The MLAS program aims to offer students an interdisciplinary graduate program, making the humanities accessible to people of all backgrounds with a variety of goals.
Operating as usual
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Not only is Sarah Mazur an award winning librarian. She's also an MLA alumna and winner of the 2019-2020 MLA Thesis Award!
Congrats to our own Sarah Mazur!
A fun read to start the Fall semester.
A Few Words About That Ten-Million-Dollar Serial Comma On the case of the Maine milk-truck drivers who, for want of a comma, won an appeal against their employer, Oakhurst Dairy.
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This is what our graduates do :-)
Vicki Dennis, MA'11
Dean of Liberal Arts & Business
August 2021 Featured Alumna
Vicki Dennis, MA '11, is the Dean of Liberal Arts and Business at Bossier Parish Community College. The divisions house a combined total of eight associate degrees and eight certificates. Her work consists of supervision of faculty and staff, scheduling classes and preparation of various reports for the degrees housed in her divisions, service to the over sixteen hundred students enrolled in the degree programs in the divisions, and coordination of programs and services to the community and four-year partners.
Fun reading for Spring Break ;-)
FAQs About the New MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition How should I structure my article’s title? The only acceptable structure for an article title is “Kind of Clever and Dated Pop Culture Reference: J...
This is not the way to preserve and promote the Liberal Arts ☹️
Chaucer to be scrapped as British university 'decolonises' curriculum Foundational texts like The Canterbury Tales and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf would no longer be taught under proposals to stop teaching medieval literature.
Is this the most powerful word in the English language? The most commonly-used word in English might only have three letters – but it packs a punch.
Please share with anyone who might be interested in the Program!
Congratulations to Rachel Hoffnung on the successful defense of her thesis, Changing the Face of Arthuriana: Women’s Arthurian Tradition in Twentieth-Century America. Rachel's research focuses on gender constructs in Arthurian novels from the 1970s. A copy will soon be available on ProQuest copy; in the interim, here is the abstract:
This thesis is a limited analysis of late twentieth-century American adaptations of the Arthurian legend. In it I examine three novels published by American authors in the 1970s and 1980s: David Drake’s The Dragon Lord (1979), Phyllis Ann Karr’s The Idylls of the Queen (1982), and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon (1982). This thesis aims to provide greater scholastic attention to American women’s literary contributions to the Arthurian tradition and to examine the varying representations and characterizations of prominent Arthurian women. Findings from this study suggest that twentieth-century female Arthurianists break from the conventions of their male contemporaries. They reimagine prominent themes from the legend— particularly regarding power dynamics, magic, sexuality, and marriage—to provide significant social commentary for the modern age in which they live. Their adaptations exemplify the legend’s malleability in communicating a culture’s modern values and ethics, as well as its efficacy in examining the largely underrepresented voices within the Arthurian community.
One of our MLA graduates, Daniel Gordy is currently employed at Northwestern State University. He serves as faculty for multiple departments, including both Criminal Justice, History, and Social Sciences and English, Foreign Language, and Cultural Studies.
We had the opportunity to ask him some questions and learn about his experiences in the MLA program. 😊
What has your career been since the MLA program?
After graduating from the MLA program, I started working at Bossier Parish Community College, teaching freshman-level composition courses and working with students in the writing lab. During this time, I also worked with BPCC’s College Transition Program, helping prepare future students for their HiSET examination. During my time at NSU, I have done consulting work in Criminal Justice. Additionally, I have presented at multiple institutional, regional, and national conferences. My current area of research focuses on recidivism as it relates to ACT 280 of 2017.
What are some highlights of the program?
Definitely the faculty. They encouraged me in my diverse areas of research, even if it was labeled “seditious.” I remember presenting on the interaction of the Fibonacci Sequence and Poetry in one of Dr. Liebert’s courses. While I received mixed reviews from my fellow students, Dr. Liebert was encouraging. This examination of the intersection between seemingly disparate concepts became a passion during my studies. Dr. White showed us Pop-Culture and the Renaissance. Dr. Dubose gave us nursery rhymes and vampires. Each faculty member, in some way, modeled pedagogy that informs my own course design and class discourse.
How has the program helped you?
There are many graduate programs that offer static, cookie-cutter experiences. However, there are few programs that allow you the freedom to truly design your own interdisciplinary degree. The faculty in the MLA program listened and responded to my needs as a student to help develop the best possible graduate experience. The flexibility of the MLA program allowed me to study Criminal Justice and English simultaneously. With experience in these areas, I can spend my academic career interrogating the intersection between them.
Isn't that exciting? 😄
Let us know if you are enjoying our graduate spotlight series and please send us a message or leave a comment if you are interested in the program!
LSU-S emerges as fastest growing higher education institution in state - BIZ - Northwest Louisiana Shreveport, LA – Louisiana State University in Shreveport is now the fastest growing higher education institution in Louisiana in the last five years. The university boasts the largest freshman class in five years and the largest number of retained students in five years. Despite the COVID- ...
Our first graduate we are highlighting is Katie Bickham. She has authored two books of poetry, The Belle Mar (Pleiades 2015) and Mouths Open to Name Her (LSU 2019), a number of publications and is the recipient of numerous prizes.
Here are some questions we asked her:
1. What is your current position?
I am currently an assistant professor of English at Bossier Parish Community College, though I'm set to "retire" in December to pursue my writing career full time. I've also taught at LSUS and Centenary College.
2. What was your first job after the MLA program?
After I finished the MLA program, I was immediately hired by BPCC. While teaching there, I went to Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine to get my MFA in creative writing through a low-residency program in which I went to residencies in the summer and winter. During the MFA, my poetry won the Missouri Review Editor's Prize which was my first real poetry publication and the first real money I'd ever made from it (a $5000 prize). My thesis project from Stonecoast became my first collection of poetry, The Belle Mar. The book was published in cooperation between LSU Press and Pleiades Press and won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for poetry.
I began working and researching for my next book, a project revolving around birth and women's bodies. As I compiled those poems, they won several individual prizes - The New Millennium Poetry Prize, Rattle's Reader's Choice Award, the Radar Poetry Prize, and a shortlist for the Sonia Sanchez prize. When the book was finished, I pitched it to LSU Press who took it immediately as part of the Barataria Poetry Series, a line of poetry books selected by former Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon. The book is called Mouths Open to Name Her and is available, along with The Belle Mar, at all major booksellers.
3. What are some highlights of the program?
The MLA was valuable to me in my joint career as a teacher and writer in many ways. I was permitted to build my own thesis project - a collection of poetry with accompanying research - which was a rare opportunity outside a specialized creative writing degree program. Because of my somewhat specialized interest in poetry, Dr. Elisabeth Liebert agreed to design an independent study with me focused solely on formal poetry, which even now makes up a significant portion of the work I have published.
The core courses gave me a certain scope of the world I hadn't had before and informed my work greatly. The flexibility of each of those courses allowed me to focus on poetry within the parameters of the course, so there was never a sense that I was taking a course I didn't want or need.
4. How has the MLA helped you?
The most practical benefit of the MLA was that it allowed me to teach at a college level. I was hired immediately upon my graduation so I always had a solid way to support myself as I pursued my next degree and my writing career. While I do have two master's degrees, the MLA was the one that made me comfortable in front of a classroom and the broad base of study means that I'm able to teach a wide range of literature and writing courses comfortably.
The MLA also gave me a general knowledge of the humanities and of academic writing that many of my colleagues in the MFA at Stonecoast didn't necessarily have. This gave me a real edge and added a tangible sense of sophistication not only to my academic writing but also to my poetry.
If you are interested in Katie's works, you may visit her website at http://www.katiebickham.net/
We will continue to highlight our graduates so keep checking our page and let us know if you have any questions about the program. 😊
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