Volume 39:17

May 16th, 2013 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

1. Announcements

A very special kudos to English Department graduates, the humblingly undeterrable and indefatigable Erick Gallegos, BA in Literature and Creative Writing, and the phenomenal mother/daughter duo, Dana Cobern Kullman, B.A. in Literature, and Ilyse Kullman, B.A. in Literature and Art, for being three of the seven featured graduates in this year’s commencement festivities. Read all about them at http://csuntoday.csun.edu/media-releases/determination-hard-work-for-cal-state-northridges-newest-graduates/. They are impressive.

And kudos, as well, to the following recipients of this spring’s English Department Awards:

Nina Moon Ahn: the Anamarie Peterson Morley Award, given each spring to a student currently enrolled as an English major at CSUN, who plans to enter the teaching profession at any level.

Chelsy Berry: the Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award, given to an undergraduate CSUN student who is the author of the best written work on some aspect of the natural world or environment.

Freddy Garcia: the Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship, awarded each year to up to four undergraduate English majors who have demonstrated excellence in their studies (one of two given in spring 2013)

Eun Hae (Jennifer) Lee: the William L. Wilson Award, given each year to an undergraduate major in English who plans to teach at the secondary level.

Danielle Orozco: the Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship, awarded each year to up to four undergraduate English majors who have demonstrated excellence in their studies (one of two given in spring 2013)

Trista Payte: the Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English, given each year to the graduate student whose achievements in the study of English are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished.

Sean Pessin: the Mahlon Gaumer Award, given to a CSUN graduate student who is the author of the best critical essay on English or American literature-with an emphasis on the use of language.

Laurisa Reyes: the George Morley/Annamarie Peterson Scholarship Award, given each spring to a student, currently enrolled as an English major at CSUN, who demonstrates the need for financial support to continue his or her studies.

Gina Srmabekian: the Henry Van Slooten award, given to any student in English 258, English 259, English 275, or English 355 who has written an essay (open topic) that best demonstrates “a passion for the English language.”

Nicolas Wheaton: The Philip E. Love English 205 Scholarship, given each year to the student whose achievements in the study of Business Communication are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished.

We are proud and pleased for these students, and for all our graduates, who make teaching at CSUN a true pleasure and honor. And we’d also like to note that the competition this year for the various rewards was especially keen, and to thank all the faculty who took the time to nominate students and write letters on behalf of their students.

Commencement will take place on Wednesday May 22 at 6:30, with our usual department festivities to celebrate our graduates and award winners just before:  3-5:30 p.m. in the Linda Nichols Joseph English Reading Room (JR 319). Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
And here’s one more congratulations to MA student, Christian Cardenas, for being accepted to teach in the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) program. Christian and his new bride leave for Japan in July for what is sure to be a grand life adventure.

On a sadder note, Ian Barnard will be on leave of absence next year while taking on a teaching and research opportunity at Chapman University. Surely we will miss him, but wish him the best of luck.

And in case you missed it, the Critical Theory Club had a wildly successful final event of the year — Critical Theory “Death Match” on The Dark Knight Rises with Drs. Ranita Chatterjee and Charles Hatfield, which by all accounts went swimmingly. There were about 45-50 people in attendance and fun was had by all, with debate style presentations and a lively group discussion with students with students not only from the English department, but from all over campus! What a way to end the year!

2. Reminders

Finals started on May 13 and run through the 18th, and grades are due 5 working days after you give the final.  The very last day to turn in grades is Friday May 24 at noon.  We’ll spend the afternoon here on the 24th tidying up any issues that arise (there are always a few of us who forget to hit “submit” after completing the roster, for example!)  It’s extremely helpful for the staff for you to get your grades in as soon as you can.

Here’s another warning that parking could be tough next week. Remember to  plan extra time to find parking and/or arrive at work early.  The most impacted parking areas will be the “B” lots and structures between Darby and Etiwanda avenues. If your normal parking area is not available, consider main campus parking areas away from the Commencement ceremony at that time, such as the “G” lots on the east side of campus, the D6 lot along Halstead Street, and the large lots north of the University Park Apartments along Lassen Street. And if you do find yourself in a trying situation, maybe think of it as an opportunity to develop greater empathy for our students.

3. Achievements

Martin Pousson‘s short story, “The Revelator,” was just accepted for publication at The Rattling Wall. His poem, “El Salvador,” was published in Chaparral, and his novel, No Place, Louisiana, was optioned for film development by a HBO production team. He also gaave readings recently at Vermin on the Mount, at 826 LA, and as part of a PEN Center USA Literary Panel.
Ronik Khachatoorian, who graduated in 2008 with BA’s in English/literature, Microbiology, and Medical/Biotechnology, graduated in Winter Quarter 2013 (end of March) with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at UCLA, where he studied the hepatitis C virus and discovered a potential therapeutic. Currently Ronik is  doing a postdoc at UCLA.
All English Department faculty and staff  have made it through another academic year, and that’s a fabulous achievement worth celebrating all summer long. Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful summer break, filled with whatever it is that makes your summers grand. We look forward to hearing about your adventures when the 2013/2014  AY begins in the fall. Meantime, don’t blink — and have fun.

Volume 39:16

May 2nd, 2013 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

1. Announcements

We begin this issue of Thursday’s Notes with a special tribute to and recognition of our amazing students and the very special announcement of where at least some of them will be headed in the fall and what they will be doing and what they will be doing. Many of these students received multiple offers, but at least as As ever, we’re going to miss them but naturally wish them the very best. Meantime, congratulations to them all.

Caitlin Benson, 2012 BA in Literature, has accepted an offer from UCLA to join their Ph.D. program in English.

Alissa Binder, 2012 Creative Writing BA, has been accepted into the MFA in Writing Program at CalArts.

Nick Burden, 2013 Creative Writing BA ’13, has been accepted into the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC.

Gayane Haroutyunyan, 2013 B.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry) will be attending the MFA program in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.

Naomi Carrington, 2013 MA in Rhetoric and Composition, will be attending the university of Texas, El Paso, with full support. But that won’t be for a while yet, because next year Naomi will be headed to Rwanda on a Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistantship), which is 9 months long.  Naimi be working at the university level, teaching English to various degrees (writing, ESL, reading), and will also be implementing two personal side projects. Her first project is to help Rwandans overcome aftereffects of the 1994 Genocide by offering English pedagogy enrichment courses for teachers who were trained in/only teach in the French language. The courses will consist of linguistic study, collaboration, pedagogy, and more. Her second project is to join forces with One Laptop Per Child where I will train teachers, develop lesson plans, and help install in the less urban areas of Rwanda. Congratulations, Naomi, on your success and good work.

Stephanie Dotto, 2013 BA Creative Writing/Narrative, will be attending Kingston University’s MFA Creative Writing program for fiction (located in Kingston, England).

Kristen Ingram, 2013 Literature BA has been accepted into the MA program in Media, Culture, and Communications at New York University.

Karlee Johnson, 2013 Journalism BA with Minors in both Creative Writing/Narrative and Queer Studies, will be attending the Creative Writing MA Program at San Francisco State University.

Sidney Jones, 2013 BA Honors/Literature,  will be attending Sidney Jones (undergrad lit major) has accepted an offer of admission to the Ph.D. program in English at Ohio State University, and has been offered a University Fellowship as part of her funding package.

Gina Lawrence, 2013 Composition and Rhetoric Rhetoric MA, will be attending the University of Texas, El Paso, Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition Program on a fully funded Fellowship that will have her busy teaching various levels of composition.

Sean Pessin, 2013 Creative Writing MA, will be attending the MFA Creative Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design. Described by Director Sarah Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum as this years “top recruit,” Sean has received a generous funding package and is eagerly awaited at Otis.

Auggie Samie, 2012 Creative Writing/Narrative BA, has been accepted into the Ph.D program in Humanities at the University of Chicago with an emphasis on Near Eastern Cultures and with a fellowship.

Mychal Schillaci, 2013 Creative Writing/Narrative BA has been accepted into the MFA in Writing Program at CalArts.

Olvard Smith, 2013 Creative Writing BA, will be attending the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers on a full scholarship.

We also want to congratulate and warmly welcome back the following graduating seniors and other CSUN alumni who will be returning to our own MA program in the fall: Eric Kufs, Brittney Neff, Angela Blair, Taylor Farnsworth, Amanda El Khoury, Kayla Lopez, Nicholas Jerrems, Kimberly Miller, Azure Glover, Freddy Garcia, Jordan Guevara, Angelika Hakopyan, Lizette Hernandez, Deanna Herbert, Ellen Moreh, Kheim Nguyen, Christopher Pruitt, Arthur Maturo, Rosa Colato, Sherece Usher, Chelsea Turner,  Gayaneh Navshadian, Kimberly Sanders, Marilyn Serafin, Kirk Sever, Shelly Steinberg, Steven Rivas, Jennifer Rodrick, Robin Smith, Sarah Swanson, Gina Srmabekian, Enrique Solis, Eduardo Valladolid, Jennet Troy, and Jonathan Mejia.

As previously announced in a mysterious computer glitch, our good friend and colleague, Barbara Kroll, has generously donated a cash gift of $3000 to the Department for the improvement of faculty lives. Barbara would like us to enjoy our retreats more, or have cleaner offices, or better and more nutritious food at our various gatherings. And so we shall. Thank you, Barbara. Even though we know how good retirement has been good for you, we miss you.

And another new addition to our growing extended family and the human race arrived just yesterday, May 1, 2013, to the daughter of our own Marlene Cooksey, a grandson born to Vanessa and Andrew who will join his brother Henry and be known as Sam. Sam came in to this world 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and all are doing well.

In other happy news, the English Department has again been well recognized by this year’s University Faculty Awards. Congratulations to Michael Bryson, recipient of the 2013 Preeminent Scholarly Publication Award, and to Rick Mitchell, recipient of the Exceptional Creative Accomplishment Award.

Dorothy Barresi is being honored this year for having finished her 25th year at CSUN. Congratulations, Dorothy, and welcome to the club.

Tomorrow, May 3, English 698D will be hosting their conference titled “Paradigms: Redefined & Redesigned” in room JR 319 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be served. Panels span a diverse range of topics with a focus on all three options: literature, rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. The guest speaker is Yetta Howard from San Diego State University, whose presentation, “Flexing the Paradigmatic Muscles of Sexuality and Music,” will conclude the event. You will not want to miss this!

StoryCube is back. How about sharing highlights of your university experience with the CSUN StoryCube project? The goal is to collect and preserve the oral history of our campus by recording the stories and memories of individual members of the faculty, staff and student body. unity. The StoryCube booth is set up near the front entrance of the Matador Bookstore and interviews are being scheduled to take place Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 29 to May 10, and during Commencement Week, May 21-23. To set up an interview time, please email the StoryCube staff at storycube@csun.edu.  For more information about the StoryCube project, see http://www.csun.edu/storycube/index.html or visit the booth.

And here’s an excellent opportunity to donate some of those books collecting dust on your bookshelves: BookMentors, a new nonprofit to give, get, and talk books for public schools, has just launched. On their platform, teachers can request the books their students need and donors can fulfill teachers’ requests. Teachers and donors can also share information about their favorite children’s and YA literature. Check them out at http://www.bookmentors.org. This could be a great connection.

Congratulations to Martin Pousson and Danielle Spratt, who were both elected as representatives to our Faculty Senate next year.

2. Reminders

The final department meeting of the year will take place next Friday, May 10, from 3 to 5. This promises to be an exciting time, chock full of year end reports and plans for the retreat and next year. Even in this busy time, it will be good to be there to review all the work we have done this year.

The College of Humanities Commencement this year will be Wednesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. on the Oviatt Library Lawn. Do turn out and celebrate with our students. Before that, we will be having our annual Department Reception, honoring the achievements of our English graduates.

And another chance to recognize their achievements is this year’s Honors Convocation, which will be held Monday, May 20, at 6:00 p.m. on the Oviatt Libary Lawn.

But before then, finals week is Monday, May 13, to Saturday, May 18. And grades are due on May 24. Please do your part to ensure that this process goes seamlessly again, at least on our end.

And after that, stay tuned for the new Moodle 2, which will happen on May 28, 2013, for the start of the summer semester. On this date, Moodle 2 will be available to you and all students at moodle.csun.edu. Before the go-live date, Moodle 2 will continue to be available for you to preview the new layout and begin to develop content. You can view courses for 2011 and 2012 and create new courses for summer and fall 2013. To do so, log in to m2.csun.edu with your CSUN user ID and password. Please note that any 2013 courses you’ve added or changed since January 8, 2013 will be migrated to Moodle 2 this summer. Also, you might find the following list of resources and workshops for using Moodle 2 helpful: What’s New in Moodle 2?; What’s New in Moodle 2? video; Getting Started with Moodle 2; Moodle Student FAQs; Moodle Faculty FAQs. A list of workshops is also available on the IT Training Page and you can sign up by using the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact the Faculty Technology Center at ftc@csun.edu or (818) 677-3443.

And there’s this: the College of Humanities needs people to serve for the College Personnel Committee election. As Dean Say has reminded us, “the review and evaluation of our colleagues for promotion and tenure is, perhaps, the most important responsibility members of the faculty are charged with as the future of the University rests on the decisions made in this arena.” Also, with very few exceptions, tenured faculty are required to serve. If there are not additional nominations by tomorrow (Friday, May 3, 2013) at 5:00 pm, the name of every eligible faculty member in the college will be placed on the ballot and those elected will be required to serve.

3. Opportunities

Calling all Drabble writers. The Daily Sundial and Bill Willingham, author of Fables, have joined forced to create a new drabble contest, open only to CSUN student. the winning drabble will be published in the Daily Sundial, and its author will receive a hardcover edition of Fables, Vol. 1, autographed by Bill Willingham, and a personal, 15-minute writing critique over the phone from Bill Willingham. Students should submit their dribbles to ane@csun.edu. The Sundial will than select 5 finalist and Mr. Willingham will pick the winer. Only one drabble per student. (And for those of you not in the know, a drabble is a 100 word short story.) On your marks, get set…

Students are also invited to submit essays to the Jewish Studies Essay Contest and compete for a $250 prize. They may use work written for ANY CSUN class, from Spring 2012 – 2013. The essays will be judged based on Jewish Studies content, quality of writing, clarity of argument, and originality. The essay may take the form of a case study, a report on research, or an analysis that is biographical, historical, literary, philosophical, sociological, or theological. The entry must be the original, unpublished work of the student. Entries must be submitted by May 13, 2013, in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, Sierra Hall 194, by May 13, 2013.

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) seeks motivated, flexible, and detail-oriented, interns to serve in her district office. Enthusiastic self-starters interested in learning about the inner workings of a congressional district office are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate has a strong commitment to serve the community, excellent communication skills, and thrives in a team environment. This unpaid internship is a great learning experience for graduate and undergraduate students interested in gaining real-world experience in public service. Interns provide administrative support, work on special issue-based projects, and are offered the opportunity to attend meetings and briefings throughout the district. Residents of the 40th Congressional District are encouraged to apply. Hours are flexible, but a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week is required. Please send your cover letter, resume, and three professional references to Alfonso Alfaro at alfonso.alfaro@mail.house.gov. The deadline is May 17, 2013. For more information please call (323) 721-8790.

4. Achievements

Dorothy Barresi gave a poetry reading on April 17 at Moorpark Community College.On April 20, she conducted a panel on “Poetry in the Moment” at the L.A. Times Book Festival on the USC campus. Later that day she gave a poetry reading from new work written during her Sabbatical Leave.

The current issue of American Scientist magazine has the third of Bob Chianese‘s Earth Art essays, this one on Andy Goldsworthy’s “Running Wall” sculpture (at Storm King Art Center along the Hudson in New York.) You can find it on line at http://www.americanscientist.org.

Joseph Galasso‘s article, “The Role of the Private and Public in Education” will be published in the online edition of the May-June issue of Academe (American Association of University Professors).
CSUN was well represented by three of our British Romanticism graduate students at the recent annual British Women Writers Conference held this year at the University of New Mexico on April 4-6, 2013: Norma Aceves presented “Disabled Body Politics: Closeting Nymphomaniacs and Subverting Narrative Customs in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya”; Lorie Hamalian‘s paper was “Defining Gender Boundaries Through Kinship Systems and Reciprocity: the Custom of ‘Gift Exchange’ in Eliza Fenwick’s Secresy: or, The Ruin on the Rock”; and Corri Ditch gave a talk called “The Myopic Reading of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Work and its Influence on the Custom of Camouflaged Feminism in the Romantic Period.”
And in remembrance of our dear friend Colleen Schaeffer‘s lifelong achievements, an artist’s sketchbook, dedicated to celebrating her life, will be placed in the English Department mailroom. Those of you who knew Colleen are welcome to write your memories of her in the book. There will also be some markers and colored pencils if you wish to draw something in her honor. The book will be available until 2p.m. on Wednesday May 8th. At that time, we will be sending to to Colleen eldest brother who will share it with her other siblings as well as her nieces and nephews. Also, if anyone wants to send anything to her family, Amy Reynolds has her brother’s address and can include it in the package we send to Colleen’s brother.