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College of Arts and Sciences English

English professor chronicles Arctic residency adventure

the AntiguaSailing aboard the Antigua, a traditionally rigged tall ship specially outfitted for sailing in the high Arctic,   writer and Regents professor of English Debbie Lee chronicled her experience as a member of the Arctic Circle Artist Residency Program.

One of thirty artists from every part of the world sailing the west coast of Svalbard toward the North Pole while working on individual and collaborative projects, Lee teamed up with a glass sculptor, » More …

Data analysis, text mining drives literary research

outdoor portraitEnglish major Matthew Jockers wasn’t always a computer whiz. The new dean of the WSU College of Arts and Sciences recalls a class in high school in which he struggled to program a mainframe to print out his name. “It was that tricky,” he says.

A love of reading, writing, and literature led him to become a very good coder indeed. Jockers is an expert in R, a programming language he uses to write the pattern-detecting algorithms at the heart of his research. Jockers uses it to analyze texts—lots and lots of text. One wag wrote that Jockers may be the only literature professor to assign 1,200 novels in a single class. » More …

If these walls could talk

Aerial shot of historic WSU Pullman campus.The University’s Historic Preservation Committee recently launched a new website that provides the first comprehensive online history of WSU Pullman’s buildings and landscapes.

Developed as a teaching tool and an eventual community history repository, the WSU Building and Landscapes website features photographs, maps and plans from the WSU Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC).  Currently, the website includes entries for 161 buildings on the Pullman campus, including 39 buildings » More …

Faculty receive Office of Research Awards

Kim Christen, Tammy Barry, and Peter Reilly.The WSU Office of Research presented awards to three faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences for their outstanding achievements in research as part of opening ceremonies for WSU Research Week.

Read more about Kim Christen (English), Tammy Barry (psychology), and Peter Reilly (chemistry) >> » More …

Debut book earns prestigious honor

Aaron N. OforleaAaron Oforlea’s first book, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison and the Rhetorics of Black Male Subjectivity, has earned the College Language Association’s Creative Scholarship Award for 2018. The international honor, whose previous winners include renowned scholars from Harvard, Penn and Stanford, recognizes excellence in literary criticism and is awarded at the organization’s annual convention.. The nominations » More …

Re-Imagined Radio: Sound-based storytelling for the digital age

Image of an old radio with a reel of images showing voice actors in costumeBefore riding off in search of the Oregon Territory, the rangers stood and joined the audience in one final chorus of the famous words from the mysterious masked man known as The Lone Ranger: “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”

Applause erupted for the 11 voice actors and Foley artists dressed for the Old West. The lights of Vancouver’s timeless Kiggins Theatre slowly brightened, and the live radio broadcast of “The Lone Ranger Re-Imagined,” which had been streaming online in 32 countries across the globe, concluded.

This live performance » More …

WSM review: English alumnus’ poetry book

Deer at Twilight book cover.Hiking solo through the mountains can be a lonely endeavor. Missing human companionship, some turn to the subtle moods and personalities inherent in the woodland world itself.

Those emotional complexities come alive in this lovely little volume written while author Paul Willis (’80 MA, ’85 PhD, English) explored the North Cascades National Park during an artist-in-residence program and a subsequent residency with the North Cascades Institute. » More …

Students partner with local businesses, gain real-world writing experience

Students in a WSU Tri-Cities technical writing courseA technical writing course at WSU Tri-Cities partnered with local businesses and organizations to produce documents ranging from manuals, to booklets, to instruction guides. This opportunity allowed students to hone the skills they cultivated throughout the course to fulfill a real-world business need.

Vanessa Cozza, clinical assistant professor of English and instructor of the course, said the goals with the project were to provide students with a real-world opportunity that would add value back into their own community, while offering them a tangible example they could use in the future for their professional careers. » More …

New CAS dean blends humanities, arts, sciences

professor portrait, outsideAs a young scholar, Matthew Jockers loved both the wildness of literature and the controlled logic of computer programming. And much like Rudyard Kipling’s description in East and West: at first “never the twain shall meet,” but in the end, they combine to form a strong bond.

“There is a thread in my literary training that was focused on » More …

‘Conquistador’ eyed for TV series

Conquistador book coverTwo Hollywood production companies have optioned English instructor Buddy Levy’s Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs, with plans to turn the epic tale into a TV series.

“I knew from the beginning when I wrote it that it had cinematic value,” said Levy. “Not necessarily from my writing, though I hope that’s part of it. It’s just a whopper of a tale.”

Published by Bantam Books in 2008, Conquistador chronicles the demise of the Aztec Empire as Hernán Cortés imprisons its leader, Montezuma, and captures » More …