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Professor Aimee Taylor and her Classes Explore Ball State’s History

This semester, #bsuenglish Professor Aimee Taylor developed and organized an alternative final project for her ENG 104 class that focuses on archival research of Ball State’s history. With it, she hopes to immerse her students in scholarly research and unravel ageless inspiration. She will also be attending a conference this May where she plans to shed light on this exemplary work she is witnessing from her first-year students.

Ball State University will soon be preview-full-keepin_it_100.jpgcelebrating its 100th anniversary, but one English class is already getting a head start. They are looking into the archives from 1917, the year the university’s land was purchased, to now. The professor behind this project is Aimee Taylor, who the English Department hired this past fall. She has experience with archival research at her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, and decided to apply this technique to her ENG 104: Composing Research course. For the course’s final project, students must compile research in their selected time period and connect their findings to the central question: “How has Ball State changed?”

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The Inside Scoop on Ball State’s Literary Magazine: The Broken Plate

We sat down with Professor Mark Neely, faculty supervisor of The Broken Plate, and Jackson Eflin, a former Broken Plate staff member who has also had his work published in the literary magazine. 

What is The neelyBroken Plate?

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography (among other things) by writers and artists from around the world. Each issue is edited by an interdisciplinary group of Ball State undergraduate students and released at our annual In Print Festival of First Books.

You’ve been the editor of the magazine for several years now. How have things changed over time?

When I took over as faculty adviser for the magazine, it was a small operation run by a few student volunteers. They only published the work of Ball State students, mostly that of a small group of friends.

I wanted to make it a more valuable experience for both the editors and for the Ball State writing community, so I used our existing course in Literary Editing and Publishing as a way to professionalize the magazine, and to spread the word more effectively about our submissions process. Eventually, we opened up submissions to all writers, which increased our pool of pieces to choose from, and I think it makes for a more rewarding experience for students.

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Fall Semester is coming up, and we think some of you should drop all of your classes.

By now you should be familiar with all the fantastic work that has come from the Virginia Ball Center. Projects like the Infinite Museum and The Freedom Bus have sparked interest from all kinds of majors, and this fall’s immersive learning opportunity is no different.

Professor Audra Sokol from the Theatre and Dance Department has reached out to BSU English and asked for those English majors who are passionate about both spoken word poetry and the damaging objectification that comes with our culture’s ideal body image. While this project will continue on into the spring semester, it only requires that you dedicate your full schedule for this fall.

In case you don’t know how VBC semesters work: you take this one class, and then appeal to different departments to have the experience “count” for various courses.

We know you’ve already got your fall schedule set. But do not ignore this opportunity! Participating in this project won’t set you back.

Assistant Chairperson Cathy Day says that you can apply this experience for up to two English courses. If you’re curious about this and would like to meet to further discuss this opportunity, schedule an appointment with her through Katie Atkinson at 765-285-8583.

For more information on this immersive learning project, check out the abstract.