Academic News (News2Note) — October 2018

News2Note, the academic newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is published monthly during the academic year by Debra Stoudt, associate dean for academic policies and procedures. Academic news can be submitted to her directly at

Academic News

Ananda Abeysekara, an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, published a review essay of “Theravāda Buddhist Encounters with Modernity” in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics 25 (2018): 333–71.

Pistons, for violin and computer, by Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, was performed by Irish violinist Darragh Morgan at The Ascension Church in London, England, on September 23.

Two members of the college community were among the five Virginia Tech faculty and administrators selected to represent the university as part of the 2018–2019 ACC Academic Leaders Network: Bernice Hausman, Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities and chair of the Department of English, and Patty Raun, School of Performing Arts and director of the Center for Communicating Science.

Erika Meitner, an associate professor in the Department of English, published Holy Moly Carry Me (Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2018).

Timothy Luke, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science, edited Democracy and Populism: The Telos Essays, by Alain de Benoist, with Russell Berman (Candor, New York: Telos Press Publishing, 2018).

John Legg, a master’s student in the Department of History, received the William E. Lass Award for his paper, “From Mankato to New Ulm: The Issues of Public Memory and the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862,” which he presented at the Northern Great Plains History Conference, which was held September 20–22 in Mankato, Minnesota. The award recognizes the best paper in Minnesota history at the conference.

Griselda (Kris) Tilley-Lubbs, an associate professor of ESL and multicultural education in the School of Education, published “Freire in a Changing World: Critical Autoethnography Meets Freire” and “Reconciling Two Selves in One Body,” International Review of Qualitative Research 11.1 (2018): 11–21 and 64–80 respectively; “Am I There Yet? Reflections on Appalachian Critical Consciousness” in International Perspectives on Autoethnographic Research and Practice, ed. Tony Adams, Alec Grant, Nigel Short, and Lydia Turner (Abingdon, OXON, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2018), pp. 64–72; “Untangling Me: Complexifying Cultural Identity” in Questions of Culture in Autoethnography, ed. Phiona Stanley and Greg Vass (Abingdon, OXON, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2018), pp. 156–66.

In addition, Tilley-Lubbs gave the keynote address, “La autoetnografía crítica y las investigaciones en comunidades vulnerables” (Critical Autoethnography and Research in Vulnerable Communities), at the Segundo Congreso Internacional de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales: Nuevos Caminos Epistemológicos y Metodológicos en Ciencias Sociales, which was held September 18–20 at the Universidad Casa Grande in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Evan Lavender-Smith, an associate professor in the Department of English, published two short stories, “Real Talk (III),” Hotel Amerika 16 (2018): 127–31, and “Two Unknowns,” Egress (UK) 1 (2018): 98–106. 

Graduate students Rob Flahive, from ASPECT, and Katherine Ayers, from the Department of Sociology, with Jonilda Bahja, organized a “Tools for Teaching” Workshop through the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence at Virginia Tech. The workshop took place September 19.

Matthew Vollmer, an associate professor in the Department of English, published Permanent Exhibit, American Reader 31 (Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2018).

ASPECT doctoral student Mary Ryan published an interview with Wornie Reed, director of the Race and Social Policy Center in the Department of Sociology, in Community Change 2.1 (2018), with Jake Keyel. Community Change is a graduate student journal housed in Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance; Ryan serves as one of the founding members on its editorial board.

In addition, she was one of ten individuals selected to participate in the Pre-conference Workshop on Pedagogy at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, which was held from August 30 to September 2 in Boston, Massachusetts. She also presented “Race, Democracy, and the Kerner Commission” as part of Georgetown University’s Prison Scholars Program, which took place September 19 at the D.C. Jail in Washington, D.C.

A group of eighteen students enrolled in a history research seminar taught by Robert Stephens, an associate professor in the Department of History, authored and edited Welcome to the Beatles. The volume is accessible online as an eBook through VT Publishing and includes the following chapters by CLAHS students: “When the Beatles Played Businessmen: The Story of Apple Records,” Jason Arquette, Professional and Technical Writing, Literature and Language, and History; “Astrid Kirchherr: Forever with the Beatles,” Cecilia Burger, History and Political Science; “Revolution 9: Yoko Ono and Anti-Feminism,” Shelby Canonico, Curriculum and Instruction; “The Show Must Go On: The Beatles’ Lasting Influence on Shea Stadium,” Helen Goggins, History; “The Beatles and the Government: A Relationship with the Aristocracy and the British Monarchy,” Brady Hess, Multimedia Journalism and History; “The Beatles Nay-Sayers: Evangelical Backlash to the Beatles and the Counterculture,” Nicholas Hoy, History; “Television and the Beatles: The Early Shows,” Scottie Lynch, History; “‘I’d Give You Everything I’ve Got for a Little Peace of Mind’: The Beatles and Personal Security,” Karson Lyon, History; “The Rise of the Beatles and the Fall of Vee-Jay Records: The Politics of Racism in the 1960s Music Industry,” Allyson Manhart, History and Political Science; “The Beatles on the Big Screen: Help!” by Jimmy Meehan, History and Political Science; “Let it Stream: The Beatles and the Age of Music Streaming,” Kenny Miller, History and Classical Studies; “I’m Just Happy to Dance with You: How the Beatles Became Civil Rights Activists,” Patrick O’Dell, History; “The Rooftop Concert: The Lasting Effects of the Concert on the Beatles’ Legacy,” Richard Pedro, Political Science; “‘You Say You Want a Revolution’: Analyzing the Political Aesthetics of the Beatles’ Album Covers,” Andrew Pregnall, History and Microbiology; “Music and Meditation: How the Beatles Brought Indian Culture to the West,” Matthew Remson, History; “‘We Are Never Going Back’: The Beatles in the Philippines,” Iris Swaney, History; “‘Go Home Beatles! Have a Haircut!’: Postwar Japan’s Backlash against the Fab Four,” Delanie Tarvin, History; and “The Beginning of the End: The Klan’s America,” Trey Wells, History and Political Science. Arquette, Goggins, Manhart, and Pregnall served as editors of the volume.


Jesse “Jay” Wilkins, a professor in the School of Education, published “Learning Progression Toward a Measurement Concept of Fractions,” International Journal of STEM Education 5.27 (2018), with Anderson Norton; and “Pre-K–8 Prospective Teachers’ Understanding of Fractions: An Extension of Fractions Schemes and Operations Research,” Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 21.3 (2018): 207–35, with LouAnn Lovin, Alexis Stevens, and John Siegfried.

ASPECT doctoral student Emma Stamm presented “Encountering Aliens: Digital Verfremdungseffekt and the Theater of the Self” at the International Conference on Subjectivity and Digital Culture, which was held September 5–7 at the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany.

ASPECT doctoral students Caroline Alphin, Mario Khreiche, and Shelby Ward co-edited Volume 6, Issue 2 of SPECTRA: The ASPECT Journal (2018). The issue included the following by CLAHS faculty and students: “Critiquing Resilience: Interview with Julian Reid” by Alphin, Khreiche, and Ward; “Making Sense of Resilient Life at the International Center of Photography Museum in New York City” by François Debrix, director of ASPECT and a professor in the Department of Political Science; “Spinning Anthropocenarios: Climate Change Narratives as Geopolitics in the Late Holocene” by Timothy Luke, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science; and “The Stories We Tell: Toward a Feminist Narrative in the Anthropocene” by ASPECT doctoral student Leigh McKagen.

Carmen Giménez Smith, a professor in the Department of English, published a poetry collection titled Cruel Futures (San Francisco, California: City Lights, 2018); and “Make America Mongrel Again” on the Harriet Blog of the Poetry Foundation.

In addition, she was featured in “The Love of Labor, The Labor of Love: An Interview with Carmen Giménez Smith” by Rigoberto González, Poets & Writers (May-June 2018): 18–22.

During its June meeting the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors conferred the emerita title on Patricia Lavender, associate professor of theatre arts.

Lavender brought significant visibility to theatre at Virginia Tech through numerous publications and presentations, by marketing and publicizing the theatre program and theatrical productions on campus, and through active participation with regional and national arts and education organizations. She taught a range of undergraduate courses in theatre, including arts management, community engagement, nonprofit structures, audience development, and arts marketing, advising and supporting hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, as they prepared for successful careers in diverse fields. Lavender joined the Virginia Tech community in 1984; she earned her bachelor’s degree from Maryville College and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland.

The article “The Syrian Civil War, International Outreach, and a Clash of Worldviews,” first published in The Kenneth Burke Journal 11.2 (2016), n.p., by Jim A. Kuypers, a professor in the Department of Communication, and Peter Bakke, was selected for inclusion in Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2017, ed. Kate Vieira, Vincent Portillo, Jason Luther, David Blakesley, and Steve Parks (Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press, 2018), pp. 210–40.

The Department of History has become co-publisher of The Smithfield Review with the Smithfield-Preston Foundation.

In addition to financial support, the department provides a historical advisor. Daniel Thorp, associate professor of history and associate dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, serves in this capacity and also is a member of the editorial board.


Director in the Department of Sociology and Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, James Hawdon, and Sociology alumnus Robert Perdue published “Can Big Data Predict the Rise of Novel Drug Abuse?” in Journal of Drug Issues 48.4 (2018): 508–18, with Kelly Thames.

Aarnes Gudmestad, an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, co-edited Critical Reflections on Data in Second Language Acquisition (Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins, 2018), with Amanda Edmonds.

Gudmestad’s individual contributions, both with Edmonds, were the introduction and “Operationalizing Variables: The Case of Future-time Expression in Additional-language French,” pp. 1–6 and 125–48 respectively.

Brett Shadle, a professor in the Department of History, published “‘As If I Were in Prison’: White Deportation and Exile from Early Colonial Kenya” in Africans in Exile: Mobility, Law, and Identity, ed. Nathan Carpenter and Benjamin Lawrance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018), pp. 119–34.

School of Education faculty Bettibel Kreye and Griselda (Kris) Tilley-Lubbs published “Students Who Speak English as a Second Language: Preparing Teachers for Changing Demographics: An Innovative and Collaborative Approach” in Multicultural Curriculum Transformation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, ed. Christine Clark, Amanda VandeHei, Kenneth Fasching-Varner, and Zaid Haddad (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2018), pp. 67–90.

School of Education faculty member Jesse “Jay” Wilkins and doctoral student Cong ze Xu published “A Progression of Fraction Schemes Common to Chinese and U.S. Students,” Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 49.2 (2018): 210–26, with Anderson Norton.

Matthew Fullen, an assistant professor in the School of Education, published “Using Wellness and Resilience to Predict Age Perception in Older Adulthood,” Journal of Counseling and Development 96.4 (2018): 424–35, with Darcy Granello, Virginia Richardson, and Paul Granello.

Michael Saffle, a professor in the Department of Religion and Culture, published “Learning about Sheet Music through Library Holdings,” Information Literacy in Music: An Instructor’s Companion, ed. Beth Christiansen, Erin Conor, and Marian Ritter (Middleton, Wisconsin: A-R Editions, 2018), pp. 205–08.

E. Thomas Ewing, the associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research and professor in the Department of History, published, “‘The Two Diseases Are So Utterly Dissimilar’: Using Digital Humanities Tools to Advance Scholarship in the Global History of Medicine,” Current Research in Digital History 1 (2018).

ASPECT doctoral student Rob Flahive published “Producing World Heritage in the White City Tel Aviv,” International Social Science Journal, 23 August 2018.

In addition, Flahive was one of 40 students selected to participate in the Biennial International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites, and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement Student Preservation Workshop and Conference, which was held August 28–31 in Ljubljana, Slovenia; he was the only participant from the United States.

The Virginia Tech Center for Rhetoric in Society, directed by Katrina Powell, a professor in the Department of English, received a grant from Voice of Witness.

The grant provided support for training workshops in oral history methodology for Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students. Voice of Witness is a nonprofit that sponsors oral history projects examining human rights and social justice issues.

Four graduate students from the college had poster presentations on display at the official launch of the Center for Humanities, which took place on August 31: Brooke CovingtonRhetoric and Writing, “Public Memorials as Deliberative Process: Tracing the Rhetorical Ecology of Memory in Virginia Tech’s April 16 Memorial”; Rob Flahive, ASPECT, “Negotiating the Modernist Gaze: Politics of Preserving Colonial Urbanism”; Sarah Plummer, ASPECT, “Bread and Puppet: Rebirth and Rupture”; and Shaun Respess, ASPECT, “Confronting Despondency: Ethics of Care and Dependency.”

Paul Quigley, from the Department of History, was reappointed as the James I Robertson, Jr., Associate Professor in Civil War Studies. The professorship was established in 2005 to honor Robertson, who served as a Department of History faculty member for 44 years. Quigley has held the title since 2013.

François Debrix, director of ASPECT and a professor in the Department of Political Science, and ASPECT doctoral student Caroline Alphin presented “Necro-Geopolitics: On Death and Death-Making in the Global Polity” at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, which was held August 30 to September 2 in Boston, Massachusetts.