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  The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose it to inform major and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact or





Departmental Differences

By Erik Davis

This year we are starting a series of articles that compare how our English department here at Monmouth College stacks up against the other English departments at other colleges.  This series will focus on the several different benchmarks including; overall strengths and weaknesses, curriculum organization, and unique opportunities that each school has to offer.  To inaugurate this series I decided to see how our department compared to our rivals Knox College.  Since they always come up short on the football field, it seems only fair to give them a chance to compete elsewhere. 

I talked with Dr. Lori Haslem (, who is the chair of the Literature Department at Knox College, about some of the unique features that the Literature Department at Knox has.  The most obvious difference between Knox and Monmouth is that, at Knox, writing, journalism, and literature are separate majors.  This separation of majors automatically sets up some differences between our programs.  Knox also has some innate differences because they are on a system of trimesters instead of our system of semesters.  I asked Dr. Haslem if this system presented any advantages or disadvantages to students who study Literature at Knox.  Dr. Haslem said, “Depends on the time of year you ask!  Actually, I do think that we can feel rushed at times to get everything in in 9-10 weeks).  On the other hand, it seems to me (someone who has taught on semester and trimester systems off and on for years) that 10 weeks is about the time when energy flags anyway--even during a semester system. We perhaps are at a disadvantage when it comes to asking our students to write truly deep research papers, which are difficult to incorporate into a 10-week term.”  We also talked about the different requirements for literature majors at Knox compared with those for majors here at MC. 

A complete list of the requirements can be found at  Basically Knox does not require that students take survey courses or a course in Shakespeare.  Literature majors are strongly encouraged to take at least two survey courses to provide some historical context for the texts that they read, but it is not required.  Knox majors are also allowed more freedom to choose between journalism and creative writing courses that could count towards a literature major.  I am sure many of you who are in surveys right now would like to know how Knox students get out of doing this, so I asked Dr. Haslem what she thought were the strengths and weaknesses of not having her students take surveys and she said, “As someone whose area is early English Lit., I was myself among the most skeptical at letting go of the requirement [to take a series of survey courses] a few years back.  I have seen nothing but advantages though, as I see students in early lit/survey classes now who have fully chosen to be there.  I don't think that students should be allowed to skip surveys altogether, though, and I think that once a student goes through one survey, he/she is better situated to understand how taking more might be worthwhile…We do a lot with our individual advising of students in their course selection to help them choose to get an historical perspective on literature.  That is, instead of mandating that they take courses that take them into the historical development, we try to show them how a study of strictly modern or contemporary literature is woefully lacking if one doesn't take into account the earlier literatures that more recent writers were building on.” 

At Monmouth College we study literary theory in 200 and in Senior Seminar, but we do not deal with it very much in between those two classes.  The literature program at Knox is much more focused on the study of literary theory.  Dr. Haslem said, “Oh yes, literary theory is one of the mainstays of the Literature major.  All students are required to take a gateway course to the major (called Ways of Reading, ENG 200) that introduces them to literary theory as it developed from New Criticism up through post-structuralism.  We put this course early in the major so that students can draw on that theory (and learn it more deeply, fully) as they embark on upper-level courses afterwards.  All upper-level courses are theory-rich and also require students to engage with literary criticism, to respond to it both in class, in their written arguments, and to incorporate scholarly writings into their longer essays (a requirement of upper-level courses).”

Knox College also has an endowment that offers students some very unique opportunities.  Dr. Haslem explained, “We are blessed to have a special fund from a donor that allows us to bring world class writers to campus.  We couldn't afford to do this if not for the fund especially earmarked for English.”  One of the things that Dr. Haslem said that she regrets is that our two departments have not worked more closely together historically.  Haslem hopes that our two departments can work more closely together in the future.  She thought that perhaps inviting us to these types of events would be a good place to start.

Knox College’s literature department is quite different from our English department.  They both offer students some unique advantages while giving them a quality education.    


A Literary Journey to Haworth, England while Studying Abroad

By Megan Carlson

This past spring I had the great opportunity of studying abroad in London, England and Florence, Italy for the semester.  The amount of learning and traveling and experience that I have obtained from this trip will be with me permanently.  It would hardly be possible for me to write about everything in this article, but I thought one travel in particular would interest English faculty and students.  I took a special topics course last fall with visiting professor, Brooks Applebaum, on the Brontë sisters.  I found it particularly interesting to learn about such an unusual family in the Victorian Age and, luckily, while living in London, I was able to make a pilgrimage to the home of the beloved English writers, The Brontës.

            The hustle and bustle of London is unlike any city I’ve been to.  My classes were hardly ever inside, so my classroom was the great outdoors.  Everyday I was learning about the architecture of the late, great Sir Christopher Wren or walking through Brick Lane, a haven for artists such as Gilbert and George.  I also was seeing extravagant plays in popular west-end theatres, but I could be found sitting in an upstairs room of a pub watching a play about Portuguese warfare.  With all the excitement of the city, it was a significant contrast to hit the open roads and travel into the countryside of England.  I did just this in late March of last semester.  I trekked up north to the incredibly small town of Haworth, England.  This is where the Brontë family moved to in 1820 and remained there the rest of their lives. 

            I left London in the late afternoon with no worries of any travel mishaps.  But those of you who have traveled anywhere know there is always a “travel mishap.”  By the time I actually arrived in Haworth, it was close to 11:00 p.m.  Arriving in a city at night is somewhat easy; there are usually signs and you just follow the bright lights to safety.  Haworth is wholly unlike London, and I was lucky to find even a porch light on.  Dropping me off on a dark and dreary road, the local bus pushed me into, what looked like to me, the worst decision I had ever made.  Like Patrick Brontë wrote in a letter dated in 1821, I was a “stranger in a strange land.”  I had picked, what I thought was genius, a hostel that in the 1800’s was considered the mansion in the town of Haworth.  Arriving so late, I thought I was walking towards impending doom.  After much confusion and an inability to read my map, I found a gravel road that stretched ahead with looming trees on both sides of the walkway.  At the end of the path, the hostel rose up to the night sky.  Never in my life would I have stayed there if I thought I could find another place to stay.  My evening was thus spent thinking that I might have heard a noise in the attic or that I could point out Heathcliff on the moors waiting for Catherine.  Now I knew why the Brontës' stories were full of superstitions.

            My evening was discouraging to say the least.  All was pushed aside, though, when I woke up and actually saw the quaint town of Haworth.  The town consists of one main road which rises up a hill and at the top are the Haworth parsonage, church, and graveyard.  The church has the family vault of the Brontë family (Anne is the only family member not there; she was buried in Scarborough) and a chapel dedicated to them.  The parsonage itself is a step back in time.  The parsonage, where Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were written, has a multitude of personal objects that the Bronte’s used on a daily basis.  Emily’s piano, Charlotte’s writing desk, and Branwell’s paintings are in the small house and in the memories of those who visit.  In addition to exploring the parsonage and church, I went on a hike to Brontë Falls.  The posthumous name for the waterfalls and walk is known as the pathway that the Brontë sisters walked for leisure and even wrote parts of their novels on stones along the way.  The path is scattered with sheep and stone walls that blend in with the large rolling hills.  There is a letter from a friend of Charlotte’s where she describes a walk while visiting the Brontë family; “It was a small oasis of emerald green turf, broken here and there by small clear springs; a few large stones served as resting-places; seated here, we were hidden from all the world, nothing appearing in view but miles and miles of heather, a glorious blue sky, and brightening sun.”  Seated on a stone in front of the falls, I saw the beauty that the Brontës saw their whole life.   

            I traveled to Haworth to see where my favorite writers grew up and see some of their influences in person.  Wandering on the moors and standing near the family vault brought me as close to the Brontë family as reading their novels did.  Admiring the work of an author and then being able to place yourself in their environment is truly exciting.  I hope that you all can get the opportunity to travel and seek out those great places of literary success like Bloomsbury in London where Virginia Woolf and her infamous group met and wrote or to Rome to visit the final home of John Keats.  There are obviously too many places to visit, but I suggest that you go and pick out those places most important to you; places that have meaning to you.  This truly adds to your study-abroad experience.

If you have any questions about my semester studying abroad or just want to talk about traveling, my email is 


All for Academic Honesty and Academic Honesty for All

 By Anne Stone

            Every fall, the ILA classes pour into Dahl Chapel and Auditorium for the annual “Academic Honesty” convocation.  This convocation informs students of the moral and academic consequences related to academic dishonesty.  While most or all of the MC English majors have heard this lecture, it is easy to forget what academic dishonesty entails, and English majors are never too old for a refresher course.

            Academic dishonesty is not simply cheating, while cheating is one of the three ways a person can be academically dishonest.  The two other activities considered as academic dishonesty by Monmouth College are inappropriate collaboration and plagiarism.  According to the MC website, “cheating involves misrepresenting one’s knowledge or experience” which means that making a “cheat sheet” for an exam, or copying another student’s homework assignment fall under this category (  Most students feel no confusion about cheating since it is a fairly straightforward issue.  Inappropriate collaboration, however, can be a bit hazy.  Inappropriate collaboration, in an informal sense, is “putting heads together.”  More academically stated, MC defines it as “presenting academic work as one's own independent effort when it includes significantly the work of others” (  The third means of academic dishonesty is extremely important for all English majors to know.  Plagiarism, which means stealing the ideas of another and claiming it as one’s own work, is most commonly related to writing, and therefore, is something that English majors should take every precaution to avoid. Even forgetting to cite is considered plagiarism, and the consequence of this forgetfulness is failing the class. 

            Another consequence of academic dishonesty is a mark on the student’s transcript that labels the student “academically dishonest” to every future institution he/she might attend and every company seeking his/her employment.  One of the main things for which graduate schools and employers are looking is honesty, and this note could make the difference between a student’s dream job and flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

           Many English students fall prey to plagiarism when they search on-line for information.  The majority of students do not feel that it is wrong or plagiarism when they look for ideas from which to begin a paper or presentation, however they could not be more wrong.  Even searching on Google or Yahoo and using small details from a search is considered plagiarizing if due credit is not given.  Another area where students can unknowingly plagiarize is by paraphrasing without giving credit to the original author.  Rephrasing the words does not make the idea one's own; it is considered stealing just as much as stealing a direct quote without crediting the original owner of the idea.

            The mere mention of academic dishonesty is enough to send chills through any college student’s bones, but there are a lot of ways to prevent academic dishonesty, and the Printing Press would like to offer students a few tips:

-         Start assignments early.  It is easy to be forgetful or look for an easy way out when a student waits until the last minute to complete assignments, but when students look ahead and begin early, they have time to use all resources available.

-         Proofread!  When students proofread, they often find mistakes in citation.  Thirty minutes of proofreading is definitely worth the alternative option: failing.

-         Ask professors for help.  At Monmouth College, the faculty is always willing to lend a hand.

-         Visit the writing center.  The knowledgeable tutors can help in any step of the writing process.

There are many ways to be academically dishonest, but there are even more ways to prevent it.  Most students who cheat get caught, and taking that chance is not worth the possible consequences.  For more information on Academic Honesty, visit the Monmouth College website at:




Carol Gilbertson, Professor of English at Luther College, extended the following invitation to Sigma Tau Delta members at MC:

"On behalf of Luther College's Sigma Tau Delta chapter, it is my pleasure
to invite you and your students to a writing conference November 2-4,
2008, at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

"Called to Create: A Lutheran Festival of Writing” brings together for
the first time writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have been
shaped by the Lutheran tradition. The Festival is open to anyone
interested in literary work--readers as well as writers--and one does
not have to be affiliated with the Lutheran church to attend. We are
particularly eager to have students enjoy this rich program of literary

Over 20 award-winning authors will read their work. In addition, book
and magazine editors will talk about the publishing climate for
religious writers. Keynote speakers include National Book Award winner
Walt Wangerin, Jr., and Marilyn Nelson, former Poet Laureate of
Connecticut. For complete information about the festival, presenters,
and how to register, visit:

We would appreciate your forwarding this to the Sigma Tau Delta members
on your campus.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions."

The Monmouth Community is invited to attend:

Liberation Theater: The Ceremony of Empowerment 

Sheila Rocha

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Playwright, director, writer, performance artist, storyteller and advocate.  Director and

founder of

Teatro Mestizo, Young, Gifted, and Black Theater Companies and TICOTA,

The Indigenous Collective of Theatre and Arts.

Text Box:


 Liberation Theatre Workshop

Thursday, October 4.  6:00 – 9:00 pm

The Highlander Room, Monmouth College

Refreshments Provided


This Liberation Theater Workshop is for all cultural and linguistic segments of the Monmouth College community who are concerned about empowerment.  This is not a theatrical production; instead this intensive workshop is a form of popular community based education that uses theater as a tool for transformation.  Originally developed out of Augusto Boal’s work with peasant and worker populations, these techniques are now used the world over for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation.  The workshop provides participants with the opportunity to explore social, racial, and economic issues in the safety of a theatrical form.  Intended for both the college and grassroots community member, this high-energy experience takes us on a journey of physical exercises and theater games designed to uncover essential truths about our self, society, and culture in which we live.  Ms. Rocha es bilingue and her only request is for participants to be at least 15 years of age.



Survey Says

What is your favorite book so far this semester?

Melissa Gorski: The Glass Castle

Molly Rhoderick: Time Traveler's Wife

Anne Stone: Disgrace

Missy Metz: Kindred

Drew Johnson: Angels and Demons

Nick Basala: Three Nights in August




Writing Labs 3:00-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
  7:00-10:00 pm Sunday - Thursday

Anne Stone

Erik Davis

Megan Carlson



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