Category Archives: English Society

The English Pro-Co: what is it and how can it benefit you?

by Samantha Van Norden, English Department Media Assistant,
in conversation with Dr. Reina Green, English Department Chair

Some of you may have heard about the English Professionalization Co-Curricular Record, part of the Mount’s Co-Curricular Record Program (or the CCRP), and wondered what it is and how it would benefit you as an English student. The “English Pro-Co” (for short) is a relatively new feature that English students can take advantage of to prepare for future careers. I sat down with English Department Chair, Dr. Reina Green, to ask her some questions that I thought might be useful in helping to explain the English Pro-Co.

In what way will the CCR shape a student’s preparation for their futures?

The CCRP recognizes students’ extracurricular activities and gives future employers knowledge of students’ involvement in events that may provide experiential learning and prepare them for future studies or a future career. Upon graduation, students can request their CCRP to show employers and others that they were involved in these extracurricular activities. The English Pro-Co recognizes the participation of students in our programs in designated activities in which they have engaged with the arts or scholarly community beyond the classroom.

How does the English Department decide what events count toward the English Pro-Co?

Each year faculty meet to identify and organize departmental and English Society events that can go toward the English Pro-Co. We include events that focus on scholarship and further learning such as attending the Honours Colloquium, or a presentation by a faculty member or guest speaker, as well as information sessions on our Honours program, graduate school, or possible careers. In addition, we include some English Society events and trips—attending a theatre production, for example.

Does a student need to be part of the English Society–to have a “role” within the group–in order to receive a credit on the English Pro-Co Record?

Students receive recognition through the CCRP for any executive position they hold within the English Society, but that is separate to the English Pro-Co. The only requirement to begin an English Pro-Co record is that students have declared an English Major.

 How does the CCR show on a transcript?

Students can access their Co-Curricular Record via MyMount.

 Who is going to look for the English Pro-Co: future employers, graduate school programs, or both?

Both future employers and graduate school programs are interested in what students do beyond the classroom to prepare for their future. The English Pro-Co documents that aspect of student experience.

 What sort of “edge” will a completed English Pro-Co record give a student applying for grad school?

The English Pro-Co gives students an advantage as it shows how they have engaged in the arts and academic life beyond the classroom. Attending these events is purely voluntary and the English Pro-Co demonstrates that students who have participated are willing to do more—on their own time—to further their learning.

How do students sign up for the English Pro-Co and how can they make sure that events they attend will count?

The Chair keeps a record of the students who have participated in each event and at a student’s request, can check on whether that student has qualified for the English Pro-Co which requires students to participate in at least six different kinds of activities with attendance at a minimum of one every year they are in the program. There are also checklists available so students can keep track of their own activities. You can download the checklist here.

 What do you want students to know about the English Pro-Co?

We want students to know that the English Pro-Co exists and that participating in activities organized by the department and English Society can make a difference. Students who do attend these events should also make sure that they sign in at each event so that their participation can be recognized.

We look forward to giving future graduates their English Professionalization Co-Curricular records. This May, we expect some students to be the first to receive it.

English Pro-Co checklist [pdf]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AAUEC 2018 at the Mount

LAAUEC 2018 Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conferenceast weekend, the English Department at Mount Saint Vincent University welcomed students and faculty from eleven universities across the east coast for the Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference (AAUEC), which showcases the academic papers and creative works of the region’s top English students. Founded here in 1981, this was the sixth time that the Mount has hosted the conference. Co-organized by Dr. Reina Green and Dr. Diane Piccitto along with conference assistants Katie O’Brien, Hope Tohme, and Sam VanNorden, the AAUEC 2018 was a resounding success!

Mount students at AAUEC welcome reception

Mount students at the welcome reception: Hope Tohme, Katie O’Brien, Rebecca Foster, and Courtney Francis

The conference began on Friday, March 2, in Seton Academic Centre with a Welcome Reception, where attendees participated in a lively round of icebreaker bingo – facilitated by English Society co-presidents Katie O’Brien and Hope Tohme – and heard a presentation by Formac Publishing to announce “Write to Win!” – a writing competition aimed at Atlantic Canadians 18-30 years old.

The afternoon included the first panel of the conference and was followed by ArtFest, held in the MSVU Art Gallery. Emceed by Alexia Major and Sam VanNordon (co-editors, with other MSVU students, of the Speakman Press), ArtFest featured short stories and poetry of participants and the work of special guests El Jones (MSVU’s Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies and poet and activist) and Chantelle Rideout (writer and MSVU English alumna), as well as a welcome address by Dr. Elizabeth Church (MSVU’s Vice-President Academic and Provost).

Day 2 – Saturday, March 3, was held in the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre, giving visitors a chance to spend time in the only building at a Canadian university to celebrate the achievements of women, highlighted in the Women’s Wall of Honour. The second day included four panels, covering topics such as ethics, bodies, politics, and trauma, and even involved one presenter from the Mount, Michelle Russell, Skyping in from Florida where she is training with the Canadian paddling team.

The afternoon ended in the Atrium with the Bad Poetry Reading, which was first begun by Dr. Chris Ferns (Professor Emeritus) in his days as an undergraduate and then initiated at the Mount in the 1980s, having since become an institution in the English Department. Dr. Ferns selected among the very worst poems written by published authors and emceed the event, charming the audience with his entertaining commentary over the course of the hour. Readers included past and current MSVU English students,  faculty members such as Professors Emeritus Dr. Susan Drain and Dr. Peter Schwenger, who performed memorable renditions of “Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight” and “The Tay Bridge Disaster,” respectively. Afterward, participants and volunteers celebrated the two-day conference with a closing-night banquet and dance party – with DJ extraordinaire Dr. Steven Bruhm (former MSVU English student and professor) in Rosaria’s Multi-Purpose Room.

Mount students at AAUEC 2018

Some of the Mount student volunteers. Front, left to right: Katie O’Brien, Nicole Martina, Alex Rudderham, Sidney Warren.  Back, left to right: Sarah Vallis, Darcy Eisan, Sam VanNorden, Megan Bruce, Hope Tohme

The conference was marked by a wonderful energy from beginning to end, creating a stimulating inter-university intellectual community for English students and faculty. See our earlier post here for a list of Mount presenters.

We would like to thank the more than 50 presenters who shared their work at the AAUEC 2018 and the faculty who accompanied students as well as our emcees, guest speakers, and DJ. Thank you also to the President’s Office and the Dean of Arts and Science for their very necessary financial support and to MSVU staff (Catering, Conference Services, Art Gallery, IT Services, Facilities, Communications, Marketing, and Recruitment, Research Office, Book Store, Print Shop, and Security). Finally, a very special thank you to our conference assistants, all of our volunteers, Tracy McDonald (English Department Administrative Assistant), as well as the entire English Department for their instrumental involvement and support over the last several months.

AAUEC dance

AAUEC dance

AAUEC 2018 starts today

Today the Mount welcomes English students from the Atlantic region for the Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference. Students will be reading their academic papers and their creative work today and tomorrow and will be able to enjoy other events, such as the Friday ArtFest (with special guests El Jones and Mount alumna Chantelle Rideout) and Saturday’s always-comical Bad Poetry Reading and closing banquet and dance. The full program is available on the AAUEC website.

The University has published a story about the conference and a couple of the student presenters and volunteers, Samantha VanNorden and Alexia Major, which you can read here.

AAUEC 2018. msvu.ca

Samantha VanNorden and Alexia Major (from msvu.ca)

MSVU students presenting at the conference:

Rebecca Foster, “Howling for Love: Romance and Eroticism in Poetry by Allen Ginsberg”

Katie O’Brien, “‘It makes a goblin of the sun’: Fallen Women and the Male Gaze in Dante Gabriel’s ‘Jenny’ and Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’”

Michelle Russell,  “Cross-Cultural Dressing: Clothing and Trauma in Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home

Kenya Thompson,  “capturing slipping memories”

Hope Tohme, “Sasha Jensen’s Self-Objectification: A Refusal of the Male Gaze in Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight

Sam VanNorden,  “hanging red”

In addition, a team of student volunteers, including some alumnae, will help to make this event a great weekend for all.

Bad Poetry Reading 2017

Bad poetry reading 2017

Lighten the winter blues and come to the
English Society Meet and Greet
and
Bad Poetry Reading
not your usual finger-snapping poetry evening
Wednesday, January 18
Seton 404
4:30

All welcome

The English Department began hosting an annual evening of bad poetry, organized by Dr. Chris Ferns, thirty years ago. It has become a much anticipated evening full of laughter at the expense of some of our most famous poets who have written some of the most dreadful poetry.

Come and join us to hear such classics as the “Ode on the Mammoth Cheese,” “The Mongrel,” and “The Bells,” the latter complete with a memorable chorus. Participation is also encouraged. If you would like to read a poem, let us know, and we will find one for you.

 

 

An Introduction to the English Society at MSVU

This is the first in a series of posts by Kyle Cross that will be appearing on this blog. Kyle, a fourth-year honours student, has been hired as the English Department’s media assistant for this year. Look for more of Kyle’s posts in the coming weeks on a variety of topics, such as where to find essay help, how to write a resumé, and what are some of the best café / writing spaces around town.

An Introduction to the English Society
Kyle Cross

English Society Room Seton 555Hello MSVU English students and other members of the Mount community and beyond. Welcome to my first post! Today, I’d like to introduce you to the co-presidents of the MSVU English Society, acquaint you their designated university space (Seton 555), and tell you about some upcoming events that they are hosting.

English Society co-presidents 2016-17 Hope Tohme and Katie O'BrienPictured above are the executives of your English Society, Hope Tohme (left) and Katie O’Brien (right). They share an interest in nineteenth-century literature, including the Gothic genre. Hope is a third-year English Major. Her favourite novel is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which is alternatively titled The Modern Prometheus; in Greek mythology, Prometheus is the rebellious Titan who stole fire from Mount Olympus and then gave it to humanity, actions for which he suffered and was tormented by Zeus – yet I digress. Although Hope loves the Gothic writing of Shelley, her primary areas of interest are contemporary literature and poststructuralist literary theory.

Hope’s favourite event which the English Society hosts is the always-comical Bad Poetry Reading, where students and faculty showcase their performance skills by reading some of the worst, most embarrassing poetical compositions by recognizable and lesser-known poets alike. Keep your eyes peeled for posters and other announcements about this event, which will take place next term in January.

Katie is also a third-year English Major, and she loves the Gothic; her favourite novel is The Picture of Dorian Gray – one of my favourites from the Victorian era. Like Hope, Katie employs poststructuralist theory to analyze literary texts, especially postmodern literature. The event that she’s most looking forward to is the English Society’s End-of-Term Party, which is coming up soon! She tells me that it’s a great way to unwind and commemorate all of the hard work students have done during the term. The party will take place at Vinnie’s Pub (the campus bar) on Wednesday, December 7th, from 4:30 pm until, well, until the staff members at Vinnie’s kick us out. Because Vinnie’s hosts both dry and wet functions, all students are welcome! Come and join us on the 7th of December to celebrate the completion of the fall term in true holiday fashion.

Note:  Ugly holiday sweaters are not mandatory, but they are welcomed and encouraged.

English Society bulletin board Seton 555

Speaking of great events, the Society is also hosting a bake sale on Wednesday, November 30th from 11:00 – 1:30 on the fifth floor of the Seton Academic Centre (SAC), in the English Corner, which is between rooms 510 and 511. You will not – I repeat, you will NOT – want to miss this year’s bake sale if you love festive treats, especially if you recall what was on offer for their Halloween bake sale. The Society will be selling holiday-themed baked goods, so bring your milk and your merry self, and treat yourself to some scrumptious goodies made by the jolly executives of the English Society themselves.

English Society bulletin board and room, Seton 555For those of you who don’t know, the MSVU English Society is located on the fifth floor of the SAC, in room 555 (easy to remember!). It is a cozy room filled with lots of books to read and with chairs and settees for relaxing. For information on upcoming events in both the English Department and the academic community of Halifax, check out the English Society bulletin board.

English Society Room 555If you’re in need of some relaxation while you write that end-of-term paper, which might feel overwhelming at times, come to room 555 and enjoy a comforting, warm steeped tea from David’s Tea. Hope and Katie welcome all students to stop by for a cup of tea; their door is always open.

English Society Seton 555If you need somewhere to store those leftovers you brought to school, the English Society has got you covered! And if you need to heat up said leftovers, come on in and warm up your food before class. You’re always welcome to use the fridge and microwave in the Society room.

English Society Room, Seton 555The Society room is also a relaxed and enclosed environment in which to read and write, and it’s never crowded. Check it out for yourself and get acquainted with your peers! I guarantee that if you build social solidarity with your fellow students, your time here at the Mount will be much more enjoyable and less stressful. Establishing a sense of community in any institution will make you feel like you’re part of a family, regardless of how far you are from home. Take it from me, Kyle Cross, a fourth-year English student who came to the Mount completely alone, but who now sees familiar and friendly faces everyday.

Follow the English Society on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/msvu_englishsociety/

and like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msvuenglishsociety/?fref=ts

If you have ANY questions at all about the MSVU English Society, if you’d like to get involved with the Society, or if you have any ideas for blog posts, whether in regards to the English Society or not, feel free to e-mail either me, Hope, or Katie.

Hope Tohme: amal.tohme@msvu.ca

Katie O’Brien: katelyn.obrien2@msvu.ca

Me, Kyle Cross: kyle.cross@msvu.ca

Meet and Greet October 14 4:30 pm

meet and greetTake the opportunity to connect or reconnect with your classmates, English Society friends, or professors in the relaxed atmosphere for the annual Meet and Greet for students in English. It will take place Wednesday afternoon, October 14th, beginning at 4:30 in Seton 404. In time-honoured tradition, refreshments will be served.

Authors-and-typewriters-Christie 015

Agatha Christie (Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Something new this year (perhaps a new tradition?) is a presentation by some of our faculty on “What we did last summer.” Find out something about the various projects undertaken by your faculty when they are not wrapped up in the routine of teaching. This may be the time to remind ourselves that the shortest way into professors’ bad books is to assume that they have months “off” in the summer, and to ask what they do with all that free time!

English students to present at the Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference

The Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference will be held this year at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB., March 15-17. The following English students have been selected by MSVU faculty to present their papers or creative writing:

Jessalyn Burke, “Still Life”

Brianne Carter, “Memory in Colleen Wagner’s The Monument

Courtney Church, “The Body in Translation: Silent Authority and Punishment in Franz Kafka’s ‘In the Penal Colony'”

Charlotte Kiddell, “‘WILD THING!’: Fantasy of the wild as the child’s psychological development”

Kae-Lin Larder,  “‘Forð ic gefare’: A Translation and Analysis of ‘A Journey Charm'”

Nolan Natasha Pike, “I can hear you, can you hear me?”

Our department thanks the Mount’s Dean of Arts and Science for his financial support.

More information about the conference can be found on the 2013 AAUEC blog.

English grad Crystal Vaughan awarded first place in Atlantic Writing Competition

Clare Goulet and Crystal VaughanMount grad and former English Honours student Crystal Vaughan was awarded first place for creative non-fiction in this year’s Atlantic Writing Competition. Crystal read from her winning piece at the Word on the Street festival, with Mount students and faculty there to cheer her on. As Crystal points out, her winning submission was born in Clare Goulet’s creative writing class at the Mount. (Crystal is shown with Clare in the picture on the left). Here is Crystal’s account of her experience at Word on the Street, via her blog at pebblesandbuttons.com.

A word about Word on the Street  Pebbles & Buttons

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Crystal Vaughan, Halifax Word on the Street, Atlantic Writing Competition Reading

When I was a kid I loved watching the children’s television show Fred Penner’s Place. My favourite part of the show was when the “Word Bird” stopped by to deliver the word of the day. Who knows, but maybe this is where my love of words first originated!

Read more… 634 more words