October 2020 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity

Cover for The Political Fiction of Ward Just (2020) by Dave Smit, Professor Emeritus

Each month during the academic year, we assemble a newsletter of the department’s recent publications, presentations, announcements, and awards.

As COVID-19 continues, we continue to direct substantial energies towards teaching fall courses and to supporting others during the pandemic. Nonetheless, we have some faculty and student success in research, scholarship, and creative activity to celebrate, as outlined below. 

Want to catch up on past successes or to find future announcements? Visit our archive of monthly newsletters Reading Matters as well as related blog posts.

Have news to report? Email us at english@ksu.edu.

Karin Westman, Department Head


Traci Brimhall, “Cold, Crazy, Broken” and “Prayer Against Diagnosis” (poems). The Adroit Journal, Issue 35. 21 Oct. 2020.

Annunciation in a Gas Station Bathroom” (poem). The Believer. Issue 132, Oct.-Nov. 2020.

Mark Crosby, Review of Sendak and Blake Illustrating “Songs of Innocence.” Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, vol. 54, no. 2, Winter 2020.

Philip Nel, “The Unanticipated Consequences of Campus Carry.” Campus Carry: Confronting a Loaded Issue in Higher Education, eds. Patricia Somers and Matt Valentine. Harvard Education Press, 2020. 27-43.

David Smit, The Political Fiction of Ward Just: Class, Theories of Representation, and Imagining a Ruling Elite. Lexington Books, 2020.


Traci Brimhall, reading from Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod. Wisconsin Book Festival. Virtual. 28 Oct. 2020.

Reading for poems in The Adroit Journal: Issue release party. Virtual. 22 Oct. 2020.

Elizabeth Dodd. “Real Patriotism: The Art of Activism and Protest” (panel co-host). Dear America Town Hall Reading Series. Panelists: Fenton Johnson, Sherwin Bitsui, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Debra Marquart. Virtual. 21 Oct. 2020.

Philip Nel, “Decolonize Your Mind, Free the Children.” Invited presentation at Webinar on “Racism and the Need for Diversity in the Canon of Stories for Children,” featuring co-panelists/-presenters Sarah Park Dahlen and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas. Part of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA’s “Listen, Learn, Lead: Antiracism in TYA” series. Virtual. 15 Oct. 2020.

Kara Northway, “‘Pittiful Poets which write their owne Tragedyes’: Playwrights’ Letters from Prison 1593–1613.” Southeastern Renaissance Conference. Mercer, GA. Virtual. 7 Oct. 2020.


Mawi Sonna (MA ’21) has won Kansas State University’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) Award for Graduate Student Teaching Excellence.


Colwill Brown, a former student in the M.A. program (2012-2013), has published the short story “Knickers” in the online edition of Granta (13 July 2020).

Lindsey Medina (BA ’18) published her poem “Vindication for La Llorona” in Ascendencia, a compilation of prose, poetry, and flash fiction by Latinx writers, Sept. 2020.

Featured in Media

Poet Maggie Smith includes the work of Traci Brimhall in her essay for the Washington Post on “Covid-19 took away our family’s second home: The library” (19 Oct 2020).

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