Tag Archives: English and Foreign Languages

Department of English and Foreign Languages

The Maxwell Theatre welcomes Victoria Vox to the stage Thursday

VicVoxThe GRU Lyceum Series is sponsoring yet another world-class act on Thursday, Sept. 24, with “When the Night Unravels – An Evening with Victoria Vox.” The concert, presented by the Department of English and Foreign Languages, runs from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Maxwell Theatre.

Vox, a Wisconsin native, is world-renowned for her unique and infectious pop-folk-jazz style and the incorporation of both French and English lyrics into her songs.

But to say she’s a talented musician is a huge understatement.

Vox wrote her first song at the age of 10. At 17, she bought a guitar and spent a year abroad in France, where she fell in love with both the instrument and the language, two staples of her current musical career. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 2001 with a degree in songwriting, Vox took up the ukulele in 2003, and she’s been busy changing the face of music ever since.

To date, she has held performances in the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Earlier this year, Vox was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and in 2009, she performed on the “Jay Leno Show.” Her music, which frequently appears in indie films, was featured on NPR’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge” in 2007.

Vintage Guitar Magazine claims, “An undercurrent of toughness, a beautiful voice, great melodies and loads of charm make [Vox’s] unique folk/pop music impossible to resist.”

Tickets for “When the Night Unravels – An Evening with Victoria Vox” are $5 for the general public and free for GRU students, faculty and staff with a valid JagCard.

For more information, contact the Maxwell Theatre Box Office at 706-667-4100.

For Students Only:

On Friday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m., join area high school students for yet another Victoria Vox concert titled “Victoria Vox: un concert en Français.”

This concert, performed in both French and Spanish, and also presented by the Department of English and Foreign Languages, is open only to GRU and EGSC students with a valid student id. Admission is free.

Kellman to present Tuk Verse at poetry reading

Anthony Kellman press photo 012609Anthony Kellman, retiring Professor of English and Creative Writing at Georgia Regents University, will present at a poetry reading at the Edgefield Discovery Center on Saturday, June 27.

There, Kellman will discuss and demonstrate “Tuk Verse,” a self-invented form of verse based on traditional Barbadian rhythms.

Tuk Verse is written in three movements, and its rhythmic patterns are largely derived from the Barbadian “Tuk,” a type of indigenous folk music. In addition to developing Tuk Verse, Kellman also wrote Barbados’s only published epic poem, titled “Limestone: An Epic Poem of Barbados.”

A multigenre writer and musician, Kellman has taught at Georgia Regents University since 1989. During that time, he has served as the Director of the Sandhills Writers Conference and Series, facilitating readings and visits from authors such as Ray Bradbury and Rick Bragg.

In 1982, he published his first poetry chapbook, titled “In Depths of Burning Light.” His second, “The Broken Sun,” was published in 1984. In 1993, he became the first English-speaking Caribbean writer to win a U.S. National Endowment for the Arts award, and in 2011, he won the Barbados Prime Minister’s Award for a manuscript of his poetry titled “South Eastern Stages.”

Malaika Favorite, an award-winning visual artist and Fulbright scholar, will join Kellman at the reading. Favorite specializes in painting, primarily in oil, acrylic, and watercolor, and has shown her work in dozens of cities.

For more information about this event, contact Laurel Blossom, Poet Laureate of Edgefield, at 803-637-2291.

USA TODAY: Georgia students study Kendrick Lamar for class

English Instructor Adam Diehl was featured on USA Today, BET, radio stations across the country, and in local news for a new English composition course inspired by hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar’s debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city.

The new class at Georgia Regents University uses good kid, m.A.A.d city, along with texts from James Joyce, James Baldwin and Gwendolyn Brooks, and the 1991 movie Boyz N The Hood, as its primary source material.

Read on USA TODAY: Georgia students study Kendrick Lamar for class

Read on BET: Kendrick Lamar Inspires College Course

Read on The Augusta Chronicle: Georgia Regents University students analyze rap album, hip-hop



Confucius Institute announces fall classes

AUGUSTA, Ga. The Georgia Regents University Confucius Institute, a new center for the study of Chinese language, culture, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, has announced new courses for fall 2014.

The GRU Confucius Institute opened in March in partnership with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the oldest and most notable universities in China for the study of TCM. These are the first classes to be offered to GRU students through the new non-profit public institute.

New classes include:

Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture (HUMN 2950/4950 C or CHNS 2950): This course will enable students to comprehend essential Chinese language material about daily life and communicate in basic and simple Chinese. It will introduce students to significant aspects of Chinese culture.

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (CTCM 4000 and CTCM 7000): These undergraduate and graduate courses introduce students to TCM and related topics, including the theory of Yin-Yang and Five Elements, theory of Qui, techniques of acupuncture, and Chinese herbs.

The language and culture course is likely just the first of several offerings at GRU,  said Dr. Robert Bledsoe, Director of Humanities. Additional Chinese language courses may be offered for the 2015-16 academic year.

“We hope that students will take advantage of this opportunity.  The course on our Summerville Campus is designed as an introduction to Chinese Language and Culture,” he said. “Students should be able to have brief conversations in Chinese on essential topics such as introductions, ordering food, understanding directions.  They will also be introduced to Chinese culture through traditions, such as the traditional Chinese tea ceremony, celebrations, and Chinese calligraphy.”

Class offerings on the Health Sciences campus will focus on TCM. When it opened in the spring, GRU’s Confucius Institute became the first in the world to be affiliated with a comprehensive academic health center and the first in the Western Hemisphere with a focus on TCM.

“Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the most famous traditional medicines in the world,” said Dr. Lester Pretlow, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in The College of Allied Health Sciences. “Its history, special theories, and effective treatment methods, such as acupuncture, will be introduced in these courses to raise awareness of the merits and benefits of TCM.”

The new additions give GRU students the knowledge they need to compete in a global job market, according to Dr. Joe Tsien, Founding Director of the institute.

“Every time we expand our academic programs, we are offering more opportunities for our students to learn and enrich themselves,” Tsien said. “This is an age of globalization, and we want our children to be aware of the many other opportunities they may have. The Confucius Institute sets us on a world stage, opening a window to China.”

The courses were developed by the Department of English and Foreign Languages in the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and The College of Allied Health Sciences. They are open to all students. Faculty and staff may audit courses. For more information on adding a course, see gru.edu/registrar. For more information on the Confucius Institute, see gru.edu/centers/confucius/.

Botero named Spanish Professor of the Year

Georgia Regents University’s Dr. Christopher Botero was named 2014 Professor of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Since 1917, AATSP has promoted the study and teaching of Hispanic, Luzo-Brazilian, and related languages, literature, and cultures. The annual award recognizes professors with a particular sensitivity to students’ needs and abilities as learners of a second language, who demonstrate leadership in foreign language education within and beyond the local community, and actively pursue professional development including study abroad opportunities and foreign language programs.

Botero is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the GRU Department of English and Foreign Languages. Originally from Long Island, New York, he attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook for his undergraduate degree and pursued graduate degrees in Hispanic Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University. He specializes in phonetics, phonology, and second-language acquisition, and regularly teaches Foreign Language Teaching Methodology courses.


In The News: Maya Angelou remembered

Maya Angelou was a revered figure in American Literature who inspired countless writers, including Dr. Cheryl Hopson, an assistant professor of African American literature at Georgia Regents University.

Hopson spoke about Angelou’s legacy on WFXG FOX 54 Television following the poet’s passing Wednesday.

“I will miss her profoundly. The interesting thing is, my mother loves reading and this morning she called before I could call her, and we both were a little teary-eyed because Maya has been with us all of my life,” Hopson said. “She was with my mother longer than she was with me and the fact that my mother feels her loss says a tremendous amount for me.”

Hopson specializes in 20th century African American literature and generational Black feminism. Her first collection of poetry, Black Notes, was published last year.

Johnson retires after three decades of service

Lillie B. Johnson, Department Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages, is retiring on July 1. Johnson, one of the first African American students to receive a degree from Augusta College in the 1970s, has been teaching at Georgia Regents University since 1981.

Johnson, author of “Keats and Nature,” a book about English Romantic era poet John Keats, graduated as Valedictorian of Augusta College in 1971. She received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1972, and her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1980.

In her more than 30 years at the university, she has served as a faculty marshal on the Faculty Policies Committee, chaired the Committee on Promotion and Tenure, and served as president of the university’s chapter of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She is also a member of Alpha Mu Gamma and the collegiate Foreign Language Honor Society.

In 2003, Johnson was honored by the university’s Alumni Association for her outstanding leadership and academic integrity. She received the 2008 FLAG Presidential Certificate Award for her demonstrated, genuine, personal, and professional commitment to foreign languages as an essential component of a university curriculum and in 2009, she was recognized as one of Augusta State’s courageous trailblazers during the University System of Georgia’s Diversity Summit.

Dr. Walter Evans, Professor of English and Johnson’s colleague for more than 30 years, says he can’t imagine what the university will be like without her.

“No one in the past 40 years has worked harder, with more integrity, or done more to benefit and serve the best interests of this institution than she,” Evans said. I have never once known her to misrepresent the truth, to intentionally hurt someone, or to betray her principles. I love her like a sister. I would trust her with my life.”

Evans says Johnson’s leadership has made the Department of English and Foreign Languages what it is today.

“Lillie Johnson has earned a place of honor and deserves the gratitude of everyone on and off this campus who represents this institution and holds it dear,” he said. “She is a woman of enormous integrity, generosity, and accomplishment, who has served this university and this community honorably and with distinction. We are all in her debt.”

Sand Hills Magazine celebrates 40th anniversary

Sandhills staff photo
Creative Writing Students and Sand Hills Staff members (left to right) Calvin W. Pennywell, Jr., Diana Royal, Dylan Smeak, and Emily Lacey at the release of the 40th anniversary issue.

It is a special edition of the new “Sand Hills Magazine” as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of the publication.

Faculty advisor on the project Anna Harris said that the experience was one that she will remember but that the students deserve all the credit.

“This was my first year advising for Sand Hills, and with the anniversary, it was a big deal,” she said. “Both of my parents graduated from this school–then it was Augusta College–and my mother was included in the 1977 Sand Hills publication as a visual artist then.”

For those of you who may be unfamiliar, “Sand Hills Magazine” is a production of the English Department and showcases some of the best poetry, short stories, and art from around the university.

Harris said that there was a lot of history in this edition.

“The mother of our cover artist, Rosalind Avrett, was also the cover artist for a past issue,” she said.  “It was all very serendipitous.”

To prepare for the 40th anniversary, the students who designed and edited the publication looked over the prior issues and looked at examples from other schools to get ideas for this publication.

“I think it looks great, and it was special to see how they were able to set these goals and then go out and make it happen,” she said. “They made the most of this opportunity to really set a new standard for what “Sand Hills” will look like in the future.”

And, this edition was special for another reason, the first Georgia Regents University edition. The students took that seriously as well, according to Harris

“In the fall, when they started to work on the project, the students agreed to open up submissions to the Health Sciences Campus, as we are now one school,” she said. “And as it turns out, one of the award-winning submissions for this publication was written by a Health Sciences student.”

The students pick one poem, one piece of prose, and one piece of graphic art to honor as the best in each edition. The staff members make the choices for publication and award.  The process is blind so they do not know who submitted each piece when making their selections, according to Davis.

The winners for this edition were Amy Thorne for her poem “Firsts,” Health Sciences student Fahad Khan for his story “The Balloon Peddler,” and Rosalind Avrett for her art “Tour Jete,” which also graces the cover of the publication.

You can pick up the new edition for free at stands in Allgood Hall, University Hall or Washington Hall.

Sandhills Magazine celebrates 40th anniversary issue

Sand Hills magazine will celebrate the publication of its 40th anniversary issue on Wednesday, May 1, at 4:30 p.m. in University Hall, room 170 on the Summerville Campus.

The magazine’s co-founder Dr. Walter Evans, Professor of English, will discuss the history and importance of the magazine. Awards for poetry, prose, and artwork will be presented as well as readings of some published work by students.

Writers’ Weekend at Summerville slated for March 22-23


Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown

The Georgia Regents University Department of English and Foreign Languages will present the 2013 Writers’ Weekend at Summerville from 1 to 10:30 p.m. March 22 and from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. March 23 at the Jaguar Student Activities Center.

Aspiring writers will learn from award-winning authors who will discuss the elements of the craft and share their published children’s literature, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. Participants seeking feedback on their own writing can also register for individual critiques with one of the authors. In addition, GRU Creative Writing faculty will lead Emerging Writers Workshops for high school students seeking individual or group feedback.

Participants can earn one continuing education unit (CEU) through the GRU Division of Professional and Community Education.

Michel Stone
Michel Stone

“Writers’ Weekend at Summerville is the result of extensive effort and planning to grow the GRU Creative Writing program and to revive Augusta’s writing community,” said Anna Harris, Lecturer in English Studies at GRU. “This event is designed to bring together emerging and established voices who share a love of and passion for reading and writing. We are especially lucky to have two rising literary stars to help us in this endeavor: poet Jericho Brown, whom Claudia Rankine described as a ‘devastating genius,’ and novelist Michel Stone, whose work was likened to that of John Steinbeck by ‘Library Journal.’ We hope this year’s event marks the beginning of an annual ‘must do’ for Augustans and our friends in the surrounding area.”

Authors and writing instructors participating in the Writers’ Weekend at Summerville include:

  • Jericho Brown’s first collection of poetry, “Please,” won the 2009 American Book Award and has received praise since its release. Brown is currently working on his second collection of poetry, “The New Testament.”
  • Deno Trakas has published fiction and poetry in more than two dozen journals, including the “Denver Quarterly,” “Oxford American,” and the “Louisville Review.” His most recent book, “Because Memory Isn’t Eternal: A Story of Greeks in Upstate South Carolina,” was published in 2010.
  • Michel Stone’s debut novel “The Iguana Tree” received a starred review from “Publishers Weekly” and an IPPY Award as one of the top novels published in 2012 by an independent publisher. The book was also named a spring 2012 “Okra Pick” from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association.
  • Christine Hurley Deriso has written professionally for more than 25 years. Her work includes her award-winning children’s book, “Dreams to Grow On,” followed by tween novels “Do-Over,” “The Right-Under Club” and “Talia Talk;” the young-adult novel, “Then I Met My Sister;” and the self-help book, “Green Tea and Beyond,” co-written with GRU Cell Biologist Stephen Hsu.
  • Wendy J. Turner is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on medieval mental health, law and medicine, and law and alchemy.  She also writes fiction and was the 2011 recipient of the Mark Sergura Austin Award for Best Fiction at the Harriette Austin Writers’ Workshop at UGA for her novel, “Falcon, Crow, Raven, Goodwitch.”
  • Jared Hegwoods fiction can be seen in “The Yalobusha Review,” “The Adirondack Review,” “The Manifest Review,” “Juked,” “Keyhole Magazine,” “Night Train” and others. His fiction has twice been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and his first collection of short fiction, “Marriages of Convenience,” will be published by Burnt Bridge Press in Spring 2013. He teaches writing at GRU.
  • f. Simon Grant is the co-founder of the literary journal “Collective Exile.” His short fiction has been published in “Prose Axe.” He teaches writing at GRU.
  • Paul Sladky has contributed to several works, including “Reference Guide to Short Fiction,” “Language Quarterly” and “Instructor Resource Manual: The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing.” He teaches writing at GRU.
  •  Anna Caroline Harris’ writing has appeared in “Cellpoems,” “Mikrokosmos,” “Poetry for the Masses,” and “Metro Spirit” and “NakedCity” magazines. She teaches composition and creative writing, and advises “Sand Hills” magazine, at GRU.

Writers’ Weekend at Summerville is co-sponsored by GRU Student Activities and the Division of Professional and Community Education. To register, visit https://aceweb.aug.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?~~132CDWW2013. The registration deadline is March 22, and the cost varies. Registration is free for GRU students and can be up to $80 for local residents with a manuscript for review.