Ising and Ramaswamy showcase works at Faculty Writers Read event

Two English faculty members presented their works which addressed issues related to sexual exploitation at the Faculty Writers Read last Thursday.

English professor Ising recites his short stories at the Faculty Writers Read at the MUC. Photo by Theresa San Luis.

English instructor Daniel Ising read two short stories or pieces of fiction writing while English professor Anushiya Ramaswamy recited her translations of a Sri Lankan refuge writer’s narratives.

The series, held at the MUC, is run by the Department of English Language and Literatures.

English professor Geoff Schmidt said he organizes the event to showcase faculty talent.

“We have some really gifted writers in our department and it’s always nice to find ways to get them to read out loud or share their writing with the university,” Schmidt said.

In “Tabernacle and Taboo” Ising wrote about a young girl who smoked marijuana before Catholic mass and then received a spanking from a priest. In “The Gloaming” a couple’s marriage becomes affected by a painting described by Ising as “dark and foreboding.”

Ising said he tries to weave in the horror element in the stories, bring it to a crisis moment or climax, which is how he ends the stories.

“A lot of times I try to throw people off a little bit and force them to recognize fear or areas of concern,” Ising said. “I find a way to relate realistic or everyday occurrences but cast them in a light that adds a lot of tension to them and kind of raises the stakes.”

Ramaswamy’s translations of Sri Lankan writer Shobasakthi describe how the Tamil Tiger militants publicly punished prostitutes during the 1980s.

According to Ramaswamy, one of the ways the Tamil militants promoted themselves as society builders was by killing women they regarded as prostitutes.

“They made them into public women and then killed them saying that these are social ills and that they are so good for the community because, look, they have gotten rid of these prostitutes,” Ramaswamy said.

Ramaswamy will release her latest translations, “The MGR Murder Trial and Other Stories” in December through Penguin publishers in India.

English professor Jeffrey Skoblow said Ramaswamy’s reading was very interesting, powerful and compelling but hard.

“There’s some idea in the story of what prostitutes experience and what men seek from and do to prostitutes…,” Skoblow said, “and some bigger political picture that is in the background of that story.”

Skoblow added that Ising’s “Tabernacle and Taboo” story addresses sexual politics as well.

“There’s some disturbing questions about sexual violence among other things, and [about] transgression and humor and smoking dope in church,” Skoblow said.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: English Language & Lit

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site