Recap on the Literary Pub Fest: Awards and Superlatives For Everyone!

Tuesday evening provided the perfect amount of awards, food, and literature for the English Department’s annual Literary Pub Fest.

Juniors and SAGE Co-Presidents Jenn Ryan and Lexi Gallion hosted the event with Dr. Scot Hinson emceeing the evening.

Students, both within the English Department and out, were encouraged to enjoy the selections of food in Founders Pub while having an open bar open to students and faculty.

Hinson started off the event by first reading a poem he had written in elementary school, entitled “If I Was A Hippie,” before handing out awards for the annual Literary Awards.

Here are the winners of this year’s Literary Awards:

Ostrom Award for Sophomore: Reese Harper, ’20

Ostrom Award for Junior: Jennifer Ryan, ’19

Ostrom Award for Senior: Jayne Stone, ’18

Poetry Prize: Nikki Howard, ’20

The Sherwood Anderson Prize for Fiction: Jayne Stone

Non-fiction Prose Prize: Nikki Howard, ’20

Playwriting/Screenwriting: Morgan Beechey, ’18

The Lester S. Crowley Creativity Award: Jayne Stone, ’18

Excellence in Literary Studies: Alex Sharp, ’18, and Jayne Stone, ’18

Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Award: Anissa Dann, ‘18, and Daniel Murray, ‘18

Both SAGE Co-Presidents, on behalf of the rest of SAGE, handed out faculty superlatives, which drew great reactions from the crowd, especially Dr. Cynthia Richards when she won her superlative, saying that it was the best award she’d ever won.

Here are the superlatives that were handed out to faculty this year:

Dr. Lori Askeland: Most Likely To Outlaw Love

Dr. Scot Hinson: Most Likely To Fit In Faulkner Fiction (For Fun)

Dr. Mike Mattison: Most Likely To Dress Like His Son

Dr. Michael McClelland: Most Likely To Add A Secret Lover To A Student’s Story

Dr. Cynthia Richards: Most Likely To Injure Herself While Pumping Iron With Her Son Resulting In An Existential Epiphany

Dr. Shadawn Battle: Most Likely To Run For President

Dr. Rick Incorvati: Most Likely To Be Found At A Coffee Shop

Dr. Polak: Most Likely To Know That She Is Overestimating The Reading Capabilities of Her Students / Special Award (presented by Shane Harris): Most Likely To Have A Student In Her Class Admit To Waterboarding Himself

Dr. Robin Inboden: Most Likely To Drop Everything To Babysit Willow

Prof. D’Arcy Fallon: Most Likely To Make A Bus Sound Delicious

Christina Reynolds: Wizard Behind the Curtain

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Matchbooks Now Available in the Writing Center

The Matchbook Poetry reading will occur on Thursday, April 12th in Founders Pub, so stop by the Writing Center to pick up a matchbook!

Inside each matchbook is a set of instructions on how to use your given line of poetry for a poem of your own. You are the sole creator of your poem, so you can decide whether to use the whole line, part of the line, or none of the line in your creation.

At the event on April 12th, students will have the opportunity to read their creation out loud. Students will also be presented with an envelope that contains the original poem that their line was from.

Stop by the Writing Center to participate in this unique, once-a-year opportunity! From all of us at the English Department, we can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

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“Theatre in London”: Junior Lexi Gallion’s Experience Studying Abroad

As soon as I touched down at Heathrow Airport on the outskirts of London, I had that moment of awe — I did it. I made it to England.

It looked exactly like everywhere else.

Even though it had an un-miraculous appearance, the sensation of knowing where I was and what I only just began to embark on was stuttering. Thousands of possible adventures were before me and all I had to do was begin. As Bilbo from the Shire best put it: “I’m going on an adventure!”

That first day in London was pretty awful. I arrived in terminal two, “The Queen’s Terminal,” where I would go through border control and enter the country. The long hours of the flight were beginning to catch up to me, and the anxiety I felt when clutching all of my visa papers to my chest warred with each other in a some sort of hectic tornadic emotional mess. I was exhausted. I was sweaty. My breath reeked. My pits were unmentionable. The only thing that kept me going was the prospect of a bed I knew existed somewhere in Holborn.

Thankfully, the man at border control wanted to be there even less than I did as he let me through after a quick glance of my paperwork. My 5’ 6” stature, short hair, nerdy glasses look didn’t seem all too threatening to him, of which I’m very thankful.

I got through and caught up with my travel companions, my mom and two aunts who decided to use me to get to England, and we set off to find our luggage and toilets (that’s what they call the restrooms there: “toilets”). Someone had put all of our stuff aside, because apparently we were taking too long to get through their security system and another flight’s luggage was already zipping past on the conveyor belt. This I didn’t care for much, but I did feel a little pity for whomever had to pick up my suitcase. Due to my living in London for the next four months, I had quite a bit of crap packed into my bag. The thought of how much that bag weighed still makes my back and arms ache.

At this point in time, we had found a seat on a bench in the middle of baggage claim in order to find out the best way to our hotel. One fact that I am very proud of myself is that I primarily exist on the Internet’s social media platforms, especially Tumblr. Because of this, I knew of the London underground system, lovingly referred to as “The Tube”. This was one thing about London I was super excited to experience. My entire life had been spent in Columbus, Ohio, and it’s not known for the astounding public transportation system. In hindsight, if I had known TLF (Transport for London) would have taken all of my money on a weekly basis to get from where I lived to class, I would have started out less enthusiastic.

I brought this up to my fellowship and they seemed pretty okay with riding the tube to get to our hotel, so we took the elevator down. We bought our oyster cards with pounds loaded up, and proceeded to the platform where we waited until the loud roar of the train exploded out the mouth of the underground. This first experience of riding the Piccadilly line to Holborn station is probably one of the most memorable. The ride from Heathrow to central London takes around an hour to complete, as long as there are no delays.

Even though there weren’t any, that hour long train line was brutal — we were all progressively falling asleep in the faded 90s pattern tube seats, silently fighting to keep our eyes open in order to enjoy the scenery of passing suburbias. Miles of construction mixed in with old London homes zipped by as I inched closer and closer into the heart of the sprawling city.

Despite everything happening all at once, I was excited. Ecstatic. Elated. Absolutely overjoyed to finally be in England. As I sat on that train heading to a place I had always dreamed of visiting, I had no idea just how much this adventure would truly change my life. Because of London, and Wittenberg, I was able to meet so many wildly brilliant people whom I would never have had the pleasure if I otherwise hadn’t gone. I went on so many adventures within this grand adventure, including Paris, Zagreb, Amsterdam, and the entirety of the United Kingdom, as well as the Republic of Ireland.

When I wasn’t traveling all over Europe, I was in some incredible classes. Not only did I learn so much every single day about the culture of England, but I took classes in Shakespeare where I got to attend a play at the Globe Theatre. I also enrolled in the courses “Theatre in London”, “Playwriting”, “Media and UK Politics”, and “Western Art and the Convergence of Technique and Philosophy” (a long title for an art history and drawing class).

These courses were highly interesting, not only because the subject matter and the way the professors took us all over London and the rest of the UK for our practical application of learning, but because the professors themselves had the most insane backgrounds. My playwriting professor, Marina Caldarone, is a woman who chooses the talent from all different kinds of acting schools around England, and taught Kit Harington a.k.a. Jon Snow from “Game of Thrones”. My art history professor, Lucinda Hawksley is a direct descendant of Charles Dickens, and gets so embarrassed when we bring him up as her great-whatever grandfather. My drawing professor, Andy, is a practicing artist in London and has had his own galleries. My “Theatre in London” professor, Collin, is an eccentric Scottish man from Glasgow whom we could barely understand half the time, yet knew he was wildly brilliant.

Each and every single person employed by the IES Study Abroad Program brought a vibrancy every single day we had class that made learning even more spectacular than it already is. I would wake up every single day excited for what my classes would have in store for me, and in return I learned so much from weekly theatre visits to watch another show, or the day we went to parliament to see exactly how the House of Lords and the House of Commons worked.

Every day was a new adventure, and now that I have the ability to look back on everything I did, I’m almost in shock that it happened so fast. Four months seems like a long time to be away from everything familiar and comforting, but to say that I’m glad I did it is an understatement. London has my heart, and I look forward to the day I get to return and experience another hectic first day as my plane touches down at Heathrow Airport.

 

Recap on A.D. Carson’s Visit at Wittenberg

Last week, Wittenberg welcomed Dr. A.D Carson with open arms as he discussed a multitude of issues ranging from police brutality, activism, and black history.

Carson is a performance artist from Decatur, Illinois, as well as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, where he teaches hip-hop and the Global South. He is well-known as the Clemson University Alum who flipped his college dissertation into a 34 track hip-hop album, titled “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes and Revolutions,” where he focuses on race, history, police brutality, and other current events.

He is also an organizer for the See The Stripes Campaign that aims to raise awareness of historic racism throughout his university. Carson has also received various awards pertaining to his dissertation, activism, and artistry including, but not limited to: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Excellence in Service at Clemson University, and recognition by the Graduate Student Government as the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation.

Carson was on Wittenberg’s campus from Thursday, Feb. 22 until the last event concluded on Friday, Feb. 23. The first event allowed Carson and students to engage in conversation about police brutality and state sanctioned violence in philosophy professor Julius Bailey and English professor Sha’dawn Battle’s joint courses in Ness Auditorium.

The event was open to the campus community, encouraging anyone and everyone to join the imperative discussion of what is currently happening in our country. The discussion began with a video, titled “A.D Carson Second Amendment,” where he paid homage to those who were killed during acts of police brutality and discussed what would happen if those affected by these acts of malice were to arm themselves and shoot back. One thing that was discussed that specifically stuck with me was that 90% of black killings are done by black people, however, 90% of those people are indicted and convicted. The difference here is that when police officers commit the same offenses, only 1% are indicted and convicted. It was a strong statement that really propelled the discussion into police brutality.

The event was followed by an open mic event later that evening in Founders Pub. During this time, students took to the mic to rap, read poetry, and sing about the issues they were facing. There was also a dance-off that the students particularly loved. The night overall was a fun event for students to eat and engage in an informal setting.

Finally, Friday rolled in and Carson concluded his visit with a talk included in the English Colloquium series, “Boy It’s Familiar: History, Activism, and Writing Rap,” where Carson previewed his dissertation. His dissertation was a noteworthy end to a string of events celebrating black history while also spreading awareness of the current social issues facing our people and our country.

Carson’s visit was co-sponsored by Faculty Endowment Fund Board, English Department, Philosophy Department, African Diaspora Studies Department, Communication Department, Thomas Library, Multicultural Affairs, and Women’s Studies.

You can find Dr. A.D Carson on the following social media sites:

Instagram: @aydeethegreat

Twitter: @aydeethegreat

Website: www.aydeethegreat.com

-Nikki Howard, ’20

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Tomorrow and Friday: Wittenberg Welcomes A.D. Carson

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Join us with Dr A.D. Carson on Thursday, February 22nd in Ness at 2:45 p.m. for “Police Brutality Discussion w/ Drs. Julius Bailey and ShaDawn Battle” and at 6:00 p.m. in Founders for Open Mic “Negrophilia Unplugged”. Also look out for February 23 at 4:30 p.m. in Ness for “‘Boy It’s Familiar’: History, Activism, and Writing Raps”.

Currently an Assistant Professor in Hip-Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia, Dr. Carson recently earned his PhD in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University. His dissertation, “Owning My Masters: the Rhetorics of Rhyme and Revolutions,” consisted of a 34-track rap album that has garnered widespread attention from both academic and non-academic circles, nationally and internationally. As per the language on his website, his work centers the convergence of “race, literature, history, and rhetorical performances.”

During his graduate work at Clemson, Dr. Carson collaborated with students, faculty, and the community to raise awareness on the racist history and structures on which the University was erected, through his “See the Stripes” campaign. Dr. Carson is widely published in the areas of Hip Hop, racial politics, and literature, and offers unique pedagogical insights. He continues to use his art to speak out against racial injustice while an assistant professor at UVA, yet Dr. Carson’s activism extends to the “real” “battle field” as well, as he found himself immersed in the political events underway in Charlottesville shortly after his arrival.

Submit to the English Department Writing Awards

As we get into the stride of spring semester, the English Department encourages you all to take some time to do some spring cleaning – in the depths of the file folders where your brilliant writing has been gathering digital dust.

Find (or create!) your best work, give it a sparkling shine with some revising/tweaking and submit it for one of the English Department’s writing awards for a chance to win both prestige and prize money!

Yes, it’s true—you can win awards worth up to $200 for proving how excellent you are as an expository writer, poet, fiction or non-fiction writer, playwright or screenwriter. If chosen, you will be personally informed of your achievement, then honored as part of the Literary Pub Fest on TUESDAY March 27th – a lively celebration of the talent and accomplishments of the entire department. In addition to the presentation of awards and bestowing of accolades there will be much revelry (including free pizza!) to enjoy. Everyone who comes to the Pub Fest will feel like a winner, one way or another (and English majors can earn a colloquium credit, too!). So mark your calendars, and start preparing your submissions for the Writing Awards—they’ll need to be turned in to me by the Friday before you leave for spring break—by 4:00pm on Friday, March 2nd!

AND HURRY—The first member of each graduating class to turn in a Literary Award submission gets an English Department major mug just for submitting!

For details on the awards and what you need to do to get one, go to our website: http://www.wittenberg.edu/academics/english/writing-awards.

Submission Requirements for Writing Awards

1. Prepare clean, ANONYMOUS, typed copy of professional caliber. Entries must be titled, typed double-spaced and paper clipped. Poetry and dramatic dialogue should be single-spaced.

2. Submit in an UNMARKED, UNSEALED, 10″ x 13″ manila envelope, to Christina Reynolds, the English Department Administrative Assistant, in Hollenbeck 102, no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2nd (the Friday before Spring Break).

3. Christina will take your contact information and submission category for her records. She will give your entry a unique code to maintain its anonymity throughout the judging process.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Students are not allowed to win the same category twice.  For example, if you win the sophomore expository writing award, you can’t win the junior or senior expository writing award.