McCoy publishes essay on Everett and Jefferson

Distinguished Teaching Professor Beth McCoy’s essay “The Great [White] Wail: Percival Everett’s The Water Cure and Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia” appears in American Revenge Narratives, a 2018 Palgrave Macmillan collection of critical essays edited by Kyle Wiggins.

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Lytton Smith to direct new Center for Integrative Learning at SUNY Geneseo

The Office of the Provost at SUNY Geneseo has named Dr. Lytton Smith director of the college’s new Center for Integrative Learning, effective August 2. The center represents a strategic re-imagining of the current Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development, which supports SUNY Geneseo’s mission to promote transformational learning experiences and to inspire students to be socially responsible and globally aware citizens.

In an email to campus faculty and staff, Provost Stacey Robertson writes that the new center will “play an expanded role in developing and promoting academic experiences that are interdisciplinary, connect learning opportunities to real world problems and issues, and encourage students to explore and articulate connections across their different experiences.”

Robertson points out that since coming to SUNY Geneseo in fall 2014, Smith, who was recently awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor, “has helped create or sustain a number of collaborative high impact educational opportunities for Geneseo students, including interdisciplinary and team-taught experiences that cross disciplines and divisions, study abroad, and community-based learning, often working with collaborators across science and humanities fields.” Smith’s work, she continues, “including his literary translations of Icelandic literature, in many ways models the principles of integrative learning. Under his leadership the CIL is poised to make considerable progress in advancing our goals as a public liberal arts institution that empowers students to make meaningful connections across their academic experiences.”

McCoy co-authors book chapter on community art

Distinguished Teaching Professor of English Beth McCoy and artist Steve Prince have co-authored “From Grief, Find Your Peace: Steve Prince and The Big Zipper Community,” an essay that explores how community art can help to heal community trauma. The piece appears in Routledge’s The Role of the Arts in Learning: Cultivating Landscapes of Democracy, edited by Jay Michael Hanes and Eleanor Weisman. McCoy will be teaching an integrative learning course on Prince’s art in Spring 2019.

More recognition for fiction writer Rachel Hall

SUNY Geneseo Professor of English (Creative Writing) Rachel Hall continues to receive recognition for her linked story collection Heirlooms.

The Arkansas Writer’s MFA Workshop recently recognized Hall’s book by naming it the winner of the third annual Phillip H. McMath Post Publication Book Award.

The award was founded in 2016 to honor central Arkansas author and literary champion Phillip H. Math, who is also the final judge.

Of the collection, final judge Phillip McMath notes: “With just a hint of Irene Nemirovsky, Camus and a dash of Guy De Maupassant, Rachel Hall is uniquely and brilliantly herself, and the appearance of her marvelous collection of short stories, Heirlooms, heralds the appearance of a first-rate talent.”

Earlier this semester, the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies named Hall as runner-up for the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. The winner was Margot Singer, for her novel Underground Fugue. Both authors will be honored at an awards ceremony Wednesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mandell Jewish Community Center, West Hartford, as part of the 2017-18 Mandell JCC Book Festival series.

Established by Dr. and Mrs. Irving Waltman of West Hartford in 1963, the award honors the memory of the late Edward Lewis Wallant, author of The Pawnbroker and other works of fiction. The Wallant Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious Jewish literary awards in the United States. It is presented to a Jewish writer, preferably unrecognized, whose published work of fiction is deemed to have significance for the American Jew.

Lytton Smith’s chapbook wins contest

My Radar Data Knows Its Thing, a poetry chapbook authored by Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith, has been selected as the winner of the inaugural Foundlings Chapbook Contest and Artist Residency. The chapbook will be designed by guest book artist Steve Fitzmaurice, and Foundlings Press will publish Dr. Smith’s collection in mid-January 2018. Dr. Smith will complete a weekend residency at Hotel Henry in Buffalo this November. The four runners-up were Terez Peipins, Tige DeCoster, Benjamin Brindise, and George Guida. Dr. Smith’s chapbook includes poems about radio, radar and wireless, devised based on research visits supported by funds from the Office of the Provost. All the poems in the collection begin with or rewrite Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s famous novel opening, “It was a dark and stormy night…”

Jess Fenn story selected for special issue of Boston Review

Renowned writer Junot Díaz has selected English Department lecturer Jess Fenn‘s short-story, “Athena Dreams of a Hollow Body,” for the upcoming Boston Review print special issue, Global Dystopias, which also includes Nalo Hopkinson, Maureen McHugh, and an interview with Margaret Atwood.

From the Boston Review’s announcement:

If we have, as Junot Díaz says, reached peak dystopia, then Global Dystopias might just be the handbook we need to weather the storm.

Preorder your copy here.