I published an article in the September 2015 issue of English Journal. Titled "Manga and the Autistic Mind," the article examines how manga reveals the way individuals with ASD process the world, and explores how manga can serve as a teaching tool for neurotypical and neurodivergent students. The article, available here (PDF), recently won the 2016 Edwin M. Hopkins award for an outstanding article published in English Journal.
I was delighted to participate in the fifth incarnation of the Hagiotheca biennial conference. I attended their first international conference in 2008 in Split, Croatia, and their 3rd conference in Pore, Croatia (Istrian peninsula) in 2010. As was my experience at the first two I attended, I found this conference to be one of the most stimulating and rewarding professional experiences of my career. Hagiology (the study of the cults of saints from late antiquity to, arguably, the present day) is a narrow sub-field of literary, history, and religious studies, and those of us who specialize in this area rarely get opportunities to meet and spend an extended amount of time discussing our respective projects. This conference afforded us such an opportunity, made especially valuable by its one-paper-at-a-time format, which allowed all conference members to attend all the papers. Therefore, I was able to have a wide audience for my paper, “‘We Have Departed a Little From the Path’: Narrative Digressions as Rhetorical Strategy in Byrhtferth of Ramsey’s Vita Sancti Oswaldi,” and learn a considerable amount from others’ work.
My presentation, "Touring the UP's Linguistic Landscape," was invited by the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition. In the talk, I discussed how the tourism industry has shaped the idea of what it means to be a "Yooper," and ideas about the local dialect.
In an effort to develop the English Department’s contributions to the Digital Humanities, I attended a workshop hosted by 18thConnect.org, the most significant aggregator of digital content related to the Long Eighteenth Century. As part of the annual conference of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, this workshop was well-positioned to offer concrete, hands-on experience in developing digital content (for example, using 18thConnect’s internally-developed TypeWrite software to read and edit open-access editions of eighteenth-century texts); to allow me to build connections with others in my field who are doing such work; and to model pedagogies that can help bring DH into the classroom. Positioning the Digital Humanities as service learning, the workshop emphasized the need to bring eighteenth-century texts out of the "Dark Archive"--scanned but not legible to computers—by correcting and translating them to plain text and, eventually, converting them into editions available to anyone with web access.
Shinian Wu attended the 2015 American Association for Applied Linguistics in Toronto, Canada March 21-23 and presented an empirical research project on English learners’ vocabulary gains through different instructional intervention strategies. It was a collaborative project initiated in China with a Chinese scholar and assisted by two Grand Valley statistics students. It was a pedagogically-oriented study designed to provide guidance to classroom English teachers on how to more effectively increase learners’ English vocabulary.