Faculty Engagements

Capturing Recent Accomplishments of English Faculty




Professor Natalie Gerber

Professor Natalie Gerber was just recently recognized for an essay published in ‘Free Verse Rhythms' special issue of Style. She has also co-edited “Helen Vendler’s Stevens,” a special issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal that was published to honor Dr. Vendler upon her retirement. In addition to a co-authored editors' introduction, Gerber also contributed an essay, "Coming of Age as a Scholar through Helen Vendler's Stevens."

In fall 2013, she gave two collaborative presentations with composition theorist Peter Ellbow and linguistics graduate-student Hülya Belketin from University of Dusseldorf in Germany at Conference on College, Composition, and Communication, in Indianapolis, Ind. "Grammar for the Eye, Grammar for the Ear: Implications for Writing," a half-day workshop, focused on grammatical features often associated with spoken language that give vitality to written texts. Professor Gerber helped participants notice these features and their function in the poetry of William Carlos Williams.

In June 2013, Gerber organized and led a three-day seminar at the West Chester University Poetry Conference on “Understanding the Expressive Purposes of Rhythm: Meters, Measures, Free Verse.” She also gave a workshop-presentation on her project, “A Poet’s Field Guide to the English Language.

Lecturer Rebecca Schwab

In summer 2014, Lecturer Rebecca Schwab’s nonfiction piece "Things My Students Don't Know" has been published in Drafthorse Literary Journal (online). Her flash fiction work, "Recall" appears in Rivet (online) and her poetry, "Three Tears in a Bucket" is published in Slipstream's Rust, Dust, & Lust issue (September 2014, print).

In 2013, she ran a weekly adult poetry workshop at the Dunkirk Free Library for seven weeks. Each week they focused on a different aspect of poetry, generated exercises, read examples and shared their work.

Professor Theodore Steinberg

In fall 2013, Professor Ted Steinberg has been working on his 15 books for the online textbook program to reduce education cost. These books will be available online free to college students. He wrote “Literature, the Humanities and Humanity,” which was accepted by the Open SUNY textbook program for the 2013-14 academic years. He is the first published author of this program.

His book has earned high praise in the education field. East Carolina University professor David Scott Wilson-Okamura says "Steinberg puts the pleasure back into literature, not by dumbing the books down, but by raising readers to their level."

Professor Iclal Vanwesenbeeck

In fall 2013, Professor Iclal C. Vanwesenbeeck chaired a panel on reproductive health and medicine in Jordan and Egypt in this year's Middle East Studies Association Conference in New Orleans, La.

Professor Heather McEntarfer

In April 2014, Professor Heather McEntrafer had her article 'What Are You, Gay?': Positioning in Monologues Written and Performed by Members of a Gay-Straight Alliance," published in Linguistics and Education.

Professor Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Since January 2014, Professor Aimee Nezhukumatathil has had her poetry published in a collaboration issue of Orion, one of the country's leading environmental magazines. She co-wrote the poem sequence about gardens, with Dr. Ross Gay of Indiana University's M.F.A. program, over the course of a year.

Nezhukumatathil also served as a faculty member for the 2014 Palm Beach Poetry Festival in February. She gave lectures, participated in a discussion panel and taught a nature writing workshop. During this time she was interviewed for a PBS special discussing the importance of poetry in schools.

In fall 2013, Nezhukumatathil poem, “Two Moths,” was published in November issue of Poetry magazine, where the poem was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

She was named in Huffington Post’s 2013 Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry.

Professor Ann Siegle Drege

In fall 2013, Ann Siegle Drege spoke at the 2013 NCTE Annual Convention in Boston. Ann's co-presenters on the panel were Cathy Perry, a middle school teacher in Gowanda and Kristen Niemi, a high school teacher in Las Vegas. Both Cathy and Kristen are graduates of the Fredonia English Department.

Their panel, "Engaging Students: It Matters!" explored a “pedagogy of engagement,” with particular attention to drama strategies that engage students. From 7th graders creating tableaux with The Outsiders to on-your-feet activities fostering writing, participants will share in a range of practical strategies that work with middle school through college students.

Professor Emily VanDette

During summer 2014, Professor Emily VanDette made two research trips to consult archival materials for a new project that examines the legacy of 19th century U.S. women writers in literary history. Dr. VanDette spent time reading correspondence and other papers by and about Margaret Fuller, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Lydia Maria Child, Grace Greenwood and Fred Lewis Pattee. With her research she gave a presentation at Penn State in August 2013.

Professor Shannon McRae

In 2015, Professor Shannon McRae published the book "St.Joseph
In 2013, Professor McRae was accepted into NEH Summer Institute at the Newberry Library in Chicago. “The Institute is called Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955. It will help with her current book project on 20th-century American spiritual tourism, because Chicago culture during that time is important to several of the communities she’s studying, and will also open avenues for curriculum development in the American Studies program."

Professor Dustin Parsons

Associate Professor Dustin Parsons had his essay, "Pumpjack," selected in the list of "Notable" essays in the 2014 Best American Essays, ed. by John Jeremiah Sullivan.

In fall 2013, his pieces "Pumpjack,” "Divination," and "Harvest" were published in The Crab Orchard Review, Fourth River and Seneca Review.

Professor Susan Spangler

In fall 2013, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), announced Professor Susan Spangler as there speaker for their 2013 NCTE Annual Convention in Boston. She was a member of the panel for "Innovations in Mentoring New Teachers for the Future of English."
She spoke about:

This interactive presentation builds on the mentoring concepts discussed in the recent themed issue of the English Journal. The future of English should insure that new teachers are well-supported. Drawing on research, we will discuss with participants ways to (re)invent mentoring that is educative, equitable, collaborative, and based on inquiry.

Professor Birger Vanwesenbeeck

Professor Birger Vanwesenbeeck was appointed editor of the “Fictions Present” thread of the Electronic Book Review (EBR) in November 2014. His most recent contribution to EBR is “I read because it is absurd,” which can be viewed at here

He is also a founding board member of the open access journal Orbit: and he is a peer reviewer for the scholarly journal Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature.

He was accepted into 2014 Summer Institute for Literary Studies at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. At this seminar he focused on McCarthy’s 2007 novel, "Remainder" and on the issues it raises involving contemporary art and politics.

Vanwesenbeeck has had two book reviews on the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig published in the Journal of Austrian Studies (Nebraska University Press). The reviews evaluate a new English translation of Zweig’s travel writings (Journeys); and a new essay collection in German (Stefan Zweig und Europa) that probes Zweig’s complicated relationship to Europe.

He has carried out extensive research in the Stefan Zweig at Fredonia, the largest collection of its kind in North America. He is also the coordinator of the Biannual Stefan Zweig Lecture series which brings international speakers to campus to share their scholarship on Zweig.


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English Department

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State University of New York at Fredonia
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