Dr. Joel Overall presented at the New American Colleges and Universities (NACU) Digital Scholarship Workshop, held at St. Edwards University in Austin, TX. The three-day NACU workshop aimed to foster digital collaboration between colleagues from NACU affiliated schools, and Overall presented his work on the Nashville Shakespeare Digital Archive (http://www.joeloverall.com/nashvilleshakes.html) as an example of digital scholarship at Belmont.
On September 3, Dr. Charmion Gustke presented “Out West: Broken Bodies in the Work of Willa Cather and Dorothea Lange” at the Western Literature Conference in Big Sky, Montana. In this paper, Gustke contextualizes Cather’s short story collection Obscure Destinies within the frame of Dorothea Lange’s photographs of the economic and environmental ruin of the 1930’s. Furthermore, the piece highlight the political injuries, damaged bodies, and spatial disorder of Cather’s most western characters.
On October 27th, a group of students from Dr. Amy Hodges Hamilton’s Exploratory Writing class attended an evening with Dorothy Allison at Austin Peay State University. Allison is the 2016-2017 Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence at APSU and is an award-winning writer, poet and novelist. Allison read from her work, and after her keynote address, she spoke individually with the Belmont student-writers about their responses to Bastard Out of Carolina, their writing pursuits and interests, and then signed their books.
Five faculty members from the Belmont English Department presented at the Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, held this year from October 20-22 on the University of Louisville campus. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the conference addressed ideas connected to “Mobility Work in Composition: Translation, Migration, Transformation.” The Belmont presenters and their paper titles are as follows:
- Dr. Amy Hodges Hamilton, “The Personal is Political: Taking Risks through Personal Writing in the Composition Classroom”
- Dr. Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, “Risky Pedagogy: Reviving the Peripatetic Tradition in a Course on Walking and Writing”
- Dr. Jason Lovvorn, “Mobilizing Service: Materiality, Affect, and Writing”
- Dr. Sarah Blomeley, “More Flies with Honey: Lessons of Feminist Administration” (presented with Cristy Beemer from the University of New Hampshire and Jen Cellio from Northern Kentucky University)
- Dr. Linda Holt, “‘Creeping Placelessness’: Mobility as Ethnographic Focus in the Writing Classroom”
Belmont MA alumnus, Kristi Galligan, was profiled in The Wilson Post for her work on African-American history and segregation. Kristi received her MA in English in 2016. Check out the article here: http://wilsonpost.com/woman-of-wilson-kristi-galligan-cms-89164
On Wednesday, September 21, Dr. Carl Blyth, Associate Professor of French Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, presented, “What It Means To Read (And To Teach) in the 21st Century: Digital Social Reading and Participatory Culture.” A recording of his presentation and a written overview follow.
E-reading devices such as the Kindle as well as websites such as Genius.com allow people to read the same text, annotate the text and to share their annotations with the world. The resulting practice is referred to as digital social reading. This new literacy practice violates many humanists’ expectations of what it means to read based on a shared “print culture.” This talk frames digital social reading in terms of a new “participatory culture” in which interpretive practices long associated with the individual become a group activity. The impact of digital social reading has stirred much academic controversy. On the one hand, literature specialists claim that it jeopardizes close reading skills long associated with traditional forms of academic literacy. On the other hand, digital humanists argue that the real problem comes from equating reading with a narrowly defined and historically situated practice—the close reading of a printed text. Proponents of digital literacies note that the question is no longer how to teach reading but rather, which kind of reading to teach. Close reading of printed, literary texts? Hyperreading of digital texts? Or machine reading of databases? Or, put differently, how should humanists teach the multiple practices now associated with reading in the digital age?