Missouri State University
Department of English Blog

Author Phong Nguyen shares from his new book on March 28

Phong Nguyen Reading flyerAuthor Phong Nguyen will be reading from his recent book, “Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History,” at 7 p.m. March 28 in the PSU Theater. Nguyen’s reading is part of the MSU Missouri Author Series, and is free and open to the public.

Nguyen will host a Q&A session from 3 to 4 p.m. in Siceluff 411 as well.

About Nguyen

Nguyen is the author of two collections of short stories: “Memory Sickness,” winner of the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award, and “Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History,” released in January 2014 by Queen’s Ferry Press. His stories have appeared in journals such as “AGNI,” “The Iowa Review,” “North American Review,” “New Letters,”  “Mississippi Review” and “The Kenyon Review.”

Nguyen lives in Warrensburg, Mo., with his wife and three sons. He is an associate professor at the University of Central Missouri, where he serves as co-editor of “Pleiades” and Pleiades Press.

What the experts say

“Phong Nguyen’s Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History is an astonishing and audacious book—alternately poetic and spooky, heartbreaking and hilarious, a profound examination of the way the past has shaped us.” —Dan Chaon, author of “Await Your Reply” and “Stay Awake”

View the Phong Nguyen event flyer.

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Author George Saunders speaks during public affairs

George SaundersIn this interview, best-selling author, columnist and MacArthur Foundation Fellow George Saunders will offer thoughtful insight on the conference theme.

He was recognized as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 by Time Magazine. His books include “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline,” “Pastoralia,” “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” “The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil,” “In Persuasion Nation,” and a series of essays in Braindead Megaphone.

His most recent collection of short stories, “Tenth of December,” was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award.

George Saunders will hold his interview during the Public Affairs Conference, on April 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the PSU Theater. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition, Saunders will be reading from his works of fiction April 9 at 7pm in the PSU theater.



george saunders rea
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STC Annual Student Conference 2014

stc_mod3The 12th annual STC Student Conference will be held on Saturday, March 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union, Room 313.

The event is $15 which includes a continental breakfast and networking lunch. The event costs $20 at the door.

To register for the event visit the English Department in Siceluff Hall 215. Or contact Kris Sutliff for more information.

8:30 – 9:00
Check-in & Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:45
The Technical Communicator and the Importance of Working with Emotional Intelligence Sandi Harner, Senior Professor, Cedar University, Cedarville, Ohio

10:00 – 10:45
Polish Your Interview Skills and Online Presence…Please!
Jim Gomes, Senior Manager, Soucing & Procurement, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, Calif. and Jennifer Payne Gomes, Organizational Effectiveness & Executive Coaching, JPG & Associates, Pasadena, Calif.

11:00 – 11:45
Audience Analysis for Healthcare: Tools and TipsKris Engdahl, Senior Manager of Usability, Athenahealth, Watertown, Mass.

11:45 – 1:15
Networking Lunch & Poster Session at the Union Club, PSU 400

1:30 – 2:15
Consulting or Corporate? 10 Considerations Before You Apply
Jim Gomes, Senior Manager, Soucing & Procurement, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, Calif. and Jennifer Payne Gomes, Organizational Effectiveness & Executive Coaching, JPG & Associates, Pasadena, Calif.

2:30 – 3:15
Presentation Title, TBA
Chris Whitley, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE), Kansas City, Missouri

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New Offering: Accelerated Master’s in Professional Writing

The Department of English is proud to offer a new way for students to jump-start their MA in Writing: Professional/Technical Track. If you are a Professional Writing major, during your junior or senior year you may apply for early admission to the Master of Arts Degree in Writing, Technical & Professional Writing track. This allows you to take 500-level courses for credit at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,expediting the process of the MA in Writing.

Admission Requirements:

  • an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • a minimum GPA of 3.25 in all Professional Writing courses
  • at least 9 hours completed in Professional Writing courses
  • no grade below B in any Professional Writing course.

If you meet these requirements, you could be on the fast track to earning an MA in Writing from Missouri State. For more information, visit the Accelerated Master’s website for Professional Writing.


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The art of the book through the centuries

Celebrate the art of the book at the Library Station on Saturday, March 15 at 2535 N. Kansas Expressway. Library Station

On display at the Library Station is a stellar collection of illuminated manuscripts, books and book illustrations from the Mercantile Library in St. Louis, the oldest library west of the Mississippi.

Build your own book! A “Book Arts” workshop for middle school children and their parents

10 a.m.- noon in the story hour room for grades 6-8

Judith Fowler, professor of art and design, and her team will lead children in composing, illustrating, decorating and binding books of their own making. They will be joined by MSU Library Science Professor David Richards, who will show samples of writing from ancient civilizations, and Distinguished Professor Joel Chaston, who is a specialist in children’s writing.

The Art of the Book: A pubic lecture by John Hoover

1- 2:30 p.m. in the story hour room for all ages

John Hoover, executive director of the Mercantile Library, will discuss the art of the book using examples from the Mercantile Library’s extensive rare book collection. Hoover is past president of the Bibliographical Society of America and former vice president of the Missouri Center for the Book. He is on the history faculty of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and teaches in the museum studies graduate program.

Funding for Hoover’s lecture is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association.
For more  information, contact Jim Baumlin.
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RESCHEDULE: Business faculty member to read from new novel

The Department of English is proud to present a reading slated at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at the Midtown Library. Nancy Allen, a member of the College of Business, will be reading from her first novel, Code of the Hills.Event poster

A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Nancy Allen, an attorney, is a Senior Instructor on the law faculty in the College of Business at Missouri State University. After receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Missouri State University, she entered law school, and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law. Nancy practiced for fifteen years, serving as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and as Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks.

When Nancy began her term as prosecutor in Greene County, Missouri, she was the sole female on the staff of attorneys; moreover, she was the second woman in all of Southwest Missouri to serve in that capacity. Upon taking her position, she was assigned an unprecedented number of sex cases, including offenses perpetrated against children, and became the leading sex crimes lawyer in the office. In her years in prosecution, she tried over thirty jury trials, including murder, rape, and incest. During that time, she served on the Rape Crisis Board and the Child Protection Team of the Child Advocacy Council.

Nancy continues to demonstrate her commitment to victims of sexual crime. She was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Victim Center, an agency which provides free counseling, crisis intervention, and advocacy services for children and adults who are victims of violent and sexual crime in Southwest Missouri. She served multiple terms as Board member for the Ozarks Counseling Center, another organization seeking to aid those in crisis.

Nancy lives in Southwest Missouri with her husband and two children. She is a contributor to the Real Estate Law Journal and co-author of a book for incoming college freshmen: Now You Tell Me! 12 College Students Share the Best Advice They Never Got.  Code of the Hills, to be released by HarperCollins Publishing on April 15, 2014, is her first novel.


[This event will be streamed online at http://new.livestream.com/msu-coal/nancyallen.]

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English alum finds musical success

Originally attending MSU on a scholarship, Sam Tahhan never planned on becoming an English major, writing a screenplay or producing a musical comedy. He especially didn’t expect to record and sell an original song.

Tahhan joined forces with three other marching band members his freshman year at Missouri State to form a rock band. This March the group will be playing a concert in Nashville to debut their song “You Know the Kind,” which will be the background for the Touchstone Energy International Relief Fund.

Touchstone Energy provides relief services in the form of linemen and emergency funds during disasters. The song will be available on iTunes in March for purchase.

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Maroon Minute recognizes Dr. Etta Madden’s research

Raising the profile of forgotten female authors is a passion for Dr. Etta Madden, professor of English at Missouri State University.

Her research on one such author — Anne Hampton Brewster — was recognized with two prestigious research fellowships:

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Seminar on Italy in the Age of the Risorgimento
  • The Mellon Foundation’s fellowship to study at the Library Company of Philadelphia

Maroon Minutes highlight Missouri State University’s points of pride: the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and supporters. Each Maroon Minute first airs during a home football or basketball game.

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Missouri Writing Projects grant given to English

Keri Franklin, Assessment, and Angela Kohnen and Cathie English, ENG, have received a grant for nearly $30,000 from DESE (Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education) for providing professional development using  teacher consultants (teachers teaching teachers).

The project is titled: “Implementing Literacy Standards Toward the Common Core,” which will offer in-service work in partnership with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The MWPN (Missouri Writing Projects Network) can provide ongoing, intensive, research-based professional development using teacher consultants. This is an offshoot of the Ozarks Writing Project, which has been offered on our campus for a number of years.

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Study away opportunity in Munich and Prague available this summer

Missouri State Study AwayA new study away opportunity is available during the summer intersession. This summer intersession will allow students to select from three different novels (“The Reader,” “The Book Thief” or “Slaughterhouse-Five”), and the student will study his/her novel of choice while touring Munich and Prague from May 19 through May 26.

The experience and literature will be used to explore moral conflict and action in World War II Germany. The group will tour The Deutsche Museum in Munich; Nuremberg; and Dachau, along with many other sights. To find out more information about this study away opportunity, check out our flyer! Scholarships are also available through the Study Away Office.

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