Joe Reese Wins Playwriting Competition

The play Lunacy, A Play for Our Times by Joe Reese, limited term lecturer in English, won a playwriting competition sponsored by the Khaos Theatre in Indianapolis. Reese’s winning play will be produced during the 2017 season.

Lunacy is a satire of what happens when divinity interrupts the lives of humdrum, failed playwright Tony and his promiscuous wife Susan. Susan unwittingly picks up Zeus (off on his first extra marital fling with mortals in a millennia) at an office party, and takes him home, precipitating the breakup of her relationship with her nerdish husband.

Diana comes in search of her philandering father to warn him of Hera’s intent to search him out and destroy him—and discovers instead the pathetic Tony, with whom she promptly falls in love. This play brings us to the lunatic brink of nuclear holocaust. Lunacy is the voice of a prophet crying out in the wilderness, to us, “For God’s sakes, what are we doing?

The competition took place at the 2016 Dionysia New Play Festival. Excerpts from 20 plays were presented over two weekends in June.


Lidan Lin Mentors Chinese Faculty through Publication Process

As part of her visiting appointment at Hangzhou Normal University, Lidan Lin, professor of English and linguistics, mentored Hangzhou faculty member Ling Ling. Lin worked with her on writing an essay, reading drafts, suggesting revisions, and recommending a journal.

The essay, “The Reception of George Gissing in China,” was successfully published in the journal English Literature in Transition.


Ten faculty members awarded summer research grants

Ten faculty members were awarded summer research grants through the Office of Sponsored Programs. The grants are for tenured and tenure-track faculty through two programs: Summer Faculty Grants and Senior Summer Faculty Grants.

This year’s grants went to the following faculty members:

Nurgul Aitalieva, assistant professor of public policy: “Trust and Public Support for Government Spending: A Cross-National Examination”

Jeff Casazza, associate professor of theatre: “The Integrated Actor: Reconnecting the Voice, Mind and Body”

Zesheng Chen, assistant professor of computer science: “Information Dissemination in Online Social Networks”

Qing Hao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology: “Computational Modeling of Effect of Blood Flow Dynamics on Thrombus Growth”

John Licato, assistant professor of computer science: “Advancing Developmental AI with Late Piagetian Theory”

Punya Nachappa, assistant professor of biology: “Factors Determining Vector Competence in Three Thrips Species Ability to Transmit Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus”

Vamsi Nalam, assistant professor of biology: “Evaluation of Soybean Transgenics Expressing a Host Defense Regulatory Gene, PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT4 (PAD4) For Enhancing Resistance to Soybean Aphid”

Lucas Rodesiler, assistant professor of secondary education: “For Teachers, By Teachers: An Investigation into Teacher-Generated Online Professional Development”

Abe Schwab, associate professor of philosophy: “Rethinking Conflicts of Interest”

Lachlan Whalen, associate professor of English and linguistics: “Ireland Unfree: Contemporary Irish Republican Prison Writing”

Article by Lidan Lin Accepted for Publication

The article “From ‘Between’ to ‘And’: The Global Humanities in Joyce and Beckett” by Lidan Lin, professor of English and linguistics, was accepted for publication in The International Journal of Literary Humanities.

From the article’s abstract:

The epistemology of dualism has informed the construction of dichotomies and differences in cultural discourses for a long time. Interestingly, such construction is often, though not always, indicated by the preposition “between” that signifies separation. In their writings about Ireland, Joyce and Beckett seek to deconstruct dualism by illustrating the pitfalls of radical provincialism on the one hand and by envisioning global humanities often indicated by the conjunction “and” that signifies addition, rather than separation, on the other. Drawing on the concept of universal identity developed by Levi-Strauss, Jung, Foucault, and Longxi Zhang, I offer a rereading of both Irish authors’ representation of “global citizen” in such figures as Wellsley, Conroy, and Shuah.


Mary Ann Cain receives Indiana Arts Commission grant for book about Dr. Margaret Burroughs

Mary Ann Cain, professor of English & linguistics, received an Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist grant of $2000 toward her research for a book about Dr. Margaret Burroughs. The book is under advance contract with Northwestern University. Cain will use the grant in archival work and interviews. The grant will fund travel to Chicago for further archival research and interviews for the book.

As an artist-educator in Chicago, Burroughs co-founded two major arts institutions: the South Side Community Arts Center (funded by the Federal Arts Project in 1939 and inaugurated by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941) and the DuSable Museum of African American history in Washington Park. She was a key figure in Chicago and in African American history in general.  In addition to her work as an institution builder, she was an artist of international acclaim, an educator at DuSable High School, and a Chicago Parks Commissioner. Just last month, the 31st Street Harbor in Chicago was named in her honor.

Burroughs visited IPFW twice as part of the Visiting Writers Series and a partnership with the former Three Rivers Jenbe Ensemble in Fort Wayne.  She was a prolific writer and was a long-time friend of Pulitzer-prize winning poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, also from the South Side.

Lidan Lin presents conference keynote and lectures in China

Cover image of the Journal of East-West ThoughtLidan Lin, professor of English literature, gave a keynote presentation “The Novel or the Garden?: Borges’s Postmodern Dialogue with China” at The Fourth International Symposium on East-West Studies in June in Tian Jin, China. She also gave a lecture on literary interpretation at Southwest University  and Chongqing Jiaotong University in June in Chongqing, China.

Earlier this year, Professor Lin’s essay “The International Resonances of Modernism and Feminism in  Virginia Woolf and Shen Congwen (Chinese author)” was accepted for publication at The Journal of East-West Thought.