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Department News & Events

Rita Dove Pays Homage to Toni Morrison at National Book Critics Circle
Friday, March 20, 2015

Former U.S. Poet Laureate and Commonwealth Professor Rita Dove paid homage to Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison at the March 12 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) annual awards ceremony at The New School in New York City. Professor Dove introduced Ms. Morrison as this year’s recipient of the NBCC’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

You can read the full text of Rita Dove’s tribute to Toni Morrison on the National Book Critics Circle website, here.

The same text, with an introduction by NBCC vice president Karen Long, also appeared on the website of the Cleveland Foundation, together with the video of the entire awards ceremony, here.

UVA chosen to host Shakespeare's First Folio
Sunday, March 1, 2015

A committee of English professors were instrumental in attracting William Shakespeare's "First Folio" to the University of Virginia. Eighteen of Shakespeare's plays are known today only because they were included in the “First Folio,” among them “Macbeth,” “Twelfth Night,” “Julius Caesar,” “As You Like It” and “The Tempest." One of the most famous books in the world, the collection of plays will be on view at U.Va. – the only location in the commonwealth – as part of a 2016 national traveling exhibition, “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.” The Folger Shakespeare Library Association, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is taking the tour to all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico in 2016, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

A committee of U.Va. English professors submitted the successful proposal to host the exhibition for the commonwealth of Virginia. Katharine Maus chairs the group, which comprises Victor Luftig, Michael Suarez, David Vander Meulen, and Paul Cantor. The committee worked with Eliza Gilligan, Debra Guy, Hoke Perkins, Mercy Procaccini, Molly Schwartzburg, and David Whitesell of the U.Va. Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, plus U.Va.’s Center for the Liberal Arts and the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, to land the exhibit.

Read more at UVA Today.

Professor Stephen Cushman receives 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award
Friday, February 20, 2015

English Professor Stephen Cushman has received the state's highest honor for professors, the Outstanding Faculty Award, given by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion Resources. The award recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Cushman joins UVA biology professor Sarah Kucenas among 13 faculty members selected this year from a pool of 88 nominees from institutions statewide. Cushman received his award on February 19 in Richmond.

English Department chair Cynthia Wall writes in response to the award, "The consensus of faculty and students year after year is overwhelmingly consistent. Stephen Cushman’s teaching changes lives and lasts lifetimes. He is what we all want to be: intellectually rigorous, philosophically challenging, deft in directing discussion, and memorably effective teaching writing, close reading and argument. (Oh, and hilarious)."

Read more about Cushman and the award at UVA Today and see the full list of recipients here.


UVA English Department ranked among top 10 in nation
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

USA Today College ranks the University of Virginia’s English Department as one of the top ten places to get an English degree in the country. Citing outstanding programs and faculty, USA Today notes that students at UVa “have the opportunity to develop their understanding of their chosen field through cross-disciplinary coursework and discussion-based classes […] The classes expose students to the literary classics, while strengthening critical reading and writing skills.” Graduates of the English Department continue to succeed after college as well: they "are proficient in analyzing and interpreting a variety of texts and have the ability to express themselves thoughtfully and concisely. UVa English majors have gone on to find positions in government, business, law and more."

Read the full article here.

The Winter Read Wednesday at 7pm
Monday, January 26, 2015

The English Department will host a community reading and discussion event this Wednesday at 7:00pm in the Bryan Hall Faculty Lounge. The Winter Read will bring together undergrads, graduate students, and professors to discuss Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Professors Clare Kinney, Stephen Cushman, and Victor Luftig will start off the event with a panel discussion, then participants will break into groups to discuss the book over pizza. Come one and all! For more information or questions about the event, email Jesse Bordwin at jeb2sm@virginia.edu.