English Division Blog (11.20.16)

Lâle Davidson with Strange Appetites.

Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Lâle Davidson, Distinguished Professor of English, reports that several faculty were represented at the recent Chronicle book fair, including poets Dr. Stu Bartow, Professor of English, Dr. Kathie McCoy, Professor of English, and Davidson herself. Davidson’s hand bound chapbook, Strange Appetites, was for sale at the book fair. According to Davidson, one reviewer describes the book as roving “the absurd landscape of internal reality, where perception is visceral, instantaneous, and imagistic.” It will be for sale on her website.

 

Report from the Symposium

Di Kivi, Adjunct Professor of English and a member of the English Division’s  High School to College Symposium (Power in Partnership) Committee reports:

Bravo to Dr. Naftali Rottenstreich, Associate Professor of English, and the committee of the 11th annual Power in Partnership High School-College Symposium. The symposium, which was held at the Wilton campus on Friday, October 21st, was among the largest the College has held, with 57 attendees, representing 19 area school districts.

Topics this year included hope in the classroom, meeting the needs of all students, and confronting technology in the classroom. The roundtable discussions were followed by two workshops. Wendy Johnson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, led a workshop on civic engagement, while Naftali Rottenstreich guided the technologically challenged among us through the intricacies of interacting with our students through Google Docs.

As always, the feedback was extremely positive, including comments such as, “The Symposium is incredibly validating, as well as challenging, to my passion as an educator,” “It was a joy. I valued the time to collaborate in a meaningful manner,” and “It was very enjoyable and enlightening to hear from so many new perspectives and voices.”

Local actor/direction Erin Ouellette taught a workshop on Othello.

In Our Classrooms

Local actor and director Erin Ouellette, who directed a Hubbard Hall production of Shakespeare’s Othello last summer,  conducted a workshop for students in conjunction with a reading of Othello in the English 108 (Writing for and About Literature) section taught by Jane Arnold, Professor of English. Ouellette began by giving some of her impressive background, including a stint with Shakespeare and Company, and went on to explain that in Shakespeare’s time, actors took their direction from the script, rather than from a person. Students then presented readings from the play, either individually or in groups.

After each presentation, Ouellette dissected the text and its meaning, often with explicit explanations of the double meanings of the language. Readings spanned the entire play, ending with Othello’s dramatic death scene (assisted by a plastic knife), as the student playing Othello addressed what he told us was Desdemona’s ghost.

Student response was uniformly enthusiastic; the class ran out of time before students ran out of questions for Ouellette. Among the comments:  “She worked so hard!,” “She knows so much!,” “That was so much fun!,” “I was thinking it would be [shrug], but it was just terrific!,” “She made it all so interesting,” “I learned so much about poetry,” and, finally, “Will you have her come back next semester?”

Special thanks to the FSA for funding Ouellette’s workshop, which frees up limited English Division moneys for other guest speakers in the spring.

Faculty Websites

Dr. Lâle Davidson
Dr. Khristeena Lute
Peter Marino 
Dr. Kathleen McCoy
Joe Portes
Ellen Ricks
Charlotte Smith
Dan Vollweiler
Bill Weiss

The English Division blog is compiled by Jane Arnold, arnoldj@sunyacc.edu, with able editing and proofreading by Librarian Kay Hafner. The blog will resume in the spring, on January 30, 2017.