By María Bullón-Fernández, Chair
Dear English Alumni,
I hope you are as excited to receive this newsletter as we are to send it to you. Some of you, those who graduated before 2001, will have a flash of recognition: Subtext, the English Department’s newsletter, is back! For several years in the 1980s-90s, our Department sent out Subtext to alumni in hard copy. We took a twelve-year hiatus, but we are back more excited than ever to be in touch with you. Those of you who graduated after 2001 will be receiving this newsletter for the very first time. We hope you will enjoy it as well.
Much has happened in our Department since 2001. Of course, technology has had a very significant impact on our teaching. Those of you who graduated before the 1990s might remember that all the technology you could count on was the blackboard and some chalk; later, in the 90s, the university added TV monitors with video equipment. Now all our classrooms have computers and many of us use PowerPoint and stream video and audio to enhance our teaching. We also have course websites where students have online discussions or do research on the Internet. And, of course, you have on your screens right now direct evidence of how technology has changed us: this is an electronic, not a paper, newsletter.
Our students have changed, too. We added a Creative Writing track in the mid-90s, and at this point, those who choose this, instead of the Literature track, constitute about half of our majors. Four years ago we also added a new B.A. in Film Studies with its own curriculum. This B.A. has also grown rapidly. As students’ interests and the world around us change, we have ongoing conversations about teaching and pedagogy and we revise our curriculum periodically. Even as we continue to teach books, topics, and courses that many of you would recognize, we are also including new courses, from Slam Poetry and Graphic Novel to Medieval Masculinities, Literature of India, or Ecocriticism, that respond to students’ interests.
Our faculty has changed as well. Three of our long-time faculty, Dr. Hamida Bosmajian, Fr. Emmett Carroll, and Dr. Dolores Johnson retired. Sadly, Fr. Carroll passed away unexpectedly in July. Please read Fr. Leigh’s obituary for Fr. Carroll in this issue of Subtext. Fr. Stephen Rowan moved to another university and Dr. Carolyn Weber also left us. Another faculty, Dr. John Bean, is currently in phased retirement and his last year is the current one, 2013-14. Since 2001 we have also brought new faculty with different specialties on board: Dr. Molly Clark Hillard, 19th c. Literature; Dr. June Johnson, American Literature and Rhetoric and Writing; Dr. Kate Koppelman, Medieval Literature; Georg Kozsulinski, M.F.A., Film Studies; Dr. Sean McDowell, Renaissance Literature; Dr. Susan Meyers, Creative Writing; Dr. Christina Roberts, American and Indigenous Literatures; Dr. Charles Tung, Modernism and Multi-ethnic Literature.
As Chair for the past four years, I can attest that there is never a dull moment in our department. But even as we keep ourselves very busy and even as we see numerous students graduate every year, we continue to think about you, our alumni, and think about ways to keep in touch. We think particularly about how our current students would enjoy knowing you and learning about your experiences as English majors out in the world. This year we organized a very successful Career Night and invited English alums to present and participate. We hope to make this an annual event and would love to have you join us in the future. We invite you to keep in touch with us: come back to your campus for events; come to see your faculty and have a chat about a new author or filmmaker, or an old book or film you have rediscovered; come join us at Elliott Bay Books to promote your own published novels. We would love to hear from you. We are open to ideas. Let us know how we can help you stay connected.
By Fr. David Leigh, S. J.
Fr. Emmett Carroll, S.J.
Fr. Carroll, member of the English Department at Seattle University from 1973 to 2005, died at age 82 in the St. Vincent Care Center in West Seattle on July 23, 2013. Born in Seattle, he graduated from Seattle Prep in 1949. He completed his Jesuit studies in the classics, English, and philosophy at Mt. St. Michael’s in Spokane in 1956. From 1956-59, he taught English and Latin at Gonzaga Prep, then moved to Rome to study theology at the Gregorian University, where he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1962.
After ordination, Fr. Carroll earned an M. A. in English from Rutgers University, and then taught at Jesuit High School in Portland and at Seattle Prep until 1972. Joining the English Department at Seattle University in 1973, he taught for several years and then completed a doctorate in English and Creative Writing at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1980, for which he wrote a novel based on his experiences working as a parish priest in Guyana in South America during the previous summers.
During his 32 years at SU, Fr. Carroll specialized in teaching American literature and fiction writing to hundreds of students. He also served as chair of the English Department for a term, and wrote articles for literary journals. He was known on campus for his imaginative pedagogy and humor in the classroom. Several of his students went on to publish their poetry and short stories.
After retiring from the classroom, he volunteered to help the Seattle Archdiocese as a parish priest and was sent to become the pastor at St. Cecilia’s Parish on Bainbridge Island in 2005, where he managed the building of a $6 million dollar elementary school.
Molly Clark Hillard
Dr. Molly Clark Hillard joined the faculty in winter of 2013 as the new specialist in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Dr. Hillard earned her Ph.D. from University of California, Davis. Since graduating in 2004, she has served on the faculty at Western Washington University, University of Southern Mississippi, and, most recently, Georgetown University.
Dr. Hillard has developed nineteenth-century course offerings in fairy tales, Victorian monsters, nineteenth-century children and children’s literature, Victorian science, Jane Austen in fiction and film, neo-Victorian literature, and detective fiction. She also has a life-long interest in mentorship, professional development and careers for English majors.
Victorian fairy tales are also the subject of her book, Spellbound: the Fairy Tale and the Victorians, which is forthcoming in February 2014 from The Ohio State University Press. Her recent essays—on subjects like Little Red Riding Hood in the novels of Dickens and Sleeping Beauty in the poetry of Tennyson—have appeared in such academic journals as Narrative, SEL, Partial Answers, and Dickens Studies Annual. Dr. Hillard is very interested in the digital humanities, and to that end she is co-editing the October issue of Romantics and Victorians on the Net with Georgetown professor Nathan Hensley. She is also at work on her next book project, about the networking of Victorian and postmodern literatures, tentatively titled Re-reading the Victorians. Her work has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the faculty editor for Subtext.
Professor Georg Koszulinski joined the department this fall. He will teach courses in Film Studies with a concentration in film and video production. Professor Koszulinski comes to SU with an M.A. in Film Studies from the University of Florida and an M.F.A. in Film and Video Production from the University of Iowa.
Professor Koszulinski is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed over 25 films, ranging from documentary and narrative features to avant-garde films and videos. His documentary, Cracker Crazy (2007), explores the history of slavery and exploitation in Florida from first European contact to the present day. Cracker Crazy earned numerous festival awards and was nominated for a Notable Video of the Year by the American Library Association. Immokalee U.S.A. (2008) documents the experiences of migrant farm laborers working in the U.S.A. and was widely programmed at universities and film festivals worldwide. The Documentary Channel acquired both films in 2009.
Most recently, his work about early European cartographies of North America, The Search for Norumbega (2012) screened at the Alchemy Festival of the Moving Image (UK), Camden Film Festival, Indie Grits Festival, Maine International Film Festival, Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, and the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival. Currently, Professor Koszulinski is doing documentary work in Haiti, focusing on forms of creative cultural expression in rural Haitian communities.
English Department alumna Dr. Susan Meyers returned to Seattle University in fall 2012 as Assistant Professor with a specialization in creative writing. Following her graduation from Seattle U in 1999, Dr. Meyers went on to earn an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the University of Arizona. In her new position at SU, she blends her training in creative writing practice and pedagogy to offer courses in fiction, creative non-fiction, and multi-genre creative writing courses. In addition, she is developing new offerings in areas such as travel writing and professional development for young writers. Her teaching interests are influenced in part by several years spent in Latin America. Having lived in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico, Dr. Meyers maintains a strong interest in the powers of language as a connective tool, as well as the complexity and richness of culture to inform written expression—both analytic and creative.
Dr. Meyers' novel Failing the Trapeze won the 2013 Nilsen Award for a First Novel, and it will be published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in May 2014. In addition, her ethnographic book on literacy and migration in the U.S./Mexico context is forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press. Her work has appeared in literary journals including Calyx, Rosebud, Cerise Press, The Minnesota Review, Cold Mountain Review, and The Portland Review, as well as academic journals such as Gender and Education, Power and Education, and Community Literacy Journal. Her work has been supported by several awards, including a 4Culture grant, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Fulbright Fellowship.
By María Bullón-Fernández, Chair
Both our faculty and students had a very active year. In October, we hosted the 110th Annual Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference (PAMLA). Although this is a regional conference, it attracts national and international scholars specializing in literatures from across the globe. As many as 500 scholars came to our campus to participate in the conference and we had renowned author Sandra Cisneros as a keynote speaker. English faculty and students participated as presenters or volunteers. Watch our video about the conference:
You can also watch the Presidential Address, “Of Hybrids and Fusions,” presented by Dr. Ana María Rodríguez Vivaldi.
In curricular news, we are starting a new gateway to the major course at the 200-level under the title “Literary Studies.” Dr. Koppelman and Dr. Clark Hillard will be the first ones to teach it next spring. We are also elaborating a five-year plan that will likely lead to new and exciting changes.
Our study abroad courses in Ireland and Paris continue to attract numerous students. We have added one additional, also popular, Study Abroad course, “The London Eye,” taught by Dr. Mary Antoinette Smith, which has variously focused on feminist British literature or, more recently, coming-of-age British novels.
Literature students continue to present their work at undergraduate conferences. For a few years now, faculty have sponsored students to attend the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) as well as the National Undergraduate Conference for Literature (NUCL), hosted by the University of Portland. We are proud that this past January one of our students, Jennifer Bray received the NUCL Award for Best Critical Paper for her presentation titled, “Contingent Veiling: Orientalism and an Attempt to Re-make Understandings of Veiled Women in the West.” Look for further news about our alumni in other sections of this newsletter.
By Sharon Cumberland, Director of Creative Writing
“Good readers make good writers” is the mantra of the Creative Writing Program (CW), now in its 18th year of serving English majors who enhance their literary studies with applied writing. Directed by Professor Sharon Cumberland (poetry), who is joined by faculty members Fr. David Leigh (creative non-fiction) and Assistant Professor Susan Meyers (fiction), the program also brings exciting and expert visiting faculty to Seattle University.
This past year Daemond Arrindell, the director of the Seattle Poetry Slam, taught the first-ever course in slam/performance art poetry on campus. The packed course ended with an unforgettable slam poetry event in December. Students in winter term enjoyed both Rebecca Brown, renowned author of The Gifts of the Body and American Romances, who taught memoir writing, and Kathleen Flennikin, Poet laureate of Washington State and Pulitzer-Prize nominated author of Plume, who taught Lyric Poetry writing.
Fragments literary magazine, now in its 55th continuous year of publication, launched in May. CW students Georgie Robinson, Sarah Elgatian, and Mark Miller, among others, saw the magazine through to its festive reading at the Elliot Bay Book Company in March. Fragments is available in the English Department and will be distributed to the class of 2017 in September.
In fall, the CW program will bring Sheila Bender, multi-talented and multi-genre author, to teach Lyric Poetry as a Spiritual Practice. In winter, famed graphic novelist Peter Bagge returns to SU to teach illustration and writing.
CW students and alumni are also active in the literary community. Lindsay Walker presented her poetry at NUCL (Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature); alum Abbey Murray published Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife from Finishing Line Press; Lish McBride has published her second YA novel, Necromancing the Stone, from Henry Holt & Co.; and Amy Heisserman is pursuing an M.F.A in Creative Writing at the Whidbey Island Writer’s Workshop.
By Edwin Weihe, Director of Film Studies
Inaugurated in fall 2009, the B.A. in Film Studies has grown rapidly in film courses (30+), course enrollments, and majors/minors (93). While the degree requirements and curriculum are well-balanced between critical studies courses in film art and history, genre studies, international cinemas, great directors and special topics courses, and screenwriting and production courses, most students majoring in Film Studies aspire to careers in “the industry.” The B.A. program’s first tenure-track hire, Georg Koszulinski, is an accomplished and gifted filmmaker and he will assume leadership of our production team of part-time professional filmmakers.
Film students are strongly encouraged to undertake internships in Seattle’s vibrant film community and to present their films in public forums. This year students interned at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and Northwest Film Forum, AYNI Education (a non-profit promoting girls’ education in Afghanistan), Children’s Hospital, Terry Hines and Associates (who market for Warner Brothers), Clatter & Din recording studios, Shadow Catcher Entertainment, and NY talent agency Buchwald and Associates, as well as on many local film productions, including Lynn Shelton’s Laggies and our own Mike Attie’s documentary, In Country. Film students are also winning awards at MOHAI “History is …”, Humanity-Without-Borders, Westport Youth Festival, Rocky Mountain Regional Festival, and SUFF. Several majors have studied film abroad—in Rome, Edinburgh, and Prague—and at NYU-Tisch. Film major Evan Morgan was one of recipients of the English Department’s prestigious McDonald Award. In the fall, two Film Studies majors will begin graduate studies in film at San Francisco State University and Western Washington University.
By Larry Nichols, Director of the Writing Center
Well beyond the nearly 2,700 writing consultations we offered the campus during 2012-2013, this has been a special year in the Writing Center.
In October, we took 10 people to the Pacific Northwest Writing Centers Association conference, which was held in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Teaching English in the Two-Year College conference at Highline Community College. We were especially pleased to have Susan Meyers, a former SU writing consultant and recently-hired creative writing professor, in attendance too. As a highlight of the conference, our consultant Jim McGowan offered a session, “Doing Something: Strategies for Dealing with Perfectionism.”
This year we reflected upon the 25th year of Seattle University’s Writing Center in several ways. Dr. John Bean presented at our winter workshop on the history of rhetoric at SU, and led a lively conversation about teaching and tutoring writing. Tiffany Anderson, Writing Center alum and assistant director, spearheaded a Writing Center consultant alum survey. Results showed that consultants’ time with us positively impacted their subsequent lives and work, including the attainment of advanced degrees like Ph.D.s and J.D.s and the continued reliance on a collaborative spirit and care for effective writing. Finally, in conjunction with our end-of-year banquet for our staff and seniors, we celebrated our 25th year by welcoming writing center alums to speak with our current staff about the benefits of writing consultancy to their lives and careers.
This spring we also began a transition in Center leadership. Tiffany Anderson moved on to become the full-time AmeriCorps program coordinator for United Way in Seattle, a position that showcases her training and talents in non-profit program management. Larry Nichols, having completed his twentieth year as Director of the Writing Center, will begin a slow move toward his retirement in the spring of 2015. While Larry will sorely miss his mentoring work, he is also excited to have more time for private practice consulting as a writing coach and editor (visit his website at www.larrycnichols.com). The English Department is committed to preserve the legacy of the writing center and writing-across-the-curriculum work at Seattle University that John Bean and Larry Nichols have stewarded for so long. To this effect, the department has hired an Associate Director, Jen Heckler, to serve alongside of Larry during this transition.
Ms. Serralta (‘12) graduated with her B.A. in English Literature. During her time at Seattle University, she actively participated in the Student Alumni Ambassadors organization, overseen by Alumni Relations. She helped cultivate and shift the focus of the organization. Her leadership and advocacy for the student-alumni relationship led to her current role as Operations Coordinator for the Office of Alumni Relations at Seattle University.
Her role focuses on developing efficient operations and processes for the department, which range from budget management to student employee supervision. She also serves as the liaison to the Alumni Board of Governors, a multifaceted group of alumni, who advocate and advise the Office of Alumni Relations and President Steven Sundborg, S.J. Now one year into her role, Kaily hopes to further strengthen the operations and support for Alumni Relations in serving its 71,000 alumni.
By Charles Tung, English Honors Coordinator
In 2002-03, the English Department established its Honors Program to give motivated and capable students an opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, to engage in advanced research, and to deepen their understanding of a literary subject. Dr. Charles Tung became Honors coordinator in 2012, inheriting all of the excellent work that Dr. Kate Koppelman had done to create a stage-one seminar in which students learn past and present discourses on their topics and creative forms, create space for their own projects among those discourses, and reflect on sustained scholarly and creative work. The English department is very proud of our Honors students. Their projects are among the highest and most rewarding achievements offered by our discipline at the undergraduate level.
Many past cohorts have gone on to do noteworthy things (if we haven’t heard from you, please notify us of your achievements). Here are a few updates on Honors graduates from recent years:
By Christina Roberts
Kavita Myneni is a current student in the Department of English with a focus on Film Studies. Kavita moved from the desert southwest to join the Film Studies Program at Seattle University. In her personal essay that accompanied her SU application, Kavita highlighted the importance of her Indian heritage through a narrative that illustrated a transformative moment in her life: her voneelu ceremony. Kavita joined the department with a solid sense of her unique perspectives and experiences, and she is on track to graduate in 2015. Keep your eyes open for this emerging filmmaker and the visions she plans to share with the world.
Juliano McMoore matriculated to the Department of English in 2011 after transferring from American Samoa Community College. His bold move was precipitated by his desire for a more diverse and challenging academic journey, and he rose to the challenge by pursuing a degree in English. His passion for literary inquiry, poetry, and community engagement were apparent in all of his endeavors. Juliano graduated in 2013 with plans to travel and continue expanding his horizons.
June Johnson Bube published the third edition of her acclaimed textbook, Global Issues, Local Arguments in January of 2013. The book offers an introduction to argumentation and global studies through such current issues as outsourcing, immigration reform, managing the world’s water and energy needs, defending human rights, and handling health crises.
Maria Bullon-Fernandez’s essay, “Goods and the Good in the Confessio Amantis,” will be published in 2013 in John Gower in Late Medieval Iberia: Manuscripts, Influences, Reception, a collection of essays edited by Ana Saez Hidalgo and R.F. Yeager, with Boydell and Brewer. She also has a forthcoming article, “Poverty, Property, and the Self in the Late Middle Ages: The Case of Chaucer’s Griselda,” which will be published with Mediaevalia in 2014.
Molly Clark Hillard’s book, Spellbound: the Fairy Tale and the Victorians will be published by The Ohio State University Press in February, 2014. In fall of 2013, Dr. Hillard will publish a co-edited special issue of the journal Romantics and Victorians on the Net, and present papers at conferences in Portland and Rhode Island.
Sharon Cumberland was promoted to Full Professor, and was also chosen by the Student Executive Council as Best Advisor of the year in 2013. She gave a paper at the New Directions in Humanities Conference in Budapest, Hungary in June, 2013, entitled The Muse of History: Derek Walcott and the Literatures of Revenge and Remorse. Her second collection of poems, Strange With Age, is forthcoming in 2014. She has been selected as a finalist for the Zola Poetry Prize, awarded by the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association.
Nalini Iyer, with collaborator Amy Bhatt, published Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest in March of 2013. The book uses oral history to show how South Asian immigrant experiences were shaped by the region and how they differed over time and across generations. It includes the stories of immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka who arrived from the end of World War II through the 1980s.
Susan Meyers completed a pedagogical research project in Mexico City in June, 2013, and was awarded the month-long Jentel Arts Residency in Wyoming in July, 2013. In 2014, she will publish a story in Magnolia: A Journal of Women's Literature, and an article in Latino Studies. Her novel and her academic monograph have been accepted for future publication by Southeast Missouri UP and Southern Illinois UP, respectively.
Charles Tung’s most recent essay “Modernist Heterochrony, Evolutionary Biology, and the Chimera of Time” is forthcoming in Oddball Archives (Indiana U Press). He has also organized two conference panels, on which he’ll deliver papers that focus on temporal scales, Strategic Foresight programs, and long-term pinhole photography. He has enjoyed bringing these subjects into his new courses on modernism, deep time, and time travel.
Edwin Weihe, director of Film Studies, also serves on the Seattle International Film Festival board. This year he visited with program directors at AFI and Chapman University’s Dodge film school. He attended SXSW, Tribeca, and SIFF festivals and forums. In November, he got out the vote in rural North Carolina. In spring 2013, Dr. Weihe received the College of Arts and Science’s annual Outstanding Teaching Award.