News and Events

PBS Books Author Talk to feature TWU's West Jan. 12

TWU's Genevieve West, PhD, will be featured on PBS's Books Author Talk to discuss You Don't Know Us Negroes,  the book of essays by Zora Neale Hurston which West edited along with Monica Miller and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

New issue of Films for the Feminist Classroom published

The Fall 2022 issue of Films for the Feminist Classroom is now available online. This issue continues the journal’s exploration of online and virtual spaces in pedagogical practices.

Class keeps history alive and accessible

TWU's Bibliography and Research Methods class is a course in preserving history, and it just completed a successful test run with the creation of the digital exhibit "Moments of Inscription: the Lives of Women Through Their Letters."

Author to hold publishing seminar

Author Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam will hold a seminar on getting published on Oct. 18, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the TWU Student Union at Hubbard Hall auditorium. The event is sponsored by the TWU department of Language, Culture, and Gender Studies. The seminar will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and Stufflebeam will sign copies of her novella, Glorious Fiends.

Studying in Greece was everything TWU's Huggins imagined

School has been back in session for a month and everyone is getting back into the daily classroom routine, shaking off the last daydreams of summer. It's been easier for some than others.

Not everyone met and was then separated from the great passion of their life.

"I really miss hearing Greek people in the background," TWU senior Riley-Grace Huggins said. "I miss that a lot. I had a FaceTime call with a friend over there, and she was speaking Greek to her mom. I almost cried. I miss it."

TWU debuts Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies bachelor's degree

Texas Woman's University is offering a bachelor's degree in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies beginning in Fall 2022.

"It's officially approved," said Danielle Phillips-Cunningham, PhD, associate professor and program lead of the Multicultural Women's & Gender Studies program. "It's on the books. Sign up."

Tullia infuses lessons learned at TWU into dean's job

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better example of the symbiosis between a Texas Woman's University education and an emerging career than the example of Tawny LeBouef Tullia.

The combinations of job and education, challenges and preparation, environment and interests have taken Tullia to Memphis, Tenn., where she just completed the first month of her interim year as dean of the Rosa Deal School of Arts at Christian Brothers University.

TWU Alumna Brownlow earns ACLS fellowship

Texas Woman's University alumna Elizabeth Brownlow has earned the American Council of Learned Societies' Leading Edge Fellowship to serve as a Research and Communications Strategist at PowerSwitch Action.

TWU student receives National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship

Texas Woman's University student Fabiola Gonzalez-Zeno has been named a recipient of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship. Gonzalez-Zeno is a communication sciences and disorders student at TWU. Only 100 National Puerto Rican Day Parade scholarships were awarded nationwide.

TWU alumna Oswalt named to NHC Advisory Council

Texas Woman’s University alumna Amanda Oswalt has been named to the National Humanities Center’s Teacher Advisory Council for 2022-23.

"I already have a love for the humanities," said Oswalt, who earned a PhD in rhetoric from TWU in 2021 and teaches at Collin College in Frisco. "To be able to work with educational programs on a national level, things that can help influence students and teachers, is a really exciting opportunity."

TWU alumna earns full-time teaching job at NCTC


Texas Woman's University alumna Jocelynn Peña has been promoted from adjunct instructor to full-time teaching capacity at North Central Texas College in Gainesville.

Pena earned her master's degree in English from TWU in 2015. She taught AP literature at Byron Nelson High School from 2015 to 2017 before working at NCTC. She will work as a full-time English instructor beginning this fall.

TWU student earns four scholarships to study in Greece

Riley-Grace Huggins, a TWU junior majoring in English Literature, earned four scholarships to allow her to study in Greece this summer.

Fire official finds high reward in PhD

Megan Schuth, the first woman battalion chief in the Denton Fire Department, will be awarded her PhD in rhetoric in Friday’s graduation ceremony at TWU.

Remembering Dr. Phyllis Bridges

Chancellor Carine M. Feyten writes, “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Dr. Phyllis Bridges, a longtime professor of English—but so much more to this university. Dr. Bridges succumbed to health issues she had been experiencing over the past several months.”

ESFL student Annah Stewart receives TWU scholarship


TWU English major Annah Stewart accepts her scholarship

Undergraduate English major Annah Stewart won a scholarship from the Empowering Women as Leaders program at TWU. The award assists students over the age of 23 in pursuing their degrees. In addition to the financial award, EWL pairs the recipient with a mentor while she obtains her college degree and throughout the first two years of her career.



Dr. Genevieve West participated in An Evening with Zora Neale Hurston

NYT bestselling author, Morgan Jerkins, moderates a conversation with Lucy Ann Hurston (scholar and niece of Zora Neale Hurston), Patrick Dougher (cover artist for Their Eyes Were Watching God), and Genevieve West (co-editor of You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays).

Genevieve West, PhD, featured in Publisher's Weekly interview

We are proud to announce that TWU ESFL professor and chair Genevieve West, PhD, is featured in the Publisher’s Weekly interview "You Don’t Know Zora Neale Hurston" over the publication of the book You Don’t Know Us Negroes And Other Essays (Amistad)—a comprehensive collection of Hurston’s essays co-edited by West and the noted Harvard scholar and author Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

TWU student Demetria Ober spreads wings, flies solo in Spain

Texas Woman’s social work undergraduate Demetria Ober is studying abroad in Granada, Spain this year. As an individual who experiences blindness, she never imagined having the courage to leave her support system behind in order to fully immerse herself in a foreign language and culture.

Texas Woman's University remembers Dr. Ann Jagoe (1951-2021)

Dr. Ann S. Jagoe passed away October 19, 2021. A three-time graduate of Texas Woman’s University's English Programs, Dr. Jagoe earned her Bachelor of Arts in English in 1975, her Master of Arts in English in 1986, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1996 with a concentration in English Rhetoric. 

Throughout her graduate studies, she worked as a secretary in the Campus Police Department; a secretary to the University President, Dr. Mary Evelyn Huey; and as an adjunct professor of English at area colleges.

in 2001, Dr. Jagoe joined the North Central Texas College as Department Chair overseeing English, Speech, and Foreign Languages. She served in this capacity until 2012, when she returned to full-time classroom teaching of English, continuing in this role until her passing. In 2007, she was selected Outstanding Professor at NCTC.

A Memorial Service for Ann Jagoe will be held on November 6, at 2 p.m., in the North Central Texas College First State Bank Exchange in downtown Denton. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Dr. Ann S. Jagoe Memorial Scholarship Fund at North Central Texas College, Gainesville, Texas.

ESFL major Alexandra Welker awarded EWL scholarship, mentoring

Undergraduate English major Alexandra Welker was recently awarded a $1,000 STAR scholarship by Empowering Women as Leaders (EWL). The scholarship includes mentorship opportunities through the EWL member network.

TWU LCGS remembers Women's Studies, Rhetoric alumna Dr. Paula (Denny) Kent (1983-2021)

The TWU Department of Language, Culture & Gender Studies is mourning the loss of Dr. Paula (Denny) Kent, who passed away Sunday evening, Oct. 10, 2021, at Providence Healthcare Center in Waco. Paula worked very hard to enhance her educational background and received both a Master's Degree in Women's Studies and a Doctorate Degree in Rhetoric from Texas Woman's University. Paula currently worked as an associate professor at Texas State Technical College in Waco. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a Scholarship Fund for her children, Bruce and Harley. A visitation was held Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Aderhold Funeral Home Chapel in West.

Read the full obituary or share a memory on her tribute wall.

Two TWU students awarded Gilman scholarships

Texas Woman’s University students Ashley Elliot and Demetria Ober look forward to expanding their worldview thanks to their recently awarded U.S. Department of State Benjamin A. Gilman ScholarshipsThe scholarships will allow Elliot, an English major, to study abroad at Harlaxton College in England for the Spring 2022 semester and Ober, a social work major, to study abroad at Universidad de Granada in Spain for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

TWU alumna accepts position at Harlaxton College

TWU alumna Victoria Radford (BA '17) has accepted a position with Harlaxton College, a TWU study abroad partner located in Grantham, England. She will be the Harlaxton Regional Admission & Relations Coordinator. Radford graduated from TWU with a bachelor's degree in English and Global studies.

Alumna helps students take writing out of the classroom and into the mainstream

Poet, educator, LGBTQIA+ activist and TWU alumna Em Ramser (MA, MAT ‘20) once swore “up, down and sideways” that she would never become a teacher. Now, she teaches high school pre-AP English classes and designs her curriculum around professional opportunities for students, inspired by Dr. Gretchen Busl's lessons in “pop scholarship.”

'American Swimming Magazine' publishes essay by TWU student Ulysses Perez

Incoming TWU ESFL transfer student Ulysses Perez had an essay published in American Swimming Magazine. The essay, titled "The 'Impossible,'" marks his first magazine article and second publication. Read Ulysses Perez' full essay (pdf)

May 2021 Highlights and Awards

Congratulations to the following 2021-2022 ESFL Department scholarship recipients:

  • Bruce Family Scholarship: Kimberly Allison
  • Dr. John L. Dawson, Sr. Scholarship: Veronica Popp & Amanda Torres
  • Autrey Nell Wiley Scholarship: Sarah Cho
  • Henry H. & Evelyn M. Blagg Scholarship: Daehyun Won
  • Dr. Leslie Kreps Scholarship: Veronica Popp
  • Edith & Edgar Deen Literary Scholarship: Paula Lewis
  • Clarice Mixon Turner Scholarship: Quinn Kimery
  • Ada Cade Mccurry & Martha Faye Mccurry Savage Scholarship: Skye Wofford
  • Helen B. Dailey Scholarship: Liliana Cruz
  • Lavon B. Fulwiler Scholarship: Hanna Moyal
  • Helen Benjamin Scholarship In English: Makayla Dodson
  • Joyce Thompson Endowment In English Scholarship: Gavriel Griffin
  • Ila Bost Roebuck Endowment: Rachel Abraham
  • Ghita Brockway Carter Scholarship Endowment: Miriam Guevara

In recognition of exceptional performance within their respective programs, the 2021 Outstanding BA in English Award went to Amber Gaudet and the 2021 Outstanding Spanish Minor Award went to Maria Soria.

Dr. Stephen Souris, TWU’s Fulbright Program Adviser for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, is pleased to report that a Fulbright applicant from the fall semester has reached “Finalist” status for an all-expenses-paid, four-year award to obtain a doctorate from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.  She is no longer in competition against other applicants; at this point, she just has to submit paperwork, pass a medical exam, pass a background check, and so on. He will present a paper (virtually) at the XVII International Bakhtin Conference in Saransk, Russia this summer.  He will draw upon Mikhail Bakhtin and V.N. Voloshinov (a member of the Bakhtin Circle) to analyze dialogic agreement in Anne Tyler’s short story, “Holding Things Together.” 

Dr. Ashley Bender and Dr. Jackie Hoermann-Elliott's essay "Asking Big: Creating a Culture of Support for Academic Mothers' Advocating in Times of Crisis" will appear this week in Advance Journal, a peer reviewed journal committed to change in higher education.

In addition, Dr. Bender has a new op-ed out on the importance of paid family leave in the Austin American Statesman.

Drs. Jackie Hoermann-Elliott and Rachel Daugherty have been selected as Book Review co-editors for Composition Forum, a journal of the Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. Composition Forum is a peer-reviewed journal of pedagogical theory in rhetoric and composition and publishes two issues biannually. 

Dr. Jackie Elliott has been active publishing a number of op-eds this spring, including "Going All in on OER (Open Educational Resources)” for Faculty Focus and "Writing to Live" for Fort Worth Weekly.

Michael Cerliano, an adjunct faculty member in English and recently admitted doctoral student, had an essay, "Witchcraft and the Enlightenment in The Blood on Satan's Claw," appear in a special issue of Horror Homeroom commemorating the film's 50th anniversary. 

Brian Fehler's review of James Berg and Chris Freeman’s edited collection Isherwood in Transitwill appear in spring issue of the journal QED.   He has been Invited to speak at the “SangSaeng, Coexistence, and Future Prospects in the Post-COVID-19 Era” conference in South Korea, April 2022, most expenses paid.  Finally, he was elected to a three-year term as TWU's representative to the Texas Council of Faculty Senates!

Kathy Nguyen (PhD candidate in MWGS) had an essay, "Echoic Survivals: Re-Documenting Pre-1975 Vietnamese Music as Historical Sound/Tracks of Re-Membering," published in Violence: An International Journal and it has been translated into French. She has been invited to participate in a talk with other emerging Vietnamese writers, led by Viet Thanh Nguyen, later this summer.  She also has a short story, "Phở Cart No. 7." forthcoming in Food of My People:  The Exile Book of Anthology Number Nineteen.

Congratulations to the following faculty, who received service awards in 2020 and 2021:  Dr. AnaLouise Keating, 20 year; Dr. Agatha Beins, 10 years; Dr. Danielle Phillips-Cunningham, 10 years; Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Denny, 10 years; Dr. Graham Scott, 10 years; Dr. Ashley Bender, 5 years; Dr. William Benner, 5 years.

Dr. Gretchen Busl's essay on value of speculative fiction featured on

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator Gretchen Busl, PhD, made the front page of with her essay, "What Speculative Fiction and Possible Worlds Theory Taught Me about Grief." is a leading science fiction/fantasy web magazine, publishing house and online community.

MA student Shannon Quist pens op-ed for Austin American-Statesman

Drawing on her experience as an adoptee in the state of Texas, TWU graduate student Shannon Quest discusses the potential impact of House Bill 1386. "If this bill, and its counterpart, SB 1877, pass into law, it will be a monumental milestone for Texas adoptees who will be able to request and obtain their original birth certificates from the state without a court order, a basic right that’s been denied since 1957."

Call for proposals: 'New Directions for the Dissertation Process' collection co-edited by Dr. Busl

Editors Gretchen Busl, Kristina Reardon, and Courtney Ferriter invite contributions to a collection tentatively titled Getting to the Finish Line: New Directions for the Dissertation Process. This collection will explore the practical and theoretical underpinnings of dissertations that look like something other than a single-authored scholarly monograph, exploring both the process and product of the dissertation as it moves into new conceptualizations. 

On-campus thought leadership program funded by Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership

A team of ESFL and MWGS faculty (Dr. Busl, Dr. Phillips-Cunningham, Dr. Bender and Dr. Hoermann-Elliott) submitted a proposal to the Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership that has been funded. The program will start this summer to lay the groundwork for an on-campus thought leadership program for students, faculty, staff and the larger community to develop specific skills needed to lead.  If the program is funded through the biennium, it will explore the creation of a thought leadership certificate to be housed in the department.  

Dr. West's 'Sin and Salvation' essay appears in 'Religion and Literature'

Dr. Genevieve West's "Sin and Salvation: Marita Bonner's Early Explorations of Christian Theology" appeared in Religion and Literature (51.3-5 p. 77-100). "Sin and Salvation" explores three of the author’s overlooked writings - a short story and two essays - to establish their theological underpinnings and the ways in which they engage larger cultural debates about religion in the Harlem Renaissance.

"This essay wouldn't have been possible without early guidance from Dr. Fehler!" West said.

National Endowment for the Humanities awards grant to TWU faculty

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that it awarded a Humanities Connections Grant of $99,426 to Texas Woman’s University. The grant will support the very first interdisciplinary and experiential learning initiative to integrate the history of Quakertown into courses at TWU. It will also enable the future development of a digital humanities archive of Quakertown-related research and reflection, which the project co-directors aim to connect to a public platform that will promote community engagement with Quakertown’s history for decades to come.

Ashley Bender, PhD, featured in National Humanities Alliance report

We're proud to announce that TWU ESFL Assistant Professor Ashley Bender, PhD, is featured in the new National Humanities Alliance report, "Strategies for Recruiting Students to the Humanities: A Comprehensive Resource." Check out her unique approach on page 48.

TWU ESFL remembers former chair Dr. Lavon Fulwiler

Professor Emeritus Dr. Lavon Fulwiler, a former chair of ESFL at TWU, passed away at the age of 92 on Feb. 23. Fulwiler was a Chaucer and medieval English literature scholar, and she implemented the department's PhD program in rhetoric. She began teaching at TWU in 1961, and served as chair from 1971 until her retirement in 1992.

Her family has asked that "in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lavon B. Fulwiler Endowed Scholarship for TWU students whose majors are within the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages; the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; or the Center for Biological Diversity."

TWU ESFL student Amber Gaudet awarded Mayborn Graduate Scholarship

In addition to her recent acceptance into the UNT's Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, undergraduate ESFL student Amber Gaudet has received the highly competitive Mayborn Graduate Scholarship to support her first year of full-time study. The institute awards "$10,000 scholarships to exceptionally qualified graduate students each year."

BCALA names Genevieve West's 'Hitting a Straight Lick' among 2021 Literary Award winners

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. (BCALA) announced the winners of the 2021 BCALA Literary Awards during the virtual Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association. The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors published in 2020.

"Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories," written by Zora Neale Hurston and edited by TWU ESFL professor and chair Genevieve West, PhD, was named an Honor Book for Fiction. Recipients will receive awards recognition during the 2021 virtual National Conference of African American Librarians.

TWU alumna Jordan Dokupil to teach English in South Korea


TWU alumna Jordan Dokupil has accepted a position teaching English at a private school in Namyangju City, South Korea. Following a mandatory two-week quarantine, Dokupil will begin teaching kindergarten and elementary students March 2. Dokupil earned a bachelor's degree in English literature in 2020 and was a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success.

ESFL's Gray Scott, PhD, quoted in 'Dallas Morning News' story about shifting SAT requirements

The SAT is dropping parts of its exam. What does that mean for Texas students? After going test-optional last year, some Texas universities consider suspending standardized test requirements altogether after the pandemic.

“It makes it less tempting for institutions to subscribe to or require a product that, from my perspective ... has always been a problematic test,” said Gray Scott, Ph.D., who is the assistant director of academic assessment at TWU.

Assistant professor Johnathan Smilges' essay, 'Bad Listeners,' appears in 'Peitho'

TWU ESFL assistant professor Johnathan Smilges' essay, "Bad Listeners," appeared in a recent volume of "Peitho Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition." The essay explores rhetorical listening, disability and neurodivergence.

Genevieve West's Zora Neale Hurston collection makes The Guardian's Best Books of 2020 list

"Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick," the critically acclaimed collection of Zora Neale Hurston works posthumously gathered, edited and published by TWU ESFL professor and chair Genevieve West, PhD, has been selected for The Guardian's best books of 2020 list. Naoise Dolan, author of "Exciting Times," chose the book for its "fluid, polymathic voice."

Associate professor Gray Scott nominated for 2021 Pushcart Prize

Graham "Gray" Scott, PhD, associate professor of English at TWU, has been nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize. His short story, ‘A Parable of Things that Crawl and Fly’, was co-authored by Wallace Cleaves and appears in Pulp Literature's 25th issue

The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is one of the most honored literary projects in America.

Paranormal frequencies: TWU graduate investigates spooky sounds in media

By merging her passion for music, writing, rhetoric and film, TWU graduate student Regan Dianne Campbell developed an extremely unique area of research: Sonic rhetoric and the use of sounds and music in horror movies and TV shows.

In Memoriam: Dr. Mary Turner S. Kobler (1930-2020)

Former ESFL faculty member Dr. Mary Turner S. Kobler passed away Friday, Nov. 27. Dr. Kobler taught for many years at TWU and retired in 1996. Because of the pandemic, Dr. Kobler's family is not planning a memorial at this time. She is survived by her daughters, Laura and Linda, who also works at TWU. Visit Dr. Kobler's obituary page to read her full bio or share a memory in the guest book.

To make a donation in memory of Dr. Kobler, please visit the League of Women Voters website.

Johnathan Smilges wins Coalition of Feminist Scholars dissertation award

Assistant professor Johnathan Smilges' dissertation, "Queer Silence: Rhetorics of Resistance," recently won the Presidents Dissertation Award from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, the premier organization of feminist rhetoricians. The award is presented biennially to the "doctoral dissertation that makes an outstanding contribution to our understanding of feminist histories, theories, and pedagogies of rhetoric and composition.” One judge wrote the following of Smilges’s project:

“Smilges’s work savvily moves between theory and analysis, offering up important insights in the ways that silences work in queer and trans rhetorics. Their chapter on ex-gays is compassionate, smart, aware of its limitations, and deftly ties together queer theory and disability theory.”


In Memoriam: Dr. Ninfa Nik (1946-2020)

Former faculty member Dr. Ninfa Nik was born on December 19, 1946 and passed away on November 13, 2020. She taught Spanish and French for the TWU Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages, and she will be greatly missed. She is under the care of Fairhaven Memorial Services. Because of the pandemic, no public service is planned at this time. 

To share a message in memory of Dr. Nik, please visit her Mission Viejo obituary page.

Doctoral candidate and alumna Angela Johnson receives Modern Language Association fellowship

TWU ESFL doctoral student Angela Johnson has been named a Modern Language Association (MLA) bibliography fellow. She will serve until 2022. 

Bibliography fellows work with approximately 100 field bibliographers, from all parts of the world, who cover subject areas, journals and languages that cannot be indexed in the New York office. Each spring, five to ten fellowships are awarded to field bibliographers who, on completion of their fellowships, receive a stipend of $500 and a certificate during the awards ceremony at the MLA convention.

Johnson earned both her MLA and MA at Texas Woman's University and currently works as a school librarian. 

Write Site hosts annual North Texas Writing Center Association Conference

The TWU Write Site hosted the annual North Texas Writing Center Association Conference, which was held fully online this year due to COVID. The event was organized by Write Site Tutor Coordinator Jennifer Phillips-Denny, PhD, and all presenters were TWU faculty, staff or students. The North Texas Writing Centers Association is a subset of the South Central Writing Centers Association, which includes member schools from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. 

Jackie Hoermann-Elliott, PhD, gave the key-note presentation, "Under (Good) Pressure: The Diastolic Effects of Writing Center Work on Tutors' Career Trajectories." Her presentation wove professional anecdotes into relevant research findings to argue that the writing center serves as an important site for fostering workplace readiness in tutors, particularly for those interested in careers in editing and publishing. 

Two ESFL graduate students were honored with awards during the event. Daniel Stefanelli and Desiree Thorpe won the Mary Nell Kivikko Excellence in Scholarship Award for their paper, "(Re)imagining Writing Centers: Strategies for Multimodal Tutoring." The Mary Nell Kivikko Excellence in Scholarship Award is designed to recognize outstanding scholarship in writing center theory and practice. They received an honorarium and presented their findings at the conference.

Learn more about the Write Site>>


Gray Scott's micro and speculative fiction earns industry accolades

Gray Scott, Ph.D., associate professor of English and self-described "writer of occasional truths and recreational falsehoods," is making a name for himself in micro and speculative fiction.

TWU ESFL remembers Professor Emeritus William Tanner 1937-2020

Professor Emeritus William Tanner, Ph.D., passed away at the age of 82 on August 24, 2020. Tanner enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the TWU Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Glenda Tanner Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center, Baylor Scott and White Hospital, Foundation Office, 2401 S. 31st St., Temple, TX 76508.

U.S. Department of State awards $35,000 grant to Benner, Phillips

The U.S. Department of State has awarded a $35,000 grant aimed at increasing education abroad opportunities for minority students to William Benner, PhD, an assistant professor of Spanish, and Annie Phillips, PhD, executive director for International Affairs.

ESFL's Phyllis Bridges discusses TWU's new pandemic collection with KRLD radio

To help chronicle the impact of COVID-19 and add rich context to its ongoing challenges, Texas Woman’s University is embarking on a project to collect writings in multiple forms. It's a new collection called Voices of the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Chancellor Carine M. Feyten Collection. KRLD's John Liddle talked with Phyllis Bridges, Cornaro Professor of English at TWU about the project.

Phyllis Bridges, PhD, appointed to board of Texas Folklore Society

Phyllis Bridges, Ph.D., Cornaro Professor of English, has been unanimously elected to a three-year term on the Board of the Texas Folklore Society and has been appointed to the search committee for the secretary-editor of the society. The Texas Folklore Society is in the process of moving from Stephen F. Austin State University to Tarleton State. Bridges has served as President of the Texas Folklore Society and has published numerous articles in their publications and proceedings.

Em Ramser receives TWU Alumni Association's Outstanding Student Award

Em Ramser headshot


The Awards and Honors Committee of the TWU Alumni Association has selected Em Ramser to receive the 2020 Outstanding Student Award. Ramser graduates in May 2020 with two degrees, the M.A. in English and the M.A. in Teaching with a concentration in English. 

"Em embodies the dedicated, fearless spirit of a Pioneer... She is a talented poet, accomplished teacher, and a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. In the very short time that Em has been at TWU, she has published numerous poems in professional creative journals and been featured in an installation at the Dallas Museum of Art; she has progressed from substitute teacher and library aide to full-time teacher at Braswell High School, earning a number of awards and two grants; and served the community as a volunteer for organizations like Spiderweb Salon, OUTreach Denton, and Casa of Denton County. She has presented (and will present) her research on-campus at the TWU Experiential Education Symposium (as an ELL scholar) and the ESFL department SmartTalks event, and off-campus at conferences like the Southwest Pop Culture/American Studies Association. Her thesis fills a critical gap in poetry studies, offering the first comprehensive history of the blackout/erasure poetry movement.

"As her advisor, I am delighted (and astounded, really) by her ability to consciously weave her creative and scholarly passions into her teaching and service to at-risk communities. We are extraordinarily proud for Em to represent the ESFL department as a poet, scholar, and teacher – we are thrilled for her to receive recognition at the university level as well," said Gretchen Busl, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and graduate program coordinator.

Rhetoric doctoral student Margaret Williams wins William Tanner award for best paper

TWU doctoral student in rhetoric Margaret Williams won the William Tanner Award for Best Rhetoric Paper by a Graduate Student at the 2020 meeting of the Conference of College Teachers of English (CCTE).  Her paper, "Vir Bonus, Hortensia: A Good Woman Speaking Well in Ancient Rome," grew out of her History of Rhetoric I class at TWU. She argues that in Hortensia’s 1st-century BCE speech in which she convinced the three post-Julius Caesar rulers to refrain from over-taxing 1,400 of her fellow widows, she was a good woman speaking well (a feminist play on the good-man-speaking-well trope). This award comes with a $100 cash prize and publication in the next issue of the CCTE Studies Journal

TWU receives top national ranking for best bachelor's degrees in English

The undergraduate English program at Texas Woman's University is featured at #13 on the 2020 GradReports Best Colleges list. Rankings are based on median early-career salary data of over 5 million graduates from the U.S. Department of Education.

ESFL professor and chair's Zora Neale Hurston collection hits shelves, tops 2020's most anticipated book lists

Congratulations to TWU ESFL's Genevieve West, Ph.D., editor of Zora Neale Hurston's short story collection, Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick. The collection, which hits shelves today, includes 8 "lost" Harlem Renaissance tales and has already received a rave review from The New York Times. It is one of Forbes' and Newsweek's most anticipated books of 2020, and the Miami Herald and Seattle Times, among many others, also listed the book in their "5 most highly anticipated books of 2020."

A new edition of our newsletter is now available!

Download your copy of the ESFL 2019 Newsletter today

Our annual newsletter will keep you up to date on departmental activities and events as well as student, faculty, staff and alumni awards and achievements.

For additional archival copies of the ESFL newsletter, or to submit a faculty, student or alumni story, please contact us via email at

Poet Laureate educates and inspires at writing workshop, poetry reading

2020 Texas Poet Laureate Emmy Pérez visited Texas Woman’s University on Wednesday, Nov. 13, to lead a daytime writing workshop followed by an evening poetry reading. Pérez draws much of her inspiration from her personal relationships and natural surroundings. Her experiences working with Native American reservation communities, female prison inmates and young people in juvenile detention centers have shaped her work. Her travels along the Texas borderlands and Rio Grande Valley informed her most recent collection, "With the River on Our Face."

Texas Poet Laureate to lead TWU writing workshop, poetry reading Nov. 13

Texas Woman’s University will host a writing workshop and poetry reading led by the 2020 Texas Poet Laureate, Emmy Pérez, on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Both events will take place in Administration and Conference Tower Building room 301 on TWU’s Denton campus.

In Memoriam

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Texas Woman's University community for their support as we mourn the passing of our beloved family member, Dr. Katie McWain. We also send our deepest sympathies to her family, friends, colleagues, and students. Katie was an extraordinarily bright presence among us, a gifted teacher and a brilliant scholar. We will strive to honor her kind, generous spirit in our words and deeds. She leaves a lasting legacy not only with her research, but through the example she set as a leader, educator, and friend.

Katie was a passionate advocate for graduate students and contingent laborers. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to the TWU Foundation and will be used to support these communities with a named scholarship or award in her memory.

We will never forget you, Katie.

Page last updated 10:52 AM, January 12, 2023