Continuing Traditions at Rutgers English

by Rick H. Lee

The Department of English has long been committed to the study of gender and sexuality in literature and culture, and our graduate program has been ranked fourth in the gender and literature category in the U.S. News and World Report’s survey of the best graduate schools for the last several years.

In October, the Sexuality Speakers Series, now in its second year, held a symposium to help launch the publication of a special issue of the journal South Atlantic Quarterly entitled After Sex? On Writing since Queer Theory. The symposium featured editors Janet Halley (Harvard Law School) and Andrew Parker (Amherst College), as well as several contributing writers: Michael Cobb (University of Toronto), Lee Edeman (Tufts University), Joseph Litvak (Tufts University), Jeff Nunokawa (Princeton University), and Kate Thomas (Bryn Mawr College). In February, Martha Vicinus, the Eliza M. Mosher Distinguished Professor of English, Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Michigan, lectured in the series on “the history of lesbian history.” The Sexuality Speakers Series also co-sponsored the lectures by Madhavi Menon and Kathryn Schwarz, two speakers at the Historicism and Its Discontents Conference held in October.

In addition to these events, we were fortunate to welcome Marilee Lindemann (PhD 1991) back to Rutgers to deliver the second annual Graduate Alumni Lecture in November. Lindemann, who is an associate professor of English and the director of the LGBT Studies Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, presented a lecture entitled “‘On the Internet, Everybody Thinks I’m a Dog’: The Queer Adventures of an English Prof in the Blogosphere.” In the lecture, Professor Lindemann shared her experiences of blogging about popular culture, politics, and queer feminist studies, among other topics, on Roxie’s World, her personal blog in which she writes in the persona of her wire-haired fox terrier, Roxie.