Faculty Activity

Justin Askins reports that he “was awarded a Professional Development Leave in Spring 2009 to work on my book of humorous essays, several of which have been aired on WVTF.”  

Mark Burnette has been busy “grading papers and working on making the perfect mint julep (an affectation picked up while reading Percy).” When the semester ends, Mark plans on “driving along the Mississippi River from Memphis to somewhere in Louisiana – taking photos, sleeping in my truck, eating jar after jar of peanut butter, and hopefully meeting a few interesting people.”

Ricky Cox says “As soon as the semester is over I’ll be working to complete a history of Floyd County grist mills, Water Over the Dam: Water Powered Grist Mills in Floyd County, Virginia, 1800-2000.” Ricky is completing research begun by his co-author, the late Frank F. Webb.

Don Cunningham finished “a new professional development seminar, ‘Writing Construction Specifications,’ which is registered with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education System for 7.0 HSW Learning Units and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Construction Education Network for .7 HSW Continuing Education Units.” Over the summer, Don “will present one-day seminars to licensed architects and engineers in Charleston, WV; Chapel Hill, NC; Egan, MN; Chicago, IL; and Toledo and Cleveland, OH.” Don will also be “presenting a paper at the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference 2008 (IPCC 2008), ‘Opening the Information Economy,’ in July at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.” In August, Don will be “traveling to Nagoya, Japan, to give a special one week lecture on professional writing to information technology graduate students at Aichi Prefectural University. In between he’ll be “touring backroads on his Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster and promoting his third book, Samurai Weapons: Tools of the Warrior, released in April by Charles Tuttle Publishing.”

Renee Dickinson says that over the summer she will be “converting my dissertation to a book to be published in 2009 by Routledge, preparing for a research trip to London to unearth more news articles by Olive Moore, contributing a chapter to a collection on Musical Modernisms on Olive Moore’s Fugue, proposing a collection of essays on Olive Moore, and preparing for three conferences: International Virginia Woolf Conference, Rocky Mountain MLA, and Modernist Studies Association.” She’s also “reading a lot about Darwin, genetics, and British Literature for a collaborative course with Bob Sheehy in Biology” for the spring.

Louis Gallo is on sabbatical next semester, “so I hope to get a lot of writing, editing and reading done.  In May I will again judge the NEA Al Smith Poetry Competition in Kentucky.  My story 'Aliens' (first chapter of the novel Breakneck)  will appear in the May issue of Glimmer Train.  I have more stuff on Amazon Shorts, and a piece of creative non-fiction will appear at some point in an anthology to be called 'Confessions.'  The story/essay is called 'Whitney,' and it's about an encounter I once had with a very strange girl.  New story also coming out in The Hurricane Review.  Started a new novel, no title yet, about three chapters into it.  Takes place in New Orleans and Philadelphia, with one set of characters thriving in the mid-seventies, and the younger set, in 2008.  Going to New Orleans and Florida this summer to visit family and do some more field work for fiction and poetry.  Touring the ruins, as they say down there.  And of course, the constant house renovation and repair.”

Rosemary Guruswamy will be “working on a paper on the Renaissance roots of Anne Bradstreet to be presented at the American Literature Association conference in San Francisco this May.”

Scott McDarmont regularly contributes to Geoff Klock’s blog: Remarkable: Short Appreciations of Poetry and Popular Culture. He’s “currently doing a series of postings on the Giffen-Dematteis-Maguire run on Justice League in the late 80’s: a look at the lighter side of superheroics that should be taken more seriously and, at some point, I will finish that story about Mortimer, the angel of death, featuring special guest star Johnny Cash as God.”

Jim Minick will be “editing Rita Riddle’s All There Is to Keep and organizing the book release celebration here at RU.” Jim will also be working on his “first book of poetry, Her Secret Song, tentatively accepted for publication by Motes Books.” In addition, James will be “revising a second collection of essays, Lucky Dog Farm, and working on a second collection of poems.” James also “started a novel, Healing Fire, and then there is always the garden, the mulch pile, and the firewood to work on.”

Michele Ren is “working on a presentation for the Building A New World Conference (May 22-25 here at RU). My presentation is on Denise Giardina’s novel Storming Heaven; it’s part of a panel with colleagues Theresa Burriss & Dana Cochran on Appalachian Women Artists as Activists.”

Don Samson "presented papers at the Association for Business Communication Southeast Regional Conference in Columbia, South Carolina, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) convention in New Orleans.  On sabbatical, he has been studying what ten widely-used first-year composition texts say about career writing and do to prepare students for writing in business and government.  He has been helping coach the Radford Men’s Rugby Club, who won the Mid-Atlantic Division II Championship and played in the Elite 8 tournament in Albuquerque for a chance at another national championship. 

Also, Don has prepared program proposals for the Association for Business Communication national conference at Lake Tahoe in October, the National Council of Teachers of English convention in San Antonio in November, and the CCCC 2009 convention in San Francisco in March 2009.  He was awarded the Greek Life Advisor of the Year award for his work with Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.  He has been teaching courses in Shakespeare and in English Literature and London for Study Abroad program and will direct the three-week stay in London during Maymester. When he gets back from London, he’ll be surf-fishing in Florida with Joy, camping and fishing in Yellowstone for two weeks in July, and then hiking and fishing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his son and daughter-in-law.”

Jeff Saperstein is “working on how to relax.” He also works on making himself “something of a poet (that is, he tries to write poetry on a regular basis).”

Rick Van Noy is working on “an essay for a collection on the creative nonfiction of Loren Eiseley and the release of A Natural Sense of Wonder: Connecting Kids with Nature Through the Seasons (due out in June). I'll be reading June 3rd at the Highland Summer Conference and June 12 at a conference honoring Rachel Carson in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.”

Jolanta Wawrzycka’s “most recent academic adventures include daily preoccupation with Study Abroad Ireland/Italy program, a labor of love that keeps me perennially busy.  I’m also conducting a number of digital experiments in my classes by implementing Adobe Connect in my wireless Honors classroom, and iTunesU server where students can access course files in PDF, PPt, and mp3 formats.”

“Professional/publishing work never ends: I’m finalizing a book tentatively titled Joyce-in-Translation-in-Joyce. In addition, I’ve been invited to guest-edit a volume of European Joyce Studies on translation (my contributors are Joyce scholars from Iceland, Croatia, Rumania, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Spain and France).”

“My shorter publications this year include an article on “Textual Implications of Re-Languaging Joyce” (in Joyce and/in Translation: Joyce Studies in Italy No. 10. Rome 2007, pp. 38-51). I also wrote a chapter for a book, James Joyce in Context, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press; the book offers perspectives on Joyce that range from  historical, religious, biographical, psychoanalytical, cultural to literary, etc.; my context was “translation,” a new category, and my chapter is titled “Translation: ‘Latin me that my Trinity Scholard’. In addition, James Joyce Quarterly and ELT (English Language in Transition) will publish my reviews of recent books on Joyce.”

“I also traveled a little; in addition to my usual Ireland/Italy Study Abroad travel, I attended a few Joyce events at such great places as the University of Texas in Austin (courtesy of RU Summer Grant), Hamilton College, Clinton, NJ, and the University of Rome III, Italy, where I was invited to be a respondent on Joyce/translation panel.  I will be on the road for most of the summer 2008: Ireland/Italy with my students in May; Tours/Paris, France, for the Joyce Symposium in June; and Zurich, Switzerland, for the Joyce Workshop and research in August.”