Classroom Icebreakers: What Saturday Night Live Has Taught Us about Communication

Teachers frequently use interesting, exciting, and hilarious media clips as icebreakers to grab students’ attention and introduce them to classroom topics. Over the years, Saturday Night Live has produced a number of sketches connected to the subject of communication. Sometimes the sketches speak explicitly about specific communication strategies or genres, while at other times they provide a fun example of what not to do if you want to be an effective communicator. This post contains links to just a few SNL sketches that Writing and Communication instructors can use as icebreakers in their courses.

Graphic Design

“Papyrus”: In this intense parody trailer, Ryan Gosling plays a man haunted by one designer’s font choice when he created the logo for James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar. 

Ethics

“Plagiarism”: A high school teacher (played by Chris Parnell) confronts his cheating students (played by Seth Meyers, Ashton Kutcher, Rachel Dratch, and Amy Poehler), teaching them about the pitfalls of plagiarizing.

Instructional Technology

“PowerPoint”: Mikey Day and Idris Elba team up as Microsoft tech experts running a PowerPoint workshop. Hilarity and anxiety ensue as some of the people in the workshop struggle to create a set of simple slides. A few of these same cast members/characters later come together for another hysterical sketch called “Zoom Call,” in which they parody many of the behaviors that have become commonplace–and even cliché–in teleconferencing.

Bonus clip: “Kate McKinnon Improvises a PowerPoint Presentation”: Though not technically a Saturday Night Live clip, SNL cast member Kate McKinnon rises to the challenge of doing a business presentation, using slides she has never seen before.

Essays

“Dorm Room Posters”: One college student (Pete Davidson) is struggling to write his history paper. The posters in his dorm room come to life in order to give him advice on how to write an academic paper, but only most of them are helpful.

Letters

“The War in Words: William and Lydia”: Mikey Day and Phoebe Waller-Bridge parody the documentary genre as communication breaks down in this amusing exchange of letters between a WWII soldier and his wife. Day also does a similar sketch as a WWI soldier writing to his wife (played by Claire Foy) with similar communication mishaps.

Saturday Night Live main stage, recreated for exhibit at Museum of Broadcast Communications. Creator: Steven Dahlman, 05 Jan. 2018, (no changes). License link.

Social Media

“Barbie Instagram”: Three Mattel interns (Pete Davidson, Donald Glover, and Heidi Gardner) are tasked with brainstorming captions for Instagram posts featuring Barbie. SNL would later do a similar sketch called “Ken Instagram” featuring Rachel Brosnahan.

“Why’d You Post That?”: Kevin Hart stars in new game show in which he yells at contestants for their inept use of social media.

Public Speaking

“Down by the River”: A classic sketch involving Chris Farley as motivational speaker Matt Foley, whose awkward presentation convinces two teenagers to change their lives.

Literature

Substitute Teacher”: A substitute teacher (played by Lin-Manuel Miranda) relies on Hollywood tropes and pop culture to try to inspire a skeptical AP English class to love literature. Years earlier, in 1996, the SNL cast had done a “Substitute Teacher” sketch called “Suel Forrester: Substitute Teacher,” in which nearly everyone in a classroom of high school students (Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon, and others) have no idea what their substitute teacher (played by Chris Kattan) is trying to tell them. Teachers, please, slow down and annunciate.

Poetry

“Poetry Class with Drake”: Over the years, SNL has done many sketches involving teachers and students. “Poetry Class” is actually a sequence of sketches involving a poet named Ms. Meadows (played by Vanessa Bayer), who tries to teach high school students about why poetry is cool. Cameron Diaz and Miley Cyrus also appear in “Poetry Class” sketches.

Upcoming Online Events about Diversity

taken from the University of Victoria listserv: institute@lists.uvic.ca

Image taken from the Center for Digital Humanities, https://cdh.princeton.edu/. Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.

Do you wish you could do large-scale text analysis on the languages you study? Is the lack of good linguistic data and tools a barrier to your research?

The Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton is calling for applications for New Languages for NLP: Building Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Humanities, a 3-part workshop series to be held between May 2021 and August 2022. Deadline for applications is January 10, 2021.

We are seeking a cohort of scholars working with diverse languages that currently lack NLP resources. No technical experience is necessary to participate. Institute participants will learn how to annotate linguistic data and train statistical language models using cutting-edge NLP tools and will advance their own research projects.

For more information and to apply, see our project website: https://newnlp.princeton.edu/application/

This Institute workshops is funded by a National Endowment for Humanities Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities grant, and is a collaboration between the Princeton CDH, Haverford College, the Library of Congress Labs, and DARIAH.

Please feel free to contact the project directors with questions:

Natalia Ermolaev (nataliae@princeton.edu)

Andrew Janco (ajanco@haverford.edu)


taken from https://diversity.gatech.edu/mlk-celebration

Image taken from Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Georgia Tech, https://diversity.gatech.edu/mlk-celebration. Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.

Join us virtually for the 10th annual
Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture 
featuring Nikole Hannah-Jones
January 14 at 3:30 p.m.

Hannah-Jones is the creator of the New York Times Magazine’s “The 1619 Project,” about the history and lasting legacy of American slavery, for which her powerful introductory essay was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. She has also won a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, and is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Awards.

The commemoration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Georgia Institute of Technology encompasses an ambitious slate of events organized by faculty, staff, and students. Our 2021 MLK celebrations will include various virtual and in-person educational programs and service opportunities to encourage active participation from the campus and nearby community.

As an academic institution dedicated to advancing a culture of inclusive excellence, we reflect upon the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. during our annual celebration. We recognize the ongoing global struggle for social justice, social courage, and the need for sustainable social change. We are pleased to honor King’s legacy as we set the agenda for the next civil rights movement.

To view the listing of 2021 MLK celebration events, visit here.


 

Video Lectures on Language and Linguistics, part 2

Introduction

One of the reasons this website exists is to provide resources to visitors who want to know more about the topics with which this site concerns itself. One of these major topics is linguistics. The purpose of this post is to provide just a few links to video lectures (or interviews) on linguistics by prolific scholars and thinkers so that our audiences can educate themselves about some of the big names in the field of linguistics and their ideas about language, culture, cognition, and more. This is, of course, a companion piece to a previous blog post that provided links to lectures on language and linguistics, but this post connects to lectures by women and people of color (rather than white males) in order to give a more complete representation of the racial, ethnic, sexual, and intellectual diversity of the field.

Lisa Green

“African American English through the Years”

Lýdia Machová

“The Secrets of Learning a New Language”

Mary Haas

Oral History Interview

Keren Rice and Ken Hale

“Fieldwork and Community: Aspects of Variation and Change”

Patricia Kuhl

“The Linguistic Genius of Babies”

Ahmar Mahboob

“Linguistics for Development: What Linguistics do We Need in the Developing World and Why?”

Barbara H. Partee

Semantics (Whatmough Lecture 2014)

Kate Burridge

“Euphemisms”

Anne Charity Hudley

“Linguistics and Community Engagement: Keeping It Real”

John McWhorter

“4 Reasons to Learn a New Language”

“Words on the Move: The Spectator Sport of How and Why Language Changes”

Deborah Tannen

“The Language of Friendship: The Role of Talk in an Understudied Relationship”

“A Linguist’s Intellectual Journey”

Lera Boroditsky

“How Language Shapes the Way We Think”

Video Lectures on Language and Linguistics, Part 1

Introduction

One of the reasons this website exists is to provide resources to visitors who want to know more about the topics this site concerns itself with. One of these major topics is linguistics. The purpose of this post is to provide just a few links to video lectures (or interviews) on linguistics by prolific scholars so that our audiences can either educate themselves or learn more about some of the big names in the field of linguistics and their ideas about language, culture, cognition, and more. We understand that these pioneering voices in 20th- and 21st-century linguistics are all somewhat on the older side, white, and male, which is why we will soon be doing a similarly structured companion piece to this post that provides links to lectures delivered by nonwhite and nonmale voices in the field.

Noam Chomsky

The Concept of Language

Fundamental Issues in Linguistics

The Structure of Language

Universal Linguistics: Origins of Language

Language and Knowledge

 

Steven Pinker

Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain

Linguistics, Style and Writing in the 21st Century

Human nature and the Blank Slate

What Our Language Habits Reveal

Language, Reason, and the Future of Violence

On Good Writing (with Ian McEwan)

On the Enlightenment Today (with Stephen Fry)

 

David Crystal

On Anniversaries

The Influence of the King James Bible on the English Language

On Language, Linguistics, and Literature

What’s New in the English Language

The Future of Englishes

Texts and Tweets: Myths and Realities

 

William Labov

The Changing Dialects of American English

The Relation of Social to Structural Factors in the Explanation of Linguistic Change

 

References

Crystal, David. 28 July 2017. “David Crystal.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia, 18 November 2020, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:David_Crystal_2017.jpg.

Pinker, Stephen. 2011. “Stephen Pinker.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia, 18 November 2020, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steven_Pinker_2011.jpg .

Starita, Augusto. 12 March 2015. “Noam Chomsky.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia, 18 November 2020, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Noam_Chomsky_.jpg.

“William Labov.” 05 October 2015. Linguistic Society of America, Linguistic Society of America, 18 November 2020, https://www.linguisticsociety.org/news/2015/10/05/laurels-linguists-william-labov.

The Communication Center’s Last Fall Conversation Hour: November 13, 2020

The semester’s end is approaching, and with that approach come Thanksgiving, final exams, and the Naugle Communication Center’s last English Conversation Hour of the semester. The event is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students at Georgia Tech who are learning English as a second or other language to come together in a Microsoft Teams meeting to socialize and practice their conversational English. The WCP’s World Englishes Committee and Dr. Rob Griffin, the Center’s English language learning specialist, are partnering with the Communication Center to host this event.

Academic Positions in World Literature: Florida Gulf Coast University

Taken from the MLA Jobs List


Early World Literature

Job Summary

Student Life
Photo taken from Student Life, Florida Gulf Coast University, https://www.fgcu.edu/studentlife/. Accessed 07 November 2020.

The Department of Language and Literature at Florida Gulf Coast University invites applications for an Assistant Professor of Early World Literature, beginning fall semester 2021. We welcome applications from PhDs in English or related fields, including Comparative Literature and Global Literature. Expertise in non-Western traditions is preferred. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at FGCU and in our department. Therefore, we encourage applications from individuals who will contribute to diversity in higher education and who have the potential to advance the department’s DEI goals: to achieve a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive scholarly environment; to engage and include a more culturally and racially diverse student audience through a curriculum that integrates the literary traditions of several continents; and to advocate for more study of foreign languages and cultures on our campus.

The successful candidate will be expected to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; maintain an active research agenda; contribute to the English program’s course and curriculum development; and provide service to the Department, College, and University through various committees and/or initiatives. The teaching assignment will include upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level courses in early world literatures and cultures as well as composition and literature survey courses in the university’s General Education program.

Florida Gulf Coast University is a comprehensive university dedicated to quality education, research, and service. All faculty are expected to be excellent teachers, responsive to changing professional needs, and committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic community; invested in the innovative delivery of instruction resulting in improved student learning; committed to the effective use of technology including distance learning; engaged in producing peer-reviewed scholarship; and dedicated to providing service to the College, University, and Community.

Job Description

Typical duties include but are not limited to:

  • Plans and teaches 6 courses per year (3 courses, 9 hours per semester) in assigned course.
  • Prepares syllabi, instruction materials, coordinates lectures, test, and evaluates.
  • Maintain highest possible standards of classroom instruction.
  • Keeps abreast of new information and developments in field of instruction.
  • Maintains Professional skills through regular professional development, and other activities appropriate to higher education faculty.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by supervisor.
  • The program seeks applicants who will make strong teaching contributions to our department’s general education program, English BA, English MA, and World Literature minor programs; advise students; help to develop a robust curriculum in World Literature; work with the local community on service-learning projects, and serve on department, college, and university committees.

Additional Job Description

Required Qualifications:

  • Earned Ph.D. in English or a related discipline by the time of appointment from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent accreditation.
  • Special emphasis on Early World Literatures and Cultures.
  • Experience teaching at the college level in English or a related field.
  • Demonstrated potential for scholarship resulting in publication.
  • ABD will be considered if the degree is conferred by August 7, 2021. If the successful candidate is ABD, the appointment will be made at the Instructor level on a fixed contract. (If ABD is accepted, appropriate language to be included)

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

  • Experience with or commitment to the use of technology in distance learning and university teaching.
  • Interest in collaborating both within and outside the University in the development and delivery of instruction resulting in improved student learning.
  • Must value continued scholarship and service to the college and university.

Please see the job posting for full details.


Later World Literature

Job Summary

The Department of Language and Literature at Florida Gulf Coast University invites applications for an Assistant Professor of Later World Literature, beginning fall semester 2021. We welcome applications from PhDs in English or related fields, including Comparative Literature and Global Literature. Expertise in non-Western traditions is preferred. Desired areas of specialization include, but are not limited to, modern and contemporary literatures of Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East in the context of colonialism, post-colonialism, globalization, and contemporary critical theory. Additional research and teaching experience in digital media and the digital humanities would be welcome including media production, digital editing, modes of digital storytelling, dh projects for research and innovative use of digital tools in the classroom, and pedagogical approaches to new technologies.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at FGCU and in our department. Therefore, we encourage applications from individuals who will contribute to diversity in higher education and who have the potential to advance the department’s DEI goals: to achieve a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive scholarly environment; to engage and include a more culturally and racially diverse student audience through a curriculum that integrates the literary traditions of several continents; and to advocate for more study of foreign languages and cultures on our campus.

The successful candidate will be expected to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; maintain an active research agenda; contribute to the English program’s course and curriculum development; and provide service to the Department, College, and University through various committees and/or initiatives. The teaching assignment will include upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level courses in later world literatures and cultures as well as composition and literature survey courses in the university’s General Education program.

Florida Gulf Coast University is a comprehensive university dedicated to quality education, research, and service. All faculty are expected to be excellent teachers, responsive to changing professional needs, and committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic community; invested in the innovative delivery of instruction resulting in improved student learning; committed to the effective use of technology including distance learning; engaged in producing peer-reviewed scholarship; and dedicated to providing service to the College, University, and Community. Teaching assignments may be on the main campus or at off-campus sites within our region.

Job Description

Typical duties include but are not limited to:

  • Teaches 6 courses per year (3 courses, 9 hours per semester).
  • Plans and teaches courses in assigned course.
  • Prepares syllabi, instruction materials, coordinates lectures, tests, and evaluates.
  • Maintains highest possible standards of classroom instruction
  • Keeps abreast of new information and developments in field of instruction.
  • Actively participates in institutional meetings.
  • Maintains professional skills through regular professional development, and other activities appropriate to higher education faculty.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

The program seeks applicants who will make strong teaching contributions to our department’s general education program, English BA, English MA, and World Literature minor programs; advise students; help to develop a robust curriculum in World Literature; work with the local community on service-learning projects, and serve on department, college, and university committees.

Additional Job Description

Required Qualifications:

  • Earned Ph.D. in English or a related discipline by the time of appointment from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent accreditation.
  • Special emphasis on Later World Literatures and Cultures.
  • Experience teaching at the college level in English or a related field.
  • Demonstrated potential for scholarship resulting in publication.
  • ABD will be considered if degree is conferred by August 7, 2021. If the successful candidate is ABD, the appointment will be made at the Instructor level on a fixed contract.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Preference will be given to candidates with experience teaching Later World Literature up to the 21st century as well as experience teaching first-year writing. Successful candidates will have a record of both excellence in teaching and successful scholarship in the field of Later World Literature and will have a research focus in the Early Modern, Modern, and/or Contemporary Literatures of Asia, Central and South America, Africa, or the Middle East. Research and teaching experience in digital media and the digital humanities is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with or commitment to the use of technology in distance learning and university teaching. Interest in collaborating both within and outside the University in the development and delivery of instruction resulting in improved student learning. Must value continued scholarship and service to the college and university.

Please see the job posting for full details.


 

Publishing and Presenting Opportunities

Introduction

In a recent perusal of the University of Pennsylvania’s call for paper website, we found a smattering of calls for submissions, both for publishing opportunities and conference presentations, relevant to the topics we engage with on this site. For all of you interested scholars, we would like to share a few of our favorites here.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

CEA Mid-Atlantic Review

Deadline for submissions:  Thursday, April 15, 2021

The CEA Mid-Atlantic Review is the official publication of the College English Association Mid-Atlantic Group and is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published annually. We specialize in literary and cultural criticism, discussions of pedagogy, public humanities work, book reviews, personal essays concerned with the teaching of English, and creative writing related to literature or teaching.  The CEA Mid-Atlantic Review believes that scholars and creative writers should be paid for their labor. Authors of published pieces will receive a $20 honorarium.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/17/call-for-papers-on-writing-and-teaching-justice


Journal Special Issue – Untranslatability: Theory, Practice and Politics

JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE AND AESTHETICS

(Vol. 44, No. 1, Spring 2021)

Translation is an activity that marks the differences which surface in cross-cultural encounters. It seeks to negotiate these inevitable differences to help us understand language-cultures that are (not) ours, or comprehend an ‘other’ who is (not) us. The non-negotiable differences then draw us to the titular question, “How does the pursuit of finding an equivalence fare in this process?”. It is in these gaps of translation that we encounter the untranslatable, that which cannot be comprehended or translated. Amidst the ongoing discussions around World Literature, that thrives on translation, untranslatability disrupts the presumed coherence in the very process and makes us aware of the irreducible differences latent within alternate ways of expression.

This Special Issue aims to initiate a discussion on the various tenets of Untranslatability: epistemological, semiotic and aesthetic concerns that shall enable us to understand translation; the process and it’s philosophy in a nuanced and novel manner.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/14/journal-special-issue-untranslatability-theory-practice-and-politics


Special Latin American Issue of Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures

Guest Editor: João Cezar de Castro Rocha (Full Professor of Comparative Literature at State University of Rio de Janeiro—UERJ)

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the special issue of Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures devoted to Latin America. We therefore invite scholars whose research addresses Latin American issues, in its multiple elements and vantage points, to submit articles on: Latin American history, the history of the concept of Latin America, the contemporary relationships between the local and global in the continent, Latin American literatures and the concept of world literature, Latin American visual arts and cinema, Latin American cultural and critical theories, etc.

We will welcome articles of both theoretical and historical nature.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/06/special-latin-american-issue#:~:text=The%20articles%20must%20be%20written,according%20to%20the%20editorial%20rules.&text=methodologies%20embrace%20new%20forms%20of,for%20Submissions%3A%2030%20April%202021.


Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures

Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2021

Contact email: Lramey@calstatela.edu

Published annually in June and December, Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures is seeking essays in critical theory, literature, culture, and translation theory. The submissions deadline is October 15 for the December issue, and April 15 for the June issue. The journal’s website is: http://jflc.hunnu.edu.cn/. Submissions should use MLA style and be approximately 4,000-7,000 words. Inquiries are welcome to co-editor Lauri Scheyer at Lramey@calstatela.edu.


Female Narratives of Protest: Literary and Cultural Representations from South Asia

Deadline for submissions: Monday, February 1, 2021

Contemporary regimes of protest in South Asia are informed and injuncted by its ever shifting geopolitical modalities. With the rise of globalisation, neoliberalism and multiculturalism, South Asian geopolitics comprise a quest for redefinition of biopower and subjectivity formations. As hegemonies of Western  dominance are toppled, South Asian geopolitics are evolving as a complex assemblage of biopolitics, citizenship ethics and human rights concerns. In this evolving engagement with global politics, South Asia is fast emerging as a contending power itself with competent human and capital resources. An important consequence of this is the appearance of newer axes of fault lines in terms of polity, economy, religion, culture, art, and gender.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/22/female-narratives-of-protest-literary-and-cultural-representations-from-south-asia


Writing the Pandemonium: Perspectives on Pandemic Literature

Proposals for an edited book/ anthology of chapters on Pandemic Literature i.e. novels, poetry, short fiction pertaining to Pandemic Literature. The millennial pandemic Covid 19 has hit humanity with all its ferocity and frenzy and put everything in shambles. Causing mass deaths and jeopardizing world health, it has emanated a déjà vu situation whereby the memories and accounts of past pandemics appear to have resurfaced and ensnared humanity amid all the current misery and chaos. While historical accounts and statistical data have always pointed at the genesis and graphical growth of the pandemics ever since, literature has endeavoured to proffer us an honest and deeply humanistic perspective on life as it exists in the aftermath of a pandemic. Literature has been an indelible and lasting record and reflection of humanity in its entirety and has always sought to reflect the immediate socio-cultural milieu and the ailments plaguing mankind. It makes an artistic testimony of all that is both macrocosmically and microcosmically experienced by society.

  • Pandemic as apocalypse• Pandemic and loss of human values/moral decline• Pandemic and politics • Pandemic and gender/ feminism• Pandemic and disability studies• Pandemic and medical humanities• Pandemic and psychology/human behaviour• Pandemic and culture• Pandemic and ecology• Pandemic and concurrent existential challenges like wars, etc• Pandemic and religion• Pandemic and crime• Pandemic and existential philosophy

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/09/19/writing-the-pandemic-perspectives-on-pandemic-literature


CFP for essays for edited collection: Crossroads of Crime Writing: Historical, Sociological and Cultural Contexts/Intersections/Perspectives

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, November 1, 2020

This volume, which will be proposed to a leading independent academic publisher, seeks to explore the implications of crime writing in its narrative forms through essays that situate orientations fictional and non-fictional, past and present in relation to public perspectives. Just as real crime has served as inspiration for fictional accounts, Kieran Dolin reminds us in Fiction and the Law that crime literature has long influenced popular understanding of social institutions as well.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/08/11/cfp-for-essays-for-edited-collection-crossroads-of-crime-writing-historical


Third Stone Journal

Deadline for submissions: Monday, November 30, 2020

Third Stone Journal is accepting submissions of art, music, creative writing, short films, scholarship, digital content, and more on Afrofuturism, African-futurism, and the Black fantastic as explored both inside and outside of the borders of the United States. The call is for the Spring 2021 publication. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2020. For inquiries, please contact the editorial staff of Third Stone Journal at 3rdstonejournal@gmail.com. Note that all work should be submitted via the submission portal at https://scholarworks.rit.edu/thirdstone/.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/07/24/spring-2021-cfs


Call for Papers: Oxford Research in English Issue 12: ‘Trash’

Deadline: November 30th, 2020

Contact email: ore@ell.ox.ac.uk

One person’s trash, another person’s treasure. Inspired by the cancelled English Graduate Conference this June, ORE’s forthcoming issue (Issue 12, Spring 2021) will follow the same theme by exploring the myriad literary resonances of ‘trash’: from genres considered ‘trash(y)’ at some point in time (romance, the Newgate novel, pamphlets, erotica, ‘chick lit’) to the material text as literal waste (palimpsested manuscripts, pulp fiction, paper
production, recycling). What constitutes ‘trash’ at a given time, and whose judgment is privileged to make that dismissal? What happens to a physical text once its use expires? How has literary practice engaged with questions of sustainability, waste, and the climate crisis?

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/20/oxford-research-in-english-issue-12-trash


Final Call for chapters for an edited book, Refrigerated Culture and Pluralism: A Literary Perspective

Deadline for submissions: October 27, 2020

Contact email: shubhankukochar@ipu.ac.in

We seek representations of minority and refrigerated cultures from Europe, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, as we have received ample representations from other parts of the world.

Pluralism in a society is an essential aspect of humanity all over the world. It requires – being different, but living as one. It is an optimistic way forward, and literature has also thematized this. The proposed anthology seeks to discourse on the challenges of minority cultures in contemporary times, and argue, how socio-cultural pluralism is the need of the hour. The proposed book will be divided into 3 parts – where the first part will discuss the refrigerated minority cultures which continue to exist in their original habitat as minorities, whereas, initially, they used to dominate. As a result of either Colonialism or Expansionism, they have been victimized by circumstances. For example, Native Americans in America, aboriginal cultures in Canada, Australia, New Zealand; and Dalits and Adivasis in India. This part will also focus upon those minority groups that have become minority because of political upheaval resulting in exclusion and displacement across borders like Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Arabs in Israel. The second part will delineate the troubles of the communities which became minority due to the geographical dislocation either willingly or inadvertently. For instance, Africans in America and Europe and Russia; Jews in Europe; and South Asians in Europe and America. The third part will deal with the idea of human beings coexisting despite differences. This part will illustrate pluralism, multiculturalism and harmony between races, cultures and communities.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/08/07/final-call-for-chapters-for-an-edited-book-refrigerated-culture-and-pluralism-a


Call for book chapters: The Gendered Subaltern and the Urban Theatre Space

The dilemma of the gendered subaltern is of the utmost concern as the group’s struggle may consist of layers of oppressed states vis-à-vis gender, class, and caste resulting in multiple levels of marginalization. This condition of the gendered subaltern can also be compared to that of the Other who is always defined by the existence of man as he assimilates such a social group through patriarchal dominance. However, the representation of such concerns has been taken up by various art forms, and theatre has incorporated such issues as a form of protest against patriarchal hegemony in present times. Women playwrights and theatre practitioners have placed such concerns in their works in order to study the scope for recuperation and acknowledgement of the predicament of the gendered subaltern. Even though the utterly marginalized female subaltern may belong to the rural and/or unorganised spaces, the representation of her concerns has been taken up by those working in the urban theatre spaces. The imbalance which situates her onto the periphery of dominant activity has been interrogated by playwrights and theatre activists who look forward to subvert the power structures through a portrayal of the gendered subaltern’s concerns and question the social constructs which, as a result, are unwinding into genders which are not just confined to man and woman, but the transgender as well who constitutes the gendered subaltern, away from the given categories by patriarchal institutions.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/07/26/deadline-extended-for-the-gendered-subaltern-and-the-urban-theatre-space

 

Conference Submissions

Assemblages of Empire : an American Studies Symposium

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2020

full name / name of organization: Department of American Studies, University of Texas, Austin

Contact email: utamsconference@gmail.com

Hosted by Graduate Students in the Department of American Studies, the University of Texas, Austin, March 4-5, 2020

Rooted in American Studies, this conference invites projects from a range of disciplines and methods that take up questions of American “assemblages,” which should be broadly and creatively interpreted. We are looking for papers, roundtable discussions, and projects that specifically examine such innovative questions, particularly from Black studies, Asian American Studies, Pacific Studies, Indigenous Studies, Latin American Studies, Latino/Chicano/a/x studies, critical disability studies, women’s and gender studies, and LGBTQIA+ studies perspectives. Similarly, projects that examine interdisciplinary topics such as food studies, speculative fiction and nonfiction, sound studies, performance studies, environmental humanities would be enthusiastically welcome.

We likewise encourage non-traditional research, including visual and performing art, comics, photographs, creative nonfiction, social justice projects, recipes, films, sound recordings, etc.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/20/assemblages-of-empire-an-american-studies-symposium


The Postcolonial Bildungsroman

American Comparative Literature Association

Deadline for submissions: Saturday, October 31, 2020

Originally an 18th-century German innovation, the bildungsroman became a popular literary genre across the Anglo-American world during the 19th century. A ‘coming of age’ novel about young adults in search of meaning, the genre was the literary medium of choice for many Western writers exploring the moral and psychological developments of characters traversing unfamiliar worlds and encountering new challenges and adventures.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/09/30/the-postcolonial-bildungsroman


Fairy Tales at the 2021 PCA conference (June 2-5, 2021)

Deadline for submissions: November 16, 2020

Popular Culture Association

Contact email: acaleb@misericordia.edu

The Fairy Tales Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) seeks paper presentations and panels for the annual conference, to be held from June 2-5, 2021 in Boston, MA. We are looking for projects that think broadly and diversely about fairy tales throughout the world. This year, we particularly seek papers focused on pedagogical uses of fairy tales at all levels and in all fields, discussions of folkloric shifts from oral to literary to visual (filmic, artistic, etc.) versions of tales, and creative pieces that retell or critique fairy tales or use the tales to comment on some aspect of culture or history. In addition, we would like to look at legends and nursery rhymes as well, questioning the relationship between these sub-genres. We are interested in as wide an array of papers as possible, so please do not hesitate to send a submission on any fairy tale, legend or nursery rhyme related subject. We are also interested in in participants for a work shop in integrating fairy tales into both composition and literature.

Please submit your proposal of 250-300 words and a short, academic biography through the PCA conference submission site by November 16, 2020: https://pcaaca.org/ Submissions will only be accepted through the PCA website, and individuals must be current, paid members to submit to the conference. Groups proposing panels should email the area chairs in advance of submission to indicate which papers/writers will be included and the panel’s ideal title. Panels must include four presenters/papers of approximately 15 minutes each. Each presenter will submit their paper individually to the database, and the area chairs will combine them into the desired panel.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/09/23/fairy-tales-at-the-2021-pca-conference-june-2-5-2021


Stranger Forms: Translating the Unusual and Minor of Early Modernity (ACLA 2021)

Laura Francis and Sara Stamatiades – Cornell University

Deadline for submissions: Saturday, October 31, 2020

While canonical works like Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote have enjoyed rich histories of translation, minor texts rarely see as much activity. Even for famous authors, unusual forms may not see the light of day at all. Take Cervantes’ own entremeses, for example: a kind of theatrical interlude prevalent in Golden Age Spain, these short texts have attracted only a handful of translations compared to the Quixote’s hundreds. Carrying out the author’s own biting remark that he wrote dramatic pieces never to be dramatized, the lack of translation only reinforces the already problematic centering of canonical texts. Unavailability across languages ingrains the marginal status of other works and, with them, the marginal figures they represent.

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/22/stranger-forms-translating-the-unusual-and-minor-of-early-modernity-acla-2021


Dos Hemisferios: the Americas, Europe and Africa in Black, Latinx and Hispano-Americano Writing

David Luis-Brown/Claremont Graduate University

Deadline for submissions: Saturday, October 31, 2020

How have transatlantic imaginaries and networks played a central role in the construction of hispano-americano and Latinx identities? How have these identities embraced the political causes of the black diaspora, like antislavery, civil rights and Black Lives Matter? To what extent have artists, writers and activists triangulated the Americas, Europe and Africa in their transatlantic imaginaries?

https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2020/10/12/dos-hemisferios-the-americas-europe-and-africa-in-black-latinx-and-hispano-americano


 

Online Event: Multilingualism, Translation, Directionality in Global Medieval DH

Distributed by Dorothy Kim via the DHSI listserv:


Please join the Vanderbilt University Center for Digital Humanities and the Global Middle Ages Project on October 16 from 11:00-12:30 p.m. CDT / 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT for a panel discussion about global digital projects and their use of languages.

New technologies allow us to experience the past more intimately than humans have ever been able to do before, and we can share our work more efficiently and completely than our predecessors could. But new problems arise, particularly as multi-national groups of scholars work on the histories and cultures of communities that lay claim to their own past and yet often cannot access the research results, often presented in English. In addition, scholars commonly structure databases using English and do their coding in English. How does language use exclude certain communities, and what are best practices for language use in global digital projects? We will discuss techniques and unsolved problems in an effort to make recommendations for global medieval projects.

This panel will bring together scholars working on global digital projects along with an expert in translation to talk about their perspectives on language use in global digital humanities projects.

Our panelists:
      • Zrinka Stahuljak, Professor of Comparative Literature and French, UCLA, and Director, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies – expertise in translation, interpreting, and multilingualism
      • David Michelson, Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Vanderbilt University – General editor of Syriaca.org and expertise in multi-national collaboration on digital projects with experience in establishing digital humanities standards for Semitic languages
      • David Joseph Wrisley, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, NYU Abu Dhabi – multitext alignment methods, multilingual/multidirectional language data, politics and practice of interface localization, machine learning medieval scripta, directionality in digital projects, unidirectional fallacy
      • Roger Martinez-Davila, Associate Professor of History, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs – expertise in MOOCs, crowd-sourced research of manuscripts, virtual and augmented reality, and multi-national projects
      • Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Research Fellow, University of Hamburg – expertise in multi-national manuscript editing and annotating Gǝʾǝz texts using TEI/XML.

The conversation will be moderated by Lynn Ramey (Vanderbilt University) and Dorothy Kim (Brandeis University).

All are welcome. There will be a question and answer period after panelists have spoken. You may submit your questions in advance (lynn.ramey@vanderbilt.edu) or live at the panel. The panel will be recorded and posted on the globalmiddleages.org portal.

Zoom link for the colloquium: https://tinyurl.com/globalmedieval


More than a Conversation: Georgia Tech Students Gather Virtually to Practice English and Socialize

On September 17, 2020, a number of Georgia Tech students, Naugle CommLab employees, Writing and Communication Program faculty, and Georgia Tech International Ambassadors gathered in Microsoft Teams…to talk. The Naugle CommLab and the WCP’s World Englishes Committee partnered to organize and host the event, which is an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students who are learning English as a second or other language to come together and practice speaking in English.

Dr. Kendra Slayton, one of CommLab’s interim co-directors and, along with Dr. Rob Griffin, one of the lead organizers behind the Conversation Hour event series, was impressed by the turnout at the September event. “We ended up with 36 people on the call. Eight of those people were [CommLab employees] and a couple of GTIAs who have worked with us in the past, so that’s twenty-something participants not including the chat moderators.”

During the Conversation Hour, participants initially assemble in a large group, then split into smaller groups in separate breakout rooms, each with their own conversation leader or moderator, where they chat for the rest of the hour. And what do they talk about? Perhaps a better question is, what don’t they talk about? Many of the conversations start with a topic, like pop culture, food, travel, and so on, but that doesn’t mean the groups have to stick with that topic. Moderators allow conversations to develop naturally and try to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to join in.

Stephanie Oliva, one of the Conversation Hour moderators, said, “We started talking about TV shows. We kind of went off on a tangent like that, and we only got food in right at the end. But we had all seen a lot of the same TV shows, and it was really cool to see everyone just get really into it. It was a lot of fun.”

Dr. Alok Amatya, a professional consultant in the Naugle CommLab and a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow, also described what was in his opinion a resounding success.

“So many people came, and the prompts that were provided…really helped in giving direction for the conversation. I had three students, and I’m not sure how many of them had participated in this before, but they seemed to know what to expect, and they all had a really enjoyable conversation. At a time like this, it’s so great to have a social chat anyway.”

Oliva, an LMC major and a peer consultant who has been working in the Naugle CommLab since 2018, also commented on what she sees as the benefits of the Conversation Hour and why she enjoys working with the students. She says,

I like participating in Conversation Hours because it gives people the opportunity to practice their English skills in a safe and non-judgmental environment. As someone who is learning a new language, I understand how important this sort of atmosphere is to developing confidence in one’s speaking skills. I also think it’s fun to meet new people (especially at a time like this).”

The Naugle CommLab started hosting these events in the CommLab itself in 2019, but since the pandemic they have shifted their focus to trying to hold these events virtually. While it may not be the same as a face-to-face Conversation Hour, Dr. Rob Griffin, the Naugle CommLab’s English Language Learning specialist, says the events are still hugely important, not simply for language practice, but also for mental health. He says,

“I think the Conversation Hour is vital to the well-being of our students as a forum to break the isolation and detachment many are facing, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Programming such as the CommLab Conversation Hour is in keeping with the diverse and inclusive setting that Tech promotes by making itself accountable to the needs of students whose voices may not always be heard. By hosting such venues, CommLab continues to support the Georgia Tech community as an important hub for a broad array of services that enhance linguistic skill and visual literacy while also providing a network for socialization and cross-cultural awareness.”

Hannah Lachmayr, a graduate student in Biology and a center assistant in the CommLab, also talks about why the Conversation Hour is especially meaningful to her:

Georgia Tech is packed with diversity, and to me, Conversation Hour showcases this. The students are so eager and motivated to improve their English conversation skills that I am inspired by them, and we consequently have an engaging conversation. Particularly, I love hearing about aspects of their lives and how they parallel mine yet are unique. Just from simple conversations, I have already been taught new recipes/cooking techniques (including making Japanese pancakes – 窯焼きスフレパンケーキ) and learned of new mentally-stimulating TV to watch. Seeing the students gain confidence in their speaking and use of vocabulary throughout a session, especially as they discuss a point of interest, is rewarding.”

So, will there be more conversations in the future? If you ask Dr. Slayton, the answer is absolutely yes. “We had something like 44 people actually register, so there is a bigger pool of people out there who may be interested in future [events].”

And as long as the situation remains as it is, the need will remain and grow. As Dr. Griffin said, “At a time when many courses are asynchronous, extracurricular activities are restricted, and human contact is difficult, the Conversation Hour is one venue where students are reconnected to faces and voices in real time even if only on a screen.”

Call for Submissions–World Englishes: Linguistic Variety, Global Society

World Englishes (WEs) as field challenges “native”/“nonnative” speaker distinctions and celebrates the multivariance of English around the world. It also acknowledges the legacies of British imperialism, ongoing linguistic and cultural colonization, and contemporary globalization in the spread of English. (Please click on the image to the right to download the full .pdf version of our call for submissions.)

This interdisciplinary field bridges postcolonial theory, applied linguistics, creative writing, composition pedagogy and more. As a committee, we are interested in how WEs approaches enrich the Writing and Communication Program’s commitment to student learning through its multimodal approach to communication. With a focus on how users negotiate or “shuttle between” multiple languages and cultures in specific contexts, WEs are deeply rhetorical, and knowledge of English varieties across communities, professions, regions, or countries is invaluable to the citizens of our increasingly global society. 

We seek submissions to our website in the following content areas: 

Reflections on Teaching Global Literature and General-Interest Articles 

Reviews 

Interviews


Reflections on Teaching Global Literature and General-Interest Articles 

TopicFor the reflections, any text (book, film, video, podcast, etc.) that you have taught at Georgia Tech or elsewhere would work as the focus for a teaching reflection as long as it relates to global, transnational, multilingual or translingual literature, or World Englishes. We also publish short general-interest articles on topics related to World Englishes that include research and analysis.  

Length: 600-1200 words 

Title: Your choice. Academic or catchy is good. 

Tone: These reflections and articles are for academics and teachers, but they should also be accessible to a broader audience as well, so please do not use many theoretical terms or jargon. You can even have a more casual narrative style if it fits your rhetorical goals.   

Sources: If you would like to incorporate a little of the critical conversation about the texts you write about, feel free to do so, but remember this is primarily a reflective piece rather than a full-blown academic article. We encourage you to use passages from the text you are reflecting on. We also encourage, but do not require, you to think about making your reflections or articles multimodal. 

Editorial Process: When you submit your piece to gtworldenglishgescommittee@gmail.comwe will read your submission, make some notes, ask some questions, and send it back to you for your review. Once we have gone through this process and the piece is complete to your and our satisfaction, we will publish the reflection on the World Englishes website. We encourage you to read some past reflections and articles to get an idea of what other people have written on. 

Prompt (reflection)If your article focuses on a specific text that you have taught, the following questions will hopefully focus your thinking as you reflect on your chosen text and how you taught it. The way you structure your piece is up to you. Do not feel that you need to respond to all these questions, but at least touch on the ones you feel will benefit other teachersand consequently studentsthe most. 

  1. Which global or multicultural text will you be reflecting on? What is it about? Provide a brief synopsis. Do not assume that people have read it. When did you teach it? 
  2. What is your favorite part or passage from the text? Why? How does it intersect with some of the text’s key themes? What are those themes? 
  3. How did/do you teach this text? Be specific. How did/do your students respond? Have you had any specific interesting, exciting, or surprising experiences with teaching this text and its themes? 
  4. What are some of the challenges you have experienced in teaching this text? How have you overcome these challenges? What would you do differently now? 
  5. What do you see as the broader impact of studying this text? If students only take away one thing from reading and discussing it, what do you hope that is? Be specific. 
  6. How can studying this text (and global literatures more generally) contribute to the professionalization and training of your students, evenor especiallystudents whose majors are not connected to the humanities? 

Reviews 

Do you still read for fun? We used to and still try to occasionally, and when we find something we like that intersects with our mission or contains relevant topics of interest, we publish reviews of those books on our website. We primarily review books, but we are also open to reviews of recent films as well, as long as the film and the review connect with the kinds of topics that the World Englishes Committee engages with. 

Length: 600-1200 words 

Requirements: Please include a full citation for the piece you are reviewing (at the top of the piece) and citations for any other text you quote in your review (in a works cited page).  

Additionally, this is an academic genre, but please refrain from using a lot of theoretical language or jargon. We like accessibility and promote it whenever we can. Feel free to read some of our reviews to get a sense of our style and the range of works we have reviewed. 


Interviews 

If you know someone who does work, academic or otherwise, related to the field of World Englishes, linguistics, translation, global literature, ESL/TESOL, etc., let us know. We would love to contact them for an interview. Even better, we would love for you to interview them and then publish your interview on our site. While we primarily publish written transcripts of interviews and email interviews, we also encourage interviewers to provide an audio version or clips of their interviews along with a transcript.  


How and When to SubmitWe have a rolling deadline for everything we publish, so send a query to gtworldenglishescommittee@gmail.com or talk to a member of the World Englishes Committee if you are interested: 

Alok Amatya [alok.amatya@lmc.gatech.edu] 

Jeff Howard [jeffrey.howard@lmc.gatech.edu] 

Eric Lewis [eric.lewis@lmc.gatech.edu] 

Kendra Slayton [kslayton3@gatech.edu]