Meeting TImes

Class meets on MWF, from 2:00-2:50 p.m., in Henkel Hall 207.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Congratulations, Classmate Colleen Foster

Our own world drama scholar Colleen Foster is a prize winner in the Shenandoah University S. Gordden Link student poetry writing contest! Please congratulate Colleen either here (as a comment) or in person when you next see her. Colleen's prize was awarded for her body of work including "Taking Inventory," "Down It," and "Replay." These powerful poems and the works of the other contest winners are viewable on the Link/Souders blog. Paper copies are free for the taking on the Writing Contest bulletin board in Gregory. These writings will also be featured in the fall issue of Avalon, Shenandoah University's literary and arts magazine. Please consider submitting your own work next year.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chinese Theatre Assignment Due April 1, 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of class today, please read this performance review of a November 2010 adaptation of The Soul of Chi'en Nu Leaves Her Body. This video clip displays a ritual dance featured in the performance. This second video clip is called "Elevator Arrival." What scene from the original play does it recall? I find the translocation (and perceived importance) of 13th century Chinese social mores to the 21st century United States quite interesting. What here sparks your critical interest?

Assignment: Before Friday, 4/1/11, at 3:00 p.m., please post a one-paragraph comment responding to any of the material featured in this blog post. You will need an online mail account in order to comment on this blog, so please leave yourself time to register for one if necessary. You may delete the account after the end of the semester if you'd like.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Argentina's "Stolen Children" Now Adults

In light of our recent class discussions on Australia's Lost Generation and Canada's Stolen Generation, I thought this National Public Radio article on Argentina's generation of Stolen Children might be of interest. The reasons for these systematic government-led kidnappings of citizen children vary from continent to continent, but the practice remains an effective--and inhumane--one for intimidating the targeted population into compliance. As the article reports, some adult Argentinian "Stolen Children" do not want to know their origins. What is your reaction? What other connections do you make between this news story and our course themes?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Together With Egypt: Feb. 23 @ 3p.m., Goodson

Egyptians are shaping their future through political demonstrations and international diplomacy. Their efforts continue to resonate across the region and the world. Please join the Shenandoah University community's stand “Together With Egypt” at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Goodson Recital Hall. Students, faculty, staff, local community members, and guests, including Dr. Adel Guirguis, Dr. Sharif Kaiser and student Ayah Elborhamy, will learn about and reflect on the Egyptian people's struggles and their implications both regionally and globally.

Dr. Lizabeth England, faculty leader of the 2010 Global Citizenship Project trip to Egypt, initiated this project which is co-sponsored by the Office of Spiritual Life, Office of International Programs, School of Education & Human Development, Muslim Student Association, African Student Union, and the International Student Association.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Interest Meeting to Study Abroad in Argentina

Wednesday, February 9, Henkel 207, 3:00-3:30 p.m.

Students will spend three weeks taking a 3-credit course, participating in cultural activities, and living with a host family in Rosario, Argentina. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to improve your Spanish skills or finish your language requirement! Contact Dr. Andrea Smith at for more information.

Attention Student Writers: Contests!

The Shenandoah University English Department invites submissions of original poetry and short stories for the annual S. Gordden Link Poetry and Bruce C. Souders Fiction writing contests. Each contest prize is $250. The deadline for both writing contests is Friday, March 25, 2009.

Poetry entries may consist of no more than five poems; short stories may be no longer than 5,000 words. Students who submit manuscripts must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours) at Shenandoah during both semesters in 2010-11. Submitted manuscripts must be unpublished in any other form.

Submit one typed copy of each entry to Jo Strader in the Arts & Sciences office, Henkel Hall 206, or via email at Each entry should identify the writer on only the cover sheet to ensure anonymity until judging is complete. The English faculty will judge all submissions and their decisions are final. The faculty reserves the right to make no award if no worthy manuscript is submitted. All manuscripts are subject to local publication, including in Avalon, the student literary and arts magazine, at the discretion of the faculty.

Please direct questions to Dr. Michelle Brown in Howe Hall 114 or via email at

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Want to Mentor a First Year Seminar?

The SU Going Global First Year Seminar (FYS) mentor application process for Fall 2011 is now open and the deadline for applications is Friday, February 18th. Mentors serve as teaching assistants in designated FYS classes. The position includes a $1050 stipend, all books for the class, a Mac laptop, and an iPod Touch. Please see the position announcement if you are interested in being a student mentor for an FYS class.

Required qualifications are: a 3.0 GPA, two faculty members in support of your application, sophomore through senior-level standing, and willingness to attend all of the class meetings (MWF from 2-2:50 p.m.). Any SU student who meets these criteria may apply for one of 25 slots. This is a great opportunity for professional development and an honor to be selected through such tight competition.

I will teach a First Year Seminar entitled Reformulating "the Family" in 20th Century Black Fiction in the fall. Please contact me or Dr. Amy Sarch ( with questions.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Choosing The Right Words | Teaching Tolerance

In the aftermath of the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, last weekend, the subject of how we talk as a nation has become a frequent topic for discussion among social analysts and around the coffee table. What kind of conversational climate have we all participated in building? In what myriad ways, every day, do we maintain that climate? In what other ways do we challenge it? What kind of climate do we want to have? If that which we want differs from what we have, then what might we need to do in order to effect change? This essay, Choosing The Right Words | Teaching Tolerance, by the Southern Policy Law Center, includes President Obama's address to the nation on this topic of national rhetoric. It also asks some interesting questions like those I pose above. As we embark together on our journey through different dramatic conventions from around the world and across multiple historical periods, we would do well to ask ourselves about our complicated relationships with words: How do we read them? How do we use them? What effects might our words have on others? Finally, what effects do the words of others have on us?

Queensland, Australia, Faces Mammoth Rebuild After Recent Floods

As we'll study Australian drama later in the semester, I thought that knowing about the recent devastating floods in one of the nation's states, Queensland, would be of interest. Queensland's capital, Brisbane, is under water. BBC America has maps, video, and details on the story here.