Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 fall semester Meacham Writers' Workshop begins October 27

The Meacham Writers' Workshop is again providing free public readings from authors and reviews of local writers' submissions. The Meacham is held two times each year on the campuses of Chattanooga State and UTC as well as a community location. The fall 2016 workshop begins at 7 pm on Thursday, October 27th at Chattanooga State's Health Science Center, room 1087. 

Thomas Balázs, Erin Elizabeth Smith, and Ethel Morgan Smith (bios below) will read selections from their works in HSC 1087. The readings are free and open to the public.

The Meacham will continue Thursday the 27th , 9 PM, at the Star Line Bookstore and on Friday and on Saturday. For a full schedule and bios and sample works of all of the visiting writers, visit the Meacham web site at and click on schedule. 

Thomas Balázs the author of the short story collection Omicron Ceti III (Aqueous Books, 2012). His fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The North American Review, The Southern Humanities Review, and The Robert Olen Butler Prize Anthology. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and the AWP Intro Journals Project Award. He was awarded the Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award for best short fiction in 2010. He teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Erin Elizabeth Smith is the author of two full-length collections and the editor of two anthologies, Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity and Not Somewhere Else But Here: Contemporary Poems on Women and Place. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, and Willow Springs, among other. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and teaches in the English Department at the University of Tennessee, where she is also the Jack E. Reese Writer in the Library.
Ethel Morgan Smith is the author of two books: From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community at Hollins College and Reflections of the Other: Being Black in Germany. She has also published in The New York Times, Callaloo, African American Review, and other national and international outlets. She has received a Fulbright Scholar-Germany, Rockefeller Fellowship-Bellagio Italy, Visiting Artist-The American Academy in Rome, DuPont Fellow-Randolph Macon Women’s College, Visiting Scholar-Women’s Studies Research Center-Brandies University, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Bread Loaf Fellowship. She teaches at West Virginia University in Morgantown.

Keep up with the Meacham Writers' Workshop news on their website and on the workshop's Twitter account.

Read our 2014 blog post 
Meacham Writers’ Workshop FAQ with Bill Stifler for some great background information about the Meacham workshops.

Monday, October 03, 2016

El Deafo by Cece Bell

After losing her hearing during a childhood illness, Cece goes to school with a bulky hearing aid that helps her hear the teacher. It's tough making friends when you're not always sure what everyone is saying and Cece feels left out and self-conscious. But she discovers that there are perks to her hearing aid and the microphone her teacher wears around her neck; she knows where her teacher is at all times! Cece transforms into "El Deafo" and becomes the hero of her study period class, warning her classmates just before the teacher returns so they can get back to their seats.

This moving autobiographical graphic novel is a fun read and gives hearing readers insight into what life is like for their deaf family and friends, in addition to exploring universal themes of childhood. Cece Bell's El Deafo is a 2015 Newberry Honor Book.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Alumni Road Show

Chattanooga State is hosting an Alumni Roadshow and some of the items from our archives will be on display. Be sure to stop by one of the events and take a look at some fun and interesting items from ChattState's history.

The Alumni Road Show is coming!

These events will allow you to join fellow alumni and leaders from Chattanooga State for a fun and casual evening among friends. Free hors d'oevres from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and ChattState swag for all!

Meet Dr. Flora Tydings, President of Chattanooga State Community College!

The Alumni Roadshow will be held at different locations in the Chattanooga area:

September 28th
Ari's Harbor Light Restaurant & Lounge
9718 Hixson Pike, Soddy Daisy
5:30 - 7:30

October 5th
Urban Stack
Back Patio
12 W 13th Street, Chattanooga TN
5:30 - 7:30

October 17th
Bar Louie
Hamilton Place
Front Patio
2100 Hamilton Place Blvd #2338, Chattanooga, TN
5:30 - 7:30

Faculty and Staff are invited to join us for the Alumni Roadshow. We've set up Alumni Roadshow events on Facebook to make it easy to share. Be sure to RSVP to or 423-697-2656

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Machiavelli Goes to the Movies

A review of the new library book -- Machiavelli Goes to the Movies: Understanding The Prince through Television and Film.  Review written by Dwight Hunter.

Machiavelli was a polarizing figure because of his book The Prince. The Prince was called a handbook for gangsters but also was called a pragmatic view of political realism.  Machiavelli wrote The Prince shortly after his departure as a diplomat in the early 1500s. The popular phrase - the end justifies the means - is attributed to Machiavelli in this book.

The Prince still affects political thought today, and even more, popular culture in movies. This book gives insight on how movies reflect Machiavellian ideas, and how movies and films can teach about The Prince through that popular culture reflection.

I learned so much about The Prince by visually seeing the movies I've watched in my mind as I read this book.

There is nothing more powerful than to connect a visual image of a political concept to popular culture.  Before continuing, there should be no surprise that I recommend reading this book - maybe even studying it as a book club read.

I'm not going to mention every chapter and every movie but here are some highlights.

Caress or Annihilate. Machiavelli instructs the prince that men can be caressed when taken over unless men want to injure you, then annihilate. One of the movie examples was The Godfather. Michael Corleone both greeted his gang with soothing caress but also with swift punishing blows.

People Accustomed to Freedom will Seek it Again. Machiavelli tells the ruler that if he occupies free people, the people must be wiped out or they will rise in rebellion in the name of liberty.  One of the movie examples was the 1984 version of Red Dawn. After a Soviet-Cuban invasion of the United States, a determined group of youth, the wolverines, rebelled against oppression and used guerrilla tactics to make commanding the seized territory difficult.

Bribery and Dirty Works. Machiavelli writes that a ruler must be despicable by using bribery, hiring others to do his dirty work, and creating a fall guy to gain the peoples' trust. One of the movie examples for this was Lincoln (2012) and how Lincoln secured passage of the 13th Amendment through the House of Representatives.  By using deception of a peace negotiation with the Confederacy and by using patronage to give jobs to lame duck Democrats, Lincoln secured enough votes to move the 13th Amendment onward for ratification - justified by the greater good of ending slavery. (The end justifies the means.)

Other movies mentioned in this book include the entire Harry Potter series (because of Snape), Argo, Da Vinci Code, All the King's Men, O Brother Where Art Thou, Braveheart, and many more.

After reading this book, I think viewing the listed movies will bring a new insight into Machiavellian philosophy.