Vol. 44, No. 1 - Feb 2011
These are just a few highlights of all the Department of English has going on. To read the full version click here!
-Your Department of English Family
Yankee Book Swipe
By: Carina Sherman
Laughter, delicious food, lively conversation and of course a varied selection of wonderful books made the Department of English’s annual Yankee Book Swap a treat for all. The event took place on January 29 at the Love Creek Nature Center in Niles, MI. As people began trickling into the building they were greeted by several English profs. After some time for visiting, the guests were dismissed by table to go and partake of delectable haystacks and desserts that were provided by the faculty. On the way back to the tables, each participant of the book swap was given a crayon (from a box of 96) as per the system for the “drawing.”
The festivities contrasted greatly from last year’s, however, with many people opting to open a new book instead of stealing. This turn of events was met with many resounding chants of “STEAL! STEAL! STEAL!” (mostly supplied by Dr. Closser and Dr. Jones). As the evening progressed, however, things did start heating up. The hot-ticket items of the night were undeniably Earth by Jon Stewart and the dvd/book duo of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, both being stolen in almost every round of the swap. Other highly desired titles included Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind and Diane Purkiss’s The English Civil War.
Despite the fact that perhaps a few guests left without their desired piece of literature, no one can deny that this year’s book swap was, in fact, a smashing success. Sophomore English major Christian Bacchiocchi stated that although “emotions ran high, battles were fought, and loyalties were challenged, in the end a good time was had by everyone.”
Alumna Delivers Waller Lectureship
By: Claudia Allen
Fictions of Feminine Citizenship: Sexuality and the Nation in Contemporary Caribbean Literature is a book written by Donnette Francis, a Professor of Literature at Binghamton University SUNY (in New York) with a specific area of interest and focus on African American and African Diaspora Literatures and many aspects of Caribbean Literature. Francis—a 1990 Department of English graduate from Andrews University—was invited to be the speaker at the John O. Waller Lectureship for the Arts. At this lecture she presented some of the corresponding research attached to her new book. She discussed the issue of domestic violence and sexual abuse within the Caribbean home and how women are affected by this mistreatment emotionally and psychologically. She also insinuated the possibility of these wrongs affecting different Caribbean nations as a whole in areas such as politics, leaving many women vulnerable and without a supporting government.
As I listened to her speak I was first impressed with her vast vocabulary, most likely derived from her extensive doctoral work. As she continued to speak I realized that rather than speaking on the African-American and African Diaspora, she was speaking of the Caribbean struggle, a struggle that is not commonly discussed with a group of people primarily with no Caribbean background or knowledge. I was immediately interested because I am not familiar with Caribbean literature, and was quickly educated because I did not know that there even existed a concentration on the struggles and achievements of the Caribbean people. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to an educated woman discuss concepts and ideas that had never before been introduced. The idea that a nation or a government could be centered on the disrespect and degradation of women fascinated me. That many of these crimes committed were not even seen as crimes but merely as a part of a culture was a concept that was not so easy to swallow.
The Caribbean peoples have a style and a language that belongs to them as a people, a beauty in the syntax, diction and tone. Francis successfully portrayed these characteristics to a crowd that included many who were not acquainted with such ideas, and she did it with colossal vocabulary, a clear understanding of her topic, and excellent speaking and presentation skills. I was pleased to have had the opportunity to learn from her and her work, and I know that the Department of English will continue to encourage this type of learning in the future for others like myself to continue to grow in “…wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”
New Prof on the Block
By: Cassie Wilson
If you frequent the English Department (or have taken one of her courses) then you know who she is, but for the rest of you, please meet Lilian Correa, a graduate of Atlantic Union college and La Sierra University and the newest Instructor of English at Andrews University.
How many years have you been teaching?
This is my sixth year.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an English teacher?
Yes! Very much so. I was one of those little girls that lined up her stuffed animals and made lesson plans that I then taught to them.
Did you have any mentors that played a part in helping you decide your career path?
I had an amazing high school teacher that inspired me a lot. She taught English and was the drama teacher as well, so she knew how to make it fun and meaningful. She really embodied everything that I wanted to be as an English teacher.
What made you choose Andrews University?
To be honest, I had not planned on coming to teach at Andrews University. I actually had deposits put down on a trip to Peru as well as Costa Rica because I had planned to do research and study there. It was two days after I prayed and asked God for Him to lead me where He wanted me that I received a letter from Andrews University inviting me to come be an instructor. The timing of that invitation really showed me that this was where God wanted me to be because I really had not been expecting it; it was almost as if it had come out of nowhere. I gain a lot of comfort knowing that this is the right place—where God wants me.
What is the best part of working in the English department?
Definitely the nurturing and caring environment. Everyone here is
very passionate about student success and put a lot of hard work into that. I also like the warm, friendly environment. If you ever want to just talk lesson plans or throw around ideas about classes, someone is always ready and willing to do that.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really like being active. I played volleyball while I was in college and still love playing it even now. I'm also in kickboxing this semester and am really enjoying that. I'm trying to learn guitar, too, so we'll see how that goes.
Okay, well here comes the cliche English-major question: What are you currently reading for leisure?
Well, I'm enrolled in Nutrition230 as well as FDET460, so I am currently reading the books for those classes, one of which is Councils on Diet and Food by Ellen G. White. While these are books are for class, I actually count it as leisure reading just because I am very interested in the health message of our church and have a huge desire to learn more about it so that I can be a better, more informed witness in that way.
What is something that you've learned in your first year of teaching at Andrews University?
That the rumors are true: they really don't plow the roads in Berrien Springs.