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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.