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“The Language and Literature Department is awesome! You not only get a greater appreciation for the written word, but the faculty makes it come alive!”
– Brittany Bennett, Language and Literature graduate
If you are able to read and understand this sentence, then you are already familiar with English as both a language and a field of study. English, in a nutshell, deals with how human beings communicate with each other through writing. Chowan University’s Language and Literature Department offers a variety of English classes focusing on:
All Chowan students take English 101: College Composition and English 102: Composition and Introduction to Literature. These classes are designed to build upon what you have learned previously about reading and writing and to empower you to join a discourse community of scholarly writers. Composition is not focused on reviewing fundamental rules of grammar; rather, it is designed to help you write with sophistication about the material you study as a college student.
Literature classes focus on the scholarly analysis of literary texts—that is to say:
Literature classes require us to pay careful attention to details found within those texts and help us hone our observational and analytical skills. These are skills that have broad application beyond just the English classroom (in fact, many medical schools now require their students to take advanced literature classes in the belief that the powers of observation developed in those classes will result in more observant and insightful doctors coming out of their programs).
Creative writing classes, of course, deal with the imagination, but they also build upon the work done in the composition and literature classes by continuing to emphasize paying attention to detail and expressing oneself with clarity and precision. In these classes, we focus not just on what we’re trying to say, but exactly how best to say it.
Additionally, Chowan students learn to express themselves during the following classes offered by the Department of Language and Literature:
In our global culture, these skills are essential for an educated person.
As technology has advanced, people rely on the written word more and more—think of how often you read the online version of a newspaper, or send an email or a text message to a friend or loved one. We seem to be entering a new golden age of textual communication; a strong background in English will help you to navigate this Brave New World.
| G. Kenneth Wolfskill
Distinguished Professor of English
Chair, Language and Literature
"I enjoy my teaching because it is, first, about language, and it is only through language that ideas and the mind can develop, and, second, it is about ideas and the thinking that occur to human beings in a conversation."
Dissertation: The Modern Temper: The Problem of Rationalism in the
Works of Ernest Hemingway, Archibald MacLeish, and Robinson Jeffers.
Work for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS):
Since 1993, served as member of 16 Visiting or Off-site Committees to evaluate sister institutions in the South, 3 times coordinating the evaluation of academic programs.
Textbook Development in Literature, Composition, and Grammar:
Have served as consultant to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and McGraw-Hill in the revision of texts: Lawrence Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, Anna Katsavos and Elizabeth Wheeler’s Complements, Robert DiYanni’s Perspectives, John Hodges’s The Harbrace College Handbook, and John Frederick Nims’s Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry.
“Ernest Hemingway and the Problem of Rationalism,” Forum/Lyceum, Chowan College, 1983.
“The Eyes of Ligeia,” Keynote address to Teachers of English, NC Baptist Colleges and Universities, Mars Hill, NC 1984.
“Pastoral Virtues: The Small Farm in American Literature,” NC Farm Symposium, Elizabeth City, NC, 1984.
“Read Everything Else First,” a review of Guy Davenport’s Every Force Evolves a Form, the Greensboro News and Record, 1987.
“A Tan and Randy Assignment: John D. MacDonald on the Syllabus,” English Teachers, NC Bapt Colleges and Universities, Meredith, Raleigh, 1988.
“A Dreadful Yellow Eye: Why Travis McGee Never Got to TV,” Popular Culture Association, Norfolk, VA, 1991.
“The Poetry (and Art) of the 1930s,” NEH Summer Seminar: America in the 1930s, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1993.
“The Worker’s Voice in Odets’s Waiting for Lefty, Conference on Literature of Leadership, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, 1996.
“Synecdoche! I’ve been there!: Disunderstood Metaphors,” Rotary Club of Murfreesboro, April 1999.
“A Word for the Practice of Stereotyping,” Keynote Address at Exchange Club of Murfreesboro, annual Book of Golden Deeds Supper, 2000.
“Kenny’s Excellent Adventure: Snorkeling in South Florida,” Rotary Club of Murfreesboro, September 2003.
“Dimensions,” Poem for Faculty Exhibit, Chowan Art Department, April 2004.
“Reader-Response: Bringing Students into the Discussion,” Comer/Literacy Conference, Hertford County Public Schools, March 2005.
“Tell All the Truth, but Tell It Slant: Poetry in Mark Twain’s Era,” Chowan College Interdisciplinary Symposium on Mark Twain, April 2005.
“The Undone Archetype: War Stories and Reality,” Chowan College Interdisciplinary Symposium on War, April 2006.
“The Grotesque South: Flannery O’Conner’s Fiction,” Chowan College Interdisciplinary Symposium on War, April 2007.
“Story Telling: A Layman’s Message,” Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, October 2007.
“The La-de-da Factor and the Appreciation of Literature,” Rotary Club of Murfreesboro, October 2007.
“’O Taste and See’: Attitudes toward the Environment in Literature,” Chowan College Interdisciplinary Symposium on Ecology, April 2008.
“Through a Glass Darkly: A Layman’s Message,” Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, July 2008.
“Slouching Towards Bethlehem: A Layman’s Message,” Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, November 2009.
“The Spirit of the Place: Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico,” Chowan College Interdisciplinary Symposium on Ecology, April 2010.
“Mighty Pretty Collards: A Layman’s Message,” Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, July 2010.
“We Have Heard Angels: A Layman’s Message,” Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, November 2010.
“Buffalo Bill: A Layman’s Message,” Murfreesboro United Methodist Men’s Breakfast, January 2011.
“The Magic Hand of Chance,” Chowan University Salon, April 2011.
|John H. Davis
Professor of English
Sponsor, Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society
Co-Sponsor, Alpha Chi International Academic Honor Society
"I like literature because it offers insights into humanity by heightening and focusing the human condition within artistic structures inviting investigation and discussion that challenge both mind and emotion."
John Davis received his B.A. degree with Honors in English from the University of Montevallo. He received his Masters in Literature and his Ph.D. degree in American Literature from Auburn University. He did his dissertation on Mark Twain and the Dream, the uses of the dream in his fiction. John Davis came to work at Chowan University in 1981.
Awards of Honor:
"Bridging the Gap: The Twin Kingdoms of The Prince and the Pauper." Mark Twain's Geographical Imagination [Tentative Title]. Ed. Joseph Alvarez. Columbia: U. of Missouri Press, Forthcoming.
Critical Companion to Mark Twain: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work.
R. Kent Rasmussen, With Critical Commentary by John H. Davis and Alex Feerst. 2 Vols. New York: Facts on File
The Mark Twain Encyclopedia. Ed. J.R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993. 13 Articles.
"To me, Chowan University is an ideal place to learn because you can kick back with friends and a burger in the Hawks Nest, shoot some hoops in the Jenkins Center, delve into a good book in the library, or take a casual stroll across squirrel park. Our cozy campus is a great place to find friends, discover your potential, and define your future."
Steve Harders received his B.A. degree in Theatre Arts from Marycrest International University in Iowa. He received his Masters of Fine Art degree in Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Steve Harders came to work at Chowan University in 2003.
Wendy S. Dower
Associate Professor of English
"There is no other occupation that is as satisfying when students make the connections and the lights go on. The only more satisfying moment comes when a student makes a connection across disciplines. Then a different light goes on as a student realizes there is a reason for the diversity of classes Chowan requires besides the study of the major: it adds up to an education, not a job."
Wendy Dower received her Associate's Degree in English from St. Petersburg Junior College. She received her B.A. and her Masters degrees in English from the University of South Florida. She received her Ph.D. degree in Medieval English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wendy Dower came to work at Chowan University in 1994.
| Emily Isaacson
Assistant Professor of English
“Early in my education, one of my mentors insisted that success came when you loved what you did. He was right – the opportunity to read and discuss literature and writing with students is the greatest joy that I have found. Literature encompasses all of human emotion and thought, and teaching it is an opportunity to re-experience my first encounters with those texts.”
Emily Isaacson earned a BA in English from Augustana College (Rock Island, IL). She completed work on an MA and a Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, where she wrote a dissertation about early modern comedy and London families. Emily Isaacson began teaching at Chowan in 2008.
Awards and Honors:
Newberry Library Consortium Grant, for participation in the seminar “Accessorizing the Renaissance” and research at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 2006.
“Relocating Devices: The Masque in Middleton’s Your Five Gallants.” Discoveries: South Central Renaissance Conference News and Notes. (21: 1). Spring 2004. 1-2, 10-11.
and various book reviews for The Sixteenth Century Journal.
‘Step-Dame Study’s Purpose: Critical Thinking and Early Modern Poetry.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association. November 2011.
“Letter Writing in Public: The Politics of Female Alliance and Whitney’s A Sweet Nosegay.” Shakespeare Association of America, Bellevue, WA. April 2011.
“Did Puritans Have Daughters?: The Gendered Childhood of the Conduct Books.” Shakespeare Association of America, Chicago, IL. April 2010.
“Electronic Self-Fashioning: Scholarly Bloggers in the Real World.” with Jessica C. Murphy (University of Texas-Dallas). Attending to Early Modern Women Conference: Conflict and Concord. College Park, MD. November 2009.
“Reimagining City Comedy (Again): The Material Circumstances of the Early Modern London Family.” Shakespeare Association of America, Washington, DC. April 2009.
“Flora’s New Weed: Accessorizing Tobacco.” Shakespeare Association of America, Dallas. March 2008.
“The Citizen upon the Stage: (Beaumont and) Fletcher’s Generic Contributions to City Comedy.” Shakespeare Association of America. San Diego, CA. April 2007.
“City Comedy as an Accessorized Genre.” The Fifty-Third Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. Miami, FL. March 2007.
“What a Difference a Husband Makes: Marriage in Michaelmas Term.” Shakespeare Association of America. Philadelphia, PA. April 2006.
“Containing Amoret: Finding a Happy Marriage in The Faerie Queene.” Exploring the Renaissance 2005. South Central Renaissance Conference. Pepperdine University, March 2005.
“ ‘A Paper of Verses’: Pamela’s Fashioning of Authority through Journalling.” New Worlds, New Frontiers, 34th Annual Meeting of the Midwest American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. University of Missouri – Saint Louis and Saint Louis University. October 2004.
“Hal’s Paschal Victory in Henry V.” Exploring the Renaissance 2004. South Central Renaissance Conference. University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University. April 2004.
“Envisioning Community: Lydgate’s Mummings and the Idealization of Community.” Mid-America Medieval Association XXVIIIth Annual Meeting. University of Missouri – Columbia. February 2004.
Workshop and Seminar Participation:
31st International Conference on Critical Thinking. The Foundation for Critical Thinking. Berkeley, California. July 25-28, 2011.
30th International Conference on Critical Thinking. The Foundation for Critical Thinking. Berkeley, California. July 19-22, 2010.
“Accessorizing the Renaissance.” Led by Dr. Joseph Lowenstein. The Folger Shakespeare Institute, Washington, D.C. January 26-April 6, 2006.
“Courtesy and Cookery: Courtesy Books and the Household Schools in Late Medieval and Early Modern England.” Led by Dr. Sharon Michalove. “The History of the Book Seminar.”Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois. October 17, 2003
Kerri Lydieth Albertson
“I am happy to be a more integrated part of the Chowan faculty, and look forward to learning from my colleagues and being able to offer more assistance to students who need it.”
Dr. Matthew Fullerty
“Benjamin Franklin said: ‘Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.’ At Chowan you can do both. Chowan University combines the friendliness and focus of a smaller campus with world-class facilities. I am excited to inspire students in English Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing, and I share the ambition of faculty, staff and students that contributes to making Chowan a dynamic academic institution with an international outlook. For an expat Brit now ten years in America, Chowan has a wonderfully welcoming Southern character that makes me feel very much at home. Go Hawks!”
Dr. Fullerty’s first novel, The Knight of New Orleans (2011), recounts the life story of New Orleans world chess champion, Paul Morphy, and a working girl from Basin Street, Clara Young, with whom he becomes infatuated. It won the Bookhabit Unpublished Novel Award 2008 ($5000), was Semi-Finalist in the William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition 2008, and a Second Round choice in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2010.
After Dr. Fullerty completed his second novel The Murderess and the Hangman (2012) in October 2010, he received a telephone call from the London Daily Mail about a 131-year old female skull that had been dug up in Sir David Attenborough’s back garden in London. The skull was carbon dated and proved to belong to the victim in Dr. Fullerty’s novel—the story of respectable Julia Thomas’s murder by her own maid, Kate Webster, in 1879, a long-forgotten case that had quite literally resurfaced. Dr. Fullerty subsequently wrote articles for the Daily Mail, participated in a BBC Radio interview about the discovery, and appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Deadly Women to discuss the crime (the episode is viewable on YouTube).
Dr. Fullerty is currently researching his third novel, The Necklace (2014), a science-fiction novel about a future when cybernetic humans are born with two death dates on their wrists, but only one of the dates is real. What world is this, where only some live beyond their first date? And what happens when someone is born with no wrist markings at all, but with a new mutation shaped like a beautiful necklace? Perhaps only a child can explain how this brave new nightmare has arisen: two dates, two selves, two futures, but only one present, one life, one necklace.
For more information, Dr. Fullerty’s website is www.mattfullerty.com.
Writer-in-Residence (Fiction), Artist’s Grant, Vermont Studio Center, August 2011.
Writing Fellow (Writer-in-Residence, Fiction), Artists’ Enclave at I-Park, July 2010.
Second Round, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2010 (General Fiction) for The Knight of New Orleans (as The Pride and the Sorrow), Feb. 2010.
Winner, Bookhabit Novel Competition for The Knight of New Orleans (as The Pride and the Sorrow), June 2008.
‘Almost Finalist’ in The William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for The Knight of New Orleans (as The Pride and the Sorrow), June 2008.
‘Alternate Choice’ to live in Jack Kerouac’s old house for 3 months, The Kerouac Project (www.kerouacproject.org), May 2008.
English Department Graduate Teaching Award, George Washington University, May 2007.
Four-year GTA Scholarship Award 2003-2007, George Washington University, June 2003.
The British and American Academic Novel: The Professorromane, The Comic Campus, The Tragic Self. F Street Books. January 2013 (forthcoming).
The Necklace. Parkgate Originals (hardback), Aug. 2014 (forthcoming).
The Murderess and the Hangman. Dionysus Books (paperback). September 2012. The Murderess and the Hangman. Parkgate Originals (hardback). March 2012.
The Knight of New Orleans. Dionysus Books (paperback). February 2012.
The Knight of New Orleans. Parkgate Originals (hardback). September 2011.
"The Funeral of Jean Lafitte” (chapter one of The Knight of New Orleans).
Word Riot, Jul. 2008.
Editor (complete books)
Laird, Thomas. The Underground Detective, a Chicago crime novel, April 2012.
Robertson, Tom. Napoleon Vs. The Turk, a play, Apr. 2012.
Napoleon Vs. The Turk, a play. Tom Robertson. April 2012.
Holmstrom, Engin. Loveswept, a cross-cultural novel set in 1950s Turkey, Nov. 2011.
Mpoy, Bruno. Bootstraps: Is the Price too Low? New York: 1st Unison Publishing, Jun. 2010.
“How a skull found in David Attenborough’s garden has solved one of Victorian Britain’s most gruesome murder mysteries.” Daily Mail (UK). (UK). 26 Oct. 2010: 15+.
“How a skull found in David Attenborough’s garden has solved one of Victorian Britain’s most gruesome murder mysteries.” Daily Mail (UK). Web. 26 Oct. 2010.
“Skull found in Sir David Attenborough’s garden that solves 1879 Barnes murder mystery.” Daily Mail (UK). 25 Oct. 2010: 24+.
“Skull found in Sir David Attenborough’s garden that solves 1879 Barnes murder mystery.” Daily Mail (UK). Web. 25 Oct. 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323396/
“Can Cloud Computing Really Simplify and Secure Healthcare Administration?” Healthcare Technology Magazine. International Healthcare Technology. Apr. 2010. Web. http://www.healthcaretechnologymagazine.com/healthcare-it-case-study-article/187/
O’Byrne, Katie-Scarlett. Building an Alliance with a Patient who has a Severe and Chronic Trauma History. Diss. May 2010.
Smith, Andrew. Interview by Matt Fullerty. “From F Street Review, with Matt Fullerty.” Axiom Publishing, 2010. May 2010. Web. http://edithswar.com/id12.html
Future, Past, Present. Rev. of Spilling Clarence and The Disapparation of James (novels), by Anne Ursu. The St. Ann’s Review Summer/Fall 2003: 142. Print.
“Deciphering Stones.” Rev. of The Calligraphy Shop (poetry) by Ben Dowling. The St. Ann’s Review Winter/Spring 2004: 162. Print.
For Kicks. Paper, Scissors, Stone: New Writing from the University of East Anglia. University of East Anglia Press. June 2002.
Poems in UK poetry magazines. Island; Fire; Poetry Monthly; Manifold; Weyfarers. 1999-2002.