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The Peripatetic Observer 2008

The Peripatetic Observer 2008

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Published by: SUNY Geneseo Department of English on Jun 17, 2010
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The Peripatetic Observer
Volume 10 SUNY College at Geneseo, Department of English Winter 2008
Having just nished putting together our schedule of courses for the spring, I’m reminded of what a strong
 position your EnglishDepartment is in and of how many positive changes have taken place during my more than twenty years at Geneseo. We now haveover 400 majors, more than at any other time in over 25 years. Since enrollment at the College is about the same, that number speaksto the attractiveness of our programs and students’ recognition that we have a very strong faculty involved in creative kinds of work. Inresponse to the growth of our major, our faculty numbers have increased. I’m delighted to tell you that for the rst time since the early seventies, we now have three full-time Creative Writers on the faculty and twomore who teach in the program part time. This fall, we were delighted to be able to bring to campus
, a ction writer who holds an MFA from Indiana University.While recently preparing for the program review that we do every six years, I was reminded thatthe English Department is the epicenter of numerous programs and activities at the College. In addition torunning both the literature and writing tracks in the major, we house numerous interdisciplinary programsand crucial support services.
Ron Herzman
now co-chairs the College Honors Program, which recently has been signicantly revised and expanded to include many more incoming students.
Jun Okada
directs theFilm Studies minor and the Alan Lutkus International Film Festival.
Caroline Woidat
recently has beenappointed Coordinator of the American Studies program at the College while she continues to co-chair the Native-American Studies Programthat she founded with Michael Oberg of the History Department.
Ed Gillin
leadsthe Humanities Core Committee and
, the Comparative Literature major.In addition, the department participates inthe Africana Studies, Latin-American Studies, the Women’s Studies,and Medieval Studies minors, and works with the School of PerformingArts to administer the Theatre-English major.
Rachel Hall
bringsseveral writers to campus each year as head of the Geneseo LiteraryForum and also runs the large Writing Learning Center, which employs10-15 tutors that she trains to assist hundreds of students from programsthroughout the College.
Graham Drake
puts in long hours as Geneseo’s principal pre-law advisor.This has also been a year of transition for the department.
, our secretary of 27 years, who with department keyboardspecialists supported all of these programs, retired from the College lastspring. For many of you (and for most of the current faculty) she wasthe mainstay of the department—not just because of the work she did tosupport the department and its afliated programs, but also because shewas advisor, mentor, creative problem solver, and friend to many wavesof students and faculty. With Marie in the front ofce, we could alwayscount on all systems running smoothly. Over a hundred people cametogether for a festive dinner in Marie’s honor last spring. It was a great party and a great reunion. We have been lucky to have
Michele Feeley
ably move into Marie’s job.I continue to hear from many of you who write to share their positive memories of the Department and the College. One of thefavorite parts of my job is responding to your e-mails, even if you graduated before I came to the College or I didn’t know you personallywhen you were here. Nothing pleases our faculty as much as hearing from former students.Your ongoing support has helped us transform your English Department into the vibrant center that it has become. Thank you for your continued support as we work hard to enrich the challenging programs we bring to our students.
English Programs Popular and Inuential
A Message from the Department Chair
Richard Finkelstein:Chair
Welles Hall, home of the English Department
The Peripatetic Observer 
Winter 2008
The English Department’s faculty and students regularly receive SUNY-widehonors. This year was no exception.
Amanda Gitomer
On 18 April 2007, Amanda Gitomer, a senior double major in Englishand Spanish, received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.A Geneseo Presidential Scholar, Gitomer volunteered in the LivingstonCARES Katrina relief program and as a volunteer art therapist for theFinger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Service Ofce. She was amember of Phi Sigma Iota international foreign language honor society;La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispanic/Sigma Delta Pi NationalSpanish Honor Society; Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society; the international Golden Key Honor Society; and Phi Eta Sigmanational freshman honor society. Gitomer was the recipient of numerousscholarships and wrote an English Honors thesis. In addition, she was awriting tutor for the Writing Learning Center, research assistant for the
 D.H. Lawrence Review
, and teaching assistant for English-as-a-Second-Language classes. In addition, she servedthe College in many ways as a facilitator of events, treasurer of Residence Hall Council, and member of variousorganizations.
Paul Schacht
This Spring Associate Professor Paul Schacht received a 2007 SUNYChancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. He created theCollaborative Writing Project, a web site teaching tool for his students to practice collaborative writing and peer editing. He also has been involvedin shaping some of the most complex and time-consuming initiatives oncampus, including: chairing the General Education Committee and thecampus-wide Assessment Committee; co-authoring the college’s GeneralAssessment Plan; and serving on the American Democracy ProjectCommittee, the Strategic Planning Advisory Group, and the Middle StatesPeriodic Review Report Committee. Dr. Schacht also was called upon toserve as acting dean of the college on a month’s notice, fullling that dutyfor the better part of a year. Presently serving as an associate professor of English and assistant to the provost for general education and assessment,Schacht joined the college in 1985. In 1997, he received a Chancellor’sAward for Excellence in Teaching.
Presently, six English department faculty members have been awarded the Chancellor’s Awardfor Excellence in Teaching.
2007 Chancellor’s Awards
The Peripatetic Observer 
Winter 2008 3
Alumni News Is No News Without You
Tell us about yourself—we’d like to know.NameEmailPublish address? yes / noGraduationDateAddressCity/ State/ Postal CodeEducation & DatesYour News(attachments invited)Are you interested in mentoring an English Major? YesNoIf yes, how may you be contacted? by dept. by studentPreferred method of contact(post, phone, email, etc.)Other information? Anyquestions?
Return to:
Alumni Newsletter, Department of English, SUNY-Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY, 14454-1401
Alice Rutkowski, Assistant Professor in AmericanLiterature, returned this fall after a year’s academicleave. She received a 2006-07 Dr. Nuala McGannDrescher Afrmative Action/Diversity Leave, a com- petitive program sponsored by the State of New York and United University Professions. During her leave,Rutkowski pur-sued her re-search project,“AppropriatingAgony: Trans-forming Chaosinto Narrativewith the 1863 New York CityDraft Riots,”which inves-tigates bothliterary andhistorical rep-resentations of the New York City Draft Riots, which took place in July 1863 duringthe second year of the Civil War.Professor Rutkowski’s work required her to read asmany narratives—whether ctional or historical—of the Draft Riots as possible, many of which are onlyavailable in the holdings of the New York Public Libraryand the New York Historical Society. These differentaccounts provide unique “intersections of the historicaland the speculative,” allowing for the investigation of “a set of events and texts never before examined froma literary perspective,” according to Rutkowski. Thevery subject matter of the Draft Riots and their nar-rative aftermath requires her work to actively engagewith discussions about the role of popular culture in theCivil War as well as representations of women, AfricanAmericans, white working-class men and the complexrelationship between these groups.While this research continues, Rutkowski’s article,“Leaving the Good Mother: Frances E. W. Harper,Lydia Maria Child and the Literary Politics of Re-construction,” is forthcoming in
 Legacy: A Journal of  American Woman Writers
Rutkowski Returns from Research Leave
Alice Rutkowski

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