“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.
Cynthia S. Nicholson, PhD
"Chowan University students are exposed to a college experience that will prepare them for life both academically and spiritually. This type of education allows students to gain the tools needed to fulfill their purpose. As an English professor,
I take pride in challenging students to “write their own story.”
Dissertation: Finding Space, Finding Voice: The Racial, Ethnic, and Spiritual Identity of African American Students in the Urban Southwest
Arizona State Literacy Team, Writer, Arizona Department of Education, 2011
2010 AZ Reads English Language Arts Common Core Standards (High School), Trainer and Presenter, Arizona Department of Education, 2011
Proposal Reviewer, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Division G: Social Contexts of Education, Section 3: Multiple Languages and Literacies, and Section 2: Multicultural Contexts, 2010
Assessment Writer and Reviewer, Pearson and Arizona Department of Education – Arizona Instructional Measurement Standards Reading Test Bias Review Committee, 2010
Site Team Member, AdvancED Accreditation – combined organization of North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE), 2011
Curriculum and Instruction Committee Member, Tempe Union High School District, Tempe, Arizona, 2009 – 2011
Co-Chair, Quality Enhancement Plan, Chowan University, 2007 – 2008
Blasingame, James, Corrine Gordon, Cynthia S. Nicholson, and Wendy Williams. Full Steampunk Ahead: A National Consortium for Teaching Young Adult Literature through Technology, Panel Presentation at the Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English, Las Vegas, NV, November 2012
Nicholson, Cynthia S. and Charrai Hunter. Where Am I in the Text? Enhancing Student Literacy with YA Literature, Panel Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English, Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA, February 2012
Nicholson, Cynthia S. and Byron White. Back to the Basics: Renewing the Value of Effective Instructional Practices, Panel Presentation at Georgia Department of Education Collaborative for School Improvement Conference, Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA, December 2011 and March 2012
Walsh, Laura and Cynthia S. Nicholson. Book of My Life: Using YA Literature to Promote Student Writing, Research and Discovery of Who They Are, Where They Come From, and Where They Are Going. Paper Presentation at Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English, Chicago, IL, November 2011
Nicholson, Cynthia S. Finding Space, Finding Voice: The Racial, Ethnic, and Spiritual Identity of African American Students in the Urban Southwest, Paper Presentation at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April 2011
Nicholson, Cynthia S. Do I really matter? Issues of Language and Literacy Among African American Students in a Church Youth Program, Paper Presentation at Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English, Orlando, FL, November 2010
Nicholson, Cynthia S. African American Literature in Review, Presentation for Chowan University Academic Outreach Series with Roanoke Rapids Public Schools, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 2008
Nicholson, Cynthia S. The Still Small Voice in Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Paper Presentation held at Interdisciplinary Symposium on the American South, Chowan University, 2007
Nicholson, Cynthia S. “That’s Not My Name! What YA Authors Can Teach about the Names of African American Students.” Authors: Alleen Pace Nilsen, James Blasingame, Kenneth Donnelson, and Don L. F. Nilsen. Literature for Today’s Young Adults. 9th Edition. Saddle River: Pearson, 2012
Nicholson, Cynthia S. “Book Review: Harlem on Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth.” Arizona English Bulletin, 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 came to work at Chowan University in 1981.
He did his dissertation on Mark Twain and the Dream, the uses of the dream
in his fiction.
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 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 came to work at Chowan University in 1994.
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.
Dr. Bryan Herek
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent."
~ John Donne
Literature—Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia
Composition—Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia
Literature—University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Composition—University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Provost Innovative Teaching With Technology Award, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, 2008.
Distinguished Teaching Assistant, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Maryland, College Park, 2001.
National Humanities Summer Institute, “Andrew Marvell: Lyric and Public Poems.” National Humanities Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2012.
International Association of Writing Centers Summer Institute, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2009.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Playhouse: The Study, the Stage, and the Classroom,” American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, Virginia, 2008.
“Reconsidering the 1599 Bishops' Ban,” Renaissance Papers. (2011): 131-140.
“John Donne’s Satyre III,” Explicator. 60.4 (2002): 193-196.
Herek, Bryan, Ed. David Green, Gen Ed. First Year Writing. Tapestry Press, 2013.
Herek, Bryan, Ed. & Darelle Rollins, Gen. Ed. First Year Writing. Tapestry Press, 2010 – 2012.
Digital Advisory Board. Engaging Questions: A Guide to Writing. Carolyn Channell and Timothy Crusius. McGraw-Hill, 2012
“Andrew Marvell: Satirist.” South-Central Renaissance Conference. Omaha, Nebraska, March 22, 2013
“Teaching Shakespeare with the Digital Humanities,” American Shakespeare Center Blackfriars Conference, Pedagogy Special Session, Staunton, Virginia, October 29, 2011
“Reconsidering the 1599 Bishops' Ban,” Southeastern Renaissance Conference, NC State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, October 21, 2011
“The Digital Humanities and Writing About Literature,” Old Dominion University Spring Conference on the Teaching of Writing, Norfolk, Virginia, March 24, 2011
“John Donne and Ben Jonson: 'To live by his labour'd sceanes,” American Shakespeare Center Blackfriars Conference, Roundtable Leader, Staunton, Virginia, October 22, 2009
“John Donne and the Intelligent Agent,” John Donne Society Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 20, 2009
“What can be Donne: Interpretive Tagging and the Semantic Web,” Canadian Symposium on Text Analysis, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada, October 18, 2008
“Shakespeare and the Semantic Web,” National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Symposium, Staunton, Virginia, July 28, 2008
“Historical Revisionism, the Internet, and the Anti-Stratfordians,” Missouri Valley History Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, March 4, 2007
“‘Can railing then cure these worn maladies?’: John Donne and the Efficacy of Satire,” John Donne Society Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 16, 2006
F. Thomas (Tom) Abbott
“I find great comfort in serendipity. Our school came into existence in 1848, the same year Elder Joseph Brackett of the Shaker colony in Gorham, Maine wrote my favorite hymn, “Simple Gifts.” It is indeed a ‘gift to come down where we ought to be.’ For me, that ‘place just right’ is Chowan University. At Chowan, I find it very easy to say that teaching is my mission and ministry. I love my students, I delight in sharing the joy of learning with them, and my faith in their future grows stronger every day.”
Tom Abbott came to work at Chowan in 2011.