor Emily Rutter (errutter@bsu.edu).

Oh, the places you’ll go, #bsuenglish

Want an answer to the question “What can you do with an English degree?”

Here’s what some recent #bsuenglish graduates are doing right now!

Communications & Marketing

  • Luke Bell (BA in CW 2016) Writer & Social Media Manager, Fanning Howey Architects, Indianapolis, IN
  • Lauren Birkey (BA in English Studies 2017) Copywriter & Designer, Spotted Monkey Marketing, Muncie, IN
  • Ellie Fawcett (BA in Literature 2017) Marketing Specialist and Content Writer, Englin’s Fine Footwear, Muncie, IN

Publishing

  • Daniel Brount (BA in CW 2016) Page Designer/Copy Editor, Gatehouse Media, Austin, TX
  • Brandon Buechley (BA in CW 2016) Marketing Assistant, Cardinal Publisher’s Group, Indianapolis, IN
  • Caroline Delk (BA in CW 2017) Assistant and Remote Intern, Brent Taylor, Triada Literary Agency, Sewickley, PA
  • Audrey Hirons (BA in CW 2016) Article Editor, ZergNet, Carmel, IN
  • Niki Wilkes (BA in CW 2015) Marketing Coordinator, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN Continue reading

Meet Prof. Ben Bascom

Ben Bascom, a specialist in early and nineteenth-century American literature, comes to the English Department from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he recently finished a dissertation on early U.S. life writings. His research and teaching combine a queer studies approach with material text methodologies to reimagine the relation between archive and canon. His scholarship has appeared in Early American Literature and is forthcoming in Common-Place: The Journal of Early American Life.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I would describe my teaching as messily Socratic. I try to frame class with a series of questions or provocations that encourage students to engage with the reading material at a variety of levels. Since I teach a lot of material that feels remote to most students—from seventeenth-century sermons to nineteenth-century picaresque novels—I first urge students to understand the complex and unfamiliar language before they levy a critique about what they find as the text’s limitations. I discover myself being drawn to think with students about their experiences reading particular texts—beginning, perhaps, with whether something was pleasurable or difficult, easy or frustrating to read—to then prompt them to think about how their expectations, experiences, and interests influence them to consider certain texts as being more intellectually available or compelling than others. Continue reading

Meet Prof. Angela Cox

Angela Cox comes to us from the University of Arkansas, where she received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition. Her research is on definitions of genre and popular fantasy media. She will be teaching English 103 this semester. 

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

I like to dabble in pretty much anything creative that catches my eye. I’ve been sewing and doing other crafts for as long as I can remember; I learned how to spin yarn on a drop spindle when I was two years old. I also like to write fiction, especially fantasy novels, which is where my interest in researching National Novel Writing Month comes from. I’ve been participating (and winning!) every year since 2005, but I’m not sure if it’s for everyone. I also love analyzing video games, but I tend to play older games.

If any students want to come talk about video game analysis techniques or theory during office hours, I’d love to have that conversation and even help them with a project!

But, mostly, I just love cats.

Continue reading

August Good News: Prof. Collier’s Book a Finalist (and More)

We’ve got so much good news this month. Let’s just get started…

Prof. Patrick Collier’s book Modern Print Artefacts: Textual Materiality and Literary Value in British Print Culture, 1890–1930s (Edinburgh University Press) was a finalist for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize. A panel of judges determined the book that made the most significant contribution to modernist studies.

Prof. Matthew Hartman was awarded the C. Warren Vander Hill Award for Distinguished Teaching in Honors Education for 2016-2017. The recipient is selected by students of the Honors College.

Strange, but True

Continue reading

We’ll help you answer the question: “What are you going to do with that major?”

The “Stars to Steer By” career series is back! 

The purpose of this series is to help liberal arts students at Ball State find what professional pathways are available to them and learn how to translate their skills to potential employers.

Basically, this series is for everyone who gets the question: What are you going to do with that major? 

We’ll help you find your answer!

This year, the series will be coordinated by Eilis Wasserman, career coach for humanities and social science majors. All students (both graduate and undergraduate) are welcome, but especially students from the humanities (English, history, philosophy, religious studies and modern languages) and the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, women and gender studies, psychology, criminal justice, and political science).

Pizza and door prizes are available at each event. Continue reading

Professor Aimee Taylor Unravels Ball State’s History

This semester, #bsuenglish Professor Aimee Taylor developed and organized an alternative final project for her ENG 104 class that focuses on archival research of Ball State’s history. With it, she hopes to immerse her students in scholarly research and unravel ageless inspiration. She will also be attending a conference this May where she plans to shed light on this exemplary work she is witnessing from her first-year students.

Ball State University will soon be preview-full-keepin_it_100.jpgcelebrating its 100th anniversary, but one English class is already getting a head start. They are looking into the archives from 1917, the year the university’s land was purchased, to now. The professor behind this project is Aimee Taylor, who the English Department hired this past fall. She has experience with archival research at her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, and decided to apply this technique to her ENG 104: Composing Research course. For the course’s final project, students must compile research in their selected time period and connect their findings to the central question: “How has Ball State changed?”

Continue reading

BSU Grad School Opportunities

Hayat Bedaiwi received her BA and MA in English Literature from King Saud University in 2007 and 2012, respectively. She is currently a third year PhD #bsuenglish student who aspires to specialize in Ethnic American Literature with a major focus on Arab American Literature. Here’s more info about our graduate programs. 

hayat
When I first started my graduate studies at Ball State University, I took great courses that helped me become the scholar I am today. There are two experiences that come to my mind when I think of the courses that I have taken so far in graduate school. I turned papers I had written for two courses into conference papers. One paper was for a 657-postcolonial studies class, where I was blessed with the help and support of a great professor, Dr. Molly Ferguson. In that course, we read different postcolonial texts in the light of trauma theory. I was anxious when the course first started, but as we read and had different discussions every week, I knew what I wanted to write about for the seminar paper in that class. I wrote about Women at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi concerning the ideas of silence and bearing witness to the many traumas that filled the main character’s life.

Coincidentally, Practical Criticism Midwest was announced to take place in February that year, and I decided to submit my seminar paper for this course. I polished it to become a conference paper by revising it with Dr. Ferguson and making some visits to the Writing Center. My paper was one of the first papers to get accepted, and I had the opportunity of presenting this paper and getting feedback from different academic voices attending the conference.

I’m also presenting another paper at PCM 2017 this year which is a seminar paper for an Ethnic American Literature class entitled “Understanding the ‘Other’ in Naomi Shihab Nye’s You & Yours.” This course has helped me become more confident in my own academic voice. Dr. Emily Rutter’s approach to teaching this class was a very fascinating one. We were introduced to theories, texts and cultural material that helped us understand the texts we were reading for the class. As a class, we couldn’t stop talking about all the texts that we were reading, and all the new things we discovered everyday led us to write some interesting strong papers, which we shared together at the end of the semester. I was very hesitant to write about poetry, but Dr. Rutter helped me improve my writing about poetry and become a more confident scholar in Ethnic Studies.

My other paper was the fruitful product of my ENG 693 “Writing in the Profession” course, where I learned different ways of maintaining and creating my professional identity by revising my CV and exploring different ways of writing cover letters. Dr. Deborah Mix offered many great opportunities and great venues for us to learn the different ways of writing in our profession. We learned how to look for conferences and participate in them, how to find the journal that is of interest, how to become successful in submitting and publishing an article in that journal, and how to apply for a grant, from writing the budget narrative to crafting a proposal in a very professional way that would make us succeed in the application process.

I am the recipient of the 2016 Francis Mayhew Rippy Scholarship. I used the knowledge I learned in class about grant writing and took the opportunity to apply to this grant that was offered by the English Department. I also applied to attend a conference in New York as part of a panel with another colleague, and we both got accepted. Dr. Mix supported us and pushed us to do our best in order to become successful in all our assignments in that course, and we would have never gotten anywhere without her guidance and belief in our success.

My experience in graduate school has been a rewarding one, and as I am currently preparing for my comprehensive exams, I am very confident in my abilities, as my writing and thinking have evolved immensely over the past two and a half years because of the full support and unlimited guidance I get from the phenomenal faculty members at the English department, my colleagues, and my family.