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College of Arts and Sciences English

Film documents Chicago’s Black Arts Movement

The Wall of Respect, mural, Chicago, Il.Two WSU Vancouver professors have chronicled one of America’s preeminent artistic and cultural movements in a new film. “BAM! Chicago’s Black Arts Movement” introduces viewers to more than a dozen writers, artists, musicians and community organizers who were instrumental in the campaign centered on black pride and aesthetic. People like poet Eugene Redmond, musician » More …

Textbook learning issues, literally

Anne Marie GuerrettazA Spencer Foundation grant for $50,000 is funding research into textbooks for Spanish-language classes and how those may help or hinder student learners.

Anne Marie Guerrettaz, assistant professor of language, literacy, and technology in the College of Education, is the principal investigator, with co-PIs Nancy Bell from the Department of English, and Nausica Marcos Miguel from Denison University’s modern languages program.

“I have discovered over the past year that 90 percent of English-speaking American kids that study a foreign language » More …

Dr. Universe: What’s the best story ever made?

Dr. Universe: a cat in a lab coatHumans have been telling stories for thousands of years. At first, they told these stories out loud, then they started to write.

There are more than a hundred million published books on our planet now and to find out which one is best, I visited my friend Matthew Jockers. He’s a professor at Washington State University who combines his love of stories with computer science to research what makes some books bestsellers. » More …

Fulbright summer award leads WSU sophomore to Wales

Ava Beck Linguistics major and Spokane native Ava Beck will study at Aberystwyth University in Wales for three weeks this summer, thanks to a Fulbright Summer Institute award.

Beck is one of approximately 60 U.S. students selected to undertake academic and cultural programs at any of nine hosting institutions throughout the United Kingdom. At Aberystwyth, Beck will join fellow Americans exploring contemporary issues in identity and nationhood “through the lens of Wales.” She will attend classes in the university’s Dept. of International Politics, explore the city, visit the National Library of Wales, and learn » More …

Book review: Baseball in a Grain of Sand

A baseball player holding a bat casts a shadow across the orange gravel of the playfield.Baseball, writes Bill Gruber (’79 PhD English), evokes a literary state of mind. Now an English professor at Emory University, he explains that the suspense, narrative, soaring victories, and crushing tragedies of stories also appear in baseball, perhaps more than any other sport.

In Baseball in a Grain of Sand, Gruber explores baseball history and drama through one summer season of an American Legion team in Moscow, Idaho, the Blue Devils. Along the way, he meets and introduces fascinating people, many of whom share Gruber’s unabashed sentimentality for the sport. » More …

Graduate students honored at Evening of Excellence

Steven Hobaica and Anne FullerTwelve College of Arts and Sciences graduate students in five different disciplines received scholarship awards at the WSU Graduate School at the fifth annual Evening of Excellence.

“I am grateful for the support that the award and the Graduate School have provided for graduate students to continue to serve their communities through research, scholarship, and public engagement,” said Tabitha Velasco, doctoral student in » More …

Annual awards honor faculty, staff, student achievement

group photo on the stageSixteen faculty, six staff, and six graduate students were honored for outstanding achievement at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social earlier this month.

Professor Mechthild Tegedar, an international leader in plant biology, and Gary Collins, a pioneer in the study of material defects, received the top two faculty awards. Chuck Cody and Paul Wheeler, both in » More …

People of the Palouse: a passion for writing, teaching

Peter ChilsonIn the 21 years English professor and author Peter Chilson has been at WSU, he has published four books and numerous journal articles. He’s also helped build a creative writing program that now includes a campus literary arts journal called “LandEscapes.”

Back in 1998, Chilson noticed an opening at WSU for a creative writing instructor specializing in creative non-fiction and applied for the job.

“I also happen to love teaching, so it’s been a very, very good fit for me,” Chilson said. » More …

Virginia Woolf scholar receives Legacy of Excellence award

Portrait of Dianne Gillespie and Sketch of Virginia Woolf.As the recipient of the 2019 Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence award, Virginia Woolf scholar and professor emerita Diane Gillespie was honored for her sustained contributions to academia, continued service to the university and community, and personal accomplishments in retirement.

Her Legacy of Excellence lecture, titled “What’s Left to Say about Virginia Woolf?,” was part of WSU Showcase, the annual celebration of faculty, staff and student excellence. » More …

Making the difference

“The fact that I’m a teacher now is just the greatest turn of events—my old high school teachers would be shocked,” says Kerry Clark (’11 Hum., ’14 MA English). He’s sharing his improbable story as we tour Saint George’s School, a private K–12 preparatory institute nestled in the woods along the Little Spokane River.

Clark teaches English and history classes for the International Baccalaureate Diploma program at Saint George’s and is also a college counselor. On top of that, he coaches soccer, basketball, and baseball. The notable achievement is made more impressive when you learn » More …