Alumni Update: Eric Gardner

Eric Gardner (89) received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for the 2012-2012 academic year.  Eric will use the prestigious fellowship, which includes a $50,400 award, to write a book on the Christian Recorder, a periodical of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The Recorder rose to prominence during the Civil War era and was an important outlet for African-American voices.

Eric is a professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University, where he teaches American literature, in particular 19th Century African American literature.  His book Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth Century African American Literature, was named a 2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title and won the 2010 EBSCOhost/Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize.


Faculty Update: Jim Plath

After a busy sabbatical, Professor James Plath has four new publications either out or on their way.

His article “Shaping Graces: John Updike, Middleness, and the American Experience” appears in Critical Insights: John Updike, edited by Bernard F. Rodgers, Jr. (Salem Press, 2011), while his “Barking at Death: Hemingway, Africa, and the Stages of Dying” has come out in Hemingway and Africa, edited by Miriam Mandel (Camden House, 2011).  Still another article, “Photos and Portraits,” will be published later this year in Hemingway in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2012).  Meanwhile, his poem “Plattdeutsch” has appeared in City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, edited by Ryan G. Van Cleave (University of Iowa Press, 2012).

Congratulations, Jim, on an exceptionally productive year!


Welcome to our new Office Coordinator

The English Department has a new office coordinator this year. Kathie Bradley, previously the office coordinator for Student Activities and Fraternity and Sorority Life, joined the English Department in October. “I wasn’t really looking to switch jobs on campus,” says Kathie. “When the opportunity arose to work in the English Department, I jumped at the chance to work with the creative students and faculty.” Although she was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to interact with students and see them grow as much as she had in Student Affairs, she quickly found that would not be a problem: “There is a constant flow of students in the building,” she notes. “I’ve already seen the mutual respect between faculty and staff. There is an easiness to the department that leads to a sharing of ideas and opinions.” A writer herself (her license plate reads “WRITE 25”), she finds creative sustenance in joining a community for whom writing is central. “I’ve always tried to do something creative on a daily basis. I truly believe I have found a place that is welcoming, nurturing, and safe to help rediscover my muses.”

Welcome to the department, Kathie!