Monday Missive – February 8, 2016

The Year of Jeffrey Leak — The Chinese New Year is celebrated today. This February is also special because it has 29 days, which means that this is Leap Year. For those of us in the English Department, however, the Chinese New Year and Leap Year are overshadowed by the Year of Jeffrey Leak.

This is a special year for Jeffrey. Not only is he serving as the Faculty President this year, but he is also representing the English Department in this year’s Personally Speaking...

Southern Slayer: Beyoncé’s “Formation”

Unless you were living under a rock or don’t pay attention to such things, Beyoncé released a new song yesterday called “Formation.” The southern setting (New Orleans), Bey’s reference to her roots in the Deep South (Alabama and Louisiana), the entire song’s southernnass is all there, layer upon layer. Some call the song “gritty” and ask if Bey is an “activist.” And hashtags for days. #ISlay #sheslay #hotsauceswag...

Monday Missive – February 1, 2016


Given that February is African American History Month, I think it is fitting to devote today’s Monday Missive to celebrating Dr. Mary Harper’s lasting contributions to the history of our English Department. Dr. Harper joined the English Department in the early 1970s and continued to teach in our department until her retirement in the early 1990s. She played a pivotal role in creating and teaching the first African American literature classes in our department....


While the Black Stars Burn, by Lucy A. Snyder

Though it has been almost a century since H.P. Lovecraft essentially invented and championed the genre of cosmic horror, it remains an incredibly popular source of inspiration for writers.  I suspect this is the case because authors have taken Lovecraft’s basic premise and extended it in ways that were beyond his capabilities.

A great example of this can be found in the recent collection While the Black Stars Burn (2015), by Lucy A. Snyder.

Snyder’s stories...

Twitter Weird Science Facts, Volume 2

Continuing to post a #weirdscifacts a day on Twitter; here’s the latest summary since my last posting!

16. (January 16). Project A119, when the US almost nuked the Moon to boost domestic morale.  The Cold War was a really scary time, when “mine’s bigger than yours” mentality was rampant, except on a national level with nuclear weapons.  This won’t be the last time we’ll hear about Cold War nuclear insanity in these facts.

17. (January...

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