Good News about faculty, students, and alumni

Current news available on the English Department main page. This is the news archive.

Spring 2013

Recent M.A. graduate Joy Bye’s poem "Lifespan of the Lycaeides Melissa Samuelis" will be published in the Blue Hour Review's Summer Anthology.  It’s a piece from her MA thesis.

Recent M.A. graduate Jessica Deckard Bundy has had a poem, “In the Well of Grace: Mission San José,” accepted at Valparaiso University Literary Journal.

rebecca award

Elaine Roth and Rebecca Brittenham celebrate at the IU Bloomington ceremony where Rebecca received the IU Bachman Lieber Award for Teaching Excellence.


[Photo: At the 2013 Student Writing Awards reception Amina Gautier signs a book for Prof Chu He with Prof Elaine Roth looking on. Credit: David James]

Profs Lee Kahan and Jake Mattox have been awarded tenure by Indiana University, while Diane Economakis has been awarded Senior Lecturer status by Indiana University.

Two of Lee Kahan’s students were awarded summer SMART grants to work on projects with him.
Jake Mattox was nominated for a Student Government Association / Student Life Educator of the Year Award.

wolford book

Kate Wolford’s book, Beyond the Glass Slipper, debuted at #13 in the mythology and folkore category of Amazon (Kindle)!

Two English majors recently received 2013 summer SMART awards to work with Professor Lee Kahan. Congratulations to Eric Hankin and Alex Millard!

Matt Brown accepted a tenure-track job at Texas Woman’s University

Chu He received a summer Faculty Research Grant for her work on Irish playwright Brian Friel

David Dodd Lee had three poems published recently in Superstition Review (University of Arizona) and one in Guernica

Anne Magnan-Park and her French student Justin Bryant introduced a poem by Baudelaire at the South Bend Youth Concert Orchestra

Nancy Botkin and David Dodd Lee were selected by State Poet Laureate Karen Kovacik to participate in a large group reading at ND

English major Eric Hankin won this year's Library Prize for a paper he wrote in Lee Kahan’s class


This year's Student Writing Awards features Amina Gautier as guest author and judge. Her collection of stories, At Risk, won the Flannery O'Connor Prize for fiction. The event takes place on Sat. April 13 at 7:00 in DW 1001. Please join us for other events throughout the day. All events are free and open to the public:

4:00 Q&A WITH AMINA GAUTIER, DW 3001 - this is a chance to meet with this year's guest author in a smaller venue and to have a conversation about writing and publishing.

5:00-7:00 FREE PIZZA, DW 3001



Congratulations to the 2013 winners of the English Excellence Awards: Joe Kuharic in Writing & Rachel Barret in Literature!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Student Writing Awards, selected by Amina Gautier:

1st Place "Blood and Rain" Erin Britt
2nd Place "Elusion" Diane Passero
Hon. Mention "Fray" Krista Cox
1st Place "Without Cloud" Joshua Stump
2nd Place "Alexithymia"  Kristin LaFollette-Samson
Hon. Mention "In a Bed After a Star Burns Out" Cody Miller
1st Place "Untitled Essay" Joe Eggleston
2nd Place "This Isn't Your Story"  Hannah Cross
Hon. Mention "Life is a Stage" Ahlam Alhallafi

Congratulations to Rebecca Brittenham, who won the All-IU Bachman Lieber Award for teaching excellence. This is a major award that brings recognition to Rebecca’s commitment to the classroom, as well as to our department and campus, and also pays tribute to the work of First Year Writing – well done, Rebecca!

Enter Ghost Poster 1

Wolfson Press Book Release: Enter Ghost
Poetry, Prose, and a Play
by former IUSB English Professor, Tom Vander Ven
Feb. 21, 2013 @ 7:00 p.m., DW 1001

Nancy Botkin had four poems accepted at Poetry East

Jessica Deckard had two poems accepted at Adirondack Review

Diane Economakis had her paper accepted for the SoTL conference that will be held on the IUSB campus in April

Benjamin Balthaser recently received an all-IU New Frontiers Arts and Humanities grant to support his book project on Modernism and Anti-Imperialism.

Kelcey Parker's book, For Sale By Owner, was a finalist for the 2012 Best Books of Indiana, Fiction.

Three of our colleagues have been nominated for 2012 Pushcart prizes:
Clayton Michaels’ 16-page poem (!!) “[4] MONSTER” was nominated by the journal apt (his poem originally appeared in their January 2012 print issue).
David Dodd Lee’s poem “The Soul as Skiff” was nominated by the offending adam.
Kelcey Parker’s story “Limberlost" has been nominated by Booth. 

Anne Magnan-Park's submission was chosen for an exhibit in a book store in Berlin, Germany.

Bobby Meyer-Lee had an article accepted by Studies in the Age of Chaucer.

Nancy Botkin has had poems appear in the following journals: 5AM, Salamander, Permafrost, Cimarron Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review and Chariton Review. She also has two poems forthcoming in Eclipse.

Rebecca Brittenham and Benjamin Balthaser were awarded Faculty Research Grants for summer 2013.

Bobby Meyer-Lee was awarded an IUSB Seed grant to pursue external funding for his project, “The Axiological Logic of the Chaucerian Text.”  Congratulations, Bobby!

Spring 2012

Congratulations to our 2012 graduates!

Professor Elaine Roth with Brandi David (above); Jeff Tatay receives his diploma (below). [Photo credit: Henry Scott]


Nancy Botkin recently had three poems published in Cimarron Review, and the editor selected them for on-line presence.  Congratulations!

Two English faculty members were awarded IU Language Learning grants this summer. Kelcey Parker  will study Czech at a language institute in Prague, Czech Republic, and Jake Mattox will study Spanish at a language institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  Bon voyage!

David Dodd Lee’s poem “Recipe” appeared in the June 18 issue of The Nation!

English Major Stephanie Merryfield was awarded an honorable mention for best humanities presentation at the IU South Bend Undergraduate Research Conference. Her research was mentored by Prof. Lee Kahan. Well done!

Three English faculty members have been recognized with Trustees’ Teaching Awards:  Diane Economakis; Anne Magnan-Park; and Jake Mattox.  Congratulations to all three!

Congratulations to English major Stephanie Merryfied, who has been accepted into the Princeton Theological Seminary.  

English majors Becky Pelky and Nichole Koroch have both been accepted into the English MA program at Northern Michigan University. Congratulations!
And 42 Miles Press Managing Editor McKenzie Tozan has been accepted into the MFA program at Western Michigan University. Congratulations!

Kelcey Parker was selected to receive a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and was awarded a Language Learning Grant to study Czech in Prague this summer.

Congratulations to our English Excellence Award winners, Jeff Tatay (writing) and Hannah Stowe (literature).

Congratulations to Joshua Rubin, an alum of our M.A. program, who has won the 2012 CLAS Outstanding Alum award! He will receive this award at CLAS’s Honors Night, and will deliver a brief speech.

Another alum, Andrew Gilbert, has been accepted into the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature program at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Student Writing Awards
Featuring poet and fiction writer Jim Daniels
Saturday April 21
2:30-5:00 High School Writing Workshop
(open to local high school students; preregistration required)
4:00 p.m. Q & A with Jim Daniels in DW 2170
7:00 p.m. Reading and Awards Ceremony in DW 1001
8:30 p.m. Reception, Book Signing, and Release of ANALECTA in DW 3001
These events are free and open to the public.


Jim Daniels’ poems have appeared in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies, on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac,” and on the roof of a race car.  A Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon, in Pittsburgh, PA, his most recent books include a collection of poetry, Having a Little Talk with Capital P Poetry, and a collection of short stories, Trigger Man.  In a nice coincidence, his short film, Mr. Pleasant, will be playing at the River Bend Film Festival in South Bend on Saturday, April 14 at 4:55 p.m. in the Century Center.The English Department Student Writing Awards, for which Jim Daniels served as a judge, will also be presented at this event.  In addition, Analecta, IUSB’s student literary-arts magazine, will be hot off the presses

Then, on Sunday, April 22 at 2:30, IUSB’s literary journal, Analecta 2012 is hosting the second annual  Analecta Reading at Fiddler’s Hearth in South Bend, IN  

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Student Writing Awards!
1st: “Forked Road” -  Rachel Barrett
2nd: “November Baptism” – Kristin LaFollette

Honorable Mention: “On an Education” - Ryan L. Gruenewald
Honorable Mention: “Spring Prophesy” – Jessica Deckard


1st: “Waiting for Bats” – Ryan L. Gruenewald

2nd: “Eating Balloons” – Hannah Cross

Honorable Mention: “Tough Sales”  - Michelle Hanshew

Honorable Mention: “from
The Color of Sleep” – Josh Bisig


1st: “’Clang, Clang, Clang’ Went the Trolley” – Joy Bye

2nd: “Absurdity (re) Incarnated” – JA “Joe” Eggleston

Honorable Mention: “The state of a homeless mind” – Jean E. Johnson

Anne Magnan-Park was awarded a summer 2012 Faculty Research Grant to work on a project on New Zealand literature.

Joe Chaney received a Curriculum Development Grant to look into the possibility of bringing students to Hong Kong in the future.

Lee Kahan and Jake Mattox were accepted in the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET). Congratulations to them both!  

Fiction Reading with Caitlin Horrocks Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. Third Floor Bridge Wiekamp Hall (See Events for more info)

Jake Mattox, Dean's Seminar, March 23, 2012: “Deeply Marked Chart” of Ahab’s Forehead: Melville, Antebellum Literary Culture, and the Violence of Marine Science

Poetry Reading with Nancy Botkin and IUSB Alum Charmi Keranen  Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Third Floor Bridge, Wiekamp Hall

Martin, Mahalia, and the Movement:The Activist Partnership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahalia Jackson
Tuesday March 6, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Free and Open to the Public
Dr. Johari Jabir Asst. Professor of African American Studies University of Illinois at Chicago
Civil Rights Heritage Center at The Natatorium 1040 W. Washington St., South Bend

Benjamin Balthaser reads from his poetry collection, DEDICATION, Thursday Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. Third Floor Bridge of Wiekamp Hall.

Please read this tribute to Larry Clipper, Professor of English at IUSB, 1967-1994, written by former English Professor Tom Vander Ven

Kyoko Takanashi has received a Faculty Research Grant to work on an article on Northanger Abbey in summer 2012.

Fall 2011

Veronica Alfano has received an Associate Faculty Grant to present a paper accepted at the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference.

Bobby Meyer-Lee was invited to serve as one of the series editors for the Chaucer Studies monograph series at the academic press Boydell and Brewer.

David Dodd Lee has multiple poems forthcoming, including a poem coming out in a February issue of The Nation.

Kelcey Parker's short story "Lent" was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize by Kore Press.

Q & A with editor and professional writer Susannah Bradley on Monday 12/5 from DW 3001. Free pizza sponsored by CELAP.

Professor Elaine Roth presented at the Women's Gender Studies Brown Bag Series on 12/2. She discussed her the films and approaches she teaches in her course on Women in U.S. Films.

Professors Jake Mattox and Lee Kahan presented at the Women's & Gender Studies Brown Bag Series in November. They discussed their L207 Women and Literature courses on Protest Literature and Gothic Novels. Check out this great coverage in the IUSB Preface!

Campus Theme Event: Translator and Professor Elizabeth Harris spoke on November 10 at 5:30 PM on the Bridge (third floor of Wiekamp). Her presentation is entitled “Translating Voice in Fiction: How an Italian Character Travels Into English.”

The English Club raised over $800 in their fall book sale! Way to go!

Professor Joe Chaney has had one of his radio essays reprinted in the alumni magazine of his alma mater, Beloit College. The essay, called “A Likable Idiot in Hong Kong,” is about embarrassing developments that occurred when he had to shop for hemorrhoid cream during his Fulbright year in Hong Kong. Link.

In April 2011, Jo Ann Sawyer, Associate Faculty in English, was named Transportation Person of the Year by the South Bend Transportation Club.  Mrs. Sawyer who has been a member of the IUSB associate faculty for 17 years is also Director of Safety for Mamo Transportation, Inc. and has been a pioneer in South Bend Transportation for 40 years.

Lecturer Amy Thomas has a poem (Hanger Room) forthcoming in the November issue of decomP magazine.

Professor Bobby Meyer-Lee published the article “Conception Is a Blessing:  Marian Devotion, Heresy, and the Literary in Skelton’s A Replycacion” in Form and Reform:  Reading Across the Fifteenth Century, ed. Shannon Gayk and Kathleen Tonry, The Ohio State University Press, 2011, pp. 133-58. 

Veronica Alfano recently defended her doctoral dissertation, The Lyric in Victorian Memory; she also had an essay accepted to the forthcoming volume Libidinal Lives:Economies of Desire in the Literature and Culture of the Fin de Siècle.

42 Miles Press released its first full-length book, Our List of Solutions by Carrie Oeding, winner of the 42 Miles Poetry Prize. The press celebrated with a book release and reading by Oeding in September. The most recent winner is Erica Bernheim, for her manuscript, The Mimic Sea, which will be published in fall 2012.

On October 13, novelist David Bell read from his book Cemetery Girl and visited with students at a Q&A. Check out the article on the event in the IUSB Preface.

The English Department's initiatives in literary publishing, including 42 Miles Press and the Center for Excellence in Literary Arts & Publishing, which is currently under development, were featured in the IUSB Preface.


Spring & Summer 2011

A big congratulations to the 2011 English Department Trustees' Teaching Award winners:
Rebecca Brittenham
Lee Kahan
Kelcey Parker

Congratulations to this year's English Excellence awards winners: Cody Miller, TJ McNally, and Bryan Foster!

Kelcey Parker's story collection For Sale By Owner won the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award in Short Fiction.

English major Hannah Stowe won a SMART summer fellowship of $3400 for her project, “An Analysis of Key Developments in U.S. Property Law and the Literary and Popular-Cultural Discourse Surrounding Them” (mentored by Jake Mattox)

Congratulations to Prof. Bobby Meyer-Lee on being awarded tenure and promotion!

Congratulations to English major Laura Fox who won Dean’s Scholarship in the Humanities!

Congratulations to our 2011 Student Writing Award Winners selected by Joyce Hinnefeld:
 1st Place      1850 – Rising, by Glenn Lyvers
 2nd Place   The Boxer, by Samantha Hunsberger
 Honorable Mention   Memento Mori, by Kristin LaFollette
 Honorable Mention  Lost & Found, by McKenzie Tozan
 1st Place     Malice Aforethought, by Jessica Deckard
 Honorable Mention   Vamos, by Maria Hubbard
 1st Place     I Think We’re Done Here, by Jenna Gensic
 2nd Place    The “I” States, by Erinn Kelley


Professors Kelcey Parker and Lisa Zwicker (History) are offering a summer study abroad course to Berlin & Prague. For more information, visit Overseas Study.

Professors Lee Kahan, Jake Mattox, and Benjamin Balthaser hosted a Workshop on Applying to Graduate School for students interested in applying to graduate programs in English and Creative Writing on 11/16.

David Dodd Lee will give a reading Tuesday 11/16 at 7:00 p.m. on the third floor Bridge of Wiekamp Hall (Update: see a short video clip from the reading here).

Congratulations to Clayton Michaels, whose manuscript “watermark” is the winner of the 2010 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest! Visit qarrtsiluni for more info and links and videos. He'll give a reading at IUSB on Sept. 21 at 7:00 on the Bridge of Wiekamp Hall.

Kyoko Takanashi's article, "Circulation, Monuments, and the Politics of Transmission in Sir Walter Scott'sThe Tales of My Landlord," has been accepted for publication by the prestigious journal, ELH

Bobby Meyer-Lee had two articles published this summer:
- “Fragments IV and V of the Canterbury Tales Do Not Exist,” The Chaucer Review 45.1, 2010
- “The Emergence of the Literary in John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 109.3, 2010

Department Chair Elaine Roth will be a Fulbright Scholar in Spain in spring 2011.


IUSB Faculty Creative Writers were at Art Beat on Saturday, August 28, and gave a short reading. There's a nice write-up on the event in the Examiner.

Several of our professors recently had successful proposals for one-time money:

Ken Smith won funding for several initiatives for the MLS Program and Wolfson Press..
Rebecca Brittenham and the First-Year Writing Program received funding to run the two-day summer Writing Orientation as a teaching practicum.

Kelcey Parker was awarded a large sum to found a Center for Excellence in Literary Arts and Publishing, an initiative that will support the development of 42 Miles Press and provide opportunities for student training in literary publishing.

Congratulations to Jake Mattox and Kate Wolford, who were awarded 2009-10 Trustees' Teaching Awards

Congratulations to the authors of the winning stories of the David Sedaris humorous essay contest:

First place: “Deus ex Machina” by Jordan Eash
Second place: “How to Avoid Writing” by David A. Cory, M.D.

Each winner receives a pair of tickets to see David Sedaris at the Morris Theater on April 19, and their stories will be published in the coming days on the IUSB Creative Writing blog. Thanks to all who submitted!

Lecturer Clayton Michaels is the current featured poet at

2010 English Department Writing Awards in Honor of Lester M. Wolfson:
Saturday, April 10, 2010
7:00 p.m. in Wiekamp Hall 1001
The poet Mary Szybist reads from her poetry.
The event is free and open to the public.

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Student Writing Awards! Click here for the updated list of winners, and here for submission guidelines. They will be honored at the April 10 awards ceremony.

Congratulations to the 2010 Excellence Award winners, who will be awarded cash prizes and recognized at Honor’s Night on May 6, 2010:

English Excellence Award in Literature - Greg Burosh and Schawan Harris

English Excellence Award in Writing – Tim Chupp.

Congratulations are also in order for three English professors who have been awarded Faculty Research Grants for summer 2010:

Chu He's project is “Brian Friel in Panorama: A Comparative Reading of his Short Stories, Plays, and Essays”

Anne Magnan-Park's project is “Translating Grace,” a translation of New Zealand writer Patricia Grace’s short story collection into French

Jake Mattox's project is “Empire and the Popular Oceanography of Matthew Maury”

We're proud to announce that two of our graduate students will be presenting their work at upcoming academic conferences:

Laura Pimienta's "Señora Díaz," a critifictional interpretation of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, has been accepted for the 20th Annual Virginia Woolf Conference held this year in Georgetown, KY in June.

Jenny Bucksbarg
will present her paper, "Who Would Have “Bought” It?: María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s Racial Project, Domesticity, and U.S. Imperialism/Expansionism," at the Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media at Northern Illinois University in April.

Lecturer David Dodd Lee has two poetry collections to be published this year: The Nervous Filaments will be published by Four Way Press next month, and Orphan, Indiana will be out in October. He also edited the recently published The Other Side:  Selected Poems of Herbert Scott. He has recently published or has poems forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, Verse, Shampoo, Zone 3, Third Coast, Interim, Field, Barn Owl Review, Salamander, Blackbird, and was a runner up for the Mississippi Review prize.

IUSB English Major Rebecca Pelky will present a paper at the 2010 National Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Montana in April. Her submission, "Parliament and Prosperity: The Effects of Trade on the British Government in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock," was chosen from over 2600 submissions.

Eric A. Gingerich, IUSB alum, though he tried to claim he would promptly return after one year, is currently enjoying his second year teaching English as a foreign language in Seoul, South Korea.

The IUSB Radio Club formed last semester and made a push to have a writing for radio class included in the curriculum this semester. The class is ENG- W250. With the class supplying a consistent line of content, the club is now focusing on finding a way to broadcast material. Contact Club President Jake Jones at if you are interested in being involved or would like more information.

Professor Joe Chaney, who is currently in Hong Kong on a Fulbright year, has had a paper accepted to a conference at Lille, France. The paper is called "Hamlet's Chinese Horizons" and will be presented at the 50ème Congrès Société des Anglicistes de l'Enseignement Supérieur (SAES) in May 2010.

Congratulations to Professor Bobby Meyer-Lee, who received a 2010 faculty research grant in the amount of $8,500 for his project “Chaucer Valuing: The Axiological Logic of the Chaucerian Text.”

Lecturer Clayton Michaels has poems forthcoming in Anti- and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Professor Kelcey Parker was awarded a Curriculum Development Grant to prepare a new Study Abroad course, Berlin and Prague: Dictatorship and Resistance in the Twentieth Century. The course will be offered by Professor Parker and Professor Lisa Zwicker (History) in Summer 2011.

Motherhood Misconceived

Department Chair Elaine Roth's co-edited book, Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films, was recently released by SUNY Press.

Professor Jake Mattox's article, "The Mayor of San Juan del Norte? Nicaragua, Martin Delany, and the ‘Cotton’ Americans," was recently published in American Literature, published by Duke University Press.

The department is very pleased to announce this year the kick-off of a national poetry competition in the name of the former department chair and IUSB Chancellor, Lester Wolfson. The Wolfson Poetry Award contest will be held for the first time in 2010. David Dodd Lee will oversee the contest.

Bobby Meyer-Lee’s essay “The Vatic Penitent: John Audelay’s Self-Representation” will appear in a collection published by Medieval Institute Press. 

Nancy Botkin
is serving as Associate Director of the First-Year Writing program, while also serving as the co-chair of the Campus Theme for 2009-2010, with Steven Gerencser of the Political Science department.

English Major Mitch Robinson has been selected as the 2010 Editor of IUSB's literary journal, Analecta.

If you are an English Department faculty member, student (including minors), or alum with news or updates, please contact:
Kelcey Parker