Three professors in the English Department at Ouachita Baptist University made significant academic contributions this summer.
“One of the things we want to have in our faculty is people who actually do what they teach, so it’s great to see our English professors writing and furthering their own background,” said Dr. Jeff Root, dean of OBU’s School of Humanities. “We are very proud of them for doing that because it will enhance their ability to work with students as they continue to grow as professionals themselves.”
Dr. Mary Beth Long, assistant professor of English, presented her paper “Riches to (Voluntary) Rags in Bozon’s Lives of Women” at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England in July. The conference is the largest annual meeting in Europe for scholars of the medieval period, with more than 1,600 scholars in attendance from 50 countries.
The conference theme focused on poverty and wealth, and Long explained that her paper analyzed “a manuscript by Nicole Bozon, a late 13th century Anglo-Norman monk and how his emphasis on Franciscan voluntary poverty would have particularly appealed to wealthy readers.”
Dr. Amy Sonheim, professor of English, presented her paper “A Cambodian Vampire?: Gary Schmidt’s Trouble in a New Vein” at the Children’s Literature Association in Roanoke, Va., June 23-25. The paper argues that a Gothic reading of the young adult novel Trouble by Gary Schmidt gives the reader a new understanding of the book’s villain.
Sonheim said she not only enjoyed presenting her paper, but also enjoyed the opportunity to listen to other speakers. “One of my favorite lectures was by Julia Mickenberg and Philip Nel about radical children’s literature, which introduced me to all sorts of picture books on social activism, peace efforts, environmental care and rabid consumerism. I am changing one of my own Children’s Literature course’s curriculum because of the information I received in that and other lectures,” Sonheim said. “My department and my deans Jeff Root and Stan Poole made it possible for me to go, and I really appreciate their suport.”
Dr. Johnny Wink’s poem “Praise God” was chosen to be included in Imago Dei: Poems from Christianity and Literature, an anthology of the best poems published in Christianity and Literature over the past 60 years. “Praise God” was originally published in 1999; Wink said he was pleasantly surprised to hear that it had been selected for republication in the book, which will be published by Abilene Christian University Press in 2012. Wink is OBU’s Betty Burton Peck Professor of English.
For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Root at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4186.
By Nicci Fillinger