Erin Templeton

Author's posts

Jan 30

On Trees: For Jeff Baker

My friend and colleague Dr. Jeffrey H. Barker died suddenly in July of 2021. At the time, he was a few weeks into a one-year term as the 11th President of Converse University. Last week (Jan 25, 2023), Converse unveiled his Presidential portrait and celebrated his 20 year tenure at the university with a ceremony… Continue Reading On Trees: For Jeff Baker

Jan 10

Big Tent English. Coalition Building. Embracing Opportunities.

I have spent my career at a small, tuition-driven, formerly single-gender university. My own department is small, and it will be getting smaller next year when Creative & Professional Writing split off from English and joins our School of the Arts. When I say small, I mean there are currently 7 of us—including me—and we’ll… Continue Reading Big Tent English. Coalition Building. Embracing Opportunities.

Oct 18

Lo-Fi Modernism: NETWORK

My keyword for this roundtable is NETWORK. When I chose it back in the early spring, I had two different meanings in mind: the digital and the professional. And I will return to those versions momentarily. But the more that, I thought about it, the more different versions spawned: mathematical, computational, social, electrical, neural, political… Continue Reading Lo-Fi Modernism: NETWORK

Apr 21

Marathon 5: Boston

It’s not hyperbole to say that I had been looking forward to the Boston Marathon for at least 18 months–since I qualified at Richmond in November 2017. After months of anticipation and miles of training, it was finally here. I arrived in Boston on Saturday afternoon after an electrical storm in the Carolinas delayed our… Continue Reading Marathon 5: Boston

Jan 14

Am I Blue: 2.4 Bluets

I mentioned in the last post that the Blue class was inspired by three things: a film, a novel, and Maggie Nelson’s book Bluets. As much as I love Bluets, it’s kind of hard to talk about. One source of the difficulty is because it defies categories. It is prose, but it is not fiction.… Continue Reading Am I Blue: 2.4 Bluets

Jan 12

Am I Blue 2.3: Blue

When I first conceived of this class, there were three touchstones: Maggie Nelson’s luminous Bluets,Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and the French film Blue, the first in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy. I freely admit that I am not a film person. I have never been a film person. I like movies, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never… Continue Reading Am I Blue 2.3: Blue

Jan 09

Am I Blue: 2.2

“Most of the time, we are content to cry out ‘fuck!’ as if pinched, but the function of our wall words in slightly more elaborate curses is more complex” (William Gass, On Being Blue 52). I’m interested in the idea of “wall words.” That may or may not have a connection to blueness beyond the obvious (the… Continue Reading Am I Blue: 2.2

Jan 09

Am I Blue? 2.1

Week 2, and the answer to the question “Am I blue?” is a resounding yes. In the words of William Gass, “afflictions of the spirit–dumps, mopes, Mondays–all that’s dismal . . .” I assigned Gass without rereading him. Not the first time, I’ve done this, surely not the last. The book is called On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry.… Continue Reading Am I Blue? 2.1

Jan 06

Am I Blue? 1.2

Day two. Logistics. Favorite animals (tigers, dogs, sharks . . .) Poetry. Is blue my favorite color? A question from a student–kind of random–maybe they did notice the shoes yesterday. Or the blouse today. Is blue my favorite color? Sometimes. That answer was confusing to the class. What does that mean: “Sometimes”? I wanted to… Continue Reading Am I Blue? 1.2

Jan 03

Am I Blue? 1.1

I’m teaching a new class. It’s on blue, as in the color. This idea was born in a Canadian taxi on the way to the airport one very early morning in June 2018. I’m not entirely clear where it came from–I guess you might say it’s a bolt from the blue? It started with Maggie… Continue Reading Am I Blue? 1.1