2018 Mercy College Graduate English Symposium: Call for Papers and Attendees.

It’s that time again! This year’s Writing/Image/Text (W.I.T.) Graduate English Symposium will be held on Tuesday May 15 here on the Dobbs Ferry NY campus. May 15, in case it should matter to some of you, is the day before the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Education commencement ceremony. You can read about last year’s symposium here, if you’re interested.

The symposium is a casual mini-conference at which interested MA English students or alumni gather to read aloud a scholarly or creative paper (a paper that you’ve written for any of your MA courses will do just fine, though it must be edited to no longer than 10 pages), as well as to meet some fellow grad students and program professors. Family and friends are welcome to attend too. And MA students interested in attending but not reading aloud a paper are of course welcome to do so. Graduate students and professional scholars often attend and read at local, regional, and national conferences, so this symposium provides a friendly small-scale introduction to the conference experience. And for anyone who reads a paper, it becomes a line-item you can list under the scholarship section on your CV (click here to read more about the CV).

The symposium title “Writing/Image/Text” signals that you don’t have to just focus your presentation on literary analysis, as you traditionally would at an English conference, but might instead present work involving other media, other types of texts.

Anyone interested in attending, and in reading a paper, please let me know by sending a note as soon as possible to cloots@mercy.edu. I need to establish asap who all will attend, how many people will present, and how many overall to expect so that I can reserve the appropriate room space, order the right amount of catering (lunch provided courtesy of the MA program), and establish the necessary time-length for the entire event. Right now I have it as 11:00-3:00 but that could change depending on how many people respond. So please let me know soon, by mid-April at the latest, if you can attend, if you will read a paper, and how many people overall you will be bringing. Contact cloots@mercy.edu for answers to any questions you might have.

Recent Student and Faculty Achievements

I’d like to take a moment to recognize some recent achievements of current MA program students and alumni, as well as a recent faculty publication. In no particular order:

♦ Professor Emeritus Donald Morales recently published “An Afropolitan 2017 Update” in the Journal of the African American Literature Association. (https://doi.org/10.1080/21674736.2017.1375659)

♦ Active MA student Lynne Leibowitz-Whitehead has been awarded a Schiff Travel Grant to present a paper on John Updike’s Couples at the Fifth Biennial John Updike Society Conference at the University of Belgrade in Serbia this summer. Lynne has also been accepted to present a paper at the International Hemingway Conference in Paris this summer.

♦ Recent alum Gloria Buckley has been busy as well. She will be continuing her education in the Masters in Gaelic Literature program at University Cork College of Ireland. In the meantime she’s published two papers in the Journal of English Language and Literature: “Merlin the Political, Spiritual and Romantic Shape-Shifter in Robert de Boron’s Joseph of Arimathea, Merlin, Perceval and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene”; and “Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’: A Symbol of the Crumbling Borders of American and Psychic Consciousness and the Birth of Gothic Transcendence.” She also has a study of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando published here on the Virginia Woolf Blog.

♦ Alum Nicholas Cialini has been accepted into the PhD English program at Temple University. He will also be presenting at the International Hemingway Conference in Paris this summer.

♦ Alum Patricia Turner has been accepted into the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at the University of Denver.

♦ Alum Wayne Catan is aiming to present his scholarly paper “A Comparison of  Dreiser’s ‘Free’ and Hemingway’s ‘Mr. and Mrs. Elliot’” at the American Literature Association (ALA) and is working with faculty member Dr. Miriam Gogol on it.

Congratulations to everyone. If I have neglected to include news recently shared with me about our students’ or graduates’ activity please let me know at cloots@mercy.edu. And please, now or at any point in the future, keep me informed of any activity you’ve been up to, including conference presentations, publications, acceptances into doctoral or other subsequent programs, work activity, and the like. It’s important for us here in the MA program to maintain a view of how our students and graduates are faring beyond the program, and to celebrate your achievements.

On a semi-related note, in the next week or so I will be making the announcement here on the blog about the date for this year’s Graduate English Symposium. It will fall around the 5/16 commencement, most likely on the Saturday before or perhaps that Monday or Tuesday. I’m working out the scheduling details now but if anyone hopes to attend and has a preference for one of these days, please email me immediately at cloots@mercy.edu and let me know. I will make a more specific call for papers, to get a sense of who and how many people will be attending and presenting, along with the forthcoming symposium announcement. Stay tuned.

A Note About Courses Coded 514, 515, 540, and 560.

Registration has recently opened for summer and fall 2018 courses. For those who might not know, the program has four course numbers (514, 515, 540, and 560) which are not coded to specific courses, but instead work as shell numbers under which we cycle an assortment of different courses, sometimes our more experimental or newer courses. You are free to take as many instances of courses by these four numbers as you like to meet your field requirements or electives, including multiple instances of courses running by the same number: as long as the courses aren’t actually the same.

So in other words a student can take ENGL 540 Magic in Literature and ENGL 540 Mastering the Past, two different courses running at different semesters by the same 540 course code. Or, a student taking ENGL 560 African and Caribbean Lit. this spring semester can take ENGL 560 Hemingway: Modern Cryptography in the fall. As long as you’re keeping your ten-course/30-credit requirement in view, and are adhering to it, all will be fine. As a reminder, here’s that ten-course/30-credit degree requirement:

I should note that when you have multiple instances of the same course number on your transcript, it doesn’t immediately show up on your self-service degree audit in DegreeWorks (accessible in Mercy Connect, in case you didn’t know). We here go through the audits every year and manually flip a switch in the computer system that makes multiple instances of the same course number apply to the degree. That’s only to explain why if you do take multiple instances of courses running by one of these four numbers they might not immediately show up on your audit.