Liberal Arts News

English  | History | Philosophy & Religion | Political Science | Sociology,Criminology and Anthropology
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Posted on September 2, 2015

Dr. Wayne Stengel has just edited a collection of twenty-two essays, Talking About Pauline Kael: Critics, Filmmakers, and Scholars Remember an Icon, on famed New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael. Contributors include movie critic David Denby, film director Paul Schrader, humorist Roy Blount Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writer Philip Martin, and UCA English professor Stengel.

Posted on March 18, 2015


Dr. Reynolds, Maggie, and Dr. Lee, Dean of Liberal Arts

Margaret McNeary was the winner of this years Outstanding Intern Award. She was a dramaturgy for the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s production of “Pippin” (directed by Jeremy Williams). She completed the internship under Dr. Paige Reynolds’ supervision during the summer of 2014.

Posted on February 11, 2015
Dr. Mary Ruth Marotte and Dr. Glenn Jellnik had a book titled Ten Years after Katrina: Critical Perspectives of the Storm’s Effect on American Culture and Identity . It was published by Lexington Books in December, 2014. It is an edited collection of essays that charts the effects of Hurricane Katrina upon American cultural identity; the essays do not merely catalogue the trauma of the event, they explore the ways that such an event functions in and on the literature that represents it. Katrina-narratives present an opportunity to interrogate the ways that specific narrative structures inform our understanding and develop our cultural identity. This book offers a critical processing of the newly emerging and diverse canon of Katrina texts, providing essays that raise new questions about the representative genres that structure our stories and the ways stories reflect and produce culture and identity.

Dr. Glenn Jellnik was a co-editor of a scholarly edition of Of Helen Maria Williams’s Romantic-period epic poem Peru, and Peruvian Tales, which was published in December 2014 by Broadview Press. This book includes a critical introduction that places the poem (and poet) in literary and historical context, both versions of Williams’s epic poem, first published in 1784 and 1823, along with extensive examples of Williams’s literary sources, other poetic works, and the many and varied critical responses from contemporary reviewers.

Dr. Wayne Stengel is editing a collection of essays about The New Yorker magazine film critic Pauline Kael (1919-2001) who in her twenty-three years as movie critic for The New Yorker (1968-1991) revolutionized what a movie review could be. The collection contains twenty-seven essays by a variety of film professors, contemporary movie reviewers, and film industry professionals who knew Kael, admired her criticism, or sometimes took issue with her controversial takes on the movies. Talking About Pauline Kael, edited by Wayne Stengel, will be published by Rowman and Littlefield in late 2015.

Posted on February 10, 2015

Fatal FeastflierFatal Feast

A Tale of Merlin
by Jay Ruud
When an Irish knight dies mysteriously at a banquet she is hosting, Queen Guenivere is charged with murder and faces death at the stake if found guilty. Her loyal page, Gildas, rushes to the woods to track down Merlin and convince him to take up the investigation and save the queen.

Fatal Feast is a fast-paced murder mystery set in the legendary court of Camelot, imagined as it might have existed in the high Middle Ages, with Sir Gawain, Sir Gareth, and Sir Lancelot in pivotal roles, and the young Gildas, enamored of the queen’s young lady-in-waiting Rosemounde, an unlikely courtly lover focused on saving the queen and impressing his Rosemounde — not necessarily in that order.

ON SALE DATE: 2/11/15
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2987-2
View Flier

Posted on January 21, 2015
The faculty and graduate students in the English department engaged to produce three volumes of the works of playwright Terrence McNally have completed the first volume, which will appear later this year from Grove Press. In 2013, Dr. Frontain received the first installment of what would come to a $24,000 grant from McNally’s publisher, which has supported the work of three graduate students over two years. Selected Plays will contain eight plays with introductions by McNally, while Vol. 3 of McNally’s Collected Plays will be published by Smith and Kraus. Dr. Frontain and his current graduate assistant Darby Burdine expect to complete the remaining volume, which is an edition of McNally’s essays on the theater, in summer.
McNally is one of America’s most honored playwrights. The winner of four Tony Awards (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion!), he has most recently been represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-nominated Mothers and Sons, and by the record-breaking revival of It’s Only a Play. Previews will begin in March for his new musical with John Kander and Fred Ebb titled The Visit and starring Chita Rivera, which opens April 23.

FrontainUCA graduate student Eliza Killey (right) chats backstage with four-time Tony Award winning playwright Terrence McNally (center) and six-time Emmy Award winning actor Tyne Daly (left) following a preview performance of McNally’s new play, Mothers and Sons. The production, which stars Daly, is McNally’s twentieth Broadway play. While pursuing her M. A. in English at UCA, Killey has worked on the team producing three volumes of McNally’s plays and prose.

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Posted on January 25, 2016

Dr. Michael Kithinji, Director, African and African American Studies Program and Assistant Professor of History has co-edited two books which have recently come out.

Posted on September 3, 2015

codyHistory intern Cody Douell, visiting the White house during his Washington Center internship this summer at the Treasury Department.






Posted on April 13, 2015

Ophelia Fisher

Dr. Roger Pauly and Johnathan White

The History Department is proud to announce the winner of the 2015 Ophelia Fisher Award for the best undergraduate history paper: Johnathan White. Johnathan boldly contacted famous documentary film-makers, activists, and an important journalist to interview them about their early activism leading to the “Free the West Memphis Three” campaign. He was so informed and professional that these contacts helped him connect with and interview Jason Baldwin, one of the three defendants in the West Memphis case. Johnathan’s paper is one of the first scholarly efforts to look at the origins of “netroots” organizing, a model which — and I don’t think I’m overstating this — elected our current president. Today, the idea of organizing an internet campaign for a political cause is entirely unremarkable, but the activists Johnathan describes had no idea whether their internet-based activism would even work. Joe Berlisky, one of the filmmakers Johnathan interviewed, recalled that “it was the first time that people of like-minded interests started finding each other on the internet. That was new. The fact that they started a website at the dawn of the internet age, I think is really what catapulted this case into an international movement.” Congratulations, Johnathan!

History MA Program News

Posted on January 5, 2015

Kevin Cummings

Kevin Cummings

Graduate students in the History Department’s MA program were busy in the fall disseminating their research and working on master’s theses. Two students, Kevin Cummings and Matthew Foster, had papers accepted to the program of the Mid-America Conference on History held in Fort Smith in September.

While Kevin and Matt’s papers represented the culmination of research, other students in the program launched new thesis research projects. Aryn Denette has been carefully examining JET magazine’s portrayal of black masculinity during the 1970s and 1980s for her project, “In Search of Identity: Black Masculinity as Presented in Advertisements in JET Magazine 1974-1984.” Daniel Klotz discovered a rich archive of sources on school reform that have thus far evaded historians’ scrutiny. His thesis, “School Reform in Faulkner County, 1870-1930,” promises to shed light on the local history of Faulkner County while exploring broader trends of educational reform that swept the United States. Matt Millsap’s work, “Cotton Mather and the American Enlightenment,” traces the transatlantic flow of ideas between Europe and the British colonies. He is focusing on tensions between traditional Puritan religious teachings and Enlightenment ideas by examining Cotton Mather’s sermons and other writings. All three students plan to finish their work in the spring and present their results at upcoming conferences such as the Arkansas Historical Association meeting in April.

Philosophy and Religion

Posted on February 22, 2016

Dr. Taine Duncan, Assistant Professor in the Philosophy and Religion Department recently presented a paper titled “Fun Home: Self-Censorship and Emancipation, Beyond Trigger Warnings” at the the 37th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference (Albuquerque, NM; February 10-13, 2016)

Dr. Jacob Held, Associate Professor of Philosophy, recently presented “”Stephen King, Horror, and Compassion: Finding Schopenhauer in Haven,” the 37th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference (Albuquerque, NM; February 10-13, 2016)

Dr. Held was also a Roundtable Panelist on “Carrie at Forty: Revisiting a Classic,” the 37th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference (Albuquerque, NM; February 10-13, 2016)

Dr. Charles Harvey, Professor of Philosophy, was recently the keynote speaker at the Midsouth Philosophy Conference presenting a paper entitled “Human(un)kind and the Rape of the World,” at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. (February 19, 2016)

Dr. Bennett McNulty, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, presented his paper “The Heirs to the Kantian A Priori: Cognitive Science and the Conditions of the Possibility of Experience,” at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. (February 19, 2016)

Dr. Jim Shelton, retired Professor of Philosophy, recently presented his paper “The Unreality of Time,” at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. (February 20, 2016)

Posted on May 26, 2015

At the end of April, Lloyd Kramer presented a strong defense of the humanities at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. His TED Talk – “Why Does a Liberal Arts Education Shape Successful Leaders?” – answers the critics who question the practical value of studying the liberal arts as university students prepare to enter the technologically advanced global economy.  Lloyd discusses why deep engagement with the liberal arts (including the humanities) remains the creative foundation for so many of America’s most successful social and economic leaders. His 15-minute talk can be found TED Talks Kramer.

An Evening With Holocaust Survivor

Gideon Frieder

Gideon Frieder will share his heroic story of survival in the UCA Farris Center on Monday, 9 March 2015 at 7:00 p.m. This event is open to the public with free admission.

The event is sponsored by UCA Department of Philosophy and Religion , UCA Department of History, UCA College of Liberal Arts, UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication,  UCA Honors College, Jewish Federation of Arkansas, University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


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Political Science

Posted on March 9, 2015

Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh latest book, The Rise and Fall of the Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia, was published recently with TSEHAI Publishers.

Two of our students presented research at the 2015 meeting of the Arkansas Political Science Association.  Autumn Reddell presented “Education & Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.”  Kayla Close presented (along with Willis Arnold and Dr. Mark Mullenbach) “Ballots & Observers:  Elections, Election Monitoring, and Political Stability in Post-Colonial Africa, 1961-2010.”


Arkansas Model United Nations


For more information about the AMUN, please contact Dr. Mark Mullenbach, AMUN Coordinator, at or 501-804-0618 (cell).

Please visit the AMUN webpage at:


Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology

Posted on September 3, 2015

Mr. Desmond Jones, Visiting Lecturer in Sociology, taught Death and Dying as a service-learning class in the spring of 2015. Students volunteered with Hospice Home Care, Inc. of Conway doing yard work for one home-bound client and filling baskets with bed-side necessities for multiple clients. Class field trips included visits to a local funeral home and the Faulkner County Coroner’s Office.

Frank BentonSenior Frank Benton, Criminology/Sociology double-major, completed a Washington Center Internship with the United States Marshals Service over the summer. 







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 Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures

Linguistics Program Moves to World Languages

Posted on February 11, 2015

The Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is pleased to welcome Dr. Lynn Burley, Associate Professor, and Dr. Ramón Escamilla, Assistant Professor, to our department in the College of Liberal of Arts effective January 23, 2015. All of the faculty and staff look forward to working together to encourage students to discover the joys of studying languages and linguistics at UCA.

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