Tag Archives: Louann Reid

~from English Department Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub

After a brief hiatus, the English department Colloquium has returned. For those of you who don’t know, colloquium is an event where we gather, with fine appetizers and drinks in hand, to enjoy one another’s company and hear about the work that our colleagues are doing. All department faculty and graduate students are welcome, and the event is typically held at the home of Louann and David Reid.

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As promised, department faculty and graduate students gathered with fine appetizers and drinks in hand.

After a bit of socializing, typically two faculty present their work, with a discussion following each presentation. Stephanie G’Schwind, Director of the Center for Literary Publishing, facilitates the event — everything from helping to make plates of snacks and welcoming people as they arrive, to introducing the speakers and facilitating the discussion. As anyone who has read an issue of the Colorado Review already knows, she’s a master at bringing voices together, engaging an audience, and keeping things organized as well as beautifully presented.

For this most recent colloquium, the presenters were Assistant Professor Doug Cloud and English Instructor Kristina Quynn.

Doug Cloud presented his in-progress work on how speakers conceal animus toward marginalized groups in public discourse. He shared the results from an analysis of recent “bathroom bill” and transgender-rights discourse, to show how speakers are able to make prejudicial claims about transgender people indirectly. He proposes that understanding and revealing these techniques can help us be smarter consumers and producers of public rhetoric.

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Before starting, there was a short lesson from department chair Louann Reid on how to adjust the new leather couch for maximum comfort, which led to an interesting fact you might not know about Doug Cloud — he worked at an IKEA during graduate school. “I used to sell couches and that’s a good couch.”

Once we all got settled, Doug started by saying “I’ll jump right in, like I do with most things — eyes closed, head first.” The title of his talk was, “An Incitement to Essentialism: Recent Conservative and Religious Rhetorics on Transgender Rights and Their Implications.” He said that we often see two sides of an issue as needing to fight each other or remain locked in some sort of opposition until someone “wins,” when actually we could see such engagements as a drug and a bacterial strain or two fencers might approach each other — each on their own “side” but not needing to be at war. Rather they can dance with each other and adapt. “Movements and counter-movements influence one another’s rhetoric.”

Doug considered examples of the rhetoric in petitions written by six different conservative organizations, crafted in response to three events that brought transgender identities into the national spotlight in the past year: HB2 in North Carolina, the bathroom policy at Target, and Obama’s letter to schools about the issue. It was in part a fascinating look at the many ways we try to define gender, and what our definitions reveal about what we value and believe. While Doug admitted, “It’s hard to nail down the effect of any rhetoric or discourse, even tougher to predict what impact it will have,” working with this issue and writing about it is his way of “staying on the bus.” A good discussion followed, and it’s probably safe to say we didn’t answer all the questions involved with this complex issue that night.

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Kristina Quynn talked about the phases of CSU Writes so far: where it started last year, where it currently is, and where she sees it going. She touched on the reasons she started CSU Writes (including her own research agenda), the writing productivity research and models of women’s collectives that guide its vision, and some of the wonderful success stories of graduate students and faculty who have participated in CSU Writes organized retreats, workshops, and writing groups.

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Kristina’s original search was a personal one, “I was looking for a writing group for myself to support my own work.” Her search led to starting CSU Writes, originally funded through a grant awarded to her by The Ripple Effect. Although the writing productivity research and models of women’s collectives guided her vision of the project, she knew it couldn’t just be for women, that it should be open to everyone — all genders, graduate students and faculty, undergraduates and staff. The project began with Writing Groups, Drop In writing sessions (Show Up & Write), and workshops.

Kristina learned some things early on in the project, about what was needed and by whom, and more importantly about who the project might best serve. She realized that the project should focus on purely academic writing, and refocused the program to support the needs of academic writers (Faculty and Graduate Students) writing projects with the goal of either publication or degree completion. Last year, the project worked with 277 writers, fostered 36 writing groups, held 16 workshops on the 4 topic that writers struggle with most (space, time, energy, and style), had 126 Show Up & Write sessions, and invited one guest speaker. Kristina also published an essay in an edited collection, had another accepted for the MLA Approaches to Teaching Series, had 3 conference paper proposals accepted at MSA & MLA, and has recently finished work co-editing a collection on experimental literature and criticism soon to be coming out at Palgrave Press, thus meeting her original personal goal for the project.

CSU Writes had writing retreats for graduate students that were very popular. Almost too popular. There were 30 spots and after the first few days the first retreat was open for registration, there were 65 applications, and Kristina had to contact me to take down the website submission form. Students who attended practiced writing a lot in healthy, sustainable writing sessions as a writing community. One of the most popular aspects of the retreat was Professor (now Emeritus) John Calderazzo’s session on capturing audience through storytelling.

One of the surprises of the retreats, and of the program in general, is that large numbers of international students who are looking for help for their writing as English Language Learners, that there’s a real need there, but CSU Writes offers support primarily for writing productivity, which isn’t exactly the right fit for student seeking ESL/ELL support.

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Kristina describes what she does facilitating writing groups as being the Match.com for academic writers at CSU. She confessed she even used wedding planning software to help her match writers together into workable writing groups. “There’s a lot of romance involved,” she joked. The primary way she matches people is through their schedules, stated interests, and the length of the project they are working on, but admits that whether their writing group will work out over the long-haul or not is another matter — “Chemistry is more of a mystery.”

During the discussion, John Calderazzo asked her, “how do you measure success?” Kristina answered:

  • Are graduate students experiencing speedier time to degree?
  • Can participants see an overall improvement in the writing?
  • Are participating writers feeling more comfortable and content with their writing practice?

She also suggested that measuring success by tying it to grant money is a bad idea.

Kristina talked about what seems to be at the heart of the struggles of academic writers, and what in turn points to the solutions: space for writing, time to write, maintaining momentum and energy. She suggested that accountability to a group and some practical skills, like using the Pomodoro Technique (which Catherine Ratliff introduced at the graduate student writing retreats), and separating drafting from editing, are some of the benefits of CSU Writes. She also asserted that “binge writing is bad” and suggests “writers are putting off large writing projects to the last minute.” She closed with stating, “I suspect that a lot of the crankiness on campus has to do with a lack of writing.”

It was a great event, and a good time was had by all. Stay tuned for information on next semester’s colloquium, and we hope to see you there.

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Lady Moon Meadow, image by Jill Salahub

Lady Moon Meadow, image by Jill Salahub

  • Tim Amidon and Michele Simmons (Miami University) gave a research talk titled “Negotiating ‘messy’ research context and design through adaptive research stances” at the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) in Washington, D.C.  While at SIGDOC, Tim also participated in “Draw to communicate: How geometric shapes, blank pages, and crayons can improve your collaboration and creativity,” a workshop lead by Abigail Selzer, Kristen R. Moore, and Ashley Hardage (Texas Tech University). The workshop introduced participants to research and pedagogy in technical communication surrounding sketch-noting and incorporated hands on practice applying concepts such a geometric and visual metaphors to communication design problems.
  • Tim Amidon spoke as an invited panelist at the Faculty and Instructor Open Textbooks Workshop about his experiences adopting Doug Eyman’s Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice, as an open textbook in CO402: Principles of Digital Rhetoric and Design. The event was hosted at the Morgan Library by Associate Professor and Open Education Resources Librarian Merinda McLure and Assistant Dean for Scholarly Communications and Collection Development Meg Brown-Sica.
  • Steven Schwartz’s story “The Theory of Everything” has just been published by Electric Literature on its Recommended Reading site. The story is from his newly released collection, Madagascar: New and Selected Storieshttps://electricliterature.com/the-theory-of-everything-by-steven-schwartz-52ad1978996f#.3okj44mzn
  • Bill Tremblay has received acceptances of two new poems, “Bukowski” and “The Sun’s Hands” at Cimarron Review for their Winter issue, 2016-17. Bill read with Jared Smith in Evergreen, CO, last Saturday evening. Besides the audience the reading was streamed out to 177 homes in the area. Bill will read in Laramie, WY, at the Night Heron Bookstore, Friday October 15, 7 pm. He is also scheduled to read with Joe Hutchison at the Innisfree in Boulder, 6 PM, October 20th. A reading-interview with Bill talking about Walks Along the Ditch will be broadcast and streamed from KBOO.fm Portland OR 11PM October 17. It will also be archived.
  • Andrew Mangan’s short story “Any Good Thing” has been accepted for publication by Zyzzyva. Andrew graduated from the MFA program in 2016. This is his first publication.
  • Thank you to everyone who helped to make PBK Visiting Scholar Nora Naranjo Morse’s campus visit a success.  A special thank you to Louann Reid, for her tireless support of this opportunity; Gloria Blumanhourst, who is, herself, a PBK member; she helped do all of the planning, and then she was called away to help with a family emergency; Patty Rettig, a PBK member alongside Gloria, who stepped in to help us with this event; Dean Ben Withers, also a PBK member, for his involvement in Nora’s campus visit; Colleen Timothy, who helped  with scheduling Dean Withers; Jill Salahub, our English department communications coordinator, who went above and beyond to help us to publicize this event; Sue Russell, one of our English department administrative professionals, who helped to organize the logistics of Nora’s visit; Sheila Dargon, another of our English department administrative professionals, who helped to publicize this event; Leif Sorensen, who hosted Nora in his Ethnic Literature in the United States class; Camille Dungy, who hosted Nora in her Literature of the Earth course; and Pam Coke, who served as faculty host. Thank you to everyone who attended any of the events while Nora was here.  Her visit was co-sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa and the CSU English department.

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The inaugural Fort Collins Books Fest: Brewin’ Up Books! is a FREE, one-day public literary festival bringing attention to the expansiveness of Fort Collins’ craft brewing culture through books and authors involved with beer, coffee, tea, and more. With over 40 speakers, readings, panels, and workshops, there is sure to be something for just about everyone.

The CSU English Department is a sponsor of this event. As part of our in-kind donation, we are asking for volunteers to help staff the day’s festivities. We need handlers to help make sure panelists are able to move comfortably between venues as well as people who can serve other necessary roles in helping to make sure the festival runs smoothly. If you are able to serve on a 2 to 5 hour volunteer shift on October 22, please write me Camille Dungy soon as possible. Conference organizers are hoping to schedule all the volunteers by the end of this week (October 7).  (Contact Camille Dungy at camille.dungy@colostate.edu). Volunteers will have access to a few backstage perks as well, so sign up soon so we can get you on those lists! http://www.focobookfest.org/

 

Cover of the latest edition

Greyrock Review: Get your work published!

Fiction: 5,000 word limit, format should be double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman or Galibri fonts. Two pieces of your best work may be submitted.

Nonfiction: 5,000 word limit, format should be double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman or Calibri fonts. Two pieces of your best work may be submitted.

Poetry: Up to 5 poems may be submitted, each poem should be placed on a separate page in a single document. If poems have a visual formatting component, please use Adobe PDF files. Otherwise, Word (.doc files) are preferred.

Visual Arts: Any visual art form is accepted, excluding video. Please photography your work and submit digitally. 300 dpi and CMYK colored .TIFF file is preferred.

For more information please visit http://greyrockreview.colostate.edu or email Baleigh Greene at bmgreene@rams.colostate.edu

Submissions accepted from October 3, 2016 – December 16, 2016

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~from Department Chair Louann Reid

Two English majors received Top Honors in a university-wide competition. The Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC) Showcase features writing, oral presentations, service-learning, art, and research by CSU undergraduate students. Seven of the seventeen English majors who entered were recognized at the Awards Ceremony April 28, 2015. We asked those who won honors to tell us a bit more about their projects, and here’s what they said:

Hannah Polland received First Place in the category of Service-Learning Posters for her research on sex trafficking in Fort Collins, “Sex Trafficking in Our Community and the Language that Surrounds the Issue.” She also received a Top Honor award of a $250 travel grant from the Vice President of Research, given to the best entry in each of the five CURC competitions. She worked with advisor Tobi Jacobi. Hannah will be studying at Bath Spa University starting in October and says, “I am very excited, sad to leave CSU though. I will be sure to keep the Department of English updated with my new literature adventures!”

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Hannah Polland at the CURC Showcase with the poster describing her project.

 

Caitlin Johnson received Second Place in the Scholarly Nonfiction category of the Writing Competition for “Sexualized Piety: Margery’s ‘Dalliance’ with God,” composed for Medieval Women Writers in Fall 2014 with the help of Lynn Shutters. She is pursuing a concentration in Education and a minor in Women’s Studies, with a special interest in representations of gender and sexuality in literature. She also received the Top Honor award in the Writing Competition and will have her essay published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research.

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Caitlin Johnson

 

Also in the Scholarly Nonfiction category, Ivana Leskanich received Third Place for “The Woman Who Wanted to be a Soldier,” and “The Epistemological Nature of the Troy Legend in Hamlet.” Both of these essays were written for the Shakespeare II class that Ivana took with Professor Lynn Shutters, which she greatly enjoyed. Even though Ivana found studying Shakespeare to be a challenge, she is thoroughly grateful for having taken that class, and to her professor, for the growth that she experienced as a critical thinker and a writer. Ivana is hoping to be accepted into CSU’s graduate program to pursue a Master’s degree in English Literature next year. Currently she is studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France, for a semester, as she is also a French major.

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Ivana Leskanich

Nathan DeLaCastro received Second Place in Fiction for “The Fiddle Game” and “’Out, Out—‘.” The former was written as a workshop piece for E412A under the tutelage (*snicker*) of Leslee Becker, and he’s rather pleased with how it turned out. The latter was a poem written for E311B, made possible in part by the inimitable Dan Beachy-Quick. Nathan is just about done with a Creative Writing concentration, and hopes to maybe make money with this writing nonsense in the future.

Nathan DeLaCastro and friend

Nathan DeLaCastro and friend

Hannah Armfield received Second Place in Poetry for “[Years ago, when the snow fell heavy].”

An interesting note in the poetry competition is that the first place winner, Eric Bleem, is a Biochemistry major whose advisor was English MFA student Kristen George Bagdanov. Eric was awarded first place for his poem “Hollows.”

Creative Nonfiction awards went to two English majors who received awards in the 2014 competition as well. Krista Reuther was awarded Second Place for “Unfunny.” Davis Webster was awarded Third Place for “A Playlist For Steven’s Wake (Annotated).” The essay, written for EJ Levy’s Intermediate Creative Nonfiction class, explores Davis’ relationship with his sister’s ex-boyfriend through their mutual love of Guns N’ Roses. (Read more about Davis in his recent Humans of Eddy profile).

Davis Webster

Davis Webster

We are proud of everyone who entered the competition and look forward to increased participation next year. Our students do amazing work that should be recognized among the best research and creative artistry of CSU’s thousands of undergraduates.

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On Wednesday, April 8, faculty members from the entire college were recognized for teaching, research, and service and 3 MFA students were featured readers throughout the program.

Abby Kerstetter and Matt Truslow read their poetry and Nate Barron read from a micro-essay. Associate Dean of CLA and emcee Bruce Ronda arranged the program such that the individual works were effectively showcased and the readings marked logical breaks in the series of awards. Their work was well received by the audience and they made us proud.

Nate Barron reading

Nate Barron reading

English department faculty also made us proud as they received several recognitions and awards. The retirement of Doug Flahive was noted, as were the service milestones of Cindy O’Donnell-Allen (15 years), Sue Russell (20), and others. Zach Hutchins, Tobi Jacobi, and E.J. Levy received Faculty Development Awards, which provide a summer stipend for research and creative artistry. Pam Coke received the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for Associate Professors, and Louann Reid received the Distinction in Advancement Award. In recognition of a career of distinguished teaching, creative artistry, and service to the university, Leslee Becker was named a John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. This award is a career milestone.

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E.J. Levy (Faculty Development Award) and Louann Reid (Distinction in Advancement Award)

Tobi Jacobi (Faculty Development Award)

Tobi Jacobi (Faculty Development Award)

Pam Coke (CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for Associate Professors)

Pam Coke (CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for Associate Professors)

Dean Gill and Leslee Becker (John L. Stern Distinguished Professor)

Dean Gill and Leslee Becker (John N. Stern Distinguished Professor)

Tobi Jacobi and Pam Coke

Tobi Jacobi and Pam Coke

Leslee Becker and Louann Reid

Leslee Becker and Louann Reid

Bruce Ronda and Leslee Becker

Bruce Ronda and Leslee Becker

We thank all faculty who were willing to be nominated and prepared materials, and we thank Zach Hutchins, Sarah Sloane, and Bruce Shields for their letters and support where such nominations were required. A special thanks also to Sarah Sloane and Deanna Ludwin for the great pictures of the event.

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The displaced faculty and staff of the English department are thrilled that the revitalization of Eddy is on schedule for our spring/summer return. When I toured the building — thus, the hard hat — I could see the potential. What are now just holes in concrete will carry pipes (or maybe just the ducts — we were moving quickly, and my lack of specialist knowledge may be showing here) for the new heating and cooling system. A set of steel bars in the northwest corner of the first floor marks off a lounge area. The sharp hammer blows on concrete floors and walls prepare the way for the roomier Writing Center, designed with features that improve functionality and aesthetics. Our third floor home is eerily unchanged except for a slightly smaller Eddy 300 computer lab that makes space for a lounge area in front of it and the west wall where there are now 5 offices roughed out in the space that held the Eddy library and 3 offices. Eventually, doors will be refinished and there will be new paint and, possibly, flooring, but now those are still just plans.

The windows are in, the exterior walls are clad with spandrel (a stone-like material), and the new atrium becomes more real every day. Students (more than 10,000 a day), faculty, and staff will have a much better place to teach, learn, and work by the fall semester of 2015. We appreciate the work of all the people on campus and in Denver who played any role in this complicated and exciting project. Believe me, the number of them would amaze you. The tireless work of Bruce Ronda and Tony Flores, especially, deserves acknowledgment. Thank you.

 

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Recently, I attended the College of Liberal Arts Donors Brunch. This annual event honors the many scholarship donors who support CLA and the students who benefit. It is fitting that it occurs in November, a month when we are reminded to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for and remember those who need our help. This year’s brunch made me think again about why I give to CSU because I was the featured speaker.

I was a first-generation college student who would not be here now without the encouragement of my parents and the generosity of scholarship donors. Dean Gill introduced me by saying that I would speak about a new chapter in my story as an educator.

Here’s the story I told.

My new chapter opens with a bequest that my husband and I recently decided to make to the English department. But the story behind it is a story of the encouragement of parents who wanted for their children the education they could not have and the generous support of scholarship donors.

When I was two years old, my parents bought the first of many Series E US Savings Bonds and started a college savings account at the bank.

When I was four years old, they bought a set of the American Peoples encyclopedias that my mother had in her home until she moved to assisted living at age 84.

Before I started school, my parents found an old wooden school desk with a flip top lid so that I could play school with my younger siblings and dolls. At least the dolls were cooperative.

Neither of my parents had gone beyond high school and our family of five lived on what my father earned as an auto mechanic, but college was never a question. Paying for it was.

I chose a liberal arts college not only for the education but because the combination of scholarships and financial aid made it possible for me to go. When my parents dropped me off at school, I knew they were proud. Later my mother confided that my father cried as they drove away.

A few months later, my father died suddenly, and I didn’t know if we could afford for me to stay in school. Financial aid, work-study grants, and the generosity of scholarship donors made it possible for me to stay.

After college I went on to teach junior and senior high school for 19 years and earned 2 more degrees. When I successfully defended my dissertation, my mother sent flowers to Dr. Reid. She never tired of telling the story of correcting the florist when the florist asked for his address. “Dr. Reid is my daughter,” she said.

When I took the position at CSU, she turned to the encyclopedias they had bought so long ago to learn about where I would be teaching, but if you think a minute about the age of those encyclopedias, you’ll know what she found instead. She called and said “Did you mean you are going to Colorado A&M?”

Education mattered to my parents and it matters to us. Dave and I have always believed in giving to what matters, and we believe in the future of CSU. We want to ensure opportunities for generations of students to get an education that matters to them and to society.

I am thankful for the generosity that made my education possible.

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Department Chair Louann Reid and Office Manager Amparo Jeffrey recently took a tour of Eddy Hall, which is currently being remodeled.

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Safety first!

Here are some pictures Amparo took, as well as a few “before” pictures Jill Salahub took in the weeks before the big move.

Third floor of Eddy hallway, before

Third floor of Eddy hallway, before

Third floor of Eddy hallway, now

Third floor of Eddy hallway, now

Third floor Eddy back hall, before

Third floor Eddy back hall, before

Third floor Eddy, back hall, now ADA compliant with added office space

Third floor Eddy, back hall, now ADA compliant with added office space

The Writing Center, now

The Writing Center, now

The center courtyard, before

The center courtyard, before

The center courtyard, now

The center courtyard, now

Eddy first floor Lounge in North Hallway, now

Eddy first floor Lounge in North Hallway, now, (also, Louann in a hard hat)

Third floor Eddy Computer Lab, before

Eddy 300 Computer Lab, before

Eddy 300 Computer Lab, now

Eddy 300 Computer Lab, now

Louann contemplating the new lounge space in front of the Eddy 300 Computer Lab

Louann contemplating the new lounge space in front of the Eddy 300 Computer Lab

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Hello! My name is Louann Reid. I have been department chair since 2011 and a faculty member at CSU for 20 years. I am thrilled that we are launching this department-wide blog. In it we can showcase the people, programs, and publications that are the life and shape of our vibrant and diverse department.  We hope that alumni, faculty, and both current and potential students will find much of interest here.

Under the editorship of Jill Salahub, posts from our communications interns and others, and feedback from you, the readers, this blog will become a virtual community of readers, writers, and thinkers who are passionate about all that English studies offers. In my posts, I will highlight department news or comment on relevant topics circulating on the Internet or on social media. Sometimes, like today, I will share a favorite text. This is one of my favorite poems by CSU Professor Emeritus Mary Crow and comes from her collection, Borders.

Hard Things: Colorado

Home: Goat mountain, frozen hillside,
shale rubble on the slope
where I struggled to climb
against the slipping and slippery
scrim up to the small caves,
lairs of mountain lions, or old graves
full of fine dark dust.

I used to drive home, feeling the weight
lift off my shoulders mile after mile.
Friends asked how I could bear
living so far out, but I loved
driving toward the light, turning into the gate,
the dog and horses racing to greet me,
the sound of the river pounding against
my ego, my pitiless self.

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