Recent Faculty Publications and Activity

Your MA faculty are constantly engaged in all sorts of scholarly activities. Such recent scholarship includes presentations, such as Dr. Dugan’s “An Interdisciplinary Bridge to Improved Reading Comprehension and Academic Success,” given at the 2018 convention for the College English Association; and “Perchance to Dream” delivered at the Southeast MLA conference in 2017. Notable recent publications by MA faculty include:

Working Women in American Literature, 1865-1950, edited and with an introduction by Dr. Miriam Gogol, and The State of the Field: Ideologies, Identities and Initiatives, edited and with an introduction by Dr. David Kilpatrick.

Working Women in American Literature, 1865–1950 examines how the American working woman has been presented, misrepresented, and underrepresented in American realistic and naturalistic literature (1865–1930), and by later authors influenced by realism and naturalism. Points explored include: the historical vocational realities of working women (e.g., factory workers, seamstresses, maids, teachers, writers, prostitutes, etc.); the distortions in literary representations of female work; the ways in which these representations still inform the lives of working women today; and new perspectives from queer theory, feminist theory, immigrant studies, and race and class analyses.

The State of the Field: Ideologies, Identities and Initiatives provides a comprehensive view of the emerging field of the study of association football. The diversity of approaches in this collection range from theory to pedagogy to historical and sociological engagements with the game at all levels, from the grassroots to the grand spectacle of the World Cup; while the collection’s international roster of authors is testimony to the game’s global reach. The State of the Field altogether offers a view of current critical inquiry into the field of soccer studies as well as a road map for further exploration.

Dr. Kilpatrick as well saw a paper of his published in translation: “El Arsenal de Nietzsche,” translated by Juliana Solórzano y Viviana Casablanco, El Malpensante, 197, Junio 2018. And his article “The Messianic Manager in Novels by David Peace” was published in The Aesthetics, Poetics, and Rhetoric of Soccer, edited by Ridvan Askin, Catherine Diederich, and Aline Bieri.

The always prolific Dr. Sax has been up to a number of things. His book Lizard will be published this October, in just a few days. This book demonstrates how the story of lizards is interwoven with the history of the human imagination. In the book Dr. Sax describes the diversity of lizards and traces their representation in many cultures, including those of pre-conquest Australia, the Quiché Maya, Mughal India, China, Central Africa, Europe and America.

Dr. Sax’s earlier publication The Mythical Zoo was recently translated and published in Chinese (his third Book in Chinese translation). And his book Dinomania: Why We Love, Fear and Are Utterly Enchanted by Dinosaurs will be coming out later this October. Additionally, you can still read his guest blog for the Oxford University Press titled “Not Finding Bigfoot: Cryptids and Big Nostalgia.

Finally, Dr. Kristen Keckler invested a tremendous amount of time and energy over the past year to make real her vision of a Mercy College journal showcasing the creative efforts of Mercy College students. As creator and senior editor of the Red Hyacinth journal, Dr. Keckler took responsibility for all aspects of the process. As a result of her dedication a number of our college’s students, including some graduate students from our MA program, were able to see their works published.

Some of you reading this may remember the call for submissions for the journal advertised here on the program blog last fall. The Red Hyacinth journal is once again accepting submissions for the 2017-18 edition. I will be making another blog post soon dedicated just to this call for submissions, but if you’re interested in sending in a creative work for consideration you should look into the journal’s FAQ and submission guidelines here on the journal’s website.

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year

Welcome, graduate students new and returning, to the 2018-19 academic year. Today, 9/5, we begin again. One of the great things about being involved in education in any way, as student or professor or anything else really, is that we get to experience these punctuated moments of significance in the cycle of the annual calendar, in the cycle of our lives. Here at the start of the academic year the Dobbs Ferry campus, where I sit and write this post, is packed and buzzing. Hallways are dense with students and faculty and administrators on the go as much as with the din of classroom discussions. Down by the river, athletes practice their various sports for the fall season. Out from the dorms spill laughing and hollering students. The library is already a riot of activity and the cafeterias are packed. Parking lots are full. These halls are alive again, and so too today are the virtual halls of our online coursework. I hope you all are ready for a new semester, a new academic year, and are as eager to get into your studies as I and your other MA professors are to start exploring together the literary pathways ahead.

As you go out into your classes this year you might keep in mind the School of Liberal Arts (SLA) theme for 2018-19: transformations. The SLA theme is something that our Dean, Dr. Tamara Jhashi, began several years ago, is selected anew each year by a faculty vote, and is meant to provide a unifying beacon shining across all the many different SLA programs and departments. It provides us a light to which, if you’re interested in the idea and/or in feeling a part of the SLA academic community, you might turn in your studies, paper topics, discussions, etc. It’s nothing formal, and you don’t have to give it another thought if it’s not interesting to you. But if you’re looking for a way to increase the feeling of being a part of an academic community, of being a part of something larger, then you might consider how your studies in any of your classes might engage or involve the theme of transformations. When it comes time for the spring symposium here on the Dobbs Ferry campus, those of you who are able to participate might find the theme of transformations a useful one when developing possible symposium papers. Perhaps!

Another thing you might keep in mind as you go about your studies, and particularly later in the semester as you gear up for writing your various term papers, is the assessment criteria we use internally in the program when evaluating the final ENGL 599 thesis papers which each of you will eventually write during your final semester in the program (and some of you reading this are about to start writing your 599 thesis papers right now). Even though these criteria are only applied to the 599 paper, and even though they are just used internally and are something we need to track as part of our college’s accreditation requirements, they can still be useful for all of you to know and keep it in mind when writing any paper for any class: because as you’ll see in the assessment rubric we use the criteria correspond to the program’s five learning outcomes, which are the big-picture things we hope you are learning throughout your time the program; and because the criteria are just the basic sorts of things all literature students should be working to address, improve, even perfect in all of their scholarly papers. So each of you should take the time to download the 599 rubric and just read over it to learn the sorts of things we look for and measure through it.

Okay that’s it for the main points I wanted to touch on here at the start of the new academic year. Before signing off let me provide you with links to some of the resources available to graduate students here at Mercy College. This information repeats information found elsewhere on this blog but some of you might find it helpful to have it repeated here all at once. Okay this blog post here contains a rundown of resources and contact-info that Mercy College provides for its students, whether on-campus or online. On this post here you’ll find critical information about the incomplete “I” grade which some of you might occasionally receive. For those approaching their last semester, you must pay attention to your required comprehensive exam, to the instructions for how to enroll in the final 599 course, and to the application you must complete in order to graduate. For those hoping to enter the college teaching job market check out this post here where I introduce a variety of resources and information on that topic. If you’re going to be applying to anything in any academic field you’ll need to have your curriculum vitae (CV) polished up and also need to know the difference between a CV and a resume. I talk about that here.

Finally, remember that although you can get advising from Student Services, I serve as faculty advisor to every student in the MA program. I am here to help and to answer any questions at Okay that’s it! Have a great school year and fall semester, everyone. Check back here regularly for program news and info. I’ll be putting up a post soon sharing some news on recent faculty publications and other scholarly activity, as well as a post announcing the spring registration-opening date. So make this blog a periodic stop this semester and all during your time in the MA program. Final note: if any current students or alumni have any news about scholarly activity, publications (scholarly or creative), jobs or doctoral-programs, please share this with me. Cheers, all.