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Publications and Activities

School Year Fall 2016 - Summer 2017

Publications and Other Announcements

Summer 2017

Dr. Lucy Biederman, a graduate of our program, has won the VIne Leaves Press Vignette Collection Award for her book, The Walmart Book of the Dead, based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead but telling the story of people trapped forever inside a Walmart. Dr. Biederman has also seen publication of her article "A Promise Song: Ernest J. Gaines's Early Fictions and the Community of Black Women Writing" in Studies in the Literary Imagination, Vol. 49, No. 1.

Josh Capps, Director of the Acadiana Writing Project, and Dr. Toby Daspit, Associate Professor in the College of Education held the 2017-18 National Writing Project SEED Invitational Leadership Institute to Invest in Developing New Teacher-Leaders during the week of June 12th. The Institute provided professional development training to 12 high school and middle school teachers, who participated in over 15 intensive creative and critical writing exercises, which they then used with students during the following week during the Gear Up -- Improving the Blank Page Institute (week of June 19th). The teachers will continue to use these exercises with students in writing clubs throughout the year. But that's not all. During the week of June 25th, Josh and Toby held the 2017 National Writing Project Advanced Institute To Scale Up The College-Ready Writers Program. The goal was to help teachers prepare students for college by teaching argumentative writing that utilizes non-fiction sources. So, they had a very productive summer, enriching the writing lives of both teachers and students.

Dr. Shelly Ingram's article, "Postmodern Storytelling in John Dufresne's Louisiana Novels" appears in the 2016 Louisiana Folklore Miscellany XXVI.

Dr. Clare Manes's article "Reading Ivan Turgenev with Ernest J. Gaines: Analyzing Fathers and Sons and Catherine Carmier" appears in Studies in the Literary Imagination, Vol. 49, No. 1.

Jennifer Morrison's article, "The Politics of the Plate: Foodways and Southern Culture in Ernest Gaines's 'Of Love and Dust'" also appears in 2016 Louisiana Folklore Miscellany XXVI.

Elizabeth Oxler's article, "I Understand Somewhere It Has Rained: Patricia Smith's Writing of Katrina" appears in the 2016 Louisiana Folklore Miscellany XXVI

Dr. Matthew Teutsch's article "Mr. Joe Lewis, Help Me: Sports in the Fiction of Ernest Gaines," has been published in the most recent issue of MELUS (the journal of The Society of the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literatures). Dr. Teutsch's article "They want us to be Creoles, there is no in-between: Creole Representations in Ernest Gaines' Catherine Carmier and Lyle Saxon's Children of Strangers" has been published in Studies in the Literary Imagination, Vol. 49, No. 1. Dr. Teutsch is graduate of our program and a former interim director of the Gaines Center here at the University of Louisiana. He is currently a faculty member at the Auburn University.


Spring 2017

Dr. Maia Butler has been offered and has accepted the position of Assistant Professor of African American Literature at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She will take up the position in Fall 2017.

Dr. Joshua Caffery, a graduate of our program, was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for a project that stemmed from his dissertation research. I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax in the Evangeline Country (Valcour Records), which Caffery co-produced, was nominated in the Best Regional Roots Album Category at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. The album derived from Caffery's research into vernacular Louisiana song, which was the focus of his dissertation and the the basis of his book Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Recordings (LSU Press 2013).

Dr. Meagan Cass, a graduate of the Creative Writing Program and  currently Assistant Prof. at Illinois-Springfield, has just won this year's Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction her manuscript ActivAmerica.

Connie Castille was recently featured in an article in the article "One of the Folks: Connie Castille's Cultural Commonalities" by Shauna Perkins. The article, which discussed Connie's work as a filmmaker, appeared in the magazine LifeStyle, Vol. 30, number 5.

Jack Ferstel, M.A.,  Master Instructor of English, successfully obtained a $36,000 STEP grant for the Department that will equip two more SMART classrooms in Griffin.. The installation will be done over the summer in time for fall classes.

Dr. Jennifer Geer's article titled “The Case of the Celebrity Sleuth: The Girl Detective as Star in Early Nancy Drew Novels,” was published in The Lion and the Unicorn vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 300-328.

Bryan Hinojosa, a former student in the Creative Writing Program, recently (Feb.) published Journeys Past the Edge of the Universe, a collection of his short stories, through Sara Book Publishing.  The book is available through Amazon.

Dr. Leah Orr published "John Bull and the American Revolution: The Transatlantic Afterlives of Arbuthnot's Character" in the Journal of British Studies 56.1 (2017), pp. 51-69.

Matt Pincus's article "“Bewitched Policies of Resistance: America’s Legacy of Unknown Soldiers in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller" was recently published in Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World in a Special Issue on Indigenous Knowledges and Sites of Indigenous Memory.

Leigh Rourks, a current graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, was a runner-up (one of nine finalists) in the same contest for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her manuscript titled Moon Trees.

Denise M. Rogers, M.F.A., an instructor and Director of the Writing Center, published her poem, "The Emperor's Dreams" in the online publication, Mockingheart Review, Volume 2, Issue 1.

Dr. Dayana Stetco and Shannon Miller, Assistant Professor of Theatre here at UL,  have published a non fiction book, In Place of This. It was published by Akinoga Press and launched at this year's AWP Conference in Washington, DC. An expanded version of the book will be released by UL Press in May 2017. Dr. Stetco also illuminated the manuscript.


Josh Capps, M.F.A., an instructor in the English Department and DIrector of the National Writing Project of Acadiana, and  Dr. Toby Daspit, Associate Professor in the College of Education, received a 2017-18 Advanced Institute to Scale-Up NWP's College-Ready Writers Program grant in the amount of $20,000. The purpose of this grant is to invest in 12 - 16 experienced middle and high school Writing Project teacher-leaders through an Advanced Institute to take place in the summer of 20017 and continuing during the 2017-18 school year. They also won were awarded a $15,000 dollar grant for their 2017-2018 SEED Invitational Leadership Institute. The grant supports an Invitational Leadership Institute that invests in 12 or more K-University teacher-leaders from diverse educational settings, who are new to the Writing Project community.The grant ties in with the partnership Josh and Toby already have with Gear Up and, as Josh mentions, "it is the closest thing we've had to a Summer Institute since 2013, when federal funding was slashed for NWP."


Fall 2016

Publications and Activities

Dr. Skip Fox has a new book of poems out: Stormy Mondays, published by BlazeVox[Books].

Dr. Randy Gonzales published “Social Media Biography of a Spree Killer, Part 1” in the July 1, 2016 issue of Carbon Culture Review. Also, three of his poems, “Tanka for Two,” “Becoming,” and “Object Benefit of a Grandfather as a Coconut Grinder,” appeared in Redactions 20 (2016).

Dr. Lisa Graley's collection of short stories, The Current That Carries,  was released in September by University of Georgia Press. Kirkus describes it as "a subtle, powerful portrait of the strength and limits of human connectedness." Robert Olen Butler notes, "Lisa Graley is truly an important new writer. Flannery O'Connor would have loved her sensibility, would have loved this book." The collection is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the UGA Press.

Dr. Michael Kightley's article “The Brothers of Beowulf: Fraternal Tensions and the Reticent Style” was published in in ELH 83 (2016), pp. 407-29.

Dr. Jerry McGuire (poetry/welcome), Dr. Sadie Hoagland (fiction), Denise Rogers (poetry), Dr. Sara Beth Ferguson (playwriting), Dan Calhoun (fiction), and Daniel Altenburg (poetry) participated in the Annual Symposium of the Writers Guild of Acadiana. The Symposium was held at the Lafayette Public Library Southside Branch on Nov. 5, 2016.

Dr. Leah Orr's article, "Dido and Aeneas in Eighteenth-Century England: Virgilian Imitation and National Identity," appeared this past fall in Classical Receptions Journal 8.4 (2016), pp. 429-446.

Dr. Claiborne Rice, Professor of English, and Brandon Barker, a former Ph.D. student have been researching folk illusions, a form of play among children and teenagers. Their work was featured in an article Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik.published an article titled “Discover the Science of School Yard Illusions" in Scientific American. N.p., 1 Sept. 2016. You can read the article here. Rice and Barker's work can is also discussed in "Child's Play," which appears on the Scientific American's blog of August 12, 2016. You can read more about their work in “Folk Illusions and the Social Activation of Embodiment: Ping Pong, Olive Juice, and Elephant Shoe(s),” published in the Journal of Folklore Research 53.2 (2016): 63–85. JSTOR. They also presented their work in the following two venues:  American Folklore Society Annual Meeting. Miami, Florida, 19-22 October, 2016 (“Folkloric Performance and Animal Hypnotism”) and at the Department of English Faculty Colloquium, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 27 September 2016 (a preliminary version).

Dr. Claiborne Rice also sponsored, with Tamara Lindner of Modern Languages, the annual meeting of the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics in New Orleans.

Dr. Nichole Stanford, who was an undergraduate English major with us and, later, an adjunct instructor at UL, has just published her first book, Good God but You Smart! Language Prejudice and Upwardly Mobile Cajuns, with Utah State University Press. She earned her Ph.D. in English at CUNY and her MA at UNO, in rhetoric and composition studies.


Amanda Capelli, a graduate student in the English Department, was able to secure a sponsorship of $2000 from Dr. Ramesh Kolluru and the Research Office for the upcoming conference The Deep South in the Global South Conference. Dr. Kolluru praised Ms. Capelli by saying, "I applaud you and your colleagues for envisioning this multidisciplinary conference. I believe that our community of scholars will greatly benefit from and contribute to the conversation." The conference is a multi-disciplinary event sponsored by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette English Graduate Student Association. It will be held April 6-8, April 2017. Click this link for more information.