May 2013

Department Notepad: a collection of our graduating majors and minors and their post-graduation plans. Click the image to the left to view.

A Bouquet of Tributes for our Retirees

Bev on the Brink:

A Bouquet of Tributes for 26 years of service:

On behalf of the English Web, faculty editor Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English) offers an audio tribute to our departing Administrative Assistant, Bev Radaich, who has left an indelible mark on all of our departmental resources and faculty, after 26 years of faithful service to the mission of the English Department.

Luke Mancuso offers a brief tribute, and reads excerpts of Walt Whitman's 1860 poem, "So Long!," a prominent poem in American poetics. Listen to the podcast.

To read a bouquet of written tributes to Bev by colleagues and students, click here.

"She liked and respected us so much":

A Bouquet of Tributes to S. Mara Faulkner (Associate Professor of English):

S. Mara Faulkner was invited to reflect on her 34 years as an English department member, and legendary teacher of scores of students in a diverse array of courses. Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English ) posed several ruminative questions, which Mara has responded to here in a written interview format.

A Captivating Catalogue of Teacher's Secrets:

Sr. Mara Faulkner (Associate Professor of English) engages in a lively conversation with Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English) about her nearly four decades of teaching hundreds and hundreds of students here at CSB/SJU. Sr. Mara is a recipient of the Sr. Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award, and unfolds her deck of pedagogical cards in a candid set of stories and anecdotes about her teacher's craft.

Sr. Mara also projects herself forward into the future horizon, in order to imagine her faculty retirement after the Spring Term 2013.

To listen to the audio feature, click here.

Mara Faulkner: The Crafty Crucible of the Writing Workshop: 
Mara Faulkner (Associate Professor of English) engages in an audio recording of a writer's workshop, with four of her Creative Writing students, on their works-in-progress. Listen to podcast. (60 minutes).

Literature "Lets us know we are not alone":

A Bouquet of Tributes to Ozzie Mayers (Professor of English):

Sabbatical Musings and Gender Leadership in our Communities:

Ozzie Mayers (Professor of English) talks with Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English) about his recent projects, and his pioneering role in gender education initiatives here at CSB/SJU. (click Ozzie's picture to listen)

Au Revoir to Ozzie-An Interview with Luke Mancuso:

After 34 years of constant English Department service, the English Web bids adieu to Ozzie Mayers (Professor of English), who has responded to a set of searching questions by interviewer Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English), and you can read his compelling answers here.

"A silky, slimy tribute" from Madhu Mitra (Professor of English): Read it here.

Ozzie's Fiery Tongue:

Ozzie has also left us his tantalizing essays, which you can read and listen to in"Fiery Tongues, Hurricanes, and Coming Out: Louisiana Cajun Inflections": Ozzie Mayers (Professor of English) reads two of his personal essays, "Tongues of Fire" and "Coming Out in the Hurricane" in an audio recording of the text. (text and audio) (28 minutes) Listen to podcast.  (Click here for full text).

Ozzie's Rendez-Vous in the Recording Studio:

Angeline Dufner (English Professor Emerita) returns to donate her voice to the chorus of tributes to our departed colleague, Sally Melton (1929-2012), as well as to address her own legendary,decades-long practice of the teacherly craft here at CSB/SJU. Angie tells her friend and colleague Ozzie Mayers (Professor of English) about her energetic roster of post-retirement engagements here in central Minnesota. Audio feature.

Seeing Voices

Chris Bolin (English Instructor):

Presidents' Community Partner Award - ENGL 211 and Discovery Elementary School

The English Department's partnership with Discovery Elementary School has been recognized with the Presidents' Community Partner Award.

This partnership, created by faculty member, Chris Bolin, and Discovery Principal, Shawn Gombos, involves school-day and after-school creative-writing programming, provided by CSB/SJU students.  It also employs the English Department's first AmeriCorps member, Kit Chambers, to help sustain and expand this valuable partnership. "This award is for a community-based organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and has engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with the college or university, thus enriching educational as well as community outcomes."

The wonderful work of English 211 students, AmeriCorps member Kit Chambers, and the 4th and 5th grade teachers of Discovery Elementary School deserves such recognition.

Watch a video podcast here, in which Chris engages in a lively conversation with Kit Chambers (CSB 2013), Caitlin Coleman (CSB 2013), Sammi Keller (CSB 2015), Melissa Torgerson (CSB 2016).

English as the Passport to the World:

A lively video interview with English majors Tyler Speltz, Matt Doyle, and Will Moore (SJU 2013) by Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English), in which these articulate graduates reflect on their pleasures and challenges as English majors in the CSB/SJU communities over the last four years. Watch the video here.

Hearing Voices

Disputed Identities-An interview with Deborah Baker

Award-winning author Deborah Baker speaks about her arresting conversion narrative to Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English) and Kevin Windhauser (SJU 2014). Deborah Baker's The Convert has won the CSB S. Mariella Gable Prize. Baker recounts the conversion of Margaret Marcus, a young Jewish woman from New York, to Islam. As Lorraine Adams notes in the New York Times review, "Baker . . . has succeeded in composing a mesmerizing book on one of the more curious East-West encounters. She proves . . . how a marginal case can be an illuminating way into vast and much disputed subjects, in this instance the meeting of West and East and the role of women under orthodox Islam." Read a review of The Convert here.

To listen to the interview click the image to the left.

Chris Bolin:
Pushing Against Words:
Chris Bolin(English Instructor)
joins Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English) for an audio conversation about his poetic craft, and the bonus of an author's reading from his growing body of poetic work. Chris holds an MFA in poetry from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, and currently teaches First-Year Seminar in the CSB/SJU Common Curriculum department. (58 minutes) Listen to podcast.

Chris Bolin has published his first collection of poems with the prestigious University of Iowa Press poetry series.

Congratulations to Chris.

Reading Voices

A Tale of Two Paths that Diverged in Collegeville:

Two articulate members of the SJU English Class of 2009 (Brandon Drazich and Nik Nadeau) have composed an autobiographical essay, highlighting several strands of their compelling post-commencement adventures, that keep them in related but distinct pathways of alum friendship and aspirations. Click here to read the lyrical essay about working with publication editors, peace activists, and medical school-qualifying classes and students.

Threatening the "Decorous Order": Class Antagonisms in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!:

Jacob Harris (SJU 2013)

"Anyone familiar with Faulkner knows the challenge of reading his work. That challenge was part of my motivation for making Absalom, Absalom! the subject of my senior Capstone paper. For me, the joy of working with Faulkner springs from the fact that his prose is often both incredibly beautiful and completely impossible to understand. Half of the challenge in reading a book like Absalomis trying to understand what's going on. But in clearing that hurdle(which might require a couple reads), the discovery of meaning becomes that much more pleasurable. Here, I've excerpted one section of my project, which focuses on the relationship between class-conflict and the production of racist sentiment. A quick pre-lude: the excerpt is my discussion of Rosa, the sister-in-law-turned-marital-prospect of the story's main character, Thomas Sutpen, who left his poor family as a teenager to try his hand at building a plantation dynasty (Spoiler alert: it didn't work). "Read the insightful essay here.

Tierney Chlan (CSB 2015):  "Looking Through Windows," an award-winning short story:

The English Department is pleased to announce that Tierney Chlan (CSB 2015) has won this year's Wagner-Berger Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing for her story "Through Windows". Tierney is a sophomore English and Communication major from Lonsdale, MN. The $1000 Wagner-Berger Prize is awarded annually for the best original work of fiction written by a College of Saint Benedict student. Look for Tierney's story this spring in Studio One. To read the story, click here.

There is No Shame in Shame:

Fantasy and Desire in Shame by Steve McQueen:

A critical essay by Pat DeSutter (SJU 2013): "The films of Steve McQueen sparked an interest in me due to their intensely visceral and wholly subjective nature. Professor Luke Mancuso recommended that I watch Shame, and it was a rich object of analysis using some of the psychoanalytic concepts that I had recently been introduced to. Shame has a lot to say about fantasy, demand, and desire - and I hope that readers will enjoy my attempt to uncover the film's (Lacanian) psychoanalytic meaning."  Watch the film trailer here. Read Pat's incisive essay here.