Uncategorized

University of Guelph English Professors: What TESS has to say

For our latest Campus Day Guide for prospective students, members of The English Students’ Society reflected on their professors. We provided a brief and condensed profile on each associate prof on the guide. Here, you’re about to read what else we had to say about them.

Stephen Powell

Professor Powell is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. He may seem a bit intimidating at first, but his teaching style is truly unique. Being in his class is a real treat and he constantly encourages his students to look at texts through a critical eye while considering multiple perspectives. A moment that stuck out for me in his class was when we were discussing the novel Brideshead Revisited and students were sharing their thoughts about the relationship between Sebastian and Charles—two main characters in the novel. Professor Powell’s thoughts about the homosocial relationship between the two were eye-opening. Professor Powell is very clear and precise when giving instructions on his assignments, midterms, and exams. He encourages students to visit him during his office hours and is available on a regular basis. Overall, Professor Powell is an incredibly inspiring man. Dakota Randall

Paul Salmon

Professor Salmon is an extremely caring and supportive professor. His classes are mostly filled with discussions between him and the students. Professor Salmon often asks insightful and thought provoking questions, which his students are eager to answer. He is a very laid back professor who cares a lot about his students. A moment that stuck out for me was when Professor Salmon and I were discussing an article called “Detroit Arcadia” by Rebecca Solnit. It was very refreshing to hear his thoughts about the town and Solnit’s article. Professor Salmon’s excitement about the article was infectious, and made me eager to present on the article. Professor Salmon puts a lot of thought into choosing his course materials, and often chooses novels that deal a lot with historical or political events. Some novels in the Dystopian field that he has chosen include W.E. by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and the Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs. He gives detailed instructions on midterms and assignments, and ensures that his students are more than prepared. Overall, Professor Salmon is an incredible professor who is determined to see his students succeed. Dakota Randall

Jennifer Schacker

Professor Schacker’s work draws on her training as a folklorist and literary scholar and engages with developments in several related but distinct disciplines: folklore, anthropology, children’s literature, and fairy-tale studies. She encourages discussion during lectures and looks for active participation. Her courses typically favour quizzes and exams over papers. She teaches second, third, and fourth year seminars as well as a popular second year lecture on children’s literature, her specialty, where students read everything from The Cat in the Hat to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Professor Schacker wants to help you succeed: ask her questions, go to her office hours, and take advantage of her relaxed, personal teaching style. Meg Wilson

Martha Nandorfy

Professor Nandorfy is a thought-provoking professor. Professor Nandorfy can be a tough marker, but her classes are truly worth taking. I’ve had her for several classes and each class has made me a better student and, more importantly, a more informed citizen and critical thinker. Most of her teaching revolves around postcolonial topics and stories of the borderlands and some of the authors she taught have become new favourites of mine. Taking ENGL3040, U.S. Latino/a Literature was an amazing experience and has inspired me to do more research and writing on postcolonial texts surrounding life-writing and memoir. Her instructions for assignments are clear but she pushes her students to think critically and go beyond surface level analysis. If you’re looking for a professor who will challenge you and impact how you view the world, I strongly recommend taking any class with Professor Nandorfy. Christina Barker

Jade Ferguson

Professor Ferguson’s research and teaching interests draws in an array of works that include (but are not limited to) 19th century to contemporary Canadian and American literature. Professor Ferguson’s recent undergraduate courses have focused on cultural and literary studies that examine race, Eco criticism, and subjectivity. In ENGL2120 Critical Practices, she has done a brilliant job guiding theory into reading cultural productions. For instance, we applied psychoanalyst, Marxist, and postmodernist approaches to the film Fight Club. In another one of her classes, they applied relevant theories on Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.  In ENGL 4280, we examined Eco criticism in contemporary Canadian literature, which opened up a new dimension for studying the ever-morphing Canadian canon. Readers assigned from her classes are regularly cited in my other critical essays. They include Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmental Poor, Nick Mansfield’s Subjectivity, and Judith Halberstram’s Queer Art of Failure.

Professor Ferguson is an insightful teacher that will also make your writing infinitely better with her fair assessments and approachable nature. However, be prepared for discussions. In her classes, participation is more than showing up to class, it’s your investment in the content of your studies.

Currently, Professor Ferguson is completing a manuscript on the history of lynching in Canada, tentatively titled Lynching in Canaan: Race, Violence, and Cultural Memory in Canada, 1880-1950. In addition, she is also currently researching cultural representations of Canadian contributions and solidarity with the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s. Anjelica Abarra

Elaine Chang

Professor Chang’s courses examine a fantastic selection of contemporary works from all over the globe. Many of the novels and secondary readings she assigns include a mix of modernist, postmodern, feminist, and postcolonial thinkers. In ENGL 3960 Literature in History, her open-structure style of teaching based on presentations have encouraged critically invigorating discussions on historical and cultural representations in literature. In ENGL 3860 Topics in Literary and Cultural Studies, we focused on the culture and politics of reproduction in contemporary works and modes of production. With the Distance Ed format, we were able to hold online discussions and create blog posts pertinent to the course, opening digital humanities for many students. Professor Chang’s brilliantly encapsulated the essence of the course in her blog http://www.tinkererteacherbloggerspy.wordpress.com, where she experimented alongside students. In ENGL 4400 Postcolonial Literature, we examined major postcolonial works that has challenged many of our views on colonialism and globalization.Professor Chang is a very approachable and enthusiastic instructor. Her fair assessments and her insights will guide you as a writer and as an academic. To do well in her classes, you must stay on top of readings and participate in discussions.

Currently, Professor Chang’s film-related ventures are direct continuations of her work as an academic and a teacher. She is working on a scholarly book about literary adaptations for the screen and their elaborate divisions of labour. She also has a couple feature scripts under development. One script is a political thriller inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and another is a dark comedy based on the 2008 financial collapse. In addition, she is currently working on adapting her script on a supernatural mystery set in Vancouver’s Chinatown into a mini-series. Anjelica Abarra

Daniel O’Quinn

Professor O’Quinn was the first English prof I ever had in university and I always left his class walking on a cloud, totally satisfied with my choice of school and major. He teaches dense and difficult texts—he’s not afraid to challenge first year students with Milton and Emily Dickinson, and one of his upper year seminars burrows into obscure postmodern poets—but he tilts them so they catch the light and gleam like perfect diamonds. That’s not to say that he’s a pure aesthete—his classes often delve into knotty, subtle political questions. He’s hyperarticulate, somewhat snooty, and often hilarious. He asks for lots of participation and can be quite intimidating—and he’s a tough marker to boot. But you’ll learn more in a week with him than in whole other courses. Expect to take him for core lecture courses; third-year lectures in Romanticisim, Victorianism, Literary Criticism; and fourth-year seminars in Postmodern Poetry and Orientalism. Will Wellington

Gregor Campbell

Professor Campbell’s courses are something that every English student at Guelph simply must experience. Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny they’re unique. The agenda is flexible, his expectations are opaque, and class discussions spin off in all sorts of unlikely directions. He mixes literature with history, cinema, sociology, and the Internet, connecting disparate discourses with a wave of his hand. And he puts his money where his mouth is—his personal research involves biking through collapsing American cities to see how they feel. Following his train of thought is like trying to ride a tsunami with a boogie board. It’s exhilarating, exhausting, and totally awesome. Expect to take him for core lecture courses and seminars focused on subjects like the Sixties and American Television. Will Wellington

*List is currently tentative. More profiles will be added soon.

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Anjelica Abarra, Merchandise

Introducing, new English merchandise!

In Mackinnon, love is in the air. I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day or the coming of spring – I’m talking about the new drool-worthy line up of English clothing we have in store after Reading Week.

Here are the goods! Pre-order before Sunday – no pre-payment necessary. We simply want to ensure you get the merch before they run out. We may also lower the prices depending on the number of orders we get. Proceeds will support our current and future initiatives.

Click to pre-order! Baseball tee, regular tee, ringer tee, tuques, ooh la la.

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The execs of The English Students’s Society would like to thank all artists that submitted their designs. It was a great pleasure holding this contest. We would also like to extend our warm thanks to all students and faculty that voted for their favourite design. If you’re interested to see other works by the winning designer, Allanah Vokes, visit her portfolio.

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Anjelica Abarra

T-Shirt Design Round-Up

As seen in your TESS Newsletter

As seen in your TESS Newsletter

Many, many thanks to all the designers that submitted their design for the upcoming English at University of Guelph t-shirts. I cannot express enough our gratitude for these amazing works.The shirts with the winning design will go on sale by the end of this month. Profits go to funding TESS’s academic and social initiatives for English majors and minors. Help us pick a design by voting for your favourite.

Poll closes Saturday, February 7. Stay tuned for an order form.

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Odesia Howlett

Sassy Saturday – Boxing Day

Oh hey. I’m Odesia and I’ve been told on several occasions that I’m sassy … I’ve also been told I would entertain a great mass of people if I started a blog post every Saturday called “Sassy Saturdays”. So I’m going to do that.

beyonce-sass

This week, I’m talking about Boxing Day Madness. Because it’s actually madness.

This year, I decided to skip out on boxing day shopping. My parents, on the other hand, wanted to go to an outlet mall and shop around for some kitchen stuff. Simple, cute, fun, whatever. My mom, like myself, is very fond of going somewhere with a mission, achieving said mission, then poking around some more ’cause “might as well, I’m already here”. Which is why, when they came back after an hour, I was confused.

It seems that boxing day has gotten a tad out of control. I didn’t know because I never do it, but it seems the whole world and their mother go shopping on boxing day.

First of all, driving up to a mall is like being stuck in 5 o’clock traffic. Finding a parking spot? Ha! And then actually being in the mall? Ridiculous!

There needs to be a more organized system in malls. If you’re walking in one direction, stay on the right side. Make space for people who are in a hurry. Beware small children who just stumble around everywhere. Almost like a road. But rather, it’s just a hot mess of people walking in every direction, people who don’t know what direction they’re going, people who don’t know what a direction even is, and people standing and chatting in the middle of the halls (friggen hate those people).

I don’t understand the massive hype for boxing day anymore. Back in the day, it made more sense. If you wanted that laptop for $300 off, you got to the store early to buy it. But now, it’s all about Boxing Week. Couldn’t make it out the day after Christmas? No worries, this 60% off sale is going until January!

There’s also online shopping. That’s a really big thing now. I don’t even have to put on pants to buy $90 worth of clothes. Still the same sales. Absolutely no hassle.

So I guess Boxing Day is ridiculous. But it’s still ridiculously massive sales. And I like sales … So I’ll see ya around the mall!

Until next time,

Read on, my English Enthusiasts!

If you want me to rant about something in particular, please let me know on twitter (@TESSGuelphU), email (tess@uoguelph.ca) or facebook (The English Students’ Society of Guelph).

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Odesia Howlett

Sassy Saturday – Final Grades

Oh hey. I’m Odesia and I’ve been told on several occasions that I’m sassy … I’ve also been told I would entertain a great mass of people if I started a blog post every Saturday called “Sassy Saturdays”. So I’m going to do that.

beyonce-sass

This week is all about final grades. Because they came out a few days ago and it either made your break more enjoyable or it screwed absolutely everything up.

Although it’s great that the grades come out about a week after we finish writing them, it’s not that great because it comes right in the middle of the “most relaxing time of the year”. Our break. Our sweet time of laziness. The time that I don’t need to put on real pants for days and days on end.

Waking up, checking facebook (because you know that one friend who kept checking WebAdvisor every 20 minutes for when the grades get posted), and finding out about the grades through an updated status, and then either realizing “hellz yeah, awesome grades!” or “…….. maybe I should’ve gone to class”. And this is the difference between having an amazing Christmas break or having a horrible end to the year.

I’m not complaining about how quickly our grades come out. I’m just complaining about the day in which the grades come out you shut your face, those two are different.

I’m lucky enough to have some pretty decent grades this semester, so I don’t really care about it enough to have it affect my day. But if I were to get lower grades than I anticipated, then it would’ve completely screwed up my Christmas! You’re supposed to wake up every morning, super happy to be with family or friends, stress-free from school (that’s at least how I feel). Low grades = grumpy waking up, irritation from literally everything, lowered confidence. The only good thing that might come from low grades is the strong perserverance to do well next semester! Hello, New Years Resolution!

But there’s no “good day” to post our grades. School could either post it before Christmas like they do now (possibly ruining our Christmas), wait until after Christmas, but before New Years (in which we’d all be upset that they ruin our New Years), or after New Years (but we’d all complain because the start of the new year should be joyous). There’s no winning here. And that’s upsetting.

I guess the only thing we can do is to actually get good marks so it doesn’t ruin our holidays… Yeah, that’s a pretty good plan. Let’s all do that!

Until next time,

Read on, my English Enthusiasts!

If you want me to rant about something in particular, please let me know on twitter (@TESSGuelphU), email (tess@uoguelph.ca) or facebook (The English Students’ Society of Guelph).

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Odesia Howlett, Sassy Saturdays

Sassy Saturday – Final Papers

Oh hey. I’m Odesia and I’ve been told on several occasions that I’m sassy … I’ve also been told I would entertain a great mass of people if I started a blog post every Saturday called “Sassy Saturdays”. So I’m going to do that.

beyonce-sass

This week is all about final papers. Because I know just how much you all love them.

Now it’s a common misconception that English majors read tons of books and write essays every few days. Or at least that’s a misconception for me … because that hasn’t happened in the 4 years I’ve been at this university. But I do know that the end of the semester creeps up on us, as well as all the final essays (the “perks” of not having exams).

I don’t want to complain that we have to write papers, and I’d much rather go in and write an exam, because then I’d be lying. No one likes the 2 hour pressure of having to write an essay that is a borderline summary of the book that you maybemight’veskimmed read withthehelpofSparkNotes. So I’m happy that final essays are a thing.

But I don’t like that my lack of time management skills kicks in every year and I’m forced to be stress to no end by the pile-up of essays that I probably should’ve started a week ago. And it sucks when it’s not just a final essay, but a reflection paper or additional little things all due in the last week of classes. Then I’m forced to stay up until 2am every day because I didn’t have time to get to it because I was too busy watching Netflix. But that’s not my fault! I needed to start that new show that I should’ve have started so close to exams!

And anyway, how do profs expect us to get all of that work done right at the end of the semester? It’s inhumane! My body is exhausted at the end of the semester. And drifting to other things. Like candy canes. And Christmas presents. And Netflix! I don’t have the mental capacity to sit down and focus on a paper; especially like a 4000 word paper.

But at least I get the chance to think about the paper, read it over a few times, perfect it, and then hand it in (if I’ve got the time). Much better than a 2-hour essay. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining … but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be me.

Good luck on all your exams, essays, assignments, papers, unhealthy food choices and procrastinating endeavours!

Until next time,

Read on, my English Enthusiasts!

If you want me to rant about something in particular, please let me know on twitter (@TESSGuelphU), email (tess@uoguelph.ca) or facebook (The English Students’ Society of Guelph).

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Odesia Howlett

Sassy Saturday – Group Projects

Oh hey. I’m Odesia and I’ve been told on several occasions that I’m sassy … I’ve also been told I would entertain a great mass of people if I started a blog post every Saturday called “Sassy Saturdays”. So I’m going to do that.

beyonce-sass

This week I’m going to be talking about a topic dear to everyone’s hearts. I know you love ‘em. Those wonderful, inspiring, loved group projects!

As English majors, I’m sure you’re all as overjoyed as I am when you find out that you’ll be doing a group project. Because in English, we need to learn to be extroverts, public speakers, and something we’re overall uncomfortable with. All for a grade way too significant for you to passively care about.

Actually, this applies to anyone who has to do group projects in university. I’ve heard many a friend complain about it. Because why am I paying thousands of dollars a year so that I can split a grade with other people. But there’s two ways this could go down: you could make your own group and decide to be with friends, or you could be placed into a group with strangers. This is a make-or-break for friendships.

People who are slackers (and we all know you’re not), send you some minimal, incomprehensive combination of words, or don’t even send you work at all. Those people are my favourites. The ones who don’t do anything, then stand up at the front of the class and fumble around. That’s the only satisfying part about group projects. Watching your partner fumble around while you’ve got every bit of information together, memorized your work, you’re wearing a suit, a monocle, whatever.

If you’ve got a group of over 3 people, I just think your professor is actively trying to make your entire semester troublesome. Because, let’s be real, you’re not even associating yourself with your groupmates until a week (and a half, if you’re pushin’ it) before your presentation or due date. And you all need to get together and talk about who’s doing what. But we’re all students with different schedules, jobs, live in different places. It’s one of the most complicated things to do.

And then there are the people who need to get together 14 times in 3 days. Also, the people who cancel on you last minute. The people who never show. The people who show up with absolutely no work done. There are so many types of people. And, strangely enough, you end up hating all of them. Or just irritated with the entire arrangement. I’d so much rather do this project on my own. Sure, it might take a while, I might have to force myself to not procrastinate to the last day, but at least it’s my own decision of the speed I go at it.

But overall, you’re in a group of people who have either done the work or they haven’t. And if they did, and you’re satisfied with it, you continue your friendship (until the end of the semester). If they were completely useless, you make sure to keep them on your radar so you never ever get them as a partner again.

Until next time,

Read on, my English Enthusiasts!

If you want me to rant about something in particular, please let me know on twitter (@TESSGuelphU), email (tess@uoguelph.ca) or facebook (The English Students’ Society of Guelph).

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Anjelica Abarra

T-Shirt Design Contest

ImageDESIGNERS WANTED!
We get it. Not all 300+ of you have the luxury to make it to our Tuesday meetings. You want to have your say on how to represent your major but can’t find the time between coffee breaks and annotated bibliographies.

We have the perfect solution for those sleepless nights.

From now until January 27, we are accepting t-shirt designs. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. We are accepting submissions right now until no later than January 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm via email (tess@uoguelph.ca).
  2. Maximum use of two colours in the artwork. You must incorporate “English” and “University of Guelph” in your design. You may also add a single quote.
  3. The winning design will be printed on the front of American Apparel Unisex Fine Jersey Short Sleeve Ringer T-Shirts. The shirts will be white with red ringers.
  4. All files must be received in high resolution .JPEGs (300 dpi). All photos incorporated in the artwork must be 100% original and copyright free.
  5. This contest is open to all University of Guelph students – whether English is your major, your minor, or you simply want in on the prizes.
  6. The winner will be selected via Facebook starting January 28 based on the number of “Likes.” The winner will be confirmed on February 3 and orders will commence the day after.
  7. If the submission is a collaborative effort, credit will be given to all members of the team and awards must be divided.What will the winning artist(s) win?
    · A shirt with your design,
    · $50
    · A special TESS-exclusive gift
    · And immortality

All proceeds from all TESS sales go towards English events and the following year’s TESS initiatives.

Submit your design at tess@uoguelph.ca!

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Uncategorized

Sassy Saturday: Look, Ma! No Hands!

Oh hey. I’m Odesia and I’ve been told on several occasions that I’m sassy … I’ve also been told I would entertain a great mass of people if I started a blog post every Saturday called “Sassy Saturdays”. So I’m going to do that.

beyonce sass

This week I’m going to be talking about people who ride their bikes without holding on to the handlebars. Aka “look Ma, no hands!” people.

First of all, straight off the bat, I will acknowledge that not everyone does this. And the last time I saw it being done was a few weeks ago. But it was enough to trigger my rage, so I’m writing about it. Shhh, let it happen.

The only time that riding without at least one hand on the handlebars is acceptable is when you’re trying to save something from falling out of a pocket, or you need to get something to benefit you in some way. Not getting something? Have no reason to have your hands off the bars? Then don’t be a douche and hold them.

You can only look “cool” for a maximum of 10 seconds. At the age of 12. After that, please grow up. You don’t look cool anymore, you look like you’re about to wipe out and I’m going to enjoy it more than I should. And I don’t want to feel like the bad guy because of your stupidity.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, the brakes are also attached to the handlebars. That thing that helps you to stop. And stopping is necessary. So rather than trying to show off to the world that you have balance (congratulations, we all do – that’s why we can walk) is stupid and dangerous to you and people around you.

Not to mention turning is hard enough on a good day! Now you’re not even using your assigned steering to help you?! You’re bound to wipe out. It may not be on this turn, maybe not the next one … but one will come. And it will destroy your whole world. Then what will you tell your friends? “Yeah man, I totally wiped out on that corner ‘cause I wasn’t holding on to the handlebars. But that never happens to me, so that’s pretty cool!”

No … No, it’s not cool. You’re a tool. And you were punished for it. It’s not a battle scar. It’s a stupid scar.

If you want to test your balance/luck, be like that hardcore dude with his 3-wheeled unicycle. Now that’s talent!

Until next time,

Read on, my English Enthusiasts!

If you want me to rant about something in particular, please let me know on twitter (@TESSGuelphU), email (tess@uoguelph.ca) or facebook (The English Students’ Society of Guelph).

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