November 14, 2018

Dan Dervin Featured in Free Lance-Star

Dan Dervin, professor emeritus of English, was featured in an author’s spotlight in The Free Lance-Star.

Dan Dervin Publishes ‘Digital Child’

Daniel Dervin, professor emeritus of English, recently published his latest book, “The Digital Child,” an examination of childhood development in an advancing technological era.

Dervin’s book illustrates his concern of how contemporary childhood has moved away from the focus of inwardness, a psychological concept for the awareness of one’s self as resulting from the world, and how those reflections are internalized. Dervin believes inwardness permits the processing of an individuals’ thoughts, experiences and emotions.

In his text, Dervin traces the evolution of how childhood is perceived in the West and how inwardness has been defined throughout history. Six transformational stages of childhood are identified in his study: tribal, pedagogical, religious, humanist, rational, citizen and the newest stage, the digital child. By the referencing of myths, literary texts, cultural histories, media reports, the visual arts as well as traditions of parenting, pediatrics and pedagogy, Dervin examines each stage preceding the digital child stage.

With biological, cultural and psychological approaches to his investigation, Dervin studies the past stages of humanity in order to unveil the past—and future—of humanity.

Elizabeth Johnson-Young Wins National Communication Association Award

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, assistant professor of communication, was recently awarded the prize for the Top Student Paper in the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association. The paper, “Predicting Intentions to Breastfeed for Three Months, Six Months, and One Year Using the Theory of Planned Behavior and Body Satisfaction,” was written and submitted while completing her doctoral studies in the spring of 2015 and was presented at the organization’s national conference in Las Vegas in November.


Johnson-Young’s research surveyed pregnant women regarding their intentions to breastfeed their babies for three recommended periods of time. Findings demonstrated the strength of the theory of planned behavior constructs in predicting these intentions, as well as a possible boomerang effect of perceived subjective norms, which might also be conceptualized as perceived social pressure. Including body satisfaction prior to and during pregnancy also appeared to be a significant moderator of these intentions, providing a new way to understand both theoretical influences and practical considerations for this specific population in making health decisions.

Scanlon Presents on Women Modernist Poets

Mara Scanlon, professor of English, presented a paper entitled “Charlotte Mew, H.D., and the Magdalen: ‘what she did everyone knows'” at the H.D. and Feminist Poetics Conference in Bethlehem, PA, H.D.’s birthplace.

The paper examined the Magdalen figures in two poems, not only analyzing the representations of their sexual bodies and the visions they enable for male prophets, but also situating the publications in their wartime contexts, in which the crucified Christ becomes a figure for wounded or sacrificial soldiers.

Accompanying Dr. Scanlon to the conference to further their own research on poet Hilda Doolittle, known as H.D., were three senior English majors: Bailey Meeks, Shannon Birch, and Christina Cox.

Main Course

Summer session feeds students’ passion for writing

Rochelle Featured in Radio Segment

Warren Rochelle, professor of English, was the featured writer on The Rainbow Minutes, a feature of WRIR, 97.3. His topic was Gay Science Fiction and Fantasy. Check out for more information.

Rochelle Publishes Short Story

Professor of English Warren Rochelle’s short story, “Happily Ever After,” was published in Quantum Fairy Tales 9 (Fall 2014). The issue can be accessed at:


Lorentzen Gives Talk at Victorians Institute

Eric Lorentzen, associate professor of English, presented a talk at this year’s Victorians Institute conference, held in Charlotte, Oct. 23-25.  The theme of the 43rd annual conference was “The Mysteries at Our Own Doors,” and his talk was entitled “‘The Narrative of the Tombstone’: Teaching English 251S — British Victorian Detective and Sensation Novel.”  In this talk, he was able to share, with Victorian colleagues from across the country, the pedagogical philosophies and praxes that he has employed in his course for the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, as well as an argument about the goals and objectives of this course and genre.  He also connected the talk to a summer course here at the University of Mary Washington in which he and his students pursue the study of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Cross-Country Chronicles

Adam Hunter pedaled from California to Virginia, blogging about his experiences along the way.

Cross-Country Chronicles

Adam Hunter pedaled from California to Virginia, blogging about his experiences along the way.