First Feedback Post: What has been your most memorable experience in a graduate-level classroom?

The great part about a blog is that it is interactive. Please share your experiences with us in our new series of posts that we hope will engage and connect University of Akron English graduate students with each other and with the faculty.

We would love to hear your stories. It is easy, just click on “leave a reply” at the bottom of this post; you do NOT need an account. Our first feedback post question is: What has been your most memorable experience in a graduate-level classroom? Why? Did this experience improve you as a scholar?


Panel and Parking Information for SAGES First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference Bondage and Liberation



For guests that need a parking pass, please click on the image to the left to open a full-size image. Print this image and put it in the front window of your car.

Below are the scheduled panels and presentations to be held on Feb. 27, 2013:

Student Union Room 312

Female Empowerment and The Object of Sex (9:15-10:30) 

Ian Faith, Graduate–Literature, Title: Feed Her to the Wulf!: Power Differentials in Lauren Groff’s “Delicate Edible Birds” Melissa Kreider, Undergraduate: Photography, Title: Trapped

LeeAnn Marhevsky, Graduate—NEOMFA: Nonfiction, Title: The Man-Eater, the Mother, and the Matron: Attacking Female Archetypes in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman

The Business of Bondage (10:45-12:00)

Brian Anderson, Graduate—Business Administration, Title: Understanding the Uses and Constraints of Debt

Carl Kessler, Graduate—Composition, Title: Misconceptions Relating to Literacy and Economic LiberationIan P. Schwarber, Graduate—Political Science, Title: TBD

Kellie Evans, Graduate—Communication, Title: Negotiation Challenges in Food Acquisition: Descriptions through Social Location

Queers, Oddities, and Engaging Curiosities (1:30-2:45)

Lauren Scarpa, Post-Graduate—Literature and Composition, Title: Voyeurism of Grotesque Images: The Carnivalesque and Grotesque Realism in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Temple of the Holy Ghost” and “The Lame Shall Enter First”

John Tierney, Graduate—Literature, Title: Something Queer 

Heidi Baker, Post-Graduate–Literature. Title: Objectum Sexuality and McTeague’s Trina

Student Union Room 335

Literal Identities and Linguistic Motivation (9:15-10:30)

Tabitha Martin, Graduate—Composition, Title: Killing the Poetry: How English Majors Transform their ‘Rhetorical Identities’ in Law School

Julie Saternus, Graduate–Composition, Title: Linguistic Conversations: Opening the Door to Collaborative Learning for Ebonics-Strong Students

Jonathan Silvey, Graduate—Composition, Title: Not an Option: Literacy in the Lives of Educators

Crossing the Line: Race and Resistance (10:45-12:00)

 Rachel Roth, Graduate–Literature, Title:  Bondage and Racism in Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno

Casey Shevlin, Graduate–Literature, Title: Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath: Race in the 1930s West

Under Self Construction: The Power of “I” (1:30-2:45)

Kathryn Jenkinson, Undergraduate–English, Title: Parental Traps in Knockemstiff and Winesburg, Ohio

Elizabeth Emerson, Undergraduate—English, Education and Philosophy, Title: The Reliant Release: An Investigation of the Necessity of Teachers in Education

Megan Ward and Kellie Evans, Graduate–CommunicationTitle: Attitude, Behaviors and Motivation’s Effect on Perceived Risks of Facebook Use

Student Union Ballroom B Keynote Address: “Stumped: The Pornography of Disability” by Dr. Tim Dean (3:00)

Deadline for “Bondage and Liberation” Conference Extended to Nov. 16

The Society of Akron Graduate English Scholars has extended the academic submission deadline for the conference on “Bondage and Liberation” to November 16, 2012. Submissions for the interdisciplinary conference are open to both undergraduate AND graduate students at The University of Akron. This year’s theme may be interpreted as rigid or as loosely as desired, and we are accepting both academic and creative writing submissions, as well as visual media presentations.

All submissions should be sent to

Abstracts for Bondage and Liberation (SAGES First Annual Interdisciplinary Student Conference) due October 31

The Society of Akron Graduate English Scholars is pleased to announce a call for papers for its upcoming conference on February 27, 2013. The theme for this year’s conference is: “Bondage and Liberation.” This interdisciplinary conference is open to both undergraduate and graduate students and will be hosted in conjunction with SAGES by The English Department at The University of Akron.
In the novel, aptly titled Of Human Bondage, William Somerset Mangham wrote that there were “two good things in life, freedom of thought and freedom of action,” yet it is rare for any of us to attain these things without finding ourselves bound by external forces. We are bound by laws, politics, finances, social status and other societal structures that are necessary for our communities to survive. We are also bound by our emotions, by our religious beliefs, and by our self-defined moral values-the kinds of bonds that engender participation or resistance in each of us. What compels us to create bonds with one another? Are we creatures of habit, bound by fate and destiny, or are we
meant to test our limits and break ourselves free from those bonds? If freedom is a right, in what ways are we constrained by economic, biological, environmental, cultural, and political forces, and when does liberation become a necessity? Who draws the line? Our conference aims to address these issues and many more by exploring varying degrees of bondage.

Possible sub-themes may include but are not limited to:
Addiction and Obsession Revolution and Resistance Economic Inequality and Instability Identity Politics Gender, Sex and Sexuality Subversion and-Submission
Imprisonment Debt and Liability Despair and Forgiveness Property and Possession Outlaws and Oddities, Disease and Decay, Adaptation Altemative/Dual(Duel) Identities Courtship and Social Theory, Positions of Power Puppetry Reliance and Technology.
Crisis and Rehabilitation, Supply and Demand Parasites and Viruses

Academic Submissions
We seek submissions from across all disciplines. Submit individual abstracts (no more than 400 words) directly to SAGES by October 31, 2012 via email ( Those abstracts selected will be organized
into specific panels to be presented at the conference on February 27, 2013.
Creative Writing and Visual Media Presentation Submissions All Creative writing manuscripts need to be submitted in their entirety. Presentation proposals (no more than 400 words) and creative writing manuscripts are to be submitted directly to SAGES via email ( by November 16, 2012. If you are unsure whether or not your project would fit our conference, send inquiries to James Bigley (, Secretary of SAGES.

Potluck Picnic in the Park

The University of Akron Deparment of English and SAGES hosted a Potluck Picnic at Hardesty Park, in Akron, on August 23. Graduate students and faculty enjoyed field day games, a cook-off, and the ultimate tug of war. If you missed this event, make sure that you don’t make the same mistake next year! Photos courtesy of SAGES.

Graduate students Marlia Fontaine-Weisse and Casey Shevlin

Dr. Jon Miller and Dr. Janet Bean racing to deliver an egg.

A faculty versus students game of tug o’ war.

Ian Faith and Chris Dillard complete the sack race challenge.

Big Big Mess at Annabell’s

July 27, 2012: Big Big Mess Official Site

THE BIG BIG MESS is a contemporary poetry, fiction, & nonfiction reading series based in Akron, Ohio. It makes noise every month at Annabell’s Bar & Lounge, 782 West Market Street. THE BIG BIG MESS would not exist if not for its radical audience & readers.

SAGES would like to present pictures taken by Aaron Hubbard to promote awareness of this event and to bridge the gap between the literature and poetry communities in Akron, Ohio.

Nick Sturm