The Printing Press

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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 the Priniting Press Crew:,

It's Fall!

From the Printing Press Staff






In This Issue:

 This is the second article in a series about the lives of English majors and the different places they come from.

The Way the Wind Blows

By Fannetta Jones

        I have been a Chicagoan all my life. I’ve lived in the same neighborhood, on the same street, for as long as I can remember. In a big city like Chicago, there are plenty of opportunities to explore literature and over various avenues of artistic expression. With this in mind, there is no question as to why I was interested in the English major. Having been surrounded by such a large amount of creativity all my life, I could not help but want to go into this field myself. It just so happened that English and writing were two areas of interest that really appealed to me. Something about the written word that seemed to fit me best. After making the decision to pursue English in my sophomore year of high school, it was just a matter of time before I was able to decide which college I would attend to further my exploration of the English language. Being in Chicago, I had a wide variety of places to attend. From University of Chicago, to Columbia College, and even University of Illinois, there were so many schools that seemed to fit what I was looking for in a school. It is a wonder that a massive place like the Windy City somehow blew me almost four hours south down to the town of Monmouth.

     Enrolling in the English major at Monmouth College has done a lot for me that I think I may not have gotten had I stayed up near Chicago. For example, at Monmouth College I’ve learned a lot about Carl Sandburg, a literary figure I’d only heard of in passing while going through school in Chicago. I have been able to do a lot more close reading of pieces that I may have only glanced over in high school. Essentially, Monmouth’s English department has presented literature and writing to me in a way that I could understand. At a big university, it is easy to get lost in the crowd and be expected to just “know” what is going on. However, at Monmouth, the professors work towards enhancing your interpretations and overall understanding of literary pieces. This has truly helped me towards becoming a better English major and writer as a whole.

     Now, it goes without saying that coming to Monmouth was a bit of a culture shock. I’m accustomed to big buildings and loud noise at all hours of the night. Here at Monmouth, our only neighbors are corn stalks, and that definitely took some getting used to. I also had to get used to not being within 15 minutes of anything I could possibly need at a given time. I suppose city life will do that to you. But at Monmouth, I’ve been able to do a lot of things I can’t do in the city. I enjoy sitting outside and looking at the stars that I normally can’t see in the city due to all the lights. I enjoy being able to go to a store in town and have people actually know my name. I guess Monmouth, being such a small town, has really taught me to appreciate the “little things.”

Reunion Not to Miss: English and Latin

By Alex Nall

      Over the summer I was presented the opportunity to take Latin as a foreign language over my alternative, Spanish (which I had drudged through in high school for two years). I was excited by the challenge and was told that Latin was the core center of many other languages. Perhaps if I studied Latin I would have a better understanding of English. Since I am an English major I decided to take the 8 am Latin 101 class taught by Professor Tom Sienkewicz. As the class progressed I had a few questions come to mind: What could learning Latin offer us in the 21st century, how did our magister (teacher) get his start and how could Latin help English majors and minors.

I conducted an interview with Magister Sienkewicz and here is what he told me about his personal history and his opinions about the relationship between Latin and English.

He told me a quick history of Latin being taught in high schools up until the 1960s when Latin had been required to get into college. Magister Sienkewicz has his experience with the language since he took it for four years in high school and three years of Greek as well. He also said that the removal of the requirement of Latin in high schools has blossomed a “shortage of Latin teachers” throughout the nation.

When I asked how Latin can be used to help English majors he told me that in Latin there is a strong focus on grammar. He said,  “Latin helps students realize where the origin of some words come from and how our modern language is derived from ancient Roman words. For example, the word janitor comes from ianitor, a Roman guardian of a wealthy family’s household.” He told me the importance between the realizing the differences between Roman society and the modern world we live in today. He also emphasized that “ancient cultures offer us different perspectives on the world, perspectives which enable us to better understand our own culture and our own times.”

Magister Sienkewicz and Kenneth Kitchell of the University of Massachusetts Amherst wrote the textbook designed for the class and, to make the lessons easier to comprehend, they have included a narrative story featuring two families (one poor, one rich), set in Caesar’s Roman empire and a monkey named Socrates. When I told him that English majors would find this an interesting approach to teaching a foreign language he told me that he and his co-writer were not the first professors to approach this method. He said that the main objective of the class is not to be able to write Latin but to be able to decipher it and understand its importance. English majors can appreciate the idea of introducing a storyline and characters into other subjects since it makes the class not only more interesting but more comprehensible as well.

I recommend students, and English majors especially, to take the Latin class in order to grasp a better understanding of where the language they are studying came from and how it is used today. The Latin class offers fun assignments, rewards for vocabulary bees but also an opportunity to go to Rome and the promise that “you are guaranteed a job as a Latin teacher!”

A Moment with Marlo

By Fannetta Jones

     One aspect of the English department that hasn't quite been the same this year is the absence of our beloved professor, Marlo Belschner. Professor Belshner was given the amazing opportunity to go abroad and further her studies in English and Shakespeare (her love, haha). I was given the lucky opportunity to converse with Professor Belschner about her travels and here is a bit of how that conversation transpired:

How are you enjoying sabbatical?

It is amazing.  To have all of this time to read and catch up on what is happening in Shakespeare studies is amazing.  To be able to read for pleasure every day, too--for hours, most days--is the most amazing gift.  My sabbatical is more incredible than I even imagined. It has given me the gift of time, which doesn't happen very often.

How did you recieve the grant that allowed you to go abroad?

I applied for the NEH summer seminar by writing a brief application letter and sending in my CV and letters of recommendation. The history of the early printing press is a new interest that I hope will complement the research and teaching interests that I already have.

Where did you go and what did you do there?

We began in Antwerp, Belgium, studying with Professor Guido Latre at the Plantin Moretus museum.  Each library that we visited created a special display of manuscripts and early printed books at our request, and this was a highlight of the trip. My favorite part of Belgium was paging through a gorgeous 1405 illustrated Bible manuscript.  It was also a great privilege to learn from Professor Latre, a wonderful lecturer whose knowledge is vast.

We then moved to London and the British Library. My plan was to examine three copies of Elizabeth Cary's closet drama, The Tragedy of Mariam (1613) at the BL but they were in use so I didn't get to look at them until I returned later in the summer.  This was my first opportunity to work in the new British Library, though, and I was very pleased.  The library has become more accessible to non-academics, which makes it more lively but this also raises serious concerns about wear and tear on the texts.  Nevertheless, the book exhibit was amazing: we examined personal copies of religious texts owned by Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth I.  Awesome. It was a serious geekfest!

Finally, we travelled to Oxford for four weeks.  This was outstanding!  We worked at the Duke Humphrey's library, which is gorgeous. I examined a series of letters by Elizabeth Cary's children as well as three more printed copies of The Tragedy of Mariam (1613).  We had fascinating seminar meetings about our readings and research. There was also a lot of time for fun: I had day trips to Bath, Birmingham, Stratford, and London, and I watched a ton of plays including two unbelievable versions of The Winter's Tale.  Of most interest to you?  I saw Jude Law in Hamlet, Ethan Hawke in The Winter's Tale, and...drum roll, please...Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in Waiting for Godot. I saw 10 - 12 plays in all, I think, including a truly horrible version of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore.

After the five-week seminar, I went to London for two weeks, visited St. Ives in Cornwall for a week with a friend, and then returned to London for another week before returning back to Minnesota in August.  It was an exciting trip!

How will what you gathered on the trip enhance your future teaching?

I learned a lot about the role of early printing press during the Reformation for both Protestants and Catholics.  This seminar is relevant to all of my early modern literature courses from the early British survey to Shakespeare.  There are also some fascinating issues of theory including discussions of how readers of various skills levels both read and wrote in the period. If a text is well-illustrated, how would someone who is illiterate "read" it? Could it be used subversively as a Catholic text when it was originally a Protestant one--or at least was disguised as a Protestant text?

Do you miss being in the classroom?

More than I thought I would!  The excitement of the beginning of the school year can be addictive, and I miss hearing students discover exciting new ideas and texts. I don't miss grading, of course, and I don't miss students' anxieties about work load and deadlines, though.

Are you sad/disappointed that you will not be teaching the Shakespeare course this year?

Of course! There are two sad parts of my sabbatical: I miss Professor Hale and I'm sorry that I won't be teaching the old ruff-wearing bastard this year! I'm pretty excited to share some of the new ideas that I have about his work, though. I may have an opportunity to enhance my use of performance studies in the Shakespeare course toward the end of my sabbatical, and that would be very exciting for me and for students.

Do you have any advice for English majors in regards to going abroad?

Go. It is easier and cheaper than you think, and it deepens your life more than you can imagine. The world is a beautiful place. When in your life will you have a chance to go abroad for five-six months? Never, for most people. I've never known a student to regret it although I've met many who wished they could have stayed longer. Talk to Crazy Laura Dumont if you are unsure if it will be a good time. :)

What is one final thought you would like to leave the majors with?

I miss you--especially the seniors!  Don't forget to read! It is the main thing that our graduates tell us: I wish I would have been more disciplined about keeping up on the reading, especially in the surveys. And if you are looking for pleasure reading, pick up McCormac's The Road. Awesome!

Survey Says!!!!

 What has been your favorite piece of literature in college so far?

"We are Seven" by Wordsworth!

-Kaitlyn Kross

I know it's a bit of a cliche to pick out Great Expectations, but it really is a great novel and deserves the credit.

-Daniel Weber

Ben Jonson "Song to Celia"

-Daniel Pitts

"The Canterbury Tales" is definitely my favorite and reading it with Willhardt wasn't half bad either.

-Katie Argentine

"The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is probably my favorite piece of literature read in college so far.

-Tiffany Lefler



- Jonathan Snowdon


I really love Adrienne Rich's poem "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers." My favorite novel is probably Jane Eyre. 

- Maddie Ethington

As far as literature in college I would have to say that my favorites have been anything Poe or Shakespeare.  I also enjoyed reading Equus.

-Rissa Inman


2-The Catcher in the Rye

3-The Great Gatsby

4-Sonnet 128 (Shakespeare)

-Carlos Mora Sandi

Hmmm... I would probably say Equus (drama) with Watson.  What a crazy story!

-Kayt Griffith


"A Meeting in the Night" from English 200 with Mark, we learned to love that poem dearly...

- Ivy Becker

My favorite poem that I have read since I have been in college is "Vulture" by Robinson Jeffers. "What an enskyment"!

-Suzanne Barber

There have been so many brilliant pieces of literature, but one of the most memorable ones was the short story, "After the Plague," about swine flu knocking off 99% of the population.  No worries, guys.  No worries.

- Noelle Templeton

Shoot, there have been so many piece that I've really enjoyed. But, I would have to say "Goblin Market" by: Christina Rossetti and "The Fornicator" by: Robert Burns. I think I'm a little twisted like that.

-Fannetta Jones

My favorite book this semester so far has been something outside of class called Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman. It is a collection of essays that relate pop culture to historical events. One of my favorites is how Klosterman relates the production of Nirvana's album "In Utero" to the the Branch Davidson disaster in Waco, Texas. Very intelligent, extremely funny and recommended for students who want to learn how to write argumentative essays.

-Alex Nall


  • An undergraduate publication from Augustana College, Local Culture, is currently accepting pieces for their Winter issue. The journal features essays, photographs, news stories, and reviews on sustainability, stewardship, nature, and environmental health. All relevant student work will be considered and the deadline is December 20th. See their website for more details. Any questions can be directed toward Professor Hale at this time.

  • Check out the poetry group, Sulci, meeting every Thursday at 10 in Mellinger.

  • Professor Kevin Roberts encourages you to sign up for English 180, entitled Home Is Where the Heartland Is.  We'll be studying Illinois through its literature, history, and music.  The course will focus on Illinois authors and literature about Illinois.  The course will span the entire state and much of its history since 1818 (in a condensed version).  One selection I'm hoping to include is Road to Perdition, the story of Rock Island gangster John Looney.  The course is General Education option under Art Appreciation; it does not count toward the English major.

  • Hope you had a GREAT Thanksgiving Break! (Gobble Gobble)

Writing Center 9:00-11:00 am Tuesday
3:00-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
7:00-10:00 pm Sunday - Thursday

Fannetta Jones

Alex Nall



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