Student with books

New Speaker Series to Foster Conversation among Faculty, Graduate Students

Initiating dialogue and idea exchange among faculty members and with graduate students is the goal of a new internal speaker series, “Conversations in and out of Disciplines,” hosted by the English Department, starting November 21 and continuing through the spring. All faculty and graduate students are invited.

The concept was conceived by Professor Ann Colley during an English Department meeting in which the discussion turned to the growing number of new faculty members, their diverse talents and perspectives, and how to best get everyone talking.

“So rarely do faculty have a chance to speak at leisure with one another about their research and work in progress. And so rarely do our graduate students have the opportunity to listen to and participate in our discussions about our own research,” said Colley.

While the initial group of speakers is largely from the English Department, the vision is to reach beyond the boundaries of the department and invite faculty from other programs to come and share their thoughts.

“The study of literature and the study of teaching is more often than not a multidisciplinary endeavor, so we should honor that perspective in the series,” Colley added.

To jump-start the series, Colley approached faculty members who are about to publish or have recently published major works. She also contacted individuals who are not only doing research on literature and culture but who are also researching new ways of teaching students to become secondary school teachers. The series, however, is not invitation only; it is open to anyone wanting to talk about his or her work.

As much as possible, the lectures will be Friday afternoons. “In this way, we are not pressured to leave because of our classroom responsibilities. It should be a leisurely hour and a half. And afterward, we can retreat and socialize,” Colley said.

Two speaker presentations are scheduled for this semester. Each will be from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in Ketchum Hall:

November 21
Chris Vials,
assistant professor of English, presents a talk on his recent book, Realism for the Masses: Aesthetics, Popular-Front Pluralism, and U.S. Culture, 1935–1947. Vials received his Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Massachusetts.

December 5
Adrienne Costello,
assistant professor of English, discusses “Teaching Shakespeare through Arts Integration and Comic Book Composing.” Associate professor of English Lisa Berglund joins the presentation for a discussion on “Team Teaching and Interdisciplinary Collaboration.” Costello received her Ph.D. in English education from the University at Buffalo. Berglund joined the English Department faculty in 2001. She received her Ph.D. in British literature from the University of Virginia.

Highlights for the spring semester include:

Lorna L. Perez, Assistant Professor of English
“Between Winesburg and the Barrio: Sherwood Anderson and Sandra Cisneros.” Perez received her Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo and is a specialist in Latino/Latina literature.

David Ben-Merre, Assistant Professor of English
“Vowel Movements and Boustrophedonic Droppings: On Joycean BS.” Ben-Merre is a specialist in twentieth-century British literature and recently received his Ph.D. in British literature from Brown University.

Theresa A. Harris-Tigg, Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of the English Education Program
“Teaching a Methods Course on Site.” Harris-Tigg received her Ph.D. in English Education from the University at Buffalo.

Frances M. Gage, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts
“Collecting and Arranging Collections in the Italian Renaissance.” Gage comes to Buffalo State from the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Details will be posted in the Daily prior to each event. For more information, including participation as a speaker, e-mail Ann Colley.