Digital Media Ethics

Dr. Kenneth Pestka II is Offering an Online Astronomy Class (PHYS 115) During Summer I

For those who may be interested in learning astronomy online,
Physics 115 is being offered this summer!
Fulfills Goal 6 and the Scientific Reasoning Pillar
PHYS 115: Evolution of the Cosmos
Evolution of the Cosmos (4 credits) is being offered during Summer I as an online only course and will fulfill the Goal 6 general education requirement or the Scientific Reasoning Pillar requirement. Course description: An introductory physics course that incorporates essential aspects of scientific reasoning and inquiry applied to cosmic evolution including: essential astronomy, the evolution of planetary systems, stars and galaxies, the Hubble relationship, astrobiology, the evolution of the universe and life. 4 credits. G06; FSRC, WI
For questions please contact Dr. Kenneth A. Pestka II (

Phillip Cantrell publishes essay on the Congo in the World History Bulletin

Dr. Phillip Cantrell of the Dept. of History has recently published an essay titled “A Lost Opportunity for Congo: The Renovation of the Africa Museum and the Perils of  Public Funding for World History.”  The essay appeared in December in the World History Bulletin (XXXV, no. 2 (2019): 34-36) and discusses the renovations made to the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium in regards to the presentation of Congolese colonial history.  The research for the essay was funded in part by a Faculty Development Grant.

Dr. Kenneth Pestka II in collaboration with recent Longwood graduate Adam Crews (19) present at the 235th American Astronomical Society Meeting

Dr. Kenneth Pestka II in collaboration with recent Longwood graduate Adam Crews (19) presented an iPoster titled, “Cubic crystal elastic constants of a crystallized white dwarf stellar core,” at the 235th American Astronomical Society Meeting on Monday, January 6th 2020. The project is a continuation of research started several years ago on computational models of crystallized white dwarf stellar cores and includes oscillatory behavior that can potentially be used to extract elastic parameters of crystallized pulsating white dwarfs stars. The abstract is now available at the American Astronomical Society Meeting website!/8993/presentation/3630


Dr. Elif Guler presents gender study at JMU, publishes pedagogical unit for the American Society for the History of Rhetoric

Dr. Elif Guler, Assistant Professor of Professional Writing in the Department of English and Modern Languages, recently presented a study at the 2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference (James Madison University) as part of its session entitled, “Feminist Foremothers.” Dr. Guler’s study, “The Sultanate of Women: Portraying the Rhetoric of the Mighty Mother, Mahpeyker Kosem Sultan,” focused on literary and popular portrayals of Kosem Sultan in the framework of a nearly 130-year period (16th-17th century CE) when the prominent women of the Ottoman Imperial Harem wielded extraordinary political influence over the male sultans and effectively ruled the Empire. Initiated to the Harem as a concubine of Greek origin (named Anastasia), Kosem Sultan later became the favorite and the legal wife of Sultan Ahmed I—who was the one to name her Kösem (meaning “the sheep leading the herd”)–due to her leadership and rhetorical skills. When her son Murat ascended to the throne, Kosem became the Valide Sultan (the highest palace position after that of the sultan) and maintained her regency for the reigning period of three Ottoman sultans (1623-1651). Kosem’s rhetorical roles included not only advising the sultan, but also serving as the acting Sultan, lobbying with various imperial factions, guarding successors of the throne, and even maintaining the social order. Her literary and popular portrayals render Kosem’s rhetorical skills and actions not only as essential to her maintenance of the “Valide Sultan” status but also as a key to her livelihood in the Ottoman Harem.

Previously, Dr. Guler also had a historical and pedagogical review published online by the American Society for the History of Rhetoric: “Turkish Rhetoric at the Intersections of Three Formative Texts.” Dr. Guler’s piece was published, alongside those by prominent scholars of diversity and women’s rhetoric, as part of the organization’s “Diversifying the Teaching of the History of Rhetoric Series.”
From a replica of the 8th-century Orkhon inscriptions (Kül Tigin monument)

Larissa Tracy publishes Medieval and Early Modern MURDER (June 2018)

Medieval and Early Modern MURDER, edited by Larissa “Kat” Tracy, published by Boydell Press (June 2018).

In the medieval period, murder had very specific legal parameters depending on time, culture, geography and legal structures. This volume explores the variety of circumstances associated with murder in the Middle Ages including law, literature, punishments, justifications and prohibitions. By focusing specifically on murder, its various incarnations — assassination, infanticide, mariticide, regicide, tyrranicide or simply homicide — and its social impact, this volume explores the complexity of medieval jurisprudence regarding murder and social responses to murder, as well as the implications of secret killing for medieval communities that were recorded in various literary genres.

Larissa Tracy interviewed for KALA Radio Show and Podcast

Larissa Tracy was recently interviewed for KALA’s “Relevant or Irrelevant” (ROI) Radio program on Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature. You can listen to the radio broadcast here:
Or the full podcast interview here:

Jacqueline Secoy published a paper on musician identity development in elementary education majors using ukuleles and YouTube

Dr. Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Secoy, Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Department of Music, is the co-author of a recently published article titled “Exploring the Music Identity Development of Elementary Education Majors Using Ukulele and YouTube” in the peer-reviewed Journal of Music Teacher Education.  The article can be viewed online through this link:

The article explores how to better understand how elementary education majors who take a music course where they are learning to play the ukulele and creating YouTube videos of their playing and singing influences their music identity.  We found that students’ early life experiences informed how they viewed their musician identity in the past and at the beginning of the course, while in-class experiences contributed to higher levels of music participation and confidence.  The study has implications for how music teachers might use ukulele and YouTube to promote individual expression, accountability, self-directed learning, and culturally responsive teaching.

Incite Vol. 11 is now on Digital Commons!

Colleagues! I am pleased to announce that Incite, the undergraduate research journal for the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences, volume 11, is now available on the Library’s Digital Commons.

You can access the complete volume and Table of Contents here, as well as download a pdf copy:

We are now taking student submissions for the volume 12!

Submission details and deadlines can be found here (the site still has the 2018 details but will be updated shortly):

Many thanks to Hope Alwine at the Library for getting this sorted for us.

Please encourage your students to submit the best of their work to Incite!


Larissa “Kat” Tracy

Larissa “Kat” Tracy publishes paper on kingship and national identity in manuscript studies

Dr. Larissa “Kat” Tracy, Professor of Medieval Literature in the Department of English and Modern Languages, recently published an article titled “Arthur, Richard I, Charlemagne and the Auchinleck Manuscript: Constructing English National Identity in Early Middle English,” in the peer-reviewed journal Early Middle English (EME) 1.1 (2019): 83–89.

This piece explores the construction of English kingship in the early-fourteenth century Auchinleck Manuscript, which resides in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the ways in which medieval English authors reclaimed the legendary King Arthur and historical King Richard I as figures of English national identity in opposition to French figures like Charlemagne.

Tracy is currently finishing a monograph on this manuscript and other medieval English collections titled England’s Medieval Literary Heroes: Law, Literature, and National Identity which she plans to submit to Oxford University Press later this year.