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Department News

Modern Love's Dan Jones returns to UVa

Sunday, March 23, 2014

UVa alumnus Daniel Jones, editor of the popular personal-essay column “Modern Love” in the New York Times, will be in the Bryan Hall Faculty Lounge this Monday, March 24, at 10am for a talk about writing, editing, and love. Jones's new book, Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject (With the Help of 50,000 Strangers), is just out. You can read more about Jones, the stories of "Modern Love," and his time with the UVa English Department at the University of Virginia Magazine.

New Global English Literature and Culture track added to Undergraduate Major

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A new track has been added to the undergraduate English major. The undergraduate track in Global English Literature and Culture (GELC) allows students in the English major to extend their study into the widest contexts of international literary achievement. As with other paths through the major, it will offer engagement with major works in the Anglo-American literary tradition and will provide strong preparation in writing. Additionally, students examine the spread of Anglophone literary culture around the world, a phenomenon that has existed from the earliest stages of English literature and that has recently become one of the most striking features of our global cultural condition.

For a detailed description of the new track, including course requirements and application procedures, you can download that information here.

Professor Stephen Cushman awarded Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Teaching Awards Committee has honored Professor Stephen B. Cushman with the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the highest teaching award at the University. This is the 23rd year of an awards program designed to recognize outstanding teaching in all schools of the University. For a further description of the award and past winners, click here.

MFA alumna Eleanor Henderson's novel being made into a film

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Eleanor Henderson's first novel, Ten Thousand Saints, is being made into a film. Henderson is a 2005 graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program and began her novel, which captures the straight edge youth counterculture of the 80s, while still a student at UVa. Shari Springer Berman and Bob Pulcini wrote the screenplay and are directing the film, and the film will star Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch, Julianne Nicholson, and Ethan Hawke.

Read the full article about Henderson's novel and the upcoming film at UVA Today.

Read the Washington Post review of Bruce Holsinger's 'A Burnable Book'

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Forget Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa tower; the hot new super-agent is 14th-century writer Geoffrey Chaucer. Thrill to his daring Middle English rimes! Gasp at his mighty scansion! Here in the pages of Bruce Holsinger’s medieval adventure, that randy old poet finally gets the 'Mission Impossible' cameo he deserves."

...says Ron Charles at The Washington Post in his review of Professor Bruce Holsinger's new novel, A Burnable Book. Check out the full review here.

Professor Brad Pasanek discusses the history and future of the book

Friday, January 31, 2014

Professor Brad Pasanek talked to Ploughshares Literary Magazine as part of their "People of the Book" series, a series of interviews charting an informal ethnography of the book. Pasanek fielded questions ranging from how he defines a book to his most unusual interaction with books, in addition to discussing his own book, Metaphors of Mind: An Eighteenth-Century Dictionary, forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press. Pasanek's work, part monograph and part database, will digest thousands of metaphors of mind from eighteenth-century English literature.

Read the full interview here.

New book by Professor Jane Alison just released

Friday, January 31, 2014

Professor Jane Alison's newest work, Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid, has just been released from Oxford University Press. In Change Me, Alison freshly translates and arranges selections from Amores and the Metamorphoses that focus on desire, sexuality, and the transformations brought about by powerful emotion. Read more about the work here.

Doctoral candidate William Rhodes awarded 2014 Schallek Fellowship

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

English Department doctoral candidate William Rhodes has been awarded the 2014 Schallek Fellowship by the Medieval Academy of America. Rhodes is working with Professor Elizabeth Fowler on a dissertation entitled "The Ecology of Reform: Land and Labor from Piers Plowman to Edmund Spenser." This fellowship, which is supported by the Richard III Society, American Branch, provides a one-year grant of $30,000 to support Ph.D. dissertation research in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain (c.1350-1500).

Professor Jahan Ramazani discusses judging the National Book Award for Poetry and other accomplishments

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jahan Ramazani, Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English, talked to UVA Today about his recent professional accomplishments and service. Ramazani served as one of five judges for this year's National Book Award for Poetry, which was ultimately awarded to UVA English graduate Mary Szybist's Incarnadine. Ramazani also discussed his new book, Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres, which explores poetry's interactions with other forms of writing.

Read more about Ramazani's teaching, scholarship, and professional activities here.

New Writing Director James Seitz Discusses the Importance of Academic Writing

Monday, December 2, 2013

James Seitz, the new director of UVA's academic writing program, spoke to UVA Today about undergraduate writing requirements and the ways they might further enhance the university's educational goals. Seitz, who joined the English department faculty this semester, sees in small undergraduate writing courses abundant potential for thoughtful academic inquiry and rewarding student-teacher interaction.

Read more about these ideas and Seitz's own work here.

Former UVA English major Mary Szybist wins National Book Award for Poetry

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mary Szybist, a graduate of the University of Virginia and former English major, has been awarded the 2013 National Book Award for poetry. Read more about Szybist and her winning work Incarnadine here.

Fourth-year English major Charles Tyson wins Rhodes Scholarship

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Charles Tyson, a fourth-year student majoring in Political and Social Thought and English, became one of two University of Virginia undergraduates to win a 2014 Rhodes Scholarship. Tyson, who has previously won Wagenheim and Pruden scholarships through the English Department, plans to pursue two one-years master's programs in Victorian literature and history of science before returning to the U.S. for a Ph.D. in English literature.

Read more about Tyson and Evan Behrle, the other UVA Rhodes recipient, at the UVA Today article here.

Professors Elizabeth Fowler, Clare Kinney, and A. C. Spearing Talk on WTJU

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Professors Elizabeth Fowler, Clare Kinney, and A. C. Spearing went on the air October 9th to talk about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight on WTJU's "Soundboard." Professor Kinney read her own translation of a passage, Professor Spearing read from the original, and all discussed the powerful resonances that the fourteenth-century work still has for us today.

UVA Today has a story about the conversation, "Living Literature: Anonymous Author Speaks to Readers Through the Ages,"  where you can read more about the exchange and Sir Gawain.

You can also listen to a recording of the session below:


Sir Gawain on WTJU


Professor Gregory Orr featured on PBS NewsHour

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Professor Gregory Orr discussed his latest collection of poems, River Inside the River, on the PBS NewsHour. Read the full article and listen to excerpts from Professor Orr's interview here.

Professor Lisa Russ Spaar wins Jefferson Scholars Faculty Prize

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Professor Lisa Russ Spaar was awarded the 2013 Jefferson Scholars Faculty Prize.

In 2005, in connection with its 25th anniversary, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation created the Jefferson Scholars Faculty Prize. The award is meant to foster an ongoing dialogue about Jeffersonian ideals and recognizes and celebrates the commitment of outstanding U.Va. faculty members to leadership, scholarship and citizenship, the criteria for the selection of Jefferson Scholars. It includes a $5,000 stipend to support future research and inquiry and the opportunity to address the U.Va. community on the ideals of leadership and citizenship as related to the recipient’s field of scholarship. The prize is awarded every other year by the Alumni Advisory Committee.

Past recipients of the Jefferson Scholars Faculty Prize:

Jahan Ramazani, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Postcolonial Literature (2005)
James Childress, Professor of Ethics and Medical Education (2007)
Kenneth Elzinga, Professor of Economics (2009)
Louis A. Bloomfield, Professor of Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (2011)


Jefferson Scholars Foundation Announces 2013 Faculty Fellows

Commonwealth Professor Rita Dove Releases Poetry Anthology

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Commonwealth Professor Rita Dove’s paperback edition of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry will be released on September 24, 2013.

Commonwealth Professor Rita Dove publishes new poem, "Trayvon, Redux"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Commonwealth Professor Rita Dove published her new poem "Trayvon, Redux" on July 16, 2013 in the online magazine The Root.

Mark Edmundson on the Ideal English Major, CHE

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Professor Mark Edmundson's piece on the "Ideal English Major" was recently featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Rita Dove to Deliver Emory Commencement Speech and Receive Two Honorary Degrees from Emerson College and Emory University

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, UVA’s Commonwealth Professor of English Rita Dove will deliver the keynote address at Emory University’s 168th commencement ceremony Monday, May 13, in Atlanta. She also will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. A day earlier on Sunday, May 12, Dove will be in Boston to receive a Doctor of Humane Letters from Emerson College at its 133rd commencement exercises.

Emory’s President James W. Wagner, who will preside over the ceremony for about 3,700 graduates, said, "Rita Dove's contributions to our collective intellectual, creative and interdisciplinary life serve as an example of how to create new opportunities for community and collaboration. We are pleased to welcome her back to the Emory community, given her recent involvement through the Center for Women at Emory and the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference.” Two other individuals will join Dove this year as recipients of honorary degrees at Emory: Marguerite "Maggy" Barankitse, Burundi Humanitarian activist and founder and president of Maison Shalom, the multi-functional service agency Maison Shalom in the wake of severe ethnic violence between Tutsis and Hutus in Burundi in the early 1990's; and, Michael Graves, architect and designer known for redefining the architect’s role in society, founding principal of the firm Michael Graves & Associates, and the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus at Princeton University, where he taught for 39 years. Commencement will take place on Emory’s campus quadrangle with more than 14,000 expected to be in attendance. For details on commencement weekend, see www.emory.edu/commencement.

At Emerson College, Dove will be joined by three other honorary degree recipients: Max Mutchnick, Emmy Award winner and co-creator of the hit television show Will & Grace; Debbie Allen, actress, choreographer, television director and producer, best known for her role as dance instructor Lydia Grant on the television show Fame; and,Eugene M. Lang, a philanthropist who launched multiple manufacturing ventures for new and innovative technologies earlier in his career, establishing the Eugene M. Lang Foundation in 1963 and the well-known I Have A Dream Program in 1981, which provided guidance and support to thousands of disadvantaged children. Approximately 900 bachelor’s degrees will be conferred at the ceremony, and more than 300 master’s degrees will be conferred during the graduate exercises. For more details, http://www.emerson.edu/commencement.

Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995, and as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. A major figure in American and African American literature, she is known for her interdisciplinary approach and her collaborative ventures with composers, musicians, dancers, and other artists. Dove has received numerous literary and academic honors, among them the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. She is the only poet to have received both the National Humanities Medal (from President Bill Clinton in 1996) and the National Medal of Arts (from President Barack Obama in 2012). She was honored with the Library of Virginia's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and in 2009 she received the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal.

Since 1993, Dove has held the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where she teaches poetry writing in the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English.

UVa's Professor Rita Dove Lectures at NIH

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
On March 13, 2013, UVa’s Commonwealth Professor of English toured the Children’s Inn and a pediatric unit of the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and gave the NIH’s annual 2013 J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture.  Speaking to a large auditorium of NIH employees and the public about her own discovery of and writings on the 18th-century violin prodigy George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower in her 2009 book, Sonata Mulattica, Dove also addressed the confluence of art and science and how imagination and a bit of poetry always seem to be involved in any kind of discovery—be it historical or scientific.
For a review of Professor Dove’s visit and lecture at the NIH, go to http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov/newsletters/2013/04_12_2013/story1.htm.
Listen to the Lecture:  The 2013 Rall Cultural Lecture is archived online at http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?17851.


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