Tag Archives: Jill Craven

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

 

Writing Center Opening

On Monday September 18th the new Writing Center in McNairy Library had its grand opening. The Center had been open for a week already and our staff was busy tutoring students. There were still some kinks to be worked out in respect to technology and staffing, but students started to come in the first day the Center was open.

Monday’s celebration included an address by university president John Anderson and Provost Vilas Prabhu. Associate Provost Jeff Adams organized the opening and introduced the speakers. Dean Diane Umble was in attendance as was Chair of English Jill Craven. Students and staff from the library and faculty in English were also present.

IMG_6175The new space in McNairy Library is spectacular. As you enter the library from George St., you see the can’t-miss sign: The Writing Center at MU above the glass front of room 106. Inside, the room is open and bright, with a floor-to-ceiling window, and an impossibly high ceiling. The manager’s table sits right inside the room; it’s where appointments are made. Tutoring is done at tables in the middle of the room and on the right wall. Soon we will have wall hangings that present the writing process in colorful posters. Later in the semester new furniture will arrive that will make the space more comfortable. Already students are finding the new Writing Center–how could they miss it–and we predict that our numbers will soar. We are no longer a hidden jewel, but a collaborative star in the firmament of library and university student services.

We want to thank Jeff Adams and Diane Umble for facilitating the Writing Center’s move to McNairy Library. The move would not have been possible, however, without Jill Craven’s unflagging commitment to the Writing Center as well as writing across the disciplines at Millersville. We see the move as a win win win win for English, the library, the administration, and students. Come to the new Writing Center and see us grow!

–Dr. Bill Archibald

Videos of the Grand Opening

Film Club takes Toronto and its International Film Festival

This September, seven Millersville students traveled with Dr. Jill Craven to Toronto to join film industry professionals at the Toronto International Film Festival, which ran September 7-17th.

Millersville Students representing at TIFF on King Street in Toronto
Millersville Students representing at TIFF on King Street in Toronto

The group arrived in Toronto on the 8th, and they immediately started to view films and take in the film culture that surrounded them.  Overall, they viewed 12-13 features plus shorts, including

  • Kodachrome, with director Mark Raso and stars Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, and Elizabeth Olsen
  • Verónica, with director Paco Plaza and 16-year-old star Sandra Escacena
  • I, Tonya with director Craig Gillespie and stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney
  • I Love You, Daddy with director Louis CK
  • Gala/Premiere for Mary Shelley with director Haifaa Al-Mansour and star Elle Fanning
  • The Premiere for Brad’s Status, with director Mike White, Ben Stiller, and cast
  • Midnight Madness film Mom and Dad, with director Brian Taylor, and Nick Cage with Selma Blair
  • Suburbicon with director George Clooney
  • Woman Walks Ahead with director Susanna White and starJessica Chastain
  • Submergence, with director Wim Wenders
  • Short Cuts with discussions by various directors
  • mother! with director Darren Aronofsky
  • Premiere of 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri with director Martin McDonagh and stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell
  • Premiere of The Shape of Water with director Guillermo del Toro, and stars Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer

Each film screening had a discussion following where the directors and cast took questions from an interviewer and audience members.  The Millersville group found Aronofsky’s insights about mother! so fascinating that they are looking forward to seeing the film again when it opens this weekend.  Overall, the group found mother!, 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri, and I, Tonya the most intriguing films of the festival.

In addition to the film screenings, the group attended an industry session featuring 3 female film directors, including Angela Robinson and Brie Larson, both of whom had films at the festival.  English major Rashna Yousef posed a great question to the directors, getting an extended personal response.  See Rashna’s question to Brie Larson and the directors’ responses on YouTube.

TIFF Higher Education’s Jessica Lam also gave the group a tour of TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Film Reference Library, which is available to all film researchers free of charge.

Falls Cruise
Rashna, Kayla, and Hunter after the Honrblower Cruise into the Falls

On the way back, the group stopped at Niagara Falls to take in one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders.  In addition, they checked out the kitschy town.

Overall, the trip was tremendous learning experience.  In addition to expanding our travel experience into neighboring Canada, the group negotiated a complex festival and even got to ask questions of directors like Darren Aronofsky and Brie Larson.

Niagara WalkStudents who attended included senior and Film Club member Hunter Barrick, future English teacher Zach Richardson, Kayla Rishell, Autumn Kandrick, senior Jordan Ettien, English major Rashna Yousaf, and Film Club president Spencer Goodrich.  Trips leaders were Dr. Jill Craven, Film Professor and Chair of English, and Kevin Ghaffari, SUNY Binghamton Fly by Night and Student Association Film Series programmer.

–Jill Craven