A Publication of the Department of English & Literature, Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN
|ENG, CALE, and ESL ED seniors graduating in spring 2009 or fall 2009 are invited to a dinner with Department of English & Literature faculty at Dr. Sommers' house on Friday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. Please RSVP to Lynae Wingate (email@example.com) by Monday, May 4.|
ENG3125 Advanced English Grammar: Syntax
|Few classes are simultaneously so challenging and fun that they forge strong bonds among diverse groups of students. ENG3125 Advanced English Grammar: Syntax is one such class. As a requirement for most English majors, the course entails hours of diagramming (commonly called treeing) and competition for the "Grammar Goddess" button, activities which have become a uniquely engaging rite of passage. Along with Bible, communication, and linguistics students, education majors take this class to learn knowledge foundational to teaching English. Do you want to know more about this course? Find someone wearing the famous Advanced Grammarian t-shirt or talking about this semester's grammar mascot--Lee, the broccoli creature. Advanced English Grammar is a course that will make you both sweat and smile.|
|Faculty Focus: Dr. Keith Jones |
|What will you be working on for the summer?
I have been commissioned to write an essay on William Shakespeare and John Calvin, and that will take up most of my summer.
Do you have any tips for current or prospective students?
The seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers has just been released. I'd advise grabbing a copy before they run out, studying it thoroughly, and incorporating its guidelines into your writing assignments.
There were very few classes I didn't enjoy in college. Even my physical fitness class (I'm no athlete) had its appeal. That may have been because it had a writing component.
What was your favorite class when you were in college?
Shakespeare manages to make an appearance (however brief) in almost every class I teach. I'm very fond of teaching Shakespeare, Introduction to Shakespeare, and Shakespeare and Film; however, I enjoy teaching College Composition and Non-Western Literature as well.
What is your favorite class to teach?
|Featured Student: Ashley Vikla |
|A double major in English: Linguistics and Biblical & Theological Studies, senior Ashley Vikla discovered her passion for analyzing languages while studying in Thailand. She then spent several months at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in North Dakota before transferring to Northwestern College to pursue her love for linguistics and the Bible. At her recent senior capstone presentation (see picture above, Ashely on left with fellow presenter Leah Fadell on right), Ashley shared with faculty and fellow students her research involving two dialects of a Southeast Asian language. She comments, "[My linguistics capstone work] was exciting for me because of my previous experience with Southeast Asian countries and languages."
After Ashley graduates, she would like to enter a graduate program in theoretical linguistics, with plans to become a university professor. Having deepened at Northwestern her love for both linguistics and biblical studies, Ashley now believes she has the potential to serve as a bridge spanning the theoretical field of linguistics and the practical work of translating the Word of God.
News from Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society
The Sigma Tau Delta International Convention was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis on March 25-28. Eight of our majors successfully presented their scholarly or creative work:
Heidi (Graser) Thulin
Participants comment on their experience:
"I appreciated the opportunity to present because it gave credibility to the work that I've been doing for the past few semesters. In attending and presenting at the conference, I am no longer serving only professors... but a larger audience as well."
- Rachel Grammer
"I realized how writing really can be a witness to people. There were many sessions I went to where the presenter had a very heartbreaking/hopeless story.... Now, I am even more excited about writing because I can make an eternal difference through it." - Heidi Thulin
Sarah Lysaker was awarded a scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. Congratulations are in order!
The Department of English & Literature is pleased to welcome twenty new members into Sigma Tau Delta:
Lacy B. Barker Zachary P. Marshall
Benjamin A. Bauman Kayleen Mickelson
Elyse Coleman Catherine Rivard
Elizabeth Coslet Kari Schempp
Anna E. Flaa Charles Daniel Steddom
Megan Helmick Elisa M. Tally
Sydney Marie Larson Ashley A. Vikla
Mathew Lehman Katie L. Waldner
Heidi Lindgren Kaleigh Walter
Hope Manocchio Lindsay Wohlenhaus
A formal Sigma Tau Delta Induction Ceremony took place on Monday, April 20. Along with the inductees, guests included President Cureton, Provost Ottley, department faculty, students, families, and friends.
|Featured Alum: Will Keillor |
|Year of Graduation and Major:
2003, English Literature
What are you doing these days?
am Acquisitions Librarian at Luther Seminary Library, and I work in
surgery at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. I also think my wife and two
children are just lovely to be around.
How did your English degree from Northwestern help you out (spiritually, professionally, cognitively, etc.)?
something I've thought about often as I write the checks for my student
loans. My degree helped me spiritually to value the incarnate Word.
Professionally, my degree was the groundwork for further schooling,
and, in a way, has been a sort of comfort to me when I wasn't where I
wanted to be in my career (and a bit of a spur to do better). One of
the things I appreciate about this degree is that, at a personal level,
all you really have to do is read good books to continue where you left
Do you have any tips for current or prospective English majors?
For most of
us, simply getting an English degree isn't the ticket to entry into the
millionaire's club. Therefore, I suggest learning to value the
practice of reading and writing well, of engaging with a text, of
paying attention to the lessons of literature, such as that hubris is
destructive. That will take you a long way. Also, think carefully
about where you wish to arrive when your degree is complete. Laying a
foundation somewhere in the "real world" will probably save some time
is a foundational element of our culture, civilization, and everything
we do corporately, while literary themes and narratives power
everything from video games to marketing to our understanding of
ourselves, our nation, and our world. Being versed in both is a unique
and useful thing wherever you find yourself. I think it is a good idea
to try to find a place where these talents will be particularly valued,
and then to make yourself useful.
Who is your favorite author?
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Proust, etc, etc.
|Suggested Summer Reading from the Faculty |
|Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (non-fiction)
From the back cover... "The story of three generations in twentieth century China, it is an engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love."
--Dr. Feng-Ling Margaret Johnson
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
This book's descriptions of the sights and sounds of Paris as seen through the eyes of a young Ernest Hemingway and its tales involving the creative and eclectic crowd Hemingway runs with in the early 1920s will fascinate readers who are intrigued by the writers known as the Ex-Patriots.
--Tanya L. Grosz
Author Robin Paige
I recommend any of the books by Robin Paige as good examples to those of you who might want to write fiction that is based upon historical research. (For example, Death at Whitechapel is about the Jack-the-Ripper murders.)
--Dr. Kathleen Black
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
It flings you into the wilderness where you should be in the summer and will provide a catharsis of sorts--you will rethink things.
The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte by Laura Joh Rowland
This combination of mystery and biography is a fun read.
--Dr. Helen Ailing
|Chair's Corner |
academic year is quickly drawing to a close, and summer will soon unfold before
us. As we enter this new season, I pray that that Lord will give us many
opportunities to use the power of words for His glory. We can encourage,
uplift, and uphold others, challenging them to "be imitators of God . . . and [to]
live a life of love" (Ephesians 5:1-2). In a recent breakout chapel, Dana Weld,
an English major who has served God in China for over 14 years, emphasized
God's creating each of us "for such a time as this." Dana further proclaimed,
"You are an Esther. You are a Paul. The Lord's plan for you is perfect. He
wants to use you to change the world."
How can we
as 21st-century Christians impact our home, our church, our
community, and our world this summer? In the short story "A Good Man Is Hard to
Find," Flannery O'Connor places into the mouth of a cold-blooded killer a truth
that cuts to the heart of our commitment to Christ and His service. The Misfit
proclaims, "If [Jesus] did what He said, then it's nothing for you to do but
thow [sic] away everything and follow Him."
we know He has risen, let's go forth this summer infused by His spirit, open to
His leading, and eager to use our written and spoken words to accomplish His
will. Because He lives, "all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26b). Have a
wonderful, fruitful summer!
Chair, Department of English & Literature