Archive for April, 2012

Graduating Senior Katherine Handy Heads to Texas Tech Law School

0 Commentsby   |  04.29.12  |  Student Spotlight

Katherine Handy has been extremely involved across ACU’s campus during her time here. She served the Students’ Association as senator for both her freshman and sophomore years and is presently the Executive Secretary. She has participated in Freshman Follies and Sing Song, and she is a member of the women’s social club Sigma Theta Chi. Katherine is presently serving as the treasurer for the English national honor society, Sigma Tau Delta.

This fall, Katherine will be attending Texas Tech Law School. Tech has recognized Katherine as an outstanding student, and she has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship, a renewable scholarship awarded only to entering first-year law students.

Katherine was focused on working in the legal field even before she came to ACU: she has completed internships with the Collin County Teen Court Program; Collin County Justice of the Peace, John E. Payton; the Collin County District Attorney’s Office; and ACU’s Legal Services Office.
This past weekend Katherine traveled to Lubbock to accept the scholarship and begin making connections on campus.

Congratulations, Katherine!

A Night of Detection, the Culp Professor Reading

0 Commentsby   |  04.26.12  |  Faculty Spotlight


Mr. Boddy was strangled by a short length of rope in the billiard room of his mansion. Who would commit such a heinous act? Why?

Thus Dr. Chris Willerton kicked off the Fourth Annual Culp Professor Reading on the evening of April 10th not with a clearing of the throat or shuffling of papers, but with murder most mendacious. And after that the ride got even better…



Sandwiched between discussions of his research into a possible Christian way of reading mysteries (along with short bios of crime writers he’s looked at so far), Dr. Willerton drew upon some weirdly capable fellow faculty members to present a live version of CLUE.

Alibis were heard. Suspects were questioned sharply. In turn suspects accused one another. It all ended in a vote by the audience. Who did they think had strangled Mr. Boddy?


As the new Culp Professor, Dr. Willerton has begun researching and writing about 6-8 detective novelists. He read excerpts from an article and papers on three of them.

Dorothy L. Sayers represented the Classical Age in detective fiction with her
hero Lord Peter Wimsey. In an excerpt from his article “Dorothy L. Sayers and
the Creative Reader,” Dr. Willerton linked her Trinitarian theory of art to later
Reader-Response Theory, the basis for his own study.

Ian Rankin is a contemporary writer Dr. Willerton is studying. In his article “Detective Noir and Christian Readers,” he has argued that Ian Rankin’ Edinburgh police procedurals (so-called “Tartan Noir”) are “hospitable” texts for many Christians. They use their violence, topicality, and detectives’ idealism to confront questions important to Christians.

John le Carre, who is still going strong into his 80’s, is another focus of Dr. Willerton’s research. In an exercept from “Detective as Spy as Detective in Novels of John le Carré” Dr. Willerton considered the use of genre in two early novels and how it enables readers to understand an ethically ambiguous universe—one where characters are pulled between ethical imperatives.


There was no youthful Charles Dickens in the audience taking notes of the proceedings, but had he been there to do so, he might have noted the following:


The Vicar (Stephen Weathers) was an oily character, both figuratively and literally. At the hour of the murder he claimed to have been with a “toothless bearded hag” who was dying. “I anointed her with oil,” the Vicar snidely intoned. “Lubrication is my specialty.”








Freelance editor Ms. Peddi Antry (Carolyn Thompson) offered perhaps the best alibi of all. She had been out of the country, editing a book.






Barclay Wells Fargo (Steven Moore) was another matter. The accountant kept flashing a $20 bill (a bribe perhaps) and insisted his handsome face was enough to deem him innocent. He said he went home after work and partied with some friends–on the Internet.


Thurman Zamboni (Al Haley), a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, spoke of working on his magnum opus which has consumed him for the past ten years. “At 8 o’clock I was in my study revising p. 732. At that time I took out a comma. At five minutes before midnight I put the comma back in. I considered it a good day’s work.”


After Zamboni vilified the vicar and accused him of being a closeted Rolling Stones fan and Barclay Wells Fargo again flashed his wad of green while Ms. Peddi Antry shot editorial daggers in every direction, the audience voted overwhelmingly that the guilty party was…


We almost forgot to say that The Culp Professorship is awarded competitively for three-year terms. Recipients have reduced teaching loads and a research budget and must pursue a major professional project. Previous recipients have been James Culp, Darryl Tippens, Gay Barton, Steve Weathers, and Al Haley.


Well, of course, it was that evil hearted representative of the 1%–Barclay Wells Fargo–who dunit!


Spring Dinner for Graduating Seniors–This Thursday, April 26, before the Black Tulip

0 Commentsby   |  04.21.12  |  Announcements, Shinnery Review

Our department is looking forward to this Thursday night, April 26, when we will celebrate with our graduating seniors over a delicious Indian dinner at Taj Mahal, then return to campus for the Black Tulip launch party of the Shinnery Review!

About the Spring Dinner

All faculty and graduating seniors are invited to attend! You should have received an Evite from Heidi Nobles (; if you didn’t, please contact her right away!

Read the great restaurant reviews at, and do note that the dinner is free.

About the Black Tulip Release Party

We’ll be having desserts & refreshments, and students whose work was accepted into the magazine will be invited to read their pieces or excerpts from them. We’ll also be handing out free copies of the Shinnery, so if anyone would like a copy, now is the time to stop by and get one!
The Black Tulip has moved! Instead of the Living Room, as noted on the flyer below, the party will take place in the Core Classroom in the library!***

Away She Goes! Senior Kaleigh Wyrick Heads to TCU

4 Commentsby   |  04.19.12  |  Student Spotlight

Kaleigh Wyrick has been an integral part of English during her time as a student at ACU. Her academic abilities were recognized with the Culp Scholarship and the University Scholar Award. She was treasurer for Alpha Chi, the national honor society, and secretary for Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society. Kaliegh’s research enabled her to present at both of ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festivals and the national and regional Alpha Chi conferences.

After graduation in May, Kaleigh will be attending TCU. Kaleigh was accepted straight into the English PhD program. She also has received a graduate assistantship that will not only cover her tuition, but also give her a generous stipend to live on.

The assistantship Kaleigh received will enable her to teach an introductory course with various professors from different disciplines each semester, thus giving her a wide range of pedagogical approaches from which to create her own. In addition, she will have administrative duties related to the class, which will give her experience dealing with the program director and the dean.

At the departmental meet-and-greet on March 30 and 31, Kaleigh had the opportunity to interact with multiple faculty members from her new department, as well as to begin getting to know her PhD cohort.

Congratulations, Kaleigh!

George W. Ewing Folklore Lecture

0 Commentsby   |  04.09.12  |  Announcements, Faculty Spotlight

“Riddles and Puzzles, Cherubs and Kings:
Folkloric Elements in the Book of Ezekiel”

Dr. Mark Hamilton will deliver the annual George W. Ewing Folklore Lecture. Dr. Hamilton, Associate Dean of the ACU Graduate School of Theology, will explore the highly significant interface between folklore studies and the Old Testament.

The lecture series is a tribute to the late Dr. George Ewing, much loved ACU Professor of English and Folklore.  This event is open to all.

Thursday, April 19, 7:00 PM, in BSB 117

0 Commentsby   |  04.03.12  |  Advising Information, Announcements

Get paid to blog?!

0 Commentsby   |  04.03.12  |  Advising Information