Recent Faculty News

Massacre-final-coverJay Atkinson‘s new book, Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America (Globe Pequot/October 2015), went to a third printing in March. Also, to commemorate the May 15th publication of Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews, by Ted Geltner, Atkinson published an essay on his late mentor and friend entitled “The Passion for the Thing: An Argument for Harry Crews”. It appeared on in early May.

Brandy Barents‘ photography was published in the spring 2015 issue of the American Literary Review.

Gavin Benke

In February, Gavin Benke presented a paper on Enron and the politics of climate change as part of the 2016 Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency: “The President and American Capitalism since 1945” at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. An expanded version of his presentation will be included as a chapter in a forthcoming edited book to be published by the University of Florida Press.

painted thing

Carrie Bennett‘s book of poetry, The Land is a Painted Thing, was published in March. A review from the publisher’s site: “Sharply chiseled prose blocks build into a world insidiously sinister and delicately haunting, a world built of details accruing an eerie chorus. But amid an atmosphere of slow-motion terror, there is also hope—because there is agency. There is a ‘we,’ and we have a plan. And we have a map. Bennett has given us a finely tuned emotional primer for dark times.”


Amy Bennett-Zendzian‘s essay on gift theory in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, “‘What I did was a radical thing’: Panem’s Corrupted Gift Economy,” just came out in Lana Whited’s edited collection Critical Insights: The Hunger Games Trilogy from Salem Press. In other news, she will be presenting on young adult science fiction adaptations of fairy tales at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Columbus, OH in mid-June. She is also directing a new play, “Ultimate Things” by Carl Danielson, with Unreliable Narrator Theater Group — that will be at BU’s own Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in early July.

craft of research

With William T. FitzGerald of Rutgers University, Joe Bizup has edited the fourth edition of Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams’s classic guide The Craft of Research (2016). In its first three editions, this book sold over 700,000 copies. Joe hopes there are still a few readers out there who have yet to get theirs. From the publisher: “Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Reasearch a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.”

Allison Blyler has poetry in the upcoming summer issue of Prairie Schooner.

Seth Blumenthal‘s article Nixon’s Marijuana Problem: Youth Politics and ‘Law and Order,’ 1968–72″ on marijuana and the gateway theory was published in The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture in February. He was also interviewed on Harvard’s “Science by the Pint” series where he discussed marijuana science. 


On April 13, Jessica Bozek hosted An Evening of Documentary Poetry that brought local poet and educator Simone John together with four students from her WR100/150 classes (Interrogating Race in Contemporary America) this year. Simone read from her new documentary poetry project, a chapbook called Collateral, which gives a voice to Sandra Bland and other women of color who are often marginalized in conversations about race and violence. The students read from alternative genre assignments, poetic scripts for victims of police brutality/systemic racism, including Tanisha Anderson, Michael Brown, India Kager, and Tamir Rice. These scripts combined research and speculation, to acknowledge the limitations of pure fact and convey the emotional truth of a situation. The best part of the event was the lively conversation among participants and audience members after the reading.

Tridha Chatterjee‘s article, “Structural Changes in Bengali–English Bilingual Verbs through the Exploration of Bengali Films,” was published in the 2016 Special Issue: Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity of the journal Languages. She presented her paper “Structural changes and stylistic choices: The case of Bengali-English bilingual verbs” at the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics Winter Meeting in Washington D.C on January 9, 2016.

Pary Fassihi has been selected as the Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow. As a CTL fellow Pary will engage in a variety of program activities over the summer in order to develop and refine her teaching skills in relation to flipped classroom models.

Soomin Jwa, with Dr. Christine M. Tardy, co-authored “Composition Studies and EAP,” a chapter of the Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes, a state-of-the-art review chapter exploring the ways in which composition studies and English for Academic Purposes, in spite of different historical origins, have disciplinary alignments. 

Somy Kim‘s film review of Justin Semien’s 2014 Dear White People was published in the Spring 2016 issue of Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies. In March, she and Kim Shuckra-Gomez presented on the panel “Teaching Writing in the Foreign Language Classroom” that brought together faculty from the CAS Writing Program and the departments of World Languages & Literatures and Romance Studies.

Sarah Madsen-Hardy, Gwen Kordonowy, and Marisa Milanese‘s proposal for the Writing Program’s first upper-division course, Writing 415: Public Writing, was just accepted by the university. To be offered in Spring 2017, the two-unit course is open to students who have passed WR150 (or its equivalent). WR 415 students will learn about the growing call for scholars to communicate their research to the public, study and practice several public genres, and rewrite a research project from a previous course to “translate” it for a public audience.

Anna Panszczyk presented a paper titled “Pictureless Picture Books: The Metafictional Nature of Blank Spaces in Children’s Picture Book” at the College English Association (CEA) conference in Denver, CO this past April.

Joelle Renstrom is now the Daily Beast’s robot columnist, and has been published there a bunch this winter/spring.

Holly Schaaf published a feature article in The Arts Fuse, “Willing Suspension Productions Celebrates The Sea Voyage and a Glorious Anniversary” which focused on the current production and tenth anniversary of the revival of BU English’s Willing Suspension Productions, a theater company in which Holly was involved as a producer during her graduate school years.

Lesley Yoder and Kim Shuckra-Gomez presented on “Academic Writing Issues Faced by College-Bound ESL Students” at CELOP‘s Professional Development Day in March.


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