Belmont English Welcomes Three New Tenure-Track Faculty

New FacultyThis fall, the Belmont English Department added three tenure-track faculty members to its ranks.  Each hire was the result of a national search that began in 2012 and concluded in the spring of 2013.  The new faculty, pictured at left (L to R), are Joel Overall, Jayme Yeo, and Susan Finch.  Please join in welcoming these new members of the department!

Joel Overall (Ph.D., Texas Christian University) has teaching and research interests that include rhetorical theory, composition, multimodal rhetoric, new media, Kenneth Burke studies, and the rhetoric of music.

Jayme Yeo (Ph.D, Rice University) researches Renaissance devotional poetry, nationalism, and civil unrest, and also works in gender studies and early travel narratives. Her research has inspired service-learning courses that pair poetry with activism, and she has also taught courses in Shakespeare, film, and modern British literature. Her writing courses often ask students to analyze culture through literary metaphors, including one that investigates monsters as figures of cultural anxiety and desire. Her work has appeared in Intersections: Yearbook for Early Modern Studies and Literature and Theology.

Susan Finch (Ph.D., Florida State University) specializes in Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction. She writes both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has appeared in Carve, The Louisville Review, PANK Magazine, The Portland Review, among others. Her research interests include the novel, the short story, creative nonfiction, and children’s literature.

English Graduate Students Present Papers Abroad

Literary_London_Conference-2Three students in Belmont’s Master’s of Arts in English program had papers selected for presentation at recent international conferences. Jamie E. Pack presented a paper on “Dark Passages: Femicide in the Gothic” at the International Gothic Conference hosted by the University of Surrey in Guildford, England on August 5 through 8. Her paper was selected for presentation in a session featuring papers by leading scholars of Daphne du Maurier and the female gothic.

Selected for presentation at the Literary London conference, hosted by the University of London on July 17 through 19, were Alexandra Rose’s “Gardens of Earthly Delights: Sites of Sexual Deviance in Eliza Haywood’s London” and Hillary Rector’s “For Pleasure, Profit and Propriety: Social Criminality and Community in ‘The Importance of Being Ernest.’” The Literary London conference featured addresses and papers by international scholars on representations of London in literature and other media.  Pictured above (L to R) are Hillary Rector, Alexandra Rose, and Dr. Doug Murray.

Murray Leads Study Abroad Trip to London, Downton Abbey

Dr. Doug Murray, Professor of English, led a London study abroad trip entitled, “The Road to Downton Abbey: The English Country House in Fact & Fiction” for the first time this summer. The class read poems and novels centering on country houses while touring some of the most famous ones found in literature. This literature included Ian McEwan’s “Atonement” and Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

Among the sites the class visited were Chawton House, owned by Jane Austen’s brother,   and Highclere Castle, where the “Downton Abbey” TV series is filmed. The series follows the fortunes of the fictional Grantham family, hereditary owners of Downton Abbey. This series is the most recent chapter in a conversation about the stately homes of England, places which have been depicted as sites of hospitality, beauty, and wealth as well as reminders of social satisfaction and injustice.

One student in the class, Hallie Caddy, captured her experiences in a blog that can be found here:

About the class, senior Katie Mulrai noted:  “Taking the Road to Downton Abbey class was my neatest collegiate experience to date. It was amazing to visit the various country houses of England while studying them. We were so lucky to be able to visit Highclere Castle where the show was filmed, as tickets are sold out throughout the next year.”

Country Houses Course