Category Archives: New Faculty Profile

The English Department wants to extend a warm welcome to its new faculty members! Here you can learn all about the new members of the staff and find out what you can expect if you have them in class. We hope our new members enjoy being here as much as we enjoy having them!

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

Meet Prof. Kathryn Ludwig

Kathryn Ludwig comes to us from Purdue University, where she earned her Ph.D. in English, specializing in twentieth-century American literature and Jewish philosophy. She has published articles on the topic of the postsecular in contemporary literature and is an officer for the American Religion and Literature Society. She will be teaching courses in composition and literature.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

Differentiation is very important to me in the classroom. Every class is made up of people with different backgrounds and learning styles. I seek to bring my own passion for the subject matter into contact with each student’s disposition toward learning in the given context. My responsibility is to teach in ways that will be meaningful to my diverse audience. Thus, my work as an instructor begins with learning. 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

Meet Dr. G Patterson!

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

Whatever class I teach, I really like to focus on social justice. For example, a professional writing class doesn’t seem like it would have anything to do with social justice, and yet, in my classes students are working with campus groups and nonprofits to make a difference in their communities. Even in introduction composition courses, I want to he11156378_1624207644462444_9146109308537578909_nlp students understand the consequences of the stories they’re telling, and the stories they refuse to hear. I think that’s the crux of what I do: I think about the tangible impact that I’m making in students’ lives. I want to empower students to write into existence the world they want to see; I want them to really feel like they’re agents of change when they leave my class.

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Meet New #bsuenglish Faculty Member Aimee Taylor!

Aimee Taylor earned her Bachelor’s in English at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. She went on to complete her Master’s at Marshall University in West Virginia, and she is currently working on her dissertation for her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. This semester, she is teaching ENG 103: Rhetoric and Writing.

Aimee Taylor- Instructor at BSU

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I’ve always been a teacher. From a very young age, I related teaching to helping and working with people. I also believe that we all have something inside us that we can teach others, and we can always learn from others. So, with that said, teachers are life-long learners, too. Teaching is my way of making sense of the world.

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Meet Professor Rani Crowe!

Assistant Professor Rani Crowe has been making and performing her own work for over twenty years, from stand-up comedy and solo performance art, to multimedia installations and filmmaking. This semester, she is teaching one section of ENG 310: Screenwriting and two sections of ENG 425: Film Studies.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

rani-croweThrough watching, reading, discussing, and practical application exercises, I guide students to learn skills and build muscles that build towards a culminating final project where they practically synthesize the skills they have learned. I like to create early non-precious exercises where exploration, risk, and failure are permitted and encouraged in order to learn the process. I try to guide students to be able to articulate their own artistic goals and standards, and help them successfully meet them in their final projects.

Continue reading

Katy Didden

Dr Katy Didden earned her BA from Washington University in St. Louis, her MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her PhD from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. This semester she’s teaching one section of ENG 285 and one section of ENG 408. 

How would you describe yourself as a teacher?

One of the things I want the most, as a teacher, is for my students to have confidence in their convictions. I also want them to know how to use dialogue as a means of expanding ideas and testing assumptions, and to see the benefits of respecting and understanding other points of view. I want to convince students that because they each have unique life experiences, their contributions to class discussion and peer review are not just valuable but essential to helping the class articulate complex ideas. In my classes, I want to create an atmosphere that fosters students’ creativity, curiosity, and responsibility. I want what they learn in my class to help them succeed in all of their classes.

When are your office hours?

My office hours are Tuesdays from 2-3pm, and Wednesdays from 1-2pm, but I also meet with students by appointment.didden

What are you reading?

I’m often in the middle of several books at once, and right now is no different. Here’s what’s on my desk at the moment: Inger Christensen’s Alphabet, Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, Elaine Showalter’s Teaching Literature, George David Clark’s Reveille, Stanley Plumly’s Orphan Hours, and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. I highly recommend these books! They were highly recommended to me, which is why I have them.

Truly, though, I am spending most of my time thinking about Marianne Moore’s poem “An Octopus” (her poem about Mt. Rainier). I am writing an essay about the importance of place in poetry, and about how Moore has influenced and continues to influence my writing in that respect. Soon, I will turn my attention to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric—I’m presenting a paper on that book for a conference in November. I’m interested in how Rankine uses photographs and other visual images in Citizen to help her navigate difficult subjects such as race relations and the subjugation of women’s bodies.

What do you think everyone should read?

One short story that has stayed with me over the years, and one that has generated a lot of thoughtful discussion with my students, is Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” A quick list of poems I love would be: “At the Fishhouses,” by Elizabeth Bishop, “The City of Light,” by Larry Levis, “A Small Needful Fact,” by Ross Gay, “What he Thought,” by Heather McHugh, “Rain Effect” by Mary Ruefle, and “The Layers,” by Stanley Kunitz.

What’s your biggest pet peeve in the classroom/what is a big mistake students tend to make?

The first thing that comes to mind is “eye-rolling,” though I’m also intrigued by it. On some level, people roll their eyes as a form of protest, and maybe more importantly to form a bond with their classmates (the ones for whom the eye roll is performed). What I don’t like about it is that it sets up the teacher/ student dynamic into clichéd, antagonistic roles, and that doesn’t interest me. I prefer to think of the classroom as a collaborative space. That is to say, I appreciate students who take responsibility for creating an engaged, positive environment in the classroom—it makes more of a difference than most students realize.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I am working on two new manuscripts of poems. The first project builds upon and advances work I began in my first book, The Glacier’s Wake. That book includes persona poems where I write in the voice of a glacier, a sycamore, and a wasp to confront the contrary impulses of consumerism and conservation. For “The Lava on Iceland,” I am erasing a series of source texts about Iceland, from a variety of disciplines (from literature and history, to politics and pop culture) into a lyric voice of lava. The project is multi-modal, and collaborative; I am working with graphic designer Kevin Tseng to set the erasures over a series of photos, alternating between the archival photos of Frederick Howell and color photographs by numerous contemporary artists and writers. The final texts are a palimpsest of photographs, source texts, and erasures.

Even while I am working on more experimental poems with the erasure project, I have been steadily working on a series of sound-driven poems, some in blank verse, and others in looser, rhyme-dense forms. These poems address a range of subjects from super derechos, to opera, to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” I see one theme emerging among the new poems, which is that many poems are in dialogue with other writers and artists, from photographers like Travis Dove, to writers like Cavafy, Dante, and Shakespeare. I have also recently returned from the Pilgrimage to Compostela in Spain, and have begun a series of poems inspired by my research of medieval Christian iconography and Spanish mystics like Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the hermits who lived at Montserrat.

What are your other hobbies?

I love to be outdoors, so some of my favorite hobbies are running, hiking, swimming, and cycling. I also love yoga, especially Iyengar, or alignment-based, yoga. I enjoy playing the guitar, and I’m currently taking guitar lessons for the first time in fifteen years!


Please join us in welcoming Dr Katy Didden to our department!

Jennifer Bryan

Dr Jennifer Bryan received her BA in English with minors in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received an MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University and a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This semester, she’s teaching four sections of Eng 103. 

How would you describe yourself as a teacher?

I would describe myself as balanced, and I try to be fair in the classroom while creating high expectations and standards so students can challenge themselves. I also try and introduce topics and discussions that students can engage with and be interested in. I want students to feel invested in the class and critically see their environment.

When are your office hours?

11-12:30 MW, 10-12 T, and by appointment

Gmail PictureWhat are you reading?

Kent Haruf’s Plainsong

What do you think everyone should read?

I think people should read what interests them. There are so many books and genres in the world, and in order to be passionate about reading, one has to be passionate about what he/she is reading. There is value in reading, and when students tell me they don’t like reading, I say they aren’t reading the right books. By right I mean what is of interest to them, not what they think they should read.

What’s your biggest pet peeve in the classroom/what is a big mistake students tend to make?

Texting in the classroom is annoying, but pretending one isn’t texting can be even more so. I tend to feel mistakes are villified in our culture. We only improve and learn about ourselves by making mistakes. We’re all afraid of failing, and yet through failing I’ve learned the most about myself and what I want. In terms of students and the classroom – I think students who miss class regularly tend to dig themselves into a hole. It gets easier to miss as the semester wears on because of sickness, cold weather, lack of sleep, lack of assignment.

What are you working on right now?

Grading papers. In my creative work, I’ve just started writing a new novel. It’s super new. Like three pages new.

What are your other hobbies?

I love to bake. Cooking comes a close second. I love to drink coffee and hang out with my family. I love binge watching Netflix series. I look at a lot of art, talk about a lot of art.


Please join us in welcoming Dr. Jennifer Bryan to our department!

Michael Begnal

Michael Begnal received his BA from Penn State University, and went on to earn his MFA from North Carolina State University. This semester he is teaching four sections of Eng 103: Rhetoric and Writing. 

How would you describe yourself as a teacher?

I tend to combine a number of different modes, variously employing Socratic seminar-style discussion, in-class writing or group work, handouts, videos, and yes, even lecturing occasionally.M.Begnal.recent

When are your office hours?

M/W 4:00-5:00pm and TH 12:30-2:00pm, at RB 393.

What are you reading?

I recently finished Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, and now I’m beginning to re-read Everything’s an Argument (Lunsford, et al.), a composition textbook.

What do you think everyone should read?

Haniel Long’s documentary poem Pittsburgh Memoranda (1935), a forerunner to Muriel Rukeyser’s Book of the Dead and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson. Long’s focus is the relation between the personal and the political in the face of economic exploitation, and Pittsburgh Memoranda can be approached both as a response to its own time (the Depression) and as a possible way forward in our current context.

What’s your biggest pet peeve in the classroom / what is a big mistake students tend to make?

I’d like to slightly reframe this and simply remind students that they are here for a reason, which is to learn and therefore to better themselves, that even today attending a university is still a privilege not everyone in the world is able to have, and that they are (or perhaps someone close to them is) paying a lot of money for the opportunity. Thus, it behooves all of us to be focused on the work at hand, to take it seriously, and to seize every available moment. That tweet or text can wait for an hour—learning how to sustain one’s concentration is a good and valuable thing.

What are you working on right now?

Some last minor edits to a chapbook-length collection of poems. I also recently completed a rewrite of an academic article I’ve been working on.

What are your other hobbies?

Music, film, baseball, Gaeilge (the Irish language).


Please join us in welcoming Professor Begnal to our department. We’re very grateful to have him!