Spring Speakers Series: “Quilting as Art and Life”

by Misha Saeedpour

On Monday, April 15th students and faculty joined Dr. Robbie Pinter in McWhorter Hall 102 for the English Department’s final installation of the Spring Speakers Series. Dr. Pinter’s lecture focused on the importance of quilting within the Lakota Sioux tribes and how one can analyze their inception, development, and rhetoric as a way to further learn the stories of the tribe’s women. She sees quilts as a metaphor for life – the top layer representing artistic expression, the second representing a filler layer in life, and the third layer representing a durable foundation.

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While the Lakota women already knew how to sew and work with textiles, it was the arrival of European missionaries in the 1900s that taught them to sew using European styles. Lakota quilts are often presented as symbolic gifts to remember loved ones or represent honor, as well as to mark important moments in life like marriage and childbirth. Quilting quickly became an important part of the Lakota cultural practice because it not only served as a way for them to bring money into their homes, but also as a way for them to find their voices and share their stories.

After Dr. Pinter’s presentation there was a brief Q&A session for students and faculty who wanted to dive deeper into the history of Lakota quilting.

Pine Ridge Bake Sale Sets New Record

by Misha Saeedpour

On April 15th and 16th, the English Club held their annual bake sale in the McWhorter lobby. All proceedings from the bake sale go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, to benefit their Boys and Girls Literacy program. This year we made around $1,300, which set a new bake sale record!

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Katie, Olivia, and Anna doing their part!

Ben Thomas Wins Professionalism Award

At yesterday’s Campus-Wide Student Leadership Awards, BU English major Ben Thomas won the newly-developed Professionalism Award for his work ethic as an intern for the Nashville Public Library Foundation. This award is a university-wide recognition through the Office of Career & Professional Development. Congratulations on winning this award, Ben!

English Majors Honored at CLASS Awards

A number of English majors were honored at the annual College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Awards Day yesterday afternoon.

The Richard J. Fallis Award, given annually to the student who demonstrated the most improvement during first-year writing, was awarded to Jacob Holland and his essay, “The Repackaging: The Story of America’s Tobacco Industry” which he wrote in Professor Murray’s First Year writing class.

L to R: Sydney Queen, Gabriela Gonzales, Anna Clark, Jacqueline Karneth, Ben Thomas, Jacob Holland, and Emily Allen. Not pictured: Em Craig, Victoria Pan.

Winners of the James A. King award, given for the most outstanding papers in responses to class assignments, were Emily Allen, for “Snorri’s Edda and the Purpose of Myth over Time,” written for Professor Monteverde’s Peoples of Ragnarok course; Anna Clark, for “Edgar Allan Poe, King of Memes: A History of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ and Its Interpretation” written for Professor Curtis’s Edgar Allan Poe course; and Em Craig for “Mbmbam and Its Binos: An Analysis of the McElroy Brothers and Their Community of Apology and Growth” written for Professor Overall’s Sound and Persuasion course.

The Corinne Dale Award, given annually to the most outstanding papers focused particularly on issues of gender in response to class assignments, was won by Jacqueline Karneth for her essay, “Steinbeck’s Cathy Trask as Bruja: Chimeran Possibilities and the Limitations of ‘Woman’” written for Professor Trout’s Senior Seminar in English Studies course.

The Ruby Treadway Award is given annually to outstanding students in Creative Writing. This year’s winners were Gabriela Gonzales, for “Wordswordswords”; and Sydney Queen, for “Stockholm.” Both of these works were nominated from Professor Susan Finch’s Creative Writing classes.

Last but certainly not least, outstanding performance over an entire college career as an English major was recognized.

The Carl J. Chaney Award award–given annually to a student who demonstrates academic excellence while also showing evidence of broad interests in varied fields of study and must exhibit in everyday life appreciation for integrity, refinement, enthusiasm, and a superior quality of life–was awarded to Ben Thomas.

The Virginia Chaney Award–similarly given to a student who must demonstrate academic excellence while also showing evidence of broad interests in varied fields of study and must exhibit in everyday life appreciation for integrity, refinement, enthusiasm, and a superior quality of life–was awarded to Victoria Pan.

Congratulations, everyone!

2019 Take Back the Night

by Misha Saeedpour

Thursday, April 4th was Belmont’s Annual Take Back the Night event, held in the Janet Ayers Chapel. Dr. Amy Hodges-Hamilton opened the event with some saddening statistics about assault in America and then introduced Rochelle Brock, the Director of Ministry Development at Leaving the Cocoon. Afterwards, she called up eight students from her Writing in the Community class from the fall 2018 semester who had worked with Brock and seven other women from Leaving the Cocoon. They had spent the semester listening to the stories of these women and writing letters from their point of view. During the event these students read from their work, moving the students and faculty in attendance. After their performance Rochelle Brock was invited to take the stage, where she spoke more about her story and the work Leaving the Cocoon does to help women who are victims of assault.

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Those in attendance were then encouraged to participate in the Take Back the Night march around campus, to further promote awareness about assault.

Afterwards, we reconvened for a short vigil to close out the night.

Spring Speaker’s Series: “Give Your Ideas Legs”

by Misha Saeedpour

On Wednesday, April 3rd faculty and students joined Dr. Smith-Whitehouse in the Janet Ayers Conference Center to celebrate National Walking Day with her presentation on how walking can influence creativity. After talking about her history with walking and why it is important to her, Dr. Smith-Whitehouse went on to discuss reasons why we walk – reasons like to create change or for our own spiritual state. She referenced passages from her book Afoot and Lighthearted: A Journal for Mindful Walking, and mentioned other writers who were fond of walking, such as Charles Dickens and Friedrich Nietzsche. She closed the presentation by expanding on how walking inspires creative ideation, in real time and after the walk.

Give Your Ideas Legs
Dr. Andrea Stover and Dr. Bonnie Smith-Whitehouse

After the presentation, Dr. Smith-Whitehouse (joined by Dr. Stover) invited students to walk a couple laps with her around The Lawn as a way to get their creative juices flowing for the rest of the day.

Sigma Tau Delta Induction Honors Excellence in English Studies

Last Monday, ten BU English majors were officially inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honors Society. Family, faculty, and friends gathered in the Janet Ayers Conference Center to watch the cording ceremony. After opening remarks by Sigma Tau Delta sponsor Dr. Charmion Gustke, the honorees were corded by faculty members. Congratulations to these wonderful English majors!

L to R: Kelsey Beyeler, Ben Thomas, Jacqueline Karneth, A.J. Gatrell, Reide Irwin, Mac Ogle, Sarah Cullen, Devin Bradbury, Anna Clark, and Michael Meadows.