November 14, 2018

Rao Represents University at Faculty Senate of Virginia, Presents at Conference

On Saturday, October 20, P. Anand Rao, Professor of Communication and Director of the Speaking Intensive Program and the Speaking Center, and Marcel Rotter, Associate Professor of German, represented the University of Mary Washington at the Faculty Senate of Virginia meeting held at Virginia Commonwealth University. Rao is currently serving as president of FSVA, and Rotter is serving as treasurer. They were joined by representatives from twelve other schools and discussed plans for Virginia Higher Education Advocacy Day, which will be held on January 10, 2019.

On Tuesday, October 23, Rao gave a presentation at the Assessment Institute Conference held in Indianapolis titled “Using Assessment Results to Re-Tool the First-Year Seminar.” Despite a 7 a.m. slot, there was a good turnout of 20+ persons and a very active discussion.


Barrenechea Publishes on Brazilian Film

Antonio Barrenechea, Associate Professor of English, recently published an entry on the Brazilian film “Black God, White Devil (1964)” in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism:

Richards Presents at American Literature Association Conference

Gary Richards, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, presented “Queering Welty’s Male Bodies in the Undergraduate Classroom” on the roundtable devoted to teaching the works of Eudora Welty at the American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco, Calif., held May 24-27, 2018.

Blevins’ Dissertation Garners Honorable Mention

The dissertation of Brenta Blevins, assistant professor of English, entitled “From Corporeality to Virtual Reality: Theorizing Literacy, Bodies, and Technology in the Emerging Media of Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities,” received honorable mention designation for the 2017 Computers and Composition Hugh Burns Dissertation Award, as announced at the 2018 Computers and Writing Conference in Fairfax, VA. This award acknowledges and supports the growth of scholarship, research, and teaching in the field of Computers and Composition Studies.

Blevins’ dissertation examines Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality texts and their rhetorical and composing strategies, situates VR, AR, and MR into a continuum of communication practices using a range of classical and contemporary theories, and concludes with pedagogical approaches for incorporating these media into classroom assignments. Blevins completed her dissertation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro under the direction of Stephen Yarbrough and graduated in May 2017.

Whalen, Blevins, and Skallerup Bessette Present at Computers and Writing Conference





Skallerup Bessette

Zach Whalen, Associate Professor of English; Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English; and Lee Skallerup Bessette, Instructional Technology Specialist, recently gave presentations that constituted a panel at the 2018 Computers and Writing Conference, held at George Mason University.

The session was titled “Locating Digital Writing Space,” and the presenters talked about the origins of the Console Living Room project, using Augmented Reality with students to expand and complicate their sense of that space, and the ethos of Domain of One’s Own as digital writing space.

Subrmananian Chosen as Livingston Awards Finalist

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of English with a focus on journalism, is a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists​. The award honors the best reporting and storytelling by journalists under 35 and is popularly known as the Pulitzer for the Young. The work for which she is being recognized is a cover story for Slate on a cruel medical experiment done in Guatemala in the 1940s and the subjects and their families who are still affected.

Read the piece here:

The award winners will be chosen in June.

A complete list of finalists can be found here:

Rafferty Publishes Latest Essay in Presidential Series

Colin Rafferty, Associate Professor of English, had his essay on Chester A. Arthur, “Smear Campaign (#21),” to appear last week in the new issue of storySouth. This is the latest in his series of essays devoted to the U.S. presidency and the men who have held that office.

Dasgupta Delivers Two Conference Papers

Shumona Dasgupta, Associate Professor of English, recently presented two conference papers, “A Counter Discourse to Bollywood: Gender, Nation and Violence in Bengali Partition Cinema” at the Association of Asian Studies Conference in Washington, DC March 22-25 and “An(other) Story: Memory, Trauma and Identity in Muslim Narratives of the Partition” at the American Comparative Literature Association’s annual conference hosted by UCLA in Los Angeles March 29-April 1.

Richards Leads Discussion of James Baldwin at Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Gary Richards, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, recently led the breakfast book discussion of James Baldwin’s first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival held in New Orleans, La. March 21-25, 2018.

Canceled: Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Talk

A talk by this year’s annual Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lydia H. Liu has been canceled do to the weather.

The talk, presented by UMW’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Kappa of Virginia, and the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, was scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Lee Hall 411.