Speakers Bureau: High School Speaker Request Form
Below is a catalog of WKU English faculty who are available as guest speakers in the region’s high school junior and senior English Classes. We can schedule visits to senior classes between September 10-December 14 and Junior classes between January 7 and May 10. Currently, we are piloting the program for the following school districts: Bowling Green City and Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Simpson, and Warren counties. We are also expanding our reach to the Nashville/Davidson County area. Our faculty are generally available to visit up to two individual classes per school visit. We can provide this service to an individual high school teacher once each academic year. Visits are subject to faculty availability.
Unless otherwise noted (or otherwise negotiated), speakers will expect to engage individual classes for 40 minutes, allowing time afterwards for follow-up interaction and a brief recruitment spiel.
Speaker requests should be made utilizing this web form. Please do not contact individual faculty directly.
Please plan ahead. Because our faculty have a variety of other duties, availability will be limited. Initial scheduling should be attempted at least three to four weeks in advance.
Dr. Jane Fife studies contemporary rhetoric, argument, and writing processes and is willing to conduct class sessions on topics like developing visual and written arguments through metaphor, rhetorical techniques of contemporary satire, rhetorical analysis, and writing processes as well as discussions of specific texts, like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Offensive Play,” Nancy Sommers’ “I Stand Here Writing,” Peter Elbow’s “The Need for Care: Easy Speaking on to the Page is Never Enough,” or Barbara Tomlinson’s “Tuning, Tying and Training Texts: Metaphors for Revision.”
Jessica Folk has an M.F.A. in Screenwriting. She writes scripts in both film and television, surrounding topics related to the representation of women and the LGBTQ+ community. She also has a background in Young Adult fiction and playwriting. She can lead discussions related to the art of writing scripts, plays, and YA fiction. She is also able to lead discussions surrounding queer cinema and women in the entertainment industry.
Dr. Rob Hale studies 19th-century British literature and is willing to make presentations on the Romantic Period, the Victorian Period, William Wordsworth, 19th-century art and British literature or lead classes on Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven,” Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover,” Hemans’ “The Indian Woman’s Death Song,” or Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”
Dr. Ted Hovet studies film and American literature. He is willing to make presentations or lead class discussions on film adaptations of literary works (including but not limited to The Great Gatsby, novels/stories by Henry James, and Shakespearean adaptations by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa), on general film history, on international cinema, and on trends in 21st-century media.
Dr. Tom C. Hunley is the author of several books of poetry. He is willing to lead poetry workshops, walking students through prompts from his textbook, The Poetry Gymnasium: 94 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse.
Dr. Angela Jones studies rhetoric and composition with an emphasis in professional and technical writing. She is available to lead discussions and provide workshops on the writing expectations of college teachers, the ways evidence is used to construct arguments in college disciplines, and how to analyze audience and purpose to write effectively in academic or workplace genres.
Dr. Alison Langdon specializes in medieval literature and offers presentations on the Anglo-Saxon hero, women in medieval literature, courtly love, Old and Middle English poetry, representations of animals in medieval literature, and the history of the English language. Some of her favorite texts to talk about are Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Dante’s Inferno, and “Bisclavret” (a poem about a medieval werewolf!).
Dr. David LeNoir works with future high school and college English teachers. He is available to lead writing workshops, especially for invention strategies, or make presentations on speculative fiction (especially classic science fiction or dystopian fiction) or young adult literature.
Dr. Alex Poole is an applied linguist who studies prescriptive/grammar and first and second language reading. He is available to present on topics related to grammar, second language learning, and strategic reading.
Dr. Dale Rigby teaches Nonfiction Prose and is willing to coax friendly discussions/workshops exploring any number of subgenres--Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Narrative Essay, Critical-Experimental Essay, Lyric Essay--in order to explore useful literary strategies for moving beyond formulaic “school” writing in favor of more organic and re-searched attempts/essays. Relevant models might include works of Montaigne, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Eula Biss, Lee Martin, or Leslie Jamison.
Prof. Walker Rutledge: Virtually anything in American literature. General topics could include these authors: Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, the Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman), Emily Dickinson, Twain, Stephen Crane, Hemingway, Faulkner, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams. Also Realism, Naturalism, and Impressionism, and Characteristics of Bad Poetry. Specific topics that AP students might find engaging are The Scarlet Letter, Walden, Death of a Salesman, The Glass Menagerie, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and “What Is Uniquely American about American Literature?”
Dr. Trini Stickle is an applied linguist who studies a variety of language issues from a practical, problem-solving approach. She is happy to offer insights into dialect and usage: for example, examining the differences in words, grammar, and pronunciation within the US, quirky differences such as who says “pop,” “soda,” or “coke,” or where in the US it would be acceptable to say “They might could tell you where to get whiskey” and where (and why) it would be considered “wrong.” Drawing on seven years of teaching English as a Second Language, she can provide perspective on both teaching and learning languages. Her primary research is on the language communication issues that arise in conversations involving persons with dementia and children with Autism. She would be delighted to share insights on any of these language areas.