Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

Sheri Wells-Jensen on NPR’s Science Friday

Posted by bgsuenglish on November 21, 2016

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen was interviewed on Science Friday about the new movie Arrival.  She was featured as an expert in xenolinguistics, the study of the hypothetical languages of alien beings.


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The First Four

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 17, 2013

Here’s a post from Simon Morgan-Russell, Professor in English and newly appointed Dean of the Honors College:

[T]his short film is perhaps a little tangential to English at BGSU, but it’s about the first four female faculty hired at Lehigh University and the obstacles they faced as female academics in the 1970s – interesting perspectives, certainly. Of the four, three of them (Barbara, Rosemary, and Betsy) all taught both myself and Stephannie (Gearhart).  Barbara was the chair of both our dissertations) and touched our lives in significant ways . . . as well as the lives of other BGSU students who went to Lehigh for graduate study, such as Nate Eastman, Liz Vogstberger, and Emily Shreve

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Theresa Williams profiled in campus newspaper

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 28, 2013

photo booth 3

Click on the link to read a profile of our very own Theresa Williams in today’s edition of The BG News, BGSU’s student run campus newspaper.

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Gender, Family, and Fear: The Case of Contagion

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 3, 2012


Please join the BGSU Women’s Center this Friday, April 6th, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. for a talk by Associate Professor of English Dr. Bill Albertini, entitled “Gender, Family, and Fear: The Case of Contagion.”

Popular representations of contagious disease have historically focused on the danger posed by bodies coming into contact, especially those bodies tagged as public health problems through markers of race or ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, class, and gender, such as the famous case of “Typhoid Mary.” Contagious disease is popularly understood as a spreading through physical contact and is thus treated as something to be investigated, tracked, blocked from transmission, and inoculated against. However, stories of contagion inevitably focus not just on disease transmission, but emotional fallout, especially fear and grief. Bill’s talk examines recent representations of contagious disease—especially the 2011 film Contagion—and pays special attention to the film’s use of gender and the heterosexual family to explore contagion.

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Stephannie Gearhart, BGSU Master Teacher, brings Shakespeare to life for wary students

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 3, 2012

Our very own Dr. Stephannie Gearhart, Assistant Professor of English, has been awarded the 2012 Master Teacher Award!


Here is BGSU’s press release announcing the honor:

A faculty member with an infectious passion for British literature has been chosen by the students as the 2012 Master Teacher. Dr. Stephannie Gearhart, an assistant professor of English, has taught at Bowling Green State University for six years, sharing her love of Shakespeare and inspiring students to tackle difficult texts to find the meaning within.

Along with the admiration of her many students, Gearhart received a $1,000 check, presented by the Student Alumni Connection at the Faculty Recognition Reception March 29. The Master Teacher is the highest teaching award given by the University because students select the recipient.

In today’s fast-paced, technology-saturated environment, it might come as a surprise that students would choose a professor whose work is so firmly rooted in the past, but Gearhart bridges the divide of time and takes her students with her.

“Stephannie is one of the most caring and knowledgeable teachers I have ever met,” wrote nominator Kala Zink. “She loves the subject she teaches and is so passionate about what she’s learning that she shows that through her teaching. There is never a dull moment or boring subject when Stephannie is teaching. She also loves to teach — you can see that by just sitting in one small section of class. I loved going to her class.”

Making Shakespeare come alive seems to be her specialty. Wrote nominator Maggie Long, “She is a dedicated educator who tries her best to make sure her students are engaged in the material and understand the real world applicability of what many students find to be a dense and boring subject.”

“Stephannie is an amazing professor and deserves this more than anyone I know,” Zink said.

In her own research, Gearhart is especially interested in age relations in early modern English literature and culture and is at work on a book about drama and generational conflicts in Shakespeare’s England.

Gearhart received her bachelor’s degree from BGSU and her master’s and doctorate from Lehigh University, all in English.

Congratulations Stephannie!

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Primavera Gala reading

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 31, 2012

[L-R] Lawrence Coates, College of Arts & Sciences Dean Simon Morgan-Russell, and Bill Albertini share a joke after Lawrence read excerpts from his new novel The Garden of the World, Friday March 30 on campus, as part of the Primavera Gala sponsored by the BGSU Medici Circle. Photo by Jolie Sheffer.

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One Pause Poetry Celebrates National Poetry Month: A Triple Header Reading with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jennifer Chang, and Khaled Mattawa

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 27, 2012

One Pause Poetry Series welcomes nationally acclaimed poets Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jennifer Chang, and Khaled Mattawa to their new reading location: METAL, at 220 Felch Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

All three poets are known for their highly lyric and accessible work. Khaled Mattawa’s prizes and fellowships include a Guggenheim and an Academy of American Poets Prize, and Jennifer Chang and Aimee Nezhukumatathil have both been named “Poets to Watch, Under Forty” by former Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Nezhukumatathil is the recipient of an NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. Chang co-chairs Kundiman, an organization dedicated to the creation, cultivation, and promotion of Asian-American poetry.

The 7 p.m. reading on April 6 will be followed by a recorded public conversation on Saturday morning, April 7, at 10:30am. The poets will discuss their poetic process, inspirations, and why poetry matters.

April 6, 7-9 p.m.: Reading with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jennifer Chang, and Khaled Mattawa. Reception and book-signing to follow.

April 7, 10:30 a.m.-noon: Conversations with Poets: Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jennifer Chang, and Khaled Mattawa. One Pause Director Sarah Messer will interview the poets, and. the interview will be recorded and archived as a part of the One Pause Archive Project.

All readings and conversations are FREE and open to the public. Location: METAL, 220 Felch Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

One Pause Poetry is part of the nonprofit arts organization Copper Colored Mountain Arts, which serves Southeastern Michigan. The One Pause poetry series is named after the 15th-century poet Ikkyu Sojun. In 15th century Japan, one was not considered human if they did not read, write, and know poetry, so ingrained was poetry in the culture. It’s something One Pause aspires to here and now. One Pause presents a series of FREE public readings each year, an annual fall conference, lectures, and workshops.

One Pause Poetry and its programs are sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

CONTACT: Sarah Messer, One Pause Poetry

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Dancing With Freud

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 15, 2012

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Lawrence Coates’ new novel explores wine-making, crime . . .

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 13, 2012

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Lawrence Coates‘ third novel was published February 28 by University of Nevada Press. Lawrence graciously agreed to tell us a little about the creative process that went into the writing of the novel:

The Garden of the World is the tale of a pioneering winemaking family headed by Paul Tourneau, a fiercely ambitious vintner determined to make the finest wine in California.  His plans are disrupted by a phylloxera epidemic at the beginning of the twentieth century, the trials of national Prohibition, and the bitter alienation of his older son.

I came upon the anecdote that inspired The Garden of the World while doing research for my first novel, The Blossom Festival.  The year was 1928, and Prohibition was in effect, and vineyards were going bankrupt or barely hanging on by selling sacramental wine or grapes for the home winemaking market.  Then, a robbery was reported at the vineyard of Paul Masson, in the hills above Saratoga, the town where my mother grew up.  The initial report stated that $400,000 worth of wine was stolen, a fabulous sum in the twenties.  The robbery was never solved, and some conjectured that Paul Masson had arranged to have himself robbed, in order to move some product out of his cellars.

The story gave me a good excuse to spend time learning about grape growing and winemaking in California, which have long been interests of mine.  I spent time in the Napa Valley Wine Library in St. Helena, and the Sonoma County Wine Library in Healdsburg, reading old books about viticulture by Eunice Frona Wait, Agoston Haraszthy, Edward J. Wickson, and others.  I read oral histories about winemaking in the California History Center at De Anza College.  And I talked with Dave Muret, then with Mirassou Winery, about the history of winemaking in the Santa Clara Valley.

The novel I ended up writing is only loosely based on the story of Paul Masson, though it does end with a vineyard being robbed.  Still, while reading about Masson, Haraszthy, Niebaum, and other early winemakers in California, I began to see them as representative figures of the West.  They were pioneers, founders, the kind of men who could build something large and leave damage in their wake.  There’s a certain ruthlessness in their ambition – it’s not completely admirable, but it’s not to be completely condemned either – and the damage they cause has consequences that they might not have foreseen when they began.

Congratulations to Lawrence! His novel can be purchased from the usual fine booksellers!

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Jennifer Chang is a young poet to watch

Posted by bgsuenglish on February 19, 2012

Our very own Jennifer Chang, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, has been cited by former Poet Laureate Rita Dove as one of a handful of young poets whose work she is “following with great hope.” Read more about Jennifer’s work at Bill Moyers website.

Jennifer’s The History of Anonymity was published in 2008 and her work has been featured in the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poetry Series and Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (2004).

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