English Department alumna Sean Shannon (BA in Creative Writing, 2004; MA in English Literature, 2006) has just released her first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban, on Kindle. The novel, about a small-town Minnesota library that doubles as a clandestine high-class brothel, was previously shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (under its working title, The Prostitutes of Lake Wobegon).
amattison on December 13th, 2016

gregory-vertical-by-danDr. Melissa Gregory, associate professor of English, has been named the first UT Presidential Faculty Fellow. Commenting on her selection for UT News, President Gaber commented that “It’s clear” that Dr. Gregory “is on the path to become an academic leader”; Provost Hsu said, “It will be an honor to help her prepare to become a leader in higher education.”

Deborah officially launched her new book Chasing Immortality in World Religions with a reading at the Canaday Center, fifth floor in Carlson Library on Thursday, 22 September, 2016, at 3:30 pm. She also gave a reading and signed books at the UT Barnes and Noble Bookstore on Main Campus on Friday, 14 October at 5 pm.

Coulter-Harris smiling by Dan

Coulter-Harris at the Canaday Center, University of Toledo

See also our earlier story:

Portrait of Danzy Senna
Best-selling novelist Danzy Senna will deliver the Fall 2016 Richard M. Summers Memorial Lecture on November 3rd at 5:00 pm at the UT Student Union, room 2592. This event is sponsored by the University of Toledo Department of English. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception and book signing will immediately follow. For more information, call the English Department at 419-530-2318.

Chasing Immortality

Dr. Deborah Coulter-Harris’ new book, Chasing Immortality in World Religions, was published on 3 August, 2016, by McFarland Publishers, Inc. The book is available at,, Barnes and Noble, and hundreds of booksellers and sites worldwide: “Humans have been chasing immortality since the beginning of history, seeking answers to sickness and aging, death and the afterlife, and questioning the human condition. Analyzing ideas from ancient Sumer, Egypt, Greece and India, as well as the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, this study explores how early religious models influenced later beliefs about immortality, the afterlife, the human soul, resurrection, and reward and punishment. The author highlights shared teachings among the most influential religions and philosophies, concluding that humankind has not substantially changed its conceptions of immortality in 6,000 years. This continuity of belief may be due to chromosomal memory and cultural inheritance, or may represent a fundamental way of conceptualizing the afterlife to cope with mortality.”



admin on September 1st, 2016


Professor Russell Reising was interviewed by Time Magazine for an article on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ album Revolver and its significance within the context of Anglo-American psychedelia.  Reising published Every Sound There Is:  The Beatles’ Revolver and the Transformation of Rock and Roll (Ashgate Publishers), in 2003, and that book won the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Award for “Best Research in Rock, Rhythm & Blues or Soul” for that year.


Professor Doug Coleman presented “How Readers Understand Characters in Fiction: Human Linguistics and Theory of Mind (TOM)” at the 2016 annual conference of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States hosted by St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada, August 2-5.  Coleman in ENGL Ofc







English Department alumna Sean Shannon (BA in Creative Writing, 2004; MA in English Literature, 2006) has just released her book 50 Critical Thinking Exercises for Humanities Classes on Kindle. This book lists fifty contemporary problems for teachers to use in their classes to help students practice and develop their critical thinking skills. In addition to presenting the problems (with links to relevant videos and articles to show students), the exercises also come with questions to ask students both before and after the main activity, as well as suggested supplemental activities. 50 Critical Thinking Exercises for Humanities Classes is targeted for first-year college/university students, but many of the exercises can be adapted for use in high school and even junior high.


admin on August 30th, 2016

Godzilla, a traditional natural monster and representation of cinema’s subgenre of natural attack, also provides a cautionary symbol of the dangerous consequences of mistreating the natural world—monstrous nature on the attack. Horror films such as Godzilla invite an exploration of the complexities of a monstrous nature that humanity both creates and embodies.In Monstrous Nature: Environment and Horror on the Big Screen (U Nebraska Press 2016), Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann demonstrate how the horror film and its offshoots can often be understood in relation to a monstrous nature that has evolved either deliberately or by accident and that generates fear in humanity as both character and audience. This connection between fear and the natural world opens up possibilities for ecocritical readings often missing from research on monstrous nature, the environment, and the horror film.Organized in relation to four recurring environmental themes in films that construct nature as a monster—anthropomorphism, human ecology, evolution, and gendered landscapes—the authors apply ecocritical perspectives to reveal the multiple ways nature is constructed as monstrous or in which the natural world itself constructs monsters. This interdisciplinary approach to film studies fuses cultural, theological, and scientific critiques to explore when and why nature becomes monstrous.

Here’s the website for further information:,677228.aspx


admin on August 29th, 2016

Report from alumna, Allison Tyndall, BA 2002, English minor:

I am currently writing my dissertation on depictions of common people in early modern English history plays by Shakespeare, Heywood, and Ford. I have presented work at Shakespeare Association of America, Sixteenth Century Society, and Early Modern Research Centre (Reading, UK) conferences, and I have spent a summer in an NEH Institute at Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. While I was at UT, I took Shakespeare with Barbara Riebling (I realize she’s no longer on faculty), which was perhaps my favorite course in my whole B.A., and non-Shakespearean drama with Matthew Wikander.