The Current

Our monthly newsletter, published online during the academic year, celebrates the latest publications, acceptances, projects, presentations, awards, accolades, teaching highlights, activities, and more of English faculty, graduate students, staff, and undergraduates.

MARCH 2024

Publications, Exhibits, & Acceptances

faculty book covers

DJ Lee’s poem “New Brow” has been accepted for publication at the literary journal Cease, Cows.

Linda Russo’s fourth book of poetry, the verdant, an “organic invocation and paean to the other-than-human kin of our world,” won the Halcyon Poetry Prize and is due to out imminently with Middle Creek Publishing.

Tannaz Farsi, Visiting Artist, Jo Hockenhull Distinguished Visiting Artist Pullman Campus. From left to right is Abigail Nnaji (Art), Tannaz Farsi, Zahra Khodaverdi (CSSTE), Jo Hockenhull. Photo by Reza Safavi.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops, Performances, & Presentations

The first Avery Series, organized by Grant Maierhofer, will take place in the Bundy Reading Room on Thursday, March 28 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Features guests include Linda Russo and Lauren Westerfield discussing the role of the writer today. Grant Maierhofer will moderate.

Tales of Academia: A Conversation with Drs. Miller and Pouydal. A professional development workshop for graduate students will be held Friday, March 29th from noon-1pm via zoom. The workshop will feature Dr. M.A. Miller and Dr. Bibhushana Poudyal who will discuss their academic journeys and experiences on the academic market, offer tips, and respond to questions by grad students. All are welcome. For more information, contact Nishant Shahani and/or Patty Wilde.

Michael Delahoyde delivered the first two episodes of Shakespeare Illuminated, live zoom and recorded presentations on Shakespeare’s plays from the Oxfordian perspective and sponsored by the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Caesar are now available on the SOF YouTube channel.

The Program in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), directed by Pamela Thoma, hosted a webinar with Dr. Chandni Desai (University of Toronto) on Thursday, February 8 via Zoom. The title of Dr. Desai’s presentation was “Nakba Continued: Genocide in Gaza.” 

On Thursday, March 21, 4:30-5:30, WGSS welcomed Tannaz Farsi as the Jo Hockenhull Distinguished Visiting Artist one the Pullman Campus for the “overleaf” Visiting Artist Lecture. A reception in the Fine Arts Foyer followed.

On Wednesday, April 10, 4:30-5:30, WGSS will host the Feminist/Queer Dialogue Series (Zoom) Dr. M.A. Miller, Assistant Professor WGSS: “’F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob’: Trans Studies and the Intertidal Invertebrate.”

Stephen Sexton, Irish poet and winner of the 2019 Forward Prize for best first collection, visited WSU to give the Honors College’s Bhatia Lecture on Tuesday, March 19. The event was organized by Colin Criss.

The panel Place and Publishing: Working with Regional Presses to Publish Your Academic and Creative Writing was held Wed., 20 March 2024, in the Atrium, Holland/Terrell Library, WSU Pullman. The Panel and Q&A was sponsored by the David G. Pollart Center for Arts & Humanities. The reception was organized by Pamela Thoma and hosted by the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The panel included Kim Hogeland, acquisitions editor of OSU Press; Linda Bathgate, Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief of WSU Press; Crystal Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Fugue,and our own Lauren Westerfield, Editor-in-Chief of Blood Orange Review. Organized by DJ Lee.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) held the following workshops:  Wendy Steele: “Canvas Accessibility Workshop,” 12:10-1:00 pm, March 20 (in person & Zoom); Wendy Steele: “Canvas Accessibility Workshop Follow-Up,” 12:10-1:00 pm, March 27 (in person & Zoom). The EDIC Members-Led Workshop (topic TBD) will be held 12:10-1:30 pm, April 10 (Zoom only). Please contact Nazua Idris for more information.

On Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8 Celilo Wy’am activist Lana Jack spoke and performed a Jingle Medicine Dance. The event was sponsored by Native American Programs and the Collective for Social and Environmental Justice with funds from the Council for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI).

WSU’s Interdisciplinary Social Justice Conference (SJCON) is scheduled for April 19 and 20, 2024. Please save the date. WSU SJCon is an interdisciplinary social justice conference launched in 2019 by WSU graduate students in coalition with BIPOC- and LGBTQIA2S-led groups. SJCON is presented virtually and in-person. The conference is proudly co-Sponsored by: WSU Vancouver Native American Programs, Collective for Social and Environmental Justice, the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the Native American Club.

Colin Criss, Lauren Westerfield, Meagan Lobnitz, Place and Publishing Panel, March 20, 2024.
Professor Aaron Oforlea, faculty advisor, African Diaspora Association, WSU. Photo courtesy of the African Diaspora Association.

Teaching Highlights, Activities, & Innovations

Africa Night, was held on February 24, sponsored by the African Diaspora Association, faculty advisor Aaron Oforlea.

Linguistics Circle, advisor Michael Thomas, met at noon on February 15 to discuss “It’s Yawal Sakun and Tliɗi Luka Gizik, Tliɗi Sukur. They viewed the late, great, Nic David’s documentary on Sukur “The 13 Months of Sukur: Africa’s first World Heritage Cultural Landscape” hosted by the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s linguist. On March 7, continuing the conversation between poetics and linguistics and the theme of meaning construction, they looked at how grammatical deixis is used to embody meaning in the speech act and then considered how Lyn Hejinian exploits deixis and information structure to “open” a text. 

The English Department Recognition Gathering was held on March 6 in the Bundy Reading Room.

The English Department’s Open Mic Club organized by Linda Russo will be held at Brused Books in downtown Pullman, 6-7:30 p.m., April 4 & 18. On March 21, the Club featured Garrett Renard launching his free verse, prose, and visual poetry chapbook, “Evidence” & celebrate DIY Creativity! After his reading, the club opened the floor for open mic. Open Mic@Brused Books also hosted successful events on February 8 and 22. 

WSU Visiting Writers Series (VWS), co-directed by Cameron McGill and Julian Ankney, will host poet, author, and editor Gabrielle Calvocoressi on Tuesday April 2 at 5:00 p.m. in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and YouTube Live Stream. On Tuesday, April 16, VWS welcomes Steven Dunn and Katie Jean Shinkle for a virtual event. Visit the VWS Website for more information.

Write Club, organized by Donna Campbell, will meet in Spring 2024 weekly on alternate days (Mondays and Tuesdays) to accommodate the greatest number of votes from the poll. Monday Dates (Zoom only) will occur April 8, and April 22 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. Contact Donna Campbell for the Zoom link. Tuesday Dates (Zoom and in-person in Avery 110) will occur April 2 and April 16 from 9:30-11:00 a.m.

The Collective for Social and Environmental Justice (CSEJ) at WSU Vancouver is coordinating teach-ins on the crisis in Palestine and Israel every second and fourth Wednesday this term, from 2 to 3:30 in VDEN 129 (on the Vancouver campus) and on Zoom. Preregistration is required. You are welcome to bring your entire class, but if you plan to do so, please notify Desiree Hellegers a week in advance via email. The series includes the following sessions:  Mar. 27: The Targeting of Reporters and Cultural workers, with Desiree Hellegers, Professor, Department of English, and Nishant Shahani, Professor, Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Apr. 10: Health Impacts in the West Bank and Gaza, with Patricia Kullberg, M.D., MPH, former Medical Director, Multnomah County Health Department and member of the Old Mole Variety Hour Collective on KBOO Radio; and Linda Eddy, Ph.D., RN, ARPN, Professor, College of Nursing, WSU Vancouver, and former Fulbright Fellow in the West Bank; Apr. 24: Censorship and Propaganda in the Crisis, with Laurie Mercier, Professor, Department of History; and Sam Lohman, Reference Coordinator & Information Access Librarian.

Place and Publishing Panel, March 20, 2024.

Awards, Honors, Prizes, Fellowships, & Grants

The new Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is approved and will begin fall 2024! 

Congratulations to the 2024 College of Arts & Sciences award recipients!

Ashley Boyd: Excellence in Graduate Mentoring and Advising

Anna Bushy: Master’s Student Achievement Award in Humanities 

Nazua Idris: Doctorate Student Achievement Award in Humanities 

Grant Maierhofer: Early Career Achievement Award

Nishant Shahani: Excellence in Graduate Teaching

The Graduate and Professional Student Association will present Nazua Idris with the 2024 Community Engagement Award on April 10.

DJ Lee was awarded the 2024 Andy Hope Award from Cirque: A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim, for her creative nonfiction essay “The River Decides,” to be published by Cirque in its next issue. “This award is the brainchild of writer Vivian Faith Prescott. Vivian co-directs Raven’s Blanket, a non-profit based in Wrangell, Alaska, whose mission is to enhance and perpetuate the cultural wellness and traditions of Indigenous peoples through education, media, and the arts, and to promote artistic works throughout Alaska of both Native and non-Native Alaskans. Andy Hope, an influential Alaska Native political activist and writer of prose and poetry, died after a brief battle with cancer in 2008 at the age of 58. The $100 annual award will go to an author of prose or poetry published in Cirque.”

From the Chair’s Desk

At our March English Department Recognition gathering we had so many accomplishments to celebrate—and I’m glad to say we have since had even more to celebrate. On Friday, March 29, I’ll attend the ceremony for Angel Hawkins, who won the President’s Award for her excellent work as a custodian in Avery Hall. Today, our students received a range of scholarships, which we will celebrate with our undergraduates at our Scholarships and Awards Ceremony on April 5, and with our graduate students, on May 3. I also look forward to the College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social on Thursday, April 18, 4:00–6:00 p.m. in CUB Senior Ballroom. Finally, our Graduate and Professional Student Association will present Nazua Idris with the 2024 Community Engagement Award on April 10. I’m honored to be invited to attend as her guest.