~Careers in English~

In ENG 402: Editing and Publishing, Dr. Jones hosts a visiting professional series in order to give students a realistic idea about the career opportunities that are available for English majors. This series has brought in employees Maggie Harris, Mac Kern, and Sarah Slatton from KirkpatrickPrice and editor and publisher, Steve Vest, from Kentucky Monthly. 

This Friday, Amy Brack and Amanda Adams will be visiting the class to talk about their careers as editors for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of State Audit. Both Brack and Adams are alumnae of WKU!! Before accepting the position as a legislative editor back in ’99, Brack taught part-time and worked full-time in both book and magazine publishing before becoming an editor. Brack met Adams when she came to WKU in 2013 for a similar class visit and hired Adams upon graduation.

This class visit will take place in Cherry Hall 104 at 1:50-2:45 p.m. and there will be an informal meet and greet following the session after in the room right next door (CH 105). All students are welcome to attend and ask any questions they have about the editing business!

So mark it on your calendar: APRIL 24th 1:50-2:45 p.m.

Categories: Careers, Events, Main Campus, Uncategorized, WKU | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Ayesha Hardison Discusses Jane Crow

Have these April showers kept you in your room for far too long? Do you like study breaks? Are you looking for something to do on a Thursday afternoon?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, come to the Downing Student Union 3025 on Thursday, April 30 from 4:00-5:30 PM for a talk by Dr. Ayesha Hardison entitled, “Of Maids and Ladies: The Ethics of Living Jane Crow.”

ayesha jane crowHardison is an Associate Professor of English at Ohio University and is the author of the recent book Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature. Her talk and the following discussion will provide both students and faculty with an opportunity to interact with a scholar at the cutting edge of research in literary studies. 

In her book, Hardison explores how African American women lived through and resisted Jim Crow segregation. Using the literature of the times, Hardison examines the ways in which African American writers combated “Jane Crow,” or the simultaneous racism and sexism enforced by Jim Crow segregation, by speaking out about black women’s experiences.

History LessonJim Crow Laws consisted of legislation from the 1880s into the 1960s that enforced segregation of blacks and whites in the United States. If you’d like to learn more about Jim Crow laws, click here.

This event takes learning beyond the four walls of a classroom in Cherry Hall. Hardison’s focus on race, gender, sexuality, and class, as well as art’s ability to speak to their intersections, adds a new dimension to literary analysis that any English major would love to explore.

What’s extremely interesting about Hardison’s work is that she recovers the under-studied and under-valued work of people during the Writing Through Jane CrowCivil Rights movement. Take Pauli Murray for instance. She was a Civil Rights activist whose transgender experiences often leave her forgotten in Civil Rights history. Then there is Jackie Ormes. She was the first black woman to draw her own syndicated comic strip. Unfortunately, these writers and several others have been hidden beneath history, but now Hardison has uncovered them so that the world may rediscover them and their achievements.

WKU English Department’s Dr. Chris Lewis says,

“I encourage students to use this event as a barometer of where literary studies as a field is today and where it is going. Hardison’s work will likely surprise, unsettle, and provoke you and your ideas about U.S. history and African American literature, as the best scholarship in these areas should.

This sounds like it will be an amazing opportunity. English majors of every concentration should put out their rain boots, grab their umbrellas, and participate in this exciting event!

Don’t forget: April 30—4 PM—DSU 3025

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Warren-Brooks Award: Dr. Richard Russell

complementary of baylor.edu

Dr. Richard Russell

Thursday, April 23 at 4:00 pm, Dr. Richard Russell will be giving a presentation about his book “Seamus Heaney’s Regions“. Dr. Russell is an English professor and the Graduate Program Director at Baylor University. He is also the director of the Beall Poetry Festival: a three day celebration of contemporary poets. (Go check it out!)

The Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award is an honor given to those who have an outstanding work of literary scholarship or criticism published within the year. It recognizes work that employs in a significant way the methods associated with “close reading” texts. That’s exactly what Dr. Russell’s “Seamus Heaney’s Regions” does with Seamus Heaney’s poems.

Poet Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize back in 1995 for his lyrical beauty and ethical depth in his poems, often inspired by his home region of Northern Ireland. Dr. Russell felt that the poetry Heaney created had potential resolutions to the conflicts that had troubled Northern Ireland for many years. Heaney was a big believer in ideas and his poetry reflected that. The book explored Heaney’s work from before his first published poetry volume, Death of a Naturalist(’66), to his most recent volume, the elegiac Human Chain (’10).

Dr. Russell’s contribution to the study of Heaney’s work has been praised by many including Wadham College, Oxford; The College of William and Mary; and Durham University.

So if you’re interested in learning more about the Warren-Brooks award, Heaney’s poetry, or Dr. Russell himself, you should come out on Thursday and sit in on the presentation, held in the RPW Room in Cherry Hall!

Categories: Events, Main Campus, Writers | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Proyecta 100,000 Comes to WKU

As some of you may heard via the article on WKU News, the WKU English Department will host a group of 7 Mexican scholars during the month of June as one of the first steps of Proyecta 100,000.


If you’re anything like me, your first questions is: “What is Proyecta 100,000? According to the Bilateral Forum of Higher Education, Innovation and Research, it is “a Mexican proposal that sets the goal of 100 thousand Mexican students going to study in the United States and 50 thousand U.S. students studying in Mexico by 2018.” Other goals are to encourage language teaching and promote exchange opportunities.

Now you’re wondering, “How was WKU chosen to participate?” Well, I asked Dr. Alison Youngblood, assistant professor of English, and these are her answers:

  1. How was WKU selected to participate in this program? Was there an application, and if so, what was the timeline?

In order for a university to participate in the Proyecta program, it has to be a designated Proyecta partner. I contacted the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis in December of last year.  In February, I received an invitation to officially apply for a range of scholarship programs; I selected the intensive English program.  I worked with the English Dept. and the ESLI to submit our proposal, and we heard back in March.

  1. Why did they decide to bring the students and faculty here during the summer session?

Proyecta offers intensive English scholarships each semester.  WKU also applied for a fall group of scholars, and we will hear back later in the year.  The program runs continuously until 2018.

  1. What is the goal of their visit?

To improve their English language skills and be immersed in the local culture.

  1. Since students from Mexico will be at WKU, are there any plans to send WKU students to Mexico?

There are no plans that I can share at this time to send WKU students to institutions in Mexico in association with the Proyecta program. However, there may be other initiatives around campus for interested students (Check out the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning).

  1. If students would like to get involved with this project in the future, what would their roles be and what steps do they need to take?

Interested students should contact me via email.  We are still building the experience now, and we would welcome any interested volunteers.



June 2015 marks one of the first steps to link two countries that are already strong economically with a project to strengthen them educationally. If you’re going to be in Bowling Green or would love to help students get to know this great language we call English, be sure to email Dr. Youngblood to see how you can get involved!
Categories: english department, English Teaching, Events, WKU | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Here’s What You Missed: Richard Hoffman

Richard Hoffman

On March 19th, the English Department had the wonderful opportunity of hosting author Richard Hoffman to read sections from his new memoir Love and FuryIn this book, Hoffman talks about what it was like growing up in a blue-collar family, dealing with racist and sexist values he unfortunately inherited.

Before the reading, students were greeted by a table full of his memoirs ready to buy. Hoffman was introduced by Dr. Rigby, a dear friend of Hoffman’s, and then the author went straight into the reading–perfectly picked sections that hit the main points of his memoir. After the reading, Hoffman opened up the floor for questions. Students asked everything from his technique for staying organized to personal inspiration for telling certain stories.

By the end of the reading, I (and most of the people I was with) was disappointed that I had little cash on hand to purchase a book. Hoffman was honest, creative, and real. He made his sections come to life in the small room in Cherry Hall. The reading itself reminded the majority of us why we loved to write so much: we all have a story to tell.

So next time you receive an email from the English Club or hear from a teacher about a future reading, you should attend! If you’re interested in Love and Fury, click the link up above to receive book information!

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Top 15 #EnglishMajorProblems

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been an English major for 20 minutes or 20 years, some things never change. Most of us have experienced what Twitter has deemed #EnglishMajorProblems, and here are WKU’s top 15:

15. Facebook advertises your English textbook on your news feed.


14. Your friends live in constant fear of your correcting their grammar.

grammar police


13. But you’ve earned the title of Grammar Nazi and don’t care what they say.

correcting grammar


12. You crank out essays at the speed of light,


11. Because you procrastinated all week,

problem 18


10. And your writing sounds like this:


9. So sometimes it’s best just to start over.


8. But you always follow the best advice from your literary role models.



7. Which explains your kindergarten math skills. (Isn’t that why they invented calculators anyway?)



6. Debates about the Oxford Comma get you fired up.

oxford comma


5. And you hotly defend apostrophes.


4. You know the movie is NEVER as good as the book.


3. People constantly ask you what you can do with an English major besides teach.



2. You’ve learned the value of reading the entire assignment.


1. But Sparknotes is as essential to your diet as late night coffee.


If you have any more “problems” you’d like to add, email me at englishmajors.blog@wku.edu so we can start a second installment.

If you need more laughs now or a simple excuse to procrastinate, go to the Huffington Post’s article 28 Signs You Were An English Major. You won’t be disappointed.

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UPDATE: New Goldenrod Date

Finally, after all the craziness due to the Snowpocalypse, a new date has beesaeed jonesn set for the Goldenrod Poetry Festival.

APRIL 28th at 7 PM in FAC 189 (Recital Hall)

Finalists from the poetry contest will read their poems and then contest winners will be announced. There will also be a public reading by guest poet and WKU alum Saeed Jones! He will sign books following the reading.

So make a note in your calenders and make sure you come to this exciting event, brought to you by our wonderful English Club, to support Saeed Jones and the finalists of this year’s Goldenrod Poetry Festival.

Categories: Events, Fun, WKU, Writers | Leave a comment

Sigma Tau Delta Down to the Border

On March 19-22, six members of Sigma Tau Delta attended the international convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What is Sigma Tau Delta, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It is an International English Honor Society that strives to recognize students for their high achievements in English literature and language and promotes culture on college campuses around the world. If you’d like to know more about the organization at the international level, click here. After a one-time initiation fee of $40, you’re a lifetime member. While at WKU, you take the 1 hour class English 202: Honors Forum (you don’t have to be in Honors to enroll–just have a 3.2 GPA) with sponsor Professor Walker Rutledge. You can take Forum without becoming a Sigma Tau Delta member, but it’s a good experience so you might as well. hemingway

Anyway, back to convention. Thursday dawned with our group already at the Nashville airport, waiting for our 6 AM flight to Albuquerque by way of Dallas. We’d already spent much of the car ride to Nashville “fan-girling” over our favorite authors–namely Hemingway because, come on, who doesn’t love this guy?–and trying to figure out the mysteries contained in the enigmas of our professors. Five hours later with our carry-ons in hand, we arrived in New Mexico, and that’s when the real adventures began.  Read more »

Categories: Awards, Creative Nonfiction, Creative Writing, english department, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

FALL INTERNSHIPS–due March 31st!

Meme Generator– Imgflip.com

Hey, English majors!

Here is a small post to remind you all that internship applications for Fall 2015 are due March 31st (4 days away!!!)

I STRONGLY recommend all students to look into these many internship opportunities and apply before the 31st. Experience is the best thing we can gain during our time here at WKU, and our wonderful department has put together a variety of internships for us to choose from.

So what are you waiting for?

Click Fall 2015 Internships to see the opportunities available.

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The Writers: Kiersten Richards

Well here goes Part 2 of introducing y’all to your new bloggers:

As you can see, my name is Kiersten, and it is pronouced KEER-sten. Not KUR-stin or KRIS-tin or even HOUS-ton (thanks Starbucks!). I’m a senior from Owensboro, KY with a double major in English with a Professional Writing concentration and Spanish.

familyI’m the middle child of three brothers and one sister. My family loves spending time together, no matter if we’re swimming in Lake Tahoe or rewatching a Disney movie at home. Although tennis is the only sport I still play regularly, I love basketball, football, and volleyball; I’m still working on understanding soccer; and I’ve just been introduced to hockey. Whether its on the court, Trivia Crack, or just life in general, I can get pretty competitive.

little mermaidI also adore traveling. My family instilled this love in me when I was younger going to Colorado, Virginia, Hawaii, and California. I took it a bit further and studied abroad in Spain for a semester during my sophomore year and in Northern Europe this past summer. There is no better way to learn the history, culture, and language of a place than by experiencing it first-hand. Fun fact: my family collects magnets and mugs from the places that we visit. That way, every time we look at the refrigerator or go for a cup of coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate), we can remember all of the great experiences that we had in those places.

As far as English-y things go, I’ve pretty much always been a reader. In elementary school, I was one of those kids who always had a new book and made it a game to see how quickly I could read. I even tried to write several books when I was younger, one of which would have been called “What Your Kids Aren’t Telling You: As Told by a Kid,” but I ran out of steam. In high school, I knew that I loved language so I thought I could spread the written word through journalism, but 6 weeks interning for a local paper killed that dream. During my senior year, Jennifer Bradbury spoke to my class, describing her life as an author working with a publishing house. When she spoke of the role of her editor, I knew that was what I wanted to do so I chose Professional Writing as my concentration within English.

Because I’m sphonebootho close to graduation, I’m excited to see where my degree can take me. Writing for the blog allows me to practice my skills on a medium that is so popular in today’s ever-changing technological world, and I can see why. But whether I end up as a professional blogger, senior editor of a publishing company, or a stay-at-home mom, I know that English will continue to be a part of my life forever.

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