Saturday, April 30, 2011

We're All Schizophrenics Now?

Dalton Conley
In a recent post on his blog in the Opinion pages of the New York Times, columnist David Brooks discusses "the way modern technology and culture is changing our souls" and suggests that "over the past few decades people have become more fragmented, more fleeting, more distracted. They possess less interior depth."

Along the way he quotes Dalton Conley (see image at left), author of Elsewhere, USA (2008), who claims, according to Brooks, that "the modern person is not an individual . . . , but an 'intravidual.'" Or as Conley puts it, the modern person is a person with “multiple selves competing for attention with his/her own mind, just as externally she or he is bombarded by multiple stimuli simultaneously.”

So do you feel "bombarded"?  Or do you like having multiple selves to choose from?

Check out Brooks's post here.

Friday, April 29, 2011

STD: Finger Foods and Finger Texts, today at two

The photo above was taken at last year's initiation of new members.

English majors, English and Languages faculty, and other friends and supporters of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society are invited to join attend our final meeting and of the school year Friday, April 29th from 2:00 to 3:15 in the Hayes Native American Center Studies Center (Horace Mann.

As part of the afternoon’s festivities, we will be inducting three new members to the official Sigma Tau Delta rolls:  Lindsi Bonar, Bryson Vann, and Paula Wiest. As with the other Sigma Tau Delta meetings that have been held this year, dress will be casual. We will forego the lighting of candles and go light on business and ceremony so that we can spend more time talking about texts (we’ll provide ‘em) and ideas (hopefully, you’ll provide some of those).   If you’ve never attended one of our meetings, please come and get a taste of what we’re about.  We welcome first-timers and long-time-no-seers.

Behold:  The Fancy Eatin' Table (the pot passers are on the wall)
In addition to the official induction of new members, two other things will be different about this meeting.  First:  food.  We are hoping to pull off an hors d’ouevre potluck (and we take delight in the juxtaposition of those terms).  So if you are coming, please try to bring a plate’s worth of some kind of finger food to share (Need ideas?  See addendum).  The STD coffers (and cupboards) will provide plates, napkins, cups, plastic dinnerware, and drinks.

And that brings us to the next difference between this meeting and previous meetingsplease let us know if you plan to come so that we will know how deeply to dig into those coffers (and cupboards).

Remember:  R.S.V.P.!

Your Sigma Tau Delta sponsors,
Dr. Joshua Grasso
Dr. Steve Benton

Something Fancy
What to bring to an hors d’ouevre potluck:  little sandwich cubes that have the crust cut off (which makes them fancy); a jar of spicy pickles; a bag of chips with dip; grapes; a can of nuts; brownies; home-made cookies; radish sandwiches; ice cream and orange juice; Greek olives; a veggie tray; banana halves; apples;  imported cheese and crackers; ham rolls; some fancy home-made thing; something you bought at a convenience store on the way over.  In short, a plate or bag’s worth of anything edible and sharable.  And if this requirement makes you hesitant to come, don’t bring anything and come anyway.  We won’t call you out.

English Department Faculty Clean Up

At Thursday night's university-sponsored "Evening for Faculty and Staff Recognition," several members of the English and Languages department faculty were honored:

Dr. Robin Murphy (third from the right in the top picture) was one of four professors on campus to receive the 2010-2011 Teaching Excellence Award;

Drs. Joshua Grasso (first row middle in the middle picture) and Teresa Rothrock (second from left in the second row) were recognized for having been granted tenure;

Dr. Ken Hada (second from left in bottom picture) was recognized for having been promoted to full professor;

And the author of this post was given a "funded grant incentive award" for acquiring external funding for ECU's first French Film Festival which he and Dr. Walling directed this past spring;

Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can English majors go to Law School?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas majored in English.
Short Answer:  Yes (see image at right).

Find out more by attending these events in the Estep Center to celebrate Law Day (Thursday, April 28).

9:30-10:45 - Law in Society. Panelists: Chickasaw Nation Attorney General Deanna Hartley and Judge Thomas Landrith

11:00-12:15 - So You Want to Go to Law School? Panelists: Jacobi Nichols, ECU grad and OU law student, Braden Land, ECU grad who was accepted to 30 law schools; Dustin Parris, ECU student who will be attending OCU Law School in the fall. This panel would be appropriate for anyone considering a legal career.


2:00-3:15 - Careers in the Law. Panelists: ECU grad and paralegal Stephanie Saunders, ECU grad and attorney Sara Murphy, ECU grad and attorney Ash Mayfield, ECU grad and attorney and judge Sherry Todd, ECU grad and attorney Micah Ayache, and local attorney Greg S. Taylor.

3:30-4:30 - Legal Ethics. Panelists: Peggy Saunkeah, paralegal and CIRCAW director and Casey Saunders, ECU grad and attorney.

For more information contact, Dr. Jenna Owens at

Law Day is hosted by the Legal Professions Association and the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

We have winners!

The following award winners were announced at Monday night's English and Languages department banquet:

Best Essay in a Lower-Level Literature Course—KATHERINE CONRAD
Best Essay in an Upper-Level Literature Course—SAMANTHA MANUEL
Best Essay in a Writing Course—DAPHINE PECK
Best Essay in a Language Course—JOSH FORRESTER
Outstanding Portfolio Award—CHAD LARGE

Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya
Lemoine Blake Crabtree Award –

The LeMoine Blake Crabtree Award in Russian is awarded to a student with a 4.0 average in Elementary Russian I and II and who is active in the ECU Russian Club. Minimum award $200.

Eleanor Waner Dedmon Award –

The Eleanor Waner Dedmon Scholarship is for freshman language minors. It covers the complete cost of room, board, books, tuition, and fees.

Gary & Linda Ainsworth Award—

This award is given to students who participate in Study Abroad programs in Russia or Ukraine. Minimum $500.00

Daisy Moore Duvall Award –

The Daisy Moore Duvall Scholarship honors a student who exhibits excellence in literature and/or poetry. Recipients must be of sophomore or higher standing and have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Criteria for the award include academic merit, participation in extracurricular English department activities, possible submission of a critical essay or creative work, faculty letters of recommendation, and financial need. This one-year award offers one recipient $250 per semester.

Margaret “Peggy” Nims Award – SAMANTHA MANUEL
Margaret Nims Scholarship is for English teacher certification majors. Candidates should be of sophomore or higher standing, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate academic excellence. One award per year of $200-300 per semester.

Macy McDonald and mom
Reed Loving Watt Award – 
The Reed Loving Watt Scholarship is for English majors. Candidates should have completed 60 hours of course work, with a minimum 2.5 GPA overall and a minimum of 3.0 in English courses. Financial need, academic excellence, and leadership form the primary selection criteria. The number may vary, but typically two to three awards of $200-300 per semester are given for one academic year.

Ron & Barbara Young Award – JOEL HAMDY
The Ron & Barbara Young Scholarship is awarded to a student majoring in English who has completed a minimum of 59 hours and lives on campus.

J. H. & Joyce Criswell Award – ERIN ROBERSON
The Criswell Memorial Scholarship is offered through the Ada Arts and Humanities Council (P.O. Box 453, Ada, Ok., 74821-0453) for ECU seniors who can present evidence of past creative efforts and plans for future creative endeavors. One award annually, $400.

Ozella Elizabeth Waner Award – TORI WATSON
The Ozella Elizabeth Waner Scholarship is for freshman English majors. It covers the complete cost of room, board, books, tuition, and fees.

Paul Hughes Award—NATHAN GRIFFIN
The Paul Hughes Memorial Writing Award recognizes excellence in original creative compositions. All currently enrolled ECU students are eligible to enter works of fiction, poetry, drama, or essay. In recent years, the department has awarded three prizes of $300, $200, and $100.

Geraldine Burns Award—BEN NICOLLS
The Geraldine Burns Award is given by the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English to a promising English Education major. The award includes a plaque, a one-year membership in OCTE, and an open seat on the OCTE Executive Board.

ECU English Major Aces Fifth

Congratulations, Ilissa!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Banquet! April 25th at 7 p.m.

Yes, we know you have papers to write or to grade and books to read and meetings to attend and all sorts of job and personal demands.
But, do you have a banquet on that To-Do List?

Just think—a fun and fancy dinner, full of music, cash awards, door prizes, and the company of wonderful people, soon to be known as Your College Years—
Join us for the
Department of English & Languages Banquet
Monday, April 25, 2011
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Cyprus Mediterranean Restaurant
and bring a guest.

In light of these tough economic times, this year’s ticket is a mere $15.00, yet you get more choices and more food than ever before!

TICKETS can be purchased in HM 301
or from a member of the Student Issues Committee
(Rothrock, Sukholutskaya, Dieu)

Contact Dr. Rothrock, if you have questions.

Typical Attire:  business casual to full formal

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Watch Where You Point that Compassion

New York Times columnist David Brooks posted the following on his blog recently:
April 13, 2011, 12:34 PM
Thoughtless or Careless?
Are bullies amoral or are they simply cruel? That is to say, do they bully others because they don’t know the difference between right and wrong, or simply because they don’t care about other people’s feelings? Gianluca Gini, Tiziana Pozzoli and Marc Hauser studied this question for the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences. They studied 719 children between the ages of 9 and 13 and found that those who engaged in bullying had advanced moral competence. They could make sophisticated distinctions between moral and immoral conduct. They scored low on measures of compassion, though. This reinforces a growing body of research that suggests knowing right from wrong is not necessarily connected to behaving rightly or wrongly. Moral lectures don’t work well, but telling people stories designed to arouse compassion might.
Who Is the Bully?  (Scene from Birth of a Nation)
It seems to me that one reason many people value creative literature is that it has the potential to arouse compassion in readers.  I think any parent would find it easy to think of ways to put this insight into practice.  As a literary critic, however, I pause over the phrase "designed to arouse compassion," because I know that an author's design is not the ultimate authority.  The "arousing compassion" part of the equation is also largely influenced by the reader, or, in a class, the teacher.    And then there's the sticky question of what kinds of compassion we seek to arouse.  The Birth of A Nation (1915) sought to arouse compassion for formerly empowered whites in the post-Civil War South who were, presumably, being bullied by the newly empowered former slaves.  Click here and go to the 2:42 mark (and endure a couple of ads) to see the notorious scene in which a mulatto (white actor in blackface) proposes marriage to a horrified white girl.  Soon after, the Ku Klux Klan comes to her rescue.

Compassion can be a salve;  it can also be a weapon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Grasso Sinks Teeth Into Dracula

The Ada Evening News ran this article on April 20, 2011:

Grasso discusses ‘How to Read Dracula’ at Tulsa Library East Central University

Ada —

Dr. Joshua Grasso, assistant professor of English and languages at East Central University, recently presented a lecture at the Tulsa Central Library as part of its award-winning Novel Talk series.

The talk, titled “How to Read Dracula: A Primer to Sink Your Teeth into Stoker’s Classic Novel,” opened the two-hour session, “Literature with Bite: Vampires in Books, Film, and Popular Culture.”

Also on the panel was Laura Raphael, library associate at the Tulsa Central Library, and Victor Gischler, writer of such popular vampire novels as “Vampire A-Go-Go.”

The Novel Talk session was held April 9 in the Central Library’s Aaronson Auditorium, which quickly filled up with vampire hunters of all ages. For more information on the Novel Talk series, visit the Tulsa Central Library’s website at:

Congratulations, Dr. Grasso!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Enroll now!

She's jumping for joy.

You can enroll NOW for summer and fall.
Stop by HM335 or make an appointment with any faculty member for advising.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tribbey's Got a Brand New Book

Hugh Tribbey has a new book, entitled appropriately Day Book available through chalk editions.    It can downloaded at  Congratulations, Dr. Tribbey!