Professors receive tenure, promotions effective in 2015-16



Congratulations to the Dedman College faculty members who are newly tenured as associate professors or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2015-16 academic year.

The following individuals received tenure or promotion effective Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

Angela Ards, English
Greg Brownderville, English
Justin Fisher, Philosophy
Matthew Keller, Sociology
Matthew Lockard, Philosophy
Daniel Moss, English
Nia Parson, Anthropology
Christopher Roos, Anthropology
Stephen Sekula, Physics
Alicia Zuese, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

Thomas Coan, Physics
Darryl Dickson-Carr, English
Robert Kehoe, Physics
Francisco Morán, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
Tony Ng, Statistical Science
Sherry Wang, Statistical Science

Greg Brownderville – How to Make Up Your Mind (Hint: It Involves Reading Poetry) – TEDxSMU Inside SMU 2015

Originally Posted: April 30, 2015

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Brownderville claims that poetry can make one’s mind an interesting place to live. He tells stories about his intense relationship with language, his early experiences of poetry, and his dad’s delight in funny-sounding words.

Greg Brownderville has published a book of poems titled Gust (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly, 2011) and a book of folkloristic poems titled Deep Down in the Delta (Butler Center Books, 2012). His third book, a collection of poems titled A Horse with Holes in It (LSU Press, Southern Messenger Poets series), is slated for release in fall 2016. Brownderville teaches Introduction to Creative Writing and upper-level poetry workshop.

David Haynes, English, one of three fiction jury members, asked by Pulitzer Prize Board to submit a fourth nominee

Wall Street Journal

Originally Posted: April 21, 2015

Pulitzers Added a Fourth Novel to Find Fiction Winner

Board asked jury to submit another book before selecting ‘All the Light We Cannot See’

The Pulitzer Prize Board this year asked its fiction jury to submit a belated, fourth nominee, in contrast to its handling of the selection for 2012, when no fiction prize was awarded.

On Monday the fiction award went to Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” published by Scribner. The other finalists were “Let Me Be Frank With You,” by Richard Ford; “The Moor’s Account,” by Laila Lalami; and “Lovely, Dark, Deep,” by Joyce Carol Oates.
In a typical year, a three-person jury of literary experts recommends three novels or short-story collections to the board for consideration. In November, this year’s jury did just that.

But as the Pulitzer board was reading those three finalists over the winter, “there was some worry expressed among board members” and the board asked the jury to submit a fourth finalist, the prize administrator, Mike Pride, said in an interview Tuesday. READ MORE

Gilbert Lecture Series presents author and game designer Ian Bogost “The Mistrust of Things”

Event Date: Thursday, April 16
Time: 6pm reception, 6:30pm lecture
Location: Dedman Life Science Building, room 131


How can we learn to live with things?

How do we approach a world so replete, so overburdened with stuff that it’s literally falling apart from the wear?

How do we think of ourselves as just another thing among so many others, rather than the masters of the things that are our servants?

How can we respect things for what they are, irrespective of their role in our concerns, and how do we really do so, not just late one weird night but every day, habitually?

And how do we do so without descending into the anguish of nihilism, without concluding that the universe is fundamentally indifferent?

Award-winning author and game designer Ian Bogost will speak on “The Mistrust of Things” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in Room 131 of Dedman Life Science Building. The lecture, sponsored by SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series, will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. MORE HERE

Kimbilio mentioned in NY Times article on author Toni Morrison

Originally Posted: April 8, 2015
By: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison

At 84, she sits comfortably as one of the greatest authors in American history, even as her uncompromising dream for black literature seems farther away than ever.

Not too long ago, Toni Morrison sat in the small kitchen attached to the studio where she was recording the audiobook for her newest novel, “God Help the Child,” telling a roomful of strangers stories that I will never forget. The studio, a small, refurbished barn in Katonah, N.Y., was more than a hundred years old, but only a few rustic touches remained, like a sliding barn door and knotty pine floors. A solid kitchen table had been laid with fresh fruits, muffins and tins of jam. Beams of sunlight reflected off the blindingly white snow outside the glass window. A young woman from Random House kept mentioning her sunglasses, how it was bright enough to wear them inside. Everyone giggled at her nervous chatter, but they seemed to be mostly laughing at her brave attempt to make small talk in the presence of Toni Morrison. READ MORE


Department of English and Ethnic Studies Program co-sponsor musical tribute to African American author-activist Margaret Walker Alexander on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Members of the SMU community are invited to a free performance of “For My People: A New Musical Work” on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Clarence Muse Café Theater, 1309 Canton Street, Dallas.

Celebrating the centennial of the birth of acclaimed African American poet-scholar-activist Margaret Walker Alexander (1915-1998), the event will feature the opus’ author, Randy Klein, joined by Aurelia Williams and the Heart and Soul Singers performing in honor of SMU’s first sponsorship of the annual College Language Association (CLA) convention (April 8-11 in Dallas).

Co-sponsors of the musical tribute are SMU’s Department of English and Ethnic Studies Program in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences along with the University’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, in partnership with the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, the College Language Association and Dr. Maryemma Graham of the University of Kansas.

“This is not only CLA’s 75th convention and the centennial of Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander’s birth, but it’s also the centennial of SMU’s opening,” says CLA host committee chair Darryl Dickson-Carr, associate professor of English in SMU’s Dedman College. READ MORE

Greg Brownderville, English, Arkansas Poet

KUAR-UALR Public Radio

News & Culture for Arkansas

Originally Posted: April 1, 2015


On this episode of Arts & Letters, we sit down with poet and folklorist Greg Brownderville, who hails from Pumpkin Bend, Arkansas. He is the author of Deep Down in the Delta: Folktales and Poems (Butler Center Books, 2011) and Gust (Northwestern University/TriQuarterly, 2011).

A deep felt sense of place persists throughout much of his work, which incorporates the images, stories, songs and landscape of the Arkansas Delta where he grew up. Brownderville is currently assistant professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. LISTEN

SMU professor examines life of prolific African-American author

TCU 360

Originally Posted: March 29, 2015

William Wells Brown was born into slavery, escaped to London and became the first African-American to publish a novel.

An SMU professor visited campus Thursday to discuss the life, travels and cultural significance of one of the most important authors in American history.


William Wells Brown is considered one of the most significant writers of African-American history, but he was a runaway slave for a large period of his life.

Dr. Ezra Greenspan, an SMU professor in the English department, is an expert on the life of Brown and the author of the biography “William Wells Brown: An African-American Life.” Greenspan talked about Brown with graduate and doctoral students in English. READ MORE

Tim Cassedy Receives NEH Grant for Ambitious Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
March 24, 2015

Once completed, Dr. Cassedy’s project will be “essential reading for anyone
in early American studies.”


Dallas (SMU) – Dr. Tim Cassedy, assistant professor of English, has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for his study of linguistic consciousness and awareness among English speakers from 1775 to 1825. Cassedy is one of the 233 prestigious humanities projects receiving the reported $17.9 million in awards and offers made by the NEH in December.

“It is my great pleasure to announce the latest round of NEH grant awards,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “NEH grants play a critical role in making the insights afforded by the humanities available to all to help us better understand ourselves, our culture, our society.”

Cassedy’s project argues that English speakers had strong opinions about language and believed that a person’s accent and vocabulary revealed his or her true character. At times, Americans even thought of themselves as English speakers first and American citizens second — part of what Cassedy describes as “a forgotten turning point in the history of Western identity.”

Cassedy recounts an incident in which an elderly farmer, asleep in his bed in Connecticut in 1788, suddenly cried out in the middle of the night: “Why do C-O-U-G-H stand for K-O-F?” Cassedy’s book is about a time when language problems seemed so urgent that they tormented people in their dreams.

Rave reviews from NEH panelists regarding Dr. Cassedy’s project:

“Cassedy proposes an ambitious project which, when completed, will be essential reading for anyone in early American studies. This is just the sort of project to which the NEH should lend its full support.”

“The book concerns a broad, hitherto under-examined and inadequately theorized subject which will make a significant contribution to the humanities.”

“It is a very strong and promising project, using fascinating sources and bringing an equally fascinating diversity of theoretical knowledge to bear. The argument itself is also likely to be significant in understanding the rhetoric of a period that did much to bring the modern world into being.”




Named in 1981 after SMU alumni Robert H. Dedman Sr. and his wife, Nancy McMillan Dedman, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is the oldest and largest academic unit at SMU. Students in Dedman College have the advantage of exploring more than 38 undergraduate majors, 56 minors, 17 master’s programs and 14 doctoral degrees offered in 16 academic departments spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, statistics and interdisciplinary studies.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:


Lisa Siraganian, English, participates in the conference on the legacy of Armenian genocide held this month in The Hague

Public Radio of Armenia

Originally Posted: March 10, 2015

From March 6 to March 7, a conference, entitled “Legacy of the Armenian Genocide 100 years later” was held at the Institute for Global Justice in The Hague. The conference was organized by the National Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) of the Netherlands, Institute for Armenian Studies at the University of South California and Centennial Project Foundation.

The Conference kicked off on March 5, with a discussion and screening of a film “Grandma’s Tattoos” at the Humanity House of The Hague. Main speech was delivered by Dr. Ronald Suni and Dr. Ugur Umit Ungor made remarks.

On March 6-7, during the conference well-known scholars and researches delivered speeches, in which they discussed consequences of the Armenian Genocide from different perspectives and those lessons, that need to be learned in order to prevent future acts of genocide. Prominent lawyer Geoffrey Robertson touched upon the issues of law and policy, Associate Dean of George Washington University Susan Karamian reflected on the issues of acts of genocide at the international courts, Nolwenn Guilbert and Sun Kim, who worked at International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, presented research on recognition and reparation, Najwa Nabti, University of Arizona, talked about impunity of sexual assaults against Armenian women during the Armenian Genocide and consequences, lawyer at International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, President at Centennial Project Foundation Aleksis Demirchyan observed issues on failure of judicial systems.

Doctor Anthonie Holslag at the University of Amsterdam, editor of “Agos” newspaper Ferda Balancar, Esra Elmas from Istanbul Bilgi University and Ayda Erbal from New York University reflected on the cultural expressions of the Armenian Genocide, and the history and current situation of coverage of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish media and in the Turkish society, real image and tendencies in the political and public circles. Expressions of the Armenian Genocide in the movie shooting were discussed by Dr. Lisa Siraganian, Southern Methodist University, and Dr. Marie-Aude Baronian, University of Amsterdam. READ MORE