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Meet Our Department Head, Dr. Becky Childs
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“I see my role as an advocate, I am here to advocate for students and for the vitality of the English Department.”  

— Dr. Becky Childs


JMU English Faculty News

Faculty News & Publications - (in order by date)

  • 9/15/22, Professor L. Renée wins the 2022 Rattle Poetry Prize with her poem, “Shoes”. https://loom.ly/-l3X4KQ 
  • 9/14/22, Dr. Allison Fagan and Dr. Mollie Godfrey became part of the Gen Ed Program’s Equity Tag pilot group. 
  • 9/12/22, Dr. Matt Rebhorn’s essay, “The Unfinished Drama of the American Civil War” is published in Cambridge University Press.
  • 9/7/22, Dr. Mollie Godfrey and Dr. Seán McCarthy (SMAD) announce that Celebrating Simms, in Arabic, is live. https://omeka.lib.jmu.edu/simms/access 
  • 9/7/22, Professor Laurie Kutchins' poem, “To Restore The Dance”, was published in Ecotheoreview. 
  • 9/5/22, Dr. Mark Rankin was selected to participate in the Cal Fall 2022 Faculty Workshop-Seminar.  
  • 8/31/22, Grading faculty member Dan Levine’s two articles, “Assembling the Avengers,” were published at Musicmoviesandhoops.com. https://musicmoviesandhoops.com/assembling-the-avengers.../ https://musicmoviesandhoops.com/assembling-the-avengers.../ 
  • 8/30/22, Professor Jason Baltazar's story publication. https://www.ergot.press/archive/Jason_Baltazar/Dirge_for_Our_Dead_Mountain?fbclid=IwAR0AVCQbzlJqK6nBJ_6QkeDcDtvgFM8Pnqn68RFytWo7iKYzdJz9wxreTWE
  • 8/22/22, Dr. Mary Thompson interviewed with the radio show With Good Reason. https://www.withgoodreasonradio.org/episode/parenting-in-the-early-years/
  • 8/18/22, Announcement of Dr. Delores B. Phillips as the new Director of the African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies Center.
  • 8/11/22, Dr. Brooks Hefner and Dr. Mollie Godfrey were awarded a grant from Virginia Humanities to support the transcription of local African American educator George Newman Sr.’s unpublished novel manuscript.
  • 8/8/22, Dr. Richard Gaughran's celebration of retirement.
  • 7/18/22, Dr. Besi Muhonja’s book, “Gender and Sexuality in Kenyan Societies”, is published. 
  • 7/1/22, Dr. Childs’ first day as JMU English’s Department Head. 
  • https://www.jmu.edu/news/english/2022/welcoming-department-head.shtml
  • 6/16/22, Dr. Rankin’s article, “English Reformation Literature”, appeared in the Oxford Bibliographies Online, British and Irish Literature module.
  • 6/9/22, Dr. Sofia Samatar, Caribbean Quarterly has released Dr. Samatar’s transcript of a rare, 1990 documentary on Aimé Césaire, Martinska - Martinique, in their latest issue.
  • 6/6/22, Dr. Pennington’s article, “Interpreting the Labor and Legacy of the Independent Literary Typist; or, the Typing of Ethel Kate Dickens” is published. 
  • 5/23/22, Professor Joan Federick, Emerita Professor Joan Federick passes.
  • 5/23/22, Grading faculty member Dan Levine’s article, “Luka’s Legendary Lessons”, is published at Musicmoviesandhoops.com. https://musicmoviesandhoops.com/lukas-legendary-lessons/
  • 5/18/22, Professor Brooks Hefer was interviewed about his book, “Black Pulp”, by journalist Evan F. Moore at the inaugural American Writers Festival.
  • 5/16/22, Professor Lauren K. Alleyne will assume leadership of JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center. https://www.jmu.edu/news/2022/04/27-lauren-alleyne-profile.shtml
  • 5/9/22, Grading faculty member, Dan Levine – announcement – congratulations on recent article publication on the online website Music, Movies, and Hoops. https://musicmoviesandhoops.com/assembling-the-avengers.../
  • 5/3/22, Professor Greg Wrenn – announcement – essay “The Lantern” published in Spring 2022 issue of The Iowa Review.
  • 4/28/22, Dr. Mark Rankin – award-nominated and accepted role on literature prize committee of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference.
  • 4/27/22, Professor Erica Cavanagh – reading – Joined anthology authors for virtual reading of Letter To A Stranger.
  • 4/6/22, Professor Joost Burgers – announcement – joining faculty with concentration in Digital Humanities.
  • 4/5/22, María José Delgadillo – announcement – joining faculty with concentrations in contemporary literature, gender, and more.
  • 4/5/22, Professor Jason Baltazar – announcement – joining faculty with concentrations in fiction, multiethnic writing, and more.
  • 4/4/22, Dr. Mark Rankin – announcement – Article “John Day’s Production of Woodcut Prints from John Foxe's Acts and Monuments” was published in The Library.
  • 3/29/22, Professor Erica Cavanagh – announcement – Essay “to the Inescapable Teacher” was published in Letter To A Stranger.
  • 3/24/22, Professor Emeritus Inman Majors – announcement – published his poetry collection, Summer of UFOs. https://www.amazon.com/Summer-UFOs-Inman-Majors/
  • 3/23/22, Professor Brooks Hefner – announcement – interview was featured in With Good Reason. http://ow.ly/6R4V50Iqn9a
  • 3/15/22, Professor Greg Wrenn – announcement – Mini Grant Recipient.
  • 3/15/22, Dr. Matt Rebhorn – announcement – recipient of the Faculty Summer Research Grant.
  • 3/10/22, Dr. Becky Childs – announcement – named new Academic Unit Head for the English Department.
  • 3/10/22, Dr. Matt Rebhorn – announcement – named one of JMU’s Research and Scholarship inaugural Faculty Fellows.
  • 3/10/22, Dr. Brooks Hefner – announcement – recipient of the Edna Shaeffer Humanist Award.
  • 3/10/22, Dr. Debali Mookerjea-Leonard – announcement – recipient of the Edna Shaeffer Humanist Award.
  • 3/10/22, Dr. Amanda Gerber – announcement – Recipient of Faculty Summer Research Grant.
  • 3/8/22, Dr. Sofia Samatar – lecture – Gave annual Bechtel Lecture in Anabaptist – Mennonite Studies at the University of Waterloo.
  • 3/1/22, Dr. Heidi Pennington - announcement - will be giving a presentation at the Shaeffer Symposium on The Life and Career of Ethel Kate Dickens on March 22nd at 4 PM
  • 2/25/22, Dr. Annette Federico - forthcoming book cover reveal for "Charles Dickens: But for you, dear stranger"
  • 2/21/22, Dr. Brooks Hefner has been invited to participate in this year's American Writers Festival, sponsored by The American Writers Museum.
  • 2/15/22, JMU Alum Jocelyn Johnson shares her debut book with the campus and local community through an interview/talk with Professor Erica Cavanagh.
  • 1/28/22, Professor Erica Cavanagh has a featured interview on With Good Reason. https://www.withgoodreasonradio.org/episode/35922/
  • 1/25/22, Dr. Mark Rankin will speak at the University of London’s Institute for Historical Research.
  • 1/24/22, Dr. Sofia Samatar, announced the publication date and cover of her memoir, The White Mosque. https://books.catapult.co/products/the-white-mosque-by-sofia-samatar?fbclid=IwAR26So5YWIeGq6ObbWBnBIbm0owqQ0eC5LJvE-cFHV-WpTsOioZYK5zsHPs
  • 1/21/22, Dr. Brooks Hefner, Publication of Black Pulp, genre fiction. https://www.skylightbooks.com/book/9781517911577
  • 12/17/21, Dr. Lauren Alleyne receives SCHEV 2022 Outstanding Faculty Award.
  • 12/6/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar will read from her work and answer questions at a free event with Bangor University. http://ow.ly/EoQs50H1Rug
  • 12/2/21, Dr. Joanne Gabbin is a recipient of a BADASS award from Real Industries in recognition of her fight against racism.
  • 11/18/21, Professor Lauren Alleyne, book review of In Nearby Bushes has been published in the small axe http://ow.ly/l6JU50GRkk2
  • 11/17/21, Dr. Mark Rainkin delivers keynote speech at the 2021 Noftsinger Celebration of Madison Scholarship.
  • 11/11/21, Dr. Mary Thompson wins this year's College of Arts and Letters Distinguished Service Award.
  • 11/9/21, Dr. Allison Fagan wins this year’s prize as the College of Arts and Letters Carl Harter Distinguished Teacher.
  • 11/8/21, Professor Marco Wilkinson, Book Launch Event for Madder by Professor Marco Wilkinson.
  • 11/3/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar completes 5 years of service at JMU.
  • 11/3/21, Professor Greg Wrenn completes 5 years of service at JMU.
  • 11/3/21, Dr. Dennis Lo completes 5 years of service at JMU.
  • 11/2/21, Dr. Allison Fagan completes 10 years of service at JMU.
  • 11/1/21, Dr. Katey Castellano completes 15 years of service at JMU.
  • 11/1/21, Dr. Laura Henigman completes 20 years of service at JMU.
  • 11/1/21, Dr. Annette Federico completes 30 years of service at JMU.
  • 10/19/21, Jordanne Alexander and Dr. Carmen Gillespie, Homecoming Poetry Slam hosted by Jordanne Alexander and Dr. Carmen Gillespie.
  • 10/18/21, Dr. Katey Castellano, Interview with WMRA. http://ow.ly/8a3H50Gt334
  • 10/15/21, Professor Laurie Kutchins's lyric essay “The Ward is the World” is the nonfiction feature in the Fall 2021 issue of The Kenyon Review.
  • 10/12/21, Dr. David Babcock's article, “Regrounding the Secular: Forms of World Sharing in J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace”, published in Modern Fiction Studies. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/806246
  • 10/7/21, Dr. Mark Rankin presents lecture, “Police Brutality, Catholicism, and the Smuggling of a ‘Pestilent and Seditious Book’ during the Reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603)”
  • 10/6/21, Professor Samar Fitzgerald served on a panel of three judges for this year’s Arab American Book Award in fiction. http://ow.ly/W9K750Gmuwv
  • 10/5/21, Dr. Dennis Lo was featured on the Office of Disability Services November Gratitude Campaign as well as in their magazine, Madison Access.
  • 9/23/21, Dr. Brian Flota co-wrote an article that was published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21504857.2021.1971273?src=
  • 9/23/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar is this year’s Guest Author at the conference of the German Society for Research in the Fantastic, organized by the University of Bamberg and the University of Cologne.
  • 9/16/21, Professor Erica Cavanagh published an essay, “The Dream of No Small Thing.”. http://ow.ly/zyOV50G9PbC
  • 9/16/21, Professor Lauren Alleyne's book review, “Nothing the Forest Raises is a Monster”, published in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal. https://anthurium.miami.edu/articles/10.33596/anth.434/
  • 9/14/21, Dr. Sharon Cote's poem, “A Change of Course”, published in Star*Line.
  • 9/8/21, Professor Marco Wilkinson's, “Madder: A Memoir In Weeds” Through Coffee House Press.
  • 9/1/21, Dr. Denali Mookerjea-Leonard's translation of “Blood” was praised by Nalini Iyer. http://ow.ly/JNlW50G2gv9
  • 8/25/21, Dr. Babney Bankert, Department Chair, retires.
  • 8/25/21, Dr. Annette Federico begins service as chair of the department, Interim Department Head.
  • 7/20/21, Dr. Allison Fagan receives the Graceful Pivot Award from General Education for her teaching of ENG 248.
  • 7/8/21, Dr. Siân White's article, “A ‘Hair-Trigger Society’ and the Woman Who Felt Something in Anna Burns’s Milkman” has been published in “Big, Ambitious Novels by Twenty-First-Century Women, Part 1”
  • 7/7/21, Dr. Matthew Rebhorn's article, “Coagulating Consciousness: Neural Historicism and the Onto-Possibilities of Edgar Huntly”, published by Early American Literature. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/796257
  • 6/30/21, Professor Greg Wrenn's publication of, “Elergy with Horse and Nest” on Terrain.org. https://www.terrain.org/2021/poetry/greg-wrenn/
  • 6/23/21, Dr. Mollie Godfrey's book, “Conversations with Lorraine Hansberry”, reviewed by Princeton Professor Imani Perry. http://ow.ly/RAod50FgKMN
  • 6/1/21, Professor Marina Favila's entry, “Holy, Holy,” finalizes in the Human category for the 2021 Miller Audio Prize. http://ow.ly/IlOD50EZXfI
  • 5/26/21, Multiple English faculty members retire
  • 5/22/21, Professor Greg Wrenn, virtual reading from the James Merrill House. 
  • 5/4/21, Dr. Mark Rankin was offered the keynote address to The Northern Plains Conference On Early British Literature.
  • 5/3/21 - English faculty and staff winners receive various grants and awards.
  • 4/26/21, Professor Gregory Wrenn was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
  • 4/26/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
  • 4/23/21, Professor Lauren Alleyne was promoted to Professor with tenure.
  • 4/22/21, Professor Erica Cavanagh was promoted to Professor.
  • 4/21/21, Dr. Mary Thompson, Dr. Mary Thompson promoted to Professor.
  • 4/20/21, Angela Carter, JMU English staff member, was awarded the Staff Recognition Award. https://www.jmu.edu/news/cal/2021/04/14-carter-recognized-staff-award.shtml?fbclid=IwAR3PfFZFbBIArFpUWz3OBugmAKuU0EnF8MFMwmjC-00u3jVxGjBb-8fcezw
  • 4/20/21, Dr. Siân White was promoted to Professor.
  • 4/19/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar presents “Storytelling Through Poetry” at the John Spoor Broome Library 2021 National Poetry Month Lecture. http://ow.ly/XvbO50Eswhd
  • 4/14/21, Dr. Heidi Pennington had two lines selected to be a part of NPR community poem, ‘Today, I Am A Witness To Change’: A Crowdsourced Poem Against Anti-Asian Hate’ https://www.npr.org/.../today-i-am-a-witness-to-change-a…
  • 4/2/21, Dr. Brooks Hefner will be editing and writing the introduction for a Penguin Classic Edition of George S. Schuyler’s Afrofuturist Serial Black Empire.
  • 4/1/21, Dr. Mookherjea-Leonard talked about partition in conversation with Dr. Amrita Ghosh. inkLiterature and Fiction on Bengal Partition by Dr. Debali Mookherjea-Leonard - TheSpace.InkDr. Debali Mookherjea-Leonard is a Professor of English at James Madison University, USA. In this video, she will talk about partition, specifically Bengal Partition in conversation with Dr. Amrita Ghosh
  • 3/31/21, Professor Erica Cavanagh receives The Provost Diversity Curriculum Grant Award
  • 3/29/31, Dr. Dennis Lo published article, “Rural geographies and the New Chinese Cinemas: Imagining progressive places in Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Dust in the Wind and Jia Zhangke’s Platform”, in New Cinemas
  • 3/25/21, Professor Richard Gaughran and Professor Emerita Dr. Jean Cash co-edit the book “Twenty-First-Century Southern Writers: New Voices, New Perspectives.”
  • 3/24/21, Dr. Besi Muhonja was named this year’s JMU Woman of Distinction Award Winner.
  • 3/24/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar will read from her forthcoming memoir, ``The White Mosque”. http://ow.ly/Eqpy50E56Vq
  • 3/18/21, Dr. Siân White's publication of the co-edited collection, “The Edinburgh Companion to Irish Modernism”.
  • 3/10/21, Dr. Katey Castellano was awarded a visiting fellowship at the British Library’s Eccles Centre for American Studies. http://ow.ly/ag9e50DVdhw
  • 3/9/21, Dr. Annette Federico's book, “My Victorian Novel” noticed in The Times Literary Supplement.
  • 3/8/21, Professors Samar Fitzgerald and Tom Martin, Fiction present in the Spring Reading Series.
  • 3/3/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar's essay “Standing at the Ruins” is forthcoming soon in The White Review.
  • 2/26/21, Dr. Sharon Cote's poem “The Imp and the Bottle” was nominated for a 2021 Rhysling award.
  • 2/22/21, Dr. Mark Rankin was awarded the 2021 JMU Provost Award: Excellence in Research and Scholarship. https://www.jmu.edu/research/RSAward.shtml
  • 2/17/21, Professor Samar Fitzgerald was selected for the Provost Award for Excellence in Part-time Teaching.
  • 2/16/21, Dr. Mark Rankin's Routledge published in special issue of “Early Modern Literature and England’s Long Reformation”
  • 2/12/21, Professor Lauren Alleyne's poem “Nothing to Declare” was selected for the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day. https://poets.org/poem/nothing-declare?mc_cid=6e004bb87f&mc_eid=afd63866f1&fbclid=IwAR1Nu4QESqNBZdF3zNW6QE2LS0jtd5JRPfMZ36OHNYfXbyBDyr3qc4v0StE
  • 2/4/21, Professor Lauren Alleyne collaborated with Matthew Fischer at Intermission Museum of Art
  • 1/29/21, Professor Lauren Alleyne's poem “Divination” was selected for the 2021 volume of The Best American Poetry.
  • 1/27/21, Professor Greg Wrenn's poems “Ode Without Coordinates” and “Childnessness” published by Poetry Northwest.
  • 1/14/21, Dr. Sofia Samatar, Shelter and Place reading.
  • 1/6/21, Dr. Mollie Godfrey's “Conversations with Lorraine Hansberry” is a #1 New Release on Amazon.
  • 12/10/20, Dr. Mark Rankin was awarded the achievement of Madison Scholar!
  • 12/2/20, Professor Greg Wrenn interview With Good Reason
  • 12/7/20, Professor Lauren K. Alleyne and Dr. Sofia Samatar, presented at final event of JMU Creative Writing Minor’s Fall Reading Series 
  • 11/18/20, Dr. Mollie Godfrey and Dr. Besi Muhonja, Two faculty members mentioned in Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project article. eduHonoring the HistoriesThrough internships with the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project, JMU students have forged deep connections with Harrisonburg’s Black community and history.
  • 11/9/20, Professor Marco Wilkinson, featured reading for Second reading of Fall Reading Series 
  • 10/26/20, Dr. Mookerjea Leonard translated the newly released book, Blood.
  • 10/22/20, Dr. Sofia Samatar was invited to be a part of a Reading and Question & Answer Session.
  • 10/20/20, Dr. Sofia Samatar's novel placed in Time’s list of the 100 Best Fantasy Books. com Stranger in Olondria' Is on TIME's List of the 100 Best Fantasy BooksHere’s why it made the list
  • 10/19/20, Professors Marco Wilkinson and Amanda Gerber, Two new faculty members join JMU English. eduCollege welcomes new professors to JMUMeet the eight new professors who joined the College of Arts and Letters this fall.
  • 10/15/20, Professors Laurie Kutchins and Greg Wrenn are featured readers for First reading of Fall Reading Series.

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