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The English Department at NDSU

The mission of the English Department at North Dakota State University is to cultivate understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the English language, its speakers and writers, and its literatures and cultures, such that students and department members use the language creatively, critically, and effectively to participate ethically in civic and professional life.


We are now accepting applications to our Graduate Programs, the MA in English and its PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. All materials need to be submitted online by our extended deadline of February 15, 2018. 


Submission to the W-Challenge is now open!

Please click here for submission information. 

RRGSC 2018

Call for Proposals

"Authority, Agency, and Activism: The Construction of and Resistance to Power through Language and Literature"
Red River Graduate Student Conference
North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, April 6-7, 2018

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Chris M. Anson, Director, Campus Writing and Speaking Program, North Carolina State University

In the current American political climate, the way language shapes our real world has become increasingly visible, and awareness of how, to steal Stephen Colbert’s phrase, “truthiness” can sway public opinion and shape policy in a “post-truth” world has been brought to the forefront of public attention. We are witnessing how rhetorics of fear, anger, and hate are capable of shaping (and twisting) our world in real time, and we are witnessing how fictions and imagined realities have real-world power and consequences, disastrous or otherwise. But, we are also witnessing how resistance is built to challenge such power, how movements and individuals can challenge these rhetorics, and offer resistance through their own rhetorics of resistance/subversive power. Power in our present day emerges as precarious, and malleable, and the public sphere emerges as a battleground where competing rhetorics and movements collide with, shape, damage, and change one another.

In light of these current themes, the Red River Graduate Student Conference is requesting proposals for papers and panels related to the theme of “Authority, Agency, and Activism: The Construction of and Resistance to Power through Language and Literature.” Presentations should be 15-20 minutes in length, and proposals can be sent to Amanda Watts at  

Proposals on topics relating to how power (in its many forms) has been constructed or resisted over time, or how power is constructed or resisted in our present day, will be considered. Areas of study include, but are not limited to:

  • Business and Technical Communication
  • Communication and Global Politics
  • Rhetoric and Sociolinguistics
  • Genre Studies
  • Literature
  • Pedagogy
  • Creative Writing
  • Native American Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Any subject connected to the theme under the umbrella of the arts and humanities, broadly conceived

There is a registration fee of $30.00 for conference participation. Payment information will be communicated via email upon receipt of submission. Important conference updates will be periodically sent to presenters via email.

Abstracts of about 250 words should be submitted by March 1, at the latest. Early submissions are encouraged.

Please direct any questions to Becky Crisman, Rio Bergh, or Amanda Watts. (,,

 RRGSC 2018

Tribute to Amy: From AHSS

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Amy Rupiper Taggart, professor of English. She died June 13, at age 43, at Sanford Palliative Care in Fargo.

Amy was beloved by students and colleagues across campus for her wisdom, generosity, and compassion, and deeply respected for her leadership and scholarship. Her colleagues in the English Department describe her best:

“Amy was all that's good in the world and all that matters in life. She was a fierce fighter for social justice. She was a generous, caring, and supportive educator; a wise and loyal colleague; a trusted, confident, and humble leader. Amy stood up for and embodied equity, excellence, and compassion. Amy was love and friendship.” 

Education and career

Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in English and German from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned her doctorate in English, with an emphasis in composition and rhetoric, from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

She joined the NDSU Department of English in 2002 as assistant professor. Over the course of her NDSU career, she played a significant role in shaping programs in her department.

“Amy was a central voice in developing the major, the writing programs and the doctoral program,” said Betsy Birmingham, chair of the English department, in an April 2017 Spectrum article. “In part due to her work, the writing program and its assessment just won our campus’s award for program assessment.”

Amy held several leadership positions on campus, including associate chair of the English department, director of First-year Writing, president of Faculty Senate, director of General Education and associate director of the Office of Teaching and Learning.

She also served as a member of the executive committee for FORWARD – Focus on Resources for Women’s Advancement, Recruitment/Retention and Development.

“Amy had a deep and abiding passion for life, for learning, and for social justice,” said Kent Sandstrom, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “Amy was an intensely curious person who believed in the value of higher education, particularly for helping people to become more aware of and engaged in the world around them. You could always count on Amy to ask important and thought-provoking questions. You could also count on her to call out the best in herself, her students, and her colleagues. She will be sorely missed.”

Amy was an accomplished scholar. She wrote a textbook titled “Research Matters” and co-edited several books. She also published many peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters focused on teaching and writing.

“Amy was such a caring, supportive, and brilliant teacher, scholar, and human,” said Celena Todora, a 2016 graduate who triple-majored in English, English education and international studies. “From the moment I met her six years ago, she extended so much guidance, support, and friendship. In any given conversation, she always had an insightful comment and the time to be present in the moment. She consistently went above and beyond as a professor. She mentored me on three different projects (two of them simultaneous), carving out an hour from her schedule weekly to provide me support and guidance. From her suggestion to double major to her thoughtful recommendation letter for my doctoral applications, Amy opened so many doors for me, and likely many other students. I will forever look to Amy as a role model.” 

Visitation and funeral

Visitation is scheduled for Friday, June 23, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, Minnesota. A prayer service follows at 7 p.m. Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Moorhead, Minnesota.

Always in Our Hearts

On Tuesday, NDSU English lost Amy Rupiper Taggart. Amy was all that's good in the world and all that matters in life. She was a fierce fighter for social justice. She was a generous, caring, and supportive educator; a wise and loyal colleague; a trusted, confident, and humble leader. Amy stood up for and embodied equity, excellence, and compassion. Amy was love and friendship. Our hearts go out to all whose lives she touched, to her students, her colleagues, her friends. But above all, to her beautiful family. We love and miss you so much, sister-friend.

For her memorial service:…/Amy-Lynne-R…/Fargo-MN/1734322

To review her journey:…/…/id/5941d1caac7ee99a634c2558

To read her story and celebrate her life:

Summer Scholar this June

Graduate Students:

There's still time to register for the Summer Scholar course! Don't miss this amazing opportunity!

June 12-16, 2017

More information here.

W-Challenge Winners Recognized

Check out this great article about the winners of Spring 2017's W-Challenge, sponsored by the English Department.

All members of the NDSU community (faculty, staff, students) are invited to attend the 56th Faculty Lectureship entitled “Where Has A Century of Monolingualism Got Us?” by Bruce Maylath, Professor of English, on Thursday, April 6, 7:00 pm, in the Memorial Union’s Century Theater. A reception will follow the lecture.  Registration by April 3 is appreciated but not required. Register here. 

Dr. Bruce Maylath is NDSU’s director of Upper-Division Writing and co-founder and coordinator of the Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Project, a network linking writing, usability testing and translation classes at 28 universities in 15 countries. He joined the NDSU faculty in 2007, and teaches courses in linguistics and international technical writing.  

The Faculty Lectureship, one of the oldest and most prestigious of the University’s awards, recognizes sustained professional excellence in teaching, scholarly achievement, and service among current faculty at NDSU. The Faculty Lectureship is conferred on an individual who has demonstrated excellence in all three areas.

Congratulations, Dr. Maylath! Please consider joining us this Thursday!

English Education Students @ NDACTE Conference

NDSU English education students Sommer Forkenbrock, Shaylee Thomas and Madi Novacek will be presenting with NDSU graduate student Camille Forlano, Associate Professor Kelly Sassi, and West Fargo 7th grade teacher Alissa Helm about their collaborative field experience teaching Winterdance by Gary Paulsen at the North Dakota Association for Colleges of Teacher Education Annual Conference April 7, 2017 at Minot State University. Here is a photo of Kelly providing teaching feedback to Kerstyn Kutz-Samek and Camille Forlano during the field experience. Photo by NDSU photographer Justin Eiler.

Language Diversity Ambassadors

English lecturers Kellam Barta and Megan Even got some press recently with a Spectrum article on the newly formed Language Diversity Ambassadors group on campus.

Senior Jenna Murphy's Capstone Project Recognition

Senior Jenna Murphy's capstone project got campus wide recognition this month with a banner story. Check it out here.

Assistant Professor of Professional/Technical/Scientific Rhetoric and Writing Position Open

The English department at North Dakota State University seeks a full-time, tenure-track new or advanced Assistant Professor in Professional/Technical/Scientific Rhetoric and Writing or related field for employment beginning August 16, 2017.

For more information, see full listing here.

English Graduate Students Presentation

NDSU English graduate students Tony Albright and Luc Chinwongs presented at the National Writing Project's Annual Meeting, November 16-18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Their presentation, "Transformative Narratives of the Journey to and from Soldierhood: What Writing Projects Can Learn from Working with Veterans," was chaired by Associate Professor Kelly Sassi and included a literature review presented via video by NDSU English undergraduate Camille Forlano, a McNair scholar.

Scholarship Applications for 2017-2018

Scholarship applications for current and incoming students are accepted beginning December 1, 2016 through March 1, 2017 for the English department. 

To complete the online scholarship application please use the following link: and click on the "apply now" button.  You will then be asked to log in using the same credentials that you use for blackboard. 

We hope you find the system easy to use.  For general information, you can also refer to the video on the scholarship information page 

 All external scholarships will also be listed on the same site so log in often to see if new opportunities have been added for you.

REMEMBER: Be sure to observe the criteria and deadline for each scholarship. It is the student's responsibility to submit the scholarship application and respond to all additional questions posed.

2016-2017 Scholarship Recipients

Each year the English Department, in conjunction with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences awards more than $9,000 to deserving undergraduate and graduate students. Please join us in congratulating this year's recipients on their honors and achievements.

Richard L. Johnson Scholarship- Emilee Ruhland

Rooney English Graduate Scholarship- Alison Driscoll

Ralph Engel Scholarship- Andrew Wolf

Hal & Alice Dickey Memorial Scholarship- Natalia Martinez

G. Wilson Hunter Scholarship- Natalia Martinez

Mart & Lois Vogel Scholarship- Shaylee Thomas & Alex Lien

Pamela O'Connor Scholarship- Shaylee Thomas, Jenna Murphy, & Andrew Wolf

Madeline S. Gittings Scholarship- Jenna Murphy, Margaret Silvernail, Sarah Silvernail, & Justin Atwell

William Cosgrove Scholarship- Nathan Kurtti

English Faculty Scholarship- Neelam Jabeen & Adam Copeland


W-Challenge Award Winners:


1 – Joe Jessop

2 – Molly Scherer

3 – Krista Foerster


1 – Olivia Vogt

2 – Andrew Wolf

3 – Austin-Alexius Klein


1 – Jared Melville

2 – Benjamin Norman

3 – Emily Lange


1 – Alexis Pearson

2 – Alyssa Voelker

3 – Alexandra Howatt, Michelle Klose, Nicholas Hugo, and Abby Lange

Foreign Languages:

ESL: Qiying Ma

French: Michael Pfau


Greg Schlangen

Jonathan Materi

Sarah Gibbs Schnucker

Chinese: Mengkun Yang


Sundog (Overall) Winner: Jared Melville

Sundog (Overall) Honorable Mention: Olivia Vogt

Bruce Maylath has Published Two Co-authored Book Chapters

Bruce Maylath has published two co-authored book chapters:

Maylath, Bruce, and Steven Hammer. "The Imperative of Teaching Linguistics to Twenty-First-Century Professional Communicators." Teaching Culture and Communication in Global Contexts. Ed. Kirk St. Amant and Madelyn Flammia. Piscataway, NJ: Wiley-IEEE Press, 2016.

Lisaité, Donata, Sonia Vandepitte, Bruce Maylath, Birthe Mousten, Susana Valdez, Maria Castel-Branco, and Patricia Minacori. "Negotiating Meaning at a Distance: Peer Feedback in Electronic Learning Translation Environments." Translation and Meaning. Ed. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Łukasz Bogucki. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2016. 99-113. Łódź Studies in Language, New Series, vol. 1.


Gordon Fraser Invited to Attend First Book Institute Summer 2016

Gordon Fraser, assistant professor of English, has been awarded a $1,500 fellowship from and invitation to the First-Book Institute at the Center for American Literary Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Hosted by Sean X. Goudie (Penn State) and Priscilla Wald (Duke), the institute aims to help early career faculty complete manuscripts for their first scholarly monographs. About 10 percent of applicants to the institute are invited to the one-week seminar.

Congratulations, Dr. Fraser!

Adam Goldwyn Received Fellowship

Adam Goldwyn received an academic year (September to May) fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University’s center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, DC, to complete a manuscript of his book project, Byzantine Ecocriticism: Humans, Nature, and Power in the Medieval Greek Romance. The book will analyze environmental ideology in Greek literature of the 12th-15th centuries. He will also complete his translation of the 12th century grammarian John Tzetzes’ Allegories of the Odyssey for Harvard University Press, which follows on his translation of the Allegories of the Iliad (Harvard UP, 2015).

Also, his lecture at the Cambridge Classical Reception Seminar Series in May, entitled "Myth, Misogyny, and Magic: Mansplaining Medea in the Middle Ages” is now officially online (scroll down a bit on the webpage):



Kelly Sassi and Denise Lajimodiere's Article Accepted for Publication

Kelly Sassi and Denise Lajimodiere's article “Culturally Responsive Art and Writing Workshop at a Native American School” has been accepted for publication in Ubiquity: The Journal for Literature, Literacy, and the Arts.


Mailing Address

English Department
NDSU - Dept. 2320
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND  58108-6050
Office Location:
 Minard 318
Office Phone: 701-231-7143

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Published by the NDSU Dept. of English

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 11:17:37 AM
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