Volume 50:6

November 29th, 2018 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 50:6)

Chair: Kent Baxter
Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



The holidays are upon us, and with them, our fall awards ceremony and end of term holiday party, taking place next Friday, December 7, in JR 319. The party will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., with awards presentations beginning at 2:00. Our students have worked hard for these recognitions, so please do come out to celebrate them, the holidays, and–so soon!–the semester’s end.  The Department will provide sandwich wraps, chips, fruit, and drinks, but all are encouraged to bring something delicious, or nutritious, or both to share. Look for a sign-up sheet in the mailroom to let the Awards and Amenities committee know.

On Monday, November 26, Charles Hatfield‘s English 392 Honors seminar in Comics and Childhood hosted comics artist, illustrator, printmaker, designer, and small-press icon Jordan Crane (http://www.whatthingsdo.com/jordancrane). Crane is the author of the new picture book We Are All Me, the alternative comix series Uptight, the graphic novel The Clouds Above, and many other acclaimed works. A good (and educational) time was had by all.

Our new Popular Culture minor has been mentioned again in the Sundial. Check it out at https://sundial.csun.edu/2018/11/thank-you-csun/. Or, just skip to the highlight: “Finally, I’d like to thank Professor Amanda Harrison, my Pop Culture Professor. I happened to stumble upon this minor by accident, and it’s the best accident I could have had. I have learned so much about the way society works and I have gained so much confidence in my own ideals because of the voice she allows her students to have. It is because of her that I am able to contribute to The Sundial and feel like my contribution matters.”

All are cordially invited to attend the second session of “3D-Models in English: Distant Reading, Discourse Analysis, and Digital Mapping of Literary and Cultural Topics” ENGL 601 graduate conference on December 6, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., in JR 319. (The first session of this event took is taking place now.) 3D Models in English presents a showcase of innovative critical possibilities in literary and textual studies based on digital and computational methods and procedures. Predominantly focused on the use of Topic Modeling–a type of statistical model for discovering the abstract “topics” that occur in a collection of documents–this graduate student conference explores a wide range of problems and perspectives in computational-based forms of critical inquiry in the English discipline and in the humanities at large.

Please come to the Spring 2019 Composition Orientation, which has been scheduled for Thursday, January 17th, beginning at 12. The speaker will be Ryan Skinnell, a former CSUN student, now a professor at San Jose State University, who will be discussing his thought-provoking book, Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump. Also, at the Spring Orientation, people teaching at CSUN are invited to share some of their ideas about teaching, grading, developing assignments, fostering reading writing connections, or any of the many approaches, insights, and lessons that we continue to develop. Thus far, Kelli Rowley has offered to share her system of using Excel for grading and her expertise in graphic design to create more visually appealing syllabi. But there is room for a few more people to present, so please let Irene Clark know know if you would like to do so. Presenters will receive a small honorarium. And a light lunch will be served to all!


Don’t forget the first ever bi-annual English Alumni Faculty Lecture Series, this very Saturday! This semester, Professors Dorothy Barresi and Martin Pousson will be reading from their latest creative work. The afternoon event will have light food and refreshments, a cash bar, and a musical performance by alumnus and faculty Eric Kufs. The event will be on Saturday, December 1, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the USU Grand Salon. And if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, there’s still time, so please do it now at English Alumni Faculty Lecture Series.

The end of the semester is fast approaching (ok, here), and the Amenities Committee wants to remind us that full-time faculty members contribute money to fund the goodness that we share. If you have not already contributed your suggested donation, please do so as soon as possible, making checks out to Amenities and handing them in to Marlene. This will help ensure that our upcoming holidays are as festive as they can be!


Irene Clark was a plenary speaker at the 5th International Conference on ESP/EAP/EMI in the Context of Internationalization of Higher Education held in Moscow. The focus of the conference was on Language and Cognition, and her talk was titled “Literacy, Identity, and Learning: Insights from Neuropsychology.”  She also participated in a panel  titled “Academic Communication in the Development of Science,” which explored the impact of the English language in the globalization of science.

Noreen Lace published a story, “Hope,” in The Maine Review.

Martin Pousson‘s novel-in-stories, Black Sheep Boy, was recently reviewed in Zyzzyva, Gertie and Other Stories. His short story, “Revival Girl,” was just published in Simpsonistas, the first volume of fiction by the winners and finalists for the Simpson Family Literary Prize. The anthology includes new work by judge Joyce Carol Oates, T. Geronimo Johnson, and others. His invited poems, “Uncivil War” and “Proem,” will be published in Love Jets, a poetry tribute anthology to be released in 2019, in honor of the bicentennial of the birth of Walt Whitman.

Former student, Jim Powell, who was with us during our earthquake trials and still fondly remembers CSUN, recently published a Kindle book inspired and encouraged by his work with George Uba. In Powell’s own words, “it’s a kind of Huck meets Julia Kristeva thing. It’s methodology is unique in its application of Kristeva’s thought to Mississippi River matters. If you feel you might be interested in it, I’ll refund you the three bucks.” And you can find out here: https://www.amazon.com/River-Raft-Shore-Huckleberry-Mississippi-ebook/dp/B07JFR9R9M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542751577&sr=8-1&keywords=river+raft+and+shore+powell.

Kate Martin Rowe (MA, Creative Writing, 2007) graduated with an MFA in creative nonfiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars in June of 2018. She has recently published a book review in the LA Review of Books ( https://www.lareviewofbooks.org/contributor/kate-martin-rowe/), a short nonfiction piece, “Radioactivity,” in the Angel City Review (http://angelcityreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Angel-City-Review-Issue-7-.pdf), and  several poems in Bloodroot Literary Magazine (http://www.bloodrootlit.org/2018/Bloodroot-2018.pdf).

And, once again, Martin Pousson has generously provided us with the following impressive updates on students. Please do let me know when you hear good things–it’s always great when our students succeed.

Gianne Braza (Current CW Undergrad) won the Northridge Scholars Program Award.

Marisela Gomez (BA CW ’17, MA CW ongoing) won the Graduate Equity Fellowship for AY ’18-’19.

Loryn Stone (formerly Loryn Rataizer, BA CW ‘09) had her debut YA novel, My Starlight, published by Affinity Rainbow Publications, and she two writing websites, PopLurker.com focused on popular culture writing, and Nerdbot.com, focused on gaming, cosplay, and fan fiction/fan film.

Charlie Ruiz Vasquez (BA CW ’18) just had their short story, “Cactuses,” published in the new issue of Oakland Arts Review. Their story is the first work featured in a volume including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by student writers from Princeton University, Columbia University, and other national and international universities.

Doug Weissman (BA CW ’09) completed his MFA at University of San Francisco and is now teaching at Southern New Hampshire University. He has worked as a freelance writer, was hired as a travel writing specialist, and has a number of upcoming short story publications in literary magazines.

Adam Miller (BA CW ’17) opened a Kickstarter campaign for his kinetic visual novel, Axototl. For more about the dark tale featuring an animated character, a link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/actawesome/rb-axolotl-a-dark-tale-about-cute-axolotl.


Volume 50:5

November 8th, 2018 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 50:5)

Chair: Kent Baxter
Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



Mark your calendars now for the first ever bi-annual English Alumni Faculty Lecture Series, launched with the hope of reconnecting with our former students and faithful donors and of helping them reconnect with each other. This semester, Professor Dorothy Barresi and Professor Martin Pousson will be reading from their latest creative work. The afternoon event will have light food and refreshments, a cash bar, and a musical performance by alumnus and faculty Eric Kufs. Come and see, first hand, how your support has strengthened and enriched our intellectual community. The event will be on Saturday, December 1, from 3:00-5:00pm, in the USU Grand Salon. Please click on the following link for more information and to RSVP: English Alumni Faculty Lecture Series.

This Friday, November 9th, at 7:00 PM in Jerome Richfield Hall, Room 319, “The Reimagining Narrative Film Series” returns with its final event for the semester, presenting Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966), which has been described widely as both a masterpiece and one of the most influential films in modern cinema. Curated collaboratively by Dr. Christopher Higgs & Katharine Mason, M.A., each film in the series will be introduced & contextualized prior to screening, with an open discussion to follow. Refreshments provided.

Winter is coming. You want to curl up with a good book, don’t you? Try one of the five finalists for CSUN’s 2019-2020 Common Read. And then share your opinion on the Common Read blog. You can find out more about each of the five nominated titles below at https://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences/nominated-titles-2019-2020:

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover
Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, by David Rakoff
Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, by Manal Al-Sharif
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, by Lauren Markham

KITTENS! Several members of the English/ AYFE/ Sustainability programs are helping the mother of our late colleague, Deborah Averill, to get her cat population under control. We have 6 kittens available for adoption; email for photos and videos or to meet the kittens. Kittens are fixed, vaccinated, vetted, microchipped, healthy, and playful! Please contact Amanda.Harrison@csun.edu to adopt. If you’d like to support, but can’t adopt, donations are being accepted here: https://www.gofundme.com/marilyn-blakely-kitten-fund/.


The deadline for Department Awards is fast approaching on Friday, November 16, at 4;00 p.m. For details on the following awards, please contact Leilani Hall (leilani.hall@csun.edu), Chair of the Amenities and Awards Committee. And please be sure to encourage your students to apply for the following:

  • the Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship, up to four four awards of $2000 for excellence in English studies;
  • the Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize, two annual prizes annual prizes of $500 for the authors of the two best critical or creative pieces of prose submitted in an upper-division English course during the academic year;
  • the Eva Latif Writing Prize in Children’s Literature, an annual prize of $500 for the author of the best piece of writing, critical or creative, by a student on the subject of children’s literature;
  • the Philip E. Love English 205 Scholarship, a prize of $500 for the student whose achievements in the study of Business Communication are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished;
  • the Peterson Morley Award, an annual award of $1,000 for a student (either undergraduate or graduate) currently enrolled as an English major who plans to enter the teaching profession;
  • the Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship, an award of $500 for a graduate student enrolled in English and/or Secondary English Education, to help pay fees for graduate work;
  • the Thomas Matthew Magness Graduate Memorial Fund, to provide a $1,000 tuition remission for a first-semester graduate student in the English MA program.


At its annual scholarship and awards gala on Nov. 3, Pukuu Community Cultural Services gave Scott Andrews its Educational Service Award for his “outstanding dedicated service to the American Indian Studies Program” at CSUN. Pukuu is operated by the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, the native people of the San Fernando Valley. CSUN is located on Tataviam land.

Scott Andrews also interviewed poet Tiffany Midge, author of The Woman Who Married a Bear, and an edited version of their conversation has been accepted for publication in Studies in American Indian Literatures.

Alumnus Matt Bernstein (MA, Literature, 2005) published an article, “Murder in the Black Hills,” in the December 2018 issue of Wild West magazine.