Author Archives: khaake

Volume 43.7

December 1st, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43.7)


Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



I begin these notes with a personal note: a long time ago, in a different century and what sometimes feels like a different world, the English department at CSUN, like most English departments of the time, was a largely homogeneous one. Into these ranks of accomplished and often brilliant men, a few intrepid women found their way. Among them, the late Leslie Johnstone, first woman ever to earn a Cambridge Ph.D.; the irrepressible Gwen Brewer; and the feisty dramatist, Elaine Plasberg, with whom I shared an office my first year here. She was smart, quick, and efficient, pragmatically down-to-earth, and loaded with good advice on how to survive my new job; and I was a little afraid of her. For, as a couple of her former students remarked, “She taught us how to think.” Or another, in a classroom discussion of why we study literature: for pleasure? one student hazarded. “Well,” Professor Plasberg is said to have responded, “there are many kinds of pleasure — there’s ice cream cone on a hot afternoon pleasure, and there’s dying on the cross pleasure.” Although it has been many years since her retirement and subsequent journey into whatever in the world happens after we leave here, I still think I can hear her saying that. And so it was with a good deal of personal sadness that I received our recent news, sent to us from former colleague, Sheryl Thompson, via former colleague, Cheryl Armstrong, that Elaine Plasberg passed away in November 2010, leaving no family behind. Author of William Hazlitt: the structure and application of his critical standards, her other critical interests included Wyatt, Coleridge, Strindberg and the new poetics, and the King James Bible. Although we are only just hearing now of Elaine‘s passing, for those of us who remember her, it is no less a loss. And for those of us who do not, that is a different kind of loss.

Many of our students, faculty, and staff have felt directly or indirectly threatened or excluded by the political rhetoric of the election. In the response to the recent election, we offer an act of solidarity and community-building: we’re putting together a two day teach in. This event seeks to foster peaceful collaboration and kindness by offering joint readings across class sessions. Faculty who teach at the same time will bring their classes to the steps at the Oviatt Library and take turns reading passages from coursework this semester (or suggested by the class) that might offer sentiments of kindness, engagement with art, or encounters with power. In so doing, we are taking up the call from Colson Whitehead’s recent National Book Award speech where he suggests what we need to do now is “Be kind. Make Art. Fight the Power.” The dates for the event are Tuesday, December 6, and Wednesday,  December 7. If you’re not teaching on these days but would like to participate, please sign up for a time/day that works for you; we would love for you to offer a reading and invite any of the students with whom you work to attend as well. Sign up times are available at And if this event doesn’t work for you, be thinking of ways we might respond in the coming months, as the challenges ahead will persist.

On Thursday, December 8th, at 5:00 p.m. in JR 319, the Northridge Playwights Workshop, in association with the Political Theater seminar, will present “Bad Hombres & Nasty Women: CSUN Playwrights React.” In addition to a variety of dramatic scenes, comic interludes, and performative provocations, there will be free refreshments. (The running time of the event will be approximately 60 minutes. Please feel free to mention it to your students.) Here’s a link to the event’s Facebook page:

happy-sandhill-cranes And now on a cheerier note, the holidays are upon us, and with them, the end of the semester. As we dig in to final papers and exams and prepare, with still another kind of sadness, to say goodbye to our fall semester classes and students, let’s not forget to embrace our festivities as well. And to start them off with just the right amount of cheer, we will celebrate as a department on Friday, December 9, from 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. in JR 319. Presentations in honor of our remarkable students begin at 2:00 p.m. Meantime, there’s still time to plan your delicious, if perhaps not nutritious, contributions to the banquet, and then add them to the sign-up sheet in the mail room (already a mouth watering feast for the imagination).


Lest we forget, there is policy regarding how we schedule those final exams, and here it is: The main thing is, we are to follow the posted dates and times for our exams, which we can find on our faculty portals.

Grades, too, will be due soon after. Even though final weeks is Monday, December 12 to Sunday, December 18 (no finals scheduled on Sunday), you can start entering grades Friday, December 9, which students may begin viewing on Monday, December 12. The final, absolutely last day to submit grades is Friday, December 23, but let’s remember the long-standing department policy to try to do so before then so our terrific staff can start their own holidays in joy and peace.

And remember, the university needs—you (and your talents and interests)! Remember to let the Faculty Senate know how and where you would most like to serve by completing the University Service Form at and making sure that this important database is up to date. The link is here: While you are at it, don’t forget to update your profile on the Faculty App site. This is an excellent place for you to include a brief biography, your research interests, and your committee service (past and current). Maybe not Facebook, but time to link up:


On behalf of the University Vice Presidents, I am pleased to announce the acceptance of Campus Quality Fee proposals for the 2017-18 year. The proposal document is accessible at the Campus Quality Fee (CQF) website located at: and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on December 22, 2016. Your assistance is requested in widely circulating this announcement.

The deadline to submit applications for the 2017 Faculty Scholar Academy (FSA) is Friday, December 9th. All faculty interested in participating as a Coach or as a Protégé must submit an application to the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) to be eligible. The FSA is a peer mentorship program in which Protégés are paired with faculty Coaches in an intensive, self-directed proposal development and writing experience. Incentives are offered to both Coaches and Protégés for successful proposal submissions. FSA applications for both Coaches and Protégés are available on the FSA website at, and are due no later than December 9, 2016 to


Joseph Galasso‘s monograph (theoretical syntax) entitled: <From Merge to Move: A Minimalist Perspective on the Design of Language and its Role in Early Child Syntax> will be published early next year by the German publisher Lincom Europa.

In May 1998, the Faculty Mentor Program and the EOP established the “Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Award” in recognition of Professor Dorsey’s invaluable contributions to mentoring and mentor training at CSUN. This award is presented to faculty, staff, administrators, and/or students who have made exceptional contributions to mentoring at CSUN. The first recipient was the award’s namesake, Dr. Don Dorsey. And among this year’s five recipients is our own Sharon Klein, who has been teaching at CSUN since 1986. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Riverside, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. For the past three decades, she has collaborated with faculty and students on our campus through initiatives such as the Writing and Reading Across Disciplines program (WRAD). She was nominated for the Dorsey mentoring award by graduate student Mrinalini Watson, and celebrated at a reception on November 16.

Student Megan Freiberg is having a piece of creative nonfiction published in Sigma Tau Delta’s Rectangle this spring, which she will be reading at the opening ceremony of the international conference in March.

Rick Mitchell‘s new book, Experimental O’Neill, has been published by Rare Bird Books. A critical anthology featuring an international array of scholars, the volume features chapters on the Wooster Group’s productions of O’Neill’s early work and other essays, including one on political plays by female dramatists of the Provincetown Players. Additionally, the book contains all of O’Neill early dramas performed by the Wooster Group, an interview with the Wooster Group’s Kate Valk about re-presenting O’Neill’s experimental work today, and one-act antiwar plays by Edna Saint Vincent Millay and Louise Bryant.

Sean Pessin‘s story, “The Fox Hunt,” will be p in the forthcoming issue of Liminoid Magazine.

Martin Pousson was a featured author at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, where he appeared on a panel and read from his new novel, Black Sheep Boy, on Saturday, October 29. On October 14, he read his new Trump poem, “Tower of Power,” on the panel for “Let’s Gather,” at Skylight Books on Monday, October 14, hosted by Los Angeles Review of Books. That poem has just been published in a post-election issue of the LARB, and can be read at: And—this just in—Martin‘s Trump-themed flash fiction, “Don’t Tread On Me,” will be published in Only Light Can Do That, a special post-election anthology to be issued in print by PEN Center USA & The Rattling Wall on Thursday, December 8, with a release party at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles that same night. Good things come together, because that same night (December 8), Martin will be a featured reader, along with Aimee Bender, at Chevalier’s Books at 7:30 p.m., where he will be reading from his novel-in-stories, Black Sheep Boy. The event is free, all are welcome, and details can be found at: Well done, Martin! Keep it up.

Congratulations to student, John Nunez, who submitted the poem selected for the Dean’s annual holiday card. John is a nontraditional student, whose ethnic background is Cherokee, Ute, and Hispanic, and who is returning to school after more than forty-five years, during which he worked in construction’s special trades, and also played a variety of musical instruments and sang in rock and blues bands and played with jazz groups. Even though this comment is technically out of alphabetical order, I can’t think of a better way to end Thursday’s Notes this fall semester than with John’s own words, selected by Dean Elizabeth Say for this season’s holiday wishes from all of us in the College of Humanities:

The holidays will pass; then
we will go back to the everyday.
I am thankful. At least once a year
I see you near and know you.

Volume 43.6

November 10th, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43.6)


Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



In the aftermath of this week’s election, we find ourselves in uncharted territories, the world of so many of our students–our friends, our colleagues, our families, ourselves–shaken. Critical and cultural analysis, the very skills we teach our students, may be of some value here as we work to assess this historical moment. But as many of us have already met with stricken students, we need to remember the variety of ways this campus will be working to support them. Members of the University Counseling Center have been filling in this week at the DREAM Center, and, as ever, are available in Bayramian Hall 520. In the weeks ahead, the DREAM Center will also be putting together more structured support–including legal clinics/resources–to ensure that all of our students, staff, and faculty have an appropriate level of emotional, psychological, and logistical support. Please be alert for updates and do let your students know.

Another way to support our students is to acknowledge their outstanding work, so this is your nudge that we find ourselves, already, at award time. You will all have received guidelines in your email from Beth Wightman, Chair of the Amenities and Awards Committee, but the list of awards we will be giving this fall includes the Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship, the Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize, the Eva Latif Writing Prize in Children’s Literature, the Philip E. Love English 205 Scholarship, the Peterson Morley Award, and the Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship. The deadline will soon be upon us, so please, if you have promising students, encourage them to apply.  Unless otherwise specified in the fine print, all application materials must be submitted by the applicant to the English Department office (Sierra Tower 706) by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18th, 2016.

The COAPD (Career Opportunities and Professional Development) team is hosting a Professionalization Mini Series with Dr. Colleen Tripp’s ENGL 601 class, and would love for some of us to join them. On Tuesday, November 15, J.C. Lee will be talking about conference presentations and attendance; on Tuesday, November 22, Chris Higgs will be talking about Ph.D.’s and employment with the humanities degree; and on Tuesday, November 29, Lauren Byler will be talking about scholarly publishing. All sessions will take place in JR 303, with the first and last taking place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the middle session, with Chris Higgs, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Space is limited, so get there early! For more information, please contact Rachel Dulaney at

The Melrose Bellow is coming up. This free literary festival will be taking place this Saturday, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., on–where else?–Melrose Avenue. There will be poets, storytellers, comedians, fiction writers, and musicians. From the largest open mic in Los Angeles, Da Poetry Lounge, to the famous Groundlings Comedy Club, to the bilingual women’s collective, Las Lunas Locas, the Melrose Bellow will be a taste of what makes Los Angeles a literary force. For more information, please see their website:

On Wednesday, November 16th, Julie Neff Lippman, will be coming to Irene Clark‘s English 455 class, “Literacy, Rhetoric, and Culture,” to give a talk on the topic of learning disabilities, and all are welcome to attend. The class meets at 2:00 in JR 244. Should be an interesting discussion.


Don’t forget to fill out this five minute survey assessing CSUN’s innovation and economic impact, sent to us by President Harrison:


Enchao Shi presented a research paper at the 30th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information, and Computation, Seoul, South Korea, and its title was “Secondary Predicates in Native and Nonnative Grammars.”



Volume 43:5

October 27th, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43:5)


Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



The entire CSUN creative writing community invites you to join us in celebrating Martin Pousson’s new book, Black Sheep Boy, with a reading on campus. The reading will take place next Tuesday, November 1st, at 4:30p.m., in our LNJ Room (JR 319). Hope to see you there!

Today, on this very night — October 27th! — the Northridge Creative Writing Circle will be having a costume party and reading event at Menchie’s, in Chatsworth: 9201 Winnetka Ave. Unit E (by the Winnetka Pacific Theaters). The event takes place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and is a fundraiser, so grab a flyer in the main English department office, ST 708, before you go, and the NCWC will receive 20% of the evening’s profits. Don’t forget to wear a fun costume and bring something brief (five minutes, or less) to read. Fundraising continues through October 30, so bring another flyer and enjoy.
Speaking of the NCWC, two additional upcoming events include a Submit Yo’self Publishing Seminar on November 2, at 7:30 p.m., in JR 352, and a November 17 reading by Natashia Deon & Dana Johnson, at 7:30 p.m., in the Whitsett Room.
The all new, online, Northridge Review is a literary and arts journal of the present, produced by students in the creative writing program at California State University, Northridge. Founded in 1962 as a campus publication of student work, Northridge Review now seeks to broaden its scope and join the larger literary community by moving to an online format and publishing exceptional student work alongside established and emerging writers from across the globe. We encourage submissions of timely, provocative, and innovative Prose, Poetry, Drama, and Art that pushes boundaries in subversive, disruptive, or other challenging ways. To submit visit: Submissions for the inaugural online edition (to be published in the spring) will close November 23, 2016.
On Friday, November 28, the Graduate Reading Series will be holding an event, featuring student readers: Eric Perez, drama; Starlon Hithe, writing; and Eric Smith, prose. Come join in the fun and support our fabulous writing students. The reading begins at 7:00 p.m. in our LNJ Room (JR 319), and is free and open to all, including children under five, with free snacks.
Every year the Dean of the College of Humanities asks that we solicit from our students a few lines of poetry or prose that would be suitable for the holiday card that the College sends out. It’s a lovely honor — the card includes the lines, plus a bio of the student author (and bragging rights, of course). Typically the Dean is interested in free verse that captures something of the season in fresh language, so please let your students know, and if you see something they have written that might be appropriate, please send to along to Dorothy Barresi (, who is generously overseeing the selection process.


As part of CSUN’s strong commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, addressing our parking issues, and exploring the best environmentally-sensitive solutions for an environmentally sustainable future, President Harrison recently sent you a link to our annual transportation survey. Please fill it out. Maybe we’ll get more parking (and maybe less), but your data is vital data. (Also, I think, participation is required.)


Provision 20.37 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the California Faculty Association and the Board of Trustee of the California State University (2014-17) designates the awarding of assigned time (in the form of Weighted Teaching Units, WTU), on a competitive basis, to Unit 3 faculty employees “who are engaged in exceptional levels of service that support the CSU’s priorities, but who are not otherwise receiving an adjustment in workload to reflect their effort.” Awards are designated for workload beyond the requirements of regular faculty assignment in enhancing the student learning environment. Don’t be shy–this could be you. The application deadline is Friday, November 4, 2016. For more information, including application forms, please see the Office of Faculty Affairs webpage:

Here’s one for our budding children’s lit authors: the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is currently accepting application from full-time university students in an English or Creative Writing Program for scholarships to its 2017 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York, February 10-12, 2017. The scholarships feature: full tuition to main conference events including keynotes and breakout sessions, exclusive exposure to industry professionals at the conference, and a SCBWI Conference advisor to help navigate the jammed-packed weekend. The deadline is coming up soon — November 2, 2016–so check out the details at One graduate student and one undergraduate student will be selected for this conference, and one of each will also be selected for a conference next summer.


On Saturday, October 22nd, Irene Clark presented a paper at the Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference in San Diego. The conference theme was “Rhetoric and Literacy on the Border,” and her paper was titled “Border Crossing Between First Year Writing and Writing in Upper Division Courses.”

LA’s 2016 Lit Crawl — and fourth annual participation in this now global celebration of writing — took place last night, November 26, in North Hollywood, and CSUN’s writing community was, as ever, well represented. Various readings and events featured CSUN faculty, students, and alum, including: Kate Haake and Sean Pessin, with the Interstitial Arts Organization, hosted by Susana Marcelo; Mona Houghton, with What Books; alum, Gina Alexander, with the New Short Fiction Series; and our very own graduate students taking on pressing issues of racial inequality, gender identity, and political upheaval through poetry, fiction, music, manifestos, spoken-word, and everything in between. Presenters included Alvaro Castillo, Jesse Clemens, Lu Chukhadarian as reader, and members of the Vocal Artillery doing their thing. As they put it themselves, “Maybe literature can’t change the world, but we can sure as hell try.”

Kate Haake has published a quartet of micro fictions, “Some Time After That,” in the newly released fall 2016 issue of Chicago Quarterly Review. The stories — “A Festival of Fish,” “Not Here,” “How We Started,” and “Assumptions We Might Make About the Postworld,” are accompanied by art work by Los Angeles writer, Lisa Bloomfield. 17nomad-sm

Volume 43:4

October 14th, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43:4)


Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



It’s that time of year again, and applications for the CSUN Research Fellows Program, funded collaboratively by the Office of the Provost, the Colleges and the Library, are now open. Tenured and probationary faculty are invited to submit proposals to become a Research Fellow. Nine research fellowships will be awarded each academic year (one per College and one in the Library). The CSUN Research Fellows Program provides 12 units of reassigned time and a small research support budget for those who are selected. Faculty who are interested in becoming a Research fellow must submit proposals, no longer than five pages, including any additional budget request up to $5,000 to the Dean’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on January 27, 2017 on the College-provided proposal form. A resume must also be attached. The form will be available on the College website. Look for it soon.

Even though it’s just October and some of us are still mastering our students’ names, mark your calendars now for the term-end Department party, currently scheduled for December 9. The holidays will be upon us before we think to even anticipate them.

Angela Morales, winner of the 2014 River Teeth Nonfiction Book Prize for her collection of essays entitled The Girls in My Town, will be reading in JR 201, on October 26 at 2:00PM. Morales is an English teacher at Glendale Community College and a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. Her essays have recently appeared in Best American Essays 2013, The Southern Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The Harvard Review. The Girls in My Town was published by the University of New Mexico Press. This promises to be a very special event, do let your students know.

And here is another very special event: a reading and celebration of Martin Pousson’s new book, Black Sheep Boy, which will take place on Tuesday, November 1 at 4:30PM, JR 319.

In an effort to support CSUN’s international student community, the Oviatt Library in collaboration with the International Exchange Student Center (IESC) will be hosting an event and workshop on October 14th at 2-4PM at the October 14, 2016 at the IESC. The Center is located in the University Student Union, building C. The aim is to inform and assist international students about how the Oviatt Library can help them succeed academically, learn to analyze and engage with resources that are retrieved from the Oviatt Library, and avoid plagiarism. The workshop will provide incentivization for attendance and participation (i.e. lunch, opportunity drawings). For more information please direct your students to our website: Please let your international students know about this important event.

Did anyone ever help you out when you were in a tight spot in school? Or was there someone you always knew you could turn to for guidance, information, or support? CSUN’s Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Awards acknowledges just such contributions, and you have until Monday, October 31, at 5 p.m. to nominate someone you know and admire. Faculty, staff, and administrators may be nominated for these awards, which recognize exceptional mentoring of past or present CSUN students; holistic approaches to mentoring, including academic and personal support and in informal and intangible ways; and/or proactive involvement in the university’s commitment to the success of students of diverse backgrounds and communities. For more information, contact  Glenn Omatsu, Coordinator, Faculty Mentor Program, EOP Central, University Hall 205 (campus mail code: 8366); e-mail: Meantime, mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m, when a reception honoring this years recipients will be held.


Tomorrow night, don’t miss: Friday, October 14, at 7:00 PM in Jerome Richfield Hall, Room 319, a new monthly film series, “Reimagining Narrative,” returns with a screening of Věra Chytilová’s Daises, which has been described as “an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema.” Free & open to the public, this new monthly film series seeks to create a space for interdisciplinary study and discussion of innovative narrative forms. The organizers hope to build on the success of the previous screening, which garnered 30+ audience members and a spirited conversation. Curated and hosted collaboratively by Dr. Christopher Higgs, Assistant Professor of English, & Katharine Mason, M.A. candidate in English, each film in the Reimagining Narrative series will be introduced & contextualized prior to screening, with an open discussion to follow.

And (another reminder), most of us will already be here because of tomorrow’s not-to-miss either Department meeting.


This one is for students, and it’s big, so please help spread the word: the Los Angeles Review of Books and the University of Southern California are launching a new summer publishing program designed to provide an immersive, five-week training designed to prepare students for the publishing world of the future. The new program, the Los Angeles Review of Books / USC Publishing Workshop, will have its inaugural session in summer 2017, and be hosted on the USC campus. Open to rising juniors, seniors, and graduates from any college or university, nationally and internationally, interested in a career in publishing, LARB‘s first priority is to make the program available to all qualified applicants, regardless of their ability to pay, and is strongly committed  not just to training the publishing professionals of the future, but diversifying the industry. More information on the program and application instructions are available here:


Kate Haake has published two pieces in the new fall issue of the Santa Monica Review–a lyric essay, “War Protest,” and a postworld parable, “Something Human Burning.”

Christopher Higgs experimental memoir, As I Stand Living, has been selected for publication by editor Janice Lee at the well-established independent publisher Civil Coping Mechanisms for inclusion in their innovative #RECURRENT book series imprint, an ongoing series of exceptional writing…[that] seeks to push the boundaries of narrative with books that seek to reconstruct, reimagine & expand on existing narrative spaces.” Many, many kudos, Chris!

Noreen Lace published a story, “Harvey Levin Can’t Die” in the August/September issue of Giggle Galore.

Martin Pousson‘s invited review of The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism has just been published in the current issue of The Archive (

Always a good source for updates on students success, Martin reports the following:  Kaitlin Pollard (BA Spring ’16, English CW) has been promoted to Marketing Communications Associate at SAGE Publishing; Justin La Torre (BA Spring ’16, English CW) has been hired as Marketing Communications Writer for Anthem; Leticia Valente (BA Spring ’16, English CW) has been hired as Volunteer Coordinator for LitCrawl LA.; James Bezerra (MA Spring ’16, English CW) has begun the MFA Writing Program at Portland State University. Thanks, Martin! Keep us posted.

Kim Young has new poems in Hotel Amerika, [PANK], Strutco, and the Cincinnati Review, where she received an honorable mention for the Robert and Adele Schiff Award in poetry.

Volume 43:3

September 29th, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43:3)


Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake 



Announcing (drum roll) an exciting exciting new year-long (inaugural?) film series, Reimagining Narrative, co-curated by Chris Higgs and (MA student) Katharine Mason. Launched September 23, with David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, the series continues on Friday, October 14, with Věra Chytilová’s Daisies, a Czech New Wave film from 1966 that has been described as “an aesthetically and politically adventurous film that’s widely considered one of the great works of feminist cinema.” This series is free and open to the public, and takes place in the LNJ Room (JR 319), at 7:00 p.m.  Screenings will be introduced and contextualized prior to viewing, with open discussion to follow. Stay tuned for details about future events. For more information, contact Professor Higgs at

The COPD (Career Opportunities and Professional Development) group is pleased to announce an event that will explore graduate options in creative writing, with a special look at the difference between MFA and PhD programs. This event features guest speakers, Chris Higgs and Rick Mitchell, and will take place on Tuesday, October 4, at 5:00 p.m., in ST 703. All are welcome — grads, undergrads, faculty. Come see what the future may hold for you and/or your students.

The Faculty Retreat Planning Committee is pleased to announce that the 2017 Faculty Retreat will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please save the date if you’d like to attend. Proposals are invited from those who’d like to address faculty and student success that contributes to the reputation and visibility of CSUN. The deadline for proposals is October 17, and the online proposal form is available at


Do not forget: we are in Open Enrollment season, which extends through next Friday, October 7. No action is required if you do not plan to make any changes in your benefits. But if, for example, you want to take advantage of our pre-tax childcare or health care benefits, you do need to re-enroll.

As previously announced, the Santa Monica Review Fall 2016 launch reading is taking place Sunday, October 9, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The evening will feature a welcome and introduction by poet, teacher, and activist, Susan Suntree, and readings by Monona Wali, Richard Wirick, Michelle Latiolais, and Kate Haake, who will be introduced by our very own Sean Pessin. (Thank you, Sean.)


This one’s for students: The Oakland Arts Review, an undergraduate literary magazine published by Oakland University in Michigan, is looking for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, scripts, graphic narratives, as well as artwork for our cover. There is no submission fee and students can submit online at their website: Submissions are accepted year round, but they will start considering work in October and will finalize decisions for their second issue by November. They are also excited to offer the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Prize in Poetry and Nonfiction, recognizing work that addresses the experience of being Muslim in America. First prize in each category, $500 and publication; second prize, $300 and publication. Please let your students know.

The George Bennett Fellowship at Phillips Exeter Academy will be accepting applications from October 1 through November 30. Designed to support emerging writers at a critical stage in their careers, the award provides the 2016-17 Fellow with a stipend of $15,570, plus housing, meals, and benefits. The duties of the Fellow are to work towards the completion of a manuscript of a book, and to be accessible, at times, for conversation with students interested in writing during the time the Fellow is in residence at Exeter. Sounds great! More information can be found at


Martin Pousson’s new novel-in-stories, Black Sheep Boy, was featured at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, and he moderated the “Southern Reads” panel during the Trade Show in Savannah, Georgia. He was the featured book club author for Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood. And he read from Black Sheep Boy for Tongue & Groove at The Hotel Café in Hollywood.

Volume 43:2

September 15th, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43:2)


Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake 



Faculty undergoing personnel review will not want to miss Retention, Tenure, and Promotion, an informal discussion on the process. The event will take place in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room of the Oviatt Library on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Members of reviewing agencies such as Department Chairs, members of Department and College Personnel Committees, and Deans and faculty planning to seek promotion in rank in future years are also invited and encouraged to attend.

The Oviatt Library and the Office of the Provost cordially invites you to the 8th Annual Research Fellow Colloquium, when our distinguished Research Fellows will be talking about their — research! And bring your classes with you to the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room in the Oviatt Library on  Tuesday, October 11,  from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

On Sunday, October 9, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the Santa Monica Review will be hosting a reading to celebrate the publication of its fall 2016 issue. The evening will feature a welcome and introduction by poet, teacher, and activist, Susan Suntree, and readings by Monona Wali, Richard Wirick, Michelle Latiolais, and Kate Haake. So if your Sunday afternoon brings you to Santa Monica, please consider joining us there.

Please let your students know that the Northridge Creative Writing Circle is undergoing a metamorphosis this semester! Even if they missed the first meeting, which took place on September 13, they should stay tuned for more, as this club, along with our others, such as the Sigma Tau Delta, AGSE, and the Critical Theory Club, offer exciting opportunities to students for involvement, new experiences and communities, and fun.


This being the season of memos, be sure to read the ones you receive. There are all kinds of things to be aware of — outside employment (there are rules and restrictions), policies for examinations and religious observations (be informed and accommodating), selling books to the book buyers who haunt our halls and inboxes (don’t) — and you may miss out on them if you don’t read all your mail.

For example, President Harrison wants us to remember that safety on campus is a shared responsibility. Toward that end, please make note of the important resource, the “Emergency Operations Desk Reference for Faculty,” posted at You may also reach the Desk Reference from the “Emergency Information” link at the bottom of the Cal State Northridge home page, Additionally, please see the Office of Equity and Diversity’s website at for information on confidential on- and off-campus support services, sexual misconduct response and prevention, reporting resources, and more information regarding CSUN’s policies against discrimination. Finally, make sure that the contact information on your portal is current and complete so that, in the event of emergency, you will not be left out of potentially invaluable real-time notifications.

Ronaldo wants this information, too, so please get your updated contact and emergency contact information to him soon.

President Harrison also wants us to Help Make CSUN Shine Bright! Please visit the program website at to share thoughts, opinions and creative ideas on this semester’s topic: diversity. What are promising campus practices for using diversity to equip our students for 21st century success [e.g., enhancing critical thinking, creativity, and boundary-spanning leadership skills]? How can we create learning environments that take full advantage of CSUN’s unique diversity-related strengths? How we can better celebrate, support, and facilitate inclusivity and diversity? All students, faculty and staff are invited to respond by submitting thoughts on the webform through October 7, 2016.

It’s Open Enrollment Time, September 12 through October 7. This is your opportunity not just to select your health care option, but also to enroll in pre-tax benefits, like child care and health care, and other benefits that could save you money!

The Amenities Committee does want your contributions to our annual fund, which finances the holiday party, refreshments for department meetings, and celebrations for faculty and staff retirements and other milestones. Contributions (in the form of cash or checks) should be given to Marlene Cooksey (ST 704). Checks should be made out to “Amenities.” (Please don’t put cash in Marlene’s mailbox.) Suggested contributions are the same as last year: Professor $70, Associate $50, Assistant $40, Lecturer $10. Thank you, Amenities Committee — and thank you, too, everyone else — in advance, for helping us fund department events and reimburse those who shop for these events!


The West Valley Regional Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library has selected to participate in a system-wide program called The Bard Goes West, which will celebrate Shakespeare’s presence in everything from 19th theatres, to early to contemporary film adaptations, to the wide range of other ways Shakespeare was enjoyed throughout the history of the West Coast. The program will run from November 2016 through February 2017. Toward that end, librarian Daryl A. Maxwell is looking for someone in our department who is knowledgeable about Shakespeare, his work, and possibly their impact on CA and/or the West Coast? Anyone interested in participating can contact Daryl at

The American Comparative Literature Association conference is looking for proposals that explore postcolonial responses to creative writing as a globalized discipline, and we are considering submissions through September 23. The conference will take place at Utrecht University on July 6 through 9, 2017. Here is the call:

This one is for your undergraduate creative writing students: The Blue Route, a national, undergraduate literary journal, is currently accepting submissions for issue 17. Please encourage your undergraduate students to submit their very best poetry, short fiction, or creative nonfiction. This journal pays 25 dollars for accepted work! More information is available at

And another one for students: The Santa Ana River Review, the graduate-student-run literary journal of the University of California, Riverside’s MFA program is open for submissions through the 15th of November! In addition to reviewing work in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Visual Arts, this year they are also hosting a Dramatic Works Contest, with NO SUBMISSION FEE and a TOP PRIZE of $100! With this contest, they are looking for truly unique 10-minute works unhindered by the confines of a production budget or performance restrictions. For more information, please visit their webpage at


Irene Clark’s article, “Genre, Identity, and the Brain: Insights from Neuropsychology,” has been published in The Journal of General Education, Volume 65, Number 1, 2016, pp, 1-19. Her chapter, titled “Assembling Knowledge: The Role of Threshold Concepts in Facilitating Transfer,” written in collaboration with Linda Adler-Kassner, Liane Robertson, Kara Taczak, and Kathleen Blake Yancey, is the first chapter in Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer, published by the WAC Clearinghouse, edited by Chris M. Anson and Jessie L. Moore. During her sabbatical, she gave two presentations at the University of Coventry on the topic of writing assignments and a presentation concerned with thesis and dissertation writing at Queen Mary University, London.

Noreen Lace‘s short fiction, “Of Strays and Exes,” was published in New Beginnings, released by Pilcrow and Dagger in June 2016. The same story was chosen for July’s podcast, available on their website

Volume 43:1

September 1st, 2016 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 43:1)

Chair: Kent Baxter                                                                                                                               Notes compiled by: Kate Haake


News flash: we’re back.

Here’s hoping everyone had wonderful summers and that all are looking forward to the new school year!

Also, please send your news, announcements, and achievements to me at, because I’m compiling these notes, again. It’s always great to hear from you, so please – please – don’t be shy.

Nominations are now closed for the College Personnel and Sabbatical Committees. But don’t be glum: if you missed the boat this time around, please mark it on your calendars for next year.

You are warmly invited to attend the 2016 CSUN Freshman Convocation occurring Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. on the Oviatt Library Lawn, an honored celebration of learning that welcomes our freshman class to our campus community. Get out your regalia and come join the fun. Freshman are new freshman for just such a very short time!

Mark your calendars now for the Wings/New Voice October 21th from 3-5 in the Grand Salon. This is a great celebration of our students and their writing, and you will miss out if you miss it.

Another thing not to miss: Banned Books Readout, with Pizza! Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00-2:00 p.m. Ferman Presentation Room, Oviatt Library. Students will be giving dramatic readings from, presumably, banned books, so do let your own students know, banned books being an excellent subject for class discussion, and all.


Wendy Say, in our front office, is on leave for a bit, so please be patient, considerate, and resourceful.

Speaking of staff, let’s give another round of welcome to our new staff members to the English Department. Ruth Serrano will be joining us as a student assistant, and Ronaldo Noche will be temporarily filling the Main Office Administrative Support Assistant position.

Frank, or the front office, would like your office hours. It is very helpful for the front office staff to have your office hours so when students call them, they can direct the students to your available times. (PS They also want your syllabi.)

Please review your FERPA regulations memo regarding public posting of student grades and possible Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act issues, as recently sent out by Kent. For example, if you post grades in a public place (and why would you, given that students can access them instantaneously online?), you need to do so in a secret way that nobody can decode (and don’t even think about using parts of student ID’s or SSN’s). Same thing goes for emailing grades, or talking about them in class. The main thing is that student, and family, privacy is a real and important issue, and we all need to do our part to respect it.

Kent also sent you some useful information from Cheryl Spector on assisting new transfer students, who face a whole host of challenges, as we all know. The good news is that CSUN is excellently equipped to assist them. Maybe start with the new transfer webpage, at, and take it from there. And while you are at it, it might also be worth reviewing the Academic First Year Experiences Page at, which might also prove useful to you — and your students — in the weeks ahead.

And here’s a little pre-reminder for you:  the Amenities Committee will soon be asking you, please, to contribute to our annual fund, which finances the holiday party, refreshments for department meetings, and celebrations for faculty and staff retirements and other milestones. Contributions (in the form of cash or checks) should be given to Marlene Cooksey (ST 704). Checks should be made out to “Amenities.” (Please don’t put cash in Marlene’s mailbox.) Suggested contributions may (or may not be) the same as last year — that’s up to the Amenities Committee. But for point of reference, we have been paying: Professor $70, Associate $50, Assistant $40, Lecturer $10. Thank you, Amenities Committee — and thank you, too, everyone else — in advance, for helping us fund department events and reimburse those who shop for these events!


The College of Humanities has a variety of grants and funding opportunities you should keep your eye out — and throw your hat in — for! These include the CoH Research Lab Faculty Affiliate Program, the Academic Programming Fund, the Faculty Fellowship and Grant Program, the University Sabbatical Leave Program, the Distinguished Visiting Speaker Fund, the Probationary Faculty Research Program, and the College of Humanities Research Fellow Program. Details can be found on the COH webpage, at, or in the lovely grid Jackie sent us by email this week that I can’t figure out how to duplicate here.

Don’t forget, either,  to check out the CSUN Faculty Development page at You can apply for grants, attend workshops to enrich your and teaching (learning centered and culturally responsive, to name a few), and even bring your laptop to the roof and write and do research with colleagues on Writing Mondays, to name just a few.

And heres an opportunity for your students: The Nation is currently looking for submissions to its student writing contest, in response to the following prompt: It’s clear that the political system in the United States isn’t working for many young people. What do you think is the central issue for your generation in Election 2016? 10 finalists and two winners total will be selected – six from college students, six from those in high school. Winners will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize and a lifetime Nation subscription. Finalists receive $250. The winning essays will be published in The Nation magazine and at For complete guidelines, please see Please help spread the word.


During her recent sabbatical, Kate Haake published a co-authored essay, “The Bold and the Beautiful: Rethinking Undergraduate Models,” in What We Talk About When We Talk About Creative Writing. She also had fiction appear in West Branch Wired (, Shenandoah (,  and, in August, in the London-based Litro@StorySunday (

Dr. Kim Knight, an assistant professor of emerging media and communication at UT Dallas and a former TA in our department, has received the 2016 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for her work and innovation in the classroom. Knight credits her training here for her achievement. “From the very beginning, Dr. Clark helped me frame the classroom as a space that should place students and their thinking at the center,” Knight said.

Over the summer, Martin Pousson’s new novel, Black Sheep Boy, was released in hardcover by Rare Bird Lit. Two of his short stories were published: “Most Holy Ghost” in TriQuarterly ( and “Black Sheep Boy” in Eclectica ( “Black Sheep Boy” also was a finalist for the Glimmer Train Fiction Open prize. Two of his essays were published: one on the Orlando mass shooting in The Advocate, where it was an Editor’s Pick, and one on LGBTQ history in MEL Magazine. He performed readings at Women & Children First in Chicago, Dog Eared in San Francisco, Skylight in Los Angeles, and Roar Shack & 826LA in Echo Park.

Linda Rader Overman‘s essay “Mestiza consciousness of La Fontera/Borderlands in Sandra Cisneros and Helena María Viramontes,” was published this spring in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the the American West . Ed. Steven Frye. New York: Cambridge Univ Press.



Volume 40:16

May 15th, 2014 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 40:16)

1. Announcements6a01157116bb88970b0133f39b34fe970b-500pi

I begin these notes with warm congratulations to one and all for making it through yet another year, equally warm wishes for grand summers ahead, and a sad farewell. After three years of writing Every Other Thursday’s Notes, it’s time to turn the honors over to our new Senior Associate Chair, Anthony Dawahare. Now, I can admit to some trepidation when I first took over these Notes, but despite the sometimes daunting challenges of keeping track of our comings and doings, opportunities and achievements, deadlines and whatnots, I have grown oddly fond of posting them for you. I’m not going to say I will miss writing them, but I do know I will read them more closely than I ever did before I wrote them. Ours is a complex, accomplished, and thriving department, with amazing staff and faculty and equally amazing students, and it’s here that we get to read all about it. And anyway, in it’s own way, it’s been fun. Ah la la. — KH

But first, a few last announcements. The Honors Convocation will be held tomorrow night, May 16, at 6:00 p.m. on the Oviatt Library lawn. And next week, graduation! Here’s hoping we’ve all sorted out our regalia and tickets and such, and that the event will be as splendid and heartwarming as it always is. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 22, also at 6:00 p.m. on the Oviatt Library lawn. Earlier that day, for the first time, MA students will be honored at their own hooding ceremony, which will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. in Chaparral Hall. Immediately after, we will reconvene in the Linda Nichols Joseph Reading Room for our annual term end party, which will run from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please plan to join us for either or both, and help our students celebrate their awards and achievements.

And don’t blink either, next year will soon be upon us. So please save the dates now listed below, keeping in mind that although some of them seem to pertain only to Composition people,  all of us are Compositionists in a variety of ways. Here’s what we know now; additional details will be announced as available.

Tuesday, May 13th: Wings Reading to select samples for Wings, in the LNJ Reading Room (JR 319), from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
Wednesday, May 28th: New Voices Reading to select samples for New Voices 
Thursday, August 21st: Composition Orientation, featuring Professor Dana Ferris and focusing on Working with Multilingual Students, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the LNJ Reading Room (JR 319)
Sunday, September 7th:  PARTY at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon at Irene Clark’s house.
Friday, October 17th: Wings/New Voices Awards Ceremony, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m

On May 16, the 4Humanities@CSUN group will host a meeting of the Southern California 4Humanities chapters to plan a collaborative research project called WhatEvery1Wants. This long-term project will use text mining methods to explore perceptions of the humanities, what academics and others believe the core values of the humanities to be, and the way people “frame” narratives about the humanities. Further information about the meeting can be found on the DHSoCal website. Anyone interested is welcome to join the meeting.

For those of you who missed it, Stephanie Satie will be doing one last performance of her solo play, Silent Witnesses, on Sunday June 1, at 7:30 p.m. at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.

And for those of you who can’t wait to get started on your summer projects, you might want to hunker down with some like-minded others in the College of Humanities Faculty Writing Boot Camp, which will take place in the COH Conference Room, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., from June 2 to June 19. Come join other COH faculty in daily writing sessions designed to provide an atmosphere where distractions are minimal and support is plentiful. You will be provided space to set up your laptops and relevant books and papers. However, you should expect to be working in a room alongside other writers (akin to a library/café atmosphere). For more information, please contact Amanda Baugh at And, happy writing.

2. Reminders

Um, summer?

3. Opportunities

Summer, again,  an opportunity all its own — for fun, for rest, for reading and writing and creative and scholarly endeavors. Here’s hoping you all have a grand one.

4. Achievements

Former TA and current Lecturer Norma Aceves will be attending the PhD Program in English at the University of Florida next year with full funding for four years.

On May 8, Scott Kleinman presented a paper on The Archive of Early Middle English, which explored the challenges of creating and using digital resources for medieval manuscripts.

El Salvadoran immigrant and long time community activist, Rossana Perez, who is graduating with her MA in Literature, is being featured as one of CSUN’s Outstanding Graduates. Your can read all about Rossana’s incredible achievements on CSUN Today, at And those of you who have had the pleasure of working with her can attest to how richly she deserves this recognition.

Two of our valued faculty — Lecturer Mary Shannon and TA Jared Thomas — have been honored with Polished Apples by students in the University Ambassadors program. The awards ceremony was on April 30. Mary was also honored as the faculty advisor for Sigma Tau Alpha, a new fraternity for veterans, at the “A Rose Like No Other” Awards Ceremony.

On May 11, Mother’s Day, three CSUN affiliated writers — former graduate student and current Lecturer Sean Pessin, graduating MA student Trista Payte, and current MA student Eric Barnhart — were featured in Sally Shore’s Emerging Voices evening for the New Short Fiction Series, L.A.’s longest running spoken word series. The event took place at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood, where professional actors, Alex Boling, Wilson Wong, and Sally Shore herself performed short stories by each of these writers and a fabulous time was had by all. Through the month of May, the stories may be downloaded for $.99 at

Now that the year is ending, the letters are written, the students mentored, and the judging completed, here are the recipients of this spring’s Department Awards. Many thanks to those of you who supported them and, most especially, to the Amenities and Awards Committee, chaired by Lauren Byler, for doing the hard work of choosing among our many talented and accomplished students. Congratulations to them all.

The Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship
Mary Estrada and Daniel Franklin

The Henry VanSlooten Scholarship in English
Katharine Mason
“Greed Is Not Good: Venality and Magical Realism in ‘The Rocking-Horse Winner’ and “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings'”

The Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award
Chelsey Berry
Slow Recurrence (poems)

The Robert apRoberts English Honors Essay Prize
Ah Jung Chang
“The Performance of Drag: An Army Nurse and the Vietnam War”

The Mahlon Gaumer Award
John Kubler
“The String Theorist of the 17th Century: A New Look at Margaret Cavendish’s Scientific Ideas”

The Harry Finestone Award in English
Nina Moon Ahn
“The Abominable Independence of Elizabeth Bennet: Spatial Renderings and Feminine Subjectivity in Pride and Prejudice”

The Academy of American Poets Prize
Winner: Emilio Sotelo, “Observations”
Honorable Mention: Cody Deitz, “Bridge”

The Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English
Hannah Jorgenson

And with that, farewell and good respites to all…

Great Gatsby summer quote

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Volume 40:15

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 40:15)

1. Announcements

Our amazing students and alumni have done it again, and we begin this issue of Thursday’s Notes with some happy news about where some of them are headed and will be doing next:

Megan Barlog (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the New York University Summer Publishing Institute Program for Summer 2014.

Alissa Binder (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the California Institute for the Arts MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction).

Amy Cameron (BA, ’13, English, Literature) will be starting her MA in library science at UCLA this fall.

Abe Fitzpatrick (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the Wichita State University MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a full fellowship and a position as Graduate Teaching Assistant

Jon Goodnick (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the California Institute for the Arts MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a fellowship.

Colin Herrera (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the Rutgers University MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a Chancellor’s Award with a tuition remission fellowship. There, he’ll work with the Visiting Writers Series and as a mentor for high school writing programs affiliated with Rutgers University.

Mostafa Jalal (M.A. 2014) was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Creative Writing Poetry at George State University.

Rebecca Johnson (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the Chapman University MFA program in Creative Writing.

Hannah Jorgensen (BA, ’10, English, Honors; MA ’13, English, Literature) will begin the Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota with six years of full funding. Six years of full funding equals a lot.

Arthur Kayzaykian (MA 2013) will be starting his MFA in poetry in the fall at San Diego State University.

Rene Solivan (BA ’08, English, Creative Writing) will be starting the the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ International MFA Program in the fall with three years of full funding.

Stephan Topf will be starting  Virginia Tech’s Rhetoric and Writing PhD program, with a full scholarship, a Graduate Teaching Assistant position, and a position as an editorial assistant for the Minnesota Review, which is not, apparently, in Minnesota (has it ever been?).

Kristin Way (formerly Cornelius) (MA 2012 and currently a Lecturer in our Department) will begin a PhD in Information Studies at UCLA. She was awarded the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, which provides an $88,000 stipend, plus tuition and fees, for the first four years of her program.

And if I have missed or overlooked any exciting student future news, please let me know at There’s still one more issue of TN, Volume 40, so still time to spread good news.

CSUN English faculty are also on a roll! Charles Hatfield has  received the 2014 Preeminent Scholarly Publication and Martin Pousson has received the 2014 Exceptional Creative Accomplishments Award. Hatfield and Pousson join last year’s winners, Michael Bryson (2013 Preeminent Scholarly Publication recipient) and Rick Mitchell (2013 Exceptional Creative Accomplishments recipient). Our faculty rock! And to help celebrate, please plan to attend the Honored Faculty Reception on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union.  Please RSVP to Heidi Wolfbauer at

And here’s some more good news: most of the graduation ticket issues previously announced have now been resolved. Graduation services is working hard to ensure that students and their families who want to attend their graduations are accommodated. And for those few students who still haven’t heard that graduation this year will be a ticketed event, there may still be time. According to the Daily Sundial, students who have yet to contact the office with their concerns, can still do so this week.

It’s official!  Jennifer Lee and Santosh Khadka are soon to be the newest members of our department. Both of them specialize in Developmental Composition, but will bring different areas of focus and different kinds of strengths to our department. And in related news, Sandra Jackson has graciously agreed to continue on as Stretch Coordinator while Jennifer and Santosh spend their first year learning the Stretch program and getting their bearings. Things are looking good for our Composition program and, most importantly, its students, who numbers are legion.

Speaking of new, or newer, faculty, a pre-tenure retention workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 6th from 11:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m. in the USU Thousand Oaks Room. The workshop will feature: a Q & A with Provost Hellenbrand; a presentation of key issues critical to new faculty; an opportunity for new faculty members to share their experiences, in a ‘peer-group’ environment; a brainstorming session to develop strategies for pre-tenured faculty and gather recommendations to improve job satisfaction for new faculty; and — refreshments! If interested, please RSVP to

On Friday, May 2 (tomorrow), Rick Mitchell’s artist’s residency at Hamilton High School will come to fruition with the Hamilton New Play Festival, which will feature new work written and performed by Hamilton High School students and include some short plays written by CSUN students specifically for the Festival. The shows will take place at 3:30 p.m., and then again at 6:00 p.m. Mitchell has been ably assisted by CSUN service-learning students, and the residency was supported in part by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as by the UCLA After-School Program and CSUN’s Office of Community Engagement. Hamilton is located at 2955 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034; performances will take place in the teacher’s cafeteria.

On Saturday, May 3, the Northridge Playwrights Workshop will present staged readings of plays by students from English 310 in CSUN’s Little Theatre at 6:15 p.m.

Desert Performance Lab, a new student organization that’s based  in the English Department and dedicated to the development and performance of original plays, will present new work on Saturday, May 3rd, at 9:00 p.m. in CSUN’s Little Theatre.

On Thursday, May 8, at 7:15 p.m., in the LNJ Reading Room, JR 319, the creative writing students of 698D will present LAST SNAPSHOT: The MA Capstone Reading.

On Thursday, May 15, at 5:45 p.m., in JR-319, the Northridge Playwrights Workshop will present staged readings of original work by the students of Writing for Performance.

Martin Pousson will be the closing reader for the Griffith Park Storytelling Series. He will read “The Skinwalker,” a new short story just published in the Spring issue of Epoch. The event will be held outdoors in Griffith Park, in the Bronson Caves (AKA the “Batcaves”) on Sunday, May 4 at 5:00 PM. The series is organized by editors from Black Clock literary journal and is free and open to all.

In April, Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi hosted their first-ever Poetry contest judged by Patty Seyburn, the award winning poet of such works as Hilarity (2009), Mechanical Cluster (2002), and Perfecta (2014), forthcoming from What Books Press. From among the many notable submissions, Seyburn selected Trista Payte‘s poem, “Our Lady of Perpetual Deferral,” as the winning poem, Honorable Mentions were also awarded to Eric Barnhart, for “I made you with these two;” Cody Deitz, for “Ritual,” and Justin La Torre, for “Unrequited Canyons.” All selected poems will be acknowledged in the Fall 2014 edition of The Northridge Review, and all four writers will be offered the opportunity to read with Patty Seyburn at a Sigma Tau Delta event scheduled for next semester, tentatively scheduled for October 2014, to celebrate the launch of Seyburn’s new book.

On Friday, May 9, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the GRS will hold its final reading of the year in the LNJ Reading Room, JR 319. All are welcome at what will surely be an entertaining and emotional night as we bid farewell to three pivotal members of our Creative Writing Community — Raja Visweswaran, George Fekaris, and Trista Payte — and welcome in the new GRS coordinators — Lusine Makarosyan, Gina Srmabekian, and Freddy Garcia. Refreshments and good company will be provided. The evening promises to be a truly special one and you will be sad if you miss it.

With the Spring semester drawing to close, the editors of Wings, Cody Deitz and Vana Derohanessian, would like to remind all Stretch teachers to urge their 113B, 114B, and 115 students to submit their work to the 21st edition of Wings. A wide variety of submissions are welcome and encouraged, ranging from argument-driven essays to web-based writing and blogs to Project assignments. Copies of the submission forms will be available in the English Department mailroom, and the deadline for submissions is May 12. All submissions can be placed in the Wings bin, which will also be located in the mailroom. Questions can be directed to

Even as we count down to the end of the year and a possible new contract, the CFA — our stalwart union — is holding a faculty Picnic was yesterday….appreciation picnic to eat great BBQ and celebrate all our hard work this year. Please plan to show up on the Bayramian Lawn in Wednesday, April 30, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. For your free Smokin Willie’s BBQ ticket (vegetarian and vegan options will also be available), please RSVP to 818-677-5919 or Tickets will be delivered to your faculty mailboxes by Monday, April 28.

2. Reminders

The All College Meeting, with Provost Harry Hellenbrand and Dean Elizabeth A. Say, is fast approaching. The event will take place on Monday, May 12, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451. Please plan to be there to hear Provost Hellenbrand speak about the future of CSUN and to share your own questions/concerns/observations regarding the same. Light refreshments will be served.

All faculty interested in applying for the 2015 National Endowments for the Humanities Summer Stipends must have their completed applications in the Dean’s office NO LATER THAN  5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 16th in order that proposals may be reviewed and forwarded to the ORSP by the stated deadline. Please review all guidelines carefully.

3. Opportunities

Two assistant VP positions, one for research and one for graduate studies, have been approved for the Office of Research & Graduate Studies and Graduate Dean. This represents a significant investment by the campus in setting the stage for the anticipated growth in sponsored projects over the next few years, and signals It signals the campus’s deep and sustained commitment to growing research, grants, and contracts and in supporting the graduate school at CSUN. If you are interested or have any questions about the positions, please contact Crist Khachikian, Associate VP for Research & Graduate Studies and Graduate Dean, at

4. Achievements

On April 2, Dorothy Barresi gave a poetry reading in Compton for 150 high school teachers and staff of YouthBuild Charter School. Following the reading she met with English teachers and gave a workshop on teaching poetry writing, “Beyond End Rhyme.”  In other exciting news, her poems “Some Questions We Might Ask,” and “Surfing as Meditation” are discussed in the “Exteriors: Signs of the Endtime” chapter of the new book Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City, by Laurence Goldstein, published by the University of Michigan Press. And she has been asked to write a Forward for the manuscript she has chosen as the winner of the Patricia Bibby First Book Prize.

MA student, James Bezerra, has recently published  stories in Cease, Cows; Blackheart Magazine, and the Bicycle Review.

Recent CSUN alum, Nancy Caroll (M.A. 2009) has published a chapbook, Night Walks with Yak Press, an independent press founded in 2010 by teacher-authors — among them, Anne Yale, another recent CSUN alum — and devoted to making art via the medium of words.

Ranita Chatterjee‘s article,“Our Bodies, Our Catastrophes: Biopolitics in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man,” is now published in  European Romantic Review 25.1 (January 2014). This article argues that Shelley’s third novel, The Last Man, published in 1826, presents a remarkably modern understanding of the function of individual life for the state that anticipates Giorgio Agamben’s theory of the “state of exception” that produces political life as an inclusive but also fundamentally exclusive non-relation of the state with what lies outside of its law.

On Friday, April 25, Irene Clark gave a presentation at a conference at Woodbury University: Navigating the Writing Highway: Critical transitions from Community College to University. Her presentation was titled “What Community College Students Need to Know about Reading and Writing at the University.”

A chapter written by Irene Clark and David Russell, titled, “US First Year Composition and Writing in the Disciplines,” has just been published in The Routledge Companion to English Studies, edited by Constant Leung and Brian Street.

MA student, Cody Deitz, published a poem in Ellipsis and a book review of Matthew Dickman’s Mayakovsky’s Revolver in Poetry City, USA, Vol. 4.

Recent alum, Brandon Krause (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing), won the Cargoes national contest in the Poetry category.

Recent alum, Justin La Torre (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has a short story, “Pilgrim,” due out in the next issue of Westwind, the literary journal for UCLA.

MA student, Susana Marcelo, has won an Associated Retired Faculty Scholarships for her ongoing research project, “Terra Nullius: Towards an Interstitial Identity.” On May 10, she will present her project at the annual Memorial Awards Luncheon where she will receive the $2,000 award.

Stephanie Satie recently performed her solo play, Silent Witnesses, at The United Solo Festival in NYC and has been invited back for 2014. Late January, she gave four performances as a fundraiser for River City Repertory Theatre in Shreveport, Louisiana and last Fall, she had a six week run at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. Stephanie and her director, Anita Khanzadian, received a 2013 Collaboration Award from Women in the Arts and Media Coalition (WAM) in NYC. Stephanie will again be performance of Silent Witnesses on Saturday, May 10th at the Odyssey Theatre, so here is your chance if you haven’t seen it yet. The performance begins at 8:00 p.m.

Beth Wightman presented “Our Own Islands: Virginia Woolf,Halford Mackinder, and the Island Vernacular” at the Society for Narrative Studies conference on Land and the Novel at the University of Utah in April. She judged the poster presentations at the Western Regional Honors Conference at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado a week later. She is now resting comfortably at low altitude.

On Saturday, April 26, in celebration of National Poetry, Kim Young read at Beyond Baroque. Martin Pousson also read at the same event, so CSUN was well represented.

Volume 40:14

April 17th, 2014 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volume 40:14)

1. Announcements

Welcome back to one and all and here’s hoping every one of you had fabulous spring breaks if you can even remember them now as we gear up for the end of this action-packed academic year. Time now to hang on to your various hats and have a great ride.

Speaking of the end of the year, it has come to our attention that a number of our graduate students are experiencing difficulties with their graduation tickets. We are working on this but in the meantime, if anyone knows of about any unused and available tickets that they could donate to this good cause, please let me know so we might start a “bank” of our own. Don’t assume, however, that you have tickets of  your own you can donate. This year, all faculty who wish to attend but do not plan to participate officially in the ceremony will also need tickets of their own. If you think you might be in that situation, please do email Commencement Services at And since students will be limited to four guests this year, let’s all plan to attend the Department reception to show our support for our students and their families — all of them!

As previously announced, the all College meeting with Provost Harry Hellenbrand and Dean Elizabeth A. Say will be held on Monday, May 12, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451. This meeting will provide an important opportunity to hear Provost Hellenbrand speak about the future of CSUN to share your own questions/concerns/observations about the same. Light refreshments will be served.

The Northridge Creative Writing Circle will host a Northridge Review Workshop Panel featuring David Morck, George Fekaris, Garrett Rego, and Dustin Lehren, all poets and fiction writers with recent publications. The published writers will discuss the path to publication with other students. The event is organized by alumnus Justin La Torre (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) and board members of the NR and the NCWC. Copies of the NR will be available for sale. The panel will be held on Friday, May 2, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the Linda Joseph Nichols Reading Room (JR 319).

The Northridge Creative Writing Circle will host a starred panel of fiction writers and publishers, featuring two distinguished CSUN alumni, Tyson Cornell and Joseph Mattson. Rare Bird Lit & Barnacle Book Publisher Tyson Cornell will lead the panel with COLA Award-Winning novelist and editor Joseph Mattson (Eat Hell, Empty the Sun) along with Jerry Stahl, legendary Los Angeles writer, Pushcart Prize winner and best-selling author (Permanent Midnight, Happy Mutant Baby Pills). The panel will be held on Monday, April 21, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in Chaparral Hall Room 5126.

Martin Pousson has been invited to read at Beyond Baroque in Venice in celebration of National Poetry Month on Saturday, April 26. He will read two poems, “Hoodoo” & “Voodoo,” both published in The Rattling Wall. Copies of the journal will be available for purchase. Wine and cheese will be served at 8:00, with poetry readings to follow. The event is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Here are two more upcoming opportunities to join in the conversation about The Postmortal by Drew Magary, which will be CSUN’s 2014-2015 Freshman Common Reading. Take your choice: Monday, April 21 form 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in SH 439 (CIELO) with Stacey Bieber, or Wednesday, April 23, form 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in SH 439 (CIELO) with Ronit Sarig. RSVP to me Cheryl Spector at, or to x6535 (CIELO) so planning can be done for refreshments. For more information about The Postmortal at CSUN (including another discussion opportunity in July), please visit

2. Reminders

Since the last issue of TN came out just in advance of our late spring break, here’s a recounting of several events you won’t want to miss:

Tomorrow night, April 18, features the Northridge Review publication party, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. in CSUN’s beautiful Planetarium.

On Saturday, April 19, at 4:00 in the afternoon, Kate Haake and Mona Houghton will be reading at Off Ramp Gallery in Pasadena. The afternoon will celebrate work by members of Los Angeles’ Glass Table Collective and feature art work by GRONK. Wine and  refreshments will be served. Off Ramp Gallery can be found at 1702 Lincoln Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103.

And most importantly, don’t forget that the deadline for spring department awards will fast be upon us, so please get your nominations and letters in order and have them submitted by Tuesday April 29, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. The spring awards include the following:


The Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship: In memory of Linda Nichols Joseph, an English major who graduated cum laude from CSUN in 1981, up to two prizes of $2,000 will be awarded this spring to undergraduate English majors who have demonstrated excellence in their studies.

The Henry Van Slooten Scholarship in English: A prize of $500 will be given to a student whose essay in ENGL 258, 259, 275, or 355 best demonstrates a passion for the English language.

The Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award: In honor of Lesley Johnstone, a professor of English at CSUN from 1965 to 2010 who specialized in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and who loved and cherished nature, a prize of $500 will be given to a student who is the author of the best written work on some aspect of the natural world or environment.

The Robert apRoberts English Honors Essay Prize: To commemorate Robert apRoberts, Professor Emeritus and founder of the Honors Program, an annual prize of $250 will be awarded to the English Honors student whose paper completed in the Honors Revision Seminar (497A) is judged to be the best submitted during that academic year.


The Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English: In memory of Mitchell Marcus, a former Professor in the Department (1958-1983), a prize of $3,000 will be awarded each spring semester to the graduate student whose achievements in the study of English are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished.

The Mahlon Gaumer Award In honor of Mahlon Gaumer: In honor of Mahlon Gaumer, a professor of English at CSUN from 1969-1997 who specialized in linguistics and Medieval literature, an award of $500 will be given to a graduate student who is the author of the best critical essay on English literature—with emphasis on the use of language.

The Harry Finestone Award in English: In honor of Harry Finestone, a gifted teacher and innovative administrator at CSUN from 1962-1983, an award of $750 will be given each year to the graduate student with the most distinguished essay in the study of literature completed in the department’s capstone graduate seminar, ENGL 698D.

The Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship: An award of $500 will be given to a graduate student enrolled in English and/or Secondary English Education to help pay fees for graduate work. The applicant must concurrently be teaching in middle school or secondary school or be on sabbatical.

3. Opportunities

CSUN will be hosting two Faculty Scholar Academies this summer. These proposal writing and curriculum development academies are designed to connect researchers on campus with experienced coaches in a workshop environment with the expected outcome that all participants will submit a proposal at the end of each academy. For more information, please see or contact Crist Khachikian, Associate VP for Research & Graduate, at But don’t delay, as the deadline is April 28.

The new Center on Mexico and Latin American Studies (CMLAS) is pleased to announce its inaugural annual research competition that will support faculty research projects on Mexico and Latin America. The grants will provide support of up to $5,068. All faculty are eligible to apply, including both full and part-time, and from all colleges in the University. For more information, please contact Stella Theodoulou, Acting Director, Center for Mexico and Latin American Studies, at

4. Achievements

Scott Andrews has been appointed to the CSU Task Force for Advancing Ethnic Studies created by Chancellor White to assess the status of ethnic studies departments on the CSU campuses and to make recommendations on policies and practices for their governance.

Current creative writing graduating senior, Matthew Kahn, was recently featured in for his   blog project inspired, presumably, by one of us. Or, as reports:

When Matthew Kahn, a creative writing student at California State University at Northridge, learned from one of his professors that the bestselling book of 1926 was “The Private Life of Helen of Troy” by John Erskine, he was struck. The class wasn’t reading it, but the book they were reading, “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway, was published the same year. “I thought that was interesting, Kahn told me. “When we think of the books of 1926, we think modernists. We don’t think about the books that most people were actually reading at that time.” So Kahn decided to read them, 100 years of No. 1 bestsellers, from 1913 to 2013, and post reviews on his blog, Kahn’s Corner.

Kahn’s Corner can be found at Matthew is currently up to 1968, topped with Arthur Hailey’s Airport, and he’s got a break coming up when Johnathan Livingstone Seagull topped the list in both 1972 and 1973. Keep up the good reading, Matthew; this is seriously cool.