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In Memoriam: Ralph Cohen

The English Department remembers longtime professor Ralph Cohen (b. February 23, 1917, d. February 22, 2016), an eminent educator, editor, and literary critic. Cohen joined the UVA faculty in 1967 and retired 42 years later as the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of English; he founded New Literary History, the award-winning journal of theory and interpretation, in 1969 and edited it for 40 years.

Bruce Holsinger, international team of researchers investigate parchment's origins

Professor Bruce Holsinger has led an investigation into the origins and composition of parchment, specifically the variety called "uterine vellum." Holsinger, in collaboration with British scientists Sarah Fiddyment and Matthew Collins from the bioarchaeology department at the University of York in the United Kingdom, brought together international collaborators from several disciplines across the humanities and the natural sciences to look into what uterine vellum was actually made of.

Anna Brickhouse awarded MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize

Professor Anna Brickhouse has been named the winner of the Modern Language Association's forty-sixth annual James Russell Lowell Prize for her book The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945 (Oxford, 2014). The prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the profession, is awarded annually for an outstanding work—a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography—written by a member of the association.

Peter Baker translates "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" into Old English

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is turning 150 this year, and Professor Peter Baker, a scholar of medieval literature, has contributed to the celebration with a translation of the book into Old English. In honor of the sesquicentennial, Jon Lindseth, head of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, recruited translators including Baker to contribute to his three-volume Alice in a World of Wonderlands: The Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece. The collection includes a bibliography of translations and essays about many of them.


PR manager at Dickstein Shapiro LLP
With eight years of overall press experience in both the private sector and in government, I have provided guidance, with regard to messaging opportunities, for attorneys as well as members of Congress.

I currently work as a PR manager at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where I am responsible for developing strategies to garner publicity that promotes the firm, its attorneys, and practices. This includes, but is not limited to, pitching article topics to editors, communicating writing opportunities to attorneys on an ongoing basis, overseeing the writing, editing, and publication of byline articles, writing press releases, and researching media outlets for future publicity efforts, including monitoring editorial calendars of relevant national, local, and trade publications. I am also actively involved with the firm's social media procedures and guide its presence on Twitter.  Before joining the firm's Marketing and Business Development team at the firm, I worked as a Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prior to that position, I served as Deputy Press Secretary for California Senator Barbara Boxer and Press Secretary for Maryland Congressman Albert Wynn. I began my career in 2005 as a press intern for New York Senator Charles Schumer soon after graduating from UVA with an English degree. With eight years of overall press experience in both the private sector and in government, I have provided guidance, with regard to messaging opportunities, for attorneys as well as members of Congress.

At UVA, one of my favorite courses was Studies in Poetry: Contemporary Poetry with Jahan Ramazani. I was able to fine tune my writing skills while exploring modern poetry, one of my favorite hobbies.


Grant Coordinator for an NGO and Freelance Food Critic
What they needed was someone who could read and write well, whose forte was effective communication geared toward coordinating efforts between various combinations of people relevant to each project.

I am a grant coordinator for an international ophthalmology NGO based in South Africa. We have multiple ongoing projects in ten different African countries, funded through high-profile organizations like USAID, WHO, and private foundations. We work closely with the ministries of health in each country to formulate targeted eye care plans for rural populations, providing screening and treatment for patients as well as training for local medical staff. My job involves drafting and editing proposals for funding, managing the implementation of ongoing programs, and helping disseminate research through reports and manuscripts.

Back when I first applied for this job I didn't know a thing about ophthalmology. In fact, I can hardly stand the idea of surgery, let alone eye surgery. But they already had the experts in place: the doctors, the researchers, the government officials. What they needed was someone who could read and write well, whose forte was effective communication geared toward coordinating efforts between various combinations of people relevant to each project. My studies in the UVA English department gave me this edge and enabled me to pursue a job I otherwise would have thought beyond my scope.

I also do some food reviewing as a freelancer, since Cape Town is a booming tourist destination. I get to eat a lot—from full-course meals at acclaimed winery restaurants to small bites at the trendy bars downtown—then write about the experience. It's definitely not for the faint of heart (literally speaking, nor for anyone with high cholesterol), but I absolutely love it.

One of the long-standing memories I have of my time at UVA was my very first class with Professor Caroline Rody. For 20th Century Women's Literature, she began the semester by reading Grace Paley's “The Loudest Voice” out loud in the classroom. I still remember the resonating warmth of her voice, calm and tender and powerful. Her reading, and the story, changed the face of modern fiction as I know it. I went on to get an MFA in creative writing and hope to teach that very same class someday when I return to the U.S.

Also, did I mention how many times during Professor Clare Kinney's classes I had to fight the urge to give a standing ovation at the end of her lecture? She always does finish with a brilliant flourish, don't you think?

Rare Book School Director Michael Suarez Nominated to National Council on the Humanities

President Obama last week nominated Michael F. Suarez, director of the Rare Book School and University Professor at the University of Virginia, to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Anna Brickhouse wins Early American Literature book prize

Professor Anna Brickhouse has been awarded the inaugural book prize from the journal Early American Literature for her recent monograph The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945 (Oxford University Press). Read the full release from EAL below:

Early American Literature Announces Winners of Inaugural Book Prize

Michael Suarez's Lyell Lectures now available as podcasts

The 2015 Lyell Lectures, delivered by University Professor and Rare Book School Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J. under the general title "The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century Texts," are now available as podcasts at www.rarebookschool.org/lyellpodcasts.

Martin C. Battestin

The English Department mourns the loss of Martin C. Battestin, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English (Emeritus), a dear colleague, dear friend, eminent eighteenth-century scholar, and Henry Fielding specialist, who died Friday, May 15, 2015, at age 85. A service was held on Wednesday, May 20th at St. Paul's, Ivy. He is survived by his wife and research collaborator Ruthe Battestin.


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