Author Archives: lapo0034

Spring 2012 Dish: Student and Faculty News

Sigma Tau Delta, English Honor Society 2012 Undergraduate and Graduate Inductees

Undergraduate students Kimberly Daigle, Jonathan Dorn, Jenna Herbert, Rebecca Hosie, Alexandra Korcz, Jennifer Marsteller, Adrianne Purtell, Sarah Shaw, and Christopher Surprenant were inducted into the Sigma Delta Tau English Honor Society at a ceremony on April 22, 2012. English and English-Adolescence Education majors who have completed 18 credits of English courses at Saint Rose and have a GPA of 3.5 or above are invited to join the Honor Society. Graduate students Melissa Archambeault, Emily LaPointe, and Mary Catherine Owen were also inducted into the Honor Society on the 22nd. Graduate inductees must have a GPA of or above 3.75 to be invited to join this English Honor Society in their final semester of study.

Congratulations on all your hard work, 2012 inductees!

Graduate Student News:

Graduate student Mary Catherine Owen (left) has had her nonfiction piece, “I was (Almost) a Twentysomething Jeopardy! Contestant” published on Splinter Generation, an online literary compilation. Regarding her status as a published author Owen remarked, “I was published in an online magazine called Defenestration in my sophomore year of undergraduate study at Saint Rose (and in Strose Prose after my freshman year), but this feels more like a real publication–particularly because my writing has improved so much in the past four years.” Read Mary Catherine’s piece!

Faculty Dish:

Dr. Alyssa Colton’s article, “Jumping Ship: Navigating the Waters of Alternative Career Options,” appeared in the AWP Job List in January 2012.

Dr. Megan Fulwiler’s and Dr. Kim Middleton’s co-authored article, “After Digital Storytelling: Video Composing in the New Media Age,” is in the March edition of Computers and Composition. They also recently presented their paper, “From Center to Network: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century,” at the NITLE Symposium (National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education).    

Dr. Kim Middleton’s article“Remix Video and the Crisis of the Humanities” appears in the latest issue of Transformative Works and Cultures.

On April 14, Professor Marcie Newton presented her paper at the “Craving Happiness, Containing Anxiety” interdisciplinary graduate conference at Brown University. Her paper is titled “‘I Love You; I ‘ate You’: Oral Aggression and the Consumed Subject in Antonia White’s Autobiographical Novels.”    

Dr. Holis Seamon’s short story, “The Trojan Cat,” appears in the Spring 2012 online issue of Persimmon Tree Magazine. Dr. Seamon’s newest book, a collection of short stories titled Corporeality, will be published by Able Muse Press in spring 2013.    

Dr. Brian Sweeney has been awarded aCREST Residential Fellowship for 2012-13. Dr. Sweeney said about his upcoming work, “The award will support my ongoing research into literary depictions of servants and professionals in 19th-century U.S. texts. The title of my CREST project is “Hazards and Joys of Importing Servants: Race, Atlantic Migration, and Free Servitude in Antebellum Fiction” and concerns the so-called “servant problem,” the middle-class belief that republican ideals of social equality had made the “faithful servant” (as well as the respectable domesticity which was imagined to depend on the loyalty of servants) an impossibility in the United States.”

See also the previous blog post for information on undergraduate student Paige Maguire’s recent publication!


Graduate Advanced Projects and Presentations

Eleven English Graduate students will complete their advanced projects this semester. Some of the students who completed projects in fall 2011, as well as some of those working this spring, will share their work on two nights, Thursday, May 3rd and Thursday, May 10th. Both of these presentation celebrations will be held at 6:30pm in Albertus 369 (369 is a large room towards the Science Center side of the 3rd floor of Albertus). All are welcome to attend the presentations!

Presenting on May 3rd: Kaitlin Affrunti, Melissa Archambeault, Tony Carrano, Lisa Christopher, Mary Catherine Owen, Steve Woosley.

Presenting on May 10th: Jonathan Hall, Ashley Healey, Sarah Lahue, Emily LaPointe, Briana St. John.

The following is a list of the students working on advanced projects this semester:

Melissa Archambeault, Literature. “I’m using the Horror/Gothic genre and looking at Lacanian Mirror Theory as a way to interpret the meaning between protagonist and monster in a piece.”

Tony Carrano, Writing. “I’m looking at literary aesthetics and the possibilities opened up by Experimentalist approaches.”

Lisa Christopher, Literature. “My tentative title for my advanced project is “Behind the Social Tapestry: Race and Class in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” I’m writing about the portrayal of race and class in the novel, arguing that race and class are collapsed together, and ultimately signify each other. Lily Bart, the protagonist of The House of Mirth, has trouble interacting with characters of a lower class than her own because she fears the contamination of her own status and bloodline.”

Jonathan Hall, Writing.  “I’m working on a collection of poetry that explores the relationship between people and the places and buildings in which they live.”

Ashley Healey, Literature. “For my advanced project I am focusing on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and 2 Henry VI.  I will be exploring how Shakespeare creates characters that are constantly performing gender in different ways, which demonstrates how there is not one fixed definition of gender.”

Sarah Lahue, Literature. “My advanced project looks at the character of Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron’s screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho as an example of the performativity of gender.”

Emily LaPointe, Literature. “My project, “Captivity in ‘Asian America:’ On Susan Choi’s American Woman,” facilitates a conversation between Asian American discourse and the American Captivity narrative genre via Choi’s novel.”

Meghan McCormick, Literature. “My advanced project is focusing on William Faulkner and the Postbellum South using the text Absalom, Absalom! I am analyzing the character’s storytelling style in comparison to Southern sermons of the Antebellum time, arguing that Faulkner uses traditional sermonic storytelling as a tool to produce a modernist text.”

Mary Catherine Owen, Writing. “My advanced project is a collection of personal essays that explores the nature vs. nurture question of personality.”

Briana St. John, Writing. “My advanced project experiments with the form of fairy tales. I try to break away from some of the more standard formulas used to tell these stories, using present tense instead of past, direct address instead of third-person point-of-view, and using panels to tell the same story from different perspectives. Fairy tales are constantly evolving, being added to and subtracted from as they are passed down, and I try to extend that tradition by shifting the focus of my fairy tales from content to form.”

Steve Woosley, Literature. “My project is entitled “Cutting a Bloody Swathe through History: Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and 16th century Samurai Culture.” I’m looking primarily at the film Throne of Blood and grappling with critics that say the film is nothing more than an adaptation, appropriation or transposition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth into 16th century Japan, arguing instead that if someone looks at the historical context in which the film is set, that person can see that the story of Throne of Blood (and also Macbeth to an extent) is unfolding and has unfolded repeatedly already.”

It’s a Tie for Graduate Top Honors!

Graduate Top Honors in English this year is a go to Kaitlin and Brianna who tied it up for the top spot. Read on to probe the thoughts and aspirations of two truly talented students!

Kaitlin, originally from East Brunswick, NJ is in the Literature concentration. When asked what she would like to do with her diploma, Kaitlin said, “My plans after graduation are to go back further south. I’m looking at either the NYC or NJ area.” What about the question that haunts every English M.A. student to his/her core: Are you going to go for your Ph.D.? Kaitlin commented about further education and job prospects, “I’m not sure if I’m going to go on for a Ph.D. If I do, it wouldn’t be for another few years, but I’m going to look into adjuncting positions because I’ve always wanted to teach writing. I’m also interested in the publishing industry or anything involving new media.” What will Kaitlin do with all her spare time after studying is over (at least for a while)? She said, “I’m really looking forward to getting back into creative writing which I haven’t had much time for lately!” A fond memory for Kaitlin is the conference she attended last spring in Rhode Island. About the experience she commented, “I really liked going to the conference at URI and feeling like I was sharing my work in a professional setting outside of the comfort of St. Rose.” Kaitlin has gained a lot of wisdom as she comes to the culmination of her degree, so here are her keys to success: “I think the biggest lesson to be learned is start your research early! Not always an easy thing to do but definitely necessary when you’re juggling two to three final papers a semester. Also, I would say to branch out and not be afraid to explore the research topics that are the harder or more unfamiliar topics to you. I think I learned the most from the more difficult papers I wrote, but they were also the more rewarding. Lastly, invest in a Keurig.”

Brianna is a Writing concentrator and one of those brave souls that dare to do it all in five years—she is a dual B.A./M.A. major. About the next step Brianna said, “I have absolutely no idea. Being in the B.A./M.A. program has kept me pretty busy for five years. I may pursue a Ph.D. eventually, but I think I want to start the job-hunt. Whatever I do, I definitely want to keep writing. I’m going to keep trolling Project Muse, keep submitting stories and poetry for publishing. Having my Masters at 23 is still pretty good, so I figure I can take a year or two off without feeling too guilty.” Besides hard work and dedication, Brianna said that she has accomplished a lot with many thanks to Saint Rose. Brianna commented, “I’ve been lucky enough to be in a stellar program with exceptional professors and peers where dedication and hard work have become the norm. Doing my best has always been important to me, but I just simply like writing, I like reading and thinking about and discussing literature. Being able to do those things in such an encouraging and challenging environment has been fantastic.” Brianna also acknowledged the importance of the skills she’s obtained with her degrees and experiences at Saint Rose: “The skills I’ve learned will definitely be useful in the future. Learning to write and communicate clearly, being able to do thorough research and to synthesize information, and just to bring an analytic and critical eye to my own work will hopefully be beneficial. The writing skills I’ve learned at Saint Rose is already paying off, and I’m excited to see what else is in store.” Those writing skills are definitely paying off— Brianna’s poem “We Do Not Die” was recently published in  Thoughtsmith, an online literary magazine!

Finally, here are some memories and skills that will stick with Kaitlin and Brianna as they move on from Saint Rose:

Kaitlin: “Memories of, no matter how much work school was, being able to have friends in class who all were in the same boat. In other words, feeling like we were figuring out this grad school thing together. I really enjoyed doing independent work with Megan Fulwiler and being able to build my own projects and classes based on the specific things I was interested in. My Advanced Project was probably the favorite thing that I did in graduate school. I found the research fascinating on it and really enjoyed being able to look at real-time data from my classmates’ tweets! It was something I can say I was truly proud of by the time it was all finished!”

Brianna: “I’m an intern at a lobbying firm right now, and these skills have already helped me gain access to more interesting projects, like researching for new lobbying opportunities, reading through budget documents, and editing client memos and proposals. I may not get to write about Zizek and RHPS every day post-grad, but having written about Zizek and RHPS has sharpened my writing skills, and has allowed me to engage topics in more complex ways, which has made me a stronger writer and thinker. Saint Rose has given me the opportunity to explore creative ideas in both my creative and academic writing, and has granted me access to people with truly excellent minds.”

Congratulations on your outstanding work, Kaitlin and Brianna!

Spring Play: Pirandello’s Naked

This spring Saint Rose players will perform Naked, a rarely staged drama by Italian playwright, novelist, and Nobel Prize winner Luigi Pirandello. Pirandello is best known for his plays, like Six Characters in Search of an Author and Enrico Quatro, both of which, like Naked, tackle issues of identity and reality/artificiality. The play will be directed by Dr. Kenneth Krauss, director of the Saint Rose drama program. Regarding the play’s plot, Dr. Krauss tells us, “Naked centers on a young woman who, while working as a governess, unwittingly contributed to the death of the child for whom she was caring. After attempting suicide, an act covered in all the newspapers, she is taken in by a successful Roman novelist, eager to give her a new start. Yet he and the other three men who come back to see her are not really interested in who she really is but only in who they think she is. Pirandello’s ironic exploration of identity questions the possibility of a genuine self and asks audiences to contrast what they think of as real life with the artificiality of the theatre.”

Naked will be performed Thursday, April 19, through Sunday, April 22, in the Saint Rose Campus Theatre, 996A Madison Ave. (located behind 1000 Madison Ave.), Albany.  Show times are: Thursday, April 19 at 7 pm, Friday, April 20 at 7 pm, Saturday, April 21 at 2 pm and 7 pm, and Sunday, April 22 at 2 pm. Regular admission is $10, or $5 with a Saint Rose I.D. Seating is limited and there are no reservations, so theatergoers should plan to arrive well before curtain time to see this thought-provoking play!

The spring performances of Naked will feature the acting talents of five Saint Rose students:

Character                Actor                                              Year                         Hometown

Erselia Drei          Kerry McNamera                  Freshman               Troy

Ludovico Nota  Christopher Suprenant    Sophomore          Whitesboro

Signora Honoria    Erica Woodin                     Freshman               Cobleskill

Franco Laspiga     Andrew Durand                 Sophomore            Owego

Emma                     Adrianne Puretll                 Junior                      Troy

Alfredo Cantavalle     Christopher Cavender        (not a Saint Rose Student)

Consul Grotti        Kevin Escudero        (not a Saint Rose student)

For more information about the spring play, contact Dr. Krauss:

Slamming Steady at Nitty Gritty Slam

Poetry power fills Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) on the first and third Tuesdays of each and every month in the form of the Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam. The Slam is a judged competition that consists of three rounds of “8-4-2” eliminations. At the end of the evening, one poet is crowned the Slam victor; second and third place poets are also recognized.

The general flow of these evenings begins with sign-up at 7:00PM, open mic starts at 7:30PM, and then the slam starts at 8:00PM. The cost of admission is $5 ($3 with a student I.D.).

Recent slammer, D Colin.

Prof. Daniel Nester commented that the slam is “going along steadily,” with generals crowd ranging from about 25-40 people. Nester, who DJs at the slams, told us  slammers range from teenagers in their senior year of high school, to undergrads including our own, to a couple graduate students, to people in the community.

“It’s a great mix of crowds because so many people and organizations have banded together to make sure Albany has a real slam venue, which it didn’t for 10-plus years.”

Jessica Leyton, another recent slammer.

Prof. Nester also mentioned that the Slam is often stigmatized as just a competition, but this isn’t quite the right view. “People might knock slams because it’s a competition, but that’s not really the point of a slam,” Nester says. “The point is poetry and community and making sure people are involved in speaking up and expressing themselves, telling stories.”

Anyone and everyone that has a passion for poetry and performance is welcome to give the Slam a try, or even get their “toes wet” on stage, as Nester put it, at the open mic session beforehand!

Annual English Undergraduate Symposium

On Tuesday, April 3rd from 9:30am to 4:00pm, English Undergraduate students will be presenting their work in four different subject panels.

The panels will feature the four subject areas that students are able to explore in their English degrees: Literature, Writing, Film and New Media, and Performance. This event will be held in Standish Rooms A and B, Events and Activities Center and is free and open to the public! Everyone is welcome to come for all or part of this English-filled day!

Symposium schedule:                                                                                                          9:30am – 11am: Literary Analysis
11:15am – 12:30pm: Film and New Media Studies
12:30pm – 1pm: Lunch (Lunch will be provided)
1pm – 2pm: Creative Writing / Performance #1                                                      2:30pm – 4:00pm: Creative Writing / Performance #2

For more information about the English Undergraduate Symposium, contact Dr. Eurie Dahn at

This event is sponsored by the English Department and the College of Arts and Humanities at the College of Saint Rose.

Fall 2012 Graduate Course List

Registration for Fall 2012 starts April 2nd! Here are the graduate courses that will be offered:

ENG 516 Medieval Literature (3 cr.) Laity. Monday 6:15pm-8:55pm. Description: Old and/or Middle English language and literature from its beginnings in Anglo-Saxon oral tradition through the 15th century.

ENG 537 Modern Drama (3 cr.) Krauss, Monday 6:15pm-8:55pm. Description: Readings in modernist and post-modern theatre literature, from Ibsen to the present. Attention to production and reception history, criticism, and major trends away from realism.

WRT 564 E1 Fiction Writing: Theory and Practice (3 cr.) Shavers. Wednesday 6:15-8:45pm. Description: The primary focus of this course will be short fiction and novel excerpts written by students in the class.  Besides production of their own material, students will analyze literary and theoretical texts in order to gain a better understanding of different storytelling forms, aspects of style, and other elements of a fiction writer’s craft.  Some attention to publication processes and possibilities for fiction writers. Fulfills 500-level writing requirement.  In the fall 2012, this course is the equivalent of ENG 564.

ENG 584 19th Century American Literature (3 cr.) Sweeney. Thursday 6:15pm-8:45pm. Description: Critical analysis of U.S. literature from the early national period through the turn of the twentieth century. Special emphasis on how fluctuating and contested discourses of authorship, property, print, labor, the market, feeling, publicity, and the literary influenced production, circulation, and reception of texts in the nineteenth-century U.S. Writers studied may include Poe, Wilson, Melville, Rowson, Bird, Stowe, Fern, Whitman, Hawthorne, Douglass, Jacobs, Dickinson, Chesnutt, James, Zitkala-sa, Crane, Howells, Wharton, Chopin.

ENG 585 Composition and Digital Literacies (3 cr.) Fulwiler. Wednesday 6:15pm-8:45pm. Description: What does it mean to write in the digital age? Traditional notions of both literacy and composition are print-based and book-bound, but scholars argue that we are currently in the midst of a literacy revolution not seen since the 15th century invention of the printing press. In this move from “page to screen” (as Gunther Kress has famously called it), what happens to our foundational assumptions about reading, writing, and textual production? This course will examine emergent digital tools, digital composition, and digital or “new” literacies within the larger context of the history of writing and theories of literacy. Students will analyze, critique, evaluate, and create multi-media texts. Central to the course will be reflection on the process(es) of composing including: invention, drafting, and revision across multiple modes, media, and genres.  As we study the theory and practice of the new literacies required of 21st century composing, we will also attend to the social, critical, rhetorical, and ethical dimensions of these evolving communicative sites and practices.

ENG 589 Topics in Literary Theory (3 cr.) Palecanda. Tuesday 6:15pm-8:45pm. Description: As in introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century literary theories, the course may address preoccupations of structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, feminism, cultural studies, postcolonialism, and/or gender/queer studies. It may focus on a topic or critical approach and include literary and visual narratives. (May be taken more than once as long as a different topic is addressed.)

Listings can also be accessed here: