Sue Russell
Composition Program Assistant

Sue's Picture for Website

How would you describe your work in the English Department? 

I provide administrative support for the Composition Program.  I meet with students to determine composition transfer equivalencies.  I provide support for composition registration issues and support for our Composition Challenge Exam. I provide support for faculty searches, faculty evaluations and tenure and promotion.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy the interaction with students and faculty.  I’ve really enjoyed advising students and getting to know them better.

What special project are you working on right now?

We are changing our Composition Placement procedures.  I’m working on revisions for our websites and the CSU Catalog.  I’m working with Web Communications and the Registrar’s Office to make sure everything will be ready to go by May 1st.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

The best advice I’ve received is to be more compassionate – less critical and judgmental.  Just breathe; Just Be; Be here now; I am Enough.

What or who inspires you?

When I’m not working at CSU, I love to take my 2 golden retrievers for a walk; hike; backpack; read; yoga; swim; garden; cook; play with my new grandson!

 

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Marnie Leonard
Graduate Programs Assistant

image by Jill Salahub

image by Jill Salahub

How would you describe your work in the English Department? I provide information, documents, data, and other details that support the activities of our faculty and our students in our academic programs, and assist those interested in our graduate programs with the application process.

What do you enjoy most about your work? The people! Our faculty and students are dynamic and focused, creative, caring, and fun.

Why are the Humanities important? The Humanities encourage us to read more and write more, and in doing so, we learn about who we are and who we can become.

What or who inspires you? Our English department faculty and our students inspire me. The faculty bring their knowledge and their dedication both to their field and to their students; the students convert classroom information into retained knowledge that fuses with the rest of the “data of living” they’ve collected and enhances their own lives and the world.

What are you currently reading, writing? I recently finished reading Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens and am currently rereading The Known World by Edward P. Jones. I’m also writing two short stories and a longer piece of fiction.

When you’re not working, what do you do? I write literary fiction, get together with friends, and garden.

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Three students from Assistant Professor’s Zach Hutchins’s Spring 2014 section of E440: How Books Get Published submitted work to the Center for Documenting the American South which was later published. We caught up with one of those students, Colin Stevens, to ask him about that project, as well as his experience as a CSU student and a writer.


Colin Stevens
Double Majoring in English (Creative Writing) and Journalism and Technical Communications
Senior

colinstevens

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I love to write. I have ever since I was young. About seven years ago now, I saw a documentary called “The Pixar Story,” which went over the history of said animation company up until that point. It was a wonderful movie, but more than that it introduced me to storyboarding – which is a method used in animation and other visual storytelling mediums that allow writers to plot out an entire film with sketches, “stage cues,” and dialogue. Since that point I decided that I wanted to be a storyboard artist/writer, and one day, I hope to land that position in Pixar. Last semester, I also attended the Disney College Program in Florida, essentially working at Disney World, and that comes highly recommended to anyone with a passing interest in working at the company.

What brought you to CSU?

I initially started college by studying film at the University of Colorado, Boulder, but after taking the film writing courses they had to offer, I discovered my Junior and Senior years would mostly consist of me holding a boom mic or operating a camera rig: neither of which I felt useful for my goals. I grew up in Fort Collins, and I had many friends (some from high school, some that I met through those friends in freshman year) that encouraged me to transfer – they were all big proponents of Colorado State. So I transferred, declared my two majors, and haven’t looked back since.

Favorite English class? Favorite English teacher? Favorite assignment or project?

My favorite English courses are always writing workshops, but as far as lectures go, I was a big fan of Adolescents’ Literature (taught by Prof. Todd Mitchell) and American Literature in Cultural Contexts – The Dust Bowl (taught by Prof. Sue Ellen Campbell). I could never pick a favorite professor, though I’m quite partial to Prof. Zach Hutchins and Prof. Leslee Becker (as well as the aforementioned Professors Mitchell and Campbell). This might be a little self-focused, but I really just love writing workshops: the one I’m currently taking (Advanced Creative Writing, Fiction) has allowed me to workshop a large chunk of a novel I’m writing right now, and the feedback I’ve gotten from classmates and from Prof. Becker has been invaluable.


Why is it important to study English, the Humanities?

It’s a little unsettling how so many students are eschewing English and the Humanities in favor of majors that are currently in demand (Engineering, Micro-Biology, etc.). Humanities teach us what it means to be human and how we truly operate and understand each other. I understand the desire to go down a marketable path, though I’d encourage anyone with even a passing interest to minor in English.


How did you find out about the opportunity to publish with the Center for Documenting the American South?

The Center for Documenting the American South (DOC South) submission was actually an assignment in Prof. Hutchins’ American Prose before 1900 class. In it, we read obscure slave narratives that have yet to receive an official introduction in literary databases, and wrote the introductions ourselves. It was a very interesting assignment, one that I worked particularly hard on, and once finished, Prof. Hutchins had us submit them to DOC South directly (he might have done the submitting, I can’t quite recall). A few months ago, he informed me that mine was accepted and is now the official summary/introduction of “The Life of Ben Solomon.”

Why did you submit your work? What was it like preparing it? How did it feel to be selected? What advice to you have for students wanting to get their work published?

It was the second time that I’ve been published (the first time was in last year’s Greyrock Review,) and it always feels wonderful leaving a permanent mark behind whenever you can. It’s given me a drive to submit more work, and it’s definitely encouraged me and reinforced some self-belief in my writing – though, the DOC South piece was more academic that what I normally write. My advice for submitting work is to talk to your professors. They always know of opportunities for students to submit work to. Even then, googling online publications and submitting that way is also a viable option: you can’t let rejection stop you from putting yourself out there. The English department news letter is also really great about letting students know about publishing opportunities, as well as scholarships and writing contests within CSU.

What advice do you have for current students? What do you want to say to prospective students about the CSU English department?

The English department at CSU is wonderful, and it has a wide range of interesting and genuinely life-changing classes – you just have to look through all of them to find a nice fit. Even the lower division classes have been worthwhile for me.

What are you looking forward to most about moving back into a remodeled Eddy Hall?

Next semester, I plan on studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, so I won’t be able to see Eddy right when it gets finished, but I am excited to see it a year from now. Being scattered across campus has been a bit of a pain, though Eddy needed the remodeling, and any updates to modernize the structure are welcome.

Where will we find you in five years?

In five years, I hope to be working at Pixar. I’ve already gotten my foot in the door through the Disney College Program, and I’ve been working on my writing and sketching skills diligently in order to build a portfolio for the position. I’ll start applying for internships before too long. Though I like to think positive, if this doesn’t work out, I’ve considered doing a Master’s program at CSU. On top of that, I’d really like to get my book published (it’s called “Chien,” so if anyone reads this in five years and it’s out there – go buy it!).

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~From English Department Communications Intern Kara Nosal

I have taken two creative nonfiction workshops this year. Still, because nonfiction lies in a realm somewhere between journalism and fiction, often I am confused as to what purpose creative nonfiction fulfills. On April 16th, in the Organ Recital Hall, Jayla Rae Ardelean, Susan Harness, and Jessica Hill read their Master of Fine Arts projects for the Creative Writing Reading Series. Thanks to these three readers, I began to understand that the ambiguity of creative nonfiction allowed the genre to do things that other genres couldn’t quite pull off.

Jayla Ardelean was first to read. She read a piece that came out of working in a rehabilitation center for birds. It was here where she was inspired by the Great Blue Heron. Ardelean talked about herself and her family dynamics through stories about heron sightings in “Heron Anatomy.” She did not stray from her focus, using the space on the page to describe birds in great detail. Still, listeners could peek into her personal life when her sister or mother came along on her excursions to track herons. Ardelean could report on the scientific anatomy and behavior of birds while at the same time allowing readers to invest emotionally in a story about her family.

Jayla Ardelean

Jayla Ardelean

Next to read was Susan Harness. Harness posed the question of whether or not we live in a post-prejudiced America. She provided her testimony of growing up Native American with white adoptive parents. Harness summed up her insecurities being Native American in white society by worrying that, “everyone knows what it means to be Indian more than I do.” As I was let into her inner thoughts, my emotions tangled with hers and I became invested in her struggle. Though racial prejudice is often discussed in the media these days, hearing a personal story about prejudice was more powerful to me than hearing news reports.

Susan Harness

Susan Harness

Jessica Hill was last to read. In her introduction I learned that she often wrote about her solo travels. Her piece focused on a trip that she took to India not long after a gang rape occurred there in the back of a bus in 2012. As Hill described her trip in detail and color, she often reverted back to internal commentary, questioning the wisdom of being alone in India during this time. For example, an iron rod was used in the assault of the victim and Hill began to note every sighting of similar rods as she journeyed. There was one on a train and one by the door of her host family’s house. Soon, she didn’t need to inform the listeners what she was reminded of each time she saw a metal rod. All she had to do was note its existence and my mind jumped to the same, shared, dark memory. Hill united the author, the rape victim, and the audience.

Jessica Hill

Jessica Hill

That night, I felt that I understood the purpose of nonfiction a little better. Nonfiction does not simply recount a true story, journalistically. It also uses the devices of fiction to take advantage of recording the vibrant characters and symbols that occur in real life. This is what makes creative nonfiction so powerful, I think. In each of the three pieces, the author’s creativity drew me in, while the truth kept me there.

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Considering doing an internship in the fall? As the spring semester winds down it can difficult to think about anything but finishing up course work, completing finals, and the promise of summer break. Even so, students may find themselves considering internships for the fall semester. The Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) Internship Program is one option for graduate students. CLP interns serve as first and second readers for the nearly nine thousand manuscripts of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that Colorado Review receives every year. Interns also have opportunities to copyedit, proofread, and typeset; learn about book & magazine design, production, and management; gain proficiency in current industry software (InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator, FileMaker, WordPress, and Submittable); participate in social media campaigns; and assist in grantwriting.

logoCLP Director Stephanie G’Schwind recently answered a few questions for us about the CLP internship. Established in 1992 and housed in the English Department at Colorado State University, home of Colorado Review, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, the Series in Contemporary Fiction, and Bonfire Press, the Center for Literary Publishing’s mission is two-fold: to publish contemporary short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction and to offer graduate students opportunities to learn about and participate in literary publishing through a professional internship.

Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing Director Stephanie G'Schwind talks with an intern about a project, April 2013. Image by CSU Photography.

Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing Director Stephanie G’Schwind talks with an intern about a project, April 2013. Image by CSU Photography.

How does one apply for an internship at the CLP? The internship is available to graduate students in any concentration in the English Department. [Learn more in this Center for Literary Publishing Internship Program brochure (PDF)].

What are the benefits of this internship? Interns will learn the basics of how publishing works: from selecting to editing, producing, and making content available in book/magazine/digital form. These skills are critical for anyone who hopes to work in the publishing field, but they are also transferrable to a number of other professions as well—particularly as workers are expected to wear multiple hats (for example, the nonprofit membership director who is also responsible for producing a digital newsletter). Interns learn to use current industry-standard software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, FileMaker, Submittable, and WordPress) and have the opportunity to practice their application. Writers will get behind-the-scenes experience at a literary magazine and small press; they’ll learn what makes a successful submission and, I hope, gain confidence in sending out their own work.

What can one expect from this internship? Interns can expect to read a LOT of submissions (fiction, poetry, nonfiction), to engage in discussions about writing and publishing as real issues arise in the office, to learn to love The Chicago Manual of Style, to distinguish an en dash from an em dash, to collaborate with others as they edit and design a book, to search for fresh art for the cover of the next issue of Colorado Review, to write a blog post for our website, to edit a book review, to read the latest issue of Poets & Writers, to come to understand Colorado Review’s place in the larger literary landscape.

What advice do you have for a graduate student wanting to apply, wanting to do an internship with the CLP? Spend some time on our website, read some of the content we’ve posted online, and get a sense of what we’re about, then get in touch with me if you want to be part of what we’re doing.


Coming next week: We’ll hear more about this internship and the CLP from some of the current CLP interns and Colorado Review Managing Editor Drew Webster.

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Colorado Review Managing Editor Drew Webster, with Center for Literary Publishing interns Melissa Hohl and Neil FitzPatrick at AWP

Colorado Review Managing Editor Drew Webster, with Center for Literary Publishing interns Melissa Hohl and Neil FitzPatrick at Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) 2015

Summer and Fall 2015 Internships Available!

Unless otherwise noted, the internships listed below are open to qualifying undergraduate and graduate students. Please note that the list is likely to grow with more opportunities, so stay tuned!

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SUMMER:

  • Editorial Intern, Bloomsbury Review (Denver, CO)
  • Editorial Intern, Ruminate Magazine (Ft. Collins)

 

  • Marketing Intern, Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures (Ft. Collins, CO)
  • Business Communication and Government Affairs Intern, Woodward MPC (Ft. Collins, CO)
  • Organizational Development Intern, Change Corps (Denver, CO)

 

FALL:

CSU English Department Internships:

  • Intern, Community Literacy Center
  • Writing Consultant, Writing Center
  • English Department Communications Internship, Communications
  • Publishing/Editorial Internship, Greyrock Review
  • Graduate Student Internship, Center for Literary Publishing

 

Publishing/Editorial Internships:

  • Editorial Interns, Bloomsbury Review (Denver, CO)
  • Publishing Assistant Internship (2 positions), Bailiwick Press (Ft. Collins)
  • Editorial Intern, Ruminate Magazine (Ft. Collins)
  • CSU’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence (JUR) Internships:
    • Associate Editor Intern
    • Copy Editor Intern
    • Graphic Design & Web Development Intern

 

Educational Internships:

  • Grading Assistant, NCTE@CSU with Poudre High School (Ft. Collins)
  • Writing Coach and Grader, NCTE@CSU, Fort Collins High School (Ft. Collins)

 

Non-Profit/Communications Internships:

  • Social Media and Communications Intern, Poudre River Library District (Ft. Collins)

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Please contact Mary Hickey, English Department Internship Coordinator, at Mary.Hickey@colostate.edu for more information on these internships and how to apply.

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Alumnus Justin Hocking accepting his award

Alumnus Justin Hocking accepting his award

  • Alumnus Justin Hocking’s memoir The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld won the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. The book is also: a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, listed as one of Ten Brilliant Books That Will Grab You from Page One in Kirkus Reviews and The Huffington Post, selected by Hector Tobar as his Favorite Book of 2014 in Publisher’s Weekly and Salon.com, A Library Journal Best Books of 2014 Selection, a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 Selection, a Hudson’s Books 2014 Booksellers Favorite, a Book Club pick for April 2014 on The Nervous Breakdown, and a #3 Denver Post Bestseller.
  • Moriah Kent, a graduate student in the TEFL/TESL program, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant. She will spend 10 months teaching English at a Bulgarian secondary school. She chose to apply to Bulgaria because she wanted to gain experience in the European educational system and has long admired art and culture of the Balkan region.
  • Tim Amidon was elected to the Committee on the Responsibilities and Standing of Academic Faculty (CoRSAF).
  • A free pdf chapbook of Dan Beachy-Quick’s early sections of “A Quiet Book” is available at Essay Press: http://www.essaypress.org/ep-23/
  • Leslee Becker has received a writing residency/fellowship at Brush Creek Foundation in Wyoming.
  • Pam Coke’s article  “Making Meaning of Experience: Navigating the Transformation from Graduate Student to Tenure-Track Professor,” co-authored with her graduate school colleagues Sheila Benson and Monie Hayes, appears in the April 2015 issue of The Journal of Transformative Education.  You can access the article here: http://jtd.sagepub.com/content/current.
  • The members of NCTE@CSU held officer elections at their meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Congratulations to our new slate of student officers: Jenna Franklin (President); Emily Rice (Vice President); Paul Binkley (Secretary); Ian McCreary (Treasurer); and Morgan Bennett (Marketing Coordinator). Thank you to our outgoing officers: Anton Gerth (President); Belle Kraxberger (Vice President); Alex Andrews (Secretary); Jenna Franklin (Treasurer); and Emily Rice (Marketing Coordinator). Faculty sponsor Pam Coke is thankful for you and proud of you.
  • Sue Doe presented preliminary results of the TILT-funded course redesign study, “Engaged Learning Through Writing: A Faculty Development Project” alongside Mary Pilgrim (Math) and Hilary Spriggs (Math) on Saturday April 18 at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), at Colorado College. Preliminary results from their study suggest outcomes similar to those found in a similar study undertaken with the Department of Psychology — that student learning is improved at a statistically significant level by low-stakes engagement writing in the disciplinary classroom. The interdisciplinary study group, which also includes Kate Kiefer, will also present their project to the CSU Math Department on April 27.
  • Camille Dungy spoke at the CLA’s Great Conversations on April 23. Topic: How the environment is changing how we write and why.
  • Bruce Ronda’s chapter “Imagination and Apocalypse: Christopher Cranch’s Novels for Young Readers” appears in Romantic Education in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. National and Transatlantic Contexts (New York: Routledge, 2015).  Also: he has signed a pre-publication contract with University of Georgia Press for The Fate of Transcendentalism.
  • Cory Holland just published a paper in American Speech: Bayley, Robert, and Cory Holland. “Variation in Chicano English: the case of final (z) devoicing.” American Speech 89, no. 4 (2014): 385-407. http://americanspeech.dukejournals.org/content/89/4/385.full.pdf+html And a book review in the LinguistList on “Sounds Interesting” by J.C. Wells. https://linguistlist.org/pubs/reviews/get-review.cfm?SubID=35993937
  •  As part of a short but nice review of Dan Robinson’s forthcoming novel, Death of a Century (out June 5), Publishers Weekly wrote, “Set in 1922, Robinson’s atmospheric tale of betrayal and revenge paints a passionate picture of the Lost Generation, those who came of age during WWI.”
  • Kristin George Bagdanov’s poem “Moon Body” was accepted for publication by Berkeley Poetry Review.  She has also accepted an offer to attend UC Davis’s PhD in Literature program, where she will be a Provost’s Fellow in the fall.
  • Mandi Casolo has accepted an offer of admission to the University of Houston’s English Literature and Creative Writing PhD program with a teaching fellowship, and was awarded the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction.

Now Taking Applications: English Department Communications Internship

Number of positions: 2
Internship term: Fall 2015 Semester, 15 weeks, August 24th – December 11th, 2015
Total credits: 2
Hours: 80 hours (40 per credit hour), approximately 5 per week
Stipend: $500
Application Deadline: Friday, May 8th by 12:00 p.m.

The English Department is looking for two engaged, self-motivated, responsible, creative, and enthusiastic CSU students, undergraduate or graduate, with good communication and writing skills to help tell the story of the English Department. The interns in this position will help facilitate communication and community with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the English Department.

Interns will spend most of their time researching, interviewing, attending events, writing, and developing content — both for print and online. A major responsibility of this internship will be creating content for the department’s blog. Interns will work directly with the English department’s Communications Coordinator to meet departmental communication needs and complete various content development projects as assigned, including but not limited to creating profiles of people (alumni, faculty & staff, students), programs and projects; conducting interviews; providing event coverage (which would include attendance and photos, along with other modes of recording where relevant); and reporting departmental news and upcoming events.

For these internship positions, some prior reporting or blogging experience and/or education is preferred, as well as an understanding of principles for writing for the web and strong communication skills, both in person and in text. We also prefer applicants who are familiar with the English Department, its programs, people, and events – and who are willing to learn more. Content will be developed in various modes, and therefore skill with technologies such as sound recording and photography, as well as image and sound editing experience is preferred. We are also looking for interns with good people skills, the ability to participate in effective verbal and written exchanges, understanding that as they attend events and conduct interviews and such, they are acting as a “goodwill ambassador” for the department.

Applicants should email or hand deliver to the English Department main office the following: a cover letter, résumé, contact information for three references (phone and email), and three writing samples (plus multimedia samples, if applicable) by the application deadline to:

English Department
c/o Jill Salahub: Communications Coordinator
Jill.Salahub@colostate.edu
A105 Behavioral Sciences Bldg.
1773 Campus Delivery
Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1773

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Roze Hentschell
Professor and Assistant Department Chair

B.A., English, Vassar College; M.A., English, Ph.D., English, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Professor Roze Hentschell and family (husband, Thomas Cram, daughter Eleanor, and son Felix) pictured attending the Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty Reception at Colorado State University on Dec. 1. Other English faculty, Professor Ellen Brinks and Associate Professor EJ Levy, were also honored.

Professor Roze Hentschell and family (husband, Thomas Cram, daughter Eleanor, and son Felix) at a recent event, December 2014.

How would you describe your work in the English Department?

First, I’m a teacher. I primarily teach 16th and 17th c. British Literature at the undergraduate and graduate level. I am also an active scholar, and spend some of my time researching and writing in my own field of specialization, which is early modern literature and cultural studies. For the last 4 years, I have been one of the department’s two assistant chairs. I handle the scheduling of over 200 sections of English and Composition a semester; I work with the chair and College of Liberal Arts on budget as it relates to scheduling. I hire non tenure track faculty. And I work with the chair, Louann Reid, on a number of other projects. I also serve on other departmental and sometime college and university committees.

What brought you to CSU?

I came to CSU in 2002 from NYC; I was in my 4th year of a job at a university in New Jersey. Though I loved NY and had a lot of friends there, I found daily life complicated and expensive. I’m from southern California, and my whole family is there, so I decided to move west. Ultimately, though, I came to CSU because I connected with the people in the English Department, who were (and are) a smart, supportive, friendly, energetic and funny bunch.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love that my job has allowed me to grow: as a teacher, scholar, and university citizen. With any luck, it’s a long life and it’s important for one’s job to allow for evolving interests in both teaching and scholarship.


Why are the Humanities important?

The study of Art, Literature, Philosophy, History and other humanistic disciplines allows us to make connections with people and cultures and time periods different than our own and expands our understanding of the human experience, which—in our daily life—can sometimes feel localized and isolating. I like to think that our study of the humanities is not too far removed from the studia humanitatis of the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists aimed to educate people in a way that would prepare them to think, speak, and write in clear and persuasive ways so that they would be engaged and ethical citizens. This still seems like an important goal of the humanities. Also, one definition of the Latin Humanitas is “kindness.” Studying the humanities teaches us to be more kind and empathetic humans, and the world can always use more of that.


What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities?

I chose English as an undergraduate because I loved reading and writing and I was pretty good at it. I was energized by the classroom discussions and the exposure to other’s perspectives. I decided to pursue an advanced degree in English because I thought that maybe if I could make a career studying, researching, reading, writing, talking and listening, then that would make for a pretty good life.

What special project are you working on right now?

I am writing a book on the cultural significance of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in the 16th and 17th century. It was the Church of England’s Cathedral in London, but it was also an important social and commercial space in the heart of the city. I am fascinated by the multiple roles and uses of the church and how everyday Londoners interacted with the space.

What is your favorite thing to teach? Favorite thing about teaching?

My am lucky because I have a great fondness for almost every class I teach, from Shakespeare to Milton to special topics classes like The Sonnet. I have loved teaching popular literature and culture of the renaissance. Texts like Ballads or pamphlets or conduct manuals that were wildly popular in their time, but don’t always appear in literature classrooms. I’ve extended my interest in popular culture lately and have been teaching Freshman Seminars for the honors program on contemporary adaptions of Shakespeare. Everything from Hindi Cinema to Manga Comic Books, to American musicals.


What advice would you give a student taking a class in the English Department?

a) Get to know your teachers outside of class time. We have an amazing faculty with deep knowledge and wide interests. They are brilliant scholars and dedicated teachers. You should get learn more about them and their interests.

b) Take at least one class outside your comfort zone and have an open mind. That medieval women writers class may be the very one that changes your world view.

c) I always tell my students to show up and do good work. I mean that on a literal level, of course, but it’s good advice for college and life. Be present in the moment; be grateful for the privilege of a college education, and put your best effort in. The returns will be amazing.


What was the last piece of writing you read or wrote? OR, What are you currently reading, writing?

Aside from my reading for classes, I have a few things on my nightstand: I am reading Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies, her sequel to Wolf Hall about the ever fascinating court of Henry VIII. I am also reading Nabokov’s Pale Fire, which is brilliant and hilarious. It’s a novel I’ve owned and wanted to read for a while and recently was reminded that the title is from Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens so my interest was rekindled. With my 8 year old daughter, I am reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio, an amazing novel told from multiple points of view about a 5th grade boy with significant facial differences. He’s a medical wonder; people wonder about him; he inspires wonder in the reader. I think it’s one of those novels that can teach us to be better people and it pleases me greatly that I can share the experience of reading such a book with my child.

When you’re not working, what do you do?

I have an 8 year old daughter and an almost 5 year old son and they keep me and my husband busy. My husband is a software engineer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder and our work lives are busy and complicated, so we usually lay low when we have free time. We like to cook, hang out in Fort Collins, and socialize with friends. When I’m not working or spending time with family, you can usually find me running. I took up running about 10 years ago as a way to get to know Fort Collins and spend time with my husband (who promptly gave it up in favor of cycling). In the last 5 years or so, it’s become a significant part of my identity. Running has taught me a lot about discipline and prioritizing what’s important. I am also frequently amazed by what the body can do (and how much pain I can endure). My main running partner is a professor in the Art and Art History department and we spend the hours on the running path talking about research, teaching, parenting, and of course running. I’ve run 4 half marathons and plan to run my first marathon this coming October in Washington DC. I’m really slow, but that’s okay. Running has also taught me a lot about accepting one’s limitations.

What don’t your colleagues know about you?

A fact that seems to surprise people is that I am Mexican. My mother was born in the U.S. to Mexican citizens. My great grandfather, Ignacio L. Pesqueira, was a general in the Mexican army, Secretary of War, and governor of the state of Sonora. My grandparents were around a lot when I was a small child, and I am told that Spanish was my first language. One of my areas of focus for my Master’s degree was Chicano Literature.

What’s one thing you dream of being able to accomplish in your tenure at Colorado State University?

I just want to keep teaching new classes and growing as a teacher. I hope to teach abroad someday. I am working with the Honors program to set up a summer study abroad program at Oxford University and I’d like to be involved in taking CSU students there. I also hear we will be the new site for Semester at Sea. Traveling the world and teaching on a ship seems like a good and possibly attainable dream.

How does being a parent of small children impact your work?

I probably offer more unsolicited life advice to my students than I used to! Seriously, though, I think being a parent has made me a more nurturing teacher. I want to model kindness as well as rigor and a passion for what I do, because I hope that I do so for my kids as well. Being a parent has made me very efficient. When I am at work, I am working, and I try not to cut into my weekend and evening time with the kids if at all possible.

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Izzy Martens

Izzy Martens

What is your major?

I am an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing (Creative Non-Fiction) and a minor in Media Studies.

When do you expect to graduate?

May 2016!

What brought you to CSU?

CSU has always appealed to me — my older sister went here — but I grew up in Boulder and after high school I wanted to get out of Colorado for a little bit. I spent my first year studying in Northern California, but I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me. After my first year I left California and worked as a waitress for six months, back in Boulder, in order to finance a six-month backpacking trip throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. When I came home from that amazing trip I knew Fort Collins was where I wanted to be. Colorado is a hard state to leave for too long!

Favorite English teacher, class, assignment?

All the English professors I’ve had at CSU so far have been amazing; it’s hard to choose just one! But taking Intermediate Creative Non-Fiction with E.J. Levy was, without a doubt, one of the most educational and inspirational experiences thus far in my writing career. Levy consistently provided us with readings by phenomenal authors and was always encouraging us to expand our ideas and break away from our comfort zones. Writing my memoir for her class and having the experience of workshopping everyone’s material was great. I also have to give a special shoutout to Rebecca Kennedy and Jeremy Proctor. I have taken two classes with each of them and would gladly take more; they’re both great professors!

You are currently studying abroad in New Zealand. Tell us more about that!

Yes! I am studying abroad in Wellington, New Zealand. I just finished a two-week journey throughout the glorious South Island; the scenery here is truly unbelievable! Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and it is a phenomenal city. It is bursting with cafes, restaurants and art galleries. It is a city buzzing with life and art; the perfect place to get inspired! New Zealand is a beautiful country — there are mountains and volcanoes, beaches and beautiful clear water. Plus, everyone is so laid-back and friendly. We try and go on adventures every weekend. The exploration is endless! Everyone who has an opportunity to come here definitely should.

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What classes are you taking?

I am focusing on my Media Studies minor while I’m here and taking Gender and Race in the Media, Communication and Technological Change, and Television Studies. But I also chose to take a class called Life Writing, which is a part of creative non-fiction, but focuses more on writing about others instead of yourself — biography, family memoir, etc. — which is new for me. My class is only about 12 students, which makes it perfect for discussing everyone’s writing and ideas. We don’t even have desks! We sit in chairs in a circle, or on pillows on the floor, it’s great!

What are you reading/writing? What are you currently working on?

I just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Now, funnily enough, I’m reading Love, in Theory by our very own E.J. Levy! I’m also working on Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I just kind of discovered his writing and am on a bit of a Gaiman-binge.

Last year I started my very own website, an online journal titled Joke Life (www.jokelife.co). It is a place where I can publish my own pieces of writing and a platform for other young writers to showcase their work as well. In addition to short pieces of writing I also interviews various different types of artists — musicians, photographers, painters. So I am always working on that. It is a great way to motivate myself to keep writing and practicing and also, hopefully, to help some other young people get their work out there!

What is your favorite book and/or who is your favorite author?

This is a seriously hard question to answer, so I am going to cheat a little bit and go with the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling :). But overall I really like reading memoir, since that’s the writing style closest to my own.


My mom always told me that language is the most beautiful and important thing in the world. It is not only the most prominent way in which we express ourself, but it has the ability to transport us, to teach us, to entertain us, to move us. Studying English is about more than just reading and writing — it teaches you how to think in new ways; it shows you so many different perspectives. It gives you an insight into how all sorts of people experience the world; their thoughts, and their imaginings of the past, present and future. Studying English is the ultimate teacher of human experience, and since we are humans, who are having this experience on earth, I would argue studying English, or at least dipping your toes into it, is one of the most important things you can do.


What’s the most important or interesting thing you’ve learned so far at CSU?

I’ve learned that the talent here is boundless. I’ve met so many amazing writers and had the honor to read so many amazing pieces of writing written by students. I am consistently blown away by the various different styles and writing techniques the writers in this program utilize. Everyone has a special voice and that is so fun to see.

What advice do you have for English majors?

To go for it! And go for it all out. Write what you want, and don’t be afraid to share. Read as much as you can, because you’ll be surprised by what you can learn. Take it all in, because these four years go by fast!

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

Working on my memoir, traveling the world, doing yoga and loving life. Maybe I’ll have a job in the magazine industry (that’s the dream), but most importantly focusing on experiencing all the beautiful things life has to offer.

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Karen Montgomery-Moore, Olivia Tracy, Will Winham, and Kim Daggett

Karen Montgomery-Moore, Olivia Tracy, Will Winham, and Kim Daggett,
four of the six Literature students who defended or will defend their projects in the academic year 2014-2015

The literature faculty and the department of English recently hosted the Literature MA Showcase, a celebration of literature graduate students who have defended or will be defending their MA projects and earning their MA in 2014-2015. This year, we gathered at the Wild Boar Cafe to hear remarks about their projects, to offer our congratulations, and to enjoy refreshments and spirited conversation. Friends, family, current students in various graduate concentrations, and even a prospective student visiting campus learned about the diverse topics and approaches that literature students have been researching and writing about.

Associate Professor Debby Thompson and Professor SueEllen Campbell talk with a student

Associate Professor Debby Thompson and Professor SueEllen Campbell talk with a student

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Professor Roze Hentschell, Associate Professor Aparna Gollapudi, and Assistant Professor Zach Hutchins

Will Winham

Will Winham

Lynn Shutters, Kristen Mullen, and Meagan Wilson

Lynn Shutters, Kristen Mullen, and Meagan Wilson

Here are a few examples of projects completed by Literature students this year, from Kim Daggett, Karen Montgomery Moore, and Olivia Tracy, who all attended the event, and one from Amy Moore, who defended in Fall 2014 but wasn’t able to be at the showcase.

Kim Daggett’s project: “Moving Landscape: The Narrative of the Poudre River Trail through Time, Space, and Place.” She describes it this way:

In my paper I examine how the Poudre River Trail forms a narrative arc through landscape that influences the way we think about, understand, and interact with space. In my paper I examine trail design and how we can see these design choices as embedding space with certain cultural and social ideologies about landscape that are then translated to the trail walker. I also want to show how space becomes place through time, transforming into a site of personal and collective meaning. In order to illustrate this transition from space to place I decided to root my paper in a landscape that I am deeply familiar with, the Poudre River Trail. I used the frame of the Poudre Trail to describe my own experience of space becoming place and interwove moments of memoir to illustrate this transition. I also incorporated other’s stories to illustrate how the Poudre River Trail is a place of collective memories and narratives, highlighting that the story of the Trail cannot be told by only one person. My hope is that my project will encourage people to think differently about how they value landscape and space. I want to push people to see beyond landscapes as mere space and understand that almost anywhere has the power to become place.

Kim Daggett and Assistant Professor Leif Sorensen

Kim Daggett and Assistant Professor Leif Sorensen

Amy Moore’s project: “‘One little window’: Lamkin and the Horror of the Real.”

This paper explores the aspects of horror at work in the Scottish folk ballad Lamkin and how it relates to modern horror cinema using cinematic examples such as The Purge and Insidious. The research of Mikel J. Koven and Adam Ganz is used to examine the relationship between folklore and film in terms of both horror genre conventions and stylistic similarities. Folklorist John Widdowson’s research on bogey figures enables the connection of the titular character of Lamkin to the frightening figures that appear in both oral storytelling and modern horror films as well as to Sigmund Freud’s concepts of the uncanny and the return of the repressed as demonstrated in Freud’s own analysis of a bogey figure called the Sand-man from the E.T.A. Hoffmann story of the same name. Perhaps the most important piece of research connecting Lamkin to both bogey figures and the horror genre is folklorist John DeWitt Niles’s article “Lamkin: The Motivation of Horror,” which traces the ballad’s origins to the name-of the-helper tale-type, the master-builder legends, European devil lore, and foundation sacrifice. This paper expands on Niles’s argument, taking his claims further to show that, as the name of his article implies, Lamkin should indeed be classified as “horror.” In addition to Freud, this paper uses the work of psychoanalytic theorists Jacques Lacan, and Slavoj Žižek as a theoretical framework, including Lacan’s idea of the neighbor as inhuman “thing” and Žižek’s reworking of the Lacanian concept of the Real.

Karen Montgomery Moore’s project: “Affect, Anxiety, and the Abject Corpse in A Study in Scarlet.”

In my paper, I use theorists including Foucault, Julia Kristeva, and Sara Ahmed to interrogate the murder victim’s corpse in A Study in Scarlet. Narratively, the murder victim’s corpse is not merely the object of detection or forensic examination in A Study in Scarlet, but it is also the subject of the mystery, a centrality that mirrors how the victim’s body becomes crucial to Victorian England police investigations. Due to the corpse’s abject nature and uncertain meaning, it becomes a “contested site”, or occupies a liminal space onto which multiple societal anxieties are displaced. In seeking answers about the murder, characters work to determine the particular meaning of the corpse and reduce it to an object so as to diffuse its significant affective influence. Holmes positions himself toward the abject corpse and embraces its unclear meaning, whereas Watson becomes subject to it and the ever-present criminal threat to his person it represents. In rupturing the subject/object distinction, the corpse reveals the potential inability of authority figures to discipline criminal activities into the clear confines of the law. Though the mystery is solved, the abject presence of the corpse reveals social concerns about violent crime and the effectiveness of the police, concerns that cannot be so easily hidden again.

Olivia Tracy’s project: “Commerce and Commodity: ‘Imperial Madness’ and Desire for the Other in Angela Carter”

My project analyzes two works by Angela Carter: her radio play, “Come Unto These Yellow Sands,” (1979) an ‘artificial biography’ about the life and mental illness of Victorian painter Richard Dadd, and her short story “Overture and Incidental Music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1985), an “overture,” or prefatory material, to the events of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, detailing the origins of the debate between Titania and Oberon as told from the point of view of the object and cause of the debate, the Indian Boy, whom Carter reimagines as “The Golden Herm.” Through close readings of both figures and landscape, I argue that Carter is utilizing a “self-conscious Orientalism” in these works, a term devised to encapsulate how Carter uses multiple perspective and pastiche to reveal the British imperial wish-fulfillment of commodification and exoticism of the Other. She does this, I argue, to ultimately reveal the “imperial madness” at the center of both of these cultural texts and the way in which this continued commodification of the Other is both a cause and result of this madness. Through the use of self-conscious Orientalism to reveal this imperial madness, Carter foregrounds and critiques the materialist, commercial aspects of the imperial capitalist project at the heart of the two original narratives and, ultimately, at the heart of the Thatcher government of Carter’s own period.

Congratulations to all! We are so proud.

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