The English Department Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) Committee does all kinds of good work. One good thing is their newsletter “In Addition…News from the English Department’s NTTF Committee.” One of the features of the newsletter, which is sent monthly to NTTF in the department, is a faculty profile, which they’ve agreed to let us share on the blog.

Interesting fact: This isn’t the first time we’ve featured Amanda on the blog. As a new faculty member, she was profiled in the summer of 2015. You can read that profile here.


What name do you prefer to go by? Where are you located?
I prefer to go by Amanda. I’m located in Eddy 112 (on the first floor.)

What courses do you teach at CSU? What (if any) courses have you taught before?
I taught CO 150 for two years as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. This semester, I am teaching three sections of CO 150 as well. When student teaching for Poudre School District, I taught 9th grade English, 11th grade American Literature, and Creative Writing.

What has been your greatest challenge here at CSU?
Because I am teaching a required course, I find that students come into this class at so many different ability and experience levels. It’s always a challenge to frame the material in a way that stimulates students who are performing at a higher level, but also to consider the students who are struggling with basic writing skills. I try to keep all of my students in mind, when I am planning my curriculum. This can oftentimes feel like a balancing act.

Describe your teaching style.
I try to create a space that is welcoming and fun, as well as challenging; classroom culture is important to me, and I feel that it has a significant impact on the learning process. Along similar lines, I attempt to draw connections content and the interests of my students. Beyond this, I work to be very clear about classroom and assignment expectations and to uphold the standards that I set on the first day of class. In doing this, however, I try to make myself available, so that I can offer support to students who need it. In this, I’d say I’m firm, but very approachable.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am proud when I see my students improving from the first assignment to the last assignment. Also, I’m excited when I see my students rhetorically framing new issues and ideas, and independently considering how these concepts relate to the world at large.

If you could be any concept in rhetoric (or your field of study), what would you be?
Exigence: it’s what brings this kind of writing to life.


(Thank you to Tatiana Nekrasova Beker, TTRep on the committee, for interviewing Amanda.)

Tags: ,

Image by Colorado State University

  • Tom Conway received news that he was chosen for a College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Jaime Jordan along with her husband, Robert Jordan (who teaches in the history dept) was awarded a 2016 Carl A. Bimson Humanities Endowment entitled “Digital Humanities in the Classroom: Empowering Student Scholars of Tomorrow.”  They will be working with K12 teachers across several disciplines this upcoming summer.

Tags: , ,

Assistant Professor Zach Hutchins and his E630D Special Topics in Literature: Gender Studies – Witchcraft class.

Assistant Professor Zach Hutchins and his E630D Special Topics in Literature: Gender Studies – Witchcraft class.

  • Zach Hutchins has been awarded a 2016 Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH support will facilitate research on Hutchins’s current book project, a prehistory of the North American slave narrative. For his research, Hutchins is reading thousands of issues of early American newspapers and transcribing every news item related to slavery, from slave-for-sale advertisements to discussions of enslaved African princes and news of runaway slaves. Those transcriptions contribute, Hutchins argues, the rhetorical framework for subsequent representations of the African American experience and the generic codes of the slave narrative.
  • This past Tuesday, Doug Cloud gave a workshop for SoGES Sustainability Fellows titled “Communicating Science to Skeptical Audiences: Some Rhetorical Strategies for Scientists.”
  • Kristina Quynn’s personal essay, “My Brother, My…,” about growing up in an interracial family is to be published in the collection What Does It Mean to Be White in America? by 2Leaf Press.
  • Mary Crow has had her poem, “Tomb at the Village of the Workmen,” accepted for publication in Indianola Review. Her book of poems, Jostle, is a finalist for the T. S. Eliot Publication Award. Her history of Colorado poetry has been posted on the website of The Poetry Foundation (Poetry Magazine); it was originally written for the Academy of American Poets (and now is a bit dated).
  • Steven Schwartz’s Madagascar: New and Selected Stories will be published by Engine Books in Fall 2016. His play, “Stranger,” was selected as one of three from a national playwriting competition and received a staged reading in Los Angeles.
  • Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri’s 101 word flash-fiction piece, “Motherland” has been accepted for publication in Crack The Spine!

Tags: , , , , , ,



With finals approaching and papers, projects, and presentations looming for us English majors, you may also have one thing in the back of your mind that you’ve been avoiding: holiday shopping. How are you supposed to find that perfect gift for your best friend or your significant other?  When will you have the time to scope out that must have item you know they’ll love? Maybe your parents have been asking you for your own Christmas list, and you have no idea where to start.

Well, don’t fret. Ditch the generic Barnes and Noble gift cards and stop wondering whether your roommate would rather get a memoir or a sci-fi novel. We’ve gathered nine totally unique gifts for the literature lovers in your life. Order right from your couch (or your desk if you’re procrastinating on that ten page essay).


  1. Book Lovers’ Scented Soy Candle
Image from Frostbeard Etsy store

Image from Frostbeard Etsy store

The one disappointment when receiving a new book is that it just doesn’t have that old-book smell. Fill in the gap with a scented candle that will make their living room feel like a musty library. This fun Etsy shop sells handmade soy candles with a variety of scents perfect for whomever you’re shopping for. Aside from “Old Books,” you can try themes like “Winterfell” or “Trashy Romance Novel.”


  1. Miniature Classic Novels Book Earrings
Image from JanDaJewelry Etsy shop

Image from JanDaJewelry Etsy shop

Sure, you can buy earrings that remind them of their favorite book (especially when it comes to Harry Potter options), but why not buy earrings of the actual all time classic? No, they’re not too heavy. This Etsy shop hand makes tiny miniature book pendants for jewelry. Pick from old standbys like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice or create a custom order.


  1. Audio Books


Do you have that one friend who loves reading, but never has time to crack open a book? Do they always complain about their long commutes? Try an audio book. Better yet, try an audio book read by the author! Old Firehouse Books has a handsome collection, especially if you’re a fan of David Sedaris. But don’t worry – you can order online from your favorite local bookseller, too.


  1. Library Card Mug
Image from  UncommonGoods

Image from UncommonGoods

Whether they drink their coffee black or prefer herbal teas, every English major has a favorite warm brew to sip while they’re snuggled up with a book. Give them a mug that’ll remind them of their favorite place: the library.  If you’re the Pinterest type, maybe you could try filling in that library card with their favorite novels (just make sure it’s a method that’ll stick).


  1. Literary Scarves
Image from Uncommon Goods

Image from Uncommon Goods

Give your loved one that warm, fuzzy feeling with a thick scarf and familiar words. Silkscreened and hand printed with classics like Wuthering Heights and Alice in Wonderland, these scarves are smart and sharp. They’re great for someone committed to fashion and the written word. If you know they’ll absolutely love the scarf, you can also pick up a pair of matching fingerless gloves. That way, nothing gets in the way of turning pages.


  1. Literary Cufflinks
Image from Uncommon Goods

Image from Uncommon Goods

Scarves and earrings are all well and good, but what about the man in your life who loves his literature? These cufflinks give an air of sophistication to any button down. Classic and debonair, these great gifts will make your guy look well read and well dressed. Made from discarded texts and storybooks, you can also rest easy knowing no books were harmed in the making of this present.


  1. Peeramid Bookrest
Image from Amazon

Image from Amazon

We’ve all had that problem when we’ve been wrapped up in a book all day, and there is no longer any comfortable sitting position where we can feasibly hold up said novel. Enter the Peeramid Bookrest. A triangular pillow with a built-in bookmark, just prop this puppy up and place the book in the crease. Viola! Sit in any style you choose without sacrificing comfort or maximum page turning.


  1. Litographs T-shirts
Image from Litographs

Moby Dick shirt, image from Litographs

You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, right? Then why get a present with just the front instead of the good stuff inside? These t-shirts have every word of the book printed into fun shapes and patterns. They’ve got hundreds of titles, with everything from Moby Dick to Kill Bill: Volume 1. If your friend might have a soft spot for non-conventional novels, this selection has more than just the classics.


  1. Temporary Tattoos
Image from Litographs, tattoo from Beowulf

Image from Litographs, tattoo from Beowulf

Now, hipster English majors don’t have the monopoly on cool book tattoos! If your friends are the definition of timid bookworms, give them the chance to sport a badass literature tattoo – if only for a couple of days! If you really want to be a hero, try the set of Beowulf tattoos for you and your bud.

Tags: ,

~from English Department Communications Intern Ashley Alfirevic

Abby Kerstetter & Sarah Hansen

Abby Kerstetter & Sarah Hansen

For the last time of the Fall semester, everyone gathered in the UCA’s Art Gallery for the final Creative Wring and Reading Series event. Though the readings always feel congenial with all of the friendly faces of the English Department, I knew less of the people around me and it still felt incredibly familiar. Family, friends, and significant others of the two MFA readers, Sarah Hansen & Abby Kerstetter, filled the seats and the room with their care, support, and pride for the readers.

It reminded me of how many of us learned our love of reading in the first place: curled up before bed while someone we love told us a story. Maybe it was the same story night after night, maybe it was a long saga where we couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, or maybe it was the tale about the adventures of a legendary relative. The fiction and poetry of the MFA students carried all of the curiosity, the excitement, and, at the same time, the tender care and attention of those early bedtime stories that taught us to love books.

The readers’ advisors introduced them before their debuts, and Judy Doenges praised some of Sarah’s lesser-known talents: taking unintentionally artistic photos while dog sitting, running a massively popular Instagram account for her cat, and, according to Sarah’s friends’, turning conversations in bad bars into deep philosophical discussions. However, the crowd quickly learned of her more obvious talent: writing with an ability to probe into deep questions regarding animal-human relations, feminism, and sexuality. Her segment from her novel-in-progress about a young woman who joins the circus showcased her skills perfectly, all under a big red top.

As adept at her craft as they trapeze artists and lion tamers her novel describes, Sarah constructs the image of May, a young queer woman in the early twentieth century who is assigned to live with her conservative aunt after a family tragedy. Exploring her desires for her best friend, her issues of abandonment, and her troubled past, she looks to escape and join her estranged cousin Eliza in the circus. While May worriedly winds through the strange array of caged animals, sword-swallowers, and mimes while looking for Eliza, Sarah manages to create something so wonderfully common: a young girl struggling with her needs for independence, autonomy, and love, all of which we hope she can find under the circus tent and with painted-lady Ziggy.

Sarah reads

Sarah reads

Dan Beachy-Quick introduced Abby’s work, and, as his assistant in the program, credited her with all of the competence and fluidity of his presentations. “She actually wrote this introduction, too” he joked. Praising her writing as a beautiful exploration of identity, he noted that, “She is one who is trying to know herself, or perhaps her selves, and asking the question of how you know who it is you are.”

Abby opened by thanking her parents, who have supported her writing pursuits ever since she wanted to study “authorism” when she was seven years old. Her poetry intricately intertwines with her family history and her grandfather who, orphaned at age fifteen, had to leave his life as an Alaska native and travel to Pennsylvania. Tying together notions of self-hood, heritage, and indigenousness, Abby exposes the tensions between antiquity and newness, subjection and defiance.

Her poem of fire and charred bones, water and smooth rocks, declared, “Only the beginning is true” and later asked, “Must it be old to be authentic?” Discussing bait and sharp hooks, heritage objects, outstretched hands, and cleansing songs, she gently pulled the audience along as she dissected relationships between the self and the hands, parents and children, person and community, her repetition of hums and digs in her last poem creating a transcendent space where it all came together.

Abby reads

Abby reads

Exiting the UCA into the cold winter air, I still carried with me the feeling of hearth and home that the Art Museum had created, that mixing of family and friends and appreciation and art between the people who were close to one another.

Tags: , , , ,

  • SueEllen Campbell and John Calderazzo will be busy at the upcoming American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual conference in San Francisco. SueEllen is a co-convener of three sessions about the need for multidisciplinary approach to climate change education, two oral sessions and one poster session. She will also present a poster at the latter. John will moderate and co-present a workshop, Sharing Science in Plain English; he’ll also co-chair and moderate a panel on The Many Sides of Sharing Science. Both will also talk about science communication with the general public in an informal Ask an Expert forum.
  • Antero Garcia’s most recent book Doing Youth Participatory Action Research: Transforming Inquiry with Researchers, Educators, and Students (co-authored with Nicole Mirra and Ernest Morrell) is out now through Routledge.
  • Antero Garcia has an article in the most recent issue of English Journal with Nicole Mirra and Danielle Filipiak titled “Revolutionizing Inquiry in Urban English Classrooms: Pursuing Voice and Justice through Youth Participatory Action Research.” It can be accessed here.
  • Tobi Jacobi has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the College Composition and Communication (CCC) journal editorial board.
  • An interview with EJ Levy about her fiction and essays appears in the current issue of Superstition Review, which has a wonderful archive of author interviews with Maggie Nelson, George Saunders, Tayari Jones, among others.
  • Sarah Sloane read from an essay-in-progress about her father, “Sammy Safety,” at the Western Literature Association Conference in Reno, Nevada, on October 15, 2015. She has also collaboratively written an article with artist Joe Joe Orangias and Professor Jeannie Simms (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) called “Pink Icons: LGBTQ2 Monuments and their Displacement of Culture,” invited and under consideration by Public Art Dialogue. Orangias, Frank Pega (University of Otega, NZ), and Sloane were collaborators on the Pink Dolphin Monument installation in Galveston, TX: Finally, Sloane was one of four winners of a local essay contest, “This is Fort Collins,” held annually by The Coloradoan. Her essay was published online and in the September 2, 2015 weekend edition. She also gave a reading of it at Everyday Joe’s Coffee House.
  • Debby Thompson’s essay “Canine Cardiology” has been accepted for publication by the Bellevue Literary Review.
  • Felicia Zamora’s (MFA ’12) poems have been recently accepted for publication in Columbia Poetry Review, Hotel Amerika, Juked, Meridian, Phoebe, and The Burnside Review. Her manuscript, Silence for the Rest of Class, was a finalist in the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize. Three of her poems are currently highlighted on The Normal School website.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 9th: Book Fair at the Fort Collins Barnes and Noble, which will last all day. At 5:00PM there will be two guest authors — the English Department’s very own Todd Mitchell and Daniel Robinson — reading from their books, as well as a book signing.

If the book fair is mentioned on Wednesday at the time of purchase at B&N a portion of the sale (no additional purchase necessary) will go to NCTE@CSU. This fundraisers’ proceeds will be going to help host a miniature conference in Spring 2016.

NCTE Bookfair and Reading

Tags: , ,