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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:,, or

In This Issue:

*Viva Inglese
     by Noelle Templeton

*Alumni Spotlight: Paige Halpin
     by Fannetta Jones

*Today's Great Expectations
Alex Nall

*Courses to Keep an Eye on Next Year
     by the World Renowned MC English Professors

*Survey Says!


*Words of the Month

*Mellinger Tutoring Hours

               Viva Inglese

            by Noelle Templeton

     As English majors, we are taught to cherish language, respect its origins, and apply or bend its rules with care and consideration, but I did not fully appreciate the power of words until I was unable to communicate.  In August of last year, I fled Monmouth for Florence, Italy to study art and history through a program with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM).  I expected my semester abroad to hardly incorporate my English degree, other than the occasional visit to the birthplace of Dante (whose church, by the way, is a single room filled with baskets of letters professing unrequited love and became my favorite location in the city). Of course the architecture was amazing and the city still carries the influences of Michelangelo and the Medici, so I thought amidst all of this visual art, I might have a break from language and literature.  Somehow, my study of the Florentine dialect and culture has revamped my love for English; actually, it enhanced my respect for the power of words in any language.    
      Knowing only a handful of Italian phrases, I treasured those words while abroad, grew excited when I heard them in passing, and used them too frequently to blend in.  Living with an Italian mother and daughter provided me with daily culture studies over delicious dinners, and they were quick to share the latest slang or ancient proverb with my roommate and I, pictured above, and we delighted in the silly or bizarre translations of Florentine idioms.  Upon seeing something wonderful, one might exclaim, “fa un buco!” or “dig a hole!”  Of course there were daily misunderstandings and cultural faux pas, but I think the language was created just to mess with foreigners.  Why else would the phrases “to get lost” and “to get naked” sound distressingly similar? 
     The funny thing is, living in Italy has helped me appreciate the English language more, along with all of our expressions which are impossible to translate, like “off the wall.”  Some don’t make any sense to me but can delicately express an otherwise ugly situation:  “three sheets to the wind,” for example.  Many are quite lovely.  I especially like the saying, “to collect one’s thoughts,” both for the sound and the image.  English may sound more harsh and less chic than Italian, but it has just as many beautiful maxims and clever phrases as any other language, and is sometimes just as confusing, even to the fluent.


Alumni Spotlight: Paige Halpin

by Fannetta Jones



       One question that constantly bounces around in the mind of any college student is: What am I going to do when I graduate? This question seems to become especially present in the English department, due to the wide array of opportunities allotted for those of us with this chosen major. In thinking about the fact that we are closing in on the year and many students are probably beginning to get curious about their futures, I decided to catch up with one of the English Department's star alums, Paige Halpin, to see how she's been handling life in the "real world" post-Monmouth College. Here's what she had to say:


What year did you graduate?



What was your complete major?

I was an English major with a History and 19th Century Studies minor.


What is your current occupation?

Professional student. Wait, no. Graduate student, which pretty much means I'm a professional student/reader. I'm in my first year of a two year Master's program at Loyola University Chicago.


When you first entered the English major, did you imagine it would take you to where you are now?
I planned on becoming a high school English teacher when I began the major. While I still want to be in a classroom someday, the context has changed. If someone told me my sophomore year that after graduation I would be in a history graduate program I probably would have told them they were crazy. But after giving it some thought I wouldn't have deemed it completely implausible because I u
nderstood the beauty of a liberal arts school. I'm happy with my journey thus far and I'm excited for what's ahead of me.


How did the English department and/or Monmouth College prepare you for where you are?

Well, the English Department certainly had an impact on the way I approach history. I'm very interested in cultural history and my background in literature greatly helps. I was always interested in the historical context of literature and that helped push me toward history. Though the writing styles for English and History are different, the English department taught me to be a better writer and to not be afraid to complicate ideas. I learned how to be a critical reader by studying English and History. I am grateful to both departments for the lessons they taught me.


What was your favorite English course at MC and why?
I'd hav
e to say that my favorite course was Rob Hale's Victorian Culture. It was a great group of students and we read really good works, looked at art, and got to make Victorian food to share. That's when I became really interested in the Victorian era, as well as studying culture. At a close second is Hale's 19th Century Women Novelists class. I took too many courses with Hale =)


What advice would you give to current English majors?
Hm. Advice. Ask questions. Ask lots of them. Take risks with the questions you ask. Chances are you will never again have the opportunity to read and explore and discuss such canonical texts. Don't take that for granted. Being
an English major changes the way you view the world, and going to Liberal Arts school is perfect for those interested in English. Don't be afraid to make connections with other classes, either. Had I not, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Any last words?

Never stop reading!


Today’s Great Expectations

by Alex Nall

    Our British Survey 2 class just finished reading Charles Dickens’ masterpiece Great Expectations and upon its completion a feeling of satisfaction overcomes the reader. Although it is a bulky Victorian novel, Dickens’ story is brimming with exciting characters, a plot that swerves with surprises and suspense and ultimately concludes on a hopeful note for the future. The story centers on an orphan named Pip and his transcendence into high society via a mysterious fortune that he is to inherit from an anonymous donator. Pip’s journey is not easy and Dickens does this to show the harsh reality of aging in a changing society. The novel is a bildungsroman, a novel that chronicles a protagonist’s coming-of-age. Pip fits this category quite nicely considering at the start of the novel he is a scared little boy who shamefully lies to his sister and his best friend, Joe Gargery, a simple-minded but loveable blacksmith. Pip soon transforms into a figure of high society when he comes into possession of a vast fortune, of which he is not to know the possessor of until he becomes of age (Dickens uses the benefactor’s identity to include a great mystery within the novel). With this transformation comes a degree of careless arrogance from Pip, a trait that eventually leads him into situations with the law, the love of his life and other characters in the novel. Other great characters in this novel include Miss Havisham, a spinster who lives in a rundown mansion and hasn’t seen the sun in years; Herbet, Pip’s best friend (And from the way Herbert speaks to Pip, you’d wish he was too), and an escaped convict that periodically shows up throughout Pip’s life. All of these characters intertwine throughout Pip’s adolescence and adulthood and arrive at a turning point, not only in each other’s lives, but the world’s as well.

One of Dickens’ themes in the novel is acknowledging the Industrial Revolution as a great event that forever changed the lives of workers alike, but at the same time was to be cautioned for the impending consequences that came with that societal change. Pip is a great representation of a country undergoing a transformation in its political, secular and economic fashion. However, it is Joe who ultimately gets the most important line in the novel. After paying a visit to his now-wealthy friend, Joe senses the embarrassment he has caused Pip due to his inability to read or properly present himself in front of London’s prestige. Speaking simply, Joe states “Life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith...I’m wrong in these clothes. I’m wrong out of the forge, the kitchen, or off th’ meshes” (215). It is in this one paragraph that Joe clearly illustrates Dickens’ criticism of class distinction- a part of life that changed for hundreds of people with the coming of the Industrial Revolution. Dickens wanted to make sure that readers of his time period understood that without workers, the state is nothing and while Joe may not be the sharpest tool in the forge but he knows where he belongs, as opposed to Pip who is still undergoing his great expectations.

Many students can share in Pip’s experience as our own country moves forward into a new decade full of possibilities for the future in the areas of economics, global politics and alternative ways of living. Dickens’ Great Expectations is full of moments where readers can reflect on their own lives- whether they be a down-and-out Pip or an hardworking soul like Joe- and realize that even one hundred and fifty years after its original publication, Great Expectations has many things to show them.

Courses to Keep an Eye on Next Year


Fall 2010


English 180: Introduction to Literature (Willhardt)


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

English 220: British SurveyBeginning with the canonical alliterative epic Beowulf and continuing through the works of Samuel Johnson in the eighteenth century, this course covers roughly ten centuries of British literature. Our 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. The poetry and drama of times distant—in Old English (Beowulf), Middle English (Chaucer), and early modern English (Shakespeare)—challenge us to consider the value of studying literature: what are the values of literary study as a window into other lives, times, and cultures? What is the value of literary analysis as a mirror—providing insight into our own desires, motives, and subjectivity?  For more information, see please note that this site has not been updated for the Fall 2010 course. (Belschner)

English 224: Survey of American Literature I— This course is the first, introductory survey focusing on the myths, poetry, political essays, and fiction written from the Colonial American era through the Civil War. This course will emphasize literary, cultural, and historical movements through our study of short stories, essays, and poetry by influential and important early American writers. We will address major themes and movements in American literature and also, hopefully, gain an understanding of how American identity has been defined, interpreted, and re-interpreted through American literature to the Civil War. (Bruce)


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


ENGL 347: African American Autobiography and FictionThis course uses slave narratives and 19th/20th century autobiographies to set up a study of African American fiction.  Among titles: Richard Wright's Black Boy, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, works by Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Toni Cade Bambara.  Students write a chapter in their own autobiographies as one important assignment.  (Watson)


ENGL 348: Modern British NovelsWhy did the novel change so radically at the beginning of the twentieth century? How does fiction reflect and reinforce the anxieties of the age? What solutions does it present to some of those anxieties? This course will cover works written from 1906-1925 and will include H.G. Wells’s Tono-Bungay, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, D.H. Lawrence’s Sons & Lovers, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, E.M. Forster’s Passage to India, and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.  We will examine the books in historical context and also consider such issues as visual art, music, popular literature, the world wars, politics, imperialism, sexuality, and gender.  (Hale)


TEDP 371: (Roberts)

Spring 2011


English 180: The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Other DetectivesEnglish 180 seeks to encourage life-long reading through appreciation of literary language and form.  The course will emphasize examination and comparison of literary genres, structure and form in fiction, and New Critical analysis (point of view, plot, setting, characterization, diction, imagery, metaphor and symbol, theme, etc.). In particular, the course will place detective writing of nineteenth-century Britain and Australia in the context of pertinent historical and cultural settings, while examining categorical assumptions about “popular” and “serious” literary treatments with a focus on Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon of stories regarding Sherlock Holmes.  (Roberts)


English 200: Introduction to English Studies—This course is a gateway to the English major. It is designed to introduce majors and minors to the broad range of scholarship and practice within the discipline of English. Included will be emphasis upon close reading and research skills, as well as overviews of the history of the discipline, creative writing, literary criticism and theory, and vocational paths. (Hale)


ENGL 201: Grammar (Roberts)


ENGL 210: Creative Writing (Bruce)


ENGL 221:  British Survey II (Hale)


ENGL 225: American Survey II (Watson) 

English 250: Shakespeare on FilmThis one-credit course is only available to those students who are already enrolled in Shakespeare's Tragedies and Romances. Bi-weekly, students will view a film version of the play discussed in 362; students will meet for an hour on opposing weeks to submit a journal entry and discuss the film.  Films may include Parker's Othello, Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, and Greenaway's Prospero's Book among others.  Also, Julie Taymor (Titus) is releasing a new version of The Tempest in 2010!  Students will be introduced to film theory and criticism. The additional reflection on the films will definitely enhance understanding of the plays--and these are exciting, innovative adaptations to boot!  This one-credit course does not count as a full course toward the major requirements and awaits the final approval of the faculty Curriculum Committee. (Belschner)

English 301: Advanced  Composition—Better entitled “Literary Nonfiction” this course is a complement to the two creative writing courses offered by the Department.  A craft course, we will work on understanding the various subgenres of literary nonfiction by reading widely and writing copiously.  The idea is to learn to tell true stories, but tell them as if they were fiction, keeping in mind ways to generate character, scene, plot, and that most elusive of all elements, style. (Willhardt)


ENGL 349: Hawthorne and MelvilleThis course takes on the short fiction and a couple of blockbuster novels of two New Englanders who knew each other.  Melville admired the older Hawthorne and sought to make Nat a spiritual mentor.  He wanted Hawthorne's approval and received it . . . at a distance.  Yes, we hunt the great white whale in this course and thereby discredit the cynical definition of a classic: "A book everyone talks about and no one has read." (Watson)

English 350: Seventeenth Century Poetry and the Self

"Cogito ergo sum"--"I think, therefore I am."

The first half of the term will be devoted to poets including but not limited to William Shakespeare, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Katherine Phillips, and Robert Herrick, and the second half of the term will focus predominantly on John Milton's Paradise Lost.  Close readings of the poetry will consider the new sense of self--of interiority--that appeared in the seventeenth century and that prefigures the Cartesian self: "I think, therefore I am".  This sense of self creates new types of relationships between individuals and the sacred, between marital and sexual partners, and between readers and authors that strongly impacts how we understand our selves in relationship to God, our partners, and our literature today. We will also compare earlier visual art to seventeenth century art for signs of this change in the sense of self. (Belschner)

English 362: Shakespeare's Tragedies and RomancesThis course will explore the themes and characters of Shakespeare's most exciting plays including Othello, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest.  Class discussion will emphasize the major questions of these plays--What motivates Iago? Why doesn't Hamlet act sooner?  What is wrong with Romeo?--as well as closely examine the language, structure, genre, historical context, and major themes of these plays.  Students will watch a film or two but those students interested in immersing themselves in Shakespearean film should also enroll in English 250 Shakespeare on Film.  The midterm project will be a film interpretation of a theme or scene and the final project will be a formal essay. Please see for more information; note that the site has not been updated for Spring 2011. (Belschner)

ENGL400: Senior Seminar  (Willhardt)

Survey Says!!!!

 Who is your favorite female writer?

Allison Bechdel is a great writer whose graphic memoir Fun Home shows her capability to transfer in images and words. She refers to classic works of art, literature, feminine independence and gay/lesbian themes throughout her memoir and her comics. A smart, seriously sad and depressingly funny writer.

-Alex Nall

 Shirley Jackson, at the moment.

-Alex Kane




AliceMunroCharlotteBronteLucilleCliftonSandraCisnerosJeanThompsonDeniseMinaLouiseErdrich-KathaPollittMarieHoweJKRowlingToniMorrisonVirginiaWoolf(does that count as one?) 
   -Erika Solberg

It's a tie between Zadie Smitha and Jhumpa Lahiri.

-Laura Dumont




Alas, I can't pick a favorite.  Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Bronte, Kate Chopin, Flannery O'Connor, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon are near the top of my list.

-Rob Hale

Dorothy Wordsworth


-Ivy Becker






My favorite female writer is Agatha Christie. Read Ten Little
and A Death in the Clouds and try not to like her. 


-Danny Weber

J. K. Rowling


-Tiffany Lefler







My favorite female writer would be a tie: Dorothy Parker and Eudora Welty.  I met Eudora and she was great.  One of my undergrad professors was a protégé and Eudora would send our class Bourbon cookies—a very happy class!   


-Kevin Roberts       

I happen to think Ursala K. Le Guin is amazing.

-Wesley Teal


Sylvia Plath!


-Kayt Griffith








*Registration for next year begins April 6.

*Submit 10+ pages of fiction or poetry to Professor Mary Bruce by Tuesday, April 6, for a chance at winning The Rosanna Webster Graham Prize in Creative Writing, a $1000 cash prize!

*Support your classmates in the theatre's production of Sweeney Todd. Showtimes are 7:30pm April 15th-17th, 2pm April 17th & 18th. Tickets are $6, $5 for Students $ Seniors, $4 MC ID

*Remember to celebrate the Bard's deathday (that's right, deathday) on April 23.

*Sulci meets every Thursday at 9pm in Mellinger.

Words of the Month
Do you know what they mean?
if not, look 'em up, use 'em well!





Writing Labs

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

Fannetta Jones

Alex Nall

Noelle Templeton


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