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, and undergraduates.


Publications, Exhibits, & Acceptances

faculty book covers

Ashley Boyd‘s co-authored book, Power Tools: 30 Critical Disciplinary Literacy Strategies for 6-12 Classroomswas published with Myers press.

Bryan Fry has a featured interview in the current issue of Blue Mountain Review (Issue 28, pages 9-10), covering topics of writing and editing and his recent battle with cancer.

Desiree Hellegers published an essay about the crisis in the Middle East, in Counterpunch “Déjà vu and White Noise Over Gaza” or “Who Would Howard Zinn Bomb”? on October 27, 2023.

DJ Lee’s prose poems “Mima Mounds” and “Bitterroot” appeared in Migration and Home: The Elements of Place, edited by Simon Richard Wilson and published by NatureCulture, September 2023, pages 50-52.

Grant Maierhofer was interviewed for the literary journal Rain Taxi, Vol 28.3, Fall 2023, pages 26-27. The title of the interview is “Keeping the Circulating Happening.”

The Routledge Companion to Ecopoetics, to which Linda Russo contributed an article entitled “Decolonial Praxis/Indigenous Resurgence: Relational Accountability in ‘Kin Study’ Poetics,” is now available from Routledge Press.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops, Performances, & Presentations

Ashley Boyd serves as Vice Chair of the Teaching Academy, which held their TeachX Conference in October on the topic of Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education.

Michael Delahoyde presented “Slanders About Nothing in Much Ado” at the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Conference held in New Orleans.

Last summer, Bryan Fry conducted a poetry workshop with participants of the Latino Heath Equity Conference in Portland. The workshop featured students involved in Mariposas Poderosas, a WSU program intended to promote resilience through self-discovery, empowerment, and creativity. The Mariposas and Bryan Fry were also recently featured in the Abuelas en Acción podcast where they discussed the conference workshop in an episode entitled: “’Shakespeare Doesn’t Own English’: The Power of Poetry and Memory of Place.”

Kim Pedersen participated in a reading and panel discussion, “ProVoice Project,” a stage production of Idaho residents’ personal stories of reproductive agency, at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center in Moscow, Idaho on October 15.

Pamela Thoma was a presenter in “Pedagogical Practices of Resistance and Hope: A Conversation with the Students and Teachers of Feminist Theory Reader,” a workshop at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, October 26-29, Baltimore, Maryland.

At the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, November 2-5 in Montreal, Pamela Thoma chaired the panel After Dobbs: The Limits and Promises of Love and Reproductive Justice.

Roger Whitson presented “Is the future already dated? Streaming and Time Travel in William Gibson’s The Peripheral” at the Fourteenth Conference of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP ’14) in Seattle, WA on Saturday, 6 October.

Roger Whitson also presented “William Blake and the Time Criticality of 1804: the Media Archaeology of Romantic Science” and “Illuminated Printing in Three Dimensions: Creating an Archive of Blake’s Plates” at the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA) Conference in Tempe, AZ.

WSU Research Week was held October 16-20. Several English Department and WGSS faculty members presented, including Pamela Thoma, Ashley Boyd, and DJ Lee. Pamela Thoma’s talk was part of the panel “Gender Gaps in Research, Research Funding, and the Workforce.” Ashley Boyd organized and moderated the panel “Entangled: Showcasing the Arts and Humanities through Art, Music, and Writing” and DJ Lee’s talk was part of that panel. The panel was sponsored by the Office of Research. Ashley Boyd also presented her work with a community-engaged reading group on the panel “Innovative Research in the Arts and Humanities.”

Mariposas Poderosas and Bryan Fry preparing for the Latino Health Equity Conference workshop in Portland
Entangled: Showcasing the Arts and Humanities through Art, Music, and Writing

Teaching Highlights, Activities, & Innovations

Linguistics Club, advisor Michael Thomas, met October 20 to discuss recent corpus-based study of Reddit insults and see how compound insult terms follow some basic distributional laws first described by Zipf. On October 27, the club explored the local language Nimipuutimt and listened to some traditional stories in the original and looked at some of the amazing features of Nimipuutimt phonology and syntax.

Dr. Betty Wilson, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Affiliate Faculty in the Program in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies spoke at the Feminist Queer Dialogue Series, sponsored by the Program in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies on October 30 and 4:10 p.m. Her talk was entitled “‘Ain’t I A Woman’; State Sanctioned Violence and the Plight on Black Women in the US.”

The English Department, in collaboration with the Martin Luther King Program, has opened the 2024 Campus Civic Poet Award for submissions until November 15. This award celebrates a student whose poetry engages themes of civic engagement. Graduate and undergraduate students of any major may apply. The award includes a $500 honorarium, mentorship, and invitation to read at civic-related events such as the annual MLK Celebration and the National Day of Racial Healing “Writers Give Voice” event on January 17, 2023. For more information visit the Civic Poet Award page.

The Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), directed by Pamela Thoma, co-sponsored with the LGBTA+ Center the annual InQueery Symposium. This year’s theme is After the Tipping Point: Trans Histories and Archives held virtually on October 11, 2023. Student panels ran from from 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. followed by a keynote address by Professor Hil Malatino, the Joyce L. and Douglas S. Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Philosophy at Penn State University. An InQueery watch party was held on the WSU Vancouver campus.

WGSS is an interdisciplinary degree program distinct from English curricula that is now housed within the Department of English.

Author Bojan Louis reads at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
Open Mic at Brused Books in downtown Pullman, October 26

The English Department’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) held their third workshop of the EDIC-PDC Accessibility Workshop Series on November 1 in the Bundy Reading Room.

The English Department’s Open Mic Club with Creative Writing minor MC Jada Rome and faculty members Bryan Fry and Linda Russo are celebrating a new partnership with Brused Books in downtown Pullman. Over thirty people – community members and WSU faculty and students – took part for the October 26 event. The next Open Mic is November 9 at 6:00 p.m., and the partnership continued with a poetry reading by Linda Russo and Gerald Wagoner on November 1.

WSU Visiting Writers Series, co-directed by Cameron McGill and Julian Ankney, welcomed poet, essayist, and short-story author Bojan Louis on October 18 at 5:00 p.m. in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and YouTube Live Stream. Visit the VWS Website for more information.

EGO movie afternoon/night was held October 20 on campus.

The Creative Writing ClubThe Cougar’s Pen—will meet the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. in CUE 316. All interested students to are invited to attend.

From the Chair’s Desk

Donna Potts Chair of English Department

Fall has arrived on the Palouse, and we are excited to share our recent faculty and student publications, presentations, and activities. We’ve had a Visiting Writers Series event featuring Bojan Louis, a Diné (Navajo Nation) writer and professor at the University of Arizona; some terrific Open Mics at Brused Books on Main; our first official meeting of the revived chapter of Sigma Tau Delta; and a panel of authors from English, History, and the Center for Arts and Humanities, reading from the forthcoming edited collection, Women of the Palouse, hosted by Neill Public Library.