Faculty News

On November 3rd, mezzo-soprano Erin Calata will perform 10 poems from William Kupinse’s 2009 collection Fallow, which have been set to original music by composer Gregory Youtz. Each piece captures some aspect of the experience living in the Pacific Northwest along the shores of Puget Sound. The musical settings range in style from artsy to jazzy, serious to wry, but all draw from the shared and accessible vocabulary of popular song. View full description. The News Tribune featured the event in the 10/28 issue under Arts and Culture. View story here. (10/14)

Denise Despres presented research on medieval material culture and religion at the Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, in May 2014 and at the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder in October 2014. She published essays and book reviews on late-medieval material culture and religion in a variety of books and journals, including Mapping Medieval Lives of Christ (Brepols), Blackwell Companion to British Literature, Oxford Chaucer Handbook, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, and Speculum.  Denise is currently writing three essays on medieval constructions of embodiment for interdisciplinary volumes. (10/14)

Tiffany A. MacBain, associate professor of English, wrote an opinion piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education about the need for the academic community to advocate for flexible campus work-life policies for faculty members who have children with disabilities. (9/14)

Coming soon to a theatre near you.....Three to Get Ready, a mystery novel by Hans Ostrom is being made into a Hollywood film titled Napa. View full story (10/11)

At the annual fall conference of the Western Literature Association, Ann Putnam was awarded the prestigious Wylder Award for outstanding service to the organization. In large part, the award was conferred for the conference Ann held in Tacoma in 2007.  Highlights of that conference included speakers such as Sherman Alexie, David Guterson, Tess Gallagher, and Charles Johnson.  Ann also holds the record for raising more money than any conference president in the association’s 45-year history, money that goes toward graduate student scholarships and other worthwhile programs.  Ann’s selection for this award was greeted with a standing ovation. (10/11)

The department recently celebrated – with heavy heart, but also happiness for him – Peter Greenfield’s retirement.  Peter has taught drama, Shakespeare, the History of the English Language, and many other courses at Puget Sound since 1983.  He also served at department chair or associate chair for some thirteen of his 28 years here.  With his leadership and sound counsel, Peter helped make the department what it is today.  We will miss him and wish him all the best in his new adventure in Houston! (5/11)

This year the department is seeing a few other retirements and departures as well:  Florence Sandler joined Puget Sound in 1970 and has taught students and led us for 40 years and Mary Turnbull grew up on campus, got her Ph.D., and then returned to teach here in 1979. (View more information on all of our retirees).  We wish them both a well-deserved retirement!  We also wave goodbye and best wishes to: Erik Ellis, Laurie Frankel, Tamiko Nimura, and Lynn Sokei.  Keep in touch and send us news of your next adventures! (5/11)

Ann Putnam's latest publication is a memoir, Full Moon at Noontide:  A Daughter’s Last Goodbye.  Forthcoming publications include,Full Moon at NoontideMemory, Desire and What's 'True at First Light,' for the WRITERS IN CONTEXT series published by Cambridge University Press, and along with Beverly Conner and Hans Ostrom, a collection of stories titled Nine by Three.  She is working with her editor on Cuban Quartermoon, a novel set in Cuba.  She gave a seminar to MFA grad students at Ohio State in May as well as a reading and book signing of her memoir. (5/11)

During her sabbatical (Spring 2011), Alison Tracy Hale travelled to Harbin and Beijing, China, as well as to research destinations like Philadelphia, where she presented a paper at the Society of Early Americanists’ Biennial Conference in March. Between travel opportunities, Alison’s at work on an article about Leonora Sansay’s semi-autobiographical novel, The Secret History (1808), which depicts the Haitian Revolution through the eyes of two American sisters. The article was largely inspired by the insightful discussions of her students in a Spring 2010 course on “Sex and Gender in Early America.”  Her co-authored essay, “Romantic Transports,” is forthcoming in Early American Literature. (4/11)

ProfTrauma and History in the Irish Novelessor Emeritus Rob Garratt has just published Trauma and History in the Irish Novel: The Return of the Dead (Palgrave).  The fruits of his retirement, the book examines traumatic memory in the fiction of Irish writers J. G. Farrell, Julia O'Faolain, William Trevor, Jennifer Johnston, John McGahern, Patrick McCabe and Sebastian Barry. Professor Garratt taught at Puget Sound from the early  1970s, served as English department chair several times, and played a key role in both the Honors and Humanities Program here.  Sláinte! (1/11)