Department News and Events

 Activities and events within the department afford LLP students the opportunity to explore creative aspects of language, literature and philosophy beyond the classroom.  Events include publications, conferences, informal reading groups, spoken word events, public lectures, drama and film screenings. To learn more about LLP events, feel free to reach out to the department: Contact Us.  We look forward to seeing you there!

columbia study abroad

Greetings from Columbia!

Drs. Burris-Kitchen and Mojica-Diaz are there with TSU students on a study abroad with cross-listed upper-division Spanish and Criminal Justice courses for Maymester. They are studying at the Tecnológico de Antioquia Institución Universitaria.

Dr. Neal

Congrats to Dr. Kelle Neal who recently defended her dissertation!

Dr. Neal's dissertation was titled "Student Perceptions of Safety on a Southern Historically Black University Campus." It focused on student perceptions of safety on campus as well as the community surrounding the campus. The results found that students overwhelmingly feel safe on campus, but believe that the surrounding community is not safe, especially after their first year. She couples a degree in Higher Ed Administration with research interests in minority representation in film and media. Last year, her essay "From Mammy to black-ish: The Perceived Evolution of the Black American Typecast" was published in a book titled Violence Against Black Bodies: An Intersectional Analysis of How Black Lives Continue to Matter.  The department congratulates Dr. Neal for this noteworthy achievement, and we look forward to seeing future scholarship. 

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LLP to induct new members into Sigma Tau Delta 

LLP will hold our yearly commencement for new members of Sigma Tau Delta (TSU's Alpha Alpha Eta Chapter) on April 20th, in Humanities 103 at 10:00a. After the short ceremony, there will be a nice reception where students and faculty can mingle and engage with a few literary trivia questions for fun! For more information, contact Dr. Cindy Murillo.


Check out our new Student Spotlight Tarrolyn Barras!

LLP major Tarrolyn Barras is our latest spotlight. Barras has dreams of becoming a novelist, and sharing her love of language with the world. She writes,  "I have always loved writing. When I was a little girl I was inspired by every story I read to create worlds that others could lose themselves into." Learn more about her, and our other student spotlights, by visiting the Student Spotlight page.

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I Want to Write Poetry Conference 2018!

Registration is now open for the much anticipated I Want to Write Poetry Workshop Series 2018. The event will be held on April 20-21; this year’s theme is “Representation and Resistance: The Aesthetics of Advocacy.” Collectively, TSU instructors and Southern Word Spoken Word artists are leading workshops in poetic form to include Performance, Language, Hip Hop, Musicality, EcoFeminism, and so much more. Learn more by visiting our conference page at  I Want to Write 2018.

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GSA Film Screening: The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson 

GSA will host a screening and discussion of this critically acclaimed and culturally significant film. Join us at 10a, Humanities Building, Room 113, March 30th.  Check out the Movie Trailer here: Marsha P. Johnson. For questions, contact Dr. Jill Anderson .

Reproductive Rights Seminar

Dr. Rebecca Dixon presenting in Women’s and Gender Studies Research Series

Dixon's presentation is titled, “Constructions of Gender Identity in the Diaspora as Depicted in the Novels of Caryl Phillips.” The event is free and open to the public. Students are especially invited to attend. The event will be held on March 15th at 3 p.m. James Union Building, Rm 100. For more information contact: Dr. Katie Foss, 615-494-7747 or Women’s & Gender Studies, 615-898-5910, or Follow the link to learn more information about the Women's Studies Program.

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Thinking about Grad School?

Individuals majoring in English, Sociology, Africana Studies, and Anthropology are invited to come talk to reps from the University of Knoxville about the process.  Refreshments will be served. Join us on Tuesday, March 20th, at 12:45p, in Jackson Hall, room 221.  Questions, contact Dr. Jill Anderson. 

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Gay-Straight Alliance Participates in Multiple Initiatives this month

1) TSU and Fisks's GSA participate in Out in Front College Conference.   Students from both TSU and Fisk's GSAs will participate in a collaborative workshop/roundtable panel at 2.30p on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Vanderbilt's Out in Front Conference, in Sarratt Center 210.  The OUT in Front College Conference is open to any currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate student at a two- or four- year institution, and to folks currently enrolled in both traditional and trade school programs. The conference is free to attend and allows you to meet peers from across the Southeast region to share resources, network, develop leadership skills, and foster a strong community of LGBTQIA+ and allied student leaders. 

2) Ally Training Program: The P.R.I.D.E. program is an effort to create a visible network of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals and their allies. It is an avenue through which any member of the TSU Community can show their support. By participating in the P.R.I.D.E. Training, participants are showing their support for people of all genders and sexualities and are committing to develop allyship skills. Training will be held between 1-4p, Feb. 28, in the SSC119H.

For more information on these initiatives, contact Dr. Jill Anderson.

Chandler Wilson

Introducing the new Social Media Intern: Chandler Wilson

Wilson is the LLP Social Media Intern.  She will find new and inventive ways to keep you informed.  She will manage the LLP TwitterFacebook, and Blog Accounts with on the scene reporting and in-depth interviews. Her first blog has already been posted.  She writes: "I am very delighted to start my internship with the LLP Department this semester. I will get a chance to enhance my writing skills through the reports of the upcoming events happening in the LLP department. My blog post will consist of all the fun and creative things happening in the department." Check out her blog, and get reviews and all the news with Chandler.

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29th Annual National African American Read In Chain

LLP to host the Read-In this Sunday, Feb. 4, 3-4 p.m., Humanities 113. The Read-In is a significant part of Black History Month, and TSU joins with other colleges and universities, churches, libraries, community groups, bookstores, book clubs, neighborhood schools, and professional organizations who set aside the first Sunday in February  to participate in the chain.  The Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.  Over a million readers of all ethnic groups in the United States, the West Indies, and African countries participate each year.  The goals are to celebrate African and African American literary art and to make literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.

Black Film Series 2018

Black Film Series Returns this Spring:
Interrogating Racism and Representation in the Education

The Black Film Series will kick off this spring with a new theme: Interrogating Racism and Representation in Education.  /The first film screened will be Dope on Feb. 16th, in Poag Auditorium, Humanities Building. Join us as we explore how these films critique matters of racism, inclusion, and diversity in institutional life. After each screening, we will discuss how these critically acclaimed films provide insight into African American experiences with academia.

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Tiger Tutoring is back!

Beginning Jan. 29, LLP faculty members from the English department are working with Tiger Tutoring. Tutors will be available M-F 4:30-8pm in Room 202 of the Student Resource Center. This service is free to students. Tiger Tutoring is a great opportunity for students who need help with writing to receive immediate feedback from faculty.  Our writing tutors are equipped to help students at the University with various writing assignments and activities (within English department classes and beyond). They can assist the student at any stage of their writing process from brainstorming ideas to providing strategies for revision. For tutoring schedule and related information, visit the Tiger Tutoring Webpage

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LLP, Art, and Mass Communications Partner in Multimedia Poetry Showcase:

The Political Octet:
Heartache, Justice and rEvolution

Students enrolled in Poetry, Art and Mass Communication classes taught by Dr. Michelle Pinkard, Prof. Brandon Donahue and Prof. Brian Day, respectively, have joined forces to create a comprehensive showcase that includes: cinematic poetry, poetry inspired artworks, spoken word, and a panel discussion.  The event will be held in the Space for New Media, in Elliot Hall, at 1 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 1. You don't want to miss it. 


Meet our new LLP Student Spotlight Alphonzo Bradford!

Bradford is a senior in the LLP department who knows that studying English can make an individual "unstoppable" in the real world.  Learn more about him and his family by visiting our student spotlight page. 

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Philosophy Department to host Arts and Humanities Exchange this Week!

Scholars and artists will talk about their involvement with the North Nashville and Nashville communities, and about how we should move forward responding to the opportunities and challenges before us.  The event is organized by Drs. Alejandro Arango and Charles Bowie, philosophy professors in the Languages, Literature, and Philosophy Department, with the generous collaboration of the TSU Art Department, and sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Mellon Partners in Education program. Contact: Dr. Arango.

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Green Kabaret Showcase this Week!

Prof. Marsha Williams and her Freshmen Composition classes will host the Green Kabaret from 11:10-12:35 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16th, in the Forum. You are invited! Williams adds, "The #GreenKabaret  is a great experience for everyone involved. Using the popular education models of people's theater, song, and spoken word, the subjects come alive." Partnering with both the NAACP's Environmental Climate Justice program and the Sierra Club, this Green Kabaret promises to bring forward a dynamic discussion.  For more information, contact Prof. Williams. 

Meet our new alumni spotlight: Rev. Victor Cyrus-Franklin 

Join us in celebrating our latest alumni spotlight Rev. Victor Cyrus-Franklin. He is the senior pastor of Inglewood First UMC in Inglewood, CA. A native of Nashville, TN, Cyrus-Franklin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tennessee State University (c/o 2002) with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Learn more about him by visiting our LLP Alumni Spotlight page. 

Congrats to Dr. Rebecca Dixon and her most recent publication! 

Join us in congratulating Dr. Dixon for her chapter contribution in The Long Struggle: Discourses on Human Civil rights in African and the African Diaspora.  Her chapter was titled, “Negotiating Freedom: The Tenuous Nature of Freedom in the Period of Accommodation.” You can check out the book on Amazon, or by visiting the publisher's website: Pan-African University Press. Way to go Dr. Dixon! 


The Gay-Straight Alliance Invites You to Check out Two Upcoming Events

There are two upcoming events, GSA related events on the horizon for October.  On Oct. 18th, we have Story Booth Nashville , sponsored by Tennessee Equality Project, located in the l ower gallery of the Carl Van Vechten Gallery (1000 17 th  Ave. N) @ Fisk University.   Record your own coming out story to celebrate LGBT+ History Month.   For more info email  kburnett@fisk.eduOn Oct. 19th, there is a Straight Facts about LGBTQI Life & Speak Out! Panel Discussion, held  between,  3-5 PM, in Student Success Center 119H.  Key topics include Social justice ally development, Creating Trans inclusive communities,  LGBTQI Life resources on campus and beyond, and Creating a common language.  Learn more by clicking here: Straight Facts.  

To Learn more about TSU's GSA organization, click here: TSU Gay-Straight Alliance.


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Black Film Series Kick Off is a Success 

The Black Film Series kicked off this semester with a successful screening of Get Out! This blockbuster film was helpful our semester long exploration of satire and humor in Black cinema.  Our next screening will be of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, held on Friday, October 27, 10:30a, in LRC 230.  Join us for a screening and discussion of this throwback cult film and the world of Blaxsploitation.   Check out the trailer by clicking here:  I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. We hope to see you there!


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LLP Major and Minor Mixer

Come celebrate with us in kicking off another year of awesomeness in Languages, Literature and Philosophy. Food, Poetry, Pizza, Cake, and more. Date: Weds, Sept. 13th, Time: noon - 2p, Where: Humanities 103.  Hope to see your there!

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 "We Want Live Words!"

Soul Fire  Poetry Group and Workshop will return Spring 2017.  The first meeting will be held at  5 p.m., Weds., Sept. 6, Humanities 103, and every Wednesday after . This departmental organization meets once a week to hone poetry writing and performance skills, organize open mic performances, and to workshop their ideas.  It features a Poet Mentor from Southern Word, who helps students craft their skills. Learn more about their efforts by clicking here: Soul Fire Mini-Documentary.

*Check Out Spoken Word Performances by the Soul Fire Members and Friends.

Faculty Adviser: Dr. Michelle J. Pinkard

Student success building

Tiger Tutoring is back!

Beginning Sept. 6, faculty members from the English department will work with Tiger Tutoring. Tutors will be available M-F 4:30-8pm in Room 202 of the Student Resource Center. This service is free to students. Tiger Tutoring is a great opportunity for students who need help with writing to receive immediate feedback from faculty.  Our writing tutors are equipped to help students at the University with various writing assignments and activities (within English department classes and beyond). They can assist the student at any stage of their writing process from brainstorming ideas to providing strategies for revision. For tutoring schedule and related information, visit the Tiger Tutoring Webpage


Our news develops over the school year as students and faculty participate in TSU activities, present at conferences, explore
through class activities, and much more. We hope you will check back frequently to see what we are doing! Please report news to LLP Webmaster Dr. Michelle J. Pinkard.