Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Katherine Conley






This past year, Dr. Katherine Conley, Associate Professor, applied for and was awarded tenure and promotion. In May, at the International Congress of Medieval Studies, she gave a presentation titled “Talking Back to God: Saints who Cross the Line in Romanos the Melodist’s Hymns,” drawn from research relevant to the final chapter of her book project. In addition, she attended a webinar on “Race, Racism, and Teaching the Middle Ages” webinar, and completed a month-long course on Medieval Africa and Africans.

Mr. Michael Blanchard






Mr. Michael Blanchard, Adjunct Instructor, published his third book of poems, Stones in the Path. Likewise, Mr. Blanchard was a featured poet in the 2019-2020 issue of the Cave Region Review. And lastly, in July, he fulfilled a long-time dream by visiting the West Coast epicenter of the Beat poetry movement in San Francisco. That trip included a visit to the famous City Lights Bookstore in North Beach and a pilgrimage to the site of the Six Gallery reading on October 7, 1955, when Allen Ginsberg first publicly read Howl in its entirety.

Dr. Lori Leavell






Dr. Lori Leavell, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Studies, published a piece entitled, “The Anticipatory Print Life of Frederick Douglass’s July Fourth Speech.” The essay appeared in Critical Insights: Frederick Douglass, edited by Jericho Williams and published by Salem Press. In Fall 2020, Dr. Leavell presented a version of her argument about Douglass at the C19 Biennial Conference. She also delivered an on-campus lecture on Zora Neale Hurston for the UCA Honors College in Spring 2021. In addition, Dr. Leavell spearheaded a major revision to the MA in English’s curriculum. For Fall 2021, the MA program will roll out its new curriculum even as it welcomes its largest number of MA students in many years.

Dr. Crystal Harris

Dr. Crystal Harris, Visiting Lecturer, readied to begin a new and beautiful journey with students and faculty at UCA during Fall 2021. Likewise, she published an article in English Journal entitled, “Encountering ‘Elephants’ and Third Spaces in Difficult Texts.” The article tackles Homi Bhabha’s third-space theory as applied to culturally relevant teaching and Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man.

Dr. Michael Schaefer

Dr. Michael Schaefer, Professor, retired at the end of the Spring 2021 semester. That semester capped 32 years of teaching at UCA for Dr. Schaefer, and 42 total years of teaching. However, he’s delighted to be coming back as an adjunct this fall to present, one last time, his class on the Western in American Literature and Culture. Dr. Schaefer will team-teach that course with Dr. David Welky, Professor of History at UCA.

Dr. Glenn Jellenik

Dr. Glenn Jellenik, Associate Professor, is editing the collection, Adaptation Before Cinema, with Lissette Lopez Szwydky of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. For the collection, due out from Palgrave Macmillan, Dr. Jellenik is writing the introduction and a chapter on 18th-century novelizations of philosophy entitled, “Adaptation as the Art Form of Democracy.” He also is working on two other book chapters, one of which is on pedagogy and is to appear in an MLA collection on teaching The Odyssey. That essay is called, “O(dysseus), Where Art Thou: Using the Coens’s Adaptation to Trace the Paths of Homer’s Epic (and vice versa).” The second essay, slated for The Scandal of Adaptation (ed. Leitch, Palgrave), is called, “Bowdlerizing for Dollars, or Adaptation as Political Containment.” In addition, Dr. Jellenik participated as a featured speaker in the NEH Summer Institute, “Remaking Monsters and Heroines,” in Fayetteville in June 2021.

Dr. Ty Hawkins






Dr. Ty Hawkins, Chair and Associate Professor, had his new monograph accepted for publication as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s American Literature Readings in the 21st Century series. Due out in fall 2021, the book is called, Just War Theory and Literary Studies: An Invitation to Dialogue. Hawkins co-authored the monograph with Dr. Andrew Kim, an ethicist who directs Marquette University’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities. Dr. Hawkins also had two essays solicited for publication: “War and Morality” appeared in War and American Literature (edited by Jennifer Haytock, Cambridge Themes in American Literature and Culture series, Cambridge UP); “When the Sun Sets in the East: American Manhood and War Since Vietnam” will appear in The Routledge Companion to Masculinity in American Literature and Culture (edited by Lydia Cooper, Routledge Companions series, Routledge).

Dr. Dwayne Coleman

Dr. Dwayne Coleman, Associate Professor, saw his essay on Malory reprinted in paperback by Boydell in March 2021. The piece is called, “Murder, Manslaughter, and Reputation: Killing in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur.” It appears as chapter nine of Medieval and Early Modern Murder (edited by Larissa Tracy; Legal, Literary, and Historical Contexts series; Boydell). Dr. Coleman’s piece likewise featured prominently in a Fall 2019 Arthuriana essay that reviewed the collection. Dr. Coleman collaborated with Drs. Chen and Smith on a successful search for new faculty colleagues during Summer 2021, too, but what he is most proud of are his efforts to try and support students during the pandemic.


Dr. James Fowler

In 2020, Dr. James Fowler, Professor, published a poetry volume called, The Pain Trader, with Golden Antelope Press. The volume has been reviewed in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Elder Mountain Journal, and OzarksWatch. His poem, “The School for Lucre,” appear earlier in 2021 in the anthology, The Poetry of Capital: Voices from Twenty-First-Century America (edited by Benjamin S. Grossberg and Clare Rossini, U of Wisconsin P). Dr. Fowler’s poems also appeared recently in Glimpse, Fleas on the Dog (Canada), Cave Region Review, and Transference. Dr. Fowler’s fiction appeared recently in Futures Trading Magazine, Cantos, and Red Planet Magazine.

Dr. Mary-Ruth Stewart






Dr. Mary Ruth Stewart, Professor, collaborated with Dr. Paige Reynolds, Professor, and Firebrand Theatre Company of Little Rock to produce a one-hour version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The show ran in Conway’s Hendrix Village from July 8-11, 2021. Dr. Stewart secured grant funding from Conway Advertising and Promotions Bureau to support the production; she also tried her hand at set construction and costume design for the first time. The production raised thousands in support of several theatre nonprofits, as well as UCA English students. Likewise, the show featured Dr. Reynolds’s winning performance as Prospera. Several hundred students participating in Arkansas Governors School this summer were able to attend a performance.

Dr. Paige Reynolds