Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has had his article "Local Writing is World Writing: Reflections on Literary Studies in a Global Age" published in The Atlantic Critical Review 13.2 (2014): 1-15.

Opening for Assistant Lecturer in English, Idaho Falls campus. The department seeks to hire a non-tenure-track Assistant Lecturer in English, starting August 17, 2015, for the Idaho State University Idaho Falls campus. Specialization in American or British literature, with experience in composition instruction. Expertise in film studies, creative writing, or linguistics welcome. Minimum qualification Master’s in English; preferred qualification Ph.D. in English. Degree in hand by August 2015. Typical teaching load 4:4 including introductory composition and literature courses and lower-division courses in the English major. Service load includes undergraduate advising and mentoring and coordinating contact with adjunct instructors on the Idaho Falls campus. Send letter of application, c.v., and teaching portfolio (philosophy, syllabi, student evaluations) to (PCN1808) and minimum of 3 confidential recommendation letters to Priority consideration date: April 3, 2015. ISU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer, and encourages women and minorities to apply.

Jason Clark, MA in English 2013, will be entering the Ph.D. program with full funding in English/Medieval Studies at Saint Louis University in the fall.  He is looking forward to taking courses in paleography and medieval theology along with studying English literature.

Jeff Howard, English Ph.D. student, has had his article "What Is the Use of a Book...without Pictures?: Images and Words in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" published in The Explicator 73.1.

Amy Brumfield and Kelly Ricken, both Ph.D. students, each won an award for giving the best presentation in their respective panels at the first-annual ISU Graduate Student Research Days. Amy presented "The Mathematical Model of Writing" in a panel on Pedagogy & Writing in Multiple Modes. Kelly discussed "The Writing Cure and World War I Dream Poetry" in a panel on "Narrative & Analysis."


Nobel Ang, Assistant Lecturer in Philosophy, has just returned from presenting his paper "Corrupted Representation, Akrasia and Knowledge in Nicomachean Ethics Book VII” at the Midsouth Philosophy Conference at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

Several of our graduate students presented at the First Annual ISU Graduate Student Research Day. Presenters included Ph.D. students Corinna Barrett, Amy Brumfield, Kelly Ricken, Richard Samuelson, and Diantha Smith; and M.A. students Elizabeth Reiman and Emily Ward.

Tera Joy Cole, Assistant Lecturer in English, has had her short story "Where Things Are Made" accepted for publication by Blunderbuss Magazine, an online literary journal.

Jessica Hoffman-Ramires, English M.A. student, presented her paper, “The American Woman: Restructuring Gender through Mary Austin’s Santa Lucia” at the 11th Annual Conference on Gender and Sexuality, sponsored by ISU’s Gender Resource Center and the College of Arts and Letters.

Jessica Winston, Professor of English, and Alan Johnson, Professor of English, have been award Faculty Travel Grants from the Office of Research, Dr. Winston to travel to London and St. Andrews, UK, and Dr. Johnson to travel to Moscow, Idaho, as part of an ISU-based panel presenting on ecocriticism at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment.

Jessica Winston, Prof. of English, and Matt Levay, Asst. Prof. of English, attended the NEH Grant Writing Workshop in Boise on May 10th. Joining Jessica and Matt were other College faculty, including Andrea Ferber (Art History), Anna Hiller (Spanish), Yolonda Youngs (History), and two Ph.D. students in English, Dana Benge and Jeff Howard.

Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has had his anthology Postcolonial Literature Today, co-edited with Jagdish Batra, published by Prestige Books International, Delhi. The volume includes chapters by ISU alumni Diane Yerka, M.A.2013, Dahood El-Oqla, Ph.D. 2013, and Kelly Meyer, Ph.D. 2014.

Bethany Schultz Hurst, Assistant Professor of English, has had her poem, “Crisis on Infinite Earths, Issues 1-12,” selected by Sherman Alexie for inclusion in the Best American Poetry 2015 anthology. She will read the poem as part of the book launch for Best American Poetry scheduled at the New School, New York City, in September 2015.

Chris Brock, Ph.D. candidate, has been hired as a full-time professor in the International Education Department at University of Suwon (Suwon, South Korea). Chris, who completed his Graduate Certificate in TESOL in fall 2014, will be teaching general education courses in composition and English conversation.

Jeff Howard, Ph.D. student, has had his article "Trickster's Economics: Conservation and Innovation in the Game of Jinx" published in Children's Folklore Review 36 (2014): 9-16.

Dr. Brian Attebery, Professor of English, gave a talk called "Daydreams and Nightmares: Utopias and Dystopias from Fahrenheit 451 to The Hunger Games” at the Herrett Museum on the campus of the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. His talk was sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council and was part of the The Herrett Forum Speaker Series.

Dana Benge, Ph.D. candidate, participated in the Blackfoot Public Library's Blind Date with a Book night representing Young Adult literature. Participants represented a genre of literature to attendees, who visited each genre table.

Opening for Assistant Lecturer in English. Assistant Lecturer in English with specialization in TESOL. Minimum qualifications: M.A. in TESOL, or M.A. in English with TESOL certificate or M.A. in Applied Linguistics with significant graduate-level training or teaching experience in TESOL. Composition teaching experience preferred. Degree in hand by August 2015. One-year appointment with potential for renewal. 4-4 teaching load, with responsibilities in courses for non-native speakers of English. Additional responsibilities include committee service, review and assessment of curriculum, and design of other programming to service non-native speakers of English. Apply with letter of application, CV, and statement of teaching philosophy uploaded at (PCN901206) and 3 confidential letters of recommendation sent to Applications received by March 27, 2015, will be given priority consideration. ISU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.

Phil Homan, PhD student, was accepted to participate in the graduate seminar on "Animals in Transdisciplinary Environmental History," which will take place in Läänemaa, Estonia in May. For the seminar, Phil will present a paper on "The Equine Middle Passage of the Trans-Atlantic Horse Trade: Western American Horses for the Second Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, 1899-1902."

Aaron Cloyd (MA English, 2010) has been hired into a tenure-track position in English at North Idaho College, where he will teach classes in composition and literature. Aaron is in the final stages of completing his dissertation, "Geographies of Remainders: Rewilding Wilderness in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Literature" at University of Kentucky. He also has articles on contemporary representations of wilderness published or forthcoming in disClosure, International Journal of Comic Art, and Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.

Angela Metzger, PhD candidate, has been hired at ISU's Intensive English Institute (IEI), as a full-time instructor, beginning January 2015. She looks forward to working with international students in this institute newly established at Idaho State University--teaching English composition and listening and speaking skills, as well as grammar courses.

Dr. Hal Hellwig, Associate Professor of English, was a panelist in the session "Pedagogy and Digital Editions" at the recent Modern Language Association meeting in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Hellwig and participants from Loyola University Chicago, University of Toronto, University of Florida, and University of Virginia considered issues related to the use and development of digital editions and the availability of digital versions of primary sources in the classroom.

Emily Ward, MA student, and Corinna Barrett, PhD student, have had their paper proposals accepted for presentation at the College English Association meeting coming up in March 2015 at Indianapolis.

Sam Head, MA student, has had his paper proposal accepted for presentation at the Conference on Meaningful Living and Learning in a Digital World coming up this spring in Savannah.

Dr. Mark Dodd, Associate Lecturer in English, retired from the department at the end of fall semester, 2014. Dr. Dodd earned his Ph.D. in English at Washington State University in 1991. He taught at Idaho State University for over 14 years. The Department of English and Philosophy deeply appreciates Dr. Dodd's  devoted teaching and service as our representative on the Idaho Falls campus. As our one full-time faculty member in Idaho Falls, his work has been essential to our ability to deliver most of the first two years of the English major to students beginning their studies there. As our main adviser in Idaho Falls, he has inspired many students to continue as English majors, and some  to pursue graduate studies in English. As one of his students comments, “Dr. Dodd is very passionate about the subject and that became contagious.” Dr. Dodd has also served the department on its Undergraduate English and Policy and Personnel committees and has advised the Idaho Falls Performing Arts Club. Best wishes go to Dr. Dodd on his retirement!

Dr. Matthew Van Winkle, Dr. Thomas Klein, and English program graduate Natalie Homer, traveled to Driggs, Idaho, to act as judges for Teton High School's Poetry Out Loud competition on December 15, 2014. Students memorize poems and present them to the assembled high school; the winners advance to the district and then state levels, ultimately competing in Washington, D.C.  "This event serves to remind us that poetry exists not just on the page, but in the ear," says Matt. "The best recitations show us things about the poem we didn't know before."

Samuel Head, MA student, has had his article "Teaching Grounded Audiences: Burke's Identification in Facebook and Composition" accepted by the journal Computers and Composition for publication in 2016.

Dr. Amanda Zink, Asst. Prof. of English, and Dr. Mike Stubbs, Asst. Lecturer in English, took nine English students to hear novelist Salman Rushdie speak at the Morrison Center at Boise State on November 20. The talk explored the role of the novelist in today’s global political climate. Whereas during the 18th and 19th centuries novelists brought the world headlining news (i.e. Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin exposing the atrocities of plantation slavery), Rushdie posited that the 21st-century novelist brings us “the lived experience of the world.” Novelists help readers understand the global through the local, through the stories of the “multiple, fragmented, heterogeneous, fractured, contradictory human self.” Rushdie reminded his audience that “the desire for story is at the heart of being human.”

Thomas Klein, Professor of English, has had his article “Resolving Exeter Book Riddles 74 and 33: Stormy Allomorphs of Water” published in Quidditas: Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association 35 (2014), 29-47. The article is co-authored with David Delehanty, Professor of Biology at ISU, and William Klein, Thomas’s father and Professor of English at Kenyon College .

Jeffrey Howard, Ph.D. student, has had his article “Pausing for Effect: Silence as a Principle of Learning” published in the Writing Lab Newsletter 39 (2014), 3-4.

Tom Pfister, Senior Lecturer in English, has loaned the department several pieces of artwork. His piece “Submerged” graces our main office, LA262, and several other works can be admired in the LA258 corridor. Many thanks to Tom for making our space more inspiring.

Matthew Levay, Assistant Professor of English, recently returned from the annual conference of the Modernist Studies Association, held in Pittsburgh, PA.  His paper, “Making a Reputation: The Forsyte Saga and the Reading Public,” was part of a panel he organized on “Modernism’s Boundaries: Genre, Reception, Reputation, and the Popular.”


Philosophy faculty members, and eleven Philosophy students, recently attended the Intermountain Philosophy Conference at Utah State University. Russell Wahl, Professor of Philosophy, presented  "Russell's Neutral Monism," Nobel Ang, Asst. Lecturer in Philosophy, presented "Spirited Impetuosity or Impetuous Spiritedness? Aakrasia and Related Phenomena in Nicomachean Ethics Bk VII," and William McCurdy, Assoc. Lecturer in Philosophy, presented "Charles Sanders Peirce is Not a Pragmatist: Santiago’s Aristotelianism." Also attending were Jim Skidmore, Assoc Prof. of Philosophy, Jacob Berger, Asst. Prof. of Philosophy, and Melissa Norton, Senior Lecturer.

Jacob Claflin, Ph.D. student, has won a competitive travel award from the Shakespeare Association of America to attend the annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada this April.


Amy Howard, Adjunct Instructor in English, and Jeff Howard, Ph.D. student, recently returned from the American Folklore Society, where they gave papers on "Stealing Peaches and Hiding in the Grain Bin: Trickster Characters and Children’s Folklore in Childhood Memory Narratives" and "Giufà’s Trickster Exploits: The Subversive Mimicry of the Hybrid Sicilian Other."

Seth Clark, Ph.D. candidate, has had his article, "'Confusion Now Hath Made His Masterpiece': (Re)Considering the Maddening of Macbeth," published in Journal of the Wooden O Symposium. The journal, associated with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, takes its title from a line in Shakespeare’s Henry V that refers to the round shape of the Globe Theatre.

Jacob Thomas, Ph.D. student, has won a competitive research award from the College of Arts and Letters to research East Anglian pilgrimage sites in England this summer.

Sam Head, M.A. student, recently won the ISU Library Banned Books Poetry Contest with "Brave (New?) World: A Sonnet." Contestants were to recreate a poem with the titles of previously banned and challenged books. The poem is featured on the library website. In early October, Mr. Head also presented a paper "Survival of the Most Memorable? Darwin's Textual Afterlife through The Origin of Species" in the Literature and Science panel at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association in Boise.

Curt Whitaker, Assoc. Professor of English, has had his essay “Bioaesthetics and the American West” published in the edited collection Found in Alberta:  Environmental Themes for the Anthropocene (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014). The essay takes a Darwinian approach to building and landscape design, arguing that sustainable practices in hot, dry areas of the West occur more readily when innate human preferences are taken into account.

Several of our graduate students won competitive travel awards from the College of Arts and Letters to present papers at upcoming regional and national conferences: Ph.D. students Jacob Claflin, Jeff Howard, Melinda Linscott, Angela Metzger, Diantha Smith, and Jacob Thomas; and M.A. students Samuel Head and Patricia Miller.

Bethany Schultz Hurst, Asst. Prof. of English, has had her poem "Crisis on Infinite Earths, Issues 1-12" published in New Ohio Review 16 (Fall 2014).

Jessica Taylor-Edwards, Ph.D. student, has been hired into a tenure-track position at Everett Community College (just north of Seattle) beginning January 2015. She will teach composition, creative writing, and literature classes. Jessica has an MS in English Education and MFA in creative writing.

Hal Hellwig, Assoc. Professor of English, has had his chapter, "Venice and the Decline of the West: Henry James, Mark Twain, and the Memorials of the Past," published in Henry James Today, edited by John Carlos Rowe (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014).

Jacob Thomas, Ph.D. student, has had his paper, "The Lion of Panjshir: Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Folk-Hero and 'Saint' of Modern Afghanistan," published in the Proceedings of the 2014 Conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery. The Society is sponsored by Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Diantha Smith, Ph.D. student, has had her guest blog post, "It's All Greek to Me...Until Someone Writes an E-mail" featured on the Bedford/St. Martin's composition blog, "Teacher to Teacher." The post describes using an e-mail writing assignment to teach ethos, logos, and pathos. To read the blog, click here.

Curt Whitaker, Assoc. Professor of English, recently returned from presenting his paper “Ecotheology and the Problem of Place” at Under Western Skies 3, an interdisciplinary environmental conference held in Calgary, Canada. The talk considered depiction of nature in Renaissance poetry and the extent to which religious doctrine affects people’s treatment of the environment.

Amy Brumfield, Ph.D. student, has been accepted into the Fountainhead Press Ambassador Program, an internship program designed to familiarize graduate students with the publishing industry. As an ambassador, Amy will review a title for Fountainhead, copy edit a title, and develop marketing materials, among other duties. In addition, Amy has developed a presentation on teaching with iPads, which she has presented most recently at a conference for high school/ISU Concurrent Enrollment teachers in August 2014.

Jennifer Eastman Attebery, Chair and Professor of English, was honored at Homecoming 2014 with the ISU Achievement Award.

Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has had his article "The American Hero's Passage to India: Geography, Frontier Myths, and Planetary Perspectives" published in Writing Today: International Journal of Studies in English. 1.2 (2014).

Hal Hellwig, Assoc. Prof of English, has had his article "William Blake's Jerusalem and the Los Angeles of Film Noir" recently published in Philosophy and Literature.

Michael Stubbs, Asst. Lecturer in English, has had his article "Or Not to Ski" published in Idaho Magazine August 2014.

Justin Murdock (MA 2014), has recently been hired as a Content Manager for BYU (Provo) Admissions. Building on his background in English and in graphic design, Justin will be helping to develop promotional materials in print and social media, while assisting with student acceptance letters, survey data, and other tasks.

Dr. Terry Engebretsen, Associate Professor of English, who has been teaching for us based in Meridian, retired in June. Terry earned his Ph.D. in American Studies at Washington State University in 1982 and joined the department as an Asst. Professor in 1988; he was promoted to Associate in 1997. Terry's expertise combines American literature, with focuses on the Colonial period and on contemporary literature, with business communications. He has written and delivered professional papers on Kathy Acker, Bayard Taylor, and gender/queer studies. Between 2003 and 2009 Terry led the department as its Chair, and he has also served several stints as director of American Studies, of Composition, and of English Graduate Studies. He directed numerous graduate students in their thesis and dissertation work. His portfolio of university service is extensive, including service on the Graduate Council, Academic Standards, Honors Committee, and Early College Program Advisory Committee. During his time as department chair he was also a member of the Modern Language Association Delegate Assembly. He is currently a member of the Executive Board, Idaho Humanities Council. The department thanks Terry for his decades of effective and loyal service to the department and the university.

This fall, Dr. Angela Petit, Assistant Professor of English, will be leaving the Department of English and Philosophy to take a new position with Western Governors University (WGU), a fully online university currently enrolling 40,000 students. WGU is unique in American higher education, having been founded in 1997 by the governors of 19 U.S. states. Its mission is to enable access to higher education for non-traditional students who may not otherwise be able to pursue a college degree. Angela's position at WGU will be as Writing Center Faculty, working with students at every level (freshman to doctoral) to improve their writing. Since Angela began her composition career working in and directing writing centers, this new position is more a return to her roots than a step into the unknown.  Speaking of roots, this position will enable Angela to partition her time between her family home in Louisiana and her home in Pocatello. Angela earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Southern Mississippi; she joined the English faculty in 2008 as a welcome addition for her expertise in composition and rhetoric, technical writing. During 2014 she served as Composition Director. The department thanks Angela for her very effective work with our graduate students and profession writing majors.

Brent Wolter, Assoc. Professor of English, visited Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in southern China this summer, where he delivered two lectures and a seminar in the College of Business English and advised students and faculty regarding their research in second language acquisition. Dr. Wolter's trip was funded by Guangdong University's international office. He was hosted by Zhang Di (Kathy) and deans Hu, Peng, and Wu. Zhang Di has been a visiting scholar at Idaho State University and is collaborating with Wolter on a second language acquisition project.


Amanda Zink, Asst. Professor of English, and undergraduate student Angela Eldredge, attended the American Literature Association conference in Washington, D.C., this summer, where they delivered a paper "Narrating the 'Death House': Estelle Armstrong's Stories and the Fort Hall Indian Boarding School." Dr. Zink also conducted research at the Library of Congress and traveled on to Texas, where she chaired a Gendered Encounters session at the Native American and Indigenous Studies conference at University of Texas, Austin.


Thomas Klein, Professor of English, has had his article "The Non-Coherence of the Franks Casket:  Reading Text, Image, and Design on an Early Anglo-Saxon Artifact" published in the summer issue of Viator:  Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  Over the summer he also attended the Denver meeting of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association where he gave a paper on Old English riddles, chaired a session, and convened the executive board of the organization as president, as well as acted as master of ceremonies at the awards luncheon.


Deirdre Carney, Ph.D.Candidate, has had her piece "Social Work" published in The Truth about the Fact, an international journal of literary nonfiction, 9.1 (2014): 87-92.


Roger Schmidt, Professor of English, has had his essay "To What Shall I Compare This Life?" published in the quarterly Raritan 33.4 (2014): 95-106.


Alumnus Josh Bridges, B.A. in English, 2013, spent eight days in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China, where he led American undergraduate students in activities to help their Chinese counterparts with their English speaking skills.


Krissy Turner, Administrative Assistant for the department, spent the summer successfully completing the Continuing Education and Workforce Training course "Creating Web Pages."


Idaho State University’s Ph.D. in English and the Teaching of English was featured as an innovative doctoral program in a report released on May 28, 2014 by the Modern Language Association. The Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature pointed to ISU’s program as one of four in the United States that have anticipated changes needed in the field.  The MLA report is available on line at

At the end of the spring semester, Dr. Debra Shein moved to Portland, Oregon, where she is an instructional designer for Bonneville Power. Deb earned her Ph.D. in English at University of Oregon in 1998. She joined the faculty at ISU the same year, teaching continuously for the department except for a two-year break in 2008-10 with the Tigeri project. Deb's expertise bridges Western American literature, composition, instructional design, and web design. Her publications include Abigail Scott Duniway, in the Western Writers Series, 2002; an edition of Duniway's Edna and John: A Romance of Idaho Flat; and articles in ISLE, American Literary Realism, and Western American Literature. She is active in the Pacific Northwest American Studies Association, serving as president during 2004-6. Deb will still teach a few online courses for the department. She will be greatly missed, but the department wishes her all the best as she explores new opportunities in the Portland area where she is closer to her family.        

Kelly Meyer (Ph.D. 2014) has been hired as a full-time English faculty member at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Cambridge, Minnesota. Kelly takes up her unlimited appointment (similar to tenure-track) this fall and will be teaching courses in literature and composition.

Let us know what you are doing! Faculty, students, staff, and alumni: Have you received a recent honor, had a boost in your career, or produced a new publication that you have not let us know about? Please email us copies of publications so that we can share the good news!

Postings, the newsletter of the Department of English and Philosophy, is published each semester. To see the latest issue, click this link, or follow the link at the upper left of the Department’s home page.