March 2021 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity

Cover for Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing (Spring 2021), where Deborah Murray’s work appears.

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 and to supporting others during the pandemic. We also celebrate recent faculty and student success in research, scholarship, and creative activity.

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

Karin Westman, Department Head


Deborah Murray, “Grist of Bees.” Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing. Vol. 7, issue 1, Spring 2021, p. 16:


Katy Karlin, “Considering #MeToo: Sexual Assault in Popular Culture” (panelist), Association for the Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Midwinter Conference, 6 March 2021. Via Zoom.

Discussion on Gordon Parks’s The Learning Tree (panelist). Beach Museum, Kansas State University, 28 January 2021. Via Zoom.

Phillip Marzluf, “Traveling Tongues: Language Ideologies from Travel Writing in Mongolia and Northern China.” Writing Research Across Borders. Online. 5 Mar. 2021. 


Elizabeth Dodd, Greg Eiselein, Don Hedrick, Philip Nel, Lisa Tatonetti, Naomi Wood, and Han Yu have each received a Professorial Performance Award (PPA), awarded by the Provost, at the recommendation of the Department Head and Dean, to faculty who have served six years or more at the rank of Professor and who have achieved once again the qualifications for promotion.

Ran​di D. Loyd (BA ’21) has won the Sunflower Scholarship, which will pay her tuition for KU Law School (which she will begin attending this fall).


Karin Westman represented Kansas State and the College of Arts and Sciences on March 10 for the 2021 Humanities Advocacy Day, visiting remotely with DC congressional staff to lobby elected officials for funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Title VI/Fulbright-Hayes, and the National Archives (NARA).

Featured in Media

Following Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ decision to cease publication of six Seuss books due to their racist imagery, Philip Nel was frequently called on as an expert on Seuss and racism in children’s literature. In March, he spoke to over 25 media outlets (print, TV, radio/podcast) and was featured on or quoted in The New York TimesThe GuardianThe L.A. TimesEsquireSlate, the Chronicle of Higher EducationCNN Tonight with Don LemonCNN: Smerconish, the CBS Evening News, CBC News’ The National, and Peacock/NBC’s The Week with Joshua Johnson, ABC Radio (Australia), and VGTRK (Russian state TV), among others.

News from Alumni

Molly Houser (MA ’20) published “Dead of Winter” in New American Legends, 1 Mar. 2021) and “View from the Door” in Rune Bear Weekly, 7 Jan. 2021.

Christopher Linforth (MA ’09) won the 2020 Orison Fiction Prize for his book manuscript, The Distortions. Linforth will receive a $1,500 cash award as well as publication of his book by Orison Books.

Desiree Schippers (BA ’19) published “it b like that” in The Examined Life Journal, issue 8 (Spring 2020).

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