Dr. Elise Barker, Ph.D. in English and the Teaching of English (spring 2014), has been named ISU Outstanding Doctoral Student Award winner by the ISU Office of Alumni Relations. Dr. Barker successfully defended her dissertation, "Jane Austen in Postmodern Popular Culture" in April 2014. She has published articles in the journal Persuasions and the edited collection Global Jane Austen (Palgrave 2013). She is also a highly regarded teacher in the English Department. Given annually, the competitive award honors an outstanding ISU doctoral student graduating in the current academic year.

Dr. Amanda Christensen, Office Specialist for our Graduate Program, was presented with an ISU Cares Spot Award on April 17, 2014.

Dr. Jessica Winston, Professor of English, recently returned from Shakespeare Association of America, where she was co-leader of a two-hour seminar on law and literature at the Inns of Court, "Inn-wards: Literary-Legal Cultures of the Inns of Court." Professor Winston's co-leader was Virginia Lee Strain, Assistant Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Curt Whitaker, Associate Professor of English, presented his paper “Marvell on Translation:  The Cases of Dr. Witty and Mr. Milton” at the yearly meeting of the Andrew Marvell Society, held this year in Tucson, AZ.   His essay drew from contemporary translation theory to address how Renaissance writers such as Marvell and Milton represent biblical subject matter in English poetry.

Jeff Howard, Ph.D. student, just returned from the Western States Folklore Society annual meeting in Logan, UT, where he presented a paper "Translation as 'Cultural Brokering': Applied Folklore, Authenticity, and the Translation of a Foggian Children’s Rhyme."

Amy Howard, Adjunct Instructor in English, just returned from the Western States Folklore Society annual meeting in Logan, UT, where she presented a paper, "'The Strawberries Were So Much Better Then': Nostalgia and Identity Loss in Personal Narratives of Farm Workers."

Dr. Ralph Baergen, Professor of Philosophy, has been invited to present a paper at the Seventh Annual Conference on Pediatric Ethics at the University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL). His presentation, which will take place on November 7th of this year, is tentatively titled, "Reframing Hope." This paper is a further development of work Dr. Baergen presented at a conference at the Cleveland Clinic Center (2005), and published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing (2006).

Kimberly Madsen, Ph.D. student, has received a travel grant from the Graduate School to support research on her dissertation project at the National Library of Scotland (NLS), in Edinburgh, this summer. Kim's dissertation, "'I would only do that which is . . . very well worth doing' : A Discourse Analysis of Self-Fashioning in Isabella Bird’s Letters, Travel Narratives, and Photographs," focuses on the writings of Isabella Bird (1831-1904), a nineteenth-century travel writer, photographer, Royal Geographical Society Fellow, and journalist. Her correspondence with her sister, friends, and publisher, John Murray, is held in the Murray archives of the NLS.

Jake Claflin, Ph.D. student, has received a grant from the Graduate School to support dissertation research in New York City this summer. His project, which proposes that multi-modal theory provides a unified vocabulary for addressing text and performance hinges on a reading of a production of Macbeth in the Big Apple, and the grant funds Jake's attendance at three performances of the show.

Dr.Jessica Winston, Professor of English, recently returned from the Renaissance Society of America's annual meeting in New York City, where she presented a paper on ghosts in Renaissance tragedy.

Jeff Howard, Ph.D. student, has had his article "'As If I Had Beheld a Ghost': Ghost Belief in Richardson's England" accepted for publication in ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews.

Jennifer Eastman Attebery, Chair and Prof. of English, is one of the ISU Outstanding Researchers for 2014.

Emily Treasure, M.A. and TESOL certificate 2013, has just re-contracted for a second year in Japan teaching English at Japanese high schools with the JET Program. Located in Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture, Emily is an Assistant Language Teacher at three countryside schools. Emily says, "I love it! Language is a barrier, but I'm learning as much Japanese as I can as fast as I can while learning classroom management, lesson planning, the tricks to teaching teenagers, lots of language activities, team teaching dynamics, and Japanese culture. I also have a great support network and lots of time to travel!" Emily has found the TESOL certificate completed as part of her M.A. program to have been of great value. Already admitted to our Ph.D. program, Emily plans to return to Pocatello after her second year of JET teaching.

Amanda Christensen, our Office Specialist for English Graduate Studies and D.M.A. in Voice Performance, University of Oregon, has been accepted into the Johanna Meier Summer Institute Program, Black Hills University, SD, supported by an institute scholarship. She will attend the institute during the last two weeks of June.

Tiffany Martin, Ph.D. 2013, was recently hired as the communications specialist for Roquette America, a division of Roquette Frères, which is a French-based company with factories and sales offices around the world. She points out that in her job interview, she discussed researching and writing a PhD dissertation and was surprised at how receptive and enthusiastic the committee was about the topic. Tiffany is maintaining her scholarly and creative interests, working on a book proposal based on her dissertation on the creative work of Owen Barfield, now best known as a philosopher and friend of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis but also a prolific writer of poems, plays, and fiction. She is working on a commissioned book chapter, and Barfield’s grandson and literary heir has asked her to edit Barfield's unpublished novel English People and to help rewrite the missing section of the novel, which, as she says, is a considerable honor and challenge.

Will Donovan, has been awarded the Excellence in Education Award for 2014 from the Latter-day Saint Student Association (LDSSA)at Idaho State University.

Job Opening: Assistant Lecturer in English with specialization in TESOL. Minimum qualifications: M.A. in TESOL, or M.A. in English or Applied Linguistics with TESOL certificate and experience teaching composition. Degree in hand by August 2014. Application materials must be submitted to by March 31, 2014. ISU is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.

Bethany Schultz Hurst, Asst. Professor of English, has had her poem "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Issue 1-12" accepted by the New Ohio Review for fall 2014 publication.

Jacob Claflin, Ph.D. student, has a review of King John at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in summer 2013 in Reviewing Shakespeare, a blog run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and University of Warwick (

Marcos Norris, M.A. 2013, has been accepted, with full funding, into the Ph.D. Program in English at Loyola University Chicago. He will be starting there in fall 2014.

Jeff Howard, Ph.D. student, has had his research note "Rosemary and Time: Slow Food and the Folklore of Taste" published in the American Folklore Society's online foodways journal Digest. To read the note, go to:

Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, gave two keynote addresses at conferences in Hyderabad, India: the "Gender and Nation: Rethinking India" conference held at Osmania University's Koti Women's College, Jan. 27-28, and the Commonwealth Society of India Conference, Osmandia University, Feb. 2-4. While in Hyderabad, Dr. Johnson also moderated a panel at the Hyderabad Literary Festival; spoke on "World Literatures" to graduate students at the English and Foreign Language University; and spoke at the Shiv Shivani Institute of Management. On Feb. 5, Dr. Johnson spoke in Chennai on "Landscape, Disease and Outlaws in Indian and American Imaginaries" at IIT-Madras as part of a day-long focus on "Science and Technology Studies" and medical ethics, co-sponsored by IIT-Madras and the UK's Wellcome Trust. Dr. Johnson will be in India through March 8 meeting scholars at Pondicherry University and other institutions for his research project concerning the literary and cultural images of the jungle.

William McCurdy, Assoc. Lecturer in Philosophy, was in Colombia during the week of Feb. 10 delivering a paper, "A Prolegomena to an Algebra for C.S. Peirce's Topological Logic of Relations" at the Third Colombian Congress on Logic, Epistemology, and the Philosophy of Science. The congress is jointly sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Andes and the School of Sciences and Humanities at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota. Mr. McCurdy's paper outlines key aspects of a project clearly implied by Peirce's pioneering work in the logic of relations, but neither constructed by him nor by subsequent logicians. The paper is a preliminary report of McCurdy's development of such an algebraic logic.

Dr. Jennifer Eastman Attebery, Chair and Professor of English, was a keynoter on Feb. 7 at the Nordic Spirit Symposium, sponsored by California Lutheran University and the Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation. Dr. Attebery's lecture was "Western on Arrival: Swedish Immigrants and the Myth of the West."

Dr. Brian Attebery, Professor of English, spoke on Feb. 10 in the Mellon Science Fiction Workshop, a series sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society at University of California, Riverside, Dr. Attebery's topic was "Parabolas of Science Fiction."

Ph.D. alumna Dr. Naveed Rehan, has published a book chapter entitled “Creative Nonfiction--New Trends in the Teaching of English” in the book New Research into Applied Linguistics and Language Learning edited by Engin Arık and published by MacroWorld, Istanbul (2013). The article was first presented at the First International Symposium on Language and Communication (ISLC) conference held in Izmir, Turkey, in 2012. Dr. Rehan’s article is one of fourteen selected for publication in this volume out of hundreds of international entries.

Dr. Tom Klein, Professor of English, has had his article "Of Water and the Spirit: Metaphorical Focus in Exeter Book Riddle 74" accepted for publication in Review of English Studies.

Morgan Heeder, Senior English major has been accepted for summer study in Ecuador as part of the Andes and Amazon Field School, a private program of interdisciplinary study of Ecuador's Amazonian region. Formerly a study abroad program sponsored by Arizona State University, the Field School is now an independent institution that operates cooperatively with a number of American universities and with local organizations in Ecuador. Its mission, according to the website, is "to preserve Amazonian knowledge of nature; to explore new ways of preserving biodiversity in the increasingly fragmented Amazonian forest and of sustaining Amazonian communities together with their environment." Morgan will be studying the Quechua language as well as learning field linguistic methodology and exploring traditional medical practices and beliefs in the Amazon.

Amelia Kaspari, M.A. student, has been accepted into the UNH Cambridge Program, run by the University of New Hampshire. The six-week, residential, summer program includes undergraduate and graduate students from around the U.S. It takes place at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University (Cambridge, England) and involves courses in British history and literature, taught by UNH and Cambridge University faculty, as well as excursions around the country, including to Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London to see Shakespeare plays.

Jeff Howard, Ph.D. student, has had his article "Graduate Instructors in the Writing Center" accepted for publication in the spring issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly and an article called "Trickster's Economics: Conservation and Innovation in the Game of Jinx" accepted for fall 2014 publication in Children's Folklore Review.

Dr. Brent Wolter, Assoc. Professor of English, has had his article "Processing collocations in an L2: A case of L1 activation?" accepted for publication in Applied Psycholinguistics. The paper was co-authored with Junko Yamashita from Nagoya University in Japan, with Dr. Wolter as lead author.

Dr. William McCurdy, Assoc. Lecturer in Philosophy, has had his paper "Peirce's Theory of Information and a New Diagrammatic Logic for Intensional and Extensional Syllogistic" accepted for the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Congress to be held this July at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The conference is a memorial for the centennial of the death C.S. Peirce.

Oxford University Press has just released Stories About Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth by Dr. Brian Attebery, Professor of English and Editor of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. The new study is described by writer Peter Straub as "a brilliant book by one of the fantastic's most informed, most penetrating, and wisest critics." For more information about the book go to,%20Brian&tab=overview.

Routledge has just released a textbook co-authored by Dr. Margaret Johnson, Professor of English and Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs, and Tison Pugh. Titled Literary Studies: A Practical Guide, the book was released on December 19. Dr. Johnson has also just had her article "'Never the Same One Twice': Melodrama and Repetition in Queer as Folk" published in the journal Genre 46.3 (2013): 419-42. For more information about Literary Studies go to

Dr. Amanda Zink, Assistant Professor of English, has had her article "Maternal Economies in the Estranged Sisterhood of Edith Summers Kelley and Charlotte Perkins Gilman" accepted for publication in the Spring 2015 issue of Studies in American Fiction.

Congratulations to Dr. Susan Goslee, who has been awarded a sabbatical for the 2014-15 academic year. The sabbatical will provide time for Dr. Goslee to launch a new poetry project focusing on the Appalachian region. Dr. Goslee notes that "Appalachia has figured strongly in the popular imagination as a region of outsiders." This project will "investigate the implications of [this] perception and self-perception."

During the week of December 9th, professors Thomas Klein and Matthew Van Winkle and English alumna (and ILL librarian) Jennifer Hawkins traveled to Driggs, ID, to help judge the Poetry Out Loud contest at Teton High School.  Competition was fierce and the choice of winners was difficult!

Dr. Tracy Montgomery is retiring at the end of fall semester 2013, after 23 years of dedicated teaching and service to Idaho State University. Dr. Montgomery earned her M.A. and D.A. in  English at Idaho State University after completing her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. Before returning to ISU as an Assistant Professor in 1990, she taught at Washington State University and was an engineering writer and manager of publications at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Carlsbad, New Mexico. At ISU Dr. Montgomery has served as Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Assistant Chair of the Department of English and Philosophy as well as Assistant and Associate Professor of English. With Daniel L. Plung, she is the author of Professional Communication: The Corporate Insider's Approach to Business Communication (Mason, OH: Thomson/Southwestern, 2004), and with George E. Kennedy, Solving Problems through Technical and Professional Writing (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1993).

Dr. Jennifer Eastman Attebery's book manuscript interpreting Swedish-American Midsummer practices has been accepted for fall 2014 publication in Utah State University Press's "Ritual, Festival, and Celebration" series edited by Jack Santino.

Dr. Russell Wahl, Professor of Philosophy, has just returned from a conference "Russell and Wittgenstein at the Crossroads 1911-1921," held Nov. 8-10 at the Bertrand Russell Research Centre, McMaster University. Dr. Wahl's invited presentation was entitled "Russell's Reactions to Wittgenstein's Criticisms."

Philosophers from Idaho State University recently attended and presented at the Intermountain Philosophy Conference, hosted this year at Utah Valley University (Orem, UT). Attending and presenting were Dr. James Skidmore, Assoc. Prof. of Philosophy, and Dr. William McCurdy, Assoc. Lecturer in Philosophy. Accompanying them were Melissa Norton, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, and six Idaho State University philosophy students. Dr. Skidmore presented a paper on "The Instability of Scalar Consequentialism: From Good to Right." Dr. McCurdy presented on "An Inconformability in the Strata of Reasoning: On Peirce on the Fallacy of Fallacies."

Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has received an Idaho Humanities Council Fellowship which will fund his research travel to the British Library, London, and to archives and nature reserves in India during his sabbatical spring semester 2014. His project focuses on the jungle as a literary motif and cultural image.

Dr. Margaret Johnson, Professor of English, has been selected to serve as an academic member of the Idaho Humanities Council representing southeastern Idaho.

Dr. Brian Attebery, Professor of English, has just returned from Portland, where he was a featured speaker at two public events sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. For OMSI After Dark, his talk was "Philip K. Dick: How One Paranoid Writer Created the Future We Live In," and for the more formal Science Pub, he spoke to an audience of over 300 on "Science Fiction and Metaphors of Mind." He also met with the Alternate Realities Group at Portland State University, an informal reading group of faculty and graduate students, to talk about his recent book Parabolas of Science Fiction.

Publications recently accepted include "'That really was a good method for beginners': How narratives are used to situate objects and techniques in a quilting guild," by Dr. Sonja Launspach, Assoc. Professor of English. Her article will appear in Narrative Inquiry. Asst. Lecturer in Philosophy Dr. Nobel Ang's article "Positive Freedom as Exercise of Rational Ability: A Kantian Defense of Positive Liberty," has been accepted by The Journal of Value Inquiry.

English faculty who have recently presented at professional conferences include Dr. Jessica Winston, Professor of English, who delivered a paper, "Literature and the 'Professional' Culture of the Early Modern Inns of Court," at the annual meeting of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, held October 24-27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was also be present for the awarding of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference Literature Prize for best literature paper published annually in the society's journal Sixteenth Century Studies, for which she serves on the awards committee. Dr. Amanda Zink, Asst. Professor of English, recently returned from the Western Literature Association Conference at Berkeley, where she presented a paper, "The Dreamy Idyllic Atmosphere of Southern California: Cross-Racial Feminine Affiliations in the Novels of Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton and Evelyn Hunt Raymond." Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, represented the department at the Rocky Mountain MLA meeting in Vancouver, Washington, where he delivered a paper, "Landscapes of Terror in Indian and Pakistani Literature and Film" and participated in the panel "Developing Your Professional Career."

Erin Gray, M.A., 2011, has just had his essay "Carry Me No Farther: A Journey to the Edge of the World," published in Idaho Magazine, October 2013.

Bethany Schultz Hurst, Asst. Professor of English, has won the 2013 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry for her collection, Miss Lost Nation. This is the 30th year that the Anhinga Prize for Poetry has been awarded for a manuscript of original poetry in English. In addition to publication of the winning manuscript by Anhinga Press, the winning poet tours Florida institutions of higher learning selected by the Press to present poetry readings. Receiving on average 600 entries from around the world, The Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry is judged by nationally-recognized poets. This year's final judge, Richard Blanco, is perhaps best known for his poem "One Today," which he read at the 2012 US presidential inauguration. To see the announcement of the award, go to

Susan Swetnam, Prof. Emerita, has won the Idaho Library Association's Idaho Book of the Year 2012 with  Books, Bluster, and Bounty: Local Politics and Intermountain West Carnegie Library Building Grants, 1898-1920 (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2012). The ILA award honors books that have "made an outstanding contribution to the body of printed materials about Idaho." Dr. Swetnam's book traces the history of Carnegie libraries in the Intermountain West, especially the role of women's groups in developing and supporting local libraries.

"'Jane Austen is My Homegirl': American Janeites and the Ironic Postmodern Identity," an article by Ph.D. candidate Elise Barker, has just appeared in the anthology Global Jane Austen: Pleasure, Passion, and Possessiveness in the Jane Austen Community, edited by  Laurence Raw and Robert G. Dryden (New York: Palgrave, 2013).

Poems by Asst. Prof. of English Bethany Schultz Hurst, "Dust Bowl, 1936" and "Settler," have just appeared in Crab Orchard Review 18.2 (2013): 76-78.

The Department congratulates Margaret Johnson, Professor of English, who has just been selected to serve as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Johnson will continue as our Director of Composition and will teach a graduate seminar in Barth during the fall  semester. She takes up her AVP duties full time in January. We are grateful that Angela Petit, Asst. Professor of English, has agreed to serve as our Director of Composition beginning spring semester 2014.

Mike Stubbs, Asst. Lecturer in English, has just had his essay "On the Beach: Same Old Lake, Brand New View," complete with photographs of the author's experiences at Redfish Lake, published in the August 2013 issue of Idaho Magazine.

Bethany Schultz Hurst's "Search Party, Called Off," has just appeared in the current issue of the online journal Sixth Finch.

Ralph Baergen, Prof. of Philosophy, has co-authored an article manuscript "Ethical Conduct of Laboratory Experimental Research on Fear and Anxiety: Review and Recommendations," with ISU psychologists Dr. Steve Lawyer and Beena Kuruvilla, which has been accepted by Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry and will appear in vol. 15, no. 3. Dr. Baergen's contribution to this project was to write an ethical analysis of research methods that involve deliberately causing participants to have panic attacks, and a set of recommendations for presenting this sort of research to Institutional Review Boards.

Matthew VanWinkle, Assistant Professor of English, presented "Witness Relocations: Memory, Movement, and a Temptation Resisted in Wordsworth and Coleridge" at this year's North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) conference, in Boston, Aug 8-11.

LA244, our Reading Room, is complete with new furnishings and with installation of art work donated by ISU alumna Catherine Reinhardt and student Stacey Barker and a full set of framed Black Rock and Sage covers. Many thanks to the College of Arts and Letters for helping us fund purchase of furnishings and to those in the department who worked to move this rehab forward: Curt Whitaker, Tom Klein, Roger Schmidt, Tom Pfister, Krissy Turner, Amanda Christensen, the students who labored to assemble furniture, and the many others who weighed in with their opinions.

A Book Depot has been set up in the LA207 suite for deposit of still-usable books that department members wish to discard. Any book deposited there is free to all takers. Books will be periodically weeded out by department staff.

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 the link at the left.