“The Current” 12/16/2014
During the Fall 2014 semester on the Pullman campus, 23 ENGLISH 101 instructors taught 50 sections of English 101. In each section taught, Instructors provided feedback to 125 student projects. Instructors teaching two sections provided feedback to an average of 250 student projects; Instructors teaching three sections gave feedback to 375 projects. In addition to this feedback, ENGLISH 101’s portfolio-based evaluation will entail Instructors reading and grading 1210 portfolios before the semester ends. While the number of projects read is not in itself an indicator of good teaching, it’s no small potatoes either. According to research done on workload in writing classes, Instructors have worked over 10,000 hours to teach ENGLISH 101 this semester. The Director and Assistant Director of Composition would like to invite faculty to join us in thanking all English 101 Instructors for their important contributions to our students and the success of our Department.
Debbie Lee’s review of Gary Ferguson’s The Carry Home: Lessons from an American Wilderness is published in the current issue of the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Carol Siegel’s special issue of Rhizomes, on Working Class Academics, is now online. Her abstract for a presentation at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Montreal was accepted.
Kate Watts chaired the 18th and 19th Century Popular Women’s Fiction panel at RMMLA in Boise, ID, in October. Kate also presented “A Picture is Worth a Thousand (Well-researched) Words: Revisited” at Inland InfoLit in November. The presentation shared an assignment developed for English 201 in collaboration with university archivist Mark O’English. Also, Kate’s application to join the WSU Teaching Academy was accepted, and she will begin work with the group next semester.
Roger Whitson’s research was featured in an article by Sabrina Zearott titled “Maker Culture, From STEM to STEAMpunk.” The article appears in the November-December 2014 issue of CAS Connect.
Roger Whitson’s DTC 356: “Electronic Research and the Rhetoric of Information” students presented their semester-long projects analyzing data-tracking applications in a poster session on Wednesday, December 10 in the Bundy Room.
Paula Coomer’s poem “Halls in our Blood” has been accepted for the anthologyTeaching as a Human Experience to be released by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in April, 2015. The anthology is an effort spearheaded by the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association in New York and is edited by Dr. Patrick W. Blessinger, Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. Coomer recently (Nov. 24-29) organized and facilitated the First Semi-Annual Clearwater Women Writer’s Retreat near Kooskia, Idaho. The retreat is designed for women who might not be able to participate in writing conferences and workshops because of resources. A second retreat is planned for March 2015 and is already completely booked.
Buddy Levy’s article Blind Faith—What’s Within You is Stronger Than What’s in Your Way is the cover story for the Jan 2015 issue of Canoe & Kayak magazine, a nationally distributed publication. Levy participated in a Grand Canyon river expedition in September 2014, and the story is about blind adventurers Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell’s historic blind whitewater kayaking descent of 277 miles of the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon.
Buddy Levy’s profile Story Teller, about writer N.D. Wilson, appeared in the December issue of Horizon Airlines Magazine.
Buddy Levy’s article Recreational Gems was the cover story of the October 2014Horizon Airlines Magazine. The piece highlights the recreational and cultural opportunities across the state of Idaho, including Boise, Sun Valley, CDA, and also Moscow and Lewiston.
Beth Buyserie, Anna Plemons, and Patricia Ericsson’s chapter “Retention, Critical Pedagogy, and Students as Agents: Eschewing the Deficit Model” has been accepted for inclusion in the edited collection Overcoming Writers’ Block: Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs. The chapter foregrounds the major tenets of the Critical Literacies Achievement and Success Program’s (CLASP) retention approach while illustrating them in a particular institutional setting. It outlines CLASP’s theoretically-grounded pedagogy, which connects retention theory outside Composition (Tinto) with critical Composition pedagogy (Villanueva, Ratcliffe, Kerschbaum, Powell), drawing in significant voices from related fields (Bonilla-Silva, Steele, Thompson). The chapter illustrates how CLASP is a replicable and customizable model validated by external funding. Data on student retention, persistence, and skill transfer demonstrate the model’s success, adding quantitative and qualitative information to the existing body of Composition scholarship on retention.
Kate Watts chaired the 18th and 19th Century Popular Women’s Fiction panel at RMMLA in Boise, ID, in October. Kate also presented “A Picture is Worth a Thousand (Well-researched) Words: Revisited” at Inland InfoLit in November. The presentation shared an assignment developed for English 201 in collaboration with university archivist Mark O’English. Also, Kate’s application to join the WSU Teaching Academy was accepted, and she will begin work with the group next semester. See Teaching Academy for more information and about its new inductees.
Debbie Lee and Kirk McAuley’s essay, “Romantic Recycling: The Global Economy and Secondhand Language in Equiano’s Interesting Narrative and the Letters of the Sierra Leone Settlers,” is due to be published in Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760 – 1820, edited by Evan Gottlieb, on December 12, 2014 (Bucknell University Press) – that is, just in time for the holidays!
Kirk McAuley presented a paper titled, “the whisker’d vermine-race” – or, Ideas about Biological Invasion in Eighteenth-Century Caribbean Literature,” at the David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XV: Ideas and Enlightenment, at the University of Sydney, Australia, December 10-12, 2014.
Inspired by the department’s Critical Literacies and Success Program, Todd Butler this semester in his large-lecture Shakespeare course substituted voluntary, small monthly discussion groups for attendance/participation grades. Over more than 40 meetings, 33 students met together an average of 40 minutes to talk together about Shakespeare, the course, and their own academic progress.