Faculty News 2021-2022
Department of English
FACULTY NEWS 2021-2022
The Faculty of the Department of English marked the end of a productive year. Below is a partial list of achievements from the 2021-2022 academic year:
Dr. Maria O’Malley is publishing a book, titled Imaginary Empires: Women Writers and Alternative Futures in Early US Literature, with LSU Press. (Learn more HERE.)
Dr. Michelle Beissel Heath, “Socialization: Civilizing Child’s Play,” The Long Nineteenth Century (1800-1920). Ed. Naomi Wood in A Cultural History of the Fairy Tale, volume 5, Ed. Anne Duggan, Bloomsbury’s Cultural History Series, Bloomsbury (2021): 149-166.
Dr. Janet Graham, “The Ghost Mother in Two Vietnamese American Refugee Novels: A Critical Refugee Analysis,” Reclaiming Migrant Motherhood: Identity, Belonging, and Displacement in a Global Context. Ed. Maria D. Lombard, Rowman and Littlefield (2022): 79-91.
Dr. Janet Graham and Quynh H. Vo, "Bending the Long Arc of War to a Vision of Peace: An Interview with Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai," Journal of Vietnamese Studies 16.4 (2021): 68-89.
Dr. Maria O’Malley, “Benjamin Franklin’s Coquetry, the Rise of the Novel, and Diplomacy in a Globalizing World” in Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations 26.1 (2022).
Dr. Amanda Sladek, “‘Say What You Want to Say!’: Teaching Literacy Autoethnography to Resist Linguistic Prejudice,” Self-Culture-Writing: Autoethnography for/as Writing Studies. Eds. Rebecca Jackson and Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Utah State UP: 2021.
Dr. Annarose Steinke, “‘Parsimonious / Presentations’: Mina Loy's Crisis of [Christian] Representation.” Christianity & Literature 69.4 (2020): 493-510.
Dr. Annarose Steinke, “Review of T. S. Eliot’s Dialectical Imagination, by Jewel Spears Brooker.” Christianity & Literature 69.2 (2020): 471-475.
New Hires and Promotions
Ms. Saralisa Helleberg was hired as office associate to English, Modern Languages and Philosophy.
Mr. Jay Lee joined the department as lecturer in English.
Dr. Amanda Sladek was promoted to associate professor with early tenure (effective fall 2022).
Dr. Denys Van Renen was promoted to full professor (effective fall 2022).
Award and Honors
Dr. Susan Honeyman was recognized by UNK for 20 years of service.
Dr. Amanda Sladek received the Outstanding Mentor Award by the UNK Graduate College (Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach).
Dr. Marguerite Tassi was recognized by UNK for 25 years of service.
Dr. Denys Van Renen was recognized by UNK for 10 years of service.
The department bids farewell to Ms. Jessica Hollander, Associate Professor in English. Since coming to UNK in 2015, Ms. Hollander helped establish a minor in creative writing and designed a 400-level experiential learning course (ENG 435 Creative Writing Professionalism). She was a mentor to students in the Summer Student Research Program, the Undergraduate Research Fellow Program, and the Graduate College. Each spring, she sponsored many creative writing students who presented at the department’s Student Language and Literature Conference. Though we are sad to see her go, we remain thankful for her valuable contributions to UNK.
Other Professional News and Events
Dr. Michelle Beissel Heath presented a paper, “Girl Detectives Reclaim the Past, Or Attempts to De-Mystify the Nineteenth Century in Jordan Stratford’s The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency Series” at the Midwest Victorian Studies Association.
Dr. Janet Graham presented on a panel at the UNK International Studies Program event on “Refugees: A Problem or an Opportunity” in November 2021.
Mr. Jay Lee hosted a National Day on Writing event in October 2022.
Dr. Brad Modlin, Dr. Megan Hartman, and Ms. Jessica Hollander participated in PAWS University (Personal Achievement Workshops summer camp for Grades 1-6) at UNK in summer 2021.
Dr. Brad Modlin served as faculty advisor for the undergraduate literary magazine, The Carillon. Issue 37 was published in April 2022.
Dr. Maria O’Malley served on the Interview Board for the UNK Honors Program’s 38th annual Omaha World-Herald Scholarship Day in January 2022.
Dr. Amanda Sladek served as co-organizer/co-chair of the inaugural HEL and Writing Studies presentation thread at the Studies in the History of the English Language conference.
Dr. Annarose Steinke presented “‘Preserving it from Closure’: From Memorializing to Iconic Re-membrance in Thom Gunn's ‘Sacred Heart’ and ‘The Man with Night’ Sweats” at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dr. Annarose Steinke participated in a Peer Seminar, "The Secular, the Religious, and the Modern,” during the International T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting, held virtually in September 2021.
Dr. Marguerite Tassi served as the Shakespeare consultant for the Shakespeare Reimagined performance at UNK by the Trans-Nebraska Players in November 2021.
Dr. Rebecca Umland presented a paper, “‘Old Tune, so Full of Sadness’—Dante’s Deathless Song in Popular Music,” at the 46th Annual European Studies Conference at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
The Department’s Curriculum and Teacher Education Committee (Drs. Rebecca Umland (Chair), Janet Graham, and Annarose Steinke) planned and organized the annual Student Language and Literature Conference that was held on Friday, April 22, 2022.
Service to UNK
The faculty in English serve on a wide array of university and college committees, including: Faculty Senate, General Studies Council, Graduate Council, OSP Research Services Council, the Senate Artists & Lecturers Committee, the CAS Advisory Committee, CAS Education Policy Committee, CAS Outstanding Seniors Committee, CAS Travel Committee, and the CAS Oversight Committee. They also serve on advisory boards: American Democracy Project, First-Year Programs, Honors Program, Living Learning Communities, and the Women's, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Council. They serve as mentors in the Undergraduate Research Fellow Program and the Summer Student Research Program as well as serve on master’s thesis committees. Several members of the department serve as faculty advisors to student organizations:
Dr. Seth Long, co-faculty advisor to the Film Club
Dr. Maria O’Malley, faculty advisor to Phi Eta Sigma (UNK chapter)
Dr. Amanda Sladek, senior advisor to Mortar Board (Xi Phi chapter)
Dr. Annarose Steinke and Dr. Marguerite Tassi, faculty advisors to Sigma Tau Delta (Xi Beta chapter)