Volume 40:11

March 6th, 2014

1. Announcements

Wendy Say

Let’s begin this issue of TN with a hugely warm and most grateful welcome the newest member of our fabulous office staff, Wendy Say! We look forward to working with her and wish her the best in her new work home.

And let’s second that with a huge vote of thanks to Wendy for arranging for another new and, again, most welcome addition to our department — our very long overdue bottle and can recycling bin! Let’s make excellent use of it.

Bottle and can recycling bin

Once again, the Dean’s office has  offered to pay for our commencement regalia if we are interested in attending and/or serving as a Marshal. To take advantage of this generous offer, all you have to do is fill out the form you received via email and in your mailbox, and send it to Noreen Galvin by  Tuesday, March 18. Here’s a link with useful commencement information, http://www.csun.edu/commencement, but the short version is that this year’s Honors Convocation will take place on Friday, May 1, at 6:00 p.m., and the College of Humanities Commencement will take place jointly with the Michael D. Eisner College of Education on Thursday, May 22, also at 6:00 p.m.

And after all the excited, sad, happy, and proud goodby’s of each year’s commencement, as we turn our attention back to our continuing students, we should also look forward to those future students who might not yet even know that their destiny is already written to be, after all, an English major. Please do your part to let such students know what a terrific option English may be for them. And just a reminder that if you do have promising writers and readers in your first and second year classes, drop a line to Kate Haake (me) at kate.haake@csun.edu to tell her (me) about them. It’s always a pleasure to reach out to such students with a warm invitation to think about joining our convivial ranks.

In recent news from our graduate corner, the AGSE annual conference will take place this Saturday, March 8, from 9-430, in the University Student Union. This year’s conference theme is Intersections, and the day feature 40 academic papers and presentations by CSUN graduate students and undergraduate students, as well as scholars from UC Riverside, USC, University of St. Thomas, Loyola Marymount, Bowling Green State University, San Diego State, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. There will also be a panel of CSUN freshmen and a panel of Taft High School students. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joseph Boone, Professor of English, Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. A well-known and respected theorist in the areas of modernist literature/culture, queer theory, and gender studies, Professor Boone is the author of Tradition Counter Tradition: Love and the Form of Fiction (1989), Engendering Men: The Question of Male Feminist Criticism (1991), Libidinal Currents: Sexuality and the Shaping of Modernism (1998), and The Homoerotics of Orientalism (2014). A program for the conference is located outside the mailroom for your perusal, and the conference website can be accessed at http://agseintersections.wordpress.com/. Come if you can; it will make you proud. Plus, a good time will be had by all.

Speaking of a good time, the Sigma Tau Delta conference is also fast approaching and will be held on March 22. The theme of this year’s conference is ISMS: An Exploration Into the Invisible Barriers of Classification. Featuring keynote speaker Dodie Bellamy, author of Academonia and The Buddhist, this conference, too, promises to be a scintillating and enjoyable day. Look for details in the next issue of TN.

Here’s another great invitation from Cheryl Spector, who has already provided many of us with copies of next year’s Freshman Common Reading text, The Postmortal, by Drew Magary. Cheryl is hoping we’ll make time to join her and other colleagues for  for a faculty-staff discussion of the book. Even if you can’t find time to read the whole book in advance of the group’s first meeting, please do try to join them tomorrow, Friday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in CIELO (Sierra Hall 4th floor). For more information about The Postmortal, see http://www.csun.edu/afye/Postmortal-for-Faculty-and-Staff.html.

On Wednesday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 18, an open form on Incivility in the Academe will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Sierra Center second floor conference room. Sponsored by CSBS Climate Committee, University Counseling Services, Faculty Senate Educational Equity Committee, CFA and CSUEU, this forum promises to generate a lively discussion and provocative preparation for  author Leah Hollis’ April 2 talk on Bully in the Ivory Tower.

On Monday, March 3rd at 12:30 in JR 319, Professor Amy Ulmer, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Pasadena City College, will be coming to Irene Clark‘s  English 600A class to give a talk titled “Teaching Opportunities at Pasadena City College.” All are welcome.

Each year, the President of the United States holds a service honor roll competition. This prestigious award committee selects higher education institutions that show commitment to serving their communities through all forms of external unpaid activity, including academic service learning, volunteer projects, internships, and community service. As part of their mission, they seek to quantify the service hours our students spend engaged in projects to better our community. If you have students who have formally or informally volunteered at local community organizations, worked in a service-learning capacity, interned, or completed observation hours/unpaid work in the community, please consider taking the below survey with regard to the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters. The survey will take about 3-5 minutes to complete, and even less if you have the data readily available (number of students, hours completed, etc), and can be reached https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PresidentialHonorRoll_2014projects. Our students do good work and people should know, so thanks to Danielle Spratt for bringing this opportunity to our attention.

Former CSUN creative writing student, Ashlyn Morse, currently in her first year of medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has  reached out to us as part of her fundraising activities for Project Medishare, which provides healthcare in Haiti to people without access to the most basic medical needs. In addition to ongoing community health programs, Medishare takes groups of volunteer medical professionals and students, among whom Ashlyn soon will be one, to Haiti to conduct health fairs and mobile clinics. On past trips the Medishare groups have delivered babies, diagnosed and treated various illnesses, and literally saved lives. Donations can be made at Medishare Donation Page, and Ashlyn herself can be reached at amorse@umiami.edu. Please help spread the word and do what you can to support this important work. Ashlyn — and the people she helps — will greatly appreciate it.

The spring Dialogues with the Provost (DWP) will take place on Friday, March 28,  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the USU Northridge Center Complex, and focus on interdisciplinary scholarship. Please use the following link to RSVP for the event by Friday, March 14, 2014 and let them know how you already do or would like to collaborate with colleagues: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EzGT7KzS3X88aoafrTDusafcEdD0Qmn9a-B-_v10sW4/viewform. These responses will be used to help facilitate conversations among colleagues. For more information, please contact Crist Khachikian, Associate VP for Research & Graduate Studies and Graduate Dean at crist.khachikian@csun.ed or Cristina Cadavid at ana.cadavid@csun.edu.

2. Reminders

This weekend, Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 9th at 2:00 a.m.  March also holds the half-way point for the Spring Semester, and officially marks the arrival of Spring on March 20th! (And how, exactly, is that possible?)

Don’t forget that our travel form has changed. The new form can be found at http://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/travel-approval-request.pdf. Please use this one and not the old one. And have safe, pleasurable, and productive journeys.

 3. Opportunities

The Academy of American Poets Prize Competition is now accepting submissions for the 2013 award. The winner will receive a cash prize from the Academy of American Poets and publication in the Northridge Review. One Honorable Mention will also be awarded. New for this year, AAP is pleased to announce the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award. Students 23 years-old or younger who have won the AAP prize will be considered for an additional $1000 award. The deadline is Friday, April 18. For more information, please contact poets Leilani Hall or Dorothy Barresi. And do let your students know.

While they are at it, student poets should also consider submitting to the first-ever Sigma Tau Delta poetry contest, judged by award winning poet Patty Seyburn. The winner will be published in the Fall 2014 Northridge Review and will received a signed copy of Patty Seyburn’s Hilarity. All finalists will be given the opportunity to read with Patty Seyburn at an upcoming event. Submissions are open from March 1 through March 31. Students should submit up to three previously unpublished poems, along with a cover letter and a $5 entry fee to the English Department Office or to any of the Sigma Tau Delta board members.

The Office of Community Engagement has now opened the grant cycle for 2014-15. The purpose of this grant is to support faculty in revising a current course to reflect service learning pedagogy for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. The project must be developed in collaboration with a non-profit community-based organization, provide a meaningful service-learning experience for students, and fulfill a need defined by the community organization. Community service-learning courses are expected to build students’ civic responsibility, enhance learning through community engagement, and build the capacity of community-based organizations to meet the needs of residents in the Greater San Fernando Valley. Funded faculty will receive $1000 and be required to revise the course and implement the new syllabus during the 2014 – 2015 AY. The application is due by April 14, 2014. Interested? Please contact me Joyce Burstein at joyce.burstein@csun.edu.

The California Journal of Women Writers, an online literary journal, is looking for writers to join their project. The journal features original reviews and criticism of women’s literature from across North America, as well as interviews with authors, commentary on critiques published elsewhere, and the occasional post boasting literary theory. This is a space devoted to fostering and enhancing the visibility of North American female authors, and narrowing the wide gender gap found in discussions in the literary world. This is a remote volunteer position, but will give your writing exposure and online publication status with a growing and note-worthy literary journal. They are open to collaborating for internship course credit, so this might be a great opportunity for our students. Please check out further details here at http://tcjww.org/2013/08/26/join-our-team/ and send an email to editor@tcjww.org if you are interested.

On April 25th, from 10-2, there will be a conference at Woodbury College oriented toward fostering connections between community colleges and four year colleges. Dr. Richard Matzen, who is in charge of the conference, is looking for someone to someone to give a short presentation (10:45-11:15) on developing multimodal assignments; the presenter will receive $100 honorarium.  Attending this conference will be several Composition directors from local area community colleges, so it might be useful for you to meet them. If you are interested, please contact Irene Clark for more information.
For all those WW I fans, that is the essay topic of this year’s California Academic Decathlon, which will be holding the essay portion of its competition on the 6th of March and is  looking for college instructors to judge essays online and in their spare time. Interested faculty will have until March 18 to complete their volunteer scoring. For more information, please contact, Tammy Serpa, Program Specialist, Lake County Office of Education, at Tammy Serpa tserpa@lakecoe.org. Thank you for considering this opportunity to serve.

4. Achievements

Kate Haake moderated a panel, Poetry, Fiction, & Gronkfest: Celebrating Five Years of What Books Press, at last weekend’s AWP Conference in Seattle where some 15,000 creative writers gathered, among them a healthy contingent of CSUN graduate students who did a great job representing us. Well done, students!

Bob Noreen, happily retired in Palm Spring, was appointed last spring by the U.S. Department of Education to a five member panel which is charged with reviewing the English exams being prepared for the “Race to the Top” national  Common Core program. Good luck with that, Bob; we miss you.