New English faculty present their findings
The UALR English Department hosted a series of research presentations Nov. 8 to showcase recent projects, publications and prospects belonging to three newest members of its faculty.
The latest additions, which include linguistics professor Jeremy Ecke and film scholar Nicole Seymour, came to UALR to offer classes previously unavailable to upper-level students. Angela Hunter, the third presenting professor, spent nine years in the department of Philosophy and recently joined the English faculty to teach courses in gender studies.
Seymour, who also taught at Vanderbilt University, became excited when she saw listings for a professor to teach 20th and 21st century material in an academic setting. While teaching at UALR, she hopes to bring a different take to contemporary film by studying them from an environmentalist perspective.
“For a long time I’ve been wanting to teach a class about environmental disaster cinema, ranging from trashy 1950s movies about nuclear fallout to more recent climate-change movies like ‘The Day After Tomorrow’,” she said. “I’ve just been assigned Film as Literature for spring, so I’m planning to teach it as Environmental Film Genres, and get in some of those films.”
While Seymour is interested in an environmentalist take on popular culture, Angela Hunter has opted for a combination of philosophy and feminism. After attending Colorado College for her undergraduate studies, she obtained her master’s degree in French Literature at New York University before receiving a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Emory University. Though she has already been at UALR for nine years courtesy of the department of Philosophy, she learns new things about student-faculty interaction on a regular basis.
“It feels good to be a part of that and to share the hard work involved,” she said. “I also really like being able to see students develop their own research projects and follow them through. I am often inspired by my M.A. in liberal studies students who take the see of an idea and turn it into a wonderful thesis. It’s transformative for them, and I benefit from being a part of that transformation.”
Berkley graduate Jeremy Ecke was hired to revamp the university’s underdeveloped linguistics minor. The program involves collaboration between English and anthropology courses as well as strongly-recommended foreign language electives. But Ecke, whose passion lies in the formal and cultural development of various languages, is currently doing research in hopes of publishing a comprehensive anthology of alliterative texts in the near-future.
“I’m teaching Introduction to Languages in the spring,” he said. “But my project now is cobbling together two pieces into a book, with one being a theoretical book on metric and metrical study in the literary tradition.”