Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dr. Susan Miller-Cochran

Over the course of the next few months the CRDM blog will periodically feature a Q + A with one of our outstanding faculty members. We take classes with them and work with them on scholarly projects, but now we’d like to learn more about what else they’re doing. We’ve talked with David RiederJessica JamesonChris AnsonMatt MayDavid BerubeSusan KatzMaria PramaggioreRobert SchragCarolyn R. MillerBrad MehlenbacherR. Michael YoungJason SwartsAdriana de Souza e SilvaElizabeth CraigAndrew Binder, and Victoria Gallagher, and we recently caught up with Dr. Susan Miller-Cochran, CRDM faculty member and director of First-Year Writing Program:

What are you reading?

I spend most of my academic reading time keeping up with CCC, College English, WPA, Computers and Composition, and Kairos. I’m really excited to read the new Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, too–it looks promising. Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole is one of the most recent books I’ve read–it’s an engaging discussion of multimodality and writing instruction.

Outside of academia, I’ve been reading the Hunger Games trilogy. Yeah, I know…and I love it. The next book on my nightstand is The Paris Wife, a fictional memoir of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. My wish list on Amazon right now includes Blood Meridian, 1Q84, Zeitoun…and Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines. I don’t think it’s too tough to figure out which end of the wish list I’ll start on. 😉 I love what I do professionally, but I think balance is pretty important, too.

I have small children, and one of my favorite blogs lately has been Free Range Kids, http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/. It’s fantastically snarky, which I always find to be a bonus.

What classes are you teaching?

Because of my administrative position, I’m not teaching any classes this spring semester. I’ll be teaching ENG 511, Composition Theory and Research, in the fall, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m revisiting some of the theories that I’ve focused on in the past and rethinking how we approach the discussion of writing theory–especially where we start the discussion.

What are you writing about?

I’m finishing up an article that examines the validity of our Directed Self Placement model in the First-Year Writing Program with Kelly Abrams, who is now in the doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin. I’m also finishing a version of an article that Dawn Shepherd and I co-authored about the bring-your-own-laptop classrooms that we’ve piloted in the First-Year Writing Program.

What are you listening to?

I’ve been listening to Pandora stations a lot lately–my favorite station is a mix of The Smiths, The Cure, The Killers, The Fray, Vampire Weekend, The Shins, U2, and Muse. My writing music of choice right now is Brandi Carlile.

What are you watching?

I know it’s cliche, but I’ve been watching episodes of Downton Abbey recently. I love Modern Family and 30 Rock, and Stacey (my husband) and I often find ourselves sucked into episodes of Intervention.

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Dr. Kati Fargo Ahern

Congratulations to Kati Fargo Ahern, who successfully defended her dissertation, The Sounds of Rhetoric, the Rhetoric of Sound: Listening and Composing the Auditory Realm. Her dissertation committee included Susan Miller-Cochran (chair), Chris Anson, Vicki Gallagher, and Carolyn Miller.

Fortunately for Kati there were no broken bones in the lead up to her defense (she wasn’t so lucky before her exams). Fortunately for the field of new media and composing her project on auditory rhetoric and soundful composition is “remarkable” (in the words of one of her committee members) and insightful. Nice work, Kati!

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Dr. Maria Pramaggiore

Over the course of the next few months the CRDM blog will periodically feature a Q + A with one of our outstanding faculty members. We take classes with them and work with them on scholarly projects, but now we’d like to learn more about what else they’re doing. We’ve talked with David RiederJessica JamesonChris AnsonMatt MayDavid BerubeSusan KatzSusan Miller-CochranRobert SchragCarolyn R. MillerBrad MehlenbacherR. Michael YoungJason SwartsAdriana de Souza e SilvaElizabeth CraigAndrew Binder, and Victoria Gallagher, and we recently caught up with Dr. Maria Pramaggiore, CRDM faculty member and Associate Head of the English Department:

What are you reading?

I am reading a book entitled Yoga and the Hindu Tradition (1976) as well as a just-published book . The Science of Yoga, whose author has been on every talk show and radio show imaginable.  I am also reading a book manuscript on bisexual representation for a press that is planning to publish it. I am also reading a dissertation written by an NCSU Design student. When I can, I read the New Yorker and the New York Times on my iPad.

What classes are you teaching?

I will teach the Horror Film at the NCSU Prague Institute this summer and next year I will teach a graduate course in the spring.  I am debating among a graduate horror film course, my New Queer Cinema course, and my Feminist Film Theory course. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to teach, and since I am finishing up a book, there isn’t something obvious for me to teach based on my immediate research projects.

What are you writing about?

I am writing a book on Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film, BARRY LYNDON. I am visiting the UK in early March to interview his widow and his brother in law (who acted as his producer on many film projects); I just finished a co-authored essay on gender and reality TV that focused on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”; I just published a piece on bisexual representation in recent film TV; and I am  developing a project with a colleague at the University of Surrey on the voice in documentary film.

What are you listening to?

My musica tastes are pretty broad: I like Marnie Stern; I just received the latest Paul McCartney cd for Valentine’s Day; and I listen to a lot of mantra music! I have an electric bass but I don’t get time to practice playing.

What are you watching?

I am a diehard Colbert and Stewart fan.  I also happen to like Fashion Police, or whatever the show is on E Network where Joan Rivers and her pals rip celebrities to shreds. I like Restaurant Impossible, where Bobby Ervin performs two day makeovers on small, family businesses. I also love cooking shows–Chopped, Cucpcake Wars, Sweet Genius– although I rarely cook, and I am terrible at it.

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Dr. David Gruber

Our sincerest congratulations to David Gruber, who successfully defended his dissertation this afternoon in impressive fashion. David’s dissertation is titled Neurorhetoric and the Dynamism of the Neurosciences: Mapping Translations of Mirror Neurons Across the Disciplines.

His dissertation committee included Jason Swarts (chair), Jordynn Jack (UNC-CH), Bill Kinsella, Carolyn Miller, and David Rieder.

David’s dissertation explores the intersection of science and rhetoric using the specific case study of something called the “mirror neuron” (click on the image below for the Wikipedia article on the topic). Basically, David’s interest in the rhetoric of the body was the springboard into a fascinating study of how various disciplines make arguments using neuroscientific evidence. We are proud to congratulate him on successfully passing his dissertation defense.

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