Pastries with Professors Is Coming Up!

It’s back! Our biannual “Pastries with the Professors” event.

A special invitation for those interested in majoring or minoring in English or a Modern Language… or for anyone who wants to know more about these programs, classes, and faculty.

Every semester, the English faculty open the doors to the Faculty Lounge and invite students in for some sweet treats, coffee, juice, and conversation.  This semester, faculty from Modern Languages will be part of the fun.

Look at all the sweet treats waiting for you!

This smorgasbord greeted nearly 100 students at the spring Pastries With Professors event.

You’re invited!  Stop by for a snack and learn more about classes that will be offered by the English and Modern Languages Department.  You can find descriptions of classes, recommendations for what to take next, and donuts.


Bring questions! Bring your friends! Bring an appetite!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
9:00 am – 11:00 am
Founders Hall 105 (Faculty Lounge)

Meet Jason Owens

This fall, Jason Owens became one of three new faculty members to join the English Department.  We asked him to tell us about himself and what he brings to FMU.

Q. Tell us a little about your research. In what areas do you research? What was your dissertation about? Any future plans?

Jason OwensMy research interests include Black social and political thought, the systemic, institutional, and technological forms of violence against youth in the United States, and the impact/influence of privatization/corporatization on operations, curriculum implementation, and values orientations in public schools. My dissertation focuses on social reconstruction theory in education, particularly the work of Theodore Brameld, and the theory’s radical instructive influence on the values, vision, and mission of public education in the United States. In the future, my research plans are to engage social reconstruction philosophy with different areas of youth culture. I plan to offer social reconstruction theory as a force to defend violent capitalistic onslaughts against the youth, as well as offer awareness to the contemporary crises that endanger this most vulnerable and targeted group.

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Meet Dr. Jason Marley

This fall, Jason Marley became one of three new faculty members to join the English Department.  We asked him to tell us about himself and what he brings to FMU.

Q: Tell us a little about your research. In what areas do you research? What was your dissertation about? Do you have any ongoing projects? Any future plans?

My research focuMarley 1ses mostly on linguistic and narrative experimentation in 20th century global Anglophone fiction. I’m currently working on a project on speech in the postcolonial novel that explores questions of dialect, slang, accents, and vernacular language. Specifically, I focus on writers such as G.V. Desani and Sam Selvon, who experiment with the variability of national and local languages. I’m interested in the ways these texts enact resistance through their experimental—and often extremely antagonistic—representations of speech and language.

I also do some work on Modernism. My two most recent publications are on Jean Rhys and Felipe Alfau—writers who, I would argue, seldom get enough critical attention.

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Elementary Ed. Major Discusses Her Minor in English

FMU student Grace L. shares why minoring in English would help her as an Elementary Education major. She wrote this post as part of her work in English 411: The Rhetoric of New Media and under the guidance of Dr. Amy Rubens.

Before arriving here at FMU, I always thought of writing as my best ability. It was my hobby as a kid, and it followed me throughout my life. When I attended orientation, my name tag had Political Science on it, but I knew it just wasn’t for me.

After researching our English department’s website, I came across the Professional Writing track that I could take as an English major. In the beginning, I didn’t know what to expect when I chose it. I assumed it would consist of me studying to write novels and things of that nature. But in reality, it was the total opposite, and I have looked at the world of writing differently ever since.

In my opinion, the day I began my English 318 course was the day I realized that I would love what I do. 

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Pastries with the Profs Event Mar. 23

It’s back! Our biannual “Pastries with the Professors” event.

Are you an English major or minor? Are you considering a major or minor in English?

Nosh on pastries and juice.  Meet the Professors. Get information on classes offered by the English Department next semester. Learn about  the programs of study you can pursue: Liberal Arts, English Education, and Professional Writing.

Monday, March 23, 2015
9:00 am – 11:00 am
Founders Hall 105 (Faculty Lounge)

FMU to Host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

FMU will host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on March 11 from 12-5 PM in the Rogers Library. The event is part of FMU’s “G-Week” or “Gender Week,” which is aimed at getting the campus thinking (and talking) productively about gender and sexuality–in all their expressions.

Wikipedia Logo

The goal of the edit-a-thon is to increase the presence and participation of women and GLBTQ on Wikipedia, one of the world’s most visited websites.

Attendees will write, edit, index, and/or add references to Wikipedia articles about issues associated with women and GLBTQ, especially those related to South Carolina and racial and ethnic minorities.

The edit-a-thon is open the FMU community; no prior Wikipedia writing or editing experience is necessary to participate. However, attendees must register for the event and get a Wikipedia account in advance.

Wikipedia’s lack of diversity is well-documented. Women make up only 8-16% of Wikipedia contributors to the site according to various estimates. Some have argued that this gender gap creates a coverage gap on the site: entries tend to focus on men or stereotypically masculine topics. Wikipedia’s race- and sexuality-gaps are even more pronounced than its gender gap.

Wikipedia’s gender gap is improving. A recent study has shown that the English-language Wikipedia has roughly the same number of entries about women as it does about men. The entries about women, though, tend to focus more on their family, children (or lack thereof), and relationship status.

The FMU edit-a-thon is part of a larger, international effort that Wikipedia itself supports. Subjects on the site should be represented accurately, objectively, and evenly. As professors Sarah Adams (Yale) and Hannah Brückner (NYU of Abu Dhabi) explain, given the sheer volume of traffic to the site, Wikipedia is perhaps the “most important reference tool and information clearinghouse” in the world. Moreover, Adams and Brückner point out that “[Wikipedia] is widely used in American and other countries’ secondary schools and universities. It is an important go-to site for many students who are trying to learn about topics that are new to them.”

FMU English Studies professors are well aware that students of all ages consult Wikipedia when completing research projects. Composition classes like English 200 often ask students to compose a research-based, argumentative essay. During these assignments, professors help students evaluate the objectivity and credibility of sources. Wikipedia often does not qualify as an appropriate source for many types of college-level academic writing, including English 200 essays. However, many professors teaching college composition endorse consulting Wikipedia during the initial research stage. During this part of the process, the researcher seeks a broad overview of his subject as well as keywords that relate to it. She then uses this information to conduct more targeted, informed research using library-based resources, such as peer-reviewed journal articles and books.

Ultimately, increasing the presence and participation of women and GLBTQ on Wikipedia will create a more objective, complete resource that is popular the world over. Adams and Brückner say it best: “Knowledge is power, as the adage has it, and a well-informed citizenry is the basis of a vibrant economy and strong democracy.”

If you’re in the FMU community and have questions about the event, email co-organizers Dr. Mica Hilson and Dr. Amy Rubens of FMU English Studies or public services librarian Ms. Tammy Ivins, MSLS.

Note: The organizers are indebted to the pioneering work of scholar and prolific Wikipedian Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz. Dr. Wadewitz passed away following a rock climbing accident last year. Learn more about Dr. Wadewtiz and her work with Wikipedia, especially on college campuses.


Career Information Session for Majors, Minors, and Collaterals

“So what are you going to do with that?”

You might hear that question from family and friends quite often if you are pursuing some type of certification in English studies.

Actually, career options are boundless for students who are earning a major, minor, or collateral in one of the department’s programs, including Liberal Arts, Professional Writing, Secondary English Education, Creative Writing, and Writing and Language. 

Learn more at an upcoming career information session on February 26, 2015 from 3:30-4:30 PM in Founders Hall 111-A.