Ireland Writing Retreat
In the Spring of 2017, I participated in a five-week writing retreat throughout Ireland. Not only did I have the privilege of teaching young school children the art of storytelling, I researched the history and culture of Irish combat sports. The "Fighting Irish" have endured many hardships, from invasions to famine, yet their unbreakable spirit has given rise some of the best professional fighters, including James L. Sullivan, James Jeffries, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, James “Cinderella Man” Braddock, Barry McGuigan, and Conor McGregor.
Not only did I meet with members of the Irish boxing and MMA communities, I attended Cage Warriors 84 in London and Haskins vs. Burnett in Belfast. To cap off this exhilarating trip, I took a Muay Thai class at Straight Blast Gym Ireland, home to Conor McGreg's main training camp.
Andalusia in Andalucía: An International Conference on Flannery O'Connor
June 22-25, 2017
I was very proud to present a paper at an international conference on short story writer and novelist Flannery O'Conner. O’Connor was a master of storytelling, often using epiphany narratives to find grace through violence. Her precise use of the flashback helps to facilitate her portrayal of grotesque characters and Southern realist settings. My paper, "Flannery’s Flashbacks: Using Contextual Frame Theory to Explain How Shifts in Time Expand the Reader’s Cognitive Processing" explores how O’Connor incorporated textual cues that allow readers to retain information while also being free to explore new times and places. This conference was hosted by Universidad Loyola Andalucía and the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage
Thank you to Bruce Buffer for announcing the final paper for Writing and Fighting in Spring, 2017.