Category Archives: Events

English Graduate Students Attend Fulton Theater to see Sweat by Lynn Nottage

By: Hayley Billet 

Dr. Corkery and graduate students from his Spring 2021 Drama class attended a showing of Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat at the Fulton Theater on April 8th. Most of the characters in Sweat are working class people from Reading, Pennsylvania. The plot focuses on the troubles they face when they are laid off from the job they have all worked at for many years.  

By attending the showing of the play that they have read for their class, the students were able to enrich their understanding of the play itself, further enhance their learning from the classroom setting, and experience the play rooted in community. 

This shows the value of experiential learning, a high-impact practice that all students, graduate or undergraduate, should take part in ( The graduate students were able to make real-world connections by viewing a play read in class, on a much larger scale (the Fulton). The graduate students engaged as audience members, at a theater filled with spectators who have personal and impersonal connections to Reading, PA. This community-based experiential learning helped us showcase and apply our interpretations, connections to the community, and our extension of class learning in a very real, community focused way. Students, myself included, also gained experience by organizing this event in coordination with Dr. Corkery.   

After reflecting on the experience, I noticed differences between experiential learning for graduate students and undergraduate students. I experienced the play as a graduate student and community member; I wasn’t just a student identifying the characters and themes of this work, I was sitting in a theater rooted in community values, experiencing the plot and characters alongside Lancaster County community members sharing an interest in telling the stories of our experiences in Pennsylvania communities. I have discovered immense value in experiential learning and invite others to work with our graduate faculty planning future community-based experiential learning events. 

English Graduate Students Attend Lynn Nottage Author Talk Event at the Fulton Theater

By: Jordan Traut

English graduate students Madeleine Bair and Jordan Traut from Millersville University were invited to attend a special author talk with two-time Pulitzer Prize winning writer Lynn Nottage at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster City, PA on Sunday April 3rd, 2022. A part of their “IDEA Speaker Series,” Nottage was interviewed before the community by Kevin Ressler, CEO of United Way, about her award-winning play Sweat. Graduate students from ENGL 642 Drama will be attending the show on Friday, April 8th, 2022.  

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded to writers and artists who best tell the stories of Americans. Nottage spoke about her first encounters with storytelling in her Brooklyn home as a child. She would listen to her mother and her mother’s teacher friends laugh and tell stories while she sat at the kitchen table doing her homework in the afternoons. Nottage is always trying to replicate that experience in her work as an adult.  

“There’s something about being in a dialogue [with] people in a room that I have always enjoyed,” she shared with audience members, speaking on her personal experience with the craft of transforming oral storytelling into screenplays for the theater. “The way a story shifts and moves” based on how people respond to it in real-time is the magic of the performing arts and what sets drama apart from other literary pursuits.  

A commission of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Sweat is one of Nottage’s most celebrated plays. It came to life through oral interviews with blue-collar workers in the post-industrial small town of Reading, Pennsylvania, for which the drama is set. Its characters reveal how entire segments of the American population can feel invisible, especially in the working class. The author points out during her interview how the crew can be virtually unseen during a production yet remain the backbone of the theater. She says, “Here we live, going about our lives, not really thinking about our neighbors. Our neighbors who are really struggling and who feel invisible.”  

For Nottage, her work is about intentionally seeing the people that American society does not want to see – the communities we build our highways around and the people we do not give names to. Crediting her “nomadic imagination,” the author explains how she finds the unseen people to tell stories about without exploiting them. “My brain is always looking for a beach that no one has been to before,” like a backpacker is always searching for that remote spot few have ever been to before. Nottage “illuminate[s] those spots that don’t get seen that often.”  

As a Black female writer, there were few mentors who looked like her in the industry. Nottage explains that successful people often are the support systems they wish had supported them in their journey. “I have been the person I wanted to be mentored by,” she says. She expresses her desire to make the theater equally comfortable for everyone in the United States, encouraging non-traditional venues to disrupt the norms of accessibility. Along similar lines, it is critical for the younger generations of all communities to see themselves reflected in the characters in books and on the stage.  

The last piece of wisdom Nottage gave to audience members at the Fulton is to not write to the expectations of anyone else. As a more experienced artist, she says, “I am only in service to myself.”  

Clubs and Organizations

By: Artemis Harris

Millersville offers a variety of options for its students to enrich their educational experience. One such option is the multitude of clubs and organizations available. With so many to choose from, the selection has been narrowed down to a few that fit within the realm of English and World Languages.  

This is by no means an extensive list of clubs and organizations within Millersville or the English and World Languages department. For more information on all clubs and organizations within Millersville, visit the Get Involved home page.  

Although clubs and organizations seem to be geared towards undergraduate students, graduate students will find that they not only align with their interests and majors, but also help to afford them opportunities to utilize what Millersville has to offer more fully. Joining allows graduates to gain leadership/mentorship experience, participate in editing/publishing work, event planning/public relations, and so much more that can be applied to future professional endeavors. 

Clubs that fit within the English and World Languages department: 

Film Club  

The Film Club is dedicated to screening films and discussing the topics presented in them and correlating them to larger social issues. Besides screening films they’ve also participated in events such as screenings at Lancaster’s Zoetropolis, and a few years ago took a trip to the Toronto International Film Festival.  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Craven  

Executive Board: 

  • President: Molly Dorsey 
  • Vice President: Kayla Gold  
  • Secretary: Chris Herr  
  • Treasurer: Lilly Flynn 

The club holds screenings every Monday at 6pm in SMC 18, where they watch pre-selected films and discuss them. Some upcoming films are as follows:  

  • Monday, April 4 – Interstellar 
  • Monday, April 11 – Mulholland Drive 
  • Monday, April 18 – Time Bandits 
  • Monday, April 25 – The Children’s Hour 
  • Monday, May 2 – Tokyo Godfathers 

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information about the Film Club, you can email Molly Dorsey the current club President at or Kayla Gold the current club Vice President at Visit their Get Involved page to join or contact the club directly.  

The Creative Writers Guild 

The Creative Writers Guild is a space for individuals looking to write in a supportive environment and expand their skills. Their goal is to provide students with an outlet and an audience for their writing (poetry, prose, short stories, etc.). The Creative Writers Guild has a very active presence on their Discord channel where they actively offer advice and help with the creative writing process in all its forms.  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. McCollum-Clark 

Executive Board: 

  • President: Joesph McCarrie  
  • Vice President: Artemis Harris 
  • Secretary: Chanlakena 
  • Treasurer: Amelia Cusanno 

The club meets weekly on Tuesdays at 7:30 virtually and in person (depending on the needs of its members). For the meetings, weekly prompts are provided followed by a voluntary sharing session and a discussion. Writers of all skill levels and concentrations are invited. 

If you have any questions or would like to join The Creative Writers Guild, visit their Get Involved page to contact them directly or join. You can also join them on their Discord Server or follow them on Instagram for updates on upcoming club meetings and events.  

English Club 

The English Club is currently inactive; however, they are working on getting the club up and running. When the club is in full swing, it provides a welcome environment where lovers of verse and manipulators of language can come together to participate in literary activities, field trips, discussions, and more. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Corkery 

Executive Board:  

  • President: Kevin Nix 
  • Vice President: Jackson Fogel 
  • Secretary: Natalie Flory 
  • Treasurer: Kayla Gold 

The English Club welcomes majors and non-majors, and they plan to host literary themed field trips, events, movie nights, and more.  

If you have any questions, or would like to join the English Club, visit their Get Involved page to contact them directly.  

George Street Press 

George Street Press is not currently active. When George Street Press is active the organization designs, compiles, and edits an annual, professional journal publication of Millersville University student/faculty writings and visual art. This includes poetry, short prose fiction, drama, stylistic nonfiction, painting, drawing, digital designs, and more.  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. McCollum-Clark 

To see current and past editions of George Street Press visit their website 

If you are interested in joining George Street Press, visit the Get Involved page to reach out.  

GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) 

The GSA is an organization located outside of the English and World Languages department. They are an extremely active organization on campus. The GSA strives to make Millersville’s campus safe and welcoming for all. 

The GSA’s mission statement: Provide a safe and comfortable space for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression minorities and their allies to interact without fear of being judged or discriminated against, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.  

Faculty Advisor: Arianna Camel 

Executive Board: 

  • President: Alyssa Straface  
  • Vice President: Bex Shenk 
  • Secretary: Grace Lamont 
  • Treasurer: Sara Smith  
  • Historian: Sara Smigielski  
  • Public Relations: Christina Lewis  

Current events they are planning and hope to have this semester include:  

  • Tie-dyeing event (date TBD in April) 
  • Adoption event partnered with ASIA 

The GSA holds meetings every Wednesday from 6-8 PM in SMC 118. Sometimes they will have meetings on their Discord to play games online, or their events will be on different days at different times depending on availability. They cover visibility and awareness days, either through presentations or a fun activity to learn about its history. 

For more information or to join the GSA, visit their Get Involved page.   

World Poetry Day

On March 21st, the English & World Languages department hosted a virtual celebration for World Poetry Day. Guest poets Michele Santamaria, Michael Garrigan, and Barbara DeCesare read their poetry and discussed creative writing and the publication process.

If you would like to view the virtual event, the video recording is included below.

World Poetry Day Reading – Michele Santamaria, Michael Garrigan, and Barbara DeCesare

World Poetry Day Reading by Michele Santamaria, Michael Garrigan, and Barbara DeCesare. Moderated by Dr. Kaitlin Mondello. Hosted by the Department of English & World Languages at Millersville University.

Featured below is a bilingual poetry reading provided by Dr. Christine Gaudry, Dr. Marco Antolin, and Dr. Wilfredo Valentín-Márquez of the World Languages department.

World Poetry Day Bilingual Reading – Dr. Christine Gaudry, Dr. Marco Antolin, and Dr. Wilfredo Valentín-Márquez

World Languages faculty read poetry in the language they specialize in and a translated English version to provide a cross-cultural poetry experience for World Poetry Day (March 21, 2022). A special thank you to Dr. Christine Gaudry, Dr. Marco Antolin, and Dr. Wilfredo Valentín-Márquez for their assistance in this project.

Graduate Awards, Recognitions, and Presentations

By: Hayley Billet

Graduate school is the pivotal transitory stage in which students begin to solidify themselves as scholars. It is crucial that graduate students establish their presence at conferences, become representatives of their areas of academic interest, and receive notable recognition for their effort and hard work. Not only will it build their resumes and confidence, but it will help launch their future careers and academic endeavors.  

That being said, it is important that we acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduate students in the English and World Languages Department. During this time of uncertainty, they have exhibited great determination and perseverance. Graduate work is not easy, and we would like to recognize these students for forging through the graduate program and going above and beyond in their studies.  

English MA student Maddie Bair will be presenting at the Rhetoric Society of America’s Charge for Change 2022 conference in Baltimore on May 27th. She will be presenting her thesis work.  

English MA student Hayley Billet will be presenting at the Northeast Modern Language Association 2022 conference in Baltimore on March 12th. She will be presenting her thesis work in a roundtable discussion. 

English MA student Jordan Traut has been awarded the Graduate Studies Fellowship and received funding from the Wickersham-Burrowes Fund for Excellence in the Arts. This will be used to fund her study abroad trip to Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, as well as her trip to a Native American musical in Oklahoma City. 

Jadon Barnett, an English MA student, was awarded funding from the Wickersham-Burrowes Fund for Excellence in the Arts. He will use the funding for his independent study in board game development with Dr. Pfannenstiel. 

Sean Guckert, an English MA student, presented a paid guest lecture on disability studies and institutionalized care. A reflection from Sean on his experience as a guest lecturer and his presentation is coming soon. 

We appreciate the efforts of our graduate students and commend them for their hard work and dedication. 

English & World Languages Department News

By: Artemis Harris

Welcome English and World Languages Students 

This blog space is being revived to become a new source of information for students and faculty. There will be upcoming articles with more information regarding developments from the department as well as helpful information for students about different offerings within English and World Languages.  

The semester is in full swing and as we move forward the most important questions students should be asking themselves are: How should I be using Millersville’s resources to my greatest advantage? When I leave here, how can I set myself apart from everyone else?  

That is where that first question comes into play. Millersville, especially within the English and World Languages Department, has so much to offer students so they can go above and beyond in their academic and future careers. This will help your professional ambitions down the line.  

Listed below are a few things that the English and World Languages department has to offer.  

Have you considered an Internship? Internships provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to apply classroom knowledge and to strengthen your professional work habits.  

Study Abroad opportunities are always an option as well. The office of International Programs and Services offers programs for students wishing to study, work, or volunteer abroad. It also allows faculty, staff, and other community members to participate in international education activities. 

Have you considered joining Clubs and Organizations? Millersville has an extensive list of clubs and organizations; however, the English and World Languages Department supports:  

  • The Creative Writers Guild 
  •  English Club 
  • Film Club 
  •  The George Street Press 
  • And more

Also associated with the English Department and/or Millersville is: 

  • The Snapper  
  • The Engage for Change Journal 
  • MUsings The Graduate Journal 

Be on the lookout for a more detailed explanation of these offerings and more in future blog posts. 

Graduate Students: be sure to subscribe to the Graduate Studies in English & World Languages blog for updates specific to Graduate Studies and student needs.    

News and Announcements 

  • The Fall web schedule and other registration information becomes available online March 1. Check the Academic Calendar for up-to-date information.  
  • Graduate Registration begins April 5th  
  • Undergraduate Registration for Fall 2022 begins April 7th-15th. See the registration guide and Appointment Schedule on the Registration Information page for more details.  
  • Millersville’s Swedish partner International English School will be on campus conducting interviews during the first week of March to recruit teachers to join a fantastic working environment starting in early August 2022. They are looking for teachers who are passionate about their subjects with the ability to inspire students. If this is of any interest to you, then please visit International English School for more information.  
  • The Engage for Change Journal has just released its inaugural issue on environmental justice. The Engage for Change Journal is a new journal affiliated with Millersville University that focuses on spreading knowledge about political, social, and economic issues that affect the Lancaster area. Articles published in the journal are written by Millersville students, staff, faculty, and community members. For more information, please visit the journal website at Engage for Change. Also, follow them on Instagram at @engageforchangejournal to keep up with new developments.  
  • Made in Millersville is right around the corner. In-person and online presentations will be presented on April 12, 2022 in McNairy Library. For more information about the event or the Made in Millersville Journal, please visit their website at Made in Millersville. 
  • Dr. Pfannenstiel will be hosting an online Graduate Q & A that is coming up soon. It could answer many of the questions you have about the graduate program. More information and details to come.  
  • MUsings The Graduate Journal is in the process of creating its Spring 2022 issue. More information and details to come.  
  • Friday May 6th the College of Graduate Studies and Adult Learning will be holding the Graduate Commencement Ceremony.   
  • Saturday May 7th the Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony will be held. 

Alumni and Current Students Swap Stories and Insights at Lit Fest

This last semester’s Literary Festival, Writing in Community, was very special.  There were so many moments of genuine community, that made us all remember why we love Millersville English.

Millersville University Literary Festival

Dr. Sarah D’Stair

On Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8, Millersville University will host its annual Literary Festival. This year’s theme is “Writing in Community.”

The event will start on Thursday in McComsey’s Ford Atrium at 4 pm. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcome to attend and read at an open reading following featured faculty member Sarah D’Stair.

Meghan Kenny

At 7:30pm, Meghan Kenny will give her keynote address in Myers Auditorium. Meghan Kenny is the author of the short story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press, 2017) and the novel The Driest Season (W.W. Norton, 2018), which was an honorable mention for the 2019 PEN/HEMINGWAY Award. She lives in Lancaster.

On Friday the 8th, the Literary Festival will continue in the McNairy Library from 9am to 4pm. Individual sessions will take place in Room 100 where you can learn how to:

  • Write fiction and short stories
  • Write thrillers and suspense novels
  • Write free verse and traditional poetry
  • Find work in writing-related fields
  • Find what publishers want and get your work published
  • Write creative non-fiction and memoirs
  • Approach literature for translation

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Archibald or Dr. Jakubiak. Visit the Literary Festival website for the full event schedule and more information.



2019 Harrisburg Book Festival Schedule

Check out the 2019 Harrisburg Book Festival at Midtown Scholar Bookstore! Listed are some of the major events at the festival. Are you interested in getting a ride from campus to the festival? Contact Rachel Hicks or Dr. Corkery.

Now in its seventh year, the Harrisburg Book Festival is proudly hosted by the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Featuring an annual tent sale, award-winning authors, children’s illustrators, emerging novelists, acclaimed historians — surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books at one of the nation’s most celebrated independent bookstores — the Harrisburg Book Festival aims to amplify and celebrate diverse literature for all ages. All events are free and open to the public.

For the Love of Beer: Inside Pennsylvania Breweries


Pennsylvanians have enjoyed a long, rich love affair with beer. The state not only ranks first in the nation for the number of barrels produced but the breweries, beer, and their craftsmen all have interesting stories to tell. Author Alison Feeney examines Pennsylvania’s brewing history, geography, and cultural richness while highlighting over 100 of the states thriving craft breweries in her new book, For the Love of Beer: Pennsylvania Breweries. Moderated by Sara Bozich, join Feeney, Hannah Ison of Zero Day Brewery, and Jeff Musselman of the Millworks for a lively conversation on, you guessed it, beer.

Following the discussion, we’ll have a book signing and samples of beer from The Millworks and Zero Day Brewing Company.

Smart Talk Live with Eric Foner


From Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Eric Foner, a timely history of the constitutional changes that built equality into the nation’s foundation — and how those guarantees have been shaken over time. In The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, Foner informs our understanding of the present as well as the past. Knowledge and vigilance are always necessary to secure our basic rights.

Eric Foner will be interviewed on-stage by WITF’s Scott LaMar for Smart Talk Live.

An Evening with Isha Sesay


In the early morning of April 14, 2014, the militant Islamic group Boko Haram violently burst into the small town of Chibok, Nigeria, and abducted 276 girls from their school dorm rooms. From poor families, these girls were determined to make better lives for themselves, but pursuing an education made them targets, resulting in one of the most high-profile abductions in modern history. In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Isha Sesay tells this story as no one else can. With a soaring message of hope at its core, Isha Sesay will deliver the Keynote Address for the 2019 Harrisburg Book Festival, reminding us of the ever-present truth that progress for all of us hinges on unleashing the potential of women.

Storytime with Vashti Harrison!


Join New York Times bestselling author & illustrator Vashti Harrison as she introduces young readers to trailblazing women who changed the world. Harrison will read from her two bestsellers: Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World. Afterwards, Harrison will conduct a drawing demo on the main stage for kids of all ages!

A book signing will follow the presentation. Copies of Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, Hair Love, Festival of Colors, and Cece Loves Science will be available for purchase.

Storytime with Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox!


In their debut picture book, author/illustrator team Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox introduce young readers to the comical, the studious, the oblivious Llama, a picture-book hero for the ages. Grab some cake and your dancing pants and prepare for Llama Destroys the World… because THE TIME FOR LLAMA IS NIGH! Join Stutzman and Fox as they read from their new picture book, Llama Destroys the World.

Cookbook Demo with Nisha Vora


With food and photos as vivid, joyous, and wholesome as the title of her popular cooking blog Rainbow Plant Life suggests, Nisha Vora shares nourishing recipes with her loyal followers daily. Now, in her debut cookbook, she makes healthy, delicious everyday cooking a snap with more than 90 nutritious (and colorful!) recipes you can make easily with the magic of an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Join Nisha for a recipe demonstration from her new cookbook: The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes. Afterwards, there will be a free tasting of two recipes from the cookbook, followed by a book signing.

Political Parody in the Age of Trump


For readers craving a humorous antidote to the sound and the fury of American politics, these clever parodies offer an escapist reprieve for those pining for the previous administration. In Hope Rides Again, Andrew Shaffer provides the highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling Hope Never Dies. Obama and Biden reprise their roles as BFFs-turned-detectives as they chase Obama’s stolen cell phone through the streets of Chicago — and right into a vast conspiracy. And in MacTrump, bestselling authors Ian Doescher and Jacopo della Quercia fictionalize the events of the first two years of the Trump administration — in iambic pentameter. Will MacTrump be able to hold on to his throne? Only time will tell in this tragicomic tale of ambition, greed, and royal ineptitude — based on Sheakespeare’s Macbeth.

Emerging Voices, New Perspectives


From three new emerging voices in fiction — these page-turning debut novels show us the power and transcendence of storytelling. In She Would Be King, Wayetu Moore combines history and magical realism to reimagine the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters. In The Farm, Joanne Ramos gives us a gripping, provocative, and heartbreaking narrative on immigration, motherhood, money, and merit. And in the bestselling The Incendiaries, R.O. Kwon delivers a powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss — and what can befall those who lose what they love most.

An Evening with Stephen Chbosky


We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us. Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. In Imaginary Friend, Chbosky takes us to Mill Grove, Pennsylvania — where seven year-old Christopher and his mother on the run. At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete. Read it with the lights on.

Fiction, Fantasy, and the Mythic Journey


Internationally bestselling novelist Téa Obreht mesmerized readers with her timeless debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife. Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, spun a novel that established her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation. Now, in her new novel, Inland, Obreht returns to subvert and reimagine the myths of the American West, making them entirely—and unforgettably—her own. Moderated by award-winning novelist Liz Moore, Obreht will discuss her award-winning novels and the spectacular triumphs of storytelling.

This event previously stated that Madeline Miller would make an appearance. Due to an unforeseen conflict, Madeline will not be able to make an appearance at this year’s festival. We look forward to hosting her in the spring 2020 for the paperback tour of Circe!

How To Be An Anti-Racist


From award-winning authors Ibram X. Kendi and Imani Perry comes a powerful conversation on racial justice in America, showing us how to understand and uproot racism in our society — and in ourselves. In Breathe, Perry explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a black person in contemporary America. And in How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. Moderated by award-winning author Keisha Blain, Kendi and Perry point us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.

Official schedule can be found on the Harrisburg Book Festival website.

Coffee with the English Department

Come visit Saxbys on October 7th to talk all things English with Dr. Craven, Dr. Corkery, and Stephanie Wenger! Coffee is on the English department. Dr. Craven, Chair of English; Dr. Corkery, Assistant Chair of English; and Stephanie, President of English Club, will be in Saxbys from Noon to 1:30pm.

  • Do you have questions about scheduling?
  • Are you wondering what you can do with an English degree?
  • Are you interested in getting more involved with the English Club?

Are you interested in going on a trip with the English department to the Harrisburg Book Festival at the Midtown Scholar? There will be vans to drive students to the event if enough people are interested. Contact Dr. Corkery if you want to take part.