Our friends at the English department have good news to share!



Cathy Day presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) conference in Anaheim, CA on Nov. 20, 2022, on “Illuminating the College English Curriculum and Professional Pathways for English Majors.” This was an invited session, and the panel includes Sarah Touborg, Editor & VP of W.W. Norton, and Felicia Jean Steele, past president of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society (panelist). 

Brent Blackwell delivered an address, “Mass Atrocities are not Virtual,” at the 18th Annual Gatumba Massacre Memorial Gathering, held in Indianapolis, IN. 13-14 August 2022.

Sean Lovelace

Kathryn Ludwig

  • presented “Another ‘Post’? The Postsecular in Literary Studies” for the Honors College Lecture Series on February 28, 2022. 
  • presented “Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide and the situatedness of the reader” at the American Literature Association 33rd Annual Conference in Chicago, IL on May 26, 2022.
  •  presented “Stories of Impact: Developing Empathy for Religious and Cultural Others Through Reading” at the Big Questions, Big Ideas series at Muncie Public Library with Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies on October 19, 2022.

Sara Strasser presented “Revising the Norm: Changes in Practice Post-2020” at the Rhetoric Society of America Conference (virtually) on May 29th, 2022.

Peter Bethanis recently published the poems “Li Po’s Awakening” and “Li Hua’s Commission” in the Winter/2022 literary journal Euphony. His latest collection of poems “Li Po, Li Hua, and the Sophist” was recently accepted for publication with Atticus Press and will appear in Spring 2023.

Sarah Domet

  • received The Sustainable Arts Foundation Award for work on her forthcoming novel Earthshine
  • received the ​​Walter E. Dakin Fellowship to attend, read, and teach a class at Sewanee Writers’ Conference in Sewanee, TN.

Kathryn S. Gardiner’s screenplay “The Art of Yielding” placed in the semi-finals of the Cinestory Retreat and Fellowship Contest, earning her entry to the October 2022 retreat in Idyllwild, California. She spent four days in the mountains of California meeting with mentors who work in the feature film industry.

Ben Bascom received a book contract through Oxford University Press for his manuscript Feeling Singular: Queer Masculinities in the Early United States, which provides a compelling cast of under-examined figures to expand scholarly and popular knowledge of the literary period. He held a brief research fellowship through The Pearlstine/Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture to examine the commonplace book of Charlotte Myers in order to finish a forthcoming essay in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. In April he presented scholarship on Louisa May Alcott’s novel Work at the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists and in January he shared new research at the MLA in Washington, D.C. titled “Empire of Smell: Douglass, Thoreau, and Queer Fungibility.”

Rani Deighe Crowe

  • Short film Heather Has Four Moms was selected by request to screen in Cardiff, Wales at ‘LezDiff’ – Cardiff International Lesbian Film & Arts Festival for July 2022
  • Short film Quiet on Set was selected for Garden Route International Film Festival in Mossel Bay, South Africa in July 2022, and San Antonio Film Festival in August 2022.
  • Short film script Clutter was selected for the Portland Comedy Film Festival in Portland, OR, and the Women in Film and Television Atlanta Showcase 2022 where it was presented in a live public reading.
  • Short film script Adultery in the Age of Covid was selected for the Women in Film and Television Atlanta Showcase 2022 where it will be presented in a live reading, and Kinodrome: International Motion Picture and Screenplay Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bushwick Film Festival in Brooklyn where it is being presented in a live public reading.
  • Half-hour comedy TV pilot script Recess Duty was selected for Kinodrome: International Motion Picture and Screenplay Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, September 2022.
  • Short script Church Ladies was selected for the Houston Comedy Film Festival in Houston, TX, the Broad Humor Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA where it was presented in a live public reading, Lit Laughs International Comedy Film Festival in Yorkshire, England, an award winner at the Louisiana LGBT + Film Festival, Chicago Comedy Film Fest, and Kinodrome: International Motion Picture and Screenplay Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, September 2022.
  • Short film Rona (one of an anthology of Zoom and cell phone filmed shorts during the pandemic) was selected for the Broad Humor Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA, and Lit Laughs International Comedy Film Festival in Yorkshire, England, both in August 2022. The short stars Dr. Jeff Spanke from English Education.
  • Experimental short film Trying to Remember was selected for the NCCC Film and Animation Festival in Sanborn, NY, summer 2022, and Kinodrome: International Motion Picture and Screenplay Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, September 2022, Award for Best Celluloid Tribute.
  • Short film Beautiful Eyes has been selected to screen at the Sur-reel and Uncanny Film Festival in London, UK, August 2022, and is shortlisted for Best Director, Best Screenwriter, and Best Hair and Makeup.
  • Feature film screenplay Our Prestigious Faculty won Best Screenplay for the Reading Film Fest in Reading, Penn., where it received a live public reading with actors.
  • Short monologue film Just in Case (one of an anthology of Zoom and cell phone filmed shorts during the pandemic) received the Best Monologue Award from the Moody Crab Film Festival in Punjab, India.

Dr. Darolyn “Lyn” Jones

  • was awarded Outstanding Dedication to the Development of Ball State Students by the Panhellenic Association at Ball State University in February 2022.
  • was awarded a three-year Immersive Sustainable Grant with the Writing Program, Write for Change: Composition in the Community, with Drs. Kathryn Ludwig and Laura Romano.
  • presented “Leveling and Heightening: Pandemic Effects on Families with Children with Special Needs” w/ Dr. James W. Jones, CMID at Ball State at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI) in May 2022.
  • presented “BookTubes and BookToks: How to Use New Media Tools to Talk and Share Books” at the Indiana State Literacy Association (ISLA), w/Ball State English Education Students, Corey Hicks, Miranda Minnick, and Conner Narramore in October 2022.
  • invited to submit her article, “An Open Article to Lawmakers and Those in Positions of Power” to the Indiana Special Needs Living Magazine for the September 2022 edition.
  • was elected to serve on the Executive Committee as a member at large for the Indiana State Literacy Association (ISLA).
  • edited the 13th volume of I Remember: Indianapolis Youth Write about Their Lives w/ Ball State alumni Kelsey Johnson Lyons and Devon Lejman. The publisher was INwords Publications, and the book hit the market in August 2022.

Jennifer Grouling’s book Adapting VALUEs: Tracing the Life of a Rubric through Institutional Ethnography was published as a part of the Perspectives on Writing series through WAC Clearinghouse, University Press of Colorado, and Parlor Press. This book explores the way two small universities adapted the AAC&U VALUE rubric for written communication focusing on the power dynamics at these institutions. 

Katy Didden’s poem “Watching Time-Lapse Videos of Peonies Blooming” was featured on Poetry Daily on July 6, 2022. In October, Katy’s book Ore Choir: the Lava on Iceland (a collaboration with illustrator Kevin Tseng) was published by Tupelo Press. Small Press Distribution featured Ore Choir as a recommended book, and it was listed as the #1 New Release in Norse + Icelandic sagas on Amazon. A poem from the book, “The Priest Questions the Lava,” was featured as Poem-of-the-Day by the Academy of American Poets. This semester, as a member of the Unearthed Speakers Bureau for Indiana Humanities, Katy has hosted workshops across Indiana for Brick Street Poetry in Zionsville, Peabody Library in Columbia City, IN, and Garfield Park in Indianapolis (co-hosted with Indiana writer’s center). At 2pm on Dec. 3, Katy and Prof. Jill Christman will do a joint book launch at Indy Reads in Indianapolis. 

Debbie Mix published “Exalting Negro Womanhood: Black Women Poets and Harlem Renaissance Magazines” in a special issue of Humanities devoted to Modernism and Visual Cultures.

Emily Ruth Rutter

  • received a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend grant from May-June 2022, to complete her monograph White Lies and Allies in Contemporary Black Media (Routledge, December 2022), which is now available for pre-order.
  • presented “The Necessity of Black Studies in Honors” at the NSMIH Conference at Northern Kentucky University. In November, she gave the keynote address at the Ivy Tech Honors Induction Ceremony. 

Michael Begnal’s essay “’TOMORROW IS NOW’: Amiri Baraka’s Nation Dreams” was published in the edited collection 100 Years of the American Dream: Representations and Conceptions in American Literature, 1919-2019 (ed. Michael Kearney, Cambridge Scholars, 2022).

Mary Lou Vercellotti published a research article “Emergence of a Signing Advantage: An Investigation of Spatial Abilities of Adult Hearing L2 Learners of ASL,” which found non-linguistic cognitive advantages of learning American Sign Language (ASL) as compared to learning Spanish. These results suggest that learning ASL, a visual-spatial language, has bonus benefits beyond the bilingual advantages.

Joyce Huff

  • presented “The Fat Black Woman Goes to War: Mrs. Seacole’s Strategic Negotiations of Fat, Black, Female Embodiment” at the North American Victorian Studies Association in October 2022.
  • co-taught a seminar entitled “Disabling Victorian Studies” with Martha Stoddard Holmes at the North American Victorian Studies Association in October 2022.
  • published four poems “Punching a Nazi,” “Red Among the Women,” “Frankenstein’s Sonnet,” and “The Lady of Shalott Leaves Her Loom” in Gargoyle, which came out in at the end of Fall 2021, too late to make the last Good News post.

Jill Christman


  • If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays. American Lives Series. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2022.

Reviews & Interviews

  • Starred review in Publisher’s Weekly (May 2022): online.
  • Review on Kirkus Reviews (July 2022): online.
  • Review in Brevity (July 2022): online.
  • Review in Barrelhouse (Sept 2022): online.
  • Review in Literary Mama (Nov 2022): online.
  • “The Really True Thing: A Conversation with Jill Christman.” By Brianna Avenia-Tapper in Literary Mama (Nov 2022): online. 
  • “The Correlation Between Love & Essay-Writing: An Interview with Jill Christman.” By Robbie Maakestad in The Rumpus (Oct 3, 2022): online


  • “Notable Essay” listing in Best American Essays 2022 (eds. Robert Atwan & Alexander Chee) for “Falling” (Iron Horse Literary Review e-single, June 2021).


  • “Close Read: Jaquira Díaz.” Creative Nonfiction. 78 (Fall 2022): 52-53. 
  • “The Lucky Ones.” The Rumpus. 2 Aug 2022: online.

Literary Festival Panels & Readings

  • “Family, Home, & Ancestors in Contemporary Literature”: a panel & reading with Lana K. W. Austin, Elizabeth Miki Brina, & Marian Moore. Words & Music Festival. New Orleans, LA. 17 Nov 2022.
  • “Lives on the Page: Sweeping New Memoirs of Migration & Self-Discovery”: a panel & reading with Suzanne Ohlmann. The Texas Book Festival. Austin, TX. 5 Nov 2022.
  • “The Multiplicity of Voice: A Conversation with Sonya Huber & Jody Keisner.” A Room of One’s Own Books. Madison, WI. 27 Oct 2022. Online.
  • If This Were Fiction with Kelcey Ervick. Indiana University. South Bend, IN. 30 Nov 2022.
  • If This Were Fiction with Mark Ehling, Mark Neely, & Michael Kleber-Diggs. Funhouse Slideshow. Minneapolis, MN. 15 Sept 2022.
  • If This Were Fiction with Kate Hopper. Magers & Quinn Books. Minneapolis, MN. 14 Sept 2022.
  • If This Were Fiction with Kelcey Ervick. Ball State Visiting Writers’ Series. Muncie, IN. 27 Sept 2022.


  • Senior Editor, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.
  • Senior Editor, Beautiful Things (a weekly online magazine of micro-essays).


Zach Kocanda (MA Creative writing 2017) has published a chapbook with Bottlecap Press, Self Defense for Gentle People

Joj, Creative Writing MA (2020), is in the pilot episode of La Pitchoune: Cooking in France on HBO. 

Xavier Searle’s poem “Fish” was published in issue 19 of the online journal Stone of Madness Press. Xavier was also admitted to the Tin House Writer’s Conference for Summer 2023.

Taylor Lutz (English Studies MA + TESOL Certificate) and Mary Lou Vercellotti (Professor) co-authored a reflective article in the International Journal for Students as Partners about our collaboration in an online graduate-level Assessment in TESOL course. We discuss the shifting roles of student, teacher, and teacher-student (in service teachers who returned to a student role to earn ENL credentials). If you think about power, identity, and professional development in higher education, you might be interested. 

Roy Weaver, with co-authors David Sullivan and Shawn Sriver, published a biography of the late Timmy Brown, called: “Running Against The Grain: The Story Of Philadelphia Eagle And Movie Star Timmy Brown.”

Current Students

Mary Lowry

  • presented “Building a Better World through Peace-Centered Pedagogy” at the Better World Conference, hosted by the Ball State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.
  • was accepted to the Conference on College Communication and Composition to present “Peace-Centered Pedagogy as an Approach to Restore Justice in FYC”.

Erin Brock was awarded Ball State’s Excellence in Teaching Award for MA-level graduate assistants.


Learn more about the Good News of the past at Ball State University!