October 2, 2023

Blevins Speaks to Virginia Farm Bureau Growing Leaders

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English, recently delivered a presentation and workshop to the Virginia Farm Bureau’s Growing Leaders Academy on “Digital Identity and Social Media” in Blacksburg, VA. Blevins spoke about how agricultural businesses can use social media to promote rural and farm-based agricultural endeavors.

Foss Publishes Book Chapter on Oscar Wilde

Professor of English Chris Foss

Professor of English Chris Foss

Professor of English Chris Foss has published a book chapter entitled “The Importance of Being Green: Pen, Pencil and Poison as a Study in Close Reading and Color Decoding” in Critical Insights: Oscar Wilde, an essay collection from Salem Press/EBSCO edited by Frederick S. Roden.

Oscar Wilde is indisputably one of the most colorful literary figures of the past 150 years, perhaps in no small part owing to his own awareness, appreciation, and application of color across his life and work. Given the heyday Irish writers currently continue to enjoy (in both academic and more popular circles) as part and parcel of the general ascendancy of all things Irish in the 1990s, it may seem self-evident that green might serve as one of the most significant pigments on Wilde’s palette. It is, though, perhaps somewhat more provocative to suggest one must turn to his largely overlooked prose piece “Pen, Pencil and Poison”—a piece republished and newly minted with a green subtitle during his golden year of 1891—if one is to fully grasp the importance of being green for Wilde the critic and artist.

Critical Insights: Oscar Wilde book cover

In “Pen, Pencil and Poison,” Wilde pays tribute to Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (a now-obscure minor poet, painter, and man of letters from the first half of the century, more infamous as a convicted forger and suspected poisoner than famous as an artist).  As the subtitle suggests, the secret to unpacking Wilde’s very personal and impressionistic rendering of his subject depends upon his subtle application of the various shades of green at play in the piece. In my reading, he employs green to invoke his own particular versions of aestheticism, homophile desire, and Irish nationalism. What is more, he blends these shades in such a way that one may begin to see all three of these foci as inextricably intertwined—intertwined with each other, and intertwined with fin-de-siècle decadence and its dangerous liaisons with sin and crime.

Rochelle Publishes Story “Mirrors”

Professor of English Warren Rochelle

Professor of English Warren Rochelle

Warren Rochelle, Professor of English and current coordinator of the creative writing program, recently had his story “Mirrors” published in Once Upon a Green Rose, edited by Michon Neal and released from Cuil Press.

Lorentzen Gives a Talk on Victorian Serial Fiction at George Mason University

Eric Lorentzen, Associate Professor of English

Eric Lorentzen, Professor of English

Eric Lorentzen, Professor of English, was recently invited to George Mason University to speak about Victorian serial fiction, Dickens, and elements of popular culture that continue in that tradition today, such as film chronicles, soap operas, teen dramas, and the telenovela. He also discussed Dickens and Victorian literary traditions that survive beyond the realms of visual culture in the twenty-first century.

Barrenechea Publishes Essay in Premier Comparative Literature Journal

Professor of English Antonio Barrenechea

Antonio Barrenechea, Professor of English, recently published the award-winning essay “Hemispheric Studies beyond Suspicion/Estudos hemisféricos além da suspeita” in Revista Brasileira de Literatura Comparada, the premier journal of comparative literature in Latin America: http://revista.abralic.org.br/index.php/revista/article/view/552/753

Foss Presents Working Chapter from Waple Book Manuscript Project at South Atlantic Modern Language Association

Professor of English Chris Foss

Professor of English Chris Foss

Oscar Wilde

In November, Professor of English Chris Foss presented a paper entitled “’He remembered that the little Mermaid had no feet and could not dance’: The Nexus of Power, Identity, and Relationships in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Fisherman and His Soul’ as Seen through the Lens of Disability Studies” as part of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference at the Westin Peachtree in Atlanta. In his paper, Foss argued “The Fisherman and His Soul” offers a fascinating trawl of entangled elements relative to its two main disability-aligned characters, a little Mermaid and a young Fisherman (the latter only becoming so after he cuts away his Soul from his body). The story offers a clear undermining of the sort of monstrous identities those in power insist upon assigning to those different from them in an attempt to limit any new understandings of or relationships with any groups or individuals upon whose othering their authority and privilege depends. This paper represents the first draft of the fourth content chapter for his Waple Professorship book project entitled The Importance of Being Different: Intersectional Disability and Emotional Response in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales.

UMW Debate Team Starts the New Year with Big Win

UMW First-Year Ainsley Rucker (right) teamed up with U.S. Naval Academy student Matthew Pickard to win the novice championship against George Mason University at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, Jan. 3-5.

UMW First-Year Ainsley Rucker (right) teamed up with U.S. Naval Academy student Matthew Pickard to win the novice championship against George Mason University at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, Jan. 3-5.

The University of Mary Washington Debate Team started off the new year with a bang, winning the novice championship at the first tournament of the semester. Senior John Huebler, and first-year students Amanda Ciocca and Ainsley Rucker returned early from winter break to compete at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, January 3-5. The tournament fielded competitors from across the nation, including Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, and Dartmouth, as well as UMW’s frequent competitors from the region, including George Mason, Georgetown and the U.S. Naval Academy

Ciocca and Huebler competed in varsity, with wins against opponents from Georgetown and New York University. Rucker competed with a partner from another school – Matthew Pickard, from the Naval Academy in a combined junior varsity and novice division. They faced opponents from George Mason, Rochester, and New York University. In the novice final round, they were assigned to negate George Mason’s proposal to cooperate with China on space-based solar power. They defeated George Mason by a 2-1 decision of the judges.

“Ainsley and her colleague from Navy debated very well all weekend in a very tough division that included junior varsity teams. It was great to start the semester off with a strong win. The spring semester tournament schedule is intense and starting off the semester with a tournament win gives our squad momentum,” said Adrienne Brovero, director of debate at UMW.

The team is now gearing up for tournaments at the Naval Academy and Liberty in January, and hosting and competing in the District VII National Debate Tournament Qualifier in February. The team is also preparing to host multiple debates on campus during the semester, which will be open to the public. Information about those events will be available via the team’s social media in later January.

To follow the team, follow @UMWDebate on Twitter & Instagram, and University of Mary Washington Debate on Facebook.

Goldman Quoted in Atlanta Journal-Constitution Opinion Piece

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman

Adria Goldman, Assistant Professor of Communication, was recently quoted multiple times as an expert in African American women and popular culture in the opinion piece “Is Gabrielle Union’s truth really that different from Julianne Hough’s?” in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Lee Presents at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association

Janie Lee, Associate Professor of Linguistics.

Janie Lee, Associate Professor of Linguistics

Janie Lee, Associate Professor of Linguistics, presented her research at the 2019 meeting of the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropology Society in Vancouver. Her paper was “Migrants as Language Experts and Subtitles as Listening Subject in South Korean Television” and was part of the panel “Redefining the Language Professional: Shifting Duties and Changing Institutional Climates.” The paper investigated the way Korean ethnonationalism was enabled in entertainment media through the use of unconventional subtitling practices for migrant speech.

Goldman Presents on Images of Young Black Females in Reality Programming at National Communication Association Conference

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman

Last Friday, November 15, Adria Goldman, Assistant Professor of Communication, presented at the National Communication Association’s 105th Annual Convention in Baltimore, MD as part of the session “Beyond the Journal: Discussions of Media Narratives about Youth and Race and a Call for Media Literacy.” Her presentation, titled “From Cartoons to Reality Television: Examining Images of Young Black Females in Reality Programming,” was a review of her analysis of two competition reality shows with child/adolescent casts–Bravo’s Top Chef Jr. and Lifetime’s The Rap Game. In her dissertation research, she found that representations of Black women in reality television were more flattering when the cast was predominately Black. The goal of the current study was to (1) identify how young Black females are presented in reality television programming and the implications of such, (2) identify similarities and differences between the two competition shows, noting the different racial background of each show, and (3) use the findings to recommend media literacy practices and activities or young audiences. It was a great session, and she reports that it was also exciting presenting alongside fellow UMW Assistant Professor of Communication Emily Deering Crosby and with Elizabeth Johnson-Young, also a UMW Assistant Professor of Communication, as their chair.