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MnWE News Winter Issue
January-February 2023

MnWE 2023 Conference on Zoom and at St. Cloud State
Fri.-Sat., Mar. 31-Apr. 1, 2023
Learning Ecologies: Building, Improving, and Refining Pedagogy

In this issue:     
     1.  Propose Now for Conference: CAN YOU PRESENT AT 3/31-4/1 MnWE?
     3.  A Note from the MnWE Committee: ADDED FOCUS ON EQUITY


5.  Equity/Diversity Literary Resources (in each issue)

6.  Free Teaching/Learning E-Newsletters (in each issue)

7.  About MnWE (in each issue)

        If you are new to our listserv, welcome! We never share your address, and you always may unsubscribe at the bottom of any email. Click here if you wish to view this or previous issues in your browser. MnWE News goes to over 2500 English and Writing faculty in Minnesota and parts of nearby states. Our next conference is Fri.-Sat., Mar. 31-Apr. 1, 2023, with almost all events available simultaneously in person at St. Cloud State University and on Zoom.
        If you are a long-term member of this listserv, thank you for your continuing participation. If you did not receive this newsletter directly and want to see it six times per year, join us by sending a request to the editor at 
jeweLØØ1 at umn dot edu. We suggest you give us a permanent email address.
1. Propose Now for Conference: CAN YOU PRESENT AT 3/31-4/1 MnWE?



       We’d love to see you make a simple, brief proposal for MnWE’s Thirteenth Annual Conference Fri.-Sat., Mar. 31-Apr. 1, 2023. Like last year’s, the conference will be hybrid–both in person and on Zoom interactively–at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. The theme is “Learning Ecologies: Building, Improving, and Refining Pedagogy.” Deadline for proposals is Feb. 10.
        We accept most proposals and group people with simi-lar topics (or you can propose your own group). You may suggest anything on the theme–or off of it–related to teaching Writing, Literature, Creative Writing, tutoring, or working with English in ESL/EAP.

        MnWE is a warm, welcoming conference focusing on transforming theory into pedagogy, on equity, and on sharing teaching/learning methods. Presenters hail from the Upper Midwest and beyond. The conference offers a plenary each day with experts in their fields. Breakouts are smaller roundtable discussions, each discussant talks six-eight minutes, and then discussants and attendees ask questions and answer them.
        Registration is open now: fees are unusually low even for a two-day state conference (with an additional $10 charge in the final week and at the conference). If you have questions, email us at
Send a Proposal!



       Here are four elements that students of color want when choosing a campus–or staying on one. And you may be able to help make them happen. Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez developed them in conversation with Brown U. sophomore Skye Alex Jackson, the founder of the National Black Student Alliance, and PhD student at UC-Berkeley and Alaskan Native Tvetene Carlson. Zamudio-Suarez featured them in the Nov. 8, 2022 online newsletter she edits, Race on Campus:

  1. Students Are Looking for Communities Within Their Campus Community...with people who share the same racial identities [to] help them cope with feelings of isolation and navigate racist experiences they may face on campus.”
  2. Benefits of Black Student Housing.” For example, Harambee House is a residence hall for Blacks at Brown University for students to “engage in authentic cultural and, by extension, self-expression,” says its website.
  3. Precollege Programs Help Students of Color.... Before her first year at Brown, Jackson participated in a precollege program for students of color” in which “incoming freshmen got to move into their dorms early and were each paired with...upperclassmen, who served as mentors.”
  4. “Faculty Representation Matters. Having four professors who were people of color in her first semester at Brown made a huge difference in her success that school year, Jackson said. It made her more comfortable seeking out mentors and going to office hours. At the University of Alaska, Carlson also found mentorship in one of his professors who was Alaskan Native.”

        How badly does your school want to find and keep more students of color? Statistics consistently show you can’t just say, “Let’s advertise more,” “We need an equity administrator,” or “We should try diversity training.” All of these are fine, but experience across the country demonstrates they won’t work without building communities of color on campuses.
        In other words, a campus must create specific spaces and experiences to help students of color groups access college more easily and comfortably. Otherwise, they’ll simply go to places such as the historically Black colleges or wherever else they feel more welcome...or they won’t go at all.
        What can you do? Now is a good time to suggest such programs or their expansion at your school.
Equity, Diversity, and Multicultural Programs at UM-Morris
Univ. of Mass.--How To Support Students of Color: Advice for Teachers


3. A Note from the MnWE Committee: ADDED FOCUS ON EQUITY                               


        The MnWE Committee decided, after the murder of George Floyd, to add a new commitment to MnWE’s purpose. Previously, MnWE’s focus was “on practical pedagogy in college-level Composition, Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Literature, Tutoring, and related professional activities.” The MnWE Committee decided by consensus, over a period of months, to add “equity” to “practical pedagogy,” pursuing both. This parallels the same new focus as national organizations  such as MLA, CCCC, and NCTE. You may have noticed this added focus in the MnWE News, which has had much more information about equity/diversity since Floyd’s murder. And those of you who have attended our last two conferences also will have observed this increased focus.
        There is a significant difference between “equality” and “equity.” “Equality” means the laws are exactly the same for everyone. “Equity” means that deserving people with great brains, hearts, and wills have the same opportunities. We believe in lifting those who have been left behind but have the same potential so that we all have the opportunity to rise together.   
        As a Committee, we also have voted to commit the new, yearly MnWE Journal to a primary focus on equity and diversity. We hope you enjoy the new Journal when its first issue comes out, and learn from it. As Committee members, we are growing in knowledge each month about equity and diversity, and in how we may affect our students and peers.
        MnWE always has been deeply concerned about such issues during its sixteen years, whether BIPOC, LGBTQ, disabilities, poverty, or other cultural or life separations that sideline people unequally. Why? It is because all of us–Committee, conference goers, and you as readers–are MnWE: a community of 2000+ college-level English, Writing, and related experts. We all are learning what students need for success. Committee members have heard each of your voices, directly or indirectly, through the thousands of conversations each year in department meetings, gatherings, and informal discussions in hallways. The great majority of us in our wider community clearly want all students to become equal members of society when possible.
        So we on the MnWE Committee thank you for your support and suggestions in this endeavor. We all are moving forward together.

Richard Jewell, Editor, MnWE News, for the MnWE Committee

     By Kim Stanley Robinson, Orbit, 2020. Novel. Classroom: Short science and story readings.
         How do you make climate change the subject of English studies? It is in the writing of good stories, both of fact and fiction.
        The Ministry of the Future, billed on the cover as “one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year,” contains both the real and the made up, deeply and richly intertwined.
        Author Robinson long has been a member of realistic “hard science” fiction’s top novelists among both critics and readers, arguably an inheritor of the Arthur Clarke-Isaac Asimov mantle. Robinson’s famous Mars Trilogy set science standards so accurately for humankind’s eventual presence there in coming centuries that his work can be more predictive than imaginary. One wonders whether–like Clark and Asimov earlier–he sometimes is leading scientists toward our future.       In Ministry, he offers two major streams. One is a series of short, sharp essays declaring the current, very factual state of the world’s climatological needs and, sometimes, the political resistances to them. The other is a group of fictional characters with whom we move steadily into an ever more perilous world in the decades ahead.

        Many of these latter portions revolve around Dr. Mary Murphy, head of the newly formed UN Ministry of the Future in Zurich, funded moderately and charged with changing nations’ and large corporations’ burning of carbon. Her friend Frank May, an American aid worker, is the sole survivor of a heatwave in his city in India that kills twenty million. In his devastation, he imposes on himself such a huge obligation to create climate change that their first meeting occurs when he kidnaps her. For this he ends up in jail, where she visits him.
        Another friend of hers and coworker is assassinated by rich Russian oligarchs. And a close colleague is running, unknown to her, a “black ops” eco-terrorism group that may or may not be killing some of the world’s worst billionaire “climate criminals.”

        Other story lines tantalize, as well. In one, Antarctic scientists dig well holes in dangerous conditions in glaciers to remove water beneath so that the country-size fields of ice slide more slowly into the sea. In another, an eco-terrorist group named after Kali, the Hindu goddess of death, uses drones to destroy oil-burning container ships and cargo jets. In yet another, great waves of immigrants in the tens of millions move away from their new deserts, flooded regions, and increasingly war-torn, starving countrysides.
        This is apocalyptic science fiction, all based on realistic projections even now slowly unfurling. Individual stories grip with tense plotting and empathetic three-dimensional characters. And the science–some of it current, some projected –is so accurate and detailed as to be depressing.

        Yet Robinson is an optimist. However unsettling the facts and stories, he shows us an Earth–with all its failures, anger, and narcissism–gradually pulling back from the brink of self-destruction. The final chapters may move some readers to tears.
        In short, Ministry is a graduate class using introductory-college language to bring all the science, politics, economic trends, and individuals’ pain and volunteerism together to tell us the Earth’s real and great climate tragedy. “All are punished,” Shakespeare says at the end of Romeo and Juliet. Indeed. But according to Aristotle’s Poetics, tragedies also can end on a better note: redemption is possible. Mercifully, Robinson shows us how.
        Is this a book for classroom reading? It offers many short chapters of pure fact, others of interesting, even fun speculation. Still others are well-honed dramas that stand on their own with likeable characters with whom students can identify. A teacher assigning individual selections or readings would work well, as would students choosing different chapters, then discussing them in small groups and as a class.
        Robinson has woven, superbly, hard science and speculation with emotive tales. Ministry may be a modern masterpiece of science, forecast, and futuristic fiction.

--- Review
Rolling Stone Review

5. Equity Literary Resources (listed in each issue)
              What diversity books might you or your students read? Suggestions are welcome.


50 Top Asian American Literary Books
Time's 25 Asian-Am. Celebrate
MN Hum. Center’s BIPOC Resources

Wikipedia Asian-Amer. Lit., Writer List
2000+ Books on Asian American Lit
85 AAPI Novels  Angel's 60+



44 Best Black Books–
30 Top Black Literary Books
MN Black Children's Bks.–Strive Publ.
MN Hum. Center Diversity Resources

Wikipedia African-Amer. Lit., Writer List
41 Black Fiction Classics–B & N
700+ Black Books–
Black Graphic Novels and Comics


Indigenous/Native American:

50 Native American Bestseller Books
32 Native American Authors
MN Hum. Center Diversity Resources

WikipediaNative-Amer. Lit., Writer List
Minn. Hist. Society Native-Amer. Books
Indigenous Graphic Literature



Latinx Writers’ 14 Recommended Bks.
10 Latinx
MN Hum. Center Diversity Resources

WikipediaLatinx LiteratureWriter List
2000+ Latinx Books–
Latinx Graphic Novels



25 Best Classics
40+ LGBTQIA Gay Fiction & Lit Bks.
50 Bestsellers

Wikipedia: LGBTQ General, Writer List
1000+ in Multiple Genres
LGBTQ Graphic Lit:
Bestsellers  800+

Graphic Novels and Diversity:

NCTE: "Diversity in Graphic Novels"
"In Defense of Graphic Novels"
"100 Fav. Comics/Graphic Novels"

Social Justice Graphic Novels (All Ages)
Best Graphic Novels of All Time
Top 10 Literary Graphic Novels


6. Free Teaching/Learning E-Newsletters
(in each issue)

      Do you want to be more in touch with colleagues nationally, or seek ideas from other networks? Connect by subscribing to one of these free email newsletters. You may start or stop a subscription at any time. Go to each link below to find more about the e-newsletter and instructions for subscribing. (You won’t be subscribed by clicking on the links below.)

NEA HigherEd, National Education Association. Weekly political and labor news update:

Subscribe           Sample

Race on Campus from Chronicle of Higher Education. Weekly briefs and information:
Sample and Free Subscription

Diversity Insider
, National Education Assoc. Weekly news, essays, and advice:

Subscribe           Sample

The Source: Updates, MLA Style Center. Weekly pedagogy and readings updates:

Subscribe (scroll to bottom)   Sample        Other free Style Center e-letters
          Always available online, the Style Center’s
"Works Cited: A Quick Guide"

Teaching from Chronicle of Higher Education. Weekly brief advice on general methods:

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The Campus View, Minnesota Private Colleges (17 colleges). Monthly private college news:

Subscribe             Past issues

7. About MnWE: Old Issues, Joining, Who We Are, Grad Credit, Unsubscribing
(in each issue)

More Online-Teaching Resources: See
Our Newsletters: For new and old issues,
MnWE News.
Forwarding/Joining: Please forward this email to other interested faculty and administrators. Your newer full-time and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, undergraduate majors, writing center tutors, and English and Writing administrators may not receive it. 
      If you are not on the listserv and would like to join it, simply send your request and email address to jeweLØØ1 at umn dot edu. We always enjoy signing up new list members.

Who are we? “MnWE” is “Minnesota Writing and English,” an all-volunteer organization started in 2007. MnWE has a coordinating committee, a listserv, and an annual, two-day spring conference attended by 100-200 faculty. Our main coordinating committee, which meets about six times per year, is composed entirely of unpaid college, university, high school, and other professional English/Writing volunteers. 

      All activities are by and for college, university, and college-in-the-high-schools English and Writing faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and related academic and literary scholars, , tutors, publishers, authors, and others in the Upper Midwest and beyond. Our purpose is to bring together these communities in Minnesota and in nearby states and provinces.

Where are we? Please visit us online at Our geographical center is Minneapolis-St. Paul. About 2700 faculty, graduate students, tutors, and related administrators see our emails. Those on our listserv receive this newsletter six times per year, along with additional conference announcements and helpful forwards. Our listserv members come from state universities, public and private two-year colleges, private colleges and universities, high schools, publishing companies, and the public universities of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and other schools and locations in the United States, Canada, and overseas countries.
Conference: At our annual two-day conferences, our speakers highlight pedagogical concerns and are scholars and writers of national excellence from both local and national locations. Some of our presenters come from states or countries far beyond our own geographical area. The majority of our attendees and presenters are from universities and private four-year colleges; a significant minority are in two-year colleges, high schools, and other groups.
Graduate Credit: Anyone may earn one graduate credit from Southwest Minnesota State
University for attending a MnWE Conference day and writing a related research paper (up to three such credits may be earned). For questions about this course–“Eng 656: MnWE Practicum”–please contact lisa dot lucas at smsu dot edu or see

Unsubscribing: To unsubscribe from this listserv (and no longer receive the MnWE News, MnWE Conference announcements, and other forwarded announcements), please do so yourself, following directions at the very bottom of this email.  If you try unsubscribing on your own without success, then send an email to jeweLØØ1 at umn dot edu indicating (1) your unsubscribing action that didn’t work, (2) your specific email address copied from the directions at the bottom of a MnWE mailing, and (3) your request for removal.
Formatting: Each of these listserv emails usually is formatted in a relatively simple way using html. If you cannot read it, please click on the link at the top right of this email to see the newsletter on the Web

Questions: We invite you to email the editor or a coordinator on the MnWE Committee listed below. You also are always invited to attend any of our six or more MnWE Committee meetings per year. To join the listserv, email Richard at jeweLØØ1 at umn dot edu. If you’d like to attend a meeting, or join the committee for Zoom meetings, please ask Richard. In addition, you always are invited to offer suggestions to MnWE, or to volunteer your leadership for forming a breakout session at the annual conference. 

Copyright: This newsletter is written primarily by MnWE News editor Richard Jewell without copyright so that anyone may quote, paraphrase, or forward any or all parts freely, unless otherwise noted. We do ask that you give credit to the MnWE News and/or; and when you use material that has been quoted or paraphrased in this newsletter from another source, please be sure to give proper credit to the original source. 

Richard Jewell, Editor

MnWE News   

Minnesota Writing and English

MnWE Coordinating Committee:


David Beard, UMD Advisor, University of Minnesota-Duluth

Heidi Burns, Web & Docs Coordinator, Minn. State University-Mankato

Mary Ellen Daniloff-Merrill, SMSU Advisor, Southwest Minn. State University

Samantha Denney, Southern New Hampshire University

Judith Dorn, 2023 Site Coordinator, St. Cloud State University

Gene Gazelka, North Hennepin Community College

Edward Hahn, Registration Coordinator, North Hennepin College

Ryuto Hashimoto, Undergraduate Connection Coord., Mn. State U.-Mankato

Danielle Hinrichs, Program Coordinator, Metropolitan State University

Richard Jewell, Co-founder & Gen. Coord., Inver Hills Coll. (Emeritus)

Yanmei Jiang, Equity Co-Leader, Century College

Carla-Elaine Johnson, Plenary Coordinator, Saint Paul College

Linda O’Malley, Volunteer Coordinator, Metropolitan State University

Priscilla Mayowa, Metropolitan State University

Kerrie Patterson, Treasurer, Hennepin Technical College

Gordon Pueschner, Secretary & Conf. Floor Co-Manager, Century College

Beata Pueschner, Conference Floor Co-Manager, North Hennepin College

Jana Rieck, Communications Coordinator, Champlin Park High School

Donald Ross, Co-founder, Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Emeritus)

Larry Sklaney, Conference & Cost Center Coordinator, Century College

MnWE Journal Editorial Board.: David Beard and Yanmei Jiang   

Email Contacts:

danielle dot hinrichs at metrostate dot edu - (651) 999-5960
larry dot sklaney at century dot edu - (651) 747-4006
jeweLØØ1 at umn dot edu (Richard Jewell) - (612) 870-7024

MnWE .org
Minnesota Writing & English
A Consortium of Colleges & Universities

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Format updated 5 Oct. 2022