Upcoming Events

February 9th – Lincoln in the Bardo with George Saunders, 7pm at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore

  • 2017 Man Booker Prize Winner and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author George Saunders will appear at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore to present his new novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Saunders will give a reading of his novel and answer questions from the audience. More Information

George Saunders

February 19th – Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year Old by Angela Prendergast, 3pm in Ford AtriumOverthought Thoughts of a 21-Year Old

  • Angela Prendergast, a 2016 Millersville BSE graduate, will be reading/presenting from her book of poems Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year Old. This forum will be an event for open discussion about her writing and publishing processes for prospective/new authors.

February 23 & 24, March 1, 2, 3 – “Radium Girls,” 8pm in Rafters Theatre, Dutcher Hall

February 25 & March 4 – 2pm

  • “Radium Girls” by DW Gregory, guest directed by Joanna Underhill, will show in Millersville during the end of February and beginning of March. Tickets are available here or at the SMC Ticket office or email Dena McEwan for free tickets for English students on an evening to be selected by the English Club.

Radium Girls

February 28th – “Little Stones” On Screen/In Person, 6:15pm at the Ware Center

  • “Little Stones” is a documentary that profiles four women activists, each of whom is contributing to the woman’s movement through her art. There will be a community activity or panel discussion at 6:15, the film will screen at 7:00, and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. More Information
  • Panel Members include: Ms. Almaz E. Amante, Keystone Human Resources/CWS volunteer. (Ethiopian native experienced in women empowerment and micro-financing.) Dr. Carol Davis, Franklin & Marshall College, Professor of Theatre. (Runs health-through-drama project in rural Nepal.) Ms. Brittany Leffler, YWCA Certified Trauma Practitioner. Dr. Kimberly A. Mahaffy, Millersville University, Professor of Sociology and Director of Latina/o Studies / Coordinator, Office of Diversity and Social Justice. (and a faculty member in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program) Dr. Wanja Ogongi, Millersville University, Professor of Social Work (Interest in Human Rights with focus on women and children.) Ms. Julie Peachey, Director, Innovations for Poverty Action. Dr. Elizabeth Powers, Millersville University, Professor of Education. (Chair of Commission on Status of Women)

Little Stones

March 10th – Odyssey of the Mind

  • Students from over 40 regional schools will compete in Odyssey of the Mind, an annual competition where students use their creativity and teamwork skills to compete in developing various problem-solving methods at the international education program.
  • If you are interested in volunteering at the event (need clearances) or more information, contact Dr. Craven

March 22nd –  Carter Woodson Lecture: Ibram Kendi, 7:30-9:30pm in the SMC Multipurpose Room

  • Ibram X. Kendi, an award-winning historian and New York Times Best-Selling Author, is Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. His second book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, was published by Nation Books and won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. At 34 years old, Kendi was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. He grew up dreaming about playing in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and ironically he ended up joining the other NBA.

Ibram Kendi

March 27th Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, 7-8:30pm in the SMCAAB

April 5th – “Resilience” Film, Panel will begin at 6pm and the film will start at 6:45 in Clair Hall (in the Winter Center).

  • “Resilience” is a film about a dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood and the trailblazers in pediatrics, education, and social welfare who are fighting the toxic stress. There will be a panel before the showing of the film.

April 17th Made in Millersville, 8am to 5pm in the McNairy Library

  • Made in Millersville: A Celebration of Student Scholarship and Creativity highlights the world of MU students.

Made in Millersville


How about an MDST in Film Studies?

Individual students can propose a Bachelors of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies focused on Film Studies to prepare  for working in the growing film and media industries. The combined resources in English, Communications, and Art can  provide a regional resource for students who aspire to be engaged in creating, contributing to, or critiquing visual media.

Film is historically an interdisciplinary art, combining the skills of visual artists, composers and musicians, screenwriters, business entrepreneurs, directors and actors with technicians and skilled laborers. On our campus, the understanding one would need to get involved in making film or video requires courses in at least five departments (English, Communication & Theatre. Art & Design, Music, and Entrepreneurship).  An MDST major enables students to get a degree in Film Studies through a thoughtful degree program that provides students with foundational skills in these areas.

Significantly, these skills are not only needed for Hollywood. This MDST program will challenge students to develop competencies in theoretical, critical, and historical approaches to films as well as the component parts to films, like photography and audio. The multiple disciplinary skills will be grounded in a foundational knowledge in communicating information effectively through film and visual media. The program will develop and expand film knowledge, writing, and technical skills required of film professionals.

Students who have an MDST In Film Studies are currently (Fall 2019) interning at Lancaster’s new Red Rose Film Festival, rating films and interviewing directors for podcasts.

Contact Dr. Jill Craven for more information!

Regional Market Demand

Like the MDST in Entertainment Technologies, this new MDST program will address the needs of the growing media industries.

In his article, “U.S. Film and TV Production Drives Economic Growth in Every Corner of America” Neil Fried, SVP, Government and Regulatory Affairs, notes that

In the process of producing video content for today’s audiences, the American motion picture and TV industry contributes approximately $40 billion per year in payments to more than 330,000 local businesses across the country, according to the latest economic impact figures. In all, the industry’s nationwide economic activity supports 1.9 million workers and generates $47 billion in wages. (Source: MPAA)

These figures state that the “industry is comprised of more than 94,000 businesses in total, located in every state in the country. These are mainly small businesses; 85% employ fewer than 10 people.” Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, states “The advent of a film market in Philadelphia is a tangible sign that the film industry in S.E. Pennsylvania has matured and emerged as a leader in the business of film as well as the production of content.”

Major Requirement Guidance for Individual MDST’s
39 credit hours (plus 9 credit hours of related course work)

This suggested Multidisciplinary Studies Major (MDST) includes individualized concentrations distributed in three areas: Core 1/Film, Core 2/Art and Film Technology, and the Capstone Experience.  Individual students may individualize their curriculum to address their learning focus.  Your individual MDST will need to be approved by the MDST committee as well as faculty in the departments you choose to work in.  The configuration below is but one configuration option.

An MDST concentration in Film Studies trains students to create visual media in a variety of genres while giving them an understanding of the role of media in society. Building career credentials through knowledge and practice will be emphasized through experiential learning opportunities.

Core 1/Film

Core 1 emphasizes the narrative and cultural aspects of film. Through courses in the English Department, Film Studies students will learn about the global history of the medium, its technical and artistic elements, its social and political impacts and sensitivities, and ways to create ideas/write for the medium.

Core 2/Art and Technology

Core 2 emphasizes the visual basics of the medium in its photography classes. It will complement this knowledge with the technical courses to bring these visions into a reality through technology.

The Required Relateds

The Required Relateds cover aspects needed to round out film expertise—music, entrepreneurship, and directing. These are important aspects for pulling together effective films.


Film Students should take Introduction to Film, Introduction to Audio and Video, and History and Aesthetics of Photography in their second semester.

Core One: FILM (18 credit hours)

ENGL 240: Intro to Film
ENGL 481: History of Film
ENGL 482: Film and American Society Or ENGL 347: Studies of Ethnicity in Film
ENGL 483: Politics and Media
ENGL 484: Brave New Worlds: Technology and Media or ENGL 587: Special Topics in Film
ENGL 471: Creative Writing or ENGL 472: Writing Workshop (when focused on writing for film)

                                                          Core Two: ART and MEDIA TECH (18 credit hours)

ART 201: History and Aesthetics of Photography (G1)
ART 376: Intro to Photography: Digital or ART 306: Intro to Darkroom
COMM 326: Media Writing: Fiction
COMM 121: Intro to Audio and Video
COMM 206: Communication and Media Law
COMM 321: Television Production 1 or COMM 337: Documentary Filmmaking I


Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)                                          Related Elective Courses (9 credits)

ENGL 400 Internship/co-op OR
ENGL 498: Independent Study (Creative Capstone Project) OR
COMM 437: Documentary II
ENTR 201: Art of Entrepreneurship
THEA 315: Directing or THEA 2XX: Acting 1
A third course of your choice related to film



ENGL 240/240H: 3 s.h.
Introduction to Film (G1, W)

Analysis of film as an art form, including technical and artistic aspects of filmmaking. Genres, auteur theory and other theoretical approaches to cinema. Offered fall, spring. Prereq: ENGL 110.

ENGL 471: 3 s.h.
Creative Writing

Extensive practice in writing varied genres of fiction and poetry. Inquiry into the social functions and purposes of fictional and poetic writing. Prereq: ENGL 110. Offered periodically.

ENGL 472 Writing Workshop: 3 s.h. (when focused on writing for film)

Extensive written work focused on particular topics, a theme in literature or a specific genre in communication. Mini-research papers. Critiques of other student papers. Considerable discussion of other student papers. Offered periodically. Prereq: ENGL 311 or permission of instructor.

ENGL 481: 3 s.h.
History of Film (W)

Analyzes the history of the world’s film industry and influential narrative films, from early silents to recent independents. Technology-intensive course. Offered biannually in fall. Prereq: ENGL 110.

ENGL 482: 3 s.h.
Film and American Society

Analyzes significant American films in relation to social and historical context. Offered biannually in spring. Prereq: ENGL 110.

ENGL 483: 3 s.h.
Politics, Film and Electronic Media

Explores the relationships between media, history, politics and people during the 20th and 21st centuries. Focuses on portrayal of American politics in film. The politics of narrative structure (Eisenstein, Godard), the relationships between narrative and ideology, and political documentaries. Prereq: COMM 100, ENGL 110 and junior status. Offered biannually in fall.

ENGL 484: 3 s.h.
Brave New Worlds: Exploring Technology in Film
(G1, W)

Explores the relationships between film, technology and society as they developed during the 20th century. Includes American and foreign films that focus on technology and/or address issues raised by technology. Special focus on directors Kubrick and Gilliam. Offered biannually in spring. Prereq: COMM 100 and ENGL 110.

ENGL 586-589
Special Topics (3)

In-depth investigation and development of one or more topics of current interest not normally covered in regular courses. Special topics to be covered and methods to be used will vary according to the needs of the students and faculty involved. Offered periodically.


ART 201: 3 s.h.
History and Aesthetics of Photography (G1)

A survey of the history, principles and theory of photography in the 19th and 20th centuries as it is used as an aesthetic medium and for visual communication. Differentiation between photographs made as art vs. snapshots, photojournalism, scientific record and commercial art is emphasized. Offered periodically.

ART 376: 3 s.h.
Intro to Photo: Digital (G1)

Beginning digital course that introduces the basic skills and concepts associated with digital photography as used by contemporary visual artists and communicators. Covers cameras, computer hardware, photo-editing software, printing, file management, criticism, history and analysis. Students must have a digital single-lens reflex camera. Offered annually.

COMM 121: 3 s.h.
Introduction to Audio and Video

Audio and video production fundamentals, techniques and uses. Includes study of the production process and hands-on production assignments

in both audio and video. Laboratory work required. Offered fall, spring.

COMM 206: 3 s.h.
Communication and Media Law

The legal parameters of freedom of expression under the U.S. legal system. Students explore legal and ethical issues related to media systems, organizational communication, public relations and theatre. Offered fall, spring.

COMM 321: 3 s.h.
Television Production I

Theory and application of various phases of studio operation and editing in television production. Laboratory work required. Offered fall, spring.

Prereq: COMM 121.

COMM 326: 3 s.h.
Media Writing; Fiction (W)
Basic news writing and reporting, stressing electronic media. Offered fall. Prereq: ENGL 110 or permission of instructor.

COMM 337: 3 s.h.
Documentary Filmmaking I: Concepts (D)

Focused on the history and theory of documentary films. Through readings, screenings and discussions, students gain a historical and theoretical understanding of documentary filmmaking and become prepared for more advanced production courses. Students also explore their own documentary ideas and develop an outline and treatment. Prereq: COMM 100; ENGL 110; junior standing. Offered periodically.


ENTR 201: 3 s.h.
Art of Entrepreneurship

This course introduces and explores the mind-set and process of entrepreneurism in: (1) social entrepreneurism (solving social issues); (2) business entrepreneurship (starting an innovative enterprise); (3) employee entrepreneurism (as a worker in an existing business) and (4) academic entrepreneurism (the pursuit of a valuable and productive education). Emphasis will be on identifying opportunities and value, developing the art of creative problem solving and effectively expressing those solutions. Prereq: none.

THEA 130: 3 s.h.
Acting I (G1)

Training in the art and craft of acting. Emphasis on developing basic skills and exploring the creative process. Elementary scene and monologue work. Offered fall.

THEA 315: 3 s.h.

Practical experience in both directing and coaching actors. An overview of directing process and directing style. Offered biannually in spring.

Prereq: THEA 130 or permission of instructor.


COMM 437: 3 s.h.

Documentary Filmmaking II

Focused on the practical and technical aspects of documentary filmmaking. Students produce documentaries that incorporate appropriate approaches and styles as well as advanced storytelling techniques. Prereq: COMM 321, 337; junior standing. Offered periodically.

ENGL 489, 498, 499: 1-3 s.h.

Independent study and departmental honors.





Alumna Profile: Lea Scott

I currently work as a 9-12 school counselor at a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school in Chester County, PA.  After graduating from the ‘Ville in 2005, I took a teaching job at the same school, instructing grades 9-12 in World Literature, British Literature, and American Literature.  I finished my Master’s in secondary counseling at West Chester University in December of 2012 and took on a counseling job in July of 2013.

I consistently reference my English roots and my office is filled with YA novels and undergraduate texts as well!  Reading is still one of my very favorite hobbies.

Alumna Profile: Nicole Quaste

Nicole Quaste
Nicole Quaste

I attended Millersville as an English major from 2009–2013. I then went onto grad school at Villanova and completed my Masters in English Literature with a Certificate in Communications in May.

I currently work a Yardley, PA-based company called FXExpress Publications, Inc. as an assistant editor for travel publications Global Traveler, Trazee Travel and Wherever Family.

I’m grateful to Millersville every day and miss it dearly.

Week of Wonderful Poetry at MU

This week was a wonderful one for literary events at MU!  Millersville English faculty and students were involved with 3 readings on campus, and one event at The Ware Center.  The readings on The National Day of Writing will be covered in the article on Friday’s events.

Mindi Kirchner-Greenaway
Mindi Kirchner-Greenaway reading her poetry at MU

On Tuesday, poetry pair William Greenaway and Mindi Kirchner-Greenaway graced McNairy Library’s Reading Room with their thoughtful reflections.  Professor Mindi Kirchner, who teaches  English 110 at Millersville University, began the readings with poems from her upcoming volume.  Professor Greenaway, Distinguished Professor of English (retired from Youngstown State University), enlivened the event with his Southern accent and poems from his latest publications.  Both provided great context for the genesis of their ideas and cultural touchstones in their works.

William Greenaway finished the event with reading his moving poem, “Pit Pony,” about the experience of the ponies who lived their entire lives in the mines and finally were freed to live above ground:


Pit Pony
Shetland Pit Pony

There are only a few left, he says,
kept by old Welsh miners, souvenirs, like
gallstones or gold teeth, torn
from this “pit,” so cold and wet
my breath comes out a soul up
into my helmet’s lantern beam,
anthracite walls running,
gleaming, and the floors iron-rutted
with tram tracks, the almost pure
rust that grows and waves like
orange moss in the gutters of water
that used to rise and drown.
He makes us turn all lights off, almost
a mile down. While children scream
I try to see anything, my hand touching
my nose, my wife beside me—darkness palpable,
velvet sack over our heads, even the glow
of watches left behind. This is where
they were born, into this nothing, felt
first with their cold noses for the shaggy
side and warm bag of black
milk, pulled their trams for twenty
years through pitch, past birds
that didn’t sing, through doors
opened by five-year-olds who sat
in the cheap, complete blackness listening
for steps, a knock. And they
died down here, generation after
generation. The last one, when it
dies in the hills, not quite blind, the mines
closed forever, will it die strangely? Will it
wonder dimly why it was exiled from the rest
of its race, from the dark flanks of the soft
mother, what these timbers are that hold up
nothing but blue? If this is the beginning
of death, this wind, these stars?

Roxana Cazan reading her poetry at the International Policy Conference
Roxana Cazan reading her poetry at the International Policy Conference

On Thursday, poet Rozana Cazan, Assistant Professor of English at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania, read poetry at the (im)Migration International Policy Conference session on “Immigration Poetry as Self-Exploration.”  The poems came from her second full-length poetry book, The Accident of Birth, is forthcoming with main Street Rag in January 2018.  Cazan comes from Romania, and many of her poems reflected her experience as an immigrant in a land where immigrants are increasingly demonized.  She visited with Dr. Kasia Jakubiak’s Creative Writing class after the event finished.

Dr. Caleb Corkery discusses Hip Hop advocacy
Dr. Caleb Corkery discusses Hip Hop advocacy

On Saturday, spoken word poet Evita Colon came to the Ware Center with her troupe of poets and dancers for a Speak to My Soul performance.  Dr. Caleb Corkery introduced the session with a discussion on advocacy aspects of the hip hop movement.  The “Purple Cries for Blue Skies” performance focused on issues of domestic violence and the power that victims need to find to leave toxic situations.

Evita Colon's Purple Tears for Blue Skies Performance
Evita Colon’s Purple Cries for Blue Skies Performance

Are You “Woke”? Social Justice Fair on Monday, October 23, 2017

Students interested in social justice in their communities should attend the Social Justice Fair on Monday, October 23, in the Student Memorial Center.  The day’s events, which unfold in and around the Multipurpose Room, include:

  • 8-9am–A Social Justice Fair (on display throughout the day) where various social justice organizations will present their information
  • 9:00-9:10–Welcome and Introduction: What is Social Justice
  • 9:10-9:50–Action and Engagement Panel
  • 10-10:50–Campus Climate Survey and Discussion
  • 11-11:50–Social Justice Film Excerpts and Discussion
  • 12-1:00–Keynote and Free Lunch
  • 1-1:50–Action and Engagement Panel

Our Keynote Speaker, Anne Kirby, is an expert on creating community.  She is the founding member of the sweet core, The Candy Factory & Groundworks, Lancaster’s premier coworking space and home to over 60+ coworkers. She also manages The Arch, a new art collective in Lancaster.  She will be speaking on techniques for building strong community and encouraging collaboration as well as her own experience becoming involved in the political process.

We welcome all members of the Millersville Community to attend.  Attendance is free, but just register by sending an email to community.engagement@millersville.edu so lunches can be ordered!

Post your social justice events and follow the day at

If you are interested in getting involved, see the Civic and Service Organizations at Get Involved.  Some university and community organizations that welcome your participation include:







MU English attends Dr. Ibram Kendi lecture at Midtown Scholar

Current and former members of the MU English Department attended the Midtown Scholar Bookstore‘s Harrisburg Book Festival this weekend.  On Friday, Dr. Ibram Kendi discussed ideas from his book Stamped for the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, the 2016 winner of the National Book Award.  The Midtown Scholar was packed to hear the insights of the youngest scholar to win the National Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Ibram Kendi answering audience questions
Ibram Kendi answering audience questions

The evening began with Harrisburg Mayor Papenfuse welcoming everyone to the event, and thanking sponsors, including Millersville University’s English Department.  He also thanked event organizer and Bookstore manager, Alex Brubaker, who is a Millersville University English and Philosophy double major graduate.  Alex was instrumental in bringing the excellent line-up for this series to the region.

Kendi spoke about his ideas and read from his book for about 30 minutes, and then took many questions from the very engaged audience.  Kendi identified racist, assimilationist, anti-racist ideas and how these make an impact on our progress as a society.  He warned about the negative consequences of not addressing the racial inequities that plague American and other societies.  Kendi provided insights into the history of racist ideas that included polygenesis and other concepts set forth to attempt to justify social inequities.

Millersville English community discusses the Kendi lecture
Millersville English community discusses the Kendi lecture

The audience was keen to explore the history and terminology that Kendi put forth.  Kendi stayed after the lecture to sign copies of his book.  Many in the audience stayed around to discuss the ideas and their import.  This type of intellectual interchange can be the heart of university experience.

Kendi will be coming to Millersville in March.

~Jill Craven



Harrisburg Book Festival with Keynote Speaker Ibram Kendi

This coming weekend is the Harrisburg Book Festival at everyone’s favorite PA bookstore, the Midtown Scholar.  If you haven’t been to this bookstore, it’s worth the trip!

This weekend’s events will start on Thursday October 12 and run through Sunday, October 15.

Thursday, October 12th | 7pm–Spoken Word
The 2017 Harrisburg Book Festival opens with an evening of spoken word.  Join award-winning poets Safiya Sinclair, Joshua Bennett, and Shara McCallum for an evening of poetry.

Friday, October 13th | 7pm–Ibram Kendi Keynote

IBRAM X. KENDI, AN AWARD-WINNING HISTORIAN AND NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, is Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. His second book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, was published by Nation Books and won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. At 34 years old, Kendi was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. He grew up dreaming about playing in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and ironically he ended up joining the other NBA. (Kendi’s website)

English has tickets to the Ibram Kendi event through our sponsorship of the festival.  If you want a ticket, please contact Jill.Craven@millersville.edu.  You can find more information on his website.

Saturday, October 14TH | 10am – 12pm

Saturday, October 14th | 11am – 5pm
Print-Your-own bookmark with Typothecary letterPress

Saturday, October 14th | 2pm
The Role of the Critic in the Digital Age–A roundtable discussion with four book reviewers

Saturday, October 14th | 4pm
Light the dark: A Conversation on creative Inspiration with Joe Fassler

Saturday, October 14th | 6pm
The Art of the novel: A Conversation with Jennifer Haigh and Liz Moore

Sunday, October 15th | 2pm
One book, One Community: An Afternoon with Elizabeth Wein

Sunday, October 15th | 3:30pm
The Power of Seeing: Rorschach, the inkblots, and the enduring relevance of the iconic test

Sunday, October 15th | 5pm
The Haunted Life of Shirley Jackson: A Conversation with Ruth Franklin

For more information, see their schedule.

Photo Credit: William Fletcher

Spring Course Registration

Spring courses are available and listed on the Registrar’s website.  Students should visit with their advisers (listed on their DARS report in MAX) to obtain a TAP number to be able to register at their allotted appointment times (also available on the Registrar’s website).

This spring, Dr. Pfannenstiel will be offering a new course, Web Writing (ENGL 318), which is now an option to fulfill English majors’ Advanced Writing requirement (instead of ENGL 311 or a thesis).

Our thematic core course, Reading Our World (ENGL 242), will feature these themes:

  • Hip Hop Culture
  • American Identity
  • The Bible as Literature
  • Social Justice
  • Storybuilding (requires clearances for secondary school visits)

Students can retake ENGL 242 when the themes differ, so it’s great for an elective too!

Dr. Ording will be teaching a new Comparative Literature seminar on Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.  If you are interested in these masters of the novel, be sure to check out this course.

Dr. Corkery will be teaching ENGL 347: Studies of Ethnicity in Film which will focus on African Americans in film throughout the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries.  This course is offered bi-annually, so take it now if you minor in film or are interested in African American cultural studies.  Dr. Corkery can let you in if you don’t meet the prerequisites (ENGL 311).

Students on the Writing Studies track should take note of The Craft of Writing (ENGL 274), Web Writing (ENGL 318), Science Writing (ENGL 319), and Reading and Writing for Civic Change (ENGL 342).

Journalism students should consider taking ENGL 315: Advanced Reporting and  ENGL 330: Computer Assisted Journalism if they have taken ENGL 313 already.

Students who have ESL concentrations should take ENGL 460: Teaching ESL: Speaking and Listening this semester.

Please note that English BSE students who are preparing to register for Sophomore Bloc must have their clearances to register.

EAPSU Conference 2017 at Kutztown University

This fall’s English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities (EAPSU) Conference was held at Kutztown University from October 5-7th.  Professors and students from all 14 PASSHE universities attended the conference, including outstanding English majors selected from these institutions.

Literary Journalist Ted Conover
Literary Journalist Ted Conover

The keynote speaker was Ted Conover, a literary journalist who had done immersion journalism in challenging venues like Sing Sing (see his book Newjack or article “Guarding Sing Sing“), slaughterhouses (“The Way of All Flesh“), the East African AIDS belt (“Trucking through the AIDS Belt“), and freight cars.  While he treated the audience to excerpts from Newjack, his insights focused on the techniques of immersive journalism, which are covered in his new book Immersion: A Writer’s Guide to Going Deep.  

Sessions in the conference covered topics ranging from the future of English Studies to ways to teach students how not to plagiarize.  English Chair Dr. Jill Craven participated in the Chairs’ Roundtable on Saturday morning with Dr. Andy Vogel, English Chair of Kutztown, where the two led discussion with English faculty and students about strategies to address the challenges facing English Departments.

Outstanding English Major Mariah Miller
Outstanding English Major Mariah Miller

Outstanding English Major Mariah Miller presented her paper entitled “The Human Condition: Exploring Misconfigured Realities in Donnie Darko and Fight Club,” which she had completed for English 237: Literary Research and Analysis, at a panel on Friday afternoon.  Along with the other Outstanding English Majors, Miller received her Outstanding English Major award and an anthology of Shakespeare in a lunch ceremony earlier in the day.

The next EAPSU spring conference for undergraduates will be held at Lock Haven in spring 2018. The next fall conference, for faculty, is at Shippensburg in the fall of 2018.  Undergraduates who wish to attend the conference should apply for Noonan grants in spring.  Faculty and students should consider forming panels for the conference from class projects.

~ Jill Craven


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