English and World Languages Faculty Focus: Research Talk

This past Wednesday, the department of English and World Languages hosted their first Faculty Focus Research Talk, a new event that will take place regularly throughout the semester. This event allows professors within the department to highlight either their current or past research projects, an opportunity to show a different side of their academic selves outside of the content they teach within their classroom. As a student conducting and participating in their own research, it is easy to forget that professors are engaging in those writing and researching processes themselves. This new event series provides a unique opportunity for students to connect with professors not only about the topic of their research, but also to ask them questions about it, which could help them to change or modify their own research and writing methods for the better.

For the first faculty focus research talk, Dr. Baldys and Dr. Rea presented their past research to a group of both students and faculty. Dr. Rea discussed rhetorical violence within a local Florida community titled “Striking Out in Ybor City: Baseball, Housing, and Rhetorical Violence.” This wonderful presentation prompted discussion that may not be found in a classroom, such as what is rhetorical violence, how can it appear in different conversations and modalities, why Dr. Rea chose to focus his research on this specific set of affordable housing in Florida, and why it matters to research this topic. Dr. Baldys shifted the conversation from a rhetorical to a literary perspective with her presentation titled “Disability and Victorian Feminism: Narratives of Resistance in the Novels of Mona Caird.” Mona Caird, a Scottish essayist and novelist, is not as well known in the literary world as she should be. Dr. Baldys’ research presented a different side of Victorian literature that may be overlooked in comparison to other texts that have been centralized in conversation in the classroom, such as more popular books and writers. In both presentations, Dr. Baldys and Dr. Rea showcased different fields, methodologies, and methods of research that show students not only how they could apply these to their own research, but also provide a space to ask questions and learn about new fields and writers they would not have encountered in the classroom.