Welcome to the Fall 2023 semester!   I hope you and your students had a restful, rejuvenating break and that your classes have all started off with the enthusiasm and intellectual energy that makes teaching fun.

A big warm welcome to the newest members of our department:  Kathy Draper, our new Office Coordinator, and Professor Kosiso Ugwueze, who joins us as the latest member of the Creative Writing team.

Please be sure to share any ideas you have about programming or events for the upcoming year and let me know if you have Achievements to share.  


Public Health/Safety:  As I’m sure you have heard, there is currently a rise in Covid rates.  Please continue to be careful and vigilant with health measures.  For campus updates, you can check here.

Submitting syllabi and office hours: If you haven’t already, please send your syllabi and office hours to Vanessa Mendoza.

For current information on schedule changes, please see this page:  

English Department Canvas Majors and Minors Page:  Please encourage your students to join the English Department’s Canvas English Majors and Minors Page, in which they can self-enroll by following this link. Please also consider joining yourself to receive the updates and information that our students receive.


Faculty Development has lots of programming available as we all continue to strive to be the best teachers we can be.  Check out the latest information here.


You all have been busy–we have LOTS of achievements to celebrate as we kick off the new school year!  I want to apologize in advance if I missed anything.  I have a brand new kitten who delights in scampering across the keyboard, sometimes deleting things without my realizing it.  If you sent me something and you don’t see it here, I’m blaming little Bela.  And please send it to me again!

Lauren Byler has two forthcoming articles. “Crossing the Line: Redrawing Legacies of Racial Representation in Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black” will appear in Victorian Studies, the flagship journal for interdisciplinary work on literature, politics, art, and philosophy of Victorian Britain and the nineteenth-century British Empire. She would like to thank Charles Hatfield for guidance with Comics Studies scholarship used in this article and Danielle Spratt for providing feedback on a draft of the article. Lauren’s work will also be included in a special “Keywords” issue of the journal Victorian Literature and Culture, featuring definitions from experts in Victorian Studies of terms used in Victorian culture and in scholarship that examines the Victorian period. Her article addresses the meanings and variable values associated with the word “girl.”  

Irene Clark received a College of Humanities Innovation grant titled “Fostering Hope, Equity, and Success Through Literacy Narratives” on which several lecturers and graduate students are currently working. The grant builds on a previous project, which developed a website titled “Where Have You Been? Where Are You Going.” which can be accessed here. Specific selections and documents on the database can be accessed through this link.   This database consists of literacy narratives that were published in the student journal New Voices over a period of thirty years and is available to anyone who wishes to use if for research.

At the annual American Literature Conference in Boston this May, Anthony Dawahare participated in a round table discussion “Teaching Richard Wright,” sponsored by the Richard Wright Society.

Corri Ditch just graduated with distinction from the University of East London’s MSc program in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. Her dissertation was entitled “The Metaphor Process: Embodying Metaphor for Internal Transformation and Insight.” In her work Corri created a process using metaphor that can be used as both a coaching model and as a stand alone positive psychology intervention. 

Amanda Harrison, Santosh Khadka, and JC Lee were awarded a College of Humanities Innovation Grant:  “Genuinely Using Artificial Intelligence in the Humanities Classroom.”  This 2023-24 AY project will celebrate the truly innovative uses of AI writing generators (like Chat GPT, Bard, Quillbot) in the humanities classroom by asking faculty to submit and collaborate on assignment design. Stay tuned for the CFP for everyone to submit their work.

Krystal Jo Howard had a particularly busy summer, first producing the department’s youngest member, Izabella Jo:

and also publishing a co-authored essay: “‘mouth full & dripping with language’: The 2022 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry” in The Lion and the Unicorn.  Finally, she also edited a special issue, Youth Poets in Children’s Literature, Media, and Performance, in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly.

Santosh Khadka’s latest book, Professionalizing Multimodal Composition, co-edited with Shyam B. Pandey from Sam Houston State University, has just been published by Utah State University Press.  For more information, please go here. 

In July, Scott Kleinman presented a Workshop on Developing a Digital Humanities tutorial for The Programming Historian at the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations Conference in Graz, Austria. Scott is a member of the editorial staff of The Programming Historian, an organization that publishes novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate research and teaching.

In May, Amber Norwood earned her M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from CSU Fullerton, graduating with honors.  

Janice Robinson has started the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership here at CSUN.  She is in the Community College Cohort. 

Last semester, Colleen Tripp’s graduate course, Engl 630: Modern Monsters: Then and Now, collaborated with CSUN’s Special Collections and Archives and organized a graduate student research edition of CSUN’s Special Collections Peek in the Stacks blog series. The first blog post of the series has just been published. The blog posts as a series consider 20th-century pulps and comics from the University Library through monster theory and the Gothic as a genre and mode.  

Many congratulations to everyone and here’s to a wonderful new school year!