Santa Clara University English Insider Newsletter

Department News

Congratulations to Gina Firenzi on winning the Teacher of the Year Award at San Jose State, where she also teaches. The award was presented at the Homecoming game at Spartan Stadium.

Congratulations to Susan Frisbie for being awarded the Dr. John B. Drahmann Advising Award for her extraordinary dedication to student advising and mentoring. For many years she has been the main pre-Law advisor in the college.

Congratulations to Jefferson Dela Cruz on his new born baby boy! His name is Ryder Adriano Dela Cruz and he was born on September 22, 2012 at 1:40 am.

We are excited to have five new faculty members this academic year: Christine Montgomery, Hanna Janiszewska, Roxanne Rashedi, Loring Pfeiffer, and John O. Espinoza. Welcome to the English Department at SCU and have a great fall quarter!

We are thrilled to welcome Qian Wang as a Visiting Scholar from China for Fall Quarter. Wang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing. Qian will serve as a visiting scholar and be involved in the academic atmosphere at Santa Clara University as she conducts comparative research between writing instruction at Santa Clara and at her own institution. We are excited at the opportunities for cultural exchange that her appointment will enable as well.

Matt Mason, class of 1990, has a second book of poetry, The Baby That Ate Cincinnati, which will be out in the spring. He also won a Pushcart Prize and will be out in that anthology later this year.

Faculty Accomplishments

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Simone Billings was invited to facilitate a teacher-training workshop on the use of a common textbook in first-year writing classes for Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida, in August 2012.
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Sherry Booth attended the following conference: "Regarding the Earth", Association for the Study of Literature and Culture,
Australia and New Zealand, September 2012 in Melbourne, Australia where she presented a paper on ecopedagogy and the ecohumanities.
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Assisted by Thomas Turley (History), Kathleen Maxwell (Art and Art History), Jean Molesky-Poz (Religious Studies), Guadalupe Gonzalez (class of 2011), and wonderful student volunteers, Phyllis Brown hosted the annual meeting of the Medieval Association of the Pacific March 30-31. Two plenary lectures focused on St. Clare of Assisi and the Franciscan heritage of Santa Clara University. Participants from Japan, France, England, Canada, and many parts of the United States gave presentations on a wide variety of medieval topics.

Phyllis Brown has collaborated throughout 2011-12 with Jean Molesky-Poz (Religious Studies) and Marie Brancati (Arts and Sciences Dean's Office) on a series of events celebrating the 800th anniversary of Clare of Assisi's founding of the Poor Clares in the year 1212. These events culminate May 10 with a symposium and St. Clare Vespers Concert in the Mission Church.

Phyllis Brown attended the Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium in Washington, DC, March 20 with Michael Kevane (Economics) and gave a presentation on Santa Clara's Core Curriculum Pathways.
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Stephen Carroll has received an additional $80,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation to support "Enhancing the Relevance and Effectiveness of Course, Program and Department Evaluation: Improving the Utility and Usability of the Student Assessment of Learning Gains Site." This amendment funds Year 3 of an anticipated three-year grant totaling $481,685.

The project focuses on the development of interactive help and support systems or novice and expert users of the Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG) course, department, and evaluator websites. The SALG is a web-based, course-evaluation instrument that focues on students' assessments of how effectively course-design and teaching methods help them make learning gains. The expanded help and support systems increase the usability of the SALG sites for course, program, and departmental evaluation and enhance the power and number of ways that users have to interact with each other.

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Alan Clinton's new book, Intuitions In Literature, Technology, and Politics: Parabilities, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in October. Described as American Literature Readings in the Twenty-First Century, this interdisciplinary book incorporates queer theory, disability studies, and digital humanities into well-informed, new readings on post-WWII authors including Bruce Andrews, Thomas Pynchon, and Sylvia Plath.

Alan Clinton was one of eight scholar/artists selected to attend the MUTOPIA conference in June in Banff, Canada. Mutopia is dedicated to using findings from anthropology and the avant-garde to explore site-specific locations in a collective fashion. In attendance were writers, sound and video artists, and mongrels. They produced archival material which has been collected and remixed (collectivized) for future digital publication. Clinton read some of the material he generated at the NPF Paideuma poetry conference in Orono, ME later that month. At that same conference, he presented a paper on Bruce Andrews' 1980s work entitled "The Encyclopedic Impulse: Poetry Before the Internet."

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On July 6, Andy Garavel gave a paper titled "'The Shoulder of Shasta:' Bram Stoker's California Romance" at the Bram Stoker Centenary Conference held at Trinity College, Dublin. (A number of Stoker's descendants were present and were not frightening at all.)

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Kirk Glaser's poem, "Cinder Song," is published in the Fall 2012 issue of Literary Laundry:

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Jill Goodman Gould and Gail Gradowski gave a talk on Sept 4-7, at the International Oral History Conference in Buenos Aires: "Using Online Video Oral History in University Courses across the Curriculum." On their panel were scholars from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, The United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

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Ron Hansen (English) spoke to a PBS weekly show about how his faith infuses and is reflected in the content of his novels. Several public television stations carried the spot.

Ron Hansen's short story, "The Governess" – a reworking of "The Turn of the Screw" – was published in the online journal Narrative in June. And his review of Junot Diaz's collection of stories, This is How You Lose Her, just appeared in the Washington Post

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John Hawley's essay, "'I Enter Into Its Burning': Yvonne Vera's Beautiful Cauldron of Violence," has been published in Emerging Perspectives on Yvonne Vera (Africa World Press, 2012): 63-80.

John Hawley's essay, “Black Britain and Its Antecedents,” appeared in the latest book in the MLA Options for Teaching Series: Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literatures, ed. Supriya Nair.

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Cynthia Mahamdi gave a paper, "Revisioning Al Andalus: Representations of the Arab Golden in Age in Contemporary Arabic Historical Fiction and Film," as part of a panel on "Arabic Images" at the annual joint conference of MELUS (Society for the study of the Multi-Ethnic literature of the US) and the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, hosted by SCU and our own John Hawley in San Jose, in April. (The paper has since been accepted for inclusion in a proposed book titled Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism, edited by colleague Aparajita Nanda). I also moderated two other panels at the conference, one of which featured a talk by Juan Velasco on the work of Francisco Jimenez. In June, I presented another paper at the Young Rhetoricians Conference in Monterey on the uses of creative writing in teaching argumentation and research skills to first-year writing students.

Longer-term projects: With "other half" Yahia Mahamdi in Comm., served as producer and researcher for a documentary on the plight of small family dairies in California, "The Last Farm in the City" – a teaser trailer is on YouTube under this title. We have also just begun the research leg for a documentary series, tentatively titled "Lost Histories, Forgotten Gifts," on the contributions of Muslim Spain to the European Renaissance.

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Robin Tremblay-McGaw organized a panel, "Discrepant Engagements: Long Form and Hybrid Genres in the Writing of Nathaniel Mackey, Erica Hunt, Beverly Dahlen, Anne Waldman, and Robert Gluck" that was selected as a plenary panel at the Poetry and Poetics of the 1980s Conference hosted by the National Poetry Foundation at the University of Maine, Orono, in late June and early July of 2012. Robin's paper was entitled, "Creaking the Word: Epistolary Arrest and Fugitive Run in Nathaniel Mackey's Writing." You can find out more about the conference here: And here:

Then, for the month of August, Robin taught in the Language & Thinking Program at Bard College, "an intensive introduction to the liberal arts and sciences attended by all incoming Bard students." You can find out more about this program here:

Lastly, Robin has begun to learn to play tennis and would love to play on campus. Let her know if you are interested!

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Tim Myers just got a full-length poetry book accepted; Dear Beast Loveliness will be coming out from BlazeVox. My ebook "Glad to Be Dad" is set to come out in a print version this spring. In addition, three of the chapters from the book have or will be appearing on various websites. And I was just interviewed by Michael Dresser on "Dresser After Dark," a web radio podcast.

Tim has two poems, "Husband and Wife: Hard Times" and "At a Certain Point in a Marriage," in the upcoming Daring to Repair anthology from Wising Up Press--Nov. 2012.

There's also going to be an online exhibition of some of Tim's art at the end of October, in the Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review from Johns Hopkins.

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Aparajita Nanda is editing a book, The Strangled Cry: The Communication and Experience of Trauma, IDP, Oxford, UK (forthcoming 2013).

Apara presented a paper “Re-living Motherhood: Vocalizing Grief, Trauma and Loss in Butler’s Lilith’s Brood,” Prague, Czech Republic, March, 2012.

She also presented a paper, “Sexuality, Race, and Imperial Anxiety in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis,” USACLALS/MELUS conference, San Jose, California, April, 2012. Also moderated a session.

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In August, Loring Pfeiffer spent a week doing research at the Huntington and William Andrews Clark libraries in Los Angeles, courtesy of a grant she received from the Arts and Sciences Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Examining materials relevant to the completion of her dissertation, Loring transcribed an adaptation of a play by Eliza Haywood, inspected engravings of famed itinerant traders in late seventeenth-century London, and researched popular representations of eighteenth-century women stockjobbers.

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Noel Radley is serving as an Associate for the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation, here at Santa Clara. She is working with Faculty Development to edit the Teaching Scholar blog, which will be a site featuring excellence in pedagogy and collaboration, as well as a network of resources for faculty. You can access forthcoming content at:

She attended the Summer Faculty Technology Workshop in June through Instructional Technology, and she also presented with Chris Bachen at the Workshop on using Taskstream portfolios for teaching and assessment.

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Roxanne Rashedi's excerpt of her M.A. thesis has now been published in MP: An Online Feminist Journal. Here is the info: Title: "Deconstructing the Erotic: A Feminist Exploration of Bodies and Voice in Lucille Clifton and Audre Lorde's Poetry" Publication/Publisher: MP: An Online Feminist Journal Publication Date: Volume 3, Issue 5 Summer 2012 URL for Article:

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Juan Velasco gave an official presentation of his latest book of poetry, Massacre of the Dreamers/La masacre de los soñadores at the University Autonoma of Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, September 26th. After that he went into a short tour of different cities around Mexico.

Important Links to Bookmark

Calendar of Events Schedule of Classes
Camino Why English at SCU?
Ecampus English Facebook Fan Page

Meetings: Mark Your Calendar!

Department Meetings:
Monday Oct. 8, 12 3:30pm – 5:00pm Kennedy Commons
Tuesday Nov. 13, 12 3:30pm – 5:00pm Kennedy Commons
Working Scholars Brown-Bag (Christine Lupo Montgomery):
Monday Oct. 15, 12 12:00pm – 1:00pm SJ 309
October Writing Faculty:
Wednesday Oct. 24, 12 3:30pm – 4:30pm Kenna 216
Visiting Foreign Scholars Brown Bag Lunch (Quincy Wang & Marciel Oliveira from Environmental Studies):
Thursday Oct. 25, 12 12:00pm – 1:00pm Benson Conference Rm 15
Department Retreat:
Tuesday Dec. 4, 12 9:00am – 12:00pm Wiegand Room

Executive Committee Meetings

Tuesday Nov. 6th, 12 3:00 pm SJ 309

Events for Fall Quarter 2012

Fall Writing and Literary Festival: For more info Click Here >
Tuesday Oct. 9th, 12 4:00 -5:30 pm Kennedy Commons
Grand Reunion Reception:
Friday Oct. 12th, 12 3:30 -5:00 pm SJ 309
English Department Social:
Sunday Oct. 21st, 12 3:00 -6:00 pm Phyllis's House
Fall Fiction Reading w/ Ron Hansen and Bo Cadwell:
Tuesday Oct. 23rd, 12 3:30 -5:00 pm Fess Parker

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The Department of English

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