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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







Alumni Profile:  Amy Bradshaw ‘95

Erik Davis

            Amy Bradshaw graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English and Psychology from Monmouth College in 1995.  Bradshaw was very interested in creative writing and recalls spending many exhausting hours revising poems and short stories with Craig Watson (who taught creative writing then).  Prof. Watson was considered by everyone to be a very difficult professor who demanded perfection from his pupils. Some things never change.  Bradshaw recalls that many of the students did not appreciate being pushed so hard.  It was this sort of pushing, however, that Bradshaw came to look on as key to her success both academically and professionally.  Watson’s high standards made her into an articulate and precise writer. 

           Bradshaw loved creative writing; this love of creative writing was what led her to major in English.  She did not always love having to read overwhelming amounts of literature.  She recalls times when she thought that she would never be able to get everything done on time.  The surveys were especially tough.  She even admits that there were even times when she did not finish all her reading on time. 

           She found solace from the mountains of reading homework in student publications and other extra curricular activities.  She spent many hours working on “The Oracle,”  the student newspaper at the time.  She loved working on it, although to be fair, the writing may not have been the only draw.  It was there that she and her future husband, Mark Childs, got to know each other.  Mark was also majoring in English.  Besides working on the paper, she also enjoyed hanging out at Mellinger Learning Center.  MLC was of course at the time the ATO house.  It is safe to say that not all of Amy’s time at MC was spent studying.

            Bradshaw was also enrolled in the Honor’s program here at Monmouth.  She garnered many valuable experiences from the program.  Her most valuable lesson from the Honors program is learning and thinking about many different cultures, philosophies, and ideas that she never thought she would or could learn about.  She learned how to break down and analyze a problem that was seemingly unsolvable.  This skill has aided her tremendously in her career.  The English major and the Honors program really taught her to “learn to learn,” as she puts it.  She learned how to take an idea that she knew nothing about, analyze it, and come away with a firm understanding of it.  The values she formed at Monmouth College are still present in her life.

            She values education, and particularly a Liberal Arts education, very much, and she hopes that her children choose too attend a small liberal arts college like Monmouth.  She feels that students have many more opportunities here than at a large school.  She said that she really appreciated having teachers who were interested and invested in teaching as opposed to research.  This is something that she feels that is often absent at big state colleges and universities.  During her experiences in graduate school at both the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin she recalls that many faculty there were more devoted to research than to their students.

Because of her experiences at Monmouth College and in the English Department she was able to distinguish herself both in her further academic pursuits and in her career through writing.  Bradshaw went on to law school at the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), where she graduated cum laude.  She has worked as a consultant in the world of business, and also started an online editing service with a good friend of hers.  She now works as a lawyer who specializes in health law in Milwaukee.  She has won many honors and accolades, such as the “Highest Achievement Award in Health Law,” and her background in English has helped her to be disciplined enough to wade through piles of reading, analyze the law, write for a particular audience, and given her the confidence to conquer new tasks.  “Writing is becoming the dominant discourse in the cooperate world because of email,” Bradshaw observed.  Because of this change in the business world, her writing skills have proved invaluable.

A Radical Sabbatical

Anne Stone

            As English majors, we all know that Mark Willhardt is a “rockin’ dude,” so it is fitting that his sabbatical project revolves around music.  His project on authenticity in rock and roll and what society means by rock and roll as a genre has taken a few turns since he began, but now he has narrowed his topic.  Dr. Willhardt’s book will include a chapter on Elvis Costello, as well as sections about various other artists.  This has proved a difficult topic to research since Costello has been in the business for so long and has made several albums.  While his music collection has vastly expanded, a lot of time must be spent listening to each song and reflecting, and it did not register until he began that this would be such a time-consuming aspect of the project.  There is also a lot of criticism on Costello and his work, and reading and sorting through it has proved a tough task.  In Dr. Willhardt’s opinion, Costello is one of the most authentic musicians, so he is a perfect candidate to exemplify in his argument.  Willhardt hopes to have the introduction and first chapter of the book completed by the conclusion of his sabbatical, but he comments that the toughest parts of being on sabbatical are “switching gears” and “actually sitting down in the chair to write.”

            Dr. Willhardt confided that it’s hard to go back to a student-like role after playing the part of professor for so long.  “Teaching is a structured life, and now I have to re-learn the things I used to do.  It’s a free-form, and a lot of joy and frustration.”  Some of the joys of being on sabbatical for Dr. Willhardt are having relaxation and free-time.  After having an overload of courses for the last three semesters, he admitted that he needed a break, and it took him some time to unwind before he could start working.  “I needed the chance to focus and re-focus out of the day to day routine,” he explained in our interview.   While he also finds joy in writing, he also finds frustration: “Writing is always painful.  Thinking something through is the cool part, but writing it is hard.  It’s like my dissertation all over again.”  It helps that he’s interested in the subject, which is a sentiment with which all English majors can probably relate.  “It would probably help a little more to have a publisher and a deadline,” he adds, “but it would also drive me crazy. 

            Towards the end of our interview, a few other English majors came up to chat, and when asked if he missed the students, Dr. Willhardt responded simply “yes and no,” but then added humorously, “I’ve found I have to work the crowd a lot harder than I used to, and I do miss my colleagues.”  For the most part, he is just enjoying his time away from obligations and grading, but he will be back next semester amazing students with his teaching and advising abilities.


Course Selections

With registration just around the corner, here's a sneak peak at the English courses being offered for next year.

Fall 2007

English 210: Creative Writing:  Practice in the writing and critical analysis of imaginative literary forms, especially poetry and fiction. (Bruce)

English 220: British Survey I
Beginning with the canonical alliterative epic Beowulf and continuing through the works of Samuel Johnson in the eighteenth century, students in this course, taught by Professor Belschner, survey roughly ten centuries of British literature. The goals in this course are twofold (at least): to provide a chronology of (mostly) canonical British literature and to develop a sense of literary historicity as well as to think deeply about literature rooted in cultures simultaneously comparable to and disparate from our own. (Belschner)

English 224: American Survey 1:  One of two introductory surveys in American literature emphasizing literary movements, and cultural and historical developments in the literature of the United States. (Bruce)

English 310: Advanced Creative Writing:  Students write intensely in poetry or fiction, individually selecting their subject matter throughout the course.  Students sharpen their critical skills by evaluating one another's work and investigating contemporary writing and publishing.  (Bruce)

English 349: Contemporary American Fiction: This course will focus on the studty of short stories and novels from roughly 1950 to the present. (Watson)

English 350: Chaucer: Yeah, he been dead over 600 years.  Yeah, he wrote in an “English” which seems like Serbo-Croat to most of you.  Yeah, he’s hard.  The truth is, though, that Chaucer is seen as the start of real English literature because he managed to accomplish what hadn’t been done before:  create a skilled, informed, beautiful, engaging, meaningful and, very often, funny literature read not only by the English but by Continentals as well.  This course itself will be a double one for you.  First of all, we’ll work a little of the linguistic end, talking about where “English” was in 1350 and how it was distinctively placed to burst onto an international scene, in Chaucer’s hands, at least.  We’ll figure out how to read it, building up a vocabulary along the way.  Then we’ll dive into the works themselves, spending most of the semester reading The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s unfinished masterwork.  We will see how he manages to encapsulate the religious, secular, gender, and sexual politics of his day – all the while making the most raucous moving party ever written. (Willhardt)

English 350: Victorian Culture.  This course will explore a variety of issues relevant to the Victorian period including industrialization, science, religion, "the woman question," sexuality, medievalism, politics, and empire by examining a number of literary and cultural "texts" including classic literature, popular literature, children’s literature, paintings, music, theatre, magazines, and food (yes, food).  Authors/artists may include Tennyson, Browning, Eliot, Doyle, Hunt, Kipling, Bronte, Braddon, Dickens, Rossetti, Doyle, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Meredith (among others). Tu/Th 2-3:15. (Hale)

TEDP371/English 430—Secondary English Teaching Methods:  2pm, M, W, F.  TEDP371/English 430 is a course in teacher preparation, studying the basic approaches to the teaching of literature, composition, grammar, vocabulary, and speech.  Students will gain knowledge regarding planning lessons, grading, and understanding the needs of the secondary English Teacher.  Students will also explore issues and concerns regarding any teaching area, such as classroom design, discipline, etc. (Roberts)

Spring, 2008:    

English 180: An Introduction to Literature, a general literature course for non-majors.  It is tentatively titled “My Family Is Driving Me Crazy (But I Love Them Anyway): Families in Contemporary Fiction and Poetry.”  Our readings will consist of short story collections, novels, and poetry written within the last fifteen years and will likely include Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good, Edward P. Jones’s Lost in the City, Amy Tan’s The Kitchen God’s Wife, Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo, and selected poems by Sharon Olds and Marie Howe. (Solberg)

English 200:  Introduction to English Studies: This is the gateway course into both the major and the field of English.  As such, it concentrates on beginning to develop those fundamental reading and writing skills which are the lifeblood to English majors.  Concentrating especially on developing close and careful reading skills, and showing how those link to the generation of ideas and arguments about literature, the course offers students the chance to practice and perfect the various elements which they will be called on to build upon in subsequent courses.  Attention will also be given to the history of English as a discipline, as well as to possible vocational paths for English majors, outside of teaching. (Willhardt)

English 210: Creative Writing:  Practice in the writing and critical analysis of imaginative literary forms, especially poetry and fiction. (Bruce)

English 301:  Advanced Composition: As it has been taught over the past five years, this course’s title is really a misnomer.  Rather than being an extension of the argumentative essays of English 110, as “Advanced Composition” would indicate, it is instead a course in literary non-fiction.  We will simultaneous come to understand this genre as we work within its very flexible boundaries.  More creative writing course than anything, emphasis will be given to the craft of writing, developing “true” essays which utilize all those literary elements which our various literature courses have emphasized throughout your major.  Students will be responsible for a portfolio of writings during the semester, ending with four complete non-fiction essays.  Based in workshop and discussion, as well as lots of outside writing, the course is an opportunity for anyone who is serious about writing to hone their chops. (Willhardt)

English 347: Modern American Poetry:  This course will focus on the study of 20th century poetry. (Watson)


English 350: Revolution & Reform in 19th Century Literature:  This course will essentially be team-taught with Hannah Schell and Craig Vivian.  We will explore significant issues and people from the 19th century (i.e., Thomas Jefferson, the Civil War, Utopianism, Democracy/Progressivism, Darwinism, the woman question and others) and examine how they are portrayed in terms of history, literature, relgion, and education. (Hale)

English 361: Shakespeare's Comedies and Histories
A study of the master's comedies and histories including Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, Midsummer  Night's Dream, Henry IV Parts I and II (plays may vary).  Focused on both language, structure, and historical context, this course prepares you to read Shakespeare closely and with appreciation for the complex issues of gender, community, power, and other motifs in his comedies and histories. The Blackfriars Theater Troupe will be coming in February to perform Taming of the Shrew and to run a workshop with English 361 students. (Belschner)

English 400: Senior Seminar: Topic to be announced.  (Bruce)

WOST 201: Introduction to Women's Studies

From the Monmouth Catalog: “An introduction to Western feminist thought and the study of women’s roles and status in society.  This course also evaluates present knowledge about women, questions stereotypes, and reinforces the value and content of women’s everyday lives” (127). In a nutshell, women’s studies encourages an increased awareness of the issues and experiences that shape women’s lives.  Historically, women’s experiences have often been overlooked; women’s studies is one way that oversight has begun to be rectified.  Hopefully, this course will help you to understand women and their potential more fully, and as a result, your relationships with women and your sense of self—regardless of sex or gender—will deepen and mature.  Through its exploration of gender construction and roles, women’s studies has also expanded our understanding of masculinity, although that is not directly the focus of this course. (Belshner)




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