Tag Archives: Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series

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).

Digest: What’s Happening Oct. 13-19

Welcome to the English department digest. Published on Fridays, the department digest provides a comprehensive list of events for the upcoming week.

If you need to look further ahead, be sure to check out our calendar.

Week of October 13-19

Wednesday, October 15

Faculty: Book Orders for Spring 2015 are due to the bookstore. 

Thursday, October 16

The Marilyn K. Cory lecture series presents Susan C. Herring, who will deliver her lecture, “E-grammar, or What Digital Communication is Doing to the English Language,” in RB 125, beginning at 7:00 PM.

Friday, October 17

Susan Herring will be available to talk about her research, 12 noon in RB 361.

Faculty: Schedules for Fall 2015 due from Area Chairs.  New Deadline: Monday, Oct. 27


Don’t forget to share what you learn each week on Twitter and use the hashtag #bsuenglish. Tweet of the Week wins a flash drive or a great book. Faculty and students are both eligible to win!

Next week’s prize book is: No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Fall Break: Monday, October 20 and Tuesday, October 21.
  • Visiting Author: Michael Martone: Thursday, October 23, 3:30-4:45 PM in RB 361
  • English Graduate Programs Open House: Saturday, October 25 from 10-1 in RB 292. Register here.
  • Career Week for English Majors: Monday, November 10 to Friday, November 14. Check bulletin boards and social media for details!
  • Visiting Author: Michael Poore: Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 to 9 PM in LB 125.

Check out what happened last week in our Storify.

Have a great week! Fall Break is almost here. 

Visiting speaker says that claims about e-grammar are overstated

In 2014-15 the English Department is hosting two speakers on the theme of “Public Discourse” as part of the Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series.

Why should we talk about Public Discourse?

The public use of language has drawn increasing attention as the means of disseminating information has expanded.

With the development of the Internet and spread of new forms of personal electronic communication, information and opinions can be addressed instantly to a worldwide audience by the average person, leading to concerns about how this is affecting language use and social norms for communication.

In this light, the speaker in the fall semester will be Susan C. Herring, Professor of Information Science and Linguistics, Indiana University, Bloomington.

She’ll speak on “E-grammar, or What Digital Communication is Doing to the English Language.”

Thursday, October 16 at 7 PM in RB 125.

Who is Susan Herring?

Dr. Herring was one of the first scholars to apply linguistic methods of analysis to computer-mediated communication (CMC), beginning with a focus on gender patterns in English-language discussion forums in the early 1990s.

Since then, she has continued to adapt and innovate methods to analyze the structural, pragmatic, interactional, and social aspects of digital discourse, including on Web 2.0 sites. Her work has been published in more than 130 articles and books, and she is Editor-in-Chief of the online journal Language@Internet.

Dr. Herring’s lecture will consider changes to English as a result of digital communication via the Internet, the Web, and mobile technologies. However, while for some observers the effects are positive, for many they are negative.

Consider these quotes

[Messages posted on the Internet are] “a whole new fractured language—definitely not as elegant or polished as English used to be, but in a way, much more vital.” (Wired Style)

“The English language is being beaten up, civilization is in danger of crumbling.” (The Oregonian)

Where does the reality lie?

In this talk she will present state-of-the-art evidence from linguistic research on computer-mediated communication (CMC) concerning the nature of ‘e-grammar’–the structural tendencies of digital language, including spelling, vocabulary, word formation, and sentence structure.

She distinguishes between errors and creativity and identifies usage that has become (partially) conventionalized in CMC.

She will also address these questions:

  • To what extent is e-grammar spreading beyond the Internet?
  • Does it contribute to illiteracy in school children?
  • Is it substantially changing the offline language documented in dictionaries and grammar books?

Dr. Herring argues that that many claims about the impact of e-grammar are overstated.

She will also present evidence for the existence of online subcultures whose members intentionally and rapidly generate linguistic innovations, and suggest that these communities contribute disproportionately to e-grammar and its spread offline.

Who was Marilyn K. Cory?

This speaker series was made possible by a very generous donation in honor of the late Marilyn K. Lowery Cory, an English Education graduate of Ball State University in 1967. She later received an accounting degree from Ball State as well, and worked as a Deputy Auditor for the Delaware County Auditor’s office in Muncie, followed by 20 years in California as an executive secretary, and then retirement in Oklahoma. She passed away in 2010.

The speaker in the Spring Semester will be Eliot Schrefer, a noted author of young adult literature. Further details on this lecture will be forthcoming.

Dr. Debbie Mix Interviews Comic Book Author Christina Blanch

Comic book author, graduate student, teacher, and business owner Christina Blanch will be speaking on Monday, November 4, at 7:30 in LB 125 as part of the Department of English’s Marilyn K. Cory Speakers Series.  In advance of her talk, she agreed to answer a few questions from English Department faculty member Debbie Mix about comic books, creative writing, and scholarship.

Debbie: How did you get interested in reading and writing about comics?  Is it challenging to think and write about something you love from an academic perspective?

Christina: I picked up a copy of Prince Valiant when I was young that my parents had. I thought it was so cool that this was a book for adults that had pictures and words. It just fascinated me. I drifted away from comics in the late teen years but found them again when I had my first child and was teaching him to read. I never really thought about using comics until I was reading a series called Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. I was writing a lecture at the time on culture change, and in the book, all of the males on the planet die suddenly. Talk about culture change! I had always used popular culture in my teaching so using comic books wasn’t a stretch. And it got the students’ attention, which is something that is so important in teaching.

Yes, it is challenging to look at comics, which I do love, from an academic perspective. Sometimes it makes me sad because I realize a book I love really sends a wrong message, but there is always something to learn—good or bad. On the flip side though, analyzing comics really shows how incredibly complex the medium is and usually I end reading the books with a totally new perspective so it’s like reading a completely new book. That is awesome. Continue reading

Come See Comic Book Author Christina Blanch on Nov. 4

Christina Blanch, the second presenter in the Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series, will be speaking on Monday, November 4th at 7:30pm in LB 125. Last spring, Christina also taught a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) at Ball State University focused on gender and comic books. Learn more about the class from an interview on Wired.com. You can find out more about Christina, the other speakers in the series, and their collective focus on comic books and graphic novels in a recent post by the series organizer, Dr. Debbie Mix.

blanch poster


Come See Scott McCloud, Comic Book Author and Critic, on Oct 7th

Scott McCloud, the first presenter in the Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series, will be speaking on Monday, October 7 at 7:30pm in AJ175.  You can find out more about Scott, the other speakers in the series, and their collective focus on comic books and graphic novels in a recent post by the Series organizer, Dr. Debbie Mix.