Claflin News

Internationally Known Iranian-American Writer to Headline Claflin University Pedagogy Conference Oct. 2-3

Sep 30, 2013

Claflin University will hold its 12th annual Conference on English and Language Arts Pedagogy in Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions on campus Oct. 2-3.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum.” The conference speaker will be internationally known Iranian-American writer Nahid Rachlin, author of the memoir Persian Girls – which delves into the complex dynamics of growing up female in Iran as Rachlin tells of the different paths that she and her sisters took– as well as the novels Jumping Over Fire, Foreigner, Married to a Stranger and The Heart’s Desire, and the short story collection Veils. Her individual short stories have appeared in more than 50 magazines.

The two-day conference is sponsored by the Claflin University Department of English and Foreign Languages. Workshops will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Minsters' Hall. The conference is set to conclude Thursday afternoon, Oct. 3. Pedagogy is the study and process of teaching.

The public is invited to hear Rachlin’s keynote address at 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 2. Seating for non-registered audience members is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rachlin, who teaches creative writing at New York University, has been interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered, and has written reviews and essays for The New York Times, Newsday, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.

Rachlin attended the Columbia University Writing Program on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and the Stanford University MFA program on a Stegner Fellowship. Other grants and awards she has received include the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Her work has been translated into Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Arabic and Persian. For more information, visit

For more information about the conference, call Dr. Mitali Wong at (803) 535-5221 or e-mail


Wednesday, October 2

(All events are in Ministers’ Hall or the Ernest J. Finnney Library in Ministers’ Hall)

8:30-9:00 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Welcome by Dr. Zia Hasan, Vice President for Planning, Assessment and Information Services at Claflin University

9:10 a.m. – The Occasion by Dr. Peggy S. Ratliff, Professor of English at Claflin University

9:20-10:30 a.m. – Session I: Perspectives on the Application of a Foreign Language to Undergraduates in the 21st Century: Entertainment, Employment and Education featuring Delindus Brown and Chia-Wen Huang of South Carolina State University, Jason Youngkeit of Claflin University, and S.C. State University student panelists Jordan A. Beagle, Jessica N. Edwards, Dana M. Velasquez, A’dreanna Truesdell and Jordyn L. Fox

9:20-10:30 a.m. –  Session II: From Texts to Contexts: The Challenges of a Mini Semester Study Abroad Course on South Asia featuring Mohammed Yousuf, Mitali Wong, Gibson Najee, Precious Crittenden and Shakera West of Claflin University

10:45 a.m. – Keynote address by Nahid Rachlin: “How I Became a Writer in a Language Not My Own”

12:00-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon

1:45-3:00 p.m. – Session III: Writers at Work I: Readings by MFA students from the University of South Carolina-Columbia featuring Dennis Bormann of Claflin and USC-Columbia students Justin Brouckaert (Fiction), Brandon Rushton (Poetry), Matt Mossman (Nonfiction) and Matt Stark (Poetry)

1:45-3:00 p.m. – Session IV: Literature as a Response to Suffering featuring Nathaniel Wallace of S.C. State University, and C. Brooke Petersen, Deborah S. DeCiantis and David Nelson of North Greenville University

3:15-4:30 p.m. – Session V: Writers at Work II: Readings by MFA students from USC-Columbia featuring Gaynell Gavin of Claflin University and USC-Columbia students Chris Koslowski (Fiction), Christina Phillips (Nonfiction), Ryan Kennerly (Fiction) and Josh English (Poetry)

3:15-4:30 p.m. – Session VI: Teaching K-12 ELLs Reading and Writing: Improving Teacher Candidates’ Teaching Strategies featuring Nan Li of Claflin and Yvonne Mitchell of Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5, and Claflin University student panelists Hillary Tindall, Stevee Scott, Marquette Strait, Simone Rascoe, Sierra Wald, Kamaria Downs and Terrance Miles

5:30 p.m. – Reading and book signing featuring Nahid Rachlin

Thursday, October 3

(All events are in Ministers’ Hall or the Ministers’ Hall Library)

8:30-9:00 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast

9:15-10:30 a.m. – Session VII: Innovative Motivation: Reading and Writing Across the Disciplines featuring Yvonne Sims of S.C. State University, and Mary O. Stover, Quanashanique Johnson and Charlene Spearen of Allen University

9:15-10:30 a.m. – Session VIII: Teaching Literature and Composition: A Potpourri of Methods featuring Jorge Salvo of Claflin University, Jermayne King of Johnson C. Smith University, Victoria Batten of Benedict College and Donald Ray Jenkins of Albany State University

10:45-12:15 a.m. – Workshop with Nahid Rachlin

12:30-1:45 p.m. – Lunch (on your own)

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Session IX: Writing Across the Curriculum in the Writing Center featuring Donald Pardlow and North Carolina Central University graduate student panelists LaKela Atkinson, Audrey Paquette, Karen Bethea and Scott Theriault

3:15-4:15 p.m. – Session X: Perspectives on First Year English Pedagogy featuring Melissa Pearson of Claflin University and faculty panelists Lugenia Rochelle and Booker T. Anthony of Voorhees College, Ghussan Greene of S.C. State University, Charlene Spearen of Allen University and Victoria Batten of Benedict College

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