Category Archives: News

#bsuenglish Remembers Dr. James Ruebel

James Ruebel Honors CollegeMany English Department students and faculty are also affiliated with the Ball State Honors College and were deeply affected by the passing of Dr. James Ruebel, who had been the Dean of the Honors College since 2000.

“I’ve been acquainted with Dr. Ruebel since he arrived at Ball State many years ago,” Professor Elizabeth Dalton remembers. “We’ve worked closely for the past six years working together to teach an integrated humanities class every fall. For four of those six years we also led field studies to Rome and, usually, Florence, Italy. These were two-week field studies where students explored art, architecture, history, and literature of the cities.”

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The Inside Scoop on Ball State's Literary Magazine: The Broken Plate

We sat down with Professor Mark Neely, faculty supervisor of The Broken Plate, and Jackson Eflin, a former Broken Plate staff member who has also had his work published in the literary magazine. 

What is The neelyBroken Plate?

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography (among other things) by writers and artists from around the world. Each issue is edited by an interdisciplinary group of Ball State undergraduate students and released at our annual In Print Festival of First Books.

You’ve been the editor of the magazine for several years now. How have things changed over time?

When I took over as faculty adviser for the magazine, it was a small operation run by a few student volunteers. They only published the work of Ball State students, mostly that of a small group of friends.

I wanted to make it a more valuable experience for both the editors and for the Ball State writing community, so I used our existing course in Literary Editing and Publishing as a way to professionalize the magazine, and to spread the word more effectively about our submissions process. Eventually, we opened up submissions to all writers, which increased our pool of pieces to choose from, and I think it makes for a more rewarding experience for students.

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Meet Dr. Rebecca Manery!

Dr. Rebecca Manery received her MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College, as well as her MA in Literacy Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Dr. Manery has recently earned her doctorate in English and Education from the University of Michigan. This semester, she is teaching four sections of ENG 103: Rhetoric and Writing.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I share a view of teaching and learning as an interactive process in which understandings are constructed rather than given. As a teacher, my goal is to be a co-learner who actively engages students in their own learning.

When are your office hours?

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00 P.M. and by appointment.

What are you currently reading?

I’m eager to begin reading Building Home: A Citywide Poets Anthology. This collection of performance poetry by Detroit teens was recently featured in The Detroit Free Press. I just finished reading The True American, the Freshman Connections featured book. My students and I attended the moderated discussion with Anand Giridharadas and Raisuddin Bhuiyan which has us thinking about how we can promote a world without hate.

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What is a text that you think everyone should read?

I don’t think there’s a single text that everyone should read. In fact, after reading my students’ literacy narratives, it’s clear that many of them lost their joy of reading because they were forced to read books that didn’t interest them. There are so many wonderful books out there, but not all of them speak to me. I want my students to discover the books that speak to them, but that’s difficult to do when all the reading they are assigned to do has been chosen by someone else.

What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom or a big mistake that students tend to make?

Learned passivity is my biggest grievance with students. High school students often become dependent on teachers to tell them what they are supposed to do, remind them of deadlines, re-explain assignments, etc. That won’t fly in college. I understand it’s easier to shoot off an email to your professor than double-check the assignment sheet, ask a classmate, or come to office hours, but I have 100 students. If I answered all of the “what am I supposed to do” emails I get, I wouldn’t have time for anything else.

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Now Hiring! Come Join Our Department!

The English Department is currently hiring for two new positions. They are as listed:

  1. Assistant Professor for Early and 19th Century American Literature in the College of Science and Humanities
  2. Assistant Professor for Film and and Global Literatures in the Department of English

For more information, check out the flyers!preview-full-earlyand19thcentury_jobadpreview-full-filmandgloballiteratures_jobad

Come to the Stars to Steer By Lecture Series!

starstosteerbytalkThe Stars to Steer By Lecture Series was created in order to help students pursuing a Humanities Degree find their way after graduation. 

Calling all Humanities Majors! Do you feel worried that you won’t be able to find a career in your field? Are you tired of people telling you that your degree is useless? Have no fear, the “Stars to Steer By” lecture series is here! The Ball State University English Department wants you to know that there are many things you can do with a Humanities Major.

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Ace Howard: An English Major Working in the Software Field

Former English major Ace Howard describes his career in the software business. 

How would you describe your job?

I’m a technical writer for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company.

I would describe my job as the bridge between technical information and users. I sit down with subject matter experts (SMEs) and translate their high level of knowledge into terms that our audience can easily understand. Part of this process involves deciding which medium works best for the message (shout-out to Marshall McLuhan). My work could take the form of software documentation, white papers, case studies, social media, or blog posts. Because I have a background in web development, I’m also responsible for updating the company website.

Some of this stuff sounds complicated (it can be), but all the writing and problem solving makes the job a fun and rewarding experience.

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