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English Faculty News and Notes


Laila Abdalla has been named the 2011 Distinguished University Professor for Teaching

Bobby Cummings has been named the 2011 Distinguished University Professor for Service

Chris Schedler received a College of Arts and Humanities Summer Teaching Innovation Grant for developing an online version of Introduction to Latino and Latin American Studies, and

Lisa Norris received a College of Arts and Humanities Summer Scholarship/Creativity Grant for her work in progress on Imagining Nora, a historical novel.

Lisa Norris's book Women Who Sleep with Animals received the 2010 Stephen F. Austin State University prize for Fiction. The book, a collection of short stories, will be published by the Stephen F. Austin State University Press. It was also a finalist for Eastern Washington University's Spokane Prize. Her story "Sex Toys" was recently published in the online journal Toad, and her essay "The Danger is Hardly Greater" was published in Segue 9 (Fall 2010).

Charles Li presented a paper entitled "Poetic Meter as a Forbidden City: Opening its Door to the ESL/EFL Classroom" at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (RMMLA) convention in Albuquerque.

Liahna Armstrong also presented at RMMLA. Her paper was entitled "Dial 'M' for Mock-up: Re-making a Hitchcock Classic."

Terry Martin has had poems published in the most recent issues of Rattle, Spindrift, Bijou Poetry Review, Stringtown, The Great American Poetry Show, Parting Gifts, Authorship, and Four & Twenty, and in two anthologies, Poets of the American West and The University of Washington Common Book of Poems. She also has poems on display as part of two collaborative gallery exhibits in the region--Signs of Life Contemporary Jewelry Art Show at Facere Gallery in Seattle and The Word/Image Show at Allied Arts Gallery in Yakima. In addition to the public readings she gave for both of those gallery events, in September she read from Poets of the American West at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle and was the featured reader for the Zone 4 Reading Series in Spokane. In October, she presented a session titled "Not All Who Wander are Lost: Strategies for Revising Your Reading of Poems" at the English Language Arts State Leadership Conference.

Kathy Whitcomb had a three-week residency at La Muse Writers and Artists Retreat near Carcassone, France. Kathy has been on sabbatical for Fall and Winter quarters and has been working on a poetry book.

George Drake's essay "'Fanciful Devotion': Ritualization in Walter Scott's Old Mortality," was published in the Spring 2010 Studies in Romanticism. In March, 2011, he presented a paper entitled "To One Thing Constant Never": Problematizing Historical Experience in Edgeworth and Scott" at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) conference in Vancouver, B.C.



Joe Powell's new collection of poems, Hard Earth, has been published by March Street Press.


Lisa Norris's short story "Women Who Sleep With Animals" has been published in Blueline XXXI, a literary magazine published at SUNY/Potsdam. Her short story "The Opening" was published in the Fall 2009 South Dakota Review (which didn't appear until April 2010). Her poem "When My Back Gave Out" won 2nd place in the Beullah Rose Poetry Prize competition and was published in the April 2010 Smartish Pace, a literary journal published in Baltimore, Md. Her story "Please Use the Password" was a finalist in the Chautauqua Fiction Contest and has been published in the online journal Ascent.

Sura Rath's essay "Carnivalized Public Corruption: Old Feudalism and New Democracy in All the King's Men, Wise Blood, and Raag Darbari" appears in the March, 2010 issue of Comparative American Studies.

Steve Olson's "'A History of the American Mind': Young Goodman Brown" appeared in the Spring 2009 Journal of the Short Story in English/Les Cahiers de la Nouvelle. (The spring issue itself appeared somewhat unseasonably in November).

George Drake presented a paper on "Worldmaking in Maria Edgeworth's Irish Novels" at the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies conference in Albuquerque in March.


Lila Harper's scholarly edition of Edwin Abbott's Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions was published Nov. 15, 2009 by Broadview Press.





Terry Martin has poems in the current issues of, or forthcoming in, the literary journals Calyx, Parting Gifts, Four & Twenty: A Short Form Poetry Journal, Stringtown, and The Great American Poetry Show. Her work will also be appearing in Poets of the American West, an anthology published by Many Voices Press. In March, she will be the featured poet in the Washington State University Tri-Cities Poetry Reading Series.


Katharine Whitcomb read poems from her award-winning chapbook Lamp of Letters at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle early in September. Her chapbook received the 2009 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Prize for Washington poets and was published this fall.


Rob Schnelle has won the 2009 James J Murphy Prize for his essay "Taking the Pulse of the Essay." The Murphy Prize is awarded annually for the best piece published in the journal Writing on the Edge.

Toni Culjak presented a paper at the International Conference of Americanists in Mexico City in July, 2009.


Joe Powell has been named the 2009 Distinguished University Professor for Artistic Accomplishment. Earlier this year, received a 2009 NEA Poetry Fellowship of $25,000, and his book Fish Grooming and Other Stories was one of five finalists for the 2008 Washington State Book Awards in the Fiction category.

Ruthi Erdman receieved the 2009 Outstanding Non-tenure Track Faculty Teaching Award at the College of Arts and Humanities Annual Awards Banquet on May 12, 2009.

Chris Schedler receieved the 2009 Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award at the CAH Annual Awards Banquet.

George Drake receieved the 2009 Distinguished Chair Award at the CAH Annual Awards Banquet.

Katharine Whitcomb has received the 2009 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Prize for Washington poets. Her book Lamp of Letters will be published in September. She won $500 and the press will host a reading for her in Seattle in early September.

Terry Martin was first-place winner in the Allied Arts Regional Poetry Contest and has poems in the latest issues of Oregon East, Cascade, and The Great American Poetry Show. This spring, she has done readings in Ashland OR and on Whidbey Island for the Brave New Words state poetry festival. Her recent presentations include "Call & Response: Poetry and the Gift Exchange" at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle and "Making a Book: Manuscript Development, Selection, and Publication" co-presented with Kim-An Lieberman at Yakima Valley Community College.

Lila Harper's article "The Starfish that Burns: Gendering the Jellyfish" is now out in Forces of Nature: Natural(-izing) Gender and Gender(-ing) Nature in the Discourses of Western Culture, ed. Bernadette H. Hyner and Precious McKenzie Stearns (Cambridge Scholars). She was also recently made a Senior Bibliographer for MLA.

Liahna Armstrong presented her paper "Vertigo Forever: Reverberations of Hitchcock's Masterpiece" at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (RMMLA) convention in October.

Christine Sutphin's scholarly edition of Frances Trollope's The Life and Adventures of Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw, or Scenes on the Mississippi has been published by Pickering and Chatto.

Bobby Cummings presented a paper at the National Council of Teachers of English conference in San Antonio

George Drake's essay "Ritual in Joseph Andrews" has been published in the collection Henry Fielding in Our Time, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Nov. 2008. He presented a paper entitled "What is Historical Space?" at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference in Richmond, VA in March.

Melissa Johnson presented her paper "Notorious Woman: Sex, Death, and the Restoration of Ingrid Bergman's Femininity in Alfred Hitchcock's film noir" at RMMLA. She also presented on "Incorporating Film into the Women's Studies Curriculum" at the Western Regional Honors Conference in Spokane.

Charles Li  has two articles in the collection Studies in the History of the English Language IV: Empirical and Analytical Advances in the Study of English Language (2008). The first is entitled "Metrical Evidence: Did Chaucer Translate The Romaunt of the Rose?" and the second is "Trochees in Iambic Meters: Assumptions or Evidence?"

Lila Harper's article "Clues in the Street: Sherlock Holmes, Martin Hewitt and Mean Streets" will appear in the first 2009 issue of The Journal of Popular Culture. She recently received a "Certificate of Achievement" "for distinguished contributions made as a Fellow for The Modern Language Association International Bibliography, 2005-08." Lila has been preparing bibliographic material for the Modern Language Association's International Bibliography for ten years.

Lisa Norris read from a short story on a panel of creative writers at the Western Literature Association Conference in Boulder, Co, on Oct. 1. She presented her research for "Imagining Nora: A Historical Novel-in-Progress" as part of the CAH Speaker Series on Oct. 28th.


Charles Li recently returned from a trip to China, where he presented a paper at the Conference of Phonetics in Beijing as well as seven long academic presentations to five universities in five different cities. He assures us that he was not close to the earthquake's epicenter, though he did feel it.

Karen Gookin received the College of Arts and Humanities Outstanding Non-tenure Track Faculty Teaching Award for 2007/08.

Lisa Norris received a CAH Summer Creativity Grant Award for 2008.

Chris Schedler received a CAH Summer Teaching Grant Award for 2008.

Paulus Pimomo's Practical and Illustrative English-Japanese Dictionary, co-authored with Hidemi Masamura, was published earlier this year by Shogakukan Inc., a premier publisher in Japan. It is a 700-page dictionary of English usage (words, idiomatic phrases, and sample sentences along with explanations in Japanese) specifically aimed at speakers and writers of English as a second language. This is the second of two volumes he has co-authored with Professor Masamura. Paulus continues to write a monthly column for the on-line news magazine

Judith Kleck's collection of poems entitled Culling the Petals will be published in mid-July by Finishing Line Press.

Lila Harper's paper on "G. H. Lewes, George Eliot, and the Medusa at the Seaside" has been accepted for a Victorian Studies Division panel at MLA. This will be the second year in a row that Lila has presented at MLA--not an easy thing to do. Her essay "The Starfish that Burns: Women's Descriptions of Jellyfish" is forthcoming in the collection Forces of Nature (Cambridge Scholars).

George Drake's essay,"'Fanciful Devotion': Ritualization in Walter Scott's Old Mortality," has been accepted by Studies in Romanticism. He also presented a paper on "Gothic Irony in The Minstrel and The Old Manor House" at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference in March.

Sura Rath has been elected Vice-President of the Rocky Mountain MLA, which means means a 3-year commitment as VP, President, and Past President. The RMMLA is the regional branch of the Modern Language Association for Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, eastern Oregon and Washington, western Texas, and the western Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

Joe Powell's collection of short stories, Fish Grooming and Other Stories, has been published by March Street Press. Recently, he delivered his paper, "On the Newest Bees in Darwin's Garden," as the Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture at Pittsburg State University. The Emmett Memorial Lecture is delivered each year by the author of the best essay on a literary topic published by The Midwest Quarterly. Powell's winning essay was entitled "Honesty, Elegance and the Ragged Edge," which appeared in the fall 2007 issue.

Lisa Norris's essay "Claim Jumpers" was published in Segue 6.1 (Fall 07), an online literary magazine published by Miami University Middletown. Her essay "Idaho Yahoo" appears in the Fall 2007 issue of Fourth Genre.

Terry Martin has published poems in the most recent issues of "Flyway," "Gertrude," "Rosebud," "Stringtown," "Buckle" and "Windfall." This summer, she gave public readings from her new book of poems, The Secret Language of Women in Gig Harbor in July and at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island in August. In 2007-2008, she will be reading at Northwinds Art Center in Port Townsend in December, at Soulfood Books in Renton in January, at CWU as part of the Lion Rock Reading Series in February, and at A Room of One's Own Book Store in Madison, WI in April.

Bobby Cummings presented at the 2007 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention in November. She was a participant in the roundtable session "Conversations about Promising Practices for Working with African American Leaners." Our department was well represented at the Rocky Mountain MLA Annual Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, October 3-7.

  • Liahna Armstrong, current President of RMMLA, presented a paper, "China's Gong Li: Feminine/Feminist Icon," participated in a creative writing workshop along with mystery writer Elizabeth George, and chaired three sessions, including Modern Film, The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, and Australian Film and Literature.
  • Sura Rath presented a paper on "Allegories of Fashion in Flannery O'Connor's Fiction"
  • Melissa Johnson , now a Lecturer in our department, was scheduled to present a paper and chair a session, but was unable to attend because of a family emergency.

Chris Schedler presented a paper entitled "Immigrants at the Gates: Social Borders and Global Suburbs in The Tortilla Curtain" at the American Studies Association Conference in Philadelphia, PA, October 11-14, 2007.

Charles Li presented a paper at the Studies in the History of the English Language Conference, held at the University of Georgia at Athens Oct. 4-6. In a debate that has h5ned decades, if not centuries, his paper took the position that Chaucer's verse is footed rather than unfooted. Charles reports that a leading scholar in the field, who has argued the opposite position in numerous books and articles, conceded that Charles's argument and evidence were convincing and that the debate is now settled. Charles is to be congratulated not only for advancing scholarship, but for what seems an almost unprecedented development in the history of our field: changing another scholar's mind.

Christine Sutphin presented a paper entitled "Avenging Women: Frances Trollope's Anti-Slavery Fiction" at "Imagining Transatlantic Slavery: A Conference to Mark the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Britain and the United States" in Chawton, England, March 16-17, 2007.

Two English Faculty Named Distinguished Professors

Laila Abdalla has been named the 2011 Distinguished University Professor for Teaching.

Bobby Cummings has been named the 2011 Distinguished University Professor for Service.


2011 Manastash Student Literary Magazine now available for free at the English Department office.


Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series

MLA Bibliography Internship

Student News Updated 5/12/2011

Faculty News Updated 5/16/2011

Alumni News Updated 8/1/2011


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