Dr. Jana Wesson-Martin attended the Texas A&M University EGAD (English Graduates for Academic Development) Conference in February, 2010, to present her paper on literature’s transformational power in higher education. The two-fold study presents an examination of university student population along with exposure to 19th century literary figure Kate Chopin (1850-1904), an author whose works probe dichotomies of enclosure and freedom.
Wesson-Martin’s holistic study, based on the foundation of hermeneutic and phenomenological research, discusses literature’s resounding and universal call to seek one’s best life.
Dr. Larry Brunner, Senior Professor of English, has a book review appearing in an upcoming issue of the journal Christianity & Literature. In addition, Dr. Brunner is currently working on an article on British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson and has multiple biographical articles accepted for a reference work soon to be published. Dr. Brunner, who serves as an Elder at Beltway Park Baptist Church in Abilene, is also deeply committed to the Emmaus community.
Dr. Robert Fink, W.D. and Hollis Bond Professor of English, completed his latest poetry book manuscript “Thin Places” and rewrote his literary nonfiction book manuscript “ETXEA: House of Our Father” over the summer of 2009. Dr. Fink, who directs HSU’s Creative Writing Program, is poetry editor of Texas Tech University Press’s The Walt McDonald First-Book Series in Poetry. His poems appear in the most recent issues of Crab Orchard Review (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Iron Horse Literary Review (Texas Tech University), Image: Art, Faith, Mystery (Seattle Pacific University), and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review (Austin, Texas).
Dr. Larry Fink, Professor of English, was elected vice-President of The C. S. Lewis & Inklings Society at their March 2009 meeting where he also delivered a paper, "Unexpected Themes in C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity." In Fall 2008, he presented two papers:"Religious Themes in the Lyrics of Marc Cohn" at the Southwest Conference on Christianity & Literature in Shawnee, OK, and “Pascal & Puddleglum, Boethius & Beowulf in The Silver Chair and Grendel” at the annual meeting of the Southwest Conference on Christianity & Literature in Houston, TX. More recently, he presented “Walter M. Miller, Walker Percy, Carl Sagan and Scientism” as part of the third annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture. Dr. Fink’s article “Imbruted Souls in Milton, MacDonald, and Lewis” appeared in Inklings Forever in 2008, and his book review of Dinah Hazell’s The Plants of Middle-Earth: Botany and Sub-Creation was published in the journal Seven: An Anglo American Literary Review.
Dr. Traci Thompson was recently promoted to full professor. Faculty must prepare detailed application materials in order to be considered for promotion, which is only awarded to individuals able to meet a complex criteria for Excellence in Teaching, including knowledge of subject, ability to communicate the subject, ability to demonstrate self-evaluation and improvement, skills in organization and planning, service to students, service to the university, service to the community, and service to the profession.
Dr. Jana Wesson-Martin, Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of HSU’s Writing Center, had the opportunity to spend two weeks journeying in Israel over the summer for what she considered “a lifetime highlight.” Dr. Wesson-Martin taught ESL classes at a children’s camp for Tents of Mercy, participated in Bible study, and toured the Holy Lands. “Taking a sunset boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, visiting the Mount of Olives, walking the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, and peering into an empty Garden Tomb,” she writes, affirmed for her the truth, “Yes, it’s empty. He is Risen.”
Dr. Jason King recently joined the faculty of HSU’s Department of English after finishing his doctoral work at Texas Christian University. Dr. King, who directs HSU’s Basic Writing program, wrote his dissertation on the ways digital technologies and online spaces shape writing and public argument in the twenty-first century. More specifically, he examined the ways in which the “autism epidemic” of recent years can be understood as a “rhetorical phenomenon” which has been enabled largely through the public’s increased access to new media writing technologies.
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