Rutgers English Administration


Chair's Message

Fall 2022 Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers! We are a vibrant group of scholars, teachers, students, and staff who are dedicated to the study of literature in English and to the arts of careful reading and effective writing. The largest unit in the School of Arts and Sciences, the English department encompasses multilingual language learners and those pursuing doctoral research, undergraduates taking their first courses in literary study and renowned poets and scholars at the forefront of their fields. Our department includes creative writers, book historians, literary theorists, film and media specialists, and experts in writing in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present, in the British Isles, the Americas, and across the globe. You'll find the hub of the English Department in Murray Hall, but we have offices supporting the Writing Program on all New Brunswick campuses. You can learn more about our various programs through the pages linked to this website that focus on the Graduate Program, the Undergraduate Program, Creative Writing, the Writing Program, the Rutgers English Language Institute (RELI), and our center for interdisciplinary research, the Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA). We are proud to have graduated over 200 majors and minors in English and Creative Writing in 2022. Our undergraduate majors persevered through challenging times, completing a rigorous course of study that includes the analysis of literary texts from a wide range of historical periods as well as courses in African-American literature, Literature of the Global South, and Literary Theory. Nineteen undergraduates completed honors theses. Eight were works of literary criticism on topics from John Milton to George Eliot, William Faulkner, and Philip K. Dick, and eleven were creative theses, including collections of poems, stories, memoirs, and novels-in-progress. A record-setting twelve honors theses received Henry Rutgers Scholar Awards. In the past academic year, over 5,800 undergraduates successfully completed Expos 101, a significant achievement and a rite of passage for students at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Nine graduate students completed their PhDs in 2021-22. English Department graduate students published essays in premiere journals and won numerous awards, including fellowships from the Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2021-22, the Center for Cultural Analysis brought together faculty and graduate students from across campus to explore the topic: “The Commons” In 2022-23, CCA will convene an interdisciplinary seminar on the topic of  "Scale", as well as supporting numerous smaller faculty-student working groups. We are proud of our work as scholars and teachers, and of the imaginative and resourceful staff who hold the department together and keep things running smoothly. The creativity with which English department members have responded to shifting and uncertain circumstances during the pandemic has been inspiring. We very much look forward to being back together in Murray Hall in September where staff will participating in the FlexWork@RU pilot working in two modalities, both on-site and remotely. We would be happy to respond to your questions by phone and email, and we look forward to seeing you back on campus. Meredith L. McGillProfessor and Chair


Richard E. Miller, Professor of Englishtext2cloud I'm exploring how life lived online is transforming the experience of privacy. At the same time, I'm interested in the future of both the "long argument" (i.e. an argument that can't be reduced to a thesis statement, a syllogism, or a tweet) and of essayistic writing.

Mark Doty

Mark Doty, Professor of EnglishMark  

English Major

The English major consists of 36 credits (12 courses) in English above the 100 level, with 18 of those credits (6 courses) at the 300 or 400 level. All majors must fulfill the following course requirements, with a grade of C or better: Principles of Literary Study: 359:201 Four courses in different historical periods, taken at the 300- or 400-level: one each in four of the following five categories:a. Medievalb. Renaissance (Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century)c. Restoration / Eighteenth-Centuryd. Nineteenth-Centurye  Twentieth-Century and after One course in African-American Literature taken at the 300- or 400-level One course in Literatures of the Global South, taken at the 300- or 400-level One course in Literary Theory  At least one 400-level seminar (201 is a prerequisite) Three English electives make up the remaining 9 credits. Any course that does not fulfill a specific requirement is considered an elective. Approved courses can be counted towards fulfilling up to two requirements. So, for example, a course in 19th Century Black Literature could fulfill both 2-d and 3. However, no course may be used to fulfill more than two requirements. Exception: English majors who pursue a Cinema Studies major or minor may include more than two 01:354 courses in their cinema studies minor program, but only two of those may be counted toward the English major. No more than two Creative Writing courses can be used to fulfill English electives. Students may count one 300-level Writing Program course toward the English major.  Courses that may count as credits toward the major are listed under the subject codes 358 (English Literature), 359 (English:Theories and Methods), 351 (English: Creative Writing), and 354 (Film Studies). Useful Information List of courses that fulfill requirementsOnline Major Declaration FormEnglish Major Progress ReportAdvisingUndergraduate English CoursesFaculty InterestsFAQ

Rutgers English Undergraduate Courses

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Undergraduate Program of Literatures in English

The study of English language and literature is a dynamic, evolving discipline, committed to the examination of both established and emerging literary traditions, and to the critical analysis of the language that shapes our lives. Rutgers English offers courses dedicated to the study of writing in English from around the world, across historical periods and from a variety of critical perspectives. We offer up to 100 classes per semester, so there are always plenty of choices. We offer the best of both the traditional and the cutting edge. From Geoffrey Chaucer to Claudia Rankine, colonial era writing in the Americas to emerging new fiction from Africa, from Old English to multimedia composition, there are plenty of courses to stimulate your intellectual curiosity and satisfy your desire to learn. Of course, no matter what the topic may be, every English class is rooted in the challenges and pleasures of reading, writing, and thinking. For English majors and minors, as well as for Creative Writing minors, our program provides many opportunities to meet in small classes with world-renowned experts in the field. Average class size is in the twenties, with a mix of smaller seminars and larger introductory courses. We offer a robust program for honors students writing a senior thesis. Our majors go on to careers in a wide range of fields, including education, journalism, public policy, publishing, theater, marketing and management. English is a classic entryway into professional schools, including law, education, and, more recently, medicine. Many of our students are currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs at top graduate schools around the country. Feel free to take a look around our website and please get in touch with us if you have any questions.  Our offices in Murray Hall 104 and 106 are always open to welcome you. Responsibility to be Informed   SPRING 2024 COURSES English Literature (200-level courses) Medieval Renaissance Restoration/Eighteenth Century Nineteenth Century Twentieth Century African American Literature Literatures of the Global South Theories and Methods Seminars Creative Writing Film Drama and Performance StudiesDrama and Performance Studies

Learning Goals

Students who major in English will demonstrate: 1. knowledge of literatures in English, their historical, cultural, and formal dimensions and diversity 2. strategies of interpretation, including an ability to use critical and theoretical terms, concepts, and methods in relation to a variety             of textual forms and other media 3. the ability to engage with the work of other critics and writers, using and citing such sources effectively 4. the ability to write persuasively and precisely, in scholarly and, optionally, creative forms.

SAS Core Courses

SAS Core Courses offered in the English Department Course Number Course Title SAS Core Goal 01:351:209 Introduction to Multimedia Composition AHr, ITR 01:351:211/12 01:351:314 Introduction to Creative Writing Documentary Filmmaking for Writers AHr ITR 01:354:201 Introduction to Film AHp 01:354:202 Introduction to Film AHp 01:354:205 Cinema Today 21C, Ahp 01:354:210 Close Readings of Cinema AHp 01:354:250 The Films of Alfred Hitchcock AHp 01:354:270 American Screen Comedy AHp 01:354:321 World Cinema II 21C, AHp 01:354:410 Seminar in Film Studies WCR 01:354:420 Seminar: Film Theory WCR 01:358:200 Once Upon a Time:Why We Tell Stories AHp 01:358:201 Introduction to Literature AHp 01:358:202 Introduction to Shakespeare AHp 01:358:203 Shakespeare and Film AHp 01:358:205 The Coming Apocalypse 21C, AHp 01:358:210 British Literature from the Middle Ages to 1800 AHp 01:358:212 Introduction to American Literature AHp 01:358:213 Major Topics and Authors in American Literature AHp 01:358:214 Introduction to Twentieth Century Literature Ahp 01:358:215 Introduction to Twenty-First Century Literature AHp 01:358:216 Introduction to World Literatures in English AHp 01:358:218 Black Literature from 1930 to the Present AHp 01:358:240 Introduction to Dramatic Literature AHp 01:358:241 Introduction to Poetry AHp 01:358:242 Introduction to the Novel AHp 01:358:243 Introduction to the Short Story AHp 01:358:244 Introduction to Myth AHp 01:358:252 Introduction to Children's Literature AHp 01:358:253 Introduction to Crime Fiction AHp 01:358:254 Introduction to Science Fiction AHp 01:358:256 Introduction to the Graphic Novel AHp 01:358:260 Introduction to Multiethnic Literatures of the United States AHp 01:358:261 Introduction to the Study of Women Writers AHp 01:358:262 Literature and the Environment AHo 01:358:263 Civilization and its Discontents AHo, AHp 01:358:275 The Cultural History of Now 21C, AHp 01:358:412 Old English Language and Literature WCR 01:358:420 Seminar: Chaucer WCR 01:358:422 Seminar: Topics in Medieval Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:424 Seminar: Spenser WCR 01:358:426 Seminar: Shakespeare WCR 01:358:428 Seminar: Milton WCR 01:358:434 Seminar: Topics in Renaissance Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:435 Seminar: Topics in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:436 Seminar: Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:437 Seminar: Topics in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:441 Seminar: Topics in American Literature and Culture to 1800 WCR 01:358:442 Seminar: Topics in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:445 Seminar: Topics in Black Literature and Culture WCR 01:358:452 Seminar: Special Topics in American Literature WCR 01:358:460 Seminar: Topics in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature WCR 01:358:491 Seminar: Topics in Literature WCR 01:359:201 Principles of Literary Study:Poetry AHp, WCD 01:359:202 Principles of Literary Study:Prose AHp, WCD 01:359:209 Introduction to Health, Medicine, and Literature AHP, WCR 01:359:210 Introduction to Literary Theory AHo 01:359:220 Introduction to Performance Theory AHo 01:359:362 Digital Literary Studies ITR 01:359:410 Seminar:Topics in Literary Theory WCR 01:359:425 Seminar: Topics in Literature and Psychology WCR 01:359:435 Seminar: Topics in Feminist Theory WCR

Undergraduate Courses - Spring 2014

Graduate Program Structure

Our program has a long tradition of training scholars, teachers, and members of the profession of literary study. The program emphasizes close attention to literary history and form, and to the cultures, societies, and politics by which they have been shaped. With a large and diverse faculty, the department has taken a leading role in defining the future direction of the discipline. We offer intensive courses in all periods of English and American literature; in literary theory; in drama and performance studies; in film, media, and cultural studies; in feminism and gender studies; and in African-American, world Anglophone, post-colonial, and Asian-American literatures. Across these fields, the faculty share a commitment to rigorous and grounded literary work. This commitment has been rewarded with a strong record in placement. Our graduate students find leading positions at national research universities and teaching colleges. The program is designed to ensure that a wide range of study at the beginning of a student's career will provide a strong foundation for a more specialized concentration later on.   The Ph.D. is attained by means of the following stages of study: Course Work and Requirements - Fourteen courses (or 42 credits). This includes one semester of the Mentored Teaching Assistantship, which accounts for 3 of the 42 course work credits. It also includes one Independent Study credit for Qualifying Examination preparation, which accounts for another 3 of the 42 course work credits. Ph.D. Qualifying Examination - Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, which consists of a written and an oral exam. Six additional reading credits are earned in preparing for the Qualifying Examination, for a total of 48 credits. Admission for candidacy to the Ph.D. comes with successful completion of the Qualifying Examination. Dissertation & Defense - Advancement to candidacy through submission of the dissertation proposal. A comprehensive guide to our program’s structure and policies can be found in our Redbook.   Click here to view Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment The Graduate Program, and the system of financial aid that supports it, has been formulated so as to ensure that six to seven years for the completion of the Ph.D. degree requirements will be a realistic expectation.  

Graduate Program of Literatures in English

The English Graduate Program offers comprehensive training in all the major periods of British, U.S., and global Anglophone literature, as well as the history of the book, literary and cultural theory, postcolonial studies, digital humanities, performance studies, and feminist and sexuality studies. One of our particular strengths is African-American literary studies, in which we have a large group of faculty and students. Our superb faculty, our comprehensive and integrated curriculum, our structured mentoring programs, and our broad range of pedagogical opportunities and training all give our students excellent preparation for work in the academy and beyond. We are proud of our many graduates who have secured jobs teaching literature at a range of institutions in the U.S. and abroad, as well as of those who have used their training to find work in fields like secondary education, digital humanities, writing instruction, public humanities projects, education consulting, libraries and archives, and more. Our curriculum provides rigorous training in literary history and form. At the same time, we offer courses in the general area of cultural studies, as well as those that engage in historical and current debates about class, race, gender, and sexuality. Offerings are balanced from year to year to make sure students have access to the courses they most need. Students also enjoy the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies through other departments at Rutgers and though the Center for Cultural Analysis, the British Studies Center, the Institute for Research on Women, and other affiliated centers. In addition, students may take courses at nearby universities (including Princeton, Columbia, NYU, CUNY, and the University of Pennsylvania) through our graduate school consortium. All stages of the program include workshops and individual supervision tailored to students’ evolving intellectual and professional needs. Rutgers has a nationally-recognized program in undergraduate writing that enables our students to become effective teachers. In addition to mentored teaching assistantships, we endeavor to provide advanced graduate students the opportunity to teach literature courses of their own design. And because formal training is only one part of a dynamic graduate education, the department has many structures that facilitate extra-curricular social and intellectual life. Our Graduate English Student Association (GESA) organizes social events, plans colloquia, and provides a forum for student mentorship. Our numerous interest groups sponsor reading groups and regular visitors and workshops in topics like anti-colonial thought, Americanist scholarship, nineteenth-century studies, African American and African Diasporic Studies, early modern and medieval studies, queer studies, modernism and globalization, transatlantic eighteenth-century studies, poetry and poetics, book history, and much more. Rutgers English provides financial support for all admitted Ph.D. students during the whole course of their studies. A combination of fellowships and teaching assistantships provides students with six guaranteed years of support as they pursue their degree; in the last decade, we have been able to provide a seventh year of support for all students in good standing who required it. A comprehensive guide to our program’s structure and policies can be found in our Redbook.   To see some of the extraordinary writing of our graduates, we invite you to visit our Graduate Bookshelf. Research & Interest Groups

Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Literature

The study of Anglo-Saxon literature extends from the establishment of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 5th century until the Norman Conquest in 1066. Anglo-Saxon poetry is divided into heroic pre-Christian poetry and poetry with Christian influence. Beowulf, a complete epic poem,is the oldest surviving Germanic epic and the most important poem in Old English. The spread of troubadours during the Middle Ages led to the replacement of the heroic code of Anglo-Saxon literature with the trope of courtly love. Medieval drama included works such as the morality play, Everyman. The corpus of Middle English literature was heavily influenced by the French, and consists of works such as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales andArthurian lore.

Early Modern Literature

The Early Modern period precedes the development of the modern novel in the 18th century. During this time, the transition between the epic poem and a new novel form emerges in the plays of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson. Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen is one of the most important epic Elizabethan poems to come from this period. In poetry, a metaphysical movement focused on the investigation of the spiritual prevailed. Poets such as John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell all wrote in this vein while John Milton, whose epic poem Paradise Lost was also written at this time, falls outside of the metaphysical movement. Another pivotal work during the Early Modern period is John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

Nineteenth Century American Literature

By the 19th century, the form of the novel had become well established in the world. In America, writers struggled to establish a distinct American voice in the midst of the postbellum era. Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper all wrote to create this American voice. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson both wrote poetry during the nineteenth century in America, though in nearly polar styles. Meanwhile, Romanticism in America took on the form of transcendentalism; writers of this movement included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Herman Melville, Mark Twain, and Willa Cather are a small cross-section of the American writers who worked during this time.

Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature

World War I created a sense of skepticism and alienation that became tropes of twentieth century literature. T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce’s Ulysses, both written in the twentieth century, were watersheds in the history of English literature. The Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and the Second Great War spurred on the evolution of literature in this decade. Amongst the wide range of writers found during this period are: Virginia Woolf, W.H. Auden, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, Pearl S. Buck, John Updike, Alice Walker, and Tom Stoppard .

Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature (2)

World War I created a sense of skepticism and alienation that became tropes of twentieth century literature. T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce’s Ulysses, both written in the twentieth century, were watersheds in the history of English literature. The Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and the Second Great War spurred on the evolution of literature in this decade. Amongst the wide range of writers found during this period are: Virginia Woolf, W.H. Auden, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, Pearl S. Buck, John Updike, Alice Walker, and Tom Stoppard .

Early American Literature

Information will be forthcoming.

Writing Studies

The writing program has developed a curriculum that teaches undergraduates how to develop their skills as both reader and writer. This is achieved by studying the work of peers alongside the work of published authors, so that the development of critical reading skills will in turn foster writing ability—the foundation of a true liberal arts education. At the most basic level, students will learn to distinguish a compelling interpretation from an insubstantial one, how to support an argument with strong and nuanced evidence, and how to articulate a position beyond the terms of a reading assignment.

Film and Cinema Studies

Cinema Studies is an interdisciplinary program promoting visual literacy and cross-cultural exploration through the study of film in its various historical and aesthetic contexts. Cinema Studies faculty teach a rich variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, engaging with a diverse range of topics, from pioneer filmmaking in New Jersey to the latest trends in digital moving image media; from Hollywood to Bollywood; from theories of genre to theories of gender; from Third Cinema to cult film.

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies is premised on the idea that gender and sexuality are inextricable from personal identity. Some of the primary concerns of the field are: representations of gender and sexuality in literature and culture, queer and feminist theory, women’s history, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender studies. Courses in this field examine categories of difference within specific contexts of literature and history to show the effect of these roles upon personal identity at various points in time.

Postcolonial Literature

Postcolonial literature comprises a field that reacts to the discourse of colonization. Postcolonial literature typically deals with issues of de-colonization, and the political and cultural independence (or dependence) of a formerly colonized people. Scholars in this field attempt to examine classical literature with a particular focus on the social elements that shaped it.

History: The First Professor

By Karen Heinbach The founding of the English Department at Rutgers College coincided with the beginning of a revolutionary era in the development of the discipline itself. Although Rutgers was founded in 1766 (as Queen's College), nearly a century was to pass before the study of English language and literature was to gain recognition and legitimacy in the academic world. Still, despite its gradual beginnings, the formal program of English at Rutgers was one of the first to be established in American universities.

History: The Department's Rebirth

By Karen Heinbach After the resignation of John Forsyth, the first Professor of English Language and Literature, the department foundered. In 1864, the Reverend Theodore Stanford Doolittle was appointed “Professor of Rhetoric, Logic, and Mental Philosophy,” and charged with filling in the curricular gap in English. A small portion of his time went toward literature, but his main academic emphasis was on what would later become the fields of psychology and philosophy.

History: Classical vs. Modern Education

By Rachel E. Tomcsik By 1906, Rutgers was no longer the classical college of yesteryear, but was still perched on the edge of becoming a center for modern education. Throughout the nation, institutions of higher learning were undergoing similar transitions, trying to define their roles for the new century.

History: Serving the University

By Melissa Arkin Through the first decades of the twentieth century, Rutgers College became Rutgers University. For most of that time, the school was underenrolled and short on funds, and it was only the labors of the President, Trustees, and faculty that allowed it to survive and grow. Rutgers needed to find a formula that worked, and in the process, ended up moving in many directions at once.

History: Education After the War

By Kristin Manganello Because of the student population boom, the New Brunswick campus found itself overcrowded. To gain extra space, Rutgers University merged with colleges in Newark and Camden, creating new campuses. In spite of the expansions, the University was still congested. However, the returning veterans seemed to set the tone for the University’s academic pace and social circuit through their maturity and enthusiasm. Despite the overcrowding, campus life flourished.

History: Redefining Academics

By Jie He In the 1950s, Rutgers University faced many challenges. The United States was experiencing economic prosperity, but the Communist hysteria of the early part of the decade penetrated into higher education. All sorts of anxieties over new cultural and political ideas seeped into the Rutgers community, reshaping it.

Undergraduate Program in English Literature

Undergraduate Program of English LiteratureMurray Hall | 104College Avenue Campus Ann Baynes CoiroDirector of Undergraduate Program of English Literature

Graduate Program of Literatures in English

Graduate Program of English LiteratureMurray Hall | 119College Avenue Campus Rebecca WalkowitzActing Director of Graduate Program of English Literature

Writing Program

Writing ProgramMurray Hall | 108College Avenue Campus Kurt SpellmeyerDirector of Writing Program

Rutgers AP English Institute

For all other subject areas: The English Department at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, will offer a four-day-long intensive summer seminar for new and experienced AP English teachers on August 4 - August 7, 2020. The course is designed for both beginning and experienced instructors and will enable a diverse group of educators to focus on specific pedagogical issues in the A.P. English classroom. The Rutgers Summer A.P. English Institute has been endorsed by the College Board AP Program. NOTE: DUE TO CONCERNS OF COVID-19, THIS COURSE WILL BE HELD ENTIRELY ONLINE. The seminar will focus on basic components of language arts. Teachers will read a variety of genres that might be included in an AP class, discuss strategies for teaching those genres, develop critical writing assignments, and consider the role that the AP exam might play in preparing a syllabus. Participants who are NJ teachers will fulfill 30 hours of Professional Development upon completion of the course. Participants also have the option of taking one seminar for one graduate credit through the Rutgers Summer Session office. Course offered: Beginning and Advanced AP English Language Fees:The cost per teacher is $900. This fee includes tuition, books, and the online link to the course. For more information, contact Emily Ezzo at Registration: To Register, Click Here  

Writing Program Institute (WPI)

Summer College for TeachersMurray Hall | Writing Program InstituteCollege Avenue Kurt SpellmeyerDirector of the Writing Program

Ph.D. Degrees Conferred

The Graduate Program of Literatures in English is proud to announce that the following students had their Ph.D. degrees conferred during 2017-2022 academic years: Student Dissertation Title Dissertation Director May 2022 Nicholas Allred Character Under the Influence in Eighteenth-Century Britain Lynn Festa Amadi Ozier Senses of Humor: Joking Etiquette in African American Literature at the Turn of the Century Douglas Jones Jacob Romanow The Novel of Exteriority: Form, Privacy, and Nation in Nineteenth-Century Britain David Kurnick Jeremy Specland Psalm Reading and the Lyric Sequence in Renaissance England Thomas Fulton January 2022 Christina Jen Reading as Acting: The Novel’s Casting Call and Readerly Performance in the British Nineteenth Century Carolyn Williams October 2021 Danielle Allor Trees of Thought: Arboreal Matter and Metaphor in Late Medieval England Larry Scanlon Emily Banta The Pursuit of Fun: Comic Play in Antebellum Democratic Culture Meredith McGill Scott Harris English Variety: Popular Theater and the Post-Consensus Novel Rebecca Walkowitz Ariel Martino Governing Aesthetics: Form and Politics in Black Hemispheric Literature Carter Mathes May 2021 Suzanne Boswell Being Swamped: Decomposed Developments in Tropical Fictions Michelle Stephens & Andrew Goldstone Nani Durnan Radical Disaffection: Political Pessimism in Fin-de-Siècle British Fiction John Kucich Alexander Leslie Reading Regions: American Literature and Cultural Geography, 1865-1925 Brad Evans Nicole Sheriko Imitating Difference: Renaissance Entertainment Culture and the Ethics of Popular Form Henry Turner Maria Vrcek Literary Disorder: The Poetic Revolution, 1600-1666 Henry Turner October 2020 Carlson, Andrew Forms of Imperfection in the English Renaissance Jacqueline Miller Castroman, Margarita Collecting Race: The Archival Impulse in Twentieth-Century Black Literature and Culture Michelle Stephens Deonarine, Phedra The Enduring Local: Representations of Land and Home in the Anglo-Caribbean Michelle Stephens Gildea, Tara "Art gave Lifeless Life": Living Art and the Nature of Fiction in Early Modern England Ann Baynes Coiro & Henry Turner Harris, Lech The Forms of Style: Victorian Storytelling and the Rise of the Stylist David Kurnick Hughes, Sean The Moral Psychology of Historicism from Thomas Carlyle to Oscar Wilde Jonah Siegel Kimball, Lauren Poetry and the Time of Labor in the Antebellum US Meredith McGIll Li, Moyang Mathematical Dreamworlds: Speculative Fictions of Mathematics from the Enlightenment to the Global Anglophone Novel Mukti Lakhi Mangharam Lipperini, Rebecca Maiden, Mother, Chrome: Feminist Fictions of the Female Inhuman in American Magazines, 1880-1936 Brad Evans Parrish, Melissa Emergency Poetics: Postwar American Poetry and the Shape of Public Crisis Harriet Davidson & William Galperin Sater, Max From Novel to Criticism: Narrative Knowing in the Nineteenth Century David Kurnick Sivarm, Sushil Possible Institutions: Literature Festivals and Talk-Culture in India Mukti Lakhi Mangharam & Stephane Robolin May 2020 Pirri, Caro Settlement Aesthetics: Theatricality, Form, Failure Emily Bartels Welty, William "Following a Strange Course": Reading, Race, and the Anachronistic Histories of Postwar American Fiction David Kurnick & Michelle Stephens October 2019 Challener, Scott From the Outside: Latin American Anthologies and the Making of U.S. Literature Rebecca Walkowitz Coltrain, Alyssa The Hagiographic Impulse: Saintly Borrowings in Late Medieval Texts Larry Scanlon Hamilton, Regina Speculative Aesthetics: Time, Space, and the Black Subject in 20th and 21st Century African American Literature Michelle Stephens Masiello, Regina Rooms of Invention: The Prison Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Early of Surrey Ann Baynes Coiro Monescalchi, Michael A Disinterested Republic: Reform and New Divinity Theology in Early America Christopher Iannini Pradhan, Pritika "Not Simple Truth But Complex Beauty": Details in Victorian Literature and Aesthetics Jonah Siegel Tanner, William The Melancholy Malcontent in Early Modern Theater & Culture Henry Turner Valenzuela, Alexa Between London and Lima: Latin America and the Anglophone World in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Fiction Rebecca Walkowitz May 2019 Diaby, Bakary Sensing Meaning: Aesthetics and Vulnerability in the Romantic Age Colin Jager Everett, Gabrielle Blushing Bitterly: An Affective and Literary History of Racial Uplift After Reconstruction Douglas Jones January 2019 Bobe, Melissa Spectacular Transients: Traumatic Childhood and the Fantastic Michelle Stephens Cowell, Isaac The Peevish Wish: Conjectural Literature from Walpole to the Shelleys Colin Jager October 2018 Barton, Lucas Imagined Literacies: Race and Reading in Antebellum American Literature Meredith McGill Camarda, Julie The Matter of Discussion: Conversational Poetics in the British Romantic Period William Galperin Phillips, Matthew John Worldly Figures: Character and Belonging in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction John Kucich Williams, Alicia Democratic Address and the History of Reading in Nineteenth Century British Literature David Kurnick May 2018 Cooper, Amy "Speaking Pictures": Words, Images, and the Visual Aesthetics of Early Modern Literature Henry Turner McAuley, Kyle Outer Spaces: Provincialism and the Novel in the British Imperial Century David Kurnick Wade, Erik Significant Others: Gender, Race, and the English Identity in Early Medieval English Eroticism Stacy Klein October 2017 Graham, April 'Penolopees Trouthe': Female Faithfulness in Late Medieval English Literature Larry Scanlon Madden, Caolan Performing Poetesses: Collectivity and Theatricality in Victorian Poetry Carolyn Williams Mazzaferro, Alexander 'No Newe Enterprize': Empirical Political Science and the Problem of Innovation in the Colonial English Americas Christopher Iannini Persson, Torleif Imagining the Now: The Making of the Contemporary in the American Novel since 1945 Rebecca Walkowitz Solomon, Alex The Rhetoric of Probability from New Science to Common Sense Michael McKeon

Job Placement & Careers

A PhD is a necessary stepping-stone to a faculty career. But it is no longer only this; a doctorate in the humanities opens the door to a wide range of fulfilling, world-changing work, including but not limited to academic teaching and research. The English Department career development program is designed with this range of opportunities in mind, putting students in position to identify the sorts of work that matches their individual values and interests, and to secure positions in those fields.Recognizing that a PhD opens many possibilities for meaningful employment, and that knowledge about the range of careers open to humanists is a key part of the health of the discipline, the placement program hosts inclusive, structured discussions about the career tracks open to our graduates. These coordinated discussions begin in the very first year of graduate education. In consultation with a faculty advisor, each student compiles and maintains an individual development plan, which helps match their training to the sorts of careers they seek. This component of our program culminates in a series of seminars and workshops on career exploration, job-seeking in academic-adjacent fields, and the development of professional networks. Recent graduates have taken up positions in upper-level academic administration, as librarians and curators, as directors and staff at non-profit organizations, in curriculum development, as consultants and advisors in the private and public sectors, in publishing and editing roles, as grant-writers for nonprofit NGO's, and in a wide range of public-facing humanistic career paths. Many other graduates have gotten non-academic jobs for which their Ph.D. in English prepared them, whether directly or indirectly.  Some of these former students are currently administrators in higher education, university librarians, staff at non-profit organizations, private secondary school teachers, editors, writers, or professionals in a variety of humanistic career paths.Many of our students target academic careers, and our placement record for faculty positions ranks among the best in the field. Beginning in the year before they first go on the market, students participate in a multi-stage training program, built around a comprehensive series of workshops. Students are paired with faculty job-search mentors as they prepare their applications, compose and submit their application dossiers, practice interviewing, and stage job talks before groups of Rutgers faculty and students. Overseen by a large faculty committee, and involving faculty as mentors and advisors, the job-search season involves a significant proportion of the graduate faculty and staff. Nor does our commitment end with the PhD. Recognizing that the job-search is rarely a one-year undertaking, the department offers postgraduate support, including a number of fellowships comparable to starting faculty positions. Our placement record is comparable with the best of our peer institutions, such that a majority of our recent graduates have secured tenure-track appointments, including tenure-stream positions at top colleges and universities around the world. The following is a list of tenure-track jobs our graduate students have secured in recent years, along with other academic placements such as post-docs, instructorships, lectureships, and visiting positions: 2019-2020:  Tenure-track:  California State University-Long Branch, Rice University, and Pittsburgh University.  Other placements:  University of Pittsburgh, United World College of Dilijan-Armenia, and Henry Rutgers (post doc). 2018-2019:  Tenure-track:  Skidmore College and University of Kentucky.  Other placements:  William and Mary College, Brandeis College, Rutgers University (Writing Program), Cornell University-Robert P. Dana, and University of Chicago (postdoc). 2017-2018:  Tenure-track:  Berkeley College.  Other placements:  US Air Force Academy, American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, Rutgers University (Writing Program), University of California-Berkeley, American Philosophical Society (postdoc), Henry Rutgers (postdoc), and University of Bonn-Germany (post-doc). 2016-2017: Tenure-track: University of Louisiana-Monroe, Borough of Manhattan Community College, University of Connecticut-Avery Point, and Ashoka University (Delhi). Other placements: Rutgers’ Center of Cultural Analysis, Tennessee Technological University, Douglass Residential College, Saginaw Valley State University, Princeton Writing Program, and Virginia Commonwealth University (postdoc). 2015-2016: Tenure-track:  Yale University, University of San Francisco, and Lawrence Technological University.  Other placements:  Harvard Society of Fellows (postdoc), Bryn Mawr, Rutgers University, and Siginaw Valley State University.  2014-2015: Tenure-track:  SUNY-Albany, Allegheny College, William Paterson, and Queensborough Community College-CUNY.  Other Placements:  University of Rochester (postdoc), New York University, Kettering University, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and University of Melbourne (Australia). 2013-2014: Tenure–track: Vanderbilt University, Wellesley College, Hendrix College, SUNY-Cortland, and University of Waterloo (Canada). Other Placements: George Mason University-South Korea and Concordia University (Canada). 2012-2013: Tenure-track:  University of Toronto, Florida State University, Colgate University, NYU-Abu Dhabi, Longwood University, Shiv Nadar University (India).  Other Placements: Haverford College, Franklin & Marshall College, University of Miami, University of Melbourne, Goddard College, Stevens Institute of Technology, North Central College-Illinois; post-docs: Emory University, University of Oldenberg (Germany); American Council of Learned Societies Junor Faculty Fellow:  University of California Berkeley. 2011-2012: Tenure-track: University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, San Francisco State University, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hanyang University (South Korea), and University of Delhi (India). Post-Docs: Carnegie Mellon University, Washington University, and University of Texas-Austin. 2010-2011: Tenure-track:  Wayne State University, Bentley University, University of Texas-San Antonio, UCLA, Drew University, Rhode Island College, Inha University (South Korea), New Community College, CUNY, Raritan Valley Community College.  Post-Docs:  American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellowship, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Fordham University.  Other Placements:  University of Nebraska-Omaha. 2009-2010: Tenure-track: University of Vermont, St. Louis University, Pomona College, Trinity Christian College, University of Georgia. Post-Docs: Rice Humanities Center, University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania Teaching Fellowship, Fonds québécois pour la recherche sur la société et la culture-Columbia University. Other Placements: Seton Hall University, Montclair State University.  2008-2009: Tenure-track:  St. Mary's University College-Calgary (Canada), Point Park University-Pittsburgh, University of Chicago, University of Alberta, Rutgers University-Newark, Buck's County Community College, LaSapienza University (Italy), University Orientale-Naples (Italy), and Masaryk University (Czech Republic).  Other placements:  Lawrence University. 2007-2008: Tenure-track:  North Carolina State University-Raleigh, Trinity University, Hunter College-CUNY, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, St. Joseph’s College-Long Island, Grinnell College, DePaul University.  Other placements:  Macalester College-St. Paul, Temple University, Oberlin College, Boston University, Lawrence University. 2006-2007: Tenure-track:  Trinity University, University of Central Missouri, Edgewood College, College of Staten Island, University of Missouri-Columbia, Auburn University, Portland State University.  Post-Docs: California Institute of Technology, University of Alberta (Canada). Other placements:  University of Georgia, Cornell University, University of Oklahoma, Harvard Society of Fellows. 2005-2006: Tenure-track: Yale University, Dartmouth College (plus post-doc at Stanford); Dartmouth College, Boston University, Villanova University, CUNY-York College, University of Memphis, St. Johns University, University of Nebraska–Omaha, South Carolina State University, Wheaton College. Other placements: Macalester College, Union College, St. Johns University, Monmouth University, Harvard Writing Program, Yale Writing Program. 2004-2005: Tenure-track: Harvard University, York University (United Kingdom), McMaster University (Canada), Ohio State University, Fordham University, St. Johns University, George Washington University, Texas A&M, Florida Atlantic University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of North Texas, Montclair State University, The College of the Bahamas. Other placements: Seton Hall University, Santa Monica University, Bryn Mawr College, Connecticut College.


Course Requirements Foreign Language Requirements

Foreign Language Requirements

The foreign language requirement is formulated so as to emphasize the relationship between the knowledge of foreign languages and the study of literature. The requirement of a high degree of proficiency in one foreign language may be satisfied in three ways:

Special Presidential Fellowship Opportunities at Rutgers

Prospective Graduate Students Only Several Presidential Fellowships will be made available to the most highly qualified candidates admitted to the Rutgers Graduate School.  These one-year Fellowships will offer $35,000 annual stipends and full tuition and medical fee remission, in addition to mentorship in applying for prestigious national and international fellowships.

Applications, Deadlines, and Inquiries

Find information on applications, deadlines, and inquiries for the Graduate Program.


Students entering with an MA degree

Students entering with an MA degree will have the option of using prior coursework, where appropriate, to meet up to (2) distribution requirements. The Associate Director will determine which, if any, courses are eligible for transfer. All students in the program take 12 courses, though students entering with an MA may be ready to specialize earlier, which the reduction of distribution courses can facilitate, and to use their 12th course to enroll in an article publication workshop. In consultation with department advisors, entering students will design a program that best meets individual needs and preparation.  

RU Info

RU-info (732-445-info) is the information and referral service of Rutgers University Campus Information Services. Rutgers University is one of the nation’s leading research universities with an international reputation for excellence. RU-info is available to assist inquirers by telephone during the academic year. Website:  

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

The Rutgers Graduate Program of Literatures in English is currently accepting applications for this graduate admissions cycle. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2023. Our admissions process reflects the anti-racist values of the department, and we are committed to admitting, recruiting and supporting a diverse community of exceptional scholars, including students of color, international applicants, and those whose socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds are underrepresented in our fields of study.  The program is designed for students who wish to complete the Ph.D. Our nationally recognized faculty is remarkably diverse in fields and approaches. They teach in all the major periods of British, American, and global Anglophone literature, including Medieval and Early Modern studies, colonial American literature, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and American writing, modernism and postmodernism, postcolonial studies, and contemporary literary studies. We also have a longstanding commitment to non-traditional, non-canonical literatures. One of our strongest concentrations is in African American, Caribbean, and African Diaspora studies, in which we have a large group of faculty and students. Many faculty members are interested in comparative Anglophone studies and theories of world literature. Our department is known for its work in feminist and gender studies, as is Rutgers as a whole, as well as in the history of the novel and the history of the book.   This section is provided for prospective students interested in our program. Please visit this section of the Website frequently for up- to-date information. General Information Application, Deadlines, and Inquiries Funding Transfer of Credit Frequently Asked Questions Open House Spring 2024 Open House information forthcoming


We caution prospective applicants against being swayed by national rankings, which are deeply flawed in a variety of ways.  In 2010, for example, the National Research Council, whose rankings were once considered authoritative, released its most recent survey.  Attempting to avoid the false air of precision that came from ranking one program #7 and another #8, the NRC used a methodology too complex for non-statisticians to understand, in order to produce a set of evaluative “ranges” too ambiguous to lead to definite conclusions.  For a good summary of the controversy when the report was first released, see: Programs that use the NRC report to claim an overall numerical ranking or that assert the NRC ranked them within some narrow range in specific evaluative categories are misleading prospective students.  Search engines that base their rankings on the NRC data are even more of a nuisance; many generate wild, preposterous numbers. Rutgers consistently placed within the top twenty programs in the NRC’s array of  rankings, but for any program to make more precise claims than that would, in most cases, be deceitful. In the absence of a reliable, mathematically defensible system of rankings, many of us fall back on the U. S. News and World Reports rankings, which put Rutgers at No. 17.  But these rankings are notoriously amateurish, since they depend on the “votes” of random faculty members who may or may not be familiar with the programs they’re judging, and since this kind of opinion poll is rarely well informed about the latest shifts of strength within a program’s particular fields.  Such rankings notoriously over-estimate hallowed, traditional programs, while they under-estimate up-and-coming schools. We counsel prospective students to look askance at national rankings, and instead to research graduate programs on their own by comparing placement statistics, funding packages, faculty strength in their field(s) of interest, and whatever evidence of intellectual community and student morale they can glean (such as student publication records and the presence of interest groups in their area of specialization).

Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Students

Information page of frequently asked questions for students wishing to apply. How do I apply to the Program?What is the cutoff date for applications?Do you admit students in the Fall and Spring?Is this an M.A. program? Is it a full time program?Is there funding available?What about GRE's?What about TOEFL/IELTS?How many credits do I need to complete the Program?How long to degree?Do we place our students?If I have an M.A. will I be able to transfer my credits?Students outside the program wishing to take our courses How do I apply to the Program? Go to: and complete an online application. To complete the application, you will need to know the institutional code (R2790). We require three (3) letters of recommendation, a personal statement (1 to 2 pages single spaced) that describes your academic background, your research interests, and any other information you consider relevant to your scholarly profile, a writing sample, about 20 pages double spaced, demonstrating the applicant's abilities as a literary critic (either one 20-page paper or two 10-page papers is acceptable), a curriculum vita, all relevant transcripts (undergraduate and graduate), Test Scores:  The Admissions Committee does NOT consider GRE test scores (subject or general) in its deliberations, and we do not accept GRE scores from our applicants.  A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test scores is required if your undergraduate education was completed in a non-English speaking country.  Please see complete details regarding exemptions and additional TOEFL requirements by visiting:  All supporting documentation should be uploaded electronically into the application. There is a $70.00 fee required with the application. We will notify you before folders are reviewed if we do not have all your information. What is the cutoff date for applications? The deadline for Fall 2024 is December 15, 2023 Do you admit students in the Fall and Spring? Our students are admitted in the fall only. Is this an M.A. program? This is a Ph.D. Program. Rutgers has M.A. programs in Camden (Phone: (856) 225-6121) and Newark (Phone: (973) 353-5279. Is it a full-time program? Ours is a full-time program with no evening or weekend classes and no summer classes. Is there funding available? (Fall 2023) The Graduate Program provides six years of support for all students. In the first year, students receive an academic-year base fellowship stipend of $25,000, plus full tuition remission. In addition, all incoming 24-25 students will receive a $10,000 Summer Stipend*, which provides two years of summer support, with $5,000 provided in the summer before the second year in the program, and $5,000 provided in the summer preceding the third year in the program.  In order to receive the Summer Stipend, students must be in good academic standing and must be registered for the upcoming fall semester.  A student making continuous progress through the program would receive $5,000 in the summer of 2024, bringing the total amount to the offer to $30,000 for the first year.  A Major Medical insurance plan is also provided to all full-time fellows. Subsequent support, which depends on good progress towards completion of the degree, includes teaching assistantships in the second, third, and fourth years, and as many as two more years of fellowship in the fifth and sixth years.  Teaching Assistantships currently carry a stipend of $35,335 plus tuition remission, student fees, and medical benefits.  In addition, students receive a Summer Stipend of $5,000 in the summer before their third year in the program. Students normally hold a fellowship in the fifth year, and many students also hold a fellowship in the sixth year. Students who do not hold a fellowship are guaranteed an appointment as a teaching assistant in their fifth and sixth years. Second and later fellowships carry the same base stipend as a student’s first Graduate School fellowship. The teaching load is two courses per year. Historically, the program has also supported, in the form of a TA, any seventh-year student who had yet to finish the degree. Because of SAS rules, the seventh-year TA is located in the Writing Program.  The Graduate Program fully expects to continue offering this extended support, even though the seventh year is not officially within the guaranteed package. We are proud to be able to offer our students a longer term of financial support than many of our peer institutions   *Subject to change by the School of Graduate Studies What about GRE's? The Admissions Committee does NOT consider GRE test scores (subject or general) in its deliberations, and we do not accept GRE scores from our applicants.  What about TOEFL/IELTS? A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test scores is required if your undergraduate education was completed in a non-English speaking country.  Please see complete details regarding exemptions and additional TOEFL requirements by visiting:  How many credits do I need to complete the Program? You must have 42 credits of coursework, 6 Reading credits (which are the preparation for your orals exam), and 24 Research credits before you can defend your dissertation. How long to degree? An average of 6-7 years; some may take more than others. Do we place our students? The graduate program is very active in assisting students to obtain positions in higher education by means of a vigorous job placement & careers program. If I have an M.A. will I be able to transfer my credits? Students entering with an M.A. may not transfer credits. However, they will have the option of using prior coursework, where appropriate, to meet up to (2) distribution requirements. The Associate Director will determine which, if any, courses are eligible for this purpose. All students in the program take 12 courses. Students entering with an MA may use the reduction in distribution requirements to specialize earlier and to enroll in an article publication workshop. In consultation with department advisors, entering students will design a program that best meets individual needs and preparation. Students outside the program wishing to take our courses Whether or not the students are enrolled at Rutgers, they must contact the faculty member to ask permission to take their course. Once permission is granted and if they are Rutgers students they should contact our office for a special permission number. If they are NOT a Rutgers student, they must contact Admissions to apply for non-matriculated admission and pay a $70.00 fee. They will also have to contact our office for a special permission number. If students are enrolled in one of the Consortium Universities/Colleges (CUNY Graduate Center/Columbia University/Columbia University Teachers College/Fordham University/New School University/New York University/University of Pennsylvania/Princeton University/SUNY Stony Brook), they should contact the appropriate office at their institution for the Inter-University Registration form. If a special permission number is required the student would then contact our office.

Mellon SAS Competitive Dissertation Fellowships

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant supporting Graduate Study in the Humanities at Rutgers Art History, Comparative Literature, English, History, Linguistics, and Philosophy Competitive Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Grants 2011 – 2012 The School of Arts and Sciences Mellon Grant Selection Committee expects to award up to 14 Dissertation Fellowships and up to 30 Summer Grants for the 2011-2012 academic year. Fellowships and grants are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, timely progress to degree, and, for Dissertation Fellows, promise of completion, by a committee composed of the Dean of Humanities, the Director of the Mellon Grant, and a select panel of faculty members in the humanities. Students may apply for both Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Grants, but may not hold both. Students awarded Dissertation Fellowships will be removed from the competition for Summer Grants. Applications for both awards are due December 20, 2010. The Committee will announce all awards on February 7, 2011. For further details, please visit: Memo from Graduate Director Application: SAS Mellon Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Grants

Conference Travel Support

The Graduate School— New Brunswick has a small amount of money to assist students giving papers at conferences. Grants are limited in amount and numbers. There are three deadlines during the year, late October, late February, and late May.

The Daniel Francis Howard Travel Fellowship

We are very happy that we can continue to offer a fellowship for a qualified graduate student whose dissertation research requires travel outside of the U.S. This fellowship has been generously given to the Graduate Program by Barbara Howard in the name of her late husband Daniel Howard, who joined the English Department in 1960. Professor Howard received his Ph.D. from Yale University and specialized in the literature of the Victorian period. He focused especially on the work and manuscripts of Samuel Butler, and his editions of Erewhon: or, over the Range, and Ernest Pontiflex, or TheWay of All Flesh have been, since they appeared, basic tools for all critical work on that author.  He became the Chair of the Rutgers College English Department in 1966, and served in that position for over a decade. The Daniel Francis Howard Travel Fellowship will carry a stipend of $5,000. The sponsored research trip must be of at least one month’s duration, and the recipient will be asked to write a narrative describing the results of his or her work while on the fellowship. Please see the Graduate Program office for further information and for application instructions. ---------------------------- Applicants must be ABD Applicants must complete a one page single-spaced description of their  dissertation project explaining how it requires traveling,and a projected budget.  This description must be completed and delivered to the Graduate Office by March 1, 2010.  This fellowship will be awarded in early summer 2010.  Recipients will be asked to complete their travel within a year of the award.

2013 Dickens Project Universe and Conference

Information forthcoming.

Annual Prizes in English

This year the Marius Bewley Prize, the Catherine Musello Cantalupo Prize, the Catherine Moynahan Prize, and the Spencer L. Eddy Prize will be awarded at the Graduate Symposium on Thursday, April 19, 2012.  If you wish to submit papers to any of these contests, please give them to Cheryl Robinson by Friday, March 2, 2012.  In contrast to the papers submitted for reading at the Symposium, papers for the prizes below need not be revised for length.  Your name should not appear on any page, since judges are not to know the names of contestants.  Please prepare a cover sheet for Cheryl Robinson listing your name, the title of the submission, the prize for which the paper should be considered, and any further information requested below.  Papers will be read by faculty committees.  Students may submit the same paper for more than one prize (please prepare separate cover sheets), but they may submit only one paper for each prize. Call for Papers for the contest for papers to be presented at the symposium will be circulated soon. This contest also carries prizes for each paper. Marius Bewley Prize:  $200 for the best essay written in course work at Rutgers.  Papers must be submitted no later than a year after the course (2009-2010) academic year papers are not eligible). Note course number and semester on cover sheet. Catherine Musello Cantalupo Prize:  $500 for the best essay about some aspect of the relationship between literature and religion. Spencer L. Eddy Prize:  $100 for the best literary essay accepted for publication in a general or professional journal.  Indicate on cover sheet the journal and the date of publication. Catherine Moynahan Prize:  $1,000 for an essay of merit on a literary topic.  

Graduate English Symposium

Attention:  English Graduate Students Please consider submitting an essay for presentation at this year’s Graduate Symposium.

University and Louis Bevier Graduate and Dissertation Fellowships for 2011-2012

The Graduate School-New Brunswick expects to award thirteen University and Louis Bevier Graduate Fellowships for the 2011-2012 academic year. One fellowship (with a stipend of $20,000) will be reserved for a graduate of any undergraduate division of the University who will begin his or her program of doctoral study in the Graduate School-New Brunswick during the Fall 2011 term. Twelve Dissertation Fellowships will be reserved for students who will have completed their qualifying examinations and have begun their thesis research by the beginning of the Fall 2011 term. Applicants must have an approved dissertation proposal. Preference will be given to those likely to finish during the term of the fellowship. Doctoral students in all programs in the Graduate School-New Brunswick (School 16) are eligible. The fellowships carry a stipend of $19,000. Fellows may not hold other full-time awards concurrently with University or Louis Bevier Fellowships. 2011-2012 Application - University and Louis Bevier Dissertation Fellowships

Mellon SAS Competitive Summer Grants

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant supporting Graduate Study in the Humanities at Rutgers Art History, Comparative Literature, English, History, Linguistics, and Philosophy Competitive Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Grants 2011 – 2012 The School of Arts and Sciences Mellon Grant Selection Committee expects to award up to 14 Dissertation Fellowships and up to 30 Summer Grants for the 2011-2012 academic year. Fellowships and grants are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, timely progress to degree, and, for Dissertation Fellows, promise of completion, by a committee composed of the Dean of Humanities, the Director of the Mellon Grant, and a select panel of faculty members in the humanities. Students may apply for both Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Grants, but may not hold both. Students awarded Dissertation Fellowships will be removed from the competition for Summer Grants. Applications for both awards are due December 20, 2010. The Committee will announce all awards on February 7, 2011. For further details, please visit: Memo from Graduate Director Application: SAS Mellon Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Grants

Special Study Opportunity and Pre-Dissertation Awards

Special Study Opportunity and Pre-Dissertation Awards The Graduate School has announced its Special Studies Awards competition. (see notice pasted below) Eligibility includes these conditions: the course must be given outside Rutgers; there must be no equivalent course offered at Rutgers; and the course must be essential to the student's work. *Special Study Opportunity and Pre-Dissertation Travel Awards* We announce the annual competition for funds to support students who take advantage of special study opportunities away from campus or who wish to conduct pre-dissertation explorations of research sites or to do other kinds of preliminary dissertation-related work. Special Study awards are intended to assist students who wish to take advantage of educational opportunities away from campus. This includes such things as specialized workshops, summer courses in advanced methods, courses in which exotic languages are taught, or other forms of specialized training entailing fees and/or travel expenses. Pre-dissertation awards are intended for students at the beginning of their doctoral research who would materially benefit from an opportunity to explore research sites, arrange for access to archives or collections, or otherwise conduct pilot or sample studies. The program is particularly targeted at students whose preliminary work will contribute to their subsequent ability to write successful proposals for external fellowships or research grants to fund the primary research or the writing of the dissertation. To apply: 1. Submit a letter to the Graduate Director explaining the significance of the course to your work and why it cannot be taken at Rutgers; 2. Complete a Pre-dissertation and Special Study Award Application"; 3. Provide a one or two page statement about your project/request. Applications are due in the English Department Graduate office by Friday, February 8, 2013. If you should win a Mellon Research Grant (awards will be announced in early February), you will also have to include with your application a brief letter addressed to the "Mellon Fellowship Committee" of the School of Arts and Sciences, explaining how the Graduate School Award is related to the work supported by your Mellon funding, and requesting permission from SAS to accept the Graduate School Award if it is offered to you.  

The Qualls Fellowship

Awarded each year to a graduate student for dissertation study focusing in Victorian Studies and/or Women's Studies. Currently, this fellowship carries a $18,000 annual stipend plus (3) credits of tuition remission.  Contact the Graduate Office at 732-932-7674 for additional information concerning this fellowship.  

Friends of Rutgers English

Members of Friends of Rutgers English (FoRE) include alumni of our undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty, current students, staff, and other supporters of the Department of English. Cheryl A. Wall established FoRE during her tenure as departmental chair. During his two terms as departmental chair, Richard E. Miller continued to work to fulfill the mission of the organization. FoRE raises public awareness about the value of studying literature and the literary arts, broadly construed. The organization also raises funds to support the scholarly and pedagogical endeavors of Rutgers English faculty and students. Department of English The Department of English is the largest humanities department in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Our faculty strives to instill students with a deep and lasting understanding of literature and literary traditions. Each year, more than 11,000 undergraduates receive instruction in humanistic reading and writing through our writing program. Our comprehensive undergraduate program reaches more than 900 majors and enrolls more than 8,000 students annually. Our top-ranking graduate program prepares the next generation of literary scholars and teachers for professional success. The Department of English is proud to be home to the Plangere Writing Center, the Center for Cultural Analysis, and Writers House,which represent the department’s commitment to excellence in written expression, to the interdisciplinary study of culture, and to the promotion of creative writing and multimedia composition. In addition to its curricular programs, the department sponsors lectures, conferences, and readings for the university community and the general public.

Future Traditions Magazine

Future Traditions Magazine is published by the Department of English at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  Views expressed in pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or official policies of the university.     PDF Version |  Online Version PDF Version  | Online Version

Friends of Rutgers English Newsletter

This information will be forthcoming.

2007-2008 Alumni News

Eric Gary Anderson (PhD 1994) is the director of a new interdisciplinary minor in Native American and indigenous studies at George Mason University. As vice president of the Southern American Studies Association, he will be hosting the organization’s biennial meeting in February 2009. Joseph Anfuso (BA 1970) is the founder and president of the faith-based missions and relief organization, Forward Edge International. The organization is engaged in, among other projects, the long-term recovery effort in the Gulf Coast, building a “village” for children living in Nicaragua, and developing a feeding program for AIDS orphans in Kenya.

2006-2007 Alumni News

Tanya Agathocleous (PhD 2003), an assistant professor of English at Yale University, published an article on teaching world literature in Pedagogy with Karin Gosselink (PhD 2006). Eric Gary Anderson (PhD 1994), an associate professor of English at George Mason University, published an article on the Atlanta child murders in a PMLA special issue on cities.


College Avenue Campus Murray Hall 510 George Street New Brunswick, NJ (848) 932-7571 (732) 932-9698 Map

Intensive English @RELI

Livingston Campus Tillett Hall 107 53 Avenue E Piscataway, NJ (848) 445-7422 (732) 445-1279 Map

Writing Program

College Ave Campus Murray Hall, Room 108 510 George Street New Brunswick, NJ (848) 932-7570 (732) 932-3094 Map  

Center for Cultural Analysis

College Avenue Campus 15 Seminary Place, West Wing, Room 6107 New Brunswick, NJ (848) 932-7750 (732) 932-8683 Map

Writers House

College Avenue Campus Murray Hall, Room 035 510 George Street New Brunswick, NJ (848) 932-7380 (732) 932-1202 Map

Rutgers English Language Institute (RELI)

Livingston Campus Tillett Hall, Room 129 53 Avenue E Piscataway, NJ (848) 445-8182 (732) 445-0276 Map

Plangere Writing Center

College Avenue Campus Murray Hall, Room 304 510 George Street New Brunswick, NJ (848) 932-1149 (732) 932-5339

Livingston Writing Center

Livingston Campus Lucy Stone Hall, B Wing, Room 104A 54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue New Brunswick, NJ (848) 445-4048 (732) 445-5654

Douglass Writing Center

Douglass Campus 135 George Street, Room 101 New Brunswick, NJ (848) 932-8856 (732) 932-3054

Writers House Office

Writers House is an undergraduate learning community at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.  Writers House provides a gateway to the experience of creativity and serves as a laboratory for developing expression in all the media of the twenty-first century. At Writers House, students can work on poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, autobiography, grantwriting, nature writing, and screenwriting. They can also collaborate on documentary filmmaking, multimedia composition, and web design. The goal of Writers House is to give our students direct access to writing’s constructive powers.  The entrance to Writers House has no doors. All are welcome.

Graduate Information for English Faculty

This section is provided for Rutgers English Faculty. Please visit this section of the Website for up-to-date Graduate Program information on deadlines, forms, and memos. Deadlines  2021-22 Deadlines Forms Course Request Form 2022-2023 Dissertation Director's Evaluation Student Evaluation Form Student Evaluation Form (MTA Students) Memos Adviser's Handbook Course Offerings for 2022-2023 Distribution Requirements Reporting on Final Grades Funding

Undergraduate Information

FORMS SAS Core Assessment: Directions for Completing the SAS Core Curriculum Assessment Report Core Curriculum Assessment Form CRC Generic Rubrics for Core Goals Core Courses (SAS) English Lit  Departmental Assessment: Directions for Completing Departmental Assessment Forms English Department Assessment Form English Department Learning Goals Defined Undergraduate English Courses- Full List

The Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching is Rutgers University's highest honor for outstanding and innovative performance in the classroom by a tenured faculty member. It is named in memory of Professor Susman, a prominent cultural historian and popular teacher. Professor Emily C. Bartels 2009 Susman Award makes her the thirteenth English Department professor to receive this honor. Rutgers English is home to more Susman Award winners than any other department. 2020 - Richard Dienst 2019 - Meredith McGill 2009 - Emily C. Bartels 2006 - John A. McClure 2004 - Ronald Levao 2003 - Marianne DeKoven 1999 - Carolyn Williams 1997 - Cheryl A. Wall  1996 - Ann Baynes Coiro 1994 - Harriet Davidson 1993 - Daniel A. Harris   1990 - Thomas R. Edwards  1989 - Bridget G. Lyons  1987 - Maurice M. Charney  1985 - Barry V. Qualls

The Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research

The Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research is Rutgers University's highest honor for outstanding research contributions to a discipline or to society by a tenured faculty member. 2020 - Rebecca Walkowitz 2012 - John Kucich 2006 - Cheryl A. Wall 2005 - Marianne DeKoven 2004 - William H. Galperin  2002 - Michael Warner  1998 - Bruce Robbins  1997 - John Belton 1996 - Susan Crane 1995 - Myra Jehlen 1994 - Derek Attridge  1992 - Michael McKeon 1990 - George Levine 1987 - Alicia Ostriker 1984 - Elaine Showalter 1982 - John Richetti  1978 - Richard Poirer 1971  - Paul Fussell 1967  - Frances Ferguson 

The Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award

This award, sponsored by the Rutgers College Class of 1962, recognizes distinguished, uncompensated service that reaches beyond the university community. 2001 - Barry V. Qualls 1992 - Abena P.A. Busia 1991 - Carol Smith 1987 - Cheryl A. Wall

The Rutgers Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award

The Scholar-Teacher Award was established in 2000 to honor tenured professors who make exceptional connections between their academic research and their teaching. Professor Spellmeyer is the first faculty member in English to receive this award. 2010 - Carolyn Williams 2006 - Richard E. Miller 2004 - Kurt Spellmeyer

The Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence

The Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence honors faculty members who have recently been promoted with tenure and whose work shows exceptional promise. 2012 - David Kurnick 2011 - Evie Shockley 2009 - Gregory S. Jackson  

The Presidential Fellowships for Teaching Excellence

The Presidential Fellowships for Teaching Excellence is a newly created award that honors newly tenured faculty members for outstanding teaching and scholarly work. 2012 - Ann Jurecic 2011 - Evie Shockley 2009 - Gregory S. Jackson 2009 - Edlie L. Wong  

NJ CASE Professor of the Year

The award was established in 1981 by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), an international organization that works in cooperation with the Carnegie Foundation and various higher-education associations in its administration. The award recognizes a professor's impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contribution to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students. 2006 - Barry V. Qualls

SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education

SAS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education is the highest teaching award given to Rutgers faculty holding the rank of Associate Professor. 2009 - Emily C. Bartels2006 - Martin Gliserman

DeKoven, Marianne

Ian, Marcia

Jehlen, Myra

McClure, John A.

Smith, Carol H.

Articles "Review of The Peculiarity of Literature: An Allegorical Approach to Poe's Fiction" American Literature 70.3, September 1998 "Review of The Men of 1914" American Literature 62.2, June 1990

Levine, George

Brown, Wesley


Ostriker, Alicia S.

Kusch, Robert

Dowling, William C.

Qualls, Barry V.

Sadoff, Dianne F.

Curriculum Vitae Other Publications “Charles Dickens” (co-edited with John Kucich) The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (ed. Nancy Armstrong, 2006) “‘Appeals to Incalculability’: Sex, Costume Drama, and The Golden Bowl” Henry James Review 23, 2002 “‘Hallucinations of Intimacy’: The Henry James Movies” Henry James at the Movies (2002) “Histories of the Present” Victorian Afterlife: Contemporary Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century (co-edited with John Kucich, 2000) “‘Intimate Disarray’: The Henry James Movies” Henry James Review 19.3, Fall 1998 "The Father, Castration, and Female Fantasy in Jane Eyre" Jane Eyre: A Casebook (ed. Beth Newman, 1996) "'Experiments Made By Nature': Mapping the Nineteenth-Century Hysterical Body"  Victorian Newsletter 81, Spring l992 "Looking at Tess: The Female Figure in Two Narrative Media" The Sense of Sex: Feminist Perspectives on Thomas Hardy (ed. Margaret Higgonet, 1992) "Romola: Trauma, Memory, and Repression" George Eliot (ed. K.M. Newton 1992) Awards and DistinctionsProfessional Memberships and Affiliations Visiting Scholar, Department of English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2002-3 Visiting Scholar, Beatrice Bain Research Group, University of California, Berkeley, l991-2 Guggenheim Fellowship, 1990-1 Editorial Board, Neo-Victorian Studies, 2007- Editorial Board, Atlantis, 2005- Other Information of Interest "Dianne F. Sadoff" - New Faculty Profile by Carolyn Williams (Future Traditions Magazine, Issue 1)

Ellis, Kate

Other Publications "Charlotte Smith's Subversive Gothic." Feminist Studies 3.3/4, Spring - Summer, 1976. 51-55 "Paradise Lost: The Limits of Domesticity in the Nineteenth-Century Novel."Feminist Studies 2. 2/3, 1975. 55-63 "The Function of Northrop Frye at the Present Time." College English 31.6, Mar., 1970. 541-547  

Belton, John

Koszarski, Richard

Awards, Affiliations, Distinctions and Fellowships Bergen County Historic Preservation Award for Fort Lee, The Film Town, 2005 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2003 Prix Jean Mitry, Giornate del Cinema Muto, 1991 Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915-1923, 1991 National Film Book Award for The Man You Loved to Hate: Erich von Stroheim and Hollywood, 1984 American Council of Learned Societies, Research grant, 1978 Other Publications "Nancy Naumburg: Vassar Revolutionary" Film History: An International Journal 18, 2006 "'It's No Use to Have an Unhappy Man': Paul Fejos at Universal"Film History: An International Journal 17, 2005 "Flu season: Moving Pictured World reports on pandemic influenza, 1918-19" Film History: An International Journal 17, 2005

Davidson, Harriet

Other Departmental and University Positions Dean, Douglass Residential College and Douglass Campus Other Information of Interest Teaching the Teachers, by Sarah Beetham 

Kucich, John

Other Departmental and University Positions Dean, Douglass Residential College and Douglass Campus Other Information of Interest New British Studies Center Positions Rutgers as Venue for Interdisciplinary Scholarship "Modernity and the Native American: Kate Flint Delivers Opening Lecture" by John Kucich (Future Traditions Magazine, Issue 2) "Making History at Rutgers: A Conference on Rethinking Master Narratives" by John Kucich (Future Traditions Magazine, Issue 2) "John Kucich" - New Faculty Profiles by Barry V. Qualls(Future Traditions Magazine, Issue 1)

McKeon, Michael

Other Departmental and University Positions EmeritusDepartment Graduate Studies (DGS), director School of Arts and Sciences Committee on Gender Equity, member University British Studies Center (RBSC), co-founder; director University Promotion Review Committee (PRC), member University Search Committee for Executive Dean, member University Committee on Academic Planning and Review (CAPR), member Other Information of Interest Visiting Professorships Washington University, St. Louis, Fall, 1980 Brandeis University, 1986-1987 Princeton University, 1989-1990, Spring, 1991 Université de Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle, Spring, 2008 Universidad de Granada, Spain, March: 2010-2013, 2015-2017 Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, May, 2012 La Sapienza, Università di Roma, Fall, 2016  

Miller, Jacqueline T.

Other Departmental and University Positions Associate Director of Undergraduate Program

Busia, Abena P.A.

Dienst, Richard

Stealing Beauty

The summer after I completed sixth grade, I traveled overseas for the first time. I went with my sister, my mother, her band of teachers, and some sixty undergraduates on their way to six weeks of intensive language training in Tours.

Giving Inspiration

While having an espresso the other day, I was struck by the word. Espresso comes from the same Latin root that gives us “expression.” The coffee is denser and more intense because hot water is forced at high pressure through finely-ground beans. Like expression, espresso is literally pressed out, generated under pressure.

Transforming Undergraduate Education

Since April 2004, we have been debating undergraduate education at Rutgers– New Brunswick, sometimes even shouting about it. At that time, President Richard L. McCormick and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip Furmanski convened the Task Force on Undergraduate Education to ensure that “undergraduate education is, and will be, a priority of discussion every year at Rutgers, not just when a committee has produced a report.”

FT Magazine

Rutgers Writing Program

The Rutgers Writing Program provides instruction to over 11,000 undergraduate students yearly.  We offer required writing classes and advanced courses in Business & Technical Writing, all of which prepare students to succeed throughout their academic careers at Rutgers and beyond.

English Faculty

The Department of English at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is regularly ranked as one of the top twenty English departments in the nation. Our faculty are recognized for their commitment to pursuing historically-grounded and theoretically-informed research across the full span of literary production. They are active leaders and participants in many of the university's strongest interdisciplinary centers, including the Center for Cultural Analysis. Each year, our faculty are recognized and receive the university's top teaching and research awards. Several of our faculty have published award-winning books and have held prestigious fellowships, and many continue to serve on executive committees of member organizations and on the editorial boards of professional journals. We invite you to browse through this section to learn more about our dedicated award-winning faculty who, through their diverse scholarly pursuits and interests, continue to shape the future of the discipline of literary studies. Areas of Study MedievalEarly ModernEarly AmericanRestoration & Eighteenth CenturyRomanticNineteenth Century American VictorianTwentieth Century & Contemporary LiteraturePostcolonialAfrican American & African DiasporaCreative Writing DramaFilm & CinemaGender & SexualityPoetry & PoeticsTheoryWriting   Faculty Bookshelf


English Honors Program

The English Department Honors Program provides an opportunity for students to pursue a year-long independent project under the guidance of Department faculty. Students will typically choose one of two options: a critical/research thesis (resulting in something like a scholarly article in a particular field of literary studies) or a creative writing thesis (resulting in a collection of poetry, short stories, or draft of a novel). The Honors Program begins in the spring semester of junior year, and Honors students submit their completed thesis in late March of senior year. Application: Students interested in English Honors must register for the Junior Honors Proseminar (359:496), a 1.5-credit course running in the spring semester. Admittance to the program follows upon successful completion of the course, at which time students will have submitted a proposal (crafted during the junior proseminar) and secured the signature of an advisor who has agreed to supervise the project. In exceptional circumstances, later applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Complete the 2024-25 English Honors Application Form. The submission deadline for this year is May 10, 2024. In order to qualify for English Honors, students must be declared English majors (minors are not eligible) and meet the following requirements by the end of junior year: Minimum 3.0 GPA overall Minimum of 3.6 in English Courses Coursework completed or in progress: 359:201; and at least one 400-level 358 or 359 course for a critical/research thesis, or a 400-level 351 course for a creative writing thesis. (Students—especially transfer students—with strong records of achievement who have not fulfilled these course requirements by the end of the junior year can still submit an application. Such applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.) Written agreement of a professor who will advise their thesis. Advisers must be faculty members in the English Department’s Literature or Creative Writing programs at the rank of Assistant Professor/Assistant Teaching Professor or higher. If you have questions about any of these requirements, contact Savannah Porcelli, Students wishing to complete an English honors project in conjunction with the Honors College, SAS Honors, or other College Honors Programs will be required to secure the approval of both the Undergraduate Director and the appropriate College Dean at the end of the spring semester of the junior year. The project will have to be framed to satisfy both sets of requirements and expectations. Credits:  A successful Honors project will earn a total of 9 credits. In the spring of junior year, all potential honors students will enroll the Junior Honors Seminar (359:496, 1.5 credits). In senior year, students will register for the Senior Honors Seminar (359:497, 1.5 credits) and two semesters of Independent Study Honors Tutorial (359:498 and 359:499, 3 credits each). The completed thesis will be evaluated by the advisor and a second reader. A grade of B+ or better will be required in order to earn the Honors designation. Coursework:  Before being formally admitted to the program, juniors interested in exploring the honors option must enroll in the Junior Honors Tutorial (359:496). The course is non-binding: students can opt out if they decide honors is not for them. It will introduce the research or creative writing process, and prepare students to submit their proposal and find an advisor. Students who are studying abroad or have other obligations that take them off campus in the spring of junior year will be able to join the course remotely. Over the fall of senior year, honors students produce the first drafts of their manuscripts, obtain feedback on drafts from their advisor. The Honors Director and Advisor will find a second reader who will provide comments on the Fall semester draft and will serve as thesis examiner. In the spring of senior year, students will continue revising drafts of their thesis, which will be completed and submitted in mid-March. Each student will make a brief public presentation at the annual Honors Symposium, held at the end of April. Winners of Honors awards will be presented with their prizes at the same event, including the Jordan Flyer Prize for the best Honors thesis. Grades: The grade for these courses will be determined in light of the student's thesis and their participation in the honors seminars. An Honors Committee, chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, will make the final determination of the level of honors (honors or high honors) to be awarded based upon the recommendations of the advisor and second reader, and upon the thesis itself. The Honors Director for 2022-23 is Professor Stacy Klein. She can be contacted at:


The English Department encourages all majors to meet with an adviser regularly. We also encourage potential majors to speak with a faculty adviser before declaring their major. You may stop in Murray Hall 104 or 106 and speak with an advisor or consult the open advising schedule for additional times. All full-time faculty members are available to advise students at any point during the year. You do not need to select an advisor officially; simply visit the faculty member's office hours, or call during that time to make an appointment. Consult the faculty list to find someone whose academic interests mesh with you own. You should meet with an advisor AT LEAST once a year to discuss available courses as well as options and specializations within the major. Advisers can also provide guidance concerning your plans for a career or graduate school. If at any time you have a question, a suggestion, or a complaint, you can contact the Undergraduate Director (Murray 104).   Advising Online Form Faculty Profiles  

Annual Contests and Awards

Guidelines for the contests & awards are typically posted during the month of February.   Please take note of varying conditions of eligibility. Submit all work using the appropriate forms, linked below. 2024 deadline to submit: Monday, March 18th at 11:59pm 2024 award winners will be announced via email on Thursday, April 4th. Rules for applying: Submissions MUST be sent through the appropriate forms, linked below. There are two forms: one for creative writing awards, one for coursework awards. Prose and essay submissions must use double spacing, 12-point font, and 1-inch margins, and be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Your name or your professor's name MUST NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON WORK (with the exception of multimedia submissions where this is not possible). Label each individual document as the title of the work (for a set of poems, use the title of the first poem). You may submit to each award that you are eligible for, but you may only submit one entry per award. You may submit the same work to multiple awards, as long as it meets the eligibility requirements for each. You will need to fill out one complete form for each entry.  The work you submit need not have been written for a class, unless indicated in the requirements. Work written for a previous class is still eligible to submit. You can submit work previously published elsewhere, as long as it is ORIGINAL work. Conversely, even if your work is selected as a winner, you retain all rights and may submit it to publications.     Awards and Contests for Creative Writing Winners of the 2024 creative writing awards will be invited to present at the annual creativity showcase, which will take place on Wednesday, April 24th at 6pm in Murray Hall. Academy of American Poets Enid Dame Memorial Poetry Prize Open to all undergraduates Maximum of 5 poems may be submitted $100 cash prize for best poem(s) Evelyn Hamilton Awards in Creative Writing Open to all undergraduates Awarded for the best original story, creative non-fiction, or poem(s) Please label works as creative non-fiction, fiction, or poetry                    8 pages maximum English Department Annual Literary Fiction Writing Award Open to all undergraduates Awarded to the best short story or excerpt of literary fiction Genre fiction (fantasy, romance, thriller, etc.) will NOT be accepted    18 pages maximum  Composing in New Media Prize Open to all undergraduates Awarded to a multimedia composition, documentary film, digital story, graphic narrative, or any work in new media Send submissions electronically Open Only to Undergraduate Douglass Women in New Brunswick: Julia Carlie Prize Open only to undergraduate Douglass women Prize awarded for original poetry 8 pages maximum Edna N. Herzberg Prizes in Creative Writing Open only to undergraduate Douglass women Prize awarded for fiction or poetry Please label works as fiction or poetry 8 pages maximum Click here for the 2024 creative writing awards submission form.   Awards and Contests for Coursework James Suydam Prize in English Composition Awarded to the best essay on a topic of the writer’s choice of contemporary social, political, or educational significance Minimum length 5 pages 8-10 pages maximum Irving D. Blum Prize Awarded for the best essay submitted for a regular course assignment Essays may be in original form or revised, but should be retyped and free of instructor’s marks and comments 8-10 pages maximum English Department Faculty Prize Awarded to an outstanding essay written in coursework Essays will be judged on substance and style 8-10 pages maximum Jamima Dingus Qualls Prize Awarded to the best undergraduate essay on women writers or feminist issues in English or American Literature 8-10 pages maximum Open Only to Undergraduate Douglass Women in New Brunswick: Ernest W. Thomas Memorial Prize for Interpretation of Shakespearean Works Open only to undergraduate Douglass women Awarded to the best paper submitted for a regular course assignment concerning Shakespeare’s works 8 pages maximum Edna N. Herzberg Prize in Essay Open only to undergraduate Douglass women Awarded to best paper submitted for a regular course assignment concerning American literature 8 pages maximum Click here for the 2024 coursework awards submission form.   The English Department reserves the right not to give a prize or award if no entries are judged to be of sufficiently high quality. Questions? Contact Savannah Porcelli at 

Frequently Asked Questions

  Are there any courses that English Majors must take? When should I take English 201 and English 202? Is there any easy way to tell what courses count for which requirement? Can I use one course to satisfy more than one requirement? Do I need to take a seminar? How do transfer students know which credits count toward the major?   Q1. Are there any courses that English Majors must take? A1. Yes. Every English major must take English 201 (01:359:201)  Q2. When should I take English 201? A2. The title of the course is Principles of Literary Study. As the name tells you, the  course is meant to introduce you to the elements of literary interpretation, and to teach you how to write the critical essays you will be asked to write in upper-level English courses.  You may take this course after you have completed the prerequisite: Expository Writing (355:101). Q3. Is there any easy way to tell what courses count for which requirement? A3. Yes.  Courses which fulfill the period requirements, the African-American, and the Global South Literature requirements bear the prefix 358.  Courses which fulfill the theory requirement bear prefix 359.  354:385 and 354:420 also fulfill the theory requirement.  The literary theory requirement can be fulfilled by 200-level as well as 300-level and 400-level courses.  200-level courses do not fulfill the period requirements, the African American, or the Global South requirements. Q4. Can I use one course to satisfy more than one requirement? A4. Yes.  You may use the appropriate single course to satisfy up to two requirements. Q5. Do I need to take a seminar? A5.  Yes. All majors must take a Senior Seminar at the 400 level. To take a Senior Seminar, you must have completed English 201 with a grade of C or better.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  You may take more than one Senior Seminar, but you must complete one with a grade of C or better to graduate as an English major. Q6. How do transfer students know which credits count toward the major? A6. Bring your transcript, which shows what transfer credits your college has accepted, to the Undergraduate Office (Murray 104).  The Undergraduate Director will determine which courses count.  (You can help in this decision if you also bring any pertinent course descriptions, syllabi, and papers from the courses in question.)  

Minor in English

The minor consists of 18 credits in English above the 100 level, including at least 12 credits at or above the 300 level.  All minors are required to take at least one 300- or 400-level course designated as Medieval, Renaissance, or Restoration/Eighteenth-century literature.  

Minor in Creative Writing

The Minor in Creative Writing gives students a rigorous background in the fundamentals of creative work by providing them with the opportunity to study with established poets, prose writers, and dramatists. At the same time, the minor also ensures that students pursue creative work within the larger context of academic study. The curriculum (21 credits) begins with a foundational course in creative writing, followed by a series of electives in a variety of genres and media, culminating in an advanced workshop. Concurrently with their course work in creative writing, students are also required to elect a total of two courses from the English department’s offerings in literature (358), theory and methods (359), or film (354), thus further coordinating their creative pursuits with critical study.

Minor in Business and Technical Writing

Minor in Business and Technical Writing

Research Resources

Research resources for English majors at Rutgers: Alexander LibraryBe sure to click on the Log In link in the upper left corner.  This will allow you access to the full online resources of Alexander Library, wherever you are. If you click on “Research Resources,” for example, and then “Indexes and Databases” you can search the OED, the MLA Bibliography, JSTOR, ProjectMuse and many, many other invaluable tools. Guide to Research for English Majors  


This information will be forthcoming...

Romantic Literature

From the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century, Romanticists revolted against classicism and rationalism. Romanticism championed humanism, emotion, and the senses over rationality and intellect. In England, Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads is cited as the first entry into Romantic literature. Poets such as Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Blake were all part of the Romantic Movement in England; other European Romanticists include Goethe, Dumas, and Pushkin. In America, Romanticism manifested itself in transcendentalism, seen in the writings of Emerson and Thoreau. Poe, Longfellow, and Whitman also wrote works in the vein of Romantic literature. 

Victorian Literature

The development of the modern novel during the eighteenth century came to fruition during the Victorian age. Novelists such as Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Lewis Carroll and the Brontë sisters all wrote during this period. Poets working during this time included Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Rudyard Kipling. The Victorian era occupied a space between the preceding Romantic style and the impending literature of the 20th century.

Stealing Beauty

STEALING BEAUTY by Richard E. Miller  The summer after I completed sixth grade, I traveled overseas for the first time. I went with my sister, my mother, her band of teachers, and some sixty undergraduates on their way to six weeks of intensive language training in Tours. I'd like to say I was the perfect companion, but the mind of a twelve-year-old boy is not home to particularly nuanced thoughts. Everything about the experience annoyed me - the tours of the museums, the unfamiliar language, the undergraduates, the food. What really drove me crazy, though, was the role cameras played at every event: ubiquitous, they were always at the ready, not only shaping the experience for the camera holders, but actually standing in for the experience of seeing. On the precipice of adolescence, I floated on a sea of superiority and took no pictures. My relationship to photography remained unchanged until the arrival of affordable digital cameras. During my past two sabbaticals, I walked the streets of European towns, wandered down country paths, and scrabbled up hillsides in search of a view - letting the camera serve as both a teacher and a prosthesis, allowing it to literalize the act of focusing, letting it open me to the possibility of being in the moment. For brief periods of time, I could slow down and feel my endlessly nattering inner monologue subside. W riting has always met my need for calm reflection. But, when the English department received a gift to establish an undergraduate learning community committed to writing, the question of what writing is at this moment in history took on a fresh urgency. Could we create a learning community for students who are born digital - who experience reading and writing, first and foremost, with computers, cell phones, instant messaging, and Facebook? Is calm reflection a part of the digital world? Fortunately, in designing the learning community that has since become Writers House, we never had to choose between a space for digital students and a space for students more comfortable in a world of paper and print. At Writers House, we decided, writing would be broadly construed - a phrase that imagined members of this learning community producing poetry, plays, and fiction, but also documentary films, visual essays, spoken word performances, podcasts, and graphic narratives. So, we built three seminar rooms to engage students with the written word, an instructional space to promote collaborative writing with new media, and a lounge where students could meet and talk about their work. Then we stepped back to see what would happen. These snapshots of co-curricular programming during the first year at Writers House stand out in my mind: the establishment of the Bookmark Series, where recently-published Rutgers faculty from various disciplines discussed the inspiration for their scholarly projects with an audience of undergraduates; the first Writers House Student Film Festival, where student projects from our documentary filmmaking and digital storytelling courses were screened to a standing room only crowd; and Alison Bechdel, author of the bestselling graphic memoir, Fun Home, describing how digital photography has transformed her composing process. There was also this: Mark Doty, who read in the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series and returned on another occasion to give a lecture on mourning in Leaves of Grass. He later accepted our offer to join the English department as a Distinguished Writer and to assist in further developing the programming for Writers House. There's more, of course, but finally there is this: when we designed the student lounge, we installed a set of track lights that cast these words on the wall: beauty, connection, inspiration, expression, imagination, creativity, horizon, now. They were meant to incite conversation and reflection, but, at some point in the spring semester, someone made off with the light and the lens that had the word beauty etched into it. In a world where beauty is often lost among the clutter, the aspirations, the disappointments, the anxieties of everyday life, I was, in an odd way, charmed by this theft. It literalized our hopes that our students would strive to make a place for beauty in their lives. Stealing beauty, one moment at a time, I thought. Leaving room for beauty. The blank wall as an open invitation to compose. Because we're a university and not a museum, we expect wear and tear, even some low level of vandalism, as students move through our hallways, as they settle in, as they test out and try on new ideas. Learning is, of necessity, a messy business; it involves stumbles and falls, the pushing of boundaries, and the encounter with what is yet unknown. Do we need to replace the missing light? I'm of two minds. The arguments for replacing it are self-evident. But, I am drawn to the idea that Writers House is a place where beauty is in abundance - as a topic of conversation, an ideal, an enigma, the vibrant result of a thriving learning community in action. There's the word on the wall and there's the ineffable, evanescent activity. One is easily replaced. The other can only be realized moment by moment and thus can never be stolen. At Writers House beauty isn't something that hangs on a wall or gets projected on a screen; it's something we're trying to do. We thank you for your continued support. It's been an extraordinary year, as the following pages attest. We've added several new sections in this issue of Future Traditions Magazine to capture the multifaceted life of the department, our faculty, our students, our alumni, and our friends. It's our biggest issue yet. We value your input and, as always, invite your feedback. Keep on giving.  

Giving Inspiration

GIVING INSPIRATION by Carolyn Williams  While having an espresso the other day, I was struck by the word. Espresso comes from the same Latin root that gives us expression. The coffee is denser and more intense because hot water is forced at high pressure through finely-ground beans. Like expression, espresso is literally pressed out, generated under pressure. The meaning of this little analogy is that pressure is important to the creative process. (So too, perhaps, are heat and a finely-ground texture; but I won't take the metaphor too far.) Pressure can be a good thing, an inspirational force. We were certainly under pressure during the exciting process of creating Writers House on the ground floor of Murray Hall. In February 2007, Rutgers alumnus Thomas J. Russell - who holds a BA in biological science (1957) and a PhD in physiology (1961) - made a generous gift that enabled us to begin a process that unfolded at a breakneck pace. As a result of the efforts of an overwhelming number of people who worked through the summer to make this dream a reality, Writers House was opened to students by the fall semester of 2007. The inspiration for Writers House was also a team effort. Inspiration literally means in-breathing, with the implication that inspiration is given from without. In classical antiquity, the idea was that the Godhead comes down, comes in, and fills the poet with divine breath. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a secularized version of the idea gained prominence. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, for example, used the image of the Aeolian harp as a figure for poetic inspiration. Also called a wind harp, an Aeolian harp was a stringed instrument that could be placed in a window, hung in a tree, or placed on a hill so that when the wind blew across its strings, the harp produced music. According to this model, the poet still receives inspiration from outside, but the wind is no longer imagined as divine breath. More and more, since then, imagination, genius, and inspiration have been theorized as internal qualities. Unlike skill, those qualities were characterized by irrationality, since no one could explain how one could depend on getting access to them. Dreams, visions, even madness can contribute to a refreshed sense of perception, helping one to think outside the box. But we shouldn't forget that there are still plenty of sources of inspiration outside the self. To think of inspiration as a solitary matter is a myth well worth debunking. The Muses have their modern counterparts in colleagues and friends who add to, shape, and expand a project together, in time. Writers House is a great example of the communal, cumulative growth of such a vision. But there is another sense in which inspiration still comes from without, for a feeling of being inspired comes periodically when you are totally immersed in the process of creation. It feels as if inspiration comes as a gift - in a sudden eureka moment, for example - but these bursts of inspiration tend to occur when one is devoting time, day after day, to the process. I'm reminded of a related myth about creativity, also worth debunking: that expression means self-expression. It can be disabling to think that we must express our selves, when there's so much more out there to express than that. Think about the terrible command: Express yourself! I'm sure most students are more intimidated than enabled by this command. How frustrating the demand for self-expression can seem, until we realize that it's something like writing, a process that must be done again and again and again. All writing is really revision, and inspiration comes during the process - not before the process begins. And this is where pressure comes in. What forces can press the thoughts, feelings, ideas, images, and voices out of us? A course, an assignment, a waiting audience, a writing group, a self-generated plan of so many words per day, or so many minutes spent writing - all these can produce the necessary pressure toward expression. So too can the hope that we might lend inspiration to others. When engaged in writing as a process, we are submitting to a regular discipline of pressure - not too much, not too little - under which expression will emerge. Unclear and inchoate at first, it will take shape in time. Then, too, the pressure must be periodically alleviated. During those times of relaxation - times of play, sleep, dreams, listening, watching - ideas will come, as long as you're involved in the process enough so that you know them when you sense them. This is how a voice - and even a sense of self - is created, through successive experiences of concentration and relaxation, pressure and its release. True for all forms of traditional writing, this model of inspiration and expression is also true for the expanded sense of creative writing we are developing in Writers House. There, writing, broadly construed, includes digital and web-based forms of writing as well as essays, poems, plays, and fiction. If we want to help our students come into voice, what we really must do is give them enough confidence in the writing process so they will believe and know that a voice will come into being. Learning how to go through the process is what's important. Voice is not an essence; it is a practice. In this sense, inspiration can't be given. It must be taken.  

Transforming Undergraduate Education

TRANSFORMING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION by Barry V. Qualls   Since April 2004, we have been debating undergraduate education at Rutgers - New Brunswick, sometimes even shouting about it. At that time, President Richard L. McCormick and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip Furmanski convened the Task Force on Undergraduate Education to ensure that undergraduate education is, and will be, a priority of discussion every year at Rutgers, not just when a committee has produced a report. They directed the committee to find the answers to two essential questions: What is a Rutgers education? and What does it mean to be a graduate of Rutgers? If we have not fully answered those questions yet, we have certainly put in place many changes and much that is new, all designed to provide our students, faculty, and support staff the incentives for answering them. The task force report entitled Transforming Undergraduate Education, the discussions that followed the report, the president's recommendations, and the implementation process all led to the arrival, in September 2007, of the first class admitted to a reorganized Rutgers- New Brunswick. Not since Rutgers College become a co-ed college in 1971, and not since the colleges lost their faculties to the new Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the reorganization process of 1980, has the university witnessed such sweeping and revolutionary changes. We now have a rationally organized system for all of Rutgers - New Brunswick - including the new School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and, succeeding Cook College, the new School of Environmental and Biological Sciences - and our students are enrolled in schools whose faculty are responsible for admissions, general education, and graduation policies. I am convinced that new and returning students have seen the benefits at once. The Byrne Family First-Year Seminar Program, which offer courses limited to 20 students and are taught only by tenured and tenure-track faculty, have generated excitement among students, parents, faculty, and well-nigh everyone who hears about the seminar program. Last year, over 1,500 students signed up for one of over 100 seminars. For the 2008-2009 academic year, we are offering 130 seminars, enough for 2,800 entering students. In addition, we created a new Office of Fellowships and Postgraduate Guidance to assist students applying for external fellowships like the Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Goldwater, and Truman. This past year, three Rutgers University undergraduates earned Gates fellowships to pursue graduate work at the University of Cambridge; only Harvard University equaled this number. We now have SAS advising offices located on every campus, and, for the first time, a consistent set of arts and science requirements that allow faculty to be active advisers of students. We have a Douglass Residential College, succeeding and inheriting the distinguished histories of the New Jersey College for Women and Douglass College, and which annually enrolls a class of 350 students who share curricular and co-curricular experiences focusing on womens leadership. We have more resources for the University College Community, and we have special offices on the Livingston Campus to welcome non-traditional and transfer students needing specific advising. These changes have not been simple; they have been and are stressful - but, ultimately, rewarding. Our goal is to establish a research culture as the norm for the campus undergraduate environment at Rutgers - New Brunswick. For this reason, we ask our students to rethink their role as students and to engage actively with the resources all around them. We ask our faculty to assume more accountability for undergraduate students and to make connecting to students and their academic interests a priority. We ask our support staff to provide an environment of support, advice, and direction that sustains the undergraduate experience. To do this, all of us need retraining - I know I am doing things of which I was ignorant only two years ago, and I have been at Rutgers for 37 years. At Rutgers - New Brunswick, we have been rethinking what we do and how we do it so that we can become more effective emissaries of the research mission that defines Rutgers as a great public university. Our work lives have changed. And this change is making a world of difference for our students.  

The Byrne Family First-Year Semnar Program

THE BYRNE FAMILY FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR PROGRAM by Amy Meng The first year at any university or college can be overwhelming for students. This is especially true for students attending a university the size of Rutgers. Recognizing this issue, the Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate Education introduced the Byrne Family First-Year Seminar Program last year in order to provide a unique learning and intellectual experience for first-year students. Limited in size to 20 students, seminars in the program are taught by distinguished and world-famous professors from across the university and from all the professional schools. Last fall semester, I enrolled in a Byrne seminar taught by Professor Richard E. Miller. The seminar, entitled Thomas Paine's Common Sense: An Exercise in Reading in Slow Motion, encouraged students to cultivate close reading as a practical skill for college. In addition, our seminar meetings generated innovative ideas about the role of the humanities at Rutgers, in the academy, and in our lives. Intrigued with the vision that Professor Miller presented, I, and two other students in the seminar, approached him at the end of the semester to ask how we could become more involved with the English department. We were each given a different internship, based on our interests in the humanities; because of my interest in publishing, I was assigned to work on this issue of Future Traditions Magazine. Next year, the Byrne Family First-Year Seminar Program will offer 130 seminars on a range of topics in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Below are four seminars that will be offered by Rutgers English faculty: POETS OF NEW JERSEY Carolyn Williams What does it mean to be a poet of place? How does growing up or living in a particular region affect a writer's view of the world? This seminar will focus on a number of poets who have called New Jersey home, including some of America's greatest and most-known: Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, and Robert Pinsky, a Rutgers University alumnus and the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. We will also read and discuss the work of several current and former Rutgers English faculty members, including Alicia Ostriker, Evie Shockley, Miguel Algarín, and Rachel Hadas. The seminar will include a day-trip to the Dodge Poetry Festival in Stanhope, New Jersey, where we will get a taste of the current poetry scene in New Jersey. Students will also participate in creating a short anthology of New Jersey poets. DEEP READING: NOVELS AND COMPUTERS Martin Gliserman How do we make meaning from reading a story? This seminar will directly engage students in textual research, learning to use several straightforward computer programs to open up a new way of seeing a text: as a matrix of words, akin to a neural network. We will be reading one novel (possibly two short novels), and opening up its inner semantic connections with the help of software. We will examine the body, the built world, and the raw universe; and we will trace some of the dynamics within and among those zones. This seminar aims to make the process of making meaning more transparent and accessible as well as more precise. Readings may include F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby or Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: EVERYBODY'S PROTEST NOVEL, EVERYBODY'S RACIST NOVEL Barry V. Qualls Harriet Beecher Stowe's antislavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was an immediate bestseller and became the most widely read English-language novel in the world during the nineteenth century. Yet, more than 150 years after its publication, this famous novel continues to generate debate and anger: it is accused of stereotypical depictions of its black characters, of inappropriate language, and, at the extreme, of undermining black freedom struggles. In this seminar we will read this controversial novel and examine its afterlife when it entered popular culture around the world. We will ask the questions: What is a protest novel? What is a stereotype and what are the uses of stereotypes? We'll meet the characters who lived on the page and evaluate for ourselves the multilayered literacy, cultural, and racial meanings of a book that changed American history. EDGAR ALLAN POE AND THE NEW MEDIA OF THE 1840s Meredith L. McGill Edgar Allan Poe is widely known for his invention of and innovation in a number of popular literary genres: the locked-room mystery, science fiction, the gothic tale, and the newspaper hoax. This seminar will use digital databases of nineteenth century American periodicals to examine the relationship between Poe's writing ad the rapidly expanding print media of the 1840s. Students will explore how Poe's literary experiments with genre reflect his understanding of the opportunities presented by new media, and how his innovative use of popular print might speak to our twenty-first century experience of media shift.  

What is a Learning Community

WHAT IS A LEARNING COMMUNITY by Marie T. Logue   In the fall semester of 2007, new students who were planning to major in psychology, economics or business, health and medicine, and law and politics were invited to live together in the Discovery House Program on the Livingston Campus, where they would share the same cluster of courses and special out-of-the-classroom activities related to their interest areas. One hundred students participated in the inaugural year of the program. We knew we were on to something big when the students in the Discovery House formed their own Facebook group by the second week and were already sharing information with each other. At the end of the spring semester, they reported that they would wholeheartedly recommend the Discovery House to other first-year students, noting that this new learning community helped them make friends more easily, form study groups, and learn about the resources available to them at Rutgers. Learning communities are not new to Rutgers, however. Douglass College inaugurated its French House in 1928 and, at Rutgers College, special interest housing has been a popular choice on the College Avenue Campus for many years. Performing arts students and creative writing students have long found a home in Demarest Hall. Students interested in exploring Latin culture founded Latin Images in Frelinghuysen Hall, and many students over the years chose to live in the Paul Robeson section in Mettler Hall, where they initiated programs like High School Outreach that were inspired by Robeson's passion for excellence. But learning communities are no longer exclusively made up of living/learning groups for language development or just organized around special interest topics. Now learning communities share a strong curricular and co-curricular link. For example: " All students in the Social Justice Learning Community were enrolled in the same sections of introductory courses on social justice and expository writing, and are members of a first-year interest group led by a peer instructor. Over the course of the year they met faculty and community activists and participated in a service learning alternate spring break trip. " Students in the RU-TV Living-Learning Community at Winkler Hall developed video for broadcast on the RU-TV network that reached over 13.000 students in residence, and, on a weekly basis, met with faculty from the Department of Journalism and Media Studies to discuss media literacy and historical perspectives on visual images, among other topics. Students need not live on campus to experience and benefit from the learning community structure. The Institute for Research on Women developed a model learning community last year that enabled 20 undergraduate students to work together with an advanced doctoral student to learn about the ongoing scholarship at the institute. The final presentations of the IRW students revealed that they had achieved a fine understanding of the nature of the research taking place around them at Rutgers. The impact of their experience could be seen in their plans for career shifts and internships in the immediate future. And there is Writers House, of course, which brings together students interested in creative writing, broadly construed. The Beyond the Cineplex Learning Community and the Wellness Learning Community will be introduced in the coming academic year as non-residential learning communities. What characterizes all the learning communities is the link between the learning taking place in the classroom and the active engagement in group project work outside the classroom. The Office of Undergraduate Education believes that learning communities are a powerful means of further involving undergraduates in the research life of the university. Many juniors and seniors now work closely with faculty on research projects either through departmental programs or the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates. But research learning communities located in the centers, bureaus, and institutes all over campus promise to provide that experience on a significantly larger scale to sophomores and those students just beginning to find their particular niche. Active engagement is the goal. Learning communities are just one way to get there.  

Jaya Bharne

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT JAYA BHARNE an East Brunswick, New Jersey resident, graduated in May 2007 with degrees in English and art history. While at Rutgers, she served as tutor and desk manager for the Plangere Writing Center. Her thesis, Word Made Flesh: The Poetics of Prose in Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body, which won the 2008 Jordan Flyer Honors Award, examined how Winterson uses poetics to transform the cliché and challenge the limits of language. She will teach English at an under-resourced high school with Teach for America starting in the fall, and she plans to pursue graduate studies in English literature in the near future. How did you come up with the idea for your research? Sophomore year, I took a class in twentieth century women's literature taught by graduate student Elizabeth Bredlau. I found myself inspired by the work of modern women writers, but Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body changed the way I read entirely. I was in awe of Winterson's captivating and stylish poetics and how deeply the themes of the novel were woven into its language. My thesis examined Winterson's attempt to write a love story that both embraced and rejected the linguistic clichés that preceded it, as well as her experimentation with the physical properties of language. In conducting your study, what experience have you had with the faculty at Rutgers? After taking a class on twentieth century poetry with Professor Harriet Davidson, I knew that her expertise in the field would help me in my very specific analysis of Winterson's linguistic experimentation. I was very lucky that she was the director of the Honors English Program, and that she agreed to be the reader for my project. Both she and Elizabeth Bredlau suggested that I speak with Professor Marianne DeKoven, who had worked previously on Winterson. They were the perfect compliments to my research, and allowed me to work at my own pace and in my own style. How has Rutgers prepared you for life after college? Tutoring has impressed upon me the endless and overwhelming opportunities that education can afford a person, in both roles of teacher and student. I decided to join Teach for America not only to perform service to a system badly in need of support, but also to satisfy my own desires for personal fulfillment through continuing education. When you are not studying or tutoring, how do you enjoy your free time? I love going into New York City. My favorite way to spend a day is to go to museums and talk about art with my friends. I think this fascination with experimental and avant-garde art has informed my literary taste in a fantastic way. What is one of the most memorable experiences you have had through Rutgers? I studied in Florence, Italy, for a semester through the Rutgers Study Abroad Program. While abroad, I learned to adjust my lifestyle to suit my environment, and I learned to cope with stress and to take care of myself. While I was there, I traveled all over Italy, as well as to Amsterdam and Barcelona, all places where art is an integral part of daily life. How has tutoring at the Plangere Writing Center helped you as a student-writer? I have read student work in such an objective way that I now understand what works in academic writing and what doesn't. Student writing is almost impossible to understand without exposing yourself to it constantly. Writing well is one of the most essential skills to have upon graduation, and I'm grateful that my tutoring experience helped me improve my own writng skills.  

Sara Grossman

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT SARA GROSSMAN, who graduated in May 2007, grew up on a large flower farm in South Jersey. While at Rutgers, she studied English literature and music history and developed an interest in poetry written about the country and about country houses. In her thesis, Containing the Country House Poem: Genre and Interpretation, she explored Andrew Marvell's country house poem, Upon Appleton House, and the problem of generic interpretation in the early modern period. She was the winner of the 2007 Irving Blum Prize for best undergraduate essay, and currently farms flowers in South Jersey with her father and three brothers. How did you come up with the idea for your research? My curiosity for country house literature began when I encountered Robert Frosts Mending Wall in a class I took with Professor Robert Kusch during my freshman year. The poem speaks, among many things, about the desire to build and maintain residential walls between neighbors. What excited me about the poem was the profound and delicate presence of nature against the human practice of maintaining barriers. I mark this reading as the moment I felt a real attachment to exploring the role of the natural in modern poets. In conducting your study, what experience have you had with the faculty at Rutgers? I first met Professor Michael McKeon as a sophomore in a Rutgers College Honors seminar on the early modern period. There were about six students in the class, and for three hours every week, we discussed some of the most intriguing issues in early modern studies. The following year, I enrolled in a class on travel narratives taught by Professor McKeon. I discovered that I had grown as a critical thinker from taking these classes. So I asked him to serve as advisor for my thesis. I trusted him as a mentor and felt I could really grow with him throughout the project. How has Rutgers prepared you for life after college? Along with the experience of taking a graduate level course during junior year, and acting as a mentor to younger students as a tutor at the Plangere Writing Center, Rutgers, and the English department in particular, has helped me develop a way of thinking about the world I live in. It is a way of seeing that I cultivated over the last four years under the guidance of some exceptional faculty members. In addition to Professor McKeon, I have benefited from the guidance of Professor Ann Baynes Coiro and Professor Jacqueline T. Miller during junior year, and Professor Richard Diesnt during senior year. Rutgers helped bring to fruition my ability to think about the choices I make in my life, so as to arrive at the most fulfilling destination. This is, perhaps, the best thing I could have for life after college. When you are not studying or tutoring, how do you enjoy your free time? I've made wonderful friends in the English department, and we try to get together once every week to share what we have been reading and writing. It has been surprising and pleasurable to watch our academic interests slowly transition into a set of social interests among friends. What is one of the most memorable experiences you have had through Rutgers? There was a moment during my senior year when I was walking up the path to Murray Hall late in the evening after a tremendous rainstorm. I stood for some time there and remember feeling overwhelmingly fulfilled, knowing that so much language and thought had existed in that building. It was in this moment of silence that I was able to fully appreciate having been part of a program that believes in growth through active dialogue.

Amy Meng

OUR FUTURE ALUMNI AMY MENG Class of 2001 What do you plan to major in? I hope to double major in English and Chinese, with a minor in art history. What type of goals do you have, both academically and personally? Academically, my goals are basic: I want to do the best I can in my classes, while keeping a balance between my schoolwork and personal life. In my personal life, I want to constantly challenge myself and others. How do you think Rutgers University will help you fulfill these goals? The areas I want to major in all have very strong departments, making these majors practical - and personally satisfying - options. Additionally, my internship with the English department has allowed me to become better acquainted with various professors and with the structure of the department. What do you feel is unique or exceptional about Rutgers? Practically every need or desire, be it academic, social, cultural, or otherwise, can be addressed at a school this size. The fun - and the challenge - comes in the search. What do you like to do outside of classes? I have been writing since I was six (and reading for even longer), and these continue to be my two favorite activities, outside of spending time with family and friends. Do you have any writing awards or recognitions? I received a Governor's Award in essay writing and was a semi-finalist in the National Foundation for Advancement in the Art's Presidential Scholars Program. Are there any poets or authors you find particularly inspiring? Marie Howe and William Faulkner are long-time favorites. What books are on your summer reading list? A few books I read this summer include: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I am currently reading Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin. What has been your proudest achievement to date? I am an alumna of the Governor's School for the Arts, a month-long program in New Jersey that, annually, accepts twelve writing students from the state. What are your plans for next year? Continue to do what I'm doing, and maybe try to attend more extracurricular events.  

Chris McGowan

OUR FUTURE ALUMNI CHRIS McGOWAN Class of 2020 What made you decide to be an English major? A major in English literature never felt limiting to me in the same way that other majors did. What type of goals do you have, both academically and personally? I want to be as prepared as possible for graduate school, which means becoming a better reader, a better writer, and a better worker. How do you think Rutgers University will help you fulfill these goals? I'm taking classes that I'm interested in, classes I know I'm going to really enjoy. I'm also working with some really wonderful professors. I'm very happy to be part of a place that allows me do that. What about literature appeals to you? Even your reading of a single text, a novel or a play, is so much about your reading of other material: writings in philosophy, psychoanalysis, history. What do you feel is unique or exceptional about Rutgers English? Rutgers English understands and responds to the student demand for creative writing courses, and provides the professors the technology for creative classes in new media. What do you like to do outside of classes? I play a lot of basketball, and I read political news online. What books are on your summer reading list? I read Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Vladimir Nabokov's Transparent Things, and, in preparation for my independent study with Professor Richard E. Miller in the fall semester, The Oedipus Cycle. I'm now in the middle of Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. What stands out most to you about your sophomore year? My two Shakespeare classes with Professor Ron Levao and my literary theory class with Professor Henry S. Turner. In hindsight, what would you change about sophomore year? I would have taken more philosophy classes, I think. It's so difficult trying to narrow your focus (major/minor) and fill requirements while also taking classes for yourself. What are your plans for next year? Continuing with my English major, taking French and Latin classes, working on my independent project, and preparing for my senior thesis  

Modernism & Globalization Research Group

Modernism & Globalization Research Group Since its inception in 2007, the Modernism & Globalization Research Group (MGRG) has explored the effects of globalization on the production, circulation, and study of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture. It has hosted several conferences at Rutgers University, and in 2011, it launched a new collaboration with Columbia University, the “New York-New Jersey Modernism Seminar.” Since that time, the seminar has met twice a year--once at Rutgers and once at Columbia--for intensive two-hour seminars devoted to advanced work-in-progress by leaders in the field, and it has sparked conversations among faculty and graduate students in modernist studies from campuses across the region, including Columbia, NYU, Princeton, Drew, SUNY, CUNY, and Fordham (among many others). With public lectures, full-day symposia, informal roundtables, and discussion groups, the MGRG brings together scholars and students working in the fields of modernism, transnational and comparative literary studies, and globalization in order to spark searching conversations about such fields as modernist studies, world literature, postcolonial studies, translation studies, the history and theory of the novel, comparative cultural studies, South Asian and Caribbean studies, animal studies, and philosophies of mind.

Rutgers British Studies Project

An Interdisciplinary Collaboration The Rutgers British Studies Project (RBSP), an interdisciplinary group whose aim is to foster the study of British history and culture across the centuries, was launched during the past academic year. The RBSP provides a common forum for faculty from various disciplines whose scholarship makes Rutgers one of the most important centers for British studies in the United States. Members of the RBSP organizing committee include Alastair Bellany and Seth Koven from the history department, and Ann Baynes Coiro, John Kucich, and myself from the English department. The RBSP was inaugurated with a lecture delivered by Professor of History John Brewer of the California Institute of Technology. Brewer's lecture, entitled Taste and Modernity: Sensibility and Spectacle in late Georgian Britain, focused on eighteenth century developments in thought that have had a central and lasting influence on modern literate and visual culture in Britain and beyond. The inaugural lecture for this coming academic year will be given by Professor Nicholas B. Dirks, who is the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology, as well as a professor of history and the vice president for arts and sciences at Columbia University. Professor Dirks will deliver his lecture, entitled Empire on Trial: Edmund Burke, Postcolonial History, and the Problem of Sovereignty, on October 7. Over the course of the year, the Rutgers British Studies Project will also sponsor three additional lectures by celebrated scholars from other universities, as well as workshops featuring Rutgers faculty and graduate students.

Sexuality Speakers Series

SEXUALITY SPEAKERS SERIES 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, EverybodyThinks 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.  

Making History At Rutgers

MAKING HISTORY AT RUTGERS A Conference on Rethinking Master Narratives by John Kucich On Friday March 7, 2008, over 100 faculty and graduate students from Rutgers University, as well as from Columbia University, Princeton University, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and other nearby schools gathered at Alexander Library for the Making History: Rethinking Master Narratives Conference. The conference spotlighted the efforts of distinguished scholars of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British history and literature to reimagine the place of master narratives in their work. Master narratives are the grand stories or myths people tell in order to organize their perceptions of everyday reality, and to drive off the contradictions that ordinary life inevitably poses to their most cherished beliefs. The conference's four plenary speakers are among the leading figures in their fields: Nancy Armstrong, the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Brown University, and a specialist in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction; Dror Wahrman, the Ruth N. Halls Professor of History at Indiana University, and an expert on eighteenth century history; Catherine Hall, a historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century class and sexual politics from University College London; and Suvir Kaul, a scholar of eighteenth century literature and colonial culture at the University of Pennsylvania. These four scholars analyzed grand national stories and the belief systems they anchor. But they also turned a skeptical eye on their own tendency to reject master narratives as false or lacking in interpretive power. Their papers moved energetically across a wide range of topics: Darwin's theories of individual and collective development and their surprising affinity with gothic narrative; the tendency of eighteenth century intellectuals in law, science, finance, politics, and religion to situate individuals within complex providential systems; the invention of the basic themes of British imperialism in the early nineteenth century; and persistent histories of British cultural identity that assume it rose entirely from within, as the manifestation of national character traits and progressive social forces, rather than being acted upon and shaped by global forces that Britons often could not control or comprehend. The speakers and their audience engaged in a dynamic exchange of perspectives over both particular issues and general theoretical principles. The Making History Conference provided a rare opportunity for scholars from different disciplines and different periods of study to discuss vitally important common issues.  

What Does Historicism Make Possible?

WHAT DOES HISTORICISM MAKE POSSIBLE? A Conference on Historicism and Its Discontents by Henry S. Turner The Historicism and Its Discontents Conference, held on October 12, 2007, was the inaugural event for the new Program in Early Modern Studies (PEMS) at Rutgers. The purpose of the PEMS is to draw together Rutgers faculty working on the historical period between 1400 and 1800 in order to examine some of the large continuities that extend from the late medieval period into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and even up to into the eighteenth, while also taking account of what was genuinely novel about this broad historical period. Foremost among these novelties is the growing internationalism of the world we describe as early modern, from the East Indies to Russia to Africa to the Americas. Arguably no field has played a more important role in establishing historicism as an international critical orthodoxy than the field of early modern studies, which continues to furnish topics of inquiry that drive literary scholarship in the academy as a whole. At the same time, some of the most exciting recent work in early modern studies has begun to reexamine the methodological foundations of historicism and to propose new departures: toward problems of form, figure, and style; toward a renewed interest in theory; toward comparative literature; toward the deliberate anachronism of presentism. The conference brought four leading critics to Rutgers: Jean E. Howard, the George Delacorte Professor of Humanities at Columbia University, speaking about reading and the historicist imperative; Aranye Fradenburg, a professor of English and medieval studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, speaking on Freud and Chaucer; Madhavi Menon, an assistant professor of literature at American University, speaking on homo-history; and Kathryn Schwarz, an associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University, speaking on misogyny and masquerade. To recall Freud, from whom the title of the conference was taken, we may say that historicism has become the source of the greatest accomplishments of early modern studies, but also the source of its greatest torments; its finest sublimation, but also the root of its most persistent neuroses.  

Lost and Found in Translation

LOST AND FOUND IN TRANSLATION A Conference on Translation Studies by Elin Diamond On April 3 and 4, 2008, the Program in Comparative Literature presented TRANSLATION³, a conference on translation studies. The conference aimed to assess a field that, over the last three decades, has incorporated poststructuralist literary theory, postcolonial theory, and globalization theory, while still retaining the value of linguistic fidelity to an original text. Viewing translation in the broadest sense - as both a real world activity and a productive discipline in the academy - the conference's speakers explored the three dimensions of translation: culture, institution, theory. In the opening Culture panel, Lydia Liu and Bruce Robbins, both from Columbia University, considered MAT (machine-assisted translation), a technology that augurs the promise of universalism by replacing English as the mediating tongue between languages. In pointed contrast, Emily Apter (New York University) presented a paper exploring the untranslatable in what she has famously named the translation zone. Alamin Mazrui (Rutgers University) showed how translations of European texts into Swahili have become zones of political contestation; and Jebaroja Singh (William Patterson University) described Dalit women's oral narratives and performances where translation acts as cultural resistance. The untranslatable returned differently in the Theory panel. Brent Hayes Edwards (Columbia University) limned the horror of lynching in the Cole Porter tune, Miss Otis Regrets; and Michael Levine (Rutgers University) traced the trauma in Art Spiegelman's graphic novel, Maus. Eduardo Cadava (Princeton University) figured translation as an act of love and inevitable betrayal, and his meditation on philosopher Walter Benjamin set up the lively dialogue between Xudong Zhang and Richard Sieburth, both from New York University. The Institution roundtable was, according to all who witnessed it, the most memorable part of TRANSLATION³. For here were practitioners in the translation trenches, a place where life-or-death outcomes can rest on the hair-trigger accuracy of a translator. Rosemary Arrojo (SUNY, Binghamton) described the beginnings of translation studies in the United States from the 1970s to 2003, the year she helped launch a doctoral program at Binghamton. Robert Joe Lee, from the New Jersey Judiciary, informed - and terrified - the audience with stories about the lack of trained court interpreters in the state's court system. Julie Livingston (Rutgers University) gave a striking account of medical intervention in Botwana. Christopher Taylor (University of Triest) discussed the theory and practice of cinematic dubbing and subtitling. Translations studies stages powerful encounters between languages, literatures, cultures, and traditions. With the dozens of languages spoken at Rutgers, we might imagine a new concentration in translation studies that combines our real-world lives and histories with our most adventurous academic perspectives.  

Jayne Anne Phillips

JAYNE ANNE PHILLIPS by Carolyn Williams   Jayne Anne Phillips inaugurated last year's Writers at Rutgers Reading Series on September 26, 2007. A well-known writer of fiction, Phillips is the director of the new MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers - Newark, and shares our goal, here at Rutgers - New Brunswick, of bringing great writers to our campuses. Phillips is known both for her short story collections and her novels. The stories in Black Tickets were received in 1979 with admiration amounting to astonishment. Praised for its experimentations in narrative voice, Black Tickets also featured quirky, brooding, and inventive characters that still seem representative of their time. Along with Fast Lanes, another well-known collection, Black Tickets has had a strong shaping effect on the genre of the short story. Phillips's first novel, Machine Dreams, follows one American family from World War II to the Vietnam War. This family's trials and triumphs, both individual and collective, seem to be symptomatic of developments in national and world history, yet they are vividly imagined as particular and concrete. A New York Times bestseller, Machine Dreams was featured by the Times Book Review as one of twelve best books of the year. Shelter, Phillips's second novel, was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. The novel records a strange and frightening intersection of characters at a summer camp for girls in the summer of 1963. It is a story both about loss of innocence and rites of passage, as well as a story of primeval violence, communal relations, and the ineradicable effects of childhood experience. The mysteries of family life continue to inform Phillips's most recent novel, WomanKind, which explores the largest questions of birth and death in one character's experience. A parent dies and a child is born, while the central character struggles to maintain her balance and creativity. Jayne Anne Phillips has been recognized for her work with a Pushcart Prize, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliffe College. Editor's Note: Jayne Anne Phillips read from a work-in-progress at the event, which was attended by 150 people. Carolyn Williams delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Mark Doty

MARK DOTY by Barry V. Qualls I heard Mark Doty's language for the first time in 1996 when poet Alicia Ostriker introduced him to a Rutgers audience. She read a poem called Couture from his just published volume, Atlantis:              Maybe the costume's                           the whole show,                                       all of revelation              we'll be offered.                           So? Show me what's not                                        a world of appearances. I know, with certainty, that the evening I first heard Doty read was one of the moments, one of the gifts, I most treasure from my three decades at Rutgers. I heard music and discovered images that recalled the work of John Keats - but, unlike Keats, Doty's nightingale is alive in the age of AIDS and wars and desolation, and the possibilities of love. Doty came to public attention with Turtle, Swan; Bethlehem in Broad Daylight; and My Alexandria, which received the T. S. Eliot Prize. He has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and, with eight volumes of poetry, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which appeared last spring, his is one of the most recognizable voices in American poetry. But his voice has become equally strong, equally necessary, in prose: Heaven's Coast, the memoir of the death of his lover Wally from AIDS; Firebird, his autobiography of a boy growing up in a peripatetic family and finding his life, and his art, in Judy Garland and Petula Clark; Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, a wondrous exploration of a seventeeth century Dutch painting that is also a meditation on stilled lives and still lifes; and, most recently, the glorious Dog Years, a memoir on the deaths of the two retrievers, Arden and Beau, to whom his earlier poems and first memoir had already given vigorous life. If you want to know about Doty, you listen - as we will this evening. But you will come close to him, too, by noting the authors of epigraphs of his volumes: Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, William Blake, and Emily Dickinson. All of this is to suggest the richness of allusion in Doty's language, the need to work with the language of others, to connect to their worlds. Doty needs sunflowers and chiffon; needs Judy Garland and Petula Clark, Keats and Dickinson, to reconstitute worlds - for life, as it were. And the creation of art is at the center of this need: I believe that art saved my life, Doty reveals in Firebird. The gift of faith in the life of art, or, more precisely, a sense that there was a life which was not mine, but to which I was welcome to join myself. A life which was larger than any single person's, and thus not one to be claimed, but to apprentice oneself to. But let's allow Beau, the golden retriever, to have the last words about Doty. From Sweet Machine's Golden Retrievals: Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention seconds at a time. Catch? I don't think so. Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who's - oh joy - actually scared. Sniff the wind, then I'm off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue of any thrillingly dead thing. And you? Either you're sunk in the past, half our walk, thinking of what you never can bring back, or else you're off in some fog concerning - tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work: to unsnare time's warp (and woof!), retrieving, my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark, a Zen master's bronzy gong, calls you here, entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow. Maybe Beau's work - to unsnare time's warp (and woof!) - is a poet's work too. Editor's Note: Over 300 people attended Mark Doty's reading on October 17, 2007. Doty will join the Rutgers English faculty in 2009 as a Distinguished Writer. Barry V. Qualls delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Joyce Carol Oates

JOYCE CAROL OATES by Ron Levao It is with great pleasure that I introduce Joyce Carol Oates, the Roger S. Berlind Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University. Experience has taught me that the best way to preface a much-anticipated reading is to be as brief as possible and then get out of the way. Conciseness is made easier by the fact that many of you probably already know a great deal about the author, not only from her astonishing array of novels, novellas, short stories, dramas, screenplays, poems, essays, and other forms, but also from the numerous studies published about her, from her television interviews, and from the unofficial but splendid website called Celestial Timepiece with its many images, links, and excerpts. Oates' working-class background has a powerful and heartfelt presence in her work, an unflinching strength of purpose enriched by American myth, beginning in the countryside outside Lockport, New York, and including her early education in a one-room schoolhouse. Her work has become both an important part of and a key to understanding that myth, as is clear through the admiration it has earned. As Henry Louis Gates has remarked: A future archaeologist equipped with only Joyce Carol Oates'oeuvre could easily piece together the whole of postwar America. Every introduction to her readings that I have attended, and most interviews, sooner or later come to rely on the word prolific, which has become a kind of Homeric epithet for her. It is certainty apt, but what the term fails to capture is the human alertness and focused ingenuity that have earned her the reputation of being one of Americas most consistently powerful and important writers over the last forty years. Oates' novel, A Garden of Earthly Delights, was the winner of the 1968 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her novel, them, was the winner of the 1970 National Book Award. Oates has since been nominated for, and has won, a staggering number of prizes. You can find these rolled out on the Celestial Timepiece website, but one statistic I cannot resist invoking is the fact that she has been included in the New York Times Notable Books of the Year for 38 books over the last 39 years. This is an amazing record of consistently high inventiveness, the result not only of imaginative brilliance, but also of a mental toughness and stamina that perhaps explains some of her fascination with professional boxers. It used to be said of the Canadian heavyweight, George Chuvalo, that if every fight were a fight-to-the-finish, he would have been undefeated. That is the force of will one thinks of when looking over Joyce Carol Oates' career. Yet there is also a fineness in her work, an attention to the subtlest physical and psychological detail, as well as a mastery of larger literary forms. She is one of the leading and most flexible of modern formalists - capable of playful whimsy in her children's stories, generous yet penetrating analysis of fellow artists and writers in her remarkable essays and reviews, as well as uncanny and disturbing violence in her famous novels and horror stories. Oates remains the most fascinating of writers because she, herself, is always fascinated by the cruel and beautiful worlds American culture ceaselessly builds for itself. Editor's Note: Over 400 people attended Joyce Carol Oates' reading in the Rutgers Student Center Multipurpose Room on November 12, 2007. The English department is grateful to Robert McGarvey, Ron Levao, and other members of the Class of 1970 for underwriting this extraordinary event. Ron Levao delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Sherman Alexie

SHERMAN ALEXIE by Richard E. Miller I first met Sherman Alexie, poet, screenwriter, and bestselling author, at an awards banquet in Nashville, Tennessee, a few years ago. Alexie was the featured writer at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English and the room was packed to the walls with secondary school teachers, sporting their NCTE bags and bustling with the energy of teachers playing hooky. Alexie approached the podium, turned to the hushed audience, and then mused on the mystery that he had come off the rez and traveled across the country to read to blue-haired ladies from the Midwest. There was a pregnant pause while those assembled processed this description and then Alexie spread his arms wide, cracked a smile, and said, My people! For those who know Alexie as the author of the terrifying thiller, Indian Killer, such an opening was unexpected. But, for those teaching in high schools, this greeting was well-earned. As Alexie went on to say, in more colorful language than I can use here, high school teachers across the country have made selections from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, The Toughest Indian in the World, and Reservation Blues a regular part of the English curriculum. It was the success of his short stories among this age group that led Alexie's agent to encourage him to write an extended piece specifically addressed to the young adult reader. Alexie chose the occasion of being invited to the annual meeting of the NCTE to share a draft of his efforts: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. What followed was one of the most extraordinary public readings I've ever attended. Alexie read the opening chapter, The Black-Eye-of-the-Month Club, which recounts the birth of the protagonist, Junior, and his early experiences on the rez getting beat up and tormented. The prose is searing and poignant and Alexie's control of the audience could not have been more in evidence. When he finished the chapter, the roar of applause settled into shouts of More! and Encore! Alexie complied, and generated the same results after reading the next chapter. When the calls subsided, Alexie said, I can't read anymore. If I do, I'll stop laughing and start crying. I've been to concerts where the performers left the audience begging for more - but never a public reading. And so, getting Alexie to Rutgers quickly became a priority for me. (By the time Alexie visited Rutgers on November 28, 2007, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, had won the National Book Award for young people's literature.) With the change in venue and in occasion, Alexie shifted his approach. In the afternoon of his visit to Rutgers, I moderated and participated in a public conversation with Alexie, during which time he reflected on his creative practice and challenged the students in the audience to question their pieties about America's past. Later that evening, rather than give a reading, Alexie gave a performance that was part standup and part soliloquy, ranging widely across race relations, the history of Indian reservations in the United States, his latest work, Flight, and the transformative value of humor. Working in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, Alexie rattled and unsettled with his riffs on race and politics, driving his observations home and then generating laughter to release the tension. A sequel to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is forthcoming. Editor's Note: Over 150 students attended the conversation between Richard E. Miller and Sherman Alexie in the Alexander Library Teleconference Lecture Hall. Selections of this conversation are available for viewing at the whTube section of the Writers House website ( Over 450 people enjoyed Alexie's performance in the Rutgers Student Center Multipurpose Room later that evening. Richard E. Miller delivered a version of these remarks at the event.  

James Surowiecki

JAMES SUROWIECKI by Richard Dienst The philosopher Peter Sloterdijk tells the story of the Roman emperor, Vespasian, who mockingly sniffed a coin to see how it smelled. Sloterdijk argues that there are only two schools of thought about money: those who say it smells and those who say it doesn't. For some people, it's always been obvious that money has a stink about it, whether it's blood, sweat or feces; nowadays we might talk about the many fragrances of oil, bouquets of greenhouse emissions, or the ever-present whiff of tear gas. But today it is much easier to find people who think that money has no smell at all; in fact, that it's becoming cleaner and fresher all the time, all those electrons scrubbing off any lingering scents from the dollar bills in your pocket. Likewise, we might say that there are only two schools of thought concerning the world of people ruled by economic interests and passions, the world of markets and the world market. Either the market drives people crazy, stoking greed and fear, making all of us ever more stupid in the effort to follow the pack; or markets serve as an immense catalytic converter, turning a swarm of self-interests into the least bad kind of consensus, or perhaps even the best kind of collective good. The first view was famously expounded by Charles MacKay, whose mid-nineteenth-century book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, offers a panorama of modern mass hysterias and financial follies that started with the South Sea Bubble and John Law. Of course, that history hasn't stopped yet. The second view, with some important inflections and qualifications, has been put forth most intriguingly by James Surowiecki, in his 2004 book The Wisdom of Crowds. The book is incredibly rich in argument, anecdote, and implication. For me, what's most fascinating is the suggestion that the wisdom of crowds might manifest itself in radically new ways, setting off all kinds of experiments in collective decision making and self-organization. The Wisdom of Crowds is a book that leans into the future, treating optimism as a research tool. It grew out of Surowiecki's regular work as a financial journalist for a number of publications, but especially for The New Yorker. He has carved a special place for himself in that eminent publication, just after The Talk of the Town, where the Financial Page performs the remarkable balancing act of talking about business matters to a readership that may include tycoons and starving poets alike. Surowiecki catches major stories in the updraft, writing about important phenomena like sovereign wealth funds and collateralized debt obligations with generous insight and aphoristic bite. The book offers a view of the financial world somewhere between Frank Norris and Floyd Norris. He helps us to see that, for better and for worse, the financial world is more or less the same one where we all live; that sense of perspective helps to make Surowiecki's writing consistently absorbing and provocative. Editor's Note: Held at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum on February 6, 2008, James Surowiecki's reading drew a crowd of 125 people. Richard Dienst delivered a version of these remarks at the event.  

Colson Whitehead

COLSON WHITEHEAD by Keith Wailoo Colson Whitehead, born and raised in New York City, has been richly awarded for his novelsimaginative and encyclopedic commentaries on culture, history, legend, and race. He is the architect of kaleidoscopic narrativesportraits of the grandly fascinating landscapes of America and of the minute dimensions of our lives. Described by critics as shrewd, original, and witty, Whiteheads writing has been acclaimed for its ability to playfully peer into the American soul. Whiteheads novels include The Intuitionist, which is set in the Department of Elevator Inspectors in a major metropolis. Its originality and brilliance earned the author the 2000 Whiting Writers Award, among other prizes. His 2001 novel, John Henry Days, is an investigation into the legend of this steel driving mana book that peers into the story, and explores the trajectory of the narrative and the lingering appeal of folk heroism over a century of American culture and life. As Whitehead said in one interview, he kept pondering how each generation creates its own interpretation of the John Henry story, and how each interpretation is shaped by the form in which it is received. This book was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize. In 2006, Whitehead published Apex Hides the Hurt, which he has described as concerning identity, history, and the adhesive bandage industry. He has also published a collection of thirteen essaysmeditations on New Yorkentitled The Colossus of New York, and has penned many essays, reviews, and contributions for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Granta, Harpers, and Salon. In 2002, he was a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur genius grant funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Were extremely fortunate to have a writer of such accomplished breadth and originality and intelligence with us this evening at Rutgers. Whitehead will read from his forthcoming novel, Sag Harbor, an autobiographical work that describes his youthful exploits in the 1980s on Long Island. Editors Note: Over 250 people attended Colson Whiteheads reading on February 20, 2008, in the Rutgers Student Center Multipurpose Room. Keith Wailoo, the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of History, delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Allison Bechdel

ALISON BECHDEL by Hillary Chute In 2006, I read an interview with Alison Bechdel in a magazine titled Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, about her new book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. I immediately emailed my editor, Ed Park, at New York City's Village Voice, to see if he would run a piece on it. I hadn't read the book yet, but I was fascinated by the panels and pages from it that ran with the interview. Fun Home is one of the most important graphic narratives that exists. It is both biography and autobiography. On the one hand, it's about Bechdel's father, who was an obsessive restorer of their Victorian Gothic house in rural Pennsylvania, an English teacher, and a funeral home director. But its also a story about Bechdel and about how she became an artist - and the ways her father both inhibited and enabled her. Fun Home has an intricate structure based on the books that Bruce Bechdel was obsessed with - each chapter is keyed to a specific literary text or figure, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald or James Joyce. The aesthetic control Bechdel exhibits in Fun Home - in its language, its pictures, and its narrative structure - is staggering. I was just blown away when I read Fun Home. And then I met Bechdel, and interviewed her, and was even more blown away after talking with her about her process and her research over the seven years she worked on Fun Home. Scanning her blog,, the evening after meeting her, I came across the following entry: June 22, 2006: It's a good thing I've been blogging this [book] tour because otherwise I'm not sure I'd remember it. Today I had a podcast, two signings, and a long, intense newspaper interview with a woman who did her doctoral dissertation on autobiographical comics. That's me. And while I apologize to her for turning our one hour interview into three, working on that piece about Fun Home for the Village Voice was one of the most gratifying experiences I've ever had writing about anything. When Fun Home came out in 2006it was the first graphic narrative published by Houghton Mifflin  - it was met with immediate, unanimous, and conspicuous critical acclaim. In one of two rave reviews published by the New York Times, for instance, Sean Wilsey wrote: If the theoretical value of a picture is still holding steady at a thousand words, then Alison Bechdel's slim yet Proustian graphic memoir, Fun Home, must be the most ingeniously compact, hyper-verbose example of autobiography to have been produced. Fun Home made the New York Times bestseller list - a rarity for graphic narrative - and became an enormous crossover success, meaning it is not only beloved by venues like the Times, but also by venues like People magazine - which selected it as one of the top ten books of 2006 - and Entertainment Weekly, which voted it the number-one non-fiction book of the year. Perhaps the most extraordinary barometer of Fun Home's impact and wide appeal, though, is that it was named Time magazine's all-around, best book of the year, in any category, in 2006. Bechdel was born in 1960 in Pennsylvania, graduated from Oberlin College (also my alma mater) in 1981, and started drawing the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1983, for the feminist paper Womanews. Today, Dykes to Watch Out For is nationally syndicated, and has been collected in 11 volumes, with titles such as Hot, Throbbing Dykes to Watch Out For, Post Dykes to Watch Out For, and Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life Forms to Watch Out For. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the strip, and in October Houghton Mifflin is publishing The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. Editor's Note: Alison Bechdel and Richard E. Miller engaged in a public conversation in Writers House on the afternoon of her visit to Rutgers on March 5, 2008. Selections of this conversation are available for viewing at the whTube section of the Writers House website. That evening, 500 people attended Bechdel's reading in the Rutgers Student Center. Rutgers English alumna Hillary Chute delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Li-Young Lee

LI-YOUNG LEE by Meredith L. McGill I was extremely pleased to learn that Li-Young Lee was coming to speak as part of the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series, since I had just put his marvelous poem Persimmons on the syllabus for the Introduction to Poetry class I taught this past semester. It is always wonderful and awe-inspiring to have a poet you've worked to get to know on the page suddenly materialize as an actual person. As I reflected on Lee's larger body of writing for the purposes of introducing him - taking the audience across the threshold from poet-on-the-page to poet-in-person - I felt compelled to introduce him twice: first in a conventional manner, laying out the arc of his career as a poet; and then in a way that responded to what my students and I were learning by studying his poetry. Li-Young Lee was born in Indonesia to Chinese parents, who fled Sukarno's regime in 1959, finally settling in the United States in 1964. Lee discovered poetry at the University of Pittsburgh, then pursued graduate work in creative writing at the University of Arizona and at SUNY-Brockport. His first book of poems, Rose, published in 1986, won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award; his second book of poetry, The City in Which I Love You, was published four years later as a Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Lee next published a remarkable prose-memoir, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance, followed by two books of poetry: Book of My Nights, which won the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and Behind My Eyes, which includes a CD of the poet reading. While these details of Lee's biography and this sequence of titles may serve as a bare-bones introduction to the poet's career and to a set of books lined up on your shelf, this series of facts, presented chronologically, is peculiarly unsatisfying as an introduction to the work of Lee, whose poems characteristically put into question the sequential temporality of memory, the nature of identity, the mutual shaping of familial and cultural history, and the adequacy of language to capture the subtlety and consequence of everyday practices. For instance, that poem on my syllabus, Persimmons, begins with a teacher's slap to the child-speaker's head, reproving him for not knowing the difference / between persimmon and precision, a scene of cross-cultural misunderstanding that the poet proceeds to take apart, like a persimmon, with devastating precision. The poem offers a playful lesson in cultural difference - offering us advice, for instance, on how to choose a ripe persimmonbut it also provides a series of reflections on what it means to be asked to choose between cultures, expectations, languages, and memories. Forcing its reader to navigate crosscutting, nested, and repeated temporalities, the poem invites us to abandon the assumption that we can understand our lives as a sequence of events, the stuff of introductions. It ushers us, rather, into the hauntings and fateful doublings of dream-time, into constellations of significance - those moments in which we know ourselves by recognizing what others fail to know about us - and into the recognition that the most intimate of memories are often held for us by others. After you've studied a poem like Persimmons, you know much more about Li-Young Lee, and about the work of poetry, in part because he's persuaded you that you know far less than you think you do. For instance, where, exactly, is the poet from? When did Lee become a poet, that is, when did he know he was a poet, and how could he, or anyone else for that matter, possibly know such a thing? How does memory shape identity, and whose memories are these? We are indeed lucky to be invited to consider such questions by the remarkable poetry and poetry-in-person of Li-Young Lee. Editor's Note: Li-Young Lee read on April 2, 2008, to an audience of 200 people. After the reading and book signing, Lee generously held an impromptu master class with a half dozen undergraduate students in the Writers House student lounge. Meredith L. McGill delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Faculty Book Review

Faculty Book Review DESIGNING THE ROMANTIC LIFE Colin Jager The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006 Reviewed by William H. Galperin Colin Jager's first book, The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era, makes an important contribution to our understanding of British Romantic literature by revising the prevailing view of Romanticism as a species of modernity defined chiefly by an idea of progress or secularization. Focusing on the argument for design, which extrapolates and analogizes the existence of a divine creator from the evidence of the natural world, Jager widens his frame of reference to include not only William Paley, the principal exponent of design in the late eighteenth century, but other contemporaries or near-contemporaries as well, especially David Hume, Anna Barbauld, and Jane Austen, whom he then reads in Paley's company, and finally in conjunction with William Wordsworth, the most critically important Romantic writer of the time. One upshot of Jager's investigation is that Romantic secularization is contradicted repeatedly in the way design informs texts that are contemporaneous with Romantic writing or representative of the British Romantic movement in its canonical formation. Perhaps the most important achievement of The Book of God lies in its redefinition of Romantic secularization. According to Jager, secularization is less a break with the past than a matter of differentiation, in which modern initiatives coexist with practices and orientations whose historical shape is as much a matter of modernity as it is a residue of tradition. The advantage of this approach is that orientations such as natural theology, in which science and religion seemingly converge, turn out to be a species of modernity not by sustaining that convergence, but more by demonstrating the persistence of belief in practices where it is seemingly absent. In examining Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Jager demonstrates that even when the argument for design is shown to be inductive rather than deductive, a designing God remains very much at the fore. His basis for this claim is in the Dialogues themselves, where Cleanthes, the proponent of design, is deemed the winner in the debate despite being roundly defeated by the skeptic Philo. What matters, according to Jager, is not the debate or its conclusions, in which skepticism prevails, but the dialogue itself, which projects a social unity grounded in belief or in the way the idea of a designing God is made coherent by the act of coming together to debate its probability. This sense of belief as practice - as something sufficiently present and habitual regardless of its impoverishment at the hands of experience - proves the basis, too, of Jager's reading of Anna Barbauld's A Summer Evening's Meditation. Once again it is failure - specifically the cognitive and epistemological failure of Barbauld's flight of fancy - that is key. Even as the poem follows Hume in demonstrating the futility of the analogical argument, it also follows Hume in demonstrating analogy's persistence as an idea predicated on belief or habit. Jager next turns his attention to Paley himself, whose Natural Theology prosecutes an argument that, following Hume's conclusion in the Dialogues, stresses the inclination to feel in a certain way when presented with the evidence of intricately formed objects from nature. The emphasis is not necessarily on the strength of Paley's argument as much as on the emotional force of statements such as this one: We find that the eye of a fish, in that part of it called the crystalline lens, is much rounder than the eye of terrestrial animals. What plainer manifestation of design can there be? But that is not all. In segueing to Immanuel Kant, another opponent of design, Jager shows how the idea of purposiveness - namely that an object is made for a purpose - is a sensibility owned by the argument for design. Thus, even as purposiveness remains a matter of judgment rather than a question of intention in Kant's aesthetic theory, it also registers as a desire for completion, or for a teleological judgment in which intention or design remains the only vocabulary at Kant's disposal. The chapters on Wordsworth are taken up with an intentionality that is a way of reading nature of which poetic creation remains the vehicle par excellence. Returning to the idea of Wordsworth as nature poet, Jager mobilizes design to show not only how poetic creation for Wordsworth is a matter of reading nature correctly, but also how poetry is effectively a gift of nature itself. In what might well be the study's most compelling instance of differentiation or multiple modernity, Jager reads the analogy passage at the close and climax of Wordsworth's The Prelude, to show how imaginative agency and divine agency are continuous yet necessarily discrete. In a stroke of considerable ingenuity, The Prelude is able to keep religious forms at arms length so as not to compromise the status of literature. The emergence of literature as a privileged category or register of response is an epiphenomenon of belief itself. Austen proves to be the exception in this study. For as Jager repeatedly shows, many seemingly nonreligious practices and orientations become religious through the logic of differentiation, the sites of belief, or the need to find answers. The Book of God manages not only to extend the field of Romantic studies to include texts and contexts that are contemporaneous rather than romantic (hence the Romantic era rather than Romanticism in the title); it also extends the field of Romanticism to include aspects of human nature that were of considerable interest to the human or empirical sciences in the eighteenth century.  

Alumni Book Review

Alumni Book Review MEET ME IN ATLANTIC CITY Rob Kirkpatrick The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen Praeger Publishers, 2006 Reviewed by Richard E. Miller and Martha Nell Smith Meet Me in Atlantic City was the subject heading of Martha's email in November 2005, letting me know she had extra tickets to see Bruce Springsteen's solo concert in Atlantic City. A few hours after receiving this email, I was hurtling down the Garden State Parkway for what turned out to be the best live rock performance I had ever heard. My favorite memory of the night was when Springsteen broke into Thundercrack and Martha opened her cell, placed a call, and held the phone up high. You had to be there and, well, if you couldn't, telephony was the next best thing. Anyone who has reveled in rolling down the windows to let wind blow back their hair, or in the late twentieth century delights of New Jersey boardwalk culture, will enjoy The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen by Rob Kirkpatrick (BA 1990). Kirkpatrick, a senior editor at Thomas Dunne Books, is the most recent Rutgers English alumni to write on the hometown bard and the only one to devote an entire book to the subject of Asbury Park's favorite son. The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen is part of a singer-songwriter book series on musicians who have produced commercially successful and historically important music at some point in their careers. Each volume is organized chronologically, which proves most fitting for this overview of Springsteen's evolutions as a songwriter who crooned in bars and at dances on the Jersey shore in the late 1960s to the rock star who packs arenas from the Meadowlands to Oslo today - a larger-than-life figure rumored to perform at the halftime show at next year's Super Bowl. The strength of The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen resides both in its contextualizations'gossipy anecdotes and fun facts that inform the circumstances of Springsteen's writing - and in its syntheses of three decades of rock and roll criticism, which draws on insights such as Jon Landau's perhaps overly-famous but prescient May 1974 conclusion that, at the Harvard Square theatre, I saw my rock'n' roll past flash before my eyes. And I saw something else: I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen. Kirkpatrick reminds us that those words were written after seeing the Boss warm up for Bonnie Raitt. Other fun facts that are highlighted are quips from early interviews about Elvis Presley's influence (Man, when I was nine, I couldn't imagine anyone not wanting to be Elvis Presley) and about the impact of rock and roll during his adolescence (I was dead until I was thirteen and caught the rock and roll bug). Kirkpatrick also succinctly retells the history of bar band culture down the Jersey shore in the late 1960s, of Springsteens brief stints in the bands, The Castiles and Steel Mill, and of his 1972 meeting with legendary producer John Hammond that resulted in him playing later that very night at The Gaslight Café in Greenwich Village and recording a demo the next day. Romping with Springsteen's own word play - "Madman drummers, bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat / In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat - Kirkpatrick deftly traces Springsteen's developments in songwriting and as a songwriter. And he documents how profilic Springsteen has been. As a young songwriter, Springsteen would churn out five or ten songs a day and the band would perform an entirely different thirty-song set on Saturday than on Friday, all written that week. By Born to Run, he was channeling his energies into epic storytelling songs. If The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle is the album on which Bruce Springsteen became Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run marks his turn to a more disciplined songwriting and, in Darkness on the Edge of Town, his move from forging a grand narrative voice to working as a singer-songwriter within the standard verse-chorus structure of popular rock song. Kirkpatrick continues this exploration of the conditions of Springsteen's writing and the reception of his work through all of the rest of the 15 albums (Magic had not yet been released). The Afterword takes us back to the moment Landau witnessed rock and roll future by reflecting on the recently released DVD of Springsteen's first European performance, Hammersmith Odeon, London '75. Here, Kirkpatrick flatly declares, The band's rendition [of She's the One] is a revelation: tight and inspired, one of the best performances &you're likely to hear. Springsteen and Van Zandt feed off each other's energy as they share the same mic and sing about the desperate liar with the angel in her eyes, and the thunder in her heart that makes you never want to leave her. Reading about the stories in The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen isn't the same as listening to the man sitting at the piano, intently singing into a microphone, harmonica hanging around his neck, no guitar in sight. But the memories they stir of the many tunes he has given us and the information they pass along about the circumstances of those songs' compositions are the next best thing. Editor's Note: Other Rutgers English alumni who who have written on Bruce Springsteen include Alan Rauch (PhD 1989), an associate professor of English at University of North Carolina - Charlotte, and Martha Nell Smith.  

Faculty News

FACULTY NEWS AWARD-WINNING FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP FACULTY EMERITUS BOOKS IN MEMORIAM DEPARTURES Emily C. Bartels published Speaking of the Moor: From Alcazar to Othello. John Belton published work on filmmakers Howard Hawks and John Ford in MLN: Modern Language Notes and on the digital manipulation of color in cinema in Film Quarterly. His 2002 October article on digital cinema was recently translated into Russian and reprinted in Illuminace. He was awarded the 2008 Academy Film Scholar Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Matthew S. Buckley received a Rutgers University Research Council Grant to support his project on The Recueil Fossard: A Critical Edition. He has an article on the body and meaning in early commedia dellarte forthcoming in Theatre Survey. Abena P. A. Busia gave an invited lecture on globalization and family structures in Africa at the Social Trends Institute Expert Meeting in Barcelona in March 2008. Ann Baynes Coiro published an article on John Milton and the Restoration book trade in Milton Studies. She gave invited lectures at Penn State University and Columbia University, and presented a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America Annual Conference in Dallas. The Rutgers University representative to the Folger Institutes executive council, she also chairs the program committee for the institute. She is a member of the MLA executive committee for seventeenth-century English literature. Elin Diamond organized the Translation³ conference at Rutgers University in April 2007. William C. Dowling published Confessions of a Spoilsport: My Life and Hard Times Fighting Sports Corruption at an Old Eastern University. His book, Oliver Wendell Holmes in Paris: Medicine, Theology, and the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, was recognized as a 2007 Honor Book by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Brad Evans edited a special issue on anthropology and literary studies for Criticism. He has been working on the restoration of photographer Edward Curtiss 1914 silent film, In the Land of the Head Hunters, which will be screened this year at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Moore Theater in Seattle, the Field Museum in Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and Rutgers University. Lynn Festa published Sentimental Figures of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France. She was awarded a Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to work on her next book, The Personality of Things in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Sandy Flitterman-Lewis gave an invited lecture on French filmmakers Agnes Varda and Marguerite Duras at the Institut National de lHistoire de lArt in Paris in March 2007. Thomas C. Fulton was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete the research and writing for his book, Miltons Revolutionary Reading. William H. Galperin edited a Longman Cultural Edition of Persuasion. Christopher P. Iannini was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to complete the research and writing for his book, Fatal Revolutions: Caribbean Nature and the Routes of American Literature. Gregory S. Jackson has a book, The Word and Its Witness: The Spiritualization of American Realism, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Colin Jager was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to work on his next book, Romanticism and Secularism. He gave invited lectures at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Yale University. Myra Jehlen has a book, Five Fictions in Search of Truth, forthcoming from Princeton University Press. Stacy S. Klein was appointed executive director of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. She gave an invited lecture at the University of Pennsylvania and was a roundtable panelist at the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting at the University of Toronto. She has several forthcoming articles: on medieval misogynies in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval English Literature; on the Old English verse Judith in Gender and Anglo-Saxon Hagiography; and on mourning and the production of community in Anglo-Saxon literature in Laments for the Lost: Medieval Mourning and Elegy. Richard Koszarski published Hollywood on the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Sarnoff. He co-hosted Fort Lee Today on Bergen Community Television, and introduced the film, Foolish Wives, for the City University of New Yorks City Cinematheque Program. He was interviewed for the Lucasfilm documentary, Erich von Stroheim: Profligate Genius, included in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones DVD set, as well as for Richard Shickels PBS documentary, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story. Jonathan Brody Kramnick was selected as a faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, where he will work on his next project, Problems of Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Philosophy. He gave invited lectures at Rice University, Yale University, and the Stanford Humanities Center. He has a forthcoming article on print culture in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, and another on Lucretius in Matters of Life and Death. John Kucich delivered the keynote lecture at the Victorians Institute Conference at the University of Alabama, and was a roundtable panelist at The Future of Victorian Studies Conference at the University of Michigan. He organized the Making History: Rethinking Master Narratives Conference at Rutgers University in March 2007. David Kurnick gave invited lectures at the University of Pennsylvania; the University of California, Los Angeles; the State University of New York at Binghamton; and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Carter A. Mathes received the Global Opportunity Award from the School of Arts and Sciences to complete archival research in Jamaica, and was selected as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where he will work to complete his book, Imagine the Sound: Black Radicalism and Experimental Form in Post-1965 African-American Literary Culture. John A. McClure published Partial Faiths: Postsecular Fiction in the Age of Pynchon and Morrison. Meredith L. McGill edited The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange. She organized the Global Poetess Symposium in May for the Center for Cultural Analysis, which featured presentations by Rutgers English alumni Max Cavitch (PhD 2001) and Jason R. Rudy (PhD 2004). She has been appointed director of the Center for Cultural Analysis for the next two years. Michael McKeon spent time last spring in Paris, where he taught a doctoral seminar at the Institut du Monde Anglophone at the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle. The seminar, on the idea of the public sphere in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain, was attended by French graduate students specializing in English literature. While in Europe, he also gave invited lectures at the University of Lausanne, the University of Zurich, the University of Mulhouse, the University of Strasbourg, the University of Freiburg, Sapienza University of Rome, John Cabot University, Oxford University, York University, and the University of Cambridge. Richard E. Miller delivered keynote lectures at the University of Torontos 2008 Humanities Retreat and at the Literacies of Hope Conference in Beijing. He gave invited lectures at Stanford University, Brandeis University, St. Johns University, Fordham University, Columbia Universitys College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the University of Pittsburgh. This summer, he was a visiting professor at Ohio State Universitys Digital Media and Composition Seminar. The third edition of The New Humanities Reader, the textbook he designed and co-edited with Kurt Spellmeyer to prepare students to think, read, and write about the enduring challenges and opportunities of our time, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin. Sonali Perera published an article on feminist literature and socialist ethics in differences, and another article on Marxist ethics in contemporary Sri Lanka in Postcolonial Studies. She gave an invited lecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Barry V. Qualls co-edited, with Susan J. Wolfson, a Longman Cultural Edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Secret Sharer, and Transformation: Three Tales of Doubles. Dianne F. Sadoff gave invited lectures at Indiana University South Bend and Temple University. Her book, Victorian Vogue: Nineteenth-Century British Novels on Screen, is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. Evie Shockley was invited to read from her poetry collection, a half-red sea, at the Writers from Rutgers Reading Series, the Academy of American Poets Bryant Park Reading Series, the Poetry Now Series at Williams College, the Fishouse Reading Series at Bowdoin College, the Poets Out Loud Reading Series at Fordham University, and the Center for Book Arts Broadside Reading Series. Her poem a thousand words was reproduced at an art exhibition, held in South Africa in 2007, commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the death of anti-apartheid activist Stephen Bantu Biko. She was elected to serve on the MLA executive committee for twentieth century American literature. Larry Scanlon organized the Formalisms New and Old Conference at Rutgers University in April 2008, which featured presentations by Rutgers English alumnus Christopher Warley (PhD 2000) and doctoral candidates Colleen R. Rosenfeld and Scott Trudell. Jonah Siegel edited The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources. In March, he presented a paper at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism Annual Conference held in Bologna. He was elected to serve on the MLA executive committee for the Victorian period. Kurt Spellmeyer co-edited, with Richard E. Miller, the third edition of The New Humanities Reader, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin. Henry S. Turner published Shakespeares Double Helix and an article on literature and mapping in early modern England in The History of Cartography: Cartography in the European Renassaince. His book, The English Renaissance Stage: Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts, 1580-1630, was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2007 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize by the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. The director of the Program in Early Modern Studies at Rutgers, he organized the Historicisms and Its Discontents Conference in October 2007, and the New Horizons in Early Modern Studies Colloquium in April 2008, which featured presentations by Rutgers faculty from the English, French, philosophy, and art history departments. He delivered a keynote lecture at St. Johns University. Rebecca L. Walkowitz edited Immigrant Fictions: Contemporary Literature in an Age of Globalization. Her book, Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation, was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2008 Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Award by the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature. She co-authored an article with Douglas Mao on new modernist studies in PMLA, and has an article on Kazuo Ishiguro forthcoming in NOVEL. She gave invited lectures at Texas A&M University, Yale University, Harvard University, Drew University, Columbia University, and Penn State University. She became co-editor of Contemporary Literature in June and was elected program chair of the Modernist Studies Association. The coordinator of the Modernism & Globalization Seminar Series at Rutgers, she organized the Modernisms Transnational Futures Symposium in November 2007, which featured presentations by Rutgers English faculty Marianne DeKoven, Elin Diamond, and John A. McClure. Cheryl A. Wall was named the Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English in January 2008. She co-edited, with Rutgers alumna Linda Janet Holmes, Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara. With Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick, she co-chairs the universitys diversity and equity initiative. Edlie L. Wong published a review essay on recent scholarship on slavery in American Quarterly, and an art exhibit catalog of the work of digital artist Kinga Araya, Passing Estragement / Étrangère de passage. She has an article on anti-slavery literature and law forthcoming in American Literature, and gave invited lectures at Temple University and Villanova University. Her book, Neither Fugitive Nor Free: Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel, is forthcoming from New York University Press.

Award-Winning Faculty Scholarship

FACULTY NEWS AWARD-WINNING FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP WILLIAM C. DOWLING Oliver Wendel Holmes in Paris: Medicine, Theology, and the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table University of New Hampshire Press (2006) New Jersey Council for the Humanities Honor Book (2007) HENRY S. TURNER The English Renaissance Stage: Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts, 1580-1630 Oxford University Press (2006) Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Honorable Mention, Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize (2007) REBECCA L. WALKOWITZ Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation Columbia University Press (2007) Society for the Study of Narrative Literature Honorable Mention, Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Award (2008)

Faculty Emeritus Books

FACULTY NEWS FACULTY EMERITUS BOOKS George Levine How to Read the Victorian Novel Blackwell, 2007 Alicia Ostriker For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book Rutgers University Press, 2007  

In Memoriam

FACULTY NEWS IN MEMORIAM William Walling died unexpectedly, from a heart attack, on December 3, 2007. He was 74. Professor Wallling earned his PhD from New York University in 1966, and published a literary biography of Mary Shelley in 1972. At Rutgers, he taught courses on William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens. He also launched the English departments film studies program. Two Fulbright teaching fellowships took him and his family to Algeria in 1969 and Senegal in 1979. He taught at Rutgers for four decades and retired in May 2006.  


FACULTY NEWS DEPARTURES David L. Eng, a specialist in Asian American literature, will join the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Shuang Shen, a specialist in Chinese diasporic literature, will join the Department of Chinese at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.  

Graduate Program Fellowships and Awards

GRADUATE PROGRAM NEWS GRADUATE PROGRAM FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS Sarah C. Alexander Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship Candice Amich Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2006-2009) Paul Benzon " Spencer L. Eddy Prize (for the best literary essay accepted in a professional journal): Postwar Typewriting Culture, Andy Warhols Novel, and the Standardization of Error, in PMLA " Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and LearningPresidential Graduate Fellow Tyler Bradway Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2007-2010) Daniel Couch Ralph Johnson Bunch Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Gregory Ellermann Marius Bewley Prize (for the best essay written in coursework) Michael Gavin Center for Cultural Analysis Fellowship Aditi Gupta Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Special Study Award Michael Hardy Catherine Moynahan Price (for the best essay on a literary topic) Kathleen Howard Catherine Musello Cantalupo Prize (for the best essay on literature and religion) Stephanie Hunt Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellowship Louetta Hurst Rutgers University Presidential Fellowship Miriam Jaffe-Foger Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Writing Program by a Teaching Assistant Shakti Jaising Rutgers Institute for Research on Women Graduate Fellowship Patrick Jehle Barry V. Qualls Dissertation Fellowship Dawn Lilley Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Student Teaching Award Philip Longo Honorable Mention, Marius Bewley Prize (for the best essay written in coursework) Benjamin Ogden Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Special StudyAward Megan Paustian Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2008-2012) Colleen R. Rosenfeld " Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Louis Bevier Dissertation Fellowship " Daniel Francis Howard Travel Fellowship for Graduate Research " Folger Institute Award Natalie Roxburgh Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Special Study Award John Savarese The Dickens Universe, University of California, Santa Cruz Sarah Sheridan The Dickens Universe, University of California, Santa Cruz Matthew Sherrill Lane Cooper Fellowship Ben Singer National Development and Research Institute Training Fellowship Ameer Sohrawardy Folger Institute Award Kirsten Tranter " Honorable Mention, Spencer L. Eddy Prize (for the best literary essay accepted in a professional journal): Samuel Sheppards Faerie King and the Fragmentation of Royalist Epic, in SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 " Australia Council for the Arts Emerging Writers Grant Scott Trudell Folger Institute Award Mark Vareschi Center for Cultural Analysis Fellowship Paul Yeoh " Honorable Mention, Catherine Moynahan Prize (for the best essay on a literary topic) " Barry V. Qualls Dissertation Fellowship  

Undergraduate Program News

Rising Rutgers senior and English major Matt Cortina, and Virginia Tech senior Grant Gardner, co-founders of the nonprofit organization Planting America, Inc., rode their bikes this summer on a 101-day cross-country journey planting one million trees to promote social and environmental responsibility. Nova Roman (BA 2007), a double major in English and political science, was one of thirty student-athletes initiated into the Rutgers Delta Chapter of the National College Athlete Honor Society, Chi Alpha Sigma, who were selected for membership based on outstanding scholarship, earned athletic letter, and excellent character and citizenship. UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM AWARDS Elana Aaron Mitchell Adelman Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writing Sharae Allen Edna N. Herzberg Prize (for an outstanding original composition) Christine Beers Mitchell Adelman Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writing Jaya Bharne Jordan Lee Flyer Honors Award (for outstanding promise and achievement in the study of language and literature) Daina Lynn Galante Edna N. Herzberg Prize (for an outstanding original composition) Jessica Hardie Evelyn Hamilton Award (for fiction) Amy Mazzariello Evelyn Hamilton Award (for poetry) Anna Pokazanyeva Jordan Lee Flyer Honors Award (for outstanding promise and achievement in the study of language and literature) Janis Rodgers " Academy of American Poets Enid Dame Memorial Prize " Edna N. Herzberg Prize (for an outstanding original composition) Zeynep Uzumu Julia Carley Poetry Prize Elizabeth Varall John and Katherine Kinsella Prize (to support honors thesis research)  

Alumni News

ALUMNI NEWS Eric Gary Anderson (PhD 1994) is the director of a new interdisciplinary minor in Native American and indigenous studies at George Mason University. As vice president of the Southern American Studies Association, he will be hosting the organizations biennial meeting in February 2009. Joseph Anfuso (BA 1970) is the founder and president of the faith-based missions and relief organization, Forward Edge International. The organization is engaged in, among other projects, the long-term recovery effort in the Gulf Coast, building a village for children living in Nicaragua, and developing a feeding program for AIDS orphans in Kenya. Sarah Aronson (BA 1984) published a young adult novel, Head Case, which was listed as a quick pick title for reluctant readers by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Mary Baglivo (BA 1979), the Chief Executive Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Americas, was named Advertising Woman of the Year by the Advertising Women of New York. She also received the Hall of Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rutgers University Alumni Federation. Joan Baranow (PhD 1992), an assistant professor of English at Domenican University of California, produced the documentary, Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine, which was aired on the Public Broadcasting Service in July. Danielle Bobker (PhD 2007), an assistant professor of English at Concordia University, won the Rutgers Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Deans Award for Excellence in Research. Nick Bujak (BA 2007) is a student in the graduate program in English at Johns Hopkins University. Max Cavitch (PhD 2001), an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, published American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning form the Puritans to Whitman. Alan Cheuse (PhD 1974), a professor of English at George Mason University and the book reviewer for the National Public Radios All Things Considered, published The Fires. Amy Cedeno (BA 2003) has started a new job at the biopharmaceutical company, Covance. Hillary Chute (PhD 2007), a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, delivered this years Schlesinger Lecture at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. A recipient of Harvards William F. Milton Fund fellowship, she has recent and forthcoming articles in PMLA, Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies, and Womens Studies Quarterly. Barbara Crooker (BA 1967) published another poetry collection, Line Dance. Christopher Crosbie (PhD 2007) will join the faculty at North Carolina State University as an assistant professor of English. The recipient of the J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize from the Shakespeare Association of America, he published articles on Titus Andronicus in Shakespeare Quarterly and on The Spanish Tragedy in English Literary Renaissance. Walter Cummins (RC 1957) published his short story collection, Local Music. John DeLaurentis (BA 2006) is an English teacher at North Plainfield High School and a part-time lecturer in the modern Greek studies program at Rutgers University. Junot Díaz (BA 1992), a professor of creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the fiction editor of the Boston Review, published The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2007, which received much critical acclaim and was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2007 National Book Critics Award for Best Novel. Monika Elbert (PhD 1987), a professor of English at Montclair State University, edited Enterprising Youth: Social Values and Acculturation in Nineteenth-Century American Childrens Literature. Sarah Ellenzweig (PhD 2000), an assistant professor of English at Rice University, has a book, The Fringes of Belief: English Literature, Ancient Heresy, and the Politics of Freethinking, 1660-1760, forthcoming from Stanford University Press. Jane Elliott (PhD 2004), a lecturer at the University of York, published Popular Feminist Fiction as American Allegory: Representing National Time. Jason Gieger (PhD 2001), an assistant professor of English at California State University, Sacramento, received tenure in 2007. Andrew M. Gordon (BA 1965) published Empire of Dreams: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of Steven Spielberg and was promoted to the rank of full professor in the English department at the University of Florida. Lindsay Halladay (BA 2002), an actress and hip-hop artist based in Los Angeles, has finished shooting the film, A Perfect Getaway, starring Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich. Robert Harper (BA 1974), a professional actor, delivered the commencement address for University College at Rutgers in May 2007. Penny Harter (BA 1961) published another poetry collection, The Night Marsh. George Held (PhD 1967) published his poetry collection, W is for War. Matthew Hersh (BA 2003) has been hired as the associate editor for Shelterforce Magazine, the publication of the National Housing Institute, a national research and policy organization dedicated to fostering decent, affordable housing for everyone. Jaime Hovey (PhD 1995) published A Thousand Words: Portraiture, Style, and Queer Modernism. Natasha Hurley (PhD 2007), a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, was awarded a fellowship jointly funded by the American Antiquarian Society and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Eric Hyman (PhD 1984), a professor of English at Fayetteville State University, published articles on The Two Gentleman of Verona in Explicator and on the southern American term you-all in American Speech. Michael Jones (RC 1970) has retired from his position as principal of Lexington High School, in Massachusetts, after thirty-two years of teaching and service in public education. Alex Kasavin (BA 2007) started a new job at Austin-based Enspire Learning, a company providing multimedia rich elearning solutions. Diane Kiesel (DC 1975), an acting New York Supreme Court Justice and an adjunct professor of law at New York Law School, published Domestic Violence: Law, Policy, and Practice. Robert Kirkpatrick (BA 1990), a senior editor at Thomas Dunne Books, published The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen. Julian Koslow (PhD 2005) will join the faculty at Virginia Tech as an assistant professor of English. Eric Krebs (MA 1973) produced an off-Broadway play entitled The Castle. Andrew Krivak (MA 2002) published a memoir, A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life, and read in Writers from Rutgers reading series. Vincent A. Lankewish (PhD 1997) received tenure at the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City, and published articles on teaching Walter Pater in high school in The Pater Newsletter and on gay male dance culture in On the Meaning of Friendship between Gay Men. Marilee Lindemann (PhD 1991), an associate professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, delivered the second annual Rutgers English Graduate Alumni Lecture in November. She was the recipient of the Michael Lynch Service Award, given by the Modern Language Association Gay, Lesbian, Queer Caucus, for her work as the director of the LGBT Studies program at the University of Maryland and her innovative scholarship and teaching in queer studies. In April, she organized a two-day queer studies conference which brought together faculty and graduate students from the consortium of universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Beth Loffreda (PhD 1997) is the new director of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Wyoming. She was featured as a speaker in the Writers from Rutgers reading series. Kathleen Lubey (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at St. Johns University, published an article on Joseph Addison in Eighteenth-Century Fiction. She will be an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvanias Penn Humanities Forum during the next academic year. Saikat Majumdar (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at Stanford University, published a novel, Silverfish. Bill Matthews (BA 1981), the senior director of development research and prospect management at the Rutgers University Foundation, published three poems in Adagio Verse Quarterly. Dawn Miller (BA 1989) published Portrait of Vengeance and Murderous Descent. E. B. Moss (RC 1979), the founder of the marketing and promotions services company, Moss Appeal, published an opinion piece for the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire,, and was featured in articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Alicia Nadkarni (BA 2005) was promoted to production editor at Rutgers University Press. Brian Norman (PhD 2004) published The American Protest Essay and National Belonging: Addressing Division and will be joining the faculty at Loyola College in Maryland as an assistant professor of English. Peggy Phelan (PhD 1987), the Ann ODay Maples Chair in the Arts and a professor of drama and English at Stanford University, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Graduate School-New Brunswick. Robert Pinsky (BA 1962), a professor of English at Boston University, published Gulf Music. Martin Joseph Ponce (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at The Ohio State University, published an article on Filipino diaspora studies in Philippine Studies, and spent the summer conducting research at the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University for his book project on the relationship between Filipino studies and Asian American studies. Adam Potkay (PhD 1990), the Margaret L. Hamilton Professor of English at the College of William & Mary, published The Story of Joy: From the Bible to Late Romanticism, an article on William Wordsworth in PMLA, and an omnibus review of recent scholarship in eighteenth century studies in SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. He also edited a Longman Cultural Edition of The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews. A newly appointed member of the PMLA editorial board, he gave invited lectures at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan. He will deliver the third annual Rutgers English Graduate Alumni Lecture in November 2008. Carrie Preston (PhD 2006), an assistant professor of English and womens studies at Boston University, was named a Peter Paul Career Development Professor in 2007. The professorship was created with support from entrepreneur Peter T. Paul, president of Paul Financial, LLC, to help Boston University recruit and retain promising young faculty. She will use the award to begin a book project that traces the influence of Japanese Noh theater on transnational modernism. Gina Restivo (BA 2000), a student at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers, has accepted an internship with the Central School District in Hawaii to fulfill requirements towards her PsyD degree. Kenneth Rodgers (BA 1996), a senior producer for NFL Films and the NFL Network, was recognized for his work on Americas Game: The Super Bowl Champions, with a Sports Emmy Award for outstanding edited sports series. He is producing a new season of the HBO series, Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys, and directing Disneys Whats Next? commercial campaign. In 2007, the series Hard Knocks was nominated for three Sports Emmy Awards and won the Emmy in the outstanding music composition category. Michael D. Rubenstein (PhD 2003 ), an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, has an article on reading and human rights forthcoming in Social Text. Annette Saddik (PhD 1995), an associate professor at the New York College of Technology at the City University of New York, published Contemporary American Drama and edited The Traveling Companion and Other Plays by Tennessee Williams. Andrew P. Scheil (BA 1990), an associate professor of English of the University of Minnesota, received the Medieval Academy of Americas John Nicholas Brown Prize and the Best First Book Award from the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists for Footsteps of Israel: Understanding Jews in Anglo-Saxon England. Gary Seigel (PhD 1981) published The Mouth Trap: Strategies, Tips, and Secrets to Keep Your Foot Out of Your Mouth. Barbara Timmerman Soifer (BA 1992) was promoted to director of marketing services at IEEE, a non-profit organization and the worlds leading professional association for the advancement of technology. Nicole D. Smith (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at the University of North Texas, has a forthcoming article on Marie de Frances Guigemar in Medium Ævum. Martha Nell Smith (PhD 1985), a professor of English and the founding director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park, co-edited A Companion to Emily Dickinson. Her Emily Dickinson: A Users Guide is forthcoming from Blackwell as part of its Introduction to Literature Series. Another project, Emily Dickinsons Correspondence: A Born-Digital Inquiry, is forthcoming from the University of Virginia Press Electronic Imprint. Richard Squibbs (PhD 2007) will join the faculty at DePaul University as an assistant professor of English. He has a forthcoming article on the periodical essay in Modern Philology. Kate Stanton (PhD 2003), a lecturer in womens and gender studies and the Allston Burr Resident Dean at Harvard College, was awarded a certificate of distinction in teaching by Harvard University. Jason Teeple (BA 1995) works as a product developer for Vantage and is a part-time student in a doctoral program at the University of Brighton. Michael Thompson (BA 1995) published The Politics of Inequality: A Political History of the Idea of Economic Inequality in America, edited Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America, and co-edited The Logos Reader: Rational Radicalism and the Future of Politics. David Toise (PhD 1996), an assistant professor of English at California State University, Sacramento, received tenure in 2006. Ken Urban (PhD 2006), a preceptor in expository writing at Harvard University, published articles on 1990s British theater in Cool Britannia: British Political Drama in the 1990s, on Philip Ridley in Modern Drama, and on Sarah Kane in A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama. Three of his plays opened in the last year: The Private Lives of Eskimos, The Happy Sad, and Tecmessa. The recipient of a playwriting fellowship from Bostons Huntington Theatre Company, he was named a 2007 Person of the Year by Lesley Wheeler (BA 1989), a professor of English at Washington and Lee University, published Scholarship Girl and Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present, and edited Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po Listserv. Grant Wythoff (BA 2007) is a student in the graduate program in English at Princeton University. Sandra Young (PhD 2008) is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  

Alumni Showcase

ALUMNI SHOWCASE MARY BAGLIVO BA 1979 JUNOT DÍAZ BA 1992 Chief Executive Officer Saatchi & Saatchi Americas named Advertising Woman of the Year by Advertising Women of New York received Hall of Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers University Alumni Federation Author Associate Professor of Creative Writing Massachusetts Institute of Technology The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Riverhead (2007) awarded Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2008) awarded National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Novel (2007) MARILEE LINDEMANN PhD 1991 Associate Professor of English Director of LGBT Studies Program University of Maryland, College Park received Michael Lynch Service Award from Modern Language Association Gay, Lesbian, Queer Caucus PEGGY PHELAN PhD 1987 Ann ODay Maples Chair in the Arts Professor of Drama and English Stanford University received Distinguished Alumni Award from Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick CARRIE J. PRESTON PhD 2006 Assistant Professor of English and Womens Studies Boston University named Peter Paul Career Development Professor by Boston University ANDREW P. SCHEIL BA 1990 Associate Professor of English University of Minnesota The Footsteps of Israel: Understanding Jews in Anglo-Saxon England University of Michigan Press (2004) awarded John Nicholas Brown Prize (2008) by Medieval Academy of America awarded Best First Book Prize (2005) by International Society of Anglo-Saxonists KEN URBAN PhD 2006 Playwright Preceptor in Expository Writing Harvard Univerity named Person of the Year (2007) by ALEXANDER G. WEHELYE PhD 1999 Associate Professor of English and African American Studies Northwestern University Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity Duke University Press (2004) awarded William Sander Scarborough Prize (2005) by Modern Language Association  

First Thought, Fresh Ideas

FIRST THOUGHTS, FRESH IDEAS EDLIE L. WONG Assistant Professor of English Rutgers University From Emancipation to Exclusion: Contract, Citizens, and Coolies BACKGROUND HISTORICAL CONTEXT In the era of emancipation, the ideals of contract freedom and voluntary exchange began to coalesce into a political worldview. Emancipation ushered a new paradox into American life and thought: it nullified one kind of property relationthe buying and selling of chattel slavesto consecrate the market made up free persons who voluntarily sold their labor as property. PROJECT DESCRIPTION By placing Asian immigration within the analytical and historical framework of African American slavery, From Emancipation to Exclusion illuminates how the radical reconstruction of postbellum citizenship, American geopolitics, and national belonging led to the ratification of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the nations first racially specific immigration law. TEXTS AND AUTHORS CONSIDERED Writers Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, and James Williams; Senator James G. Blaine; illustrator Thomas Nast; and reformer Wong Chin Foo ALEXANDER G. WEHELIYE Associate Professor of English and African American Studies Northwestern University Modernity Hesitant: The Civilizational Diagnostics of W.E.B Du Bois and Walter Benjamin BACKGROUND HISTORICAL CONTEXT Critics often consider the ideas of W.E.B. Du Bois and Walter Benjamin as incompatible. However, both thinkers were expressly concerned with bearing witness to modern civilization from the vantage point of the seemingly non-civilized. They espoused forms of messianism, engaged extensively with Marxism, and attempted to salvage supposedly premodern concepts, while taking into account newly urban environments. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Modernity Hesitant seeks to trace the convergences between their thoughts, especially their critiques of progress and modern civilization, to reevaluate the histories of and the porous boundaries between aesthetics and politics, the modern and the pre-modern, the human and the social sciences, the visual and the textual, and the religious and the secular. TEXTS AND AUTHORS CONSIDERED Du Boiss The Souls of Black Folk, Darkwater, The Philadelphia Negro, One-Way Street, Dark Princess, and major essays and autobiographical writings; Benjamins The Arcades Project and major essays and autobiographical writings COLLEEN R. ROSENFELD Doctorial Candidate, Graduate Program of Literatures in English Rutgers University "Indecorous Thinking: Style, Form, and Spenserian Poetics" BACKGROUND HISTORICAL CONTEXT In sixteenth century England, pedagogues began to produce rhetorical manuals in the English vernacular with the intention of supplementing the traditional training of the humanist schoolroom. These manuals were composed by scholars who were dissatisfied with the insularity of the university, and who imagined audiences traditionally excluded from this training. The specter of rhetorics unregulated deployment assumes the form of poetic figurestropes of thought and schemes of soundthat operated in defiance of the standards of classical decorum. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Indecorous Thinking explores this specter in the poetic corpus of Edmund Spenser. By understanding these poetic figures as detached or detachable from the schoolroom exercises that were intended to promote their decorous use, these figures indicate faultlines in the architectonic plates of early modern intellectual history. Spensers poetic practice confounds any set ideological division between thinking (invention) and speaking (elocution). TEXTS AND AUTHORS CONSIDERED Spensers poetic corpus, including The Faerie Queen; The Shepheardes Calendar; Prosopopoia, or Mother Hubberds Tale; Daphnaïda; Colin Clouts Comes Home Again; Spensers prose tract, A Veue of the Present State of Ireland  

Numbers + Quotes

NUMBERS + QUOTES 2007 - 2008 $64, 153 The amount of gifts to Rutgers English 415 The number of gifts to Rutgers English "I am proud to announce a bold initiative to expand the pipeline of talented students coming to Rutgers from underrepresented communities. Our student body is diverse, but too few young men and womenand especially too few young menenroll at Rutgers from our states large cities, including Rutgers hometowns . . . So we will establish the Rutgers Future Scholars Program, a pilot project aimed at reaching minority and low-income students who might otherwise never consider college within their grasp." Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers University, on diversity and higher education, in his annual address to the university community, on September 28, 2007 2,525 The number of attendees at the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series event 22 The number of graduating students with honors in English 16 The ranking of the graduate program in English by U.S. News and World Report 22 The number of PhDs conferred by the graduate program in English "Accreditation is vitally important for colleges and universities in this country because it makes you eligible for student and federal financial aid. It makes us eligible for grants and contracts that support our research activities as well as for all sorts of other programs . . . It also means that students who graduate from Rutgers have a diploma that means something." Philip Furmanski, executive vice president for academic affairs at Rutgers University, on the Middle States Commission on Higher Educations accreditation process, in an interview with Ashanti Alvarez, associate editor of Rutgers Focus, on January 25, 2007 309 The number of graduating students with a major in English $500,000 The initial gift towards the establishment of Writers House "Rutgers, honestly, it was like a wonderland for me, like going from the black and white of Kansas to the Technicolor of Oz. I had never been around the density of so many smart, beautiful people . . . " Junot Díaz, Rutgers English alumnus (BA 1992) and Pulitzer Prize winning author of the novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, in the New York Times, November 25, 2007. Significant parts of Díazs novel are set at RutgersNew Brunswick 6,991 The number of views of Richard E. Miller's presentation to the Rutgers Board of Governors on YouTube  

Institutions and Archives


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION by Richard E. Miller Rutgers English has a special relationship with the Mellon Foundation. None of the research and writing projects that the foundation makes possible for our students through its generous funding takes place at their headquarters in New York City. The dissertation seminar on Problems in Historical Interpretation taught by Michael McKeon, now in its third year and funded by the Mellon Foundation, takes place in Murray Hall. The writing that seminar participants produce gets generated in libraries, coffee shops, and apartments in Philadelphia, New York City, the boroughs, and all points in between. Can one learn without traveling? For the past four years, the Mellon Foundation has funded the departments Future Traditions Project, which has included research monies for advanced graduate students to conduct research and writing during the summer months. These funds have made it possible for graduate students to move beyond the walls of the classroom to study Latin in Rome or French at Middlebury College; to visit the British Library or university archives in Indiana, Texas, and California; and to attend summer seminars at Cornell University or Dartmouth College. This year, the Mellon Foundation has provided the School of Arts and Sciences with nearly $3 million to support travel and dissertation writing across the humanities. Where our own graduate students will go during the summer with this support is open. Perhaps to the Dickens Universe Conference at the University of California, Santa Cruz; the Digital Media and Composition Seminar at The University of Ohio; or to archives in Boston, Ann Arbor, or Los Angeles. By sustaining this support, the Mellon Foundation continues to make it possible for our graduate students to answer the call of their own research.  

The Folger Shakespeare Library

THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY by Ann Baynes Coiro The Folger Shakespeare Library sits across the street from the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, its white façade carved with bas-relief scenes from Shakespeares plays. But the library is an architectural treasure with a sense of humorfacing the Capitol, Puck presides over a fountain proclaiming, Lord, what fooles these mortals be! The librarys public mission is to increase knowledge of Shakespeare and of the early modern world. This mission is served by changing exhibitions in the Great Hall based on the librarys vast holdings and by performances and lectures in a small theater modeled after the Globe. Beyond the witty, splendid riches of the Folger Shakespeare Librarys public spaces is an inner sanctum, open only to scholars. The Folger is a great rare book library, home to the largest collection of Shakespeare materials in the world as well as to an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and art from the early Renaissance through the eighteenth century. It is a cherished resource for Rutgers faculty and graduate students from English and many other departments who work on the early modern world. The Folger Library has the third largest collection of books printed in England before 1640, but at its heart is the Shakespeare collection. The library holds, for example, 79 copies of the First Folio of 1623. It also has an extensive collection of promptbooks, many of them for Shakespearean productions, as well as records of actors and directors who engaged with Shakespearean work from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. The librarys catalog, moreover, is available as an online resource that enriches our scholarship and our classrooms. Early modern studies is an important part of Rutgers English. In 1970, Rutgers University became a founding member of the Folger Institute, a consortium of American and British colleges and universities that offers multidisciplinary programs on a wide range of topics. Rutgers faculty and graduate students from across the disciplines come to the library not only as readers, but as participants of the Folger Institute. The institute offers courses designed for graduate students, including the masters seminar in research methods and the dissertation seminar, which brings together students in the early stages of their dissertation research. There are, in addition, a wide variety of seminars and workshops on focused topics offered for faculty or a mix of faculty and graduate students. My own relationship with the Folger goes back many years. I had the dazzling good fortune to be hired right out of college to work as the Folgers assistant acquisitions librarian. Although I decided to go on to graduate school, my year given free license to explore the riches of the Folger has been the basis for much of my scholarly work since. Holding the letters John Donne wrote from prison after eloping with Anne More, for example, was eerie and moving. Then and since, the vaults of the Folger reveal to me a past that is at once viscerally present and ineffably strange.  

Northwestern University Music Library

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY MUSIC LIBRARY by Louis R. Carlozo When I wasnt spilling cappuccino on my jeans while running to class or trying to impress girls by reciting passages by John Keats, my time at Rutgers in the 1980s allowed me to knit my passions for words and music into a self-styled whole. As an English major, I not only set my lifes course on becoming a writer, I also became a huge Beatles fan. My Shakespeare professor, John Timpane, told me something I have never forgotten: that Shakespeare was akin to an Elizabethan age Beatle, an artist who could somehow please the publics tastes and craft groundbreaking art at the same time.  So it marked a throwback of yeah-yeah-yeah proportions when I accepted an invitation, this March, to examine some lyric manuscripts by The Beatles, housed at Northwestern Universitys Music Library in Evanston, Illinois, which had been obtained in the early 1970s from composer and musician John Cage, as part of his collection of 400 music manuscripts. I went officially as a Chicago Tribune features writer on assignment, but unofficially as a Beatles fan hoping to see history up close. Never did I suspect that I would get to make a little bit of history as well. I immediately noticed that the collection included a specimen that any Fab Four fan would consider a prize: Paul McCartneys draft of For No One (from the 1966 Revolver album) scrawled on an envelope, containing two missing choruses and a few unpublished verses. The draft of For No One reveals that McCartney first called the song Why Did It Die? He also finished a pair of choruses that went unused. The first chorus reads: Why did it die? / Youd like to know. / Cryand blame her. And the second reads: Why let it die / Id like to know / Tryto save it. The document suggests that McCartney spent some time tinkering with these choruses before abandoning them. He wrote the middle lines to both choruses in black ink that appears nowhere else on the paper. He scribbled the verses, most of which made the final cut, in pencil. Given the chance to hold McCartneys manuscript in my hands for a photo op, I found myself shaking. Ive been a musician and songwriter my entire adult life, and to me The Beatles represent the gold standard by which all other popular music is measured. Holding those lyrics may be as close as Ill ever get to them. As a writera person ever in quest of connections, metaphors, and parallelsI couldnt help but think back to my days by the banks of the Raritan, to that other Beatles moment. Back then, studying The Beatles as closely as William Wordsworth and Nathaniel Hawthorne didnt seem like such a stretch. Yet there is more: my teachers in the English departmentTimpane, Susan Wolfson, Elaine Showalter, Alan Nadel, Susan Dannenbaum, and William Keachmade literature and creative writing ring out like music of the spheres to me. In leading me to writers who found their own voices, those rock stars of the classroom helped me begin the quest to find my own voice. And I began to sing.  

The Library of America

THE LIBRARY OF AMERICA by Myra Jehlen You can tell an idea is good by the way it seems obvious the moment it is proposed. The idea of The Library of America is in that category. Of course it is a good idea to publish a series of books representing, in the librarys phrase, the best and most significant American writing. It is then evident that this series needs to be produced with great rigor, so that its volumes serve as standard, authoritative editions; that these editions should be broadly available, and therefore not too expensive; that they should be attractive, convenient to use and carry about, and also recognizable, which more or less requires they be uniform; and that they be kept in print permanently. The Library of America began publishing in May 1982 with four volumes by Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whiman. Though the idea of The Library of America had been thought of already in the 1940s, its real start was in the mid 1950s when Edmund Wilson, inspired by the French series, La Pléiade, suggested an American version to Jason Epstein, the editorial director at Random House who would become one of the founding members of the library. Another recognizable figure in the history of The Library of America is Richard Poirier, who joined the project during the planning stages in 1977 and stepped down as chairman of its board of directors in 2006. Significantly, for much of the time he was building The Library of America, Professor Poirier was also building Rutgers English, transforming it into a nationally recognized department with an excellent research faculty, a comprehensive curriculum in literary history, and a competitive student body. In 1985, Professor Poirier defined the relation of The Library of America thus: the success of the project shows that so many peoplenot a whole country, but still a great many peopleare giving a signal that they still think theres something going on in books that are hard to read and to make. It is in response to this signal that, in addition to over 180 volumes collecting the works of such canonical writers as Emerson, Faulkner, Baldwin, Alcott, Adams, and Longfellow and 25 volumes of poetry in the American Poets project, some ten anthologies have appeared thus far, including one on food writing, another on Americans in Paris, a third on New York writing, and a fourth on environmental writing. The quality of the writing and its importance is as high in these volumes as in the others, while the subjects nicely mix up the categories in which readers, especially American readers, are wont to be divided and confined. Mixing up the categories in another way, The Library of America has begun publishing works by living authors, beginning with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth. The criteria are the same but the situation makes all the difference. For when it publishes living authors, the library comes onto the current literary stage, linking past writing to present. This linkage illuminates something that may be obscure in reading only past writings, namely the mutual engagement of writing with the life of the time. The Library of America is obviously a good idea in regard not only to the national literary tradition but, broadly, to the national culture and its relation to artistic and intellectual pursuits.  

Hackensack High School

HACKENSACK HIGH SCHOOL by Ann Jurecic Every fall, first year students arrive at Rutgers already having heard that Expos 101, the expository writing course that most of them are required to take in their first semester, is writing boot camp. On the first day of class, theres a palpable anxiety among the students as to whether their high school education prepared them for writing college essays. Having taught writing for many years, I know that, although this anxiety can be transformed into motivation, it is also an unfortunate consequence of a lack of communication between secondary and higher education professionals about what is expected of college writers. In 2006, I had an opportunity to bridge this perception gap. I gave a keynote presentation at a meeting of the New Jersey Writing Alliance in which I described Rutgers expectations regarding writing and reading to high school and college faculty from across the state. Afterward, I received a call from Michael Wojcik, an assistant to the superintendent in the Hackensack school district, who asked me to meet with a group of teachers and administrators to discuss how the district could better prepare high school students for college. We began our collaboration with a workshop modeled after the training that the Rutgers writing program offers to its new instructors. After the workshop, I posed the question: If this is what will be expected of your students when they begin college, what should you do to get them ready? On a warm day this May, nearly a year after my keynote presentation, I met with 20 middle school and high school faculty and administrators at the conference center on Douglass Campus. After handing out copies of The New Humanities Reader, the textbook used in our expository writing classes, and co-edited by my colleagues Richard E. Miller and Kurt Spellmeyer, we worked on selecting readings, composing assignments, and evaluating samples of student writing. By mid-afternoon, we were ready to discuss what teachers could do in their classrooms to prepare students for college writing. The teachers saw immediately that they could make small changes: assigning longer readings and a greater range of texts, and giving assignments in which students respond to problems or puzzles that have no easy solutions. They also talked at length about initiating larger institutional changes that would support the creativity and learning of teachers as well as students. By the end of the day it was clear that the conversation should continue and this marked the beginning of a collaborative relationship between the Rutgers Writing Program and Hackensack High School. Since then, groups of English and social studies teachers have visited composition classes at Rutgers and met with writing program instructors; in exchange, Rutgers faculty and writing program administrators have observed classes at Hackensack High School. With each exhange, we bring more teachers from both institutions into the discussion. With the goal of deepening the engagement between Rutgers English and Hackensack High School, we hosted a two-day intensive version of the Expos 101 training program this summer in Writers House for a dozen Hackensack faculty and administrators. In the future, we plan to work together on faculty development and curriculum revision. What will come of this institutional partnership? Ideally, our two institutions will create a new model to bridge the gap between high school and college writing instruction. At the very least, we hope that, from now on, graduates from Hackensack High School will arrive at Rutgers and walk into Expos 101 fully prepared to take up the challenge.  


LOOKING BACK RUTGERS IN THE 1970s 1970 In May, student activists take over Rutgers President Mason W. Grosss office in the Old Queens building to protest the U.S. invasion of Cambodia In September, the Rutgers Student Government Association published a satirical manifesto entitled The Freshman Unhandbook in the Rutgers Targum, introducing first-year students to campus life 1970 - 1971 Rutgers English shifts the focus of its first-year English curriculum from literary criticism to basic composition John J. Richetti joins the English department as an associate professor 1971 Charles L. Busch, a wealthy investor from Edgewater, New Jersey, dies and unexpectedly leaves $10 million to Rutgers for biological research; in return, the University Heights Campus is renamed Busch Campus in his honor Edward J. Bloustein becomes university president upon the retirement of Mason W. Gross 1972 Rutgers College becomes co-educational The university undergoes major structural re-organization and creates provosts for the Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick campuses 1973 Marius Bewley, a beloved and distinguished professor of English, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, passes away in January; a Marius Bewley Fund is established to recognize student work 1973 - 1974 The number of female undergraduates doubles from 544 to 1,323 1974 Pulitzer Prize winning poet Stanley Kunitz joins Rutgers English as a visiting professor of creative writing 1975 - 1976 Rutgers English faculty struggles to adapt to larger class sizes resulting from a surge in student enrolment Rutgers University football and basketball teams are undefeated 1976 Paul Fussell, the John DeWitt Professor of English Literature, wins the National Book Award for Arts and Letters for The Great War and Modern Memory The School of Creative and Performing Arts, later renamed the Mason Gross School of the Arts, was declared a separate degree-granting unit of the university 1977 In his October 2 New York Times op-ed piece, Rutgers University President Edward J. Bloustein writes about renewed spirit on the Rutgers campuses that reflect the beginnings of a new era Mason W. Gross, the sixteenth president of Rutgers University, dies on October 11 1977 - 1978 Paul Fussell is awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, becoming the sixth Rutgers English professor in the last seven years to receive a Guggenheim, joining John J. Richetti (1970), George Levine (1971), Thomas R. Edwards (1972), Richard Poirier (1974), and William Phillips (1976) 1978 The university begins to create a unified Faculty of Arts and Sciences; changes are completed in 1980 Following a controversial legal battle, the Partisan Review moves from Rutgers University to Boston University, along with its editor-in-chief, William Phillips 1979 The Library of America is co-founded by Richard Poirier The university initiates a four-year general honors program named after Colonel Henry Rutgers  

Rutgers in the Late 1970's: Selective Reflections

RUTGERS IN THE LATE 1970s: SELECTIVE REFLECTIONS by Bill Matthews I am often asked why I majored in English. The glib and easy answer is, it was the only thing I was good at. But what really attracted me to English is what I saw in the teachers who taught me the discipline: a great eagerness and thirst for knowledge; a mind open to inquiry and deliberate thinking; and a respect for carefully considered thought, whether from the mind of a scholar or the mind of a scruffy nineteen-year-old student. But Im getting ahead of myself. I had wandered through high school in a haze of adolescent angst fueled by long drives in the quickly disappearing New Jersey countryside. I like to think that the ambivalent, unmotivated, world-weary me of 1976 was a reflection of the times, the sad implosion of the hope of the sixtiesbut that is only part of the story. I was one of seven kids from a working class family, so close in agethe first six were born in just over seven yearsthat all through grade school and high school we were perceived as a single entity moving through the school system. The deal my parents made with us was that they would pay for one year of college, but that after that we were on our own. When I stumbled into college, the draft had ended, deferments were no longer needed, and small colleges all over the country were desperate for students. A college in northern Maine caught me up, and before I knew what was happening, I was on a twelve-hour bus ride, six hundred miles away from home. I suddenly found myself in love. Not with a personthat would come much laterbut with words, stories, poems, essays, the back of cereal boxes, anything that had something to say. As this passion intensified, so did my anxiety over my rudderless life: I had to grab the rudder and steer it somewhere. The destination was not important, but the direction was. All the compass points (and my nearly empty wallet) seemed to point back to New Jersey. And so, in the fall of 1977, I found myself a student at Rutgers College. This was probably the first deliberate decision I had ever made in my lifeand what a decision it was. One of the first courses I took was a Victorian literature course with Barry Qualls, who seemed to have stepped out the pages of one of the novels we were reading, and who showed me how words could capture a whole world. George Kearns, whose glasses were on a permanent slide down his nose, taught me poetic form and meter. Pat Tobin, a fierce powerhouse of words and intellect, taught a course called Time and the Novel, which opened doors I didnt even know existed, and that I still cant figure out how to close. There was William Keach and Susan Wolfson, who taught Romantic literature, and the elegant, gentle David Kalstone, who taught modern poetry and gave me the gift of Elizabeth Bishop, the poet I return to again and again. What being an English major at Rutgers has taught me is the most important thing of all: how to think. More specifically, how to move an idea from spark to flame, seed to flower, or, even more concretely, from thought to words on the page. This is a gift of immeasurable value that Ive carried all through my life, and that has served me well in the nearly 30 years Ive been a researcher, grant writer, fundraiser, pharmaceutical marketer, writer, parent, domestic partner, and now, rapidly aging baby boomer. Although Pat Tobin would have used her blue pen and written cliché, it is a truth universally acknowledged that, without Rutgers, I would not be the person I am today.  

Syllabus: The Faculty Bookshelf in the 1970s

SYLLABUS THE FACULTY BOOKSHELF IN THE 1970s 1970 Marius Bewley     1971 Paul Fussell Richard Poirier Thomas R. Edwards Bridget Gellert Lyons   1973 Julian Moynahan     1975 Paul Fussell     1977 Elaine Showalter David Kalstone     1978 Thomas F. Van Laan Patricia Drechsel Tobin     1979 Daniel F. Howard    

Profiles in Giving

PROFILES IN GIVING Martha Nell Smith PhD 1985 Professor of English and Founding Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) University of Maryland, College Park Marilee Lindemann PhD 1991 Associate Professor of English and Director of the LGBT Studies Program University of Maryland, College Park Gift: Planned Estate Gift We have developed a deep appreciation for the strong foundations the Graduate Program of Literatures in English helped us to establish. In ways small and large, literal and figurative, Rutgers English made it possible for us to become scholars, writers, teachersand a couple. The departments brave, early support for feminist research and teaching encouraged us to forge our own paths and trust our own judgments. We are pleased to give back to the graduate program and have chosen to focus our giving on the moment when a student strives to become a scholar in her or his own rightthe period of researching and writing a dissertation. Our hope is that our gift will encourage others to give so that Rutgers English can continue to produce forward-looking, ambitious, and courageously creative scholars and teachers. Thats why weve chosen to invest in the future of Rutgers English. PROFILE IN GIVING Kevin Mulcahy PhD 1982 Humanities Librarian Archibald S. Alexander Library Rutgers University Gift: Graduate Program Book Fund I started at Rutgers in 1974 in the Graduate Program of Literatures in English, and earned my PhD in 1982. Since then, I have worked for over 25 years at the Alexander Library as the humanities librarian specializing in English and American literature. My giving over the last few years has consisted of buying and donating books to the librarymostly contemporary fiction and critical editions of classic worksbut this past year, I decided to work with the graduate program to purchase books suggested by students writing their dissertations. This way I can both develop the librarys collections and give immediate help to students at a critical stage during their research. The Alexander Library and the English department are the two parts of the university that mean the most to meand Im glad to be able to make a small return to the university where Ive spent more than half my life.  

Our Friends and Donors

GIVING BACK TO RUTGERS ENGLISH Many thanks to the following Friends who contributed to the FoRE Fund since July 2003. Thanks also to the corporations and foundations for their matching donations and grants. We appreciate your continued support! A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A Anonymous Mr. Scott C. Adams Dr. Tanya Agathocleous American Re-Insurance Co. Ms. Candice E. Amich Dr. Eric G. Anderson Mrs. Patricia A. Andres Mr. Christopher J. Andrew B Mr. William Babula Mr. Thomas M. Badenhausen Mr. Nenad M. Baiada Dr. Alexander M. Bain Bank of America Foundation Dr. Joan M. Baranow Mr. Robert A. Barbier Mr. and Mrs. Charles Barker, Jr. Ms. Sandra D. Barletta Ms. Susan M. Barnes Ms. Sigalle Barness Professor Louise K. Barnett Ms. Karin W. Bates Dr. W. John Bauer Mr. Thomas J. Belasco Ms. Maria Rice Bellamy Professor John Belton Ms. Maren Bencivenga Ms. Charlotte E. Bennardo Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Ms. Mildred Bernier-Gonzalez Professor Emeritus Paul Bertram Margaret F. Black Dr. Kristin B. Bluemel Mrs. Marlene Witman Blum Mr. David J. Boczar Boncore Consulting, Inc. Dr. David A. Boxwell Mr. Paul Joseph Bradley Mr. Thomas A. Brennan Bridge Landscape Design, Inc. Mrs. Michelle Brosius Professor Emeritus Wesley Brown Mr. Robert Charles Brown Mr. Ernest M. Brownson Ms. Denise Flynn Buczko Ms. Grayce Susan Burian Dr. Christopher Burnham Dr. John P. Bushnell Mrs. Carolyn Butler C Dr. Peter J. Caccavari Califon Garage Ms. Erin M. Calpin Mr. William J. Cariste Mr. Louis Carlier Mrs. Elizabeth P. Carter Mr. Thomas J. Cavanaugh, Jr. Dr. Joseph Patrick Cesarini Mr. Timothy Chau Dr. Joseph M. Chaves Ms. Judith Christian Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Ms. Constance T. Ciferni Mr. Tom Cimino Ms. Adriana D. Clarizio Mr. Benjamin Clarke Ms. Muriel T. Clawans The CNA Insurance Companies Dr. John C. Cobb Dr. Anne L. 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Varga Mr. Marcos S. Vargas Verizon Foundation Mr. Frank T. Viverito W Ms. Mary Ann Waclawik Ms. Lisa T. Wahler Ms. Deanna L. Waldron Ms. Mary J. Walk Professor Cheryl A. Wall Ms. Christine S. Wasik Dr. Gregory L. Waters Ms. Pearleen Waters Mrs. Deborah G. Weiner Mr. Brian R. Welch Dr. Andrew Welsh West Group Professor Carolyn Williams Mrs. Marjorie E. Wold Mr. Joshua J. Wolfermann The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Ms. Melissa J. Wyse Z Ms. Marie S. Zehler Ms. Betty Jean Zirnite We try very hard, but mistakes occasionally occur. We sincerely apologize if we missed the chance to recognize your gift or misspelled your name. Please let us know if you would like to be listed together with your spouse or partner. Similarly, let us know if you would like us to drop or add your middle initial, your middle name, your maiden name, or the suffixes Jr., Sr., II, or III. To report errors or name preferences, please email or call 732.932.9896. Please contact us to discuss available gift opportunities and learn how you can make a difference. Richard E. Miller Chair, Department of English Executive Director, Friends of Rutgers English 732.932.7571 Rick H. Lee Director of Alumni and Public Relations Department of English 732.932.9896  

From Page to Stage: A Young Playwright's Journey

FROM PAGE TO STAGE: A YOUNG PLAYWRIGHT'S JOURNEY by Ken Urban Every playwright remembers the first one. As I tell my students, you never fully understand your play until you see it on its feet. Its a lesson felt most palpably at your first production, in front of your first audience, seeing your words come alive. Rich Bencivenga (BA 2006) understands that lesson well. After readings at the Edison Valley Playhouse and on Livingston Campus, Bencivengas play, Flight of the Iron Butterfly, was first produced during this years Reunion Weekend, and debuted at The George Street Playhouse in August. While the show is the culmination of a two-year journey for Bencivenga, its history stretches back over sixty years, tracing the story of Bencivengas grandfather during World War II. Bencivenga was a student in the introductory and advanced playwrighting courses I taught at Rutgers in 2005 and 2006. In the advanced course, I asked the students to write a play unlike what they had written before, and to push themselves out of their comfort zones. I remember Bencivenga decided to abandon a project early in the semester because there was something else he felt he had to write. Bencivengas grandfather, John Paul Czahor, ill with cancer, began talking about his military service, something he had rarely done in the past. A member of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, Czahor and his men parachuted onto the beaches of Normandy on that fateful June day in 1944. For his service, Czahor received the Bronze Star for valor in duty and a Purple Heart for his injuries. Like many veterans, he lived with the mental scars of combat that often made his nights restless. Czahor, now reaching the end of his life, felt the time was right to let these memories go. Hearing these stories compelled Bencivenga: he needed to write about his grandfathers military service. As is often the case, the play finds the writer. Both a memory play and a Bildungsroman, Flight of the Iron Butterfly opens with the narrator, Old John, who tells us of his decision to join the military. A younger John, along with a chorus, enact the seminal events in Johns life: from his decision to leave the family farm in Hillsborough, New Jersey, to basic training and jump school, to that fateful leap onto the beaches of Normandy. A lepidopterist, an authority on butterflies, interrupts the story on occasion. John is the audiences butterfly, who we see grow from a confused Jersey boy to a hero in battle. Despite the plays valorization of the wartime experience, its closing lines remind us of the mental scars of those who fought in WWII. No. Ill never go back, Young John says. Normandy means too much for me to go for a visit. As long as I know its there, thats all I need of Normandy. The May production at Rutgers was a homecoming for both author and audience, which was comprised of veterans from the Rutgers Living History Societymen who knew the story of Young John welland students from Hillsborough High School, where Bencivenga graduated from in 2001. When I asked what it was like to be in the audience during his first production, he remarked, I was deeply affected by the responses I saw and heard from people around me. I understood the play in a whole new way. The other valuable lesson about seeing your play on its feet for the first time is how the experience makes you hungry for more.  

Prescribed Reading

PRESCRIBED READING by Ann Jurecic A group of students and faculty at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School meet, once or twice each month, in a study room of the Medical Education Building. They do not meet to discuss emergency medicine, community health, or genetics research. No, these are the members of the Finer Things Cluba book group made up of an eclectic set of readers, including a cardiothoracic surgeon, a pathology researcher, the schools course director for biological chemistry, as well as a future medical student with degrees in neuroscience and philosophy, a first-year student with a doctorate in philosophy, and two 2007 Rutgers English alumni, Daniel Marchalik and Alex Kasavin. The Finer Things Club is the brainchild of Marchalik, a first-year medical student with a longstanding interest in the medical humanities, which links humanistic study with medical education and practice. When the academic year began in September 2007, Marchalik stirred up interest among a handful of faculty and students to begin a book group that would counteract the regimented approach to learning in medical school, where few students or faculty feel they have time to read literature. Seven people showed up for the first meeting to discuss Samuel Shems House of God, a comic novel about interns at a famous teaching hospital. The book choice was a bit of a flop, but it helped the group to realize that they wanted to focus on topics other than medicine. Marchalik explained, we wanted to do something so far from our circumstances and so literary that the only connection we could establish to the medical school would be the meetings location. Thus, when they decided to tackle Salman Rushdies Midnights Children, the intellectual challenge of that novel became the catalyst for the clubs success. By the fourth meeting, the club had grown in size and were making ever bolder choices, selecting for discussion Ciridwen Doveys Blood Kin. Among the regular participants is William Zehring, a biochemistry professor and a self-declared amateur reader who finds these gatherings to be a refreshing break from his routine. Theres not enough art in life, Zehring remarks. The book club fulfills that need. He pauses as he searches for words to sum up the experience and then concludes simply, Its &delicious. Rutgers English alumnus Alex Kasavin brings an outsiders perspective to the conversation. Kasavin, who has no formal connection to the medical school, began attending because he missed literary discussions. From the start, he was surprised by how reading became a fundamentally social as well as cultural experience for members of the group. Theres another world of reading out there, another culture of reading, he observed. Books provide an excuse to get together with other people, and getting together is also an excuse to engage with the books. Participants are making an effort to learn and to enrich themselves through literature. Now that Marchalik has launched a thriving book group, his work is not over. His application for the club to carry non-credit elective status has been approved by the medical school. In addition, hes been asked to resurrect the Humanities and Medicine electivea course in which visiting scholars give lectures about the links between medicine and other fields of study, such as history, film, literature, philosophy, and popular culture. As the schools reigning humanist, Marchalik has even been given a budget for bringing art and beauty to the buildings dreary hallways. Although Marchalik has stated that the goal of the book club is to prevent med school burnout, upon reflection, he admits that studying literature is more than a diversion. The more you read, he speculates, the more lives you have access to and the richer life you can build for the people you meet. You learn that everyone has a story. Remaining connected to literature and the arts, he suggests, reminds you of the intimate, interior lives of others. In medical school, he concludes, were taught every day to think of patients in terms of symptoms. The book club invites us to think of patients more fully and more humanistically in terms of stories.  

About Us

ABOUT RUTGERS ENGLISH The Department of English is the largest humanities department in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Our faculty strives to instill students with a deep and lasting understanding of literature and literary traditions. Each year, more than 11,000 undergraduates receive instruction in humanistic reading and writing through our writing program. Our comprehensive undergraduate program reaches more than 900 majors and enrolls more than 8,000 students annually. Our top-ranking graduate program prepares the next generation of literary scholars and teachers for professional success. The Department of English is proud to be home to the Plangere Writing Center, the Center for Cultural Analysis, and Writers House, which represent the departments commitment to excellence in written expression, to the interdisciplinary study of culture, and to the promotion of creative writing and multimedia composition. In addition to its curricular programs, the department sponsors lectures, conferences, and readings for the university community and the general public. ABOUT FRIENDS OF RUTGERS ENGLISH Members of Friends of Rutgers English (FoRE) include alumni of our undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty, current students, staff, and other supporters of the Department of English. Cheryl A. Wall established FoRE in 1998 during her tenure as departmental chair. Richard E. Miller, the chair of the English department, also serves as the executive director of the organization. FoRE raises public awareness about the value of studying literature and the literary arts, broadly construed. The organization also raises funds to support the scholarly and pedagogical endeavors of Rutgers English faculty and students. ABOUT FUTURE TRADITIONS MAGAZINE Future Traditions Magazine is published by the Department of English at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Views expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or official policies of the university. © 2008 by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Future Traditions Magazine welcomes feedback and comments regarding stories in its pages. Alumni: Please include your degree and year of graduation in correspondence. ADDRESS CHANGES AND ALUMNI UPDATES To change a mailing address or to submit news of your professional activities, please contact: Rick H. Lee Director of Alumni and Public Relations Department of English Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Murray Hall, 510 George Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1167 Email: Phone: 732.932.9896 FUTURE TRADITIONS MAGAZINE EDITORIAL OFFICE Office of Alumni and Public Relations Department of English Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Phone: 732.932.9896 Fax: 732.932.1202 Website: EDITOR AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR Rick H. Lee DESIGNERS Maritza Cruz Abigail McClure Anna Witek EDITORIAL WRITERS Amy Meng FACULTY WRITERS Emily C. Bartels Ann Baynes Coiro Marianne DeKoven Elin Diamond Richard Dienst Kate Flint William H. Galperin Myra Jehlen Ann Jurecic John Kucich Ron Levao Meredith L. McGill Michael McKeon Richard E. Miller Barry V. Qualls Henry S. Turner Keith Wailoo (History) Rebecca L. Walkowitz Carolyn Williams Edlie L. Wong ALUMNI WRITERS Jaya Bharne (BA 2007) Louis R. Carlozo (BA 1986) Hillary Chute (PhD 2007) Sara Grossman (BA 2007) Rick H. Lee (MA 2001) Ron Levao (BA 1970) Marie T. Logue (PhD 1983) Bill Matthews (BA 1981) Colleen R. Rosenfeld (MA 2008) Martha Nell Smith (PhD 1985) Ken Urban (PhD 2006) Alexander G. Weheliye (PhD 1999) STUDENT WRITERS Chris McGowan (Class of 2010) Amy Meng (Class of 2011) CONTRIBUTING WRITERS FACULTY WRITERS EMILY C. BARTELS is the author of Spectacles of Strangeness: Imperialism, Alienation, and Marlowe, and, most recently, Speaking of the Moor: From Alcazar to Othello. ANN BAYNES COIRO is the author of Robert Herricks Hesperides and the Epigram Book Tradition. MARIANNE DeKOVEN is the author of Utopia Limited: The Sixties and the Emergence of the Postmodern; Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism; and A Different Language: Gertrude Steins Experimental Writing. ELIN DIAMOND is the director of the graduate program in comparative literature and the author of Unmaking Mimesis: Essays on Feminism and Theater and Pinters Comic Play. RICHARD DIENST is the author of Still Life in Real Time: Theory after Television. WILLIAM H. GALPERIN is the author of The Historical Austen, The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, and Revision and Authority in Wordsworth: The Interpretation of a Career. MYRA JEHLEN is Board of Governors Professor of English and the author of Readings at the Edge of Literature; American Incarnation: The Individual, the Nation, and the Continent; and Class and Character in Faulkners South. ANN JURECIC is a specialist in composition studies and the author of articles in Pedagogy and Literature and Medicine. JOHN KUCICH is the director of the graduate program of literatures in English and the author of Imperial Masochism: British Fiction, Fantasy, and Social Class; The Power of Lies: Transgression in Victorian Fiction; Repression in Victorian Fiction: Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens; and Excess and Restraint in the Novels of Charles Dickens. RON LEVAO, an alumnus of Rutgers College (BA 1970), is the author of Renaissance Minds and Their Fictions: Cusanus, Sidney, Shakespeare. MEREDITH L. McGILL is the director of the Center for Cultural Analysis and the author of American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1834-1853. MICHAEL McKEON is Board of Governors Professor of English and the author of The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge; The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740; and Politics and Poetry in Restoration England. RICHARD E. MILLER is the chair of the English department and the executive director of the Plangere Writing Center. He is the author of Writing at the End of the World and As If Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education. BARRY V. QUALLS is the vice president for undergraduate education and the author of The Secular Pilgrims of Victorian Fiction: The Novel as Book of Life and numerous articles and reviews on Victorian literature. HENRY S. TURNER is the coordinator of the Program in Early Modern Studies and the author of The English Renaissance Stage: Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts,1580-1630, and, most recently, Shakespeares Double Helix. KEITH WAILOO is the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of History and the author of Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health and Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America. REBECCA L. WALKOWITZ is the coordinator of the Modernism & Globalization Seminar Series and the author of Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation. CAROLYN WILLIAMS is the director of the undergraduate program in English, the executive director of Writers House, and the author of Transfigured World: Walter Paters Aesthetic Historicism. EDLIE L. WONG is the author of Neither Fugitive Nor Free: Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel, which is forthcoming from New York University Press. ALUMNI WRITERS JAYA BHARNE (BA 2007) is the recipient of the 2007 Jordan Lee Flyer Honors Award for outstanding promise and achievement in the study of language and literature. LOUIS R. CARLOZO (BA 1986) is a features staff writer at the Chicago Tribune, lead music critic for the Christian Century, and a writing instructor at Loyola University Chicago. HILLARY CHUTE (PhD 2007) is a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and the author of recent and forthcoming articles in PMLA, Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies, and Womens Studies Quarterly. SARA GROSSMAN (BA 2007) is the recipient of the 2006 Irving D. Blum Prize for the best essay written in coursework. RICK H. LEE (MA 2001), the director of alumni and public relations for the English department at Rutgers University, is completing his dissertation examining the problem of cultural literacy and generational transmission in gay male culture. MARIE T. LOGUE (PhD 1983) is the assistant vice president for academic engagement and programming at Rutgers University. BILL MATTHEWS (BA 1981) is the senior director of development research and prospect management at the Rutgers University Foundation. COLLEEN R. ROSENFELD (MA 2008) is the recipient of the Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Louis Bevier Dissertation Fellowship. MARTHA NELL SMITH (PhD 1985) is a professor of English and the founding director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinsons Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson; Comic Power in Emily Dickinson; and Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson. KEN URBAN (PhD 2006) is a playwright and a preceptor in expository writing at Harvard University. ALEXANDER G. WEHELIYE (PhD 1999) is an associate professor of English and African American studies at Northwestern University and the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity. STUDENTS WRITERS CHRIS McGOWAN is a rising junior and plans to attend a PhD program in English after graduating from Rutgers. AMY MENG will be part of the Class of 2011, the first class graduating from a unified School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University.


ARCHIVE Future Traditions Magazine Issue 1 (2006-2007) Friends of Rutgers English Newsletter Issue 6 (Spring/Summer 2006) Issue 5 (Fall/Winter 2005) Issue 4 (Spring/Summer 2005) Issue 3 (Fall/Winter 2004) Issue 2 (Spring/Summer 2004) Issue 1 (Fall/Winter 2003)  

Why Paris

From the Executive Director of Friends of Rutgers English (FoRE) WHY PARIS ? by Richard E. Miller   This question is inescapable. In the months before I started my sabbatical, neighbors, colleagues, and students would invariably invite me to explain my plans. And, since Ive settled in here, the question inevitably emerges with each new social encounter. So, what is a writing teacher doing in Paris? I have a range of short answers: why not Paris? To put a large body of water between me and my life as an administrator. To clear my head. Because I get more visitors here than I do in New Jersey. But, these answers dont really get to the heart of the matter. As an essayist, I need the distance; Paris holds archives of value to my wifes research; my daughters get to spend a year immersed in another culture; every little piece of life is productively jostled. Point of view changes everything: the aerial view of Voorhees Mall found on the cover of our magazine is not available when you are heading to class or your office or the library. At those times, theres whats in front of you and there are your thoughts about your destination. The shift in perspective reveals a pattern; theres more than whats aheadthe next appointment, the next paper to grade, the next phone call to maketheres whats going on in every direction; there are options. This is what I have been working on over here; I am writing about how the essay can be used to make options visible. Thats one project. Another involves a collaboration with my friend Mark Sheridan-Rabideau, who has just joined the music faculty at the University of Wyoming, on social entrepreneurialism and the humanities. Mark and I have spent years talking about the fundamental changes that are taking place in the funding of higher education and we share a commitment to thinking about the value of the humanities in everyday life. We are exploring the overlap between creativity in the arts and the creativity of the entrepreneur, with an eye towards providing a practical guide for launching sustainable ventures that have, as their highest aim, not the generation of profit, but contributing to the social good. (By chance, I ended up with another example for this ongoing project as a result of the week I spent at the Connemara Center for Creative Arts and Natural History in County Galway, Ireland, on the way over to France. A labor of love, a vision, an effort to preserve and revivify the cultural heritage and the rural traditions of the Connemara region: Dearbhaill Standun and Charlie Troys Cnoc Suain is a testament to the ways that landscape, horizon, and worldview intersect with language, song, and story.) And, finally, Kurt Spellmeyer and I are preparing the third edition of The New Humanities Reader, which mostly requires, at this point, that we both indulge our love of reading to find ways to further improve our textbook. This has been a milestone year for The New Humanities Reader: royalties from the sales of the textbook have now contributed more than $60,000 to fund initiatives in the writing program; these funds have supported advanced training for teachers, travel to conferences for graduate students, and the purchase of new equipment. And last year, quite by chance, we learned that Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, one of the books excerpted in The New Humanities Reader, was coming to campus to give a reading. Carolyn Williams and Rick H. Lee contacted the folks in charge of the event and volunteered their expertise in running the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series. What followed was something that Kurt and I have talked about for years, but could never quite manage to pull off: hundreds of first-year students got a chance to listen to and ask questions of an author whose work they, themselves, had read and written about with care. (Nafisi was featured in the recommended sequence for expository writing.) And Dr. Nafisi? She found herself speaking to an overflow crowd, with more than 750 people in attendance. One way to define the value of the humanities is as the endless flow of such evanescent events. There are other projects, too, but the most important one involves the launch of the current capital campaign. I am co-chairing the Capital Campaign Faculty Advisory Roundtable with Carl Kirschner, who has served as the dean of Rutgers College since 1995. We are charged both with making certain that faculty have a strong voice in this campaign and with making certain that those faculty who are interested are provided with the resources to participate in the campaign productively. In the department, at this early stage, this has meant drafting numerous proposals that are to go in our Book of Dreams. This has been a valuable exercise, for it has given faculty the opportunity to put into words what they believe would help to bring about significant change in the department and at Rutgers more generally. And this, too, is another way to define the humanities, I would say, as training in the arts of imagining a better world. Im happy to talk about these projects at any time in August or thereafter upon my return. Just drop me a line; or, better yet, stop by.  

Rutgers in the Late 1960's: Selective Reflections

RUTGERS IN THE LATE 1960s: Selective Reflections by Ron Levao My undergraduate life at Rutgers was as variegated as most other periods, but the sense of novelty and invigorating pleasure is what I most recall, or would most like to recallhaving so much time to spend with strange, new books, meeting (sometimes strange) new friends. Those years offered an intellectual and emotional context where curiosity could be indulged, ideas tested, attitudes explored. My instructors were a group of brilliant, often charming, and highly individualized men and women, and when I tally the roster nowRichard Poirier, David Kalstone, Marius Bewley, Tom Edwards, Paul Fussell, George Dardess, Dan Howard, Julian Moynahan, Jack Spector, Maurice Charney, John Huntington, Rene Webber, Katharine Jobes, Alicia OstrikerI am grateful for how many wonderful critics, writers, and educators lectured to or chatted with my scruffy self. It was the sheer revisibility of perception that first impressed me about my studies, and since I was a neophyte, I was under no obligation to be cautious or coy about beguiling, half-baked ideas, or about antiquities that could be endlessly reanimated, debunked or reconfigured. A morning lecture on why Aristotles notions of plot were still powerful gave way to an afternoon seminar (with another instructor) about why Aristotle was tedious and irrelevant. And then would come other mornings and afternoons. I loved my English courses; art history and philosophy classes were special treats as well: campus architecture, New Brunswick sunsets, and the hamster-like scurrying of my mind took on unsuspected contours and tracings after a week studying Neoclassicism or Impressionism, Descartes or Kant. Many of us could be disciplined (and probably should have been more so), but lingering over ideas, drifting and daydreaming, was no less essential. There were days when I drifted too far, and found myself in class having to survive by my wits; that has made me rather tolerant of those who sometimes do likewise. But these were also the 60s; pop culture and a fascination with paradox were everywhereThe Beatles, Jorge Luis Borges, Muhammad Ali, and Robert Crumb seemed to be adding new steps to everyones cultural choreography. Serious play, a slippery formulation used by some Renaissance humanists to describe mental work, was very much the order of the day for undergraduates and graduate students alike. My twin brother, with whom I was close and have over the years become even more so, was busy exploring his own version of the university landscape. My daily companions, discovered in classes, dormitory life, the campus literary magazine, student government, or just hanging around, were a diverse crew from different departments and of various temperamentscynical, sentimental, idealistic, perversely ingeniousbut all provoked delight and affection. I was also lucky to fall in with a group of English PhD students, and long evenings spent laughing over books, music, and mental games made continuing on to graduate school seem like a very attractive proposition. I am, of course, excluding a great deal herefrustrations and misunderstandings both petty and important, fulfilling and failed friendships and affairs, cringe-provoking self-indulgences and the looming reality of more mature academic responsibility, and above all the grim social and political upheavals that surrounded, and at times reshaped, the experience of those years. But I dedicate these few hundred words to what I most want to recall: the complex pleasures and challenges that helped me find what mattered to me, a field of possibility that would not, like Little Nemos Slumberland, disappear in the morning light but which, however qualified, still remains as an underlying motivation for the scholarship and teaching I have enjoyed at other universities, and now again at Rutgers, ever since. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Ron Levao graduated from Rutgers College in 1970 and began graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, that same year. He joined the faculty at Rutgers University in 1989.  

Barry V. Qualls

BARRY V. QUALLS: Teacher, Mentor, Friend by Ernest G. Jacob I was a student in the first Victorian literature class that Barry Qualls taught at Rutgers 35 years ago. I remember little of the actual classroom experience, but I do remember that he and I read and discussed Professor Richard Poiriers book, The Performing Self, as an extracurricular activity. One of these discussions took place over dinner at Barrys house, and the evening turned out to be an important learning experience for me. Barry served artichokes that evening. I had never eaten an artichokethey were not on my familys menu as I was growing upso Barry graciously educated me in the rather complex and delicate process of artichoke consumption. This was truly hands-onrather than booklearning. And yet, that evening symbolizes, in a way, the manner in which Barry opened my life to wider horizons. There is much that I took away from Rutgers and from my relationship with Barry. We had numerous discussions of books and writers, and I saw how Barrys love of the Victorians was a source of inspiration in his teaching and writingone that he naturally passed on to his students and colleagues. One of the key realizations I made through Barry was the way in which enthusiasm for a text is the starting point for studying literature. We became friends. I majored in English and went on to pursue graduate study in English at Northwestern University. Though I had planned to become a college professor, I ended up leaving the program with a masters degree and working in the business world. Barry played a role in this stage of my life too, and helped me see that by pursuing a business career I wasnt necessarily abandoning my interest in language and literature. Much later, he became a mentor to my wife, encouraging her to return to graduate school for her PhDshe now teaches philosophy at NYU. He more recently met with our daughter and encouraged her to attend Rutgers; however, she was intent on going out of state and we are paying private school tuition bills. I retrieved Professor Poiriers The Performing Self from my bookshelf this weekend as I was thinking about what I might say today. I had underlined a quote from D. H. Lawrence about the struggle for verbal consciousness, which Lawrence insisted was a central concern not only of literature but also of life. Professor Poirier then goes on to comment on this struggle, and I would like to read from the text: Locating, then watching, then describing and participating in this struggle as it takes place in the writings of any period could be the most exciting and promising direction of English studies. It points to where language and history truly meet. Literary study can thus be made relevant to life not as a mere supplier of images or visions, but as an activity; it can create capacities through exercise with the language of literature that can then be applied to the language of politics and power, the language of daily life. This is from a chapter entitled What Is English Studies? I realize that Barry never doubted that my study of English literature would be relevant to my life and my work. He was right, and his confidence on this point is one of many characteristics that make him such a good teacher. My preference now, as then, is poetry, and Barry has continued to encourage my interest, giving me many books of poetry. Even though I did not become a college English professor, I still hold the written word quite dear. I enjoy irony and the value of subtle meaning in a text. My life has been enriched by Barrys teaching, our dialogue, and his friendship. I believe we find in him a teacher whose intelligence and spirit are sources of pride and gratitude for us all. For me, good teachingthe ability to excite students about the material and provoke them to go beyond classroom presentations, and to think and read beyond the syllabusis central to the undergraduates experience of a research university. Barry Qualls ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Alumnus Ernest G. Jacob delivered a version of these remarks at the reception hosted by Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick, on December 12, 2006, to celebrate Barry V. Qualls as the 2006 New Jersey Professor of the Year. The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding faculty in the countrythose who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students. Among the most prestigious programs honoring professors, the awards are given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Two other Rutgers University faculty have held this honor: Stephen J. Greenfield, a professor of mathematics, was named the 2004 New Jersey Professor of the Year, and Clement Alexander Price, a professor of history, was named the 1999 New Jersey Professor of the Year. Qualls, who currently serves as the vice president for undergraduate education, continues to teach undergraduate classes and publish articles on nineteenth century British literature. He has also taught seminars for high school teachers on Victorian fiction and poetry, the Bible as literature, and women writers.  

New Faculty Profiles

  NEW FACULTY PROFILES   CHRISTOPHER P. IANNINI by Myra Jehlen GREGORY S. JACKSON by Michael Warner JOHN KUCICH by Barry V. Qualls CARTER A. MATHES by Cheryl A. Wall DIANNE F. SADOFF by Carolyn Williams  


HAPPENINGS events in murray hall and around campus   THE PREACHER'S FOOTING Michael Warner Delivers Annual Opening Lecture by Marianne DeKoven HITLER'S LIST A Lesson on German Art by Michael McKeon MOMENTS IN TIME Daniel Ellsberg Calls for Civic Courage John A. McClure NEW TRADITIONS Graduate Program Launches Two New Lecture Series by Marianne DeKoven WHAT THE DICKENS?! A Report on the Dickens Universe and the Dickens Project Conference by Carolyn Williams SHAKESPEAREAN NOTES The Bard and Rutgers English by Rick H. Lee MACHIAVELLIAN MINDS A Report from the CCA by Colin Jager A VISION FOR THE COLLEGE AVENUE CAMPUS by Alex Kasavin PHOTOS FROM RUTGERS ENGLISH EVENTS  

The Preacher's Footing

Happenings » THE PREACHER'S FOOTING Michael Warner Delivers Annual Opening Lecture by Marianne DeKoven   In his well-received lecture, The Preachers Footing, Professor Michael Warner provided a new analysis of the social imaginary of various forms of preaching, concentrating on an eighteenth-century moment in which evangelicalism took shape. Drawing on sociologist Erving Goffmans notion of footing, Warner analyzed the complexities of the relative positioning of those who speak and those who hear within a variety of locutionary situations in early eighteenth century Protestant preaching, both in the American colonies and in England. Positing the modernity of evangelicalisms emphasis on individual revival, awakening, and personal conviction, he suggested that the performative nature of preaching in these itinerant sermons of evangelicals constitutes a form of what historians are now calling lived religion: not ecclesiastical doctrines or beliefs, but intensities experienced at a remove from institutionalized theology. Ultimately, Warners emphasis fell on the primacy of the publication of sermons that were preached as if extempore, and on the various modes of circulation of these published documents, different in the colonies and in England (the colonies were, in fact, more similar to provincial England than to London in this regard). What would appear to listeners to be the results of the preacher speaking directly from divine inspiration were often in fact memorized, published sermons. This fact led Professor Warner to question the effect of the preaching of published and publicly circulated sermons on the preachers footing. The first effect is to de-emphasize, in fact to eliminate, originality as a desirable quality for a sermon. This process of oralization of printed sermons creates for the preacher the opposite of an expressive identity. In evangelical preaching of this kind, the preacher is submissive to the printed text, and the listener is rigorously secluded in a personal, private space despite her or his participation in a performance of collective hearing. Warner argued that the norms and standards of public preaching, based on the circulation of printed sermons in evangelicalism led, paradoxically, to the breakdown of the textual tradition of preaching in the culture of evangelicalism. One way to explain this paradox is to note that the prophetic, conversion-seeking mode of evangelical preaching was initiated by the normalization of a conversionistic address to strangers. This normalization arose from itinerant preachings disruption of the cohesion of the local parish as community. Thus, he concluded, far from being a primordial orality, or deeply individual expressiveness, as evangelical preaching is most often seen to be, this mode of address arises directly from the public-sphere media environment of the circulation of printed sermons. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Over 100 people attended Professor Warners lecture at the Alexander Library Teleconference Lecture Hall on September 27, 2006.

Hitler's List

Happenings » HITLER'S LIST A Lesson on German Art by Michael McKeon   On September 20, 2006, the Rutgers community was treated to a lecture of unusually broad appeal by Professor Gregory Maertz of the Department of English at St. Johns University. Professor Maertzs topic was Hitlers List and the Real Canon of Nazi Art. Delivered in the stunning surrounds of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, the lecture chronicled Professor Maertzs recent discovery of a hitherto unknown cache of paintings at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. The significance of these paintings, represented by an ample and fascinating selection of slides taken on site by Maertz, is that they transform our understanding of the range of art produced under the Third Reich. Long associated only with a narrowly realist and nationalist purpose, Nazi art is now known, thanks to Maertzs work, to have been ambitiously engaged in the modernist experiments to which the rest of Europe was committed during the first half of the twentieth century. Professor Maertz began by describing the complex relationship that developed over the course of the 1930s between Adolf Hitler and his functionaries, the ideologies of Nazi culture, and the fostering of German art, a relationship deeply embedded in and resonant with the rise of the Third Reich. He then recounted the detective work that led to his discovery: how he first came to suspect the existence of this secret cache, his discreet and diplomatic efforts to gain access to the Haus der Kunst, and the hours spent photographing paintings under makeshift conditions and persistent uncertainty that his work would be authorized by museum and government officials (it was). The heart of the lecture was Maertzs ingenious display of and commentary on the paintings themselves. This included an informal mini-course on modernist art, subtly interwoven with comparisons between examples of the conventional canon of Nazi art and selected works, often radically different in style and theme, from the Haus der Kunst collection. The audience was invited to engage directly in thinking about the comparison between the two bodies of work when Professor Maertz asked periodically for a vote on which of two slides, displayed side by side, derived from which of the two collections The vast appeal of the lecture was evident in the fact that it was sponsored not only by the English department, but also by the art history, German, comparative literature, and history departments, as well as by the Center for European Studies and the School of Arts and Sciences. The questions that followed the lecture also reflected the range of subjects and fields Maertzs research illuminated. After the question-and-answer period Professor Maertz circulated among audience members as they, and he, partook of the sumptuous spread that we at Rutgers have become accustomed to enjoying in conjunction with intellectual nourishment of the sort provided by Hitlers List and the Real Canon of Nazi Art.  

Moments in Time

Happenings » MOMENTS IN TIME Daniel Ellsberg Calls for Civic Duty by John A. McClure   The timing couldnt have been better. Daniel Ellsberg, the dean of Vietnam War protesters, spoke at Rutgers to an audience of several hundred students, faculty, and alumni, on Wednesday, November 8, 2006. It was the day the nation learned the results of an election that had become a referendum on another unpopular war, the day that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned. The event took me back. Thirty-five years ago, as I was returning from a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Kenya, Ellsberg took the protests against the Vietnam War to a new level by releasing what came to be known as The Pentagon Papers, some 7,000 pages of classified documents that gave the lie to two administrations propaganda on the war. To me, Ellsberg was a hero, but not to everyone. At a welcome home party in the Washington suburbs, I listened as two high government officials ripped into Ellsberg for being a publicity-seeking turncoat and traitor. Not a word, from these Washington insiders, about the terrible costs of the war and the substance of Ellsbergs charges. For them, the only issue was his disloyalty to the administrations he had served in the Departments of Defense and State. As it turns out, Ellsberg himself was troubled by the issue of loyalty. For years, he believed that the oaths of secrecy he had taken as a government employee compelled him to keep silence about the truth of the war. Finally, however, he decided that, by keeping the governments secrets from the American people, he was violating a second and higher oath: the oath he had taken, as a government employee, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It was then that he copied the documents and released them first to members of Congress and then to the press. In his talk at Rutgers, Averting the Next War: A Call for Civic Courage, Ellsberg revisited these historical events to draw parallels with the present. He is very much afraid that in spite of the groundswell of opposition to the Iraq War, the war itself will not end. By 1968, he reminded his audience, a majority of Americans opposed the war in Vietnam. But the war did not stop. Instead, it dragged on into the mid-1970s, through two administrations, killing over 20,000 more Americans, and countless Vietnamese, as politicians spoke of exit strategies and escalated the violence. And, echoing a recent series of New Yorker articles by Seymour Hersh, he also fears that the Bush administration is planning to launch a massive air attack on Iran, possibly with the use of nuclear weapons. To prevent this, Ellsberg argued, individuals inside the government will have to have more foresight, and more courage, than he did. They will have to put the Constitution first and release the secret war planning documents to Congress and the people before attacks actually begin. Then and only then can Americans approach the hard choices between war and peace as the framers of the Constitution intended them to do, through debate rather than executive fiat. A wiry, silver haired man in his 70s, Daniel Ellsberg could still pass, in his tailored blue suit and tie, for a State department officer. But he exudes a quieter, more reflective energy. His Rutgers address combined argument with personal anecdote. Story begat story, and the effect was to conjure up a vivid sense of the vast and intricate world of Washington. As he guided his audience through that world, Ellsberg seemed at times to slip back into those corridors of power, and to be wandering there, like Diogenes in the ancient Greek agora, in search of an honest man. He received a standing ovation from the audience.  

New Traditions

Happenings » NEW TRADITIONS Graduate Program Launches Two New Lecture Series by Marianne DeKoven   This year the graduate program launched two exciting new lecture series: the Graduate Alumni Lecture Series, with Professor Peggy Phelan (PhD 1987) as its inaugural speaker, on December 7, 2006, and the Sexuality Speakers Series, which was kicked off by Professors Alice Echols, Heather K. Love, and Patrick R. OMalley. Phelan, who is the Ann ODay Maples Chair in the Arts and a professor of drama and English at Stanford University, spoke on 9/11, Photography, Performance, and the Real. Phelans lecture examined the privileged place of film, as opposed to still photography, in our constructions of the reality of 9/11 and of traumatic experience in general. Echols, an associate professor of English, gender studies, and American studies at the University of Southern California, and a visiting professor in the English department at Rutgers this past spring, lectured on the emergence of post-Stonewall gay hypermasculinity around disco music and club culture. Love, the M. Mark and Esther K. Watkins Asssistant Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed what she calls compulsory happiness in contemporary liberal constructions of queer culture, using Brokeback Mountain as her central text. OMalley, an associate professor of English at Georgetown University, discussed the construction of marginalized sexual identities and its relation to marginalized religious identities during the Victorian period. These lectures were co-sponsored by the Nineteenth Century Studies Group and the Twentieth Century Studies Group. Marianne DeKoven and Peggy Phelan during the Q & A following the Graduate Alumni Lecture Cheryl Wall, Mary Ellen Phelan, Peggy Phelan, Marianne DeKoven, Carolyn Williams, Barry Qualls, and William Galperin Alice Echols David Kurnick and Heather Love

What the Dickens

Happenings » WHAT THE DICKENS?! A Report on the Dickens Universe and the Dickens Project Conference by Carolyn Williams Every summer a group of Rutgers English faculty and graduate students travel to Santa Cruz, California, to be a part of the Dickens Universe, an annual conference dedicated to the work of Charles Dickens, sponsored by University of California and now in its twenty-seventh year. Each summer, the Dickens Universe focuses on one Dickens novel, bringing together more than 200 scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, high school teachers, and members of the general public for an intensive week of study. In 2006, the novel was Nicholas Nickleby, and this summer, it will be The Pickwick Papers, with our very own Meredith L. McGill as one of the featured speakers. Matthew Kaiser, Carolyn Williams, Alia Habib, Meredith McGill, Joe Harper, Tanya Agathocleous, and Jeff Kesler at the Dickens Universe Earlier this year, Rutgers English hosted the Dickens Project spring conference. Traveling outside California for the first time, it was held at the Plangere Writing Center the first weekend of April 2006 and showcased the work of graduate students who had attended the Nicholas Nickleby Universe in Santa Cruz. Bob Patten and Dickens Project conference organizers Carolyn Williams and Sarah Kennedy Victorian studies luminaries Janice Carlisle, Eileen Gillooly, John Kucich, Amanda Claybaugh, Gerhard Joseph, John Jordan, and Bob Patten continue the discussion over lunch

Shakespearean Notes

Happenings » SHAKESPEAREAN NOTES The Bard and Rutgers English by Rick H. Lee Last fall, the English department sent out its first Thanksgiving card, which included a pledge card with a quotation from William Shakespeares Twelfth Night: I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks. We were quite gratified by the response and thank you all for your generosity. A number of our Friends included with their gifts a query about the fidelity of the Twelfth Night quotation, pointing out that we had neglected the third instance of thanks. How could this have happened? We turned to Professor Ron Levao for an explanation, which we are happy to provide here: There seems to be an error in the first printed version we have, the Folio (now called the First Folio) of 1623. That is the version quoted on the Thanksgiving pledge card. The second line is two syllables short of pentameter and these two lines were thus dropped in the Second Folio of 1632, but then corrected by later editors, as editors sometimes do to difficult lines in Shakespeare. The version our Friends quoted was provided by Lewis Theobald in 1733. Modern editions sometimes follow the Folio, sometimes Theobald. Roger Warren and Stanley Wells in The Oxford Shakespeare follow the Folio, explaining that the missing words signify the speaker, Sebastian, stumbling in embarrassment over his need to hold off the affectionate Antonio, to whom he owes his life. The Arden Shakespeare includes a full description of these changes. In sum, everyone is rightto which we can only add, and thanks! The departments commitment to the Bard mirrors that of our Friends. This year we hosted two events promoting Shakespeares work. On Thursday, March 22, the undergraduate program organized a colloquium on Shakespeares sonnets for teachers of advanced placement English classes. Professors Ann Baynes Coiro and Thomas Fulton shared their expertise with over 50 high school teachers from across the state. Then, on Friday, April 13, Rutgers English hosted the Shakespeare in East Asia conference, which was organized by English honors student Ching Wen Rebecca Hu, who was then completing her thesis with Professors Ron Levao and Shuang Shen. Professor Bi-qi Beatrice Lei, of National Taiwan University, and Professor Alexander C. Y. Huang, of Penn State University, University Park, gave presentations on the reception, adaptation, and influence of the Bards plays in East Asia. The conference concluded with a performance of The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) by the College Avenue Players, a student theater troupe. Thomas Fulton at the Shakespeare colloquium Shakespeare in East Asia conference: Jacqueline Miller, Bi-qi Beatrice Lei, Ching Wen Rebecca Hu, Alexander Huang, Ron Levao, and Barry Qualls  

Machiavellian Minds

Happenings » MACHIAVELLIAN MINDS A Report from the CCA by Colin Jager   This past year members of the English department had an opportunity to learn how other disciplines think about the human mind. The Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA) sponsored a year-long working group entitled Mind and Culture which aimed to bridge the gap between cognitive science and the humanities. The group, directed by Jonathan Kramnick and myself, included faculty and graduate students from the English, clinical psychology, anthropology, philosophy, history, and sociology departments. Recent years have witnessed a boom in thinking about cognition, including a spate of recent books on consciousness, on evolutionary psychology, and on the possible neurological basis of morality. Much of this research is taking place here, in departments such as philosophy and psychology and at the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science. And yet, for a variety of reasons, the humanities have not been a part of this conversation. Blakey Vermeule, of Stanford University, is one of the few literary scholars working to integrate literary study with cognitive psychology. Last September, Vermeule visited Rutgers as a keynote speaker for Belief: Faith, Knowledge, and Credulity in the Eighteenth Century, a conference organized by graduate student Saladin Ahmed and sponsored by the Transatlantic Eighteenth Century Studies Group. Professor Vermeules lecture inquired into the conditions under which we come to believe that other people possess mindsand thus possess beliefs, feelings, desires, and hopes. She likened certain character traits in eighteenth century fiction to the quality of so-called mindblindness, an idea taken from autism researchers, who propose that people with autism are unable to imagine other people as possessors of minds. A few days later, in her presentation to our working group, Professor Vermeule offered a complementary interpretation of literary character. She proposed that if certain fictional characters are mindblind, others are so mind-aware that they are Machiavellianthat is, they are always able to anticipate what other people will feel, desire, and hope, and they use that knowledge to their own advantage. Most provocatively, she proposed that such charactersMiltons Satan, for exampleare the most memorable and resonant characters in literature. Her conclusion, then, is that our relationship to literary character, and particularly the pleasure we take in Machiavellian characters, is deeply written into the neurobiology of the brain itself. If some version of this idea is correct, then a whole range of questions emerges for literary scholars and for humanistic inquiry more generally. Along with visitors to the group, including Alan Leslie and Alvin Goldman from the Rutgers psychology and philosophy departments, we explored these questions. Professors Leslie and Goldman represent the two leading schools of thought concerning how we understand other minds. Leslie believes that young children develop a theory of mind, a cognitive mechanism that enables them to understand other people as possessors of minds. Goldmans idea, by contrast, is that they learn about other minds by simulating the people around them. Goldmans hypothesis is particularly relevant for students of eighteenth century literature, since early versions of simulation theory were proposed by the British empiricist philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith, and arguably influenced the development of narrative fiction in the eighteenth century. Such possibilities, at any rate, suggest avenues we will continue to explore during the second year of the Mind and Culture working group.  

A Vision for The College Avenue Campus

Happenings » A VISION FOR THE COLLEGE AVENUE CAMPUS by Alex Kasavin Literature has a distinct architecture and an evocative landscape. From Steinbecks California to Dickens London, from Poes house of Usher to Conrads riverside huts, literary spaces invite us to experience them as imagined by the authors and experienced by the characters. As studentsof literature or other subjectswe receive another invitation: to enter universities, commonly characterized as ivory towers or cathedrals of learning, and allow our experiences to be shaped by a different group of structures and landscapes. At universities, we are asked to engage in intellectual workproducing new knowledge, generating new solutions to old (and new) problems. And, as Virginia Woolf reminds us in A Room of Ones Own, the spaces designated for such work should be commensurate with the quality and significance of the work itself. In February 2005, President Richard L. McCormick called on members of the Rutgers community to meet the challenge of aligning our intellectual values with our physical circumstances. Issuing a new vision for the College Avenue campus, he invited the university community to begin a conversation about his proposal. In addition to creating a Steering Committee from the upper ranks of university leadership, he invited Rutgers English Professor Richard E. Miller to lead a Campus Advisory Committee made up of students, faculty, administrators, and staff. From the start, Miller recognized that, with the exception of faculty who specialize in planning or architecture, most committee members would be unfamiliar with the issues at stake in the project. Consequently, he structured the committees meetings that summer as a series of seminars. At the end of the summer, the Campus Advisory Committee provided feedback to the Steering Committee, offering information about the architects who had accepted Rutgers invitation to apply and strategies for engaging the university and New Brunswick communities in the design competition. From the winnowing process that began that summer, five teams were selected to offer plans for the College Avenue campus. From December 2005 to March 2006, these teams immersed themselves in Rutgers culture to generate plans according to the universitys needs. However, the universitys budget crisis delayed the display of the designs. The Bank of America, enthused about the plan to transform the campus, donated $1 million to Rutgers in June. Now able to complete the competition, the university unveiled the designs at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in September. Though the teams offered drastically different interpretations of the aesthetic direction Rutgers should take, their plans had some common themes, including the need to reconnect the campus with the Raritan River. The team of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, and Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, proposed a Great Lounge on the riverside; Eisenman Architects, working with Field Operations, offered a horizontal tower that stretched to the river; Antoine Predock and the Olin Partnership sought to place riverfront dining on the Raritan, in addition to linking Old Queens with New Queens by way of a riverside Bow; Morphosis-Thom Mayne and Hargreaves Associates planted a floating island on the river, as well as an amphitheater on the banks; TEN ArquitectosEnrique Norten and Wallace Roberts & Todd placed their Arts and Sciences tower on the riverbank as well, extending a sloping park to the rivers edge. Mixed responses greeted the plans, and no clear front-runner emerged during the museum display. While the teams shared similar goalsto incorporate green space into the fabric of the campus, bring the river closer to campus, and improve the transportation situationthey all imagined radically different embellishments for the campus. Beyer Blinder Belle and Jean Nouvel proposed a MiniMetro connectivity system, as well as a range of outdoor improvements across the campuses. Cook and Douglass would feature open air meeting rooms, College Avenue residents would be able to engage their environment through free expression walls, and Busch students could lounge on outdoor carpets and enjoy electronic screens. Peter Eisenmans team also embraced the idea of outdoor rooms as a way to encourage social interaction, integrating better-defined courtyards into the campus. Predock and Olin expressed their consideration for the outdoors differently, emphasizing environmental stewardship and sustainability in their plan. In addition to an amphitheater on Voorhees Mall, the Predock team incorporated water prominently into their vision by proposing a created tributary and a series of reflecting pools where Scott Hall now stands. Finally, of all the teams, Morphosis-Thom Mayne seemed to focus the most on the overall flow of buildings across campus, offering various phasing options to bring about gradual but substantial change in orienting how people would move across campus. A series of public symposia (modeled on Professor Millers summer seminars) culminated in a public forum at which the teams presented their plans to the whole community. The TEN Arquitectos-Enrique Norten team distinguished itself from the other teams with the compelling description of its vision, and President McCormick ultimately designated it the winner of the competition. The team, whose designs appear above, proposed a crystalline cylindrical Arts and Sciences Tower astride an east-west Raritan Mall. The Mall slopes to the river, serving as a bridge over George Street and providing room for subterranean parkingboth of which are means of alleviating traffic problems, along with the proposed bus rapid-transit system. The president emphasized that Rutgers is not selecting every detail of the winning proposal but rather entering into a partnership with the team that best understands the universitys wishes and needs. As a writing teacher, Miller affirms this approach, because you always throw the first draft away, and you start over. Despite the presidents insistence that Rutgers has chosen a partner without committing to a plan, some are highly critical of what they have seen so far. An alumni group called Rutgers 20/20 (collaborating with Rutgers English Professor William C. Dowling) rallied in defense of the graceful Georgian lines and Palladian proportions that characterize colonial university architecture. Yet, arguing from her vantage as an architectural historian and chair of the jury that voted on the plans, Carla Yanni believes that the next academic building ought to beand will bea model of an academic building for the twenty-first century. Whether the Rutgers administration follows through on the winning teams suggestions or jettisons them in favor of a more traditional course remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the universitys diverse architectural history confirms Professor Yannis belief that you can do great intellectual work in a wide variety of settings. Through his participation in the design competition, Professor Miller has come to believe that redesigning the campus is, ultimately, part of the universitys commitment to promoting great intellectual work. The quality of the space where you work, he points out, has a direct influence on the quality of the work you produce in that space. Consequently, a university must provide its students with a campus that promotes sustained educational development. Having started this conversation, Rutgers University is that much closer to creating a physical environment worthy of the intellectual work already taking place on campus.  

Photos from Rutgers English Events

Happenings » PHOTOS FROM RUTGERS ENGLISH EVENTS   Rutgers University President Richard McCormick congratulates Cheryl Wall on being named Board of Governers Professor of English Barry Qualls, SAS Executive Dean Ziva Galili, and William Galperin at the English department's annual welcome reception, held in the Zimmerli Art Museum SAS Associate Vice President of Development Amy Kirner, Paul Hammond, Heather Robinson, Friend of Rutgers English Jules Plangere, and Michael Goeller commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Plangere Writing Center Eileen Faherty, Quionne Matchett, and Cheryl Robinson greet guests at department's annual welcome reception Friends of Rutgers English Charles Barker and Ellin Barker return to campus to ring in the new academic year Dianne Sadoff, Alex Kasavin, and John Kucich bond at the department's annual welcome reception Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Stubaus, George Levine, Carolyn Williams, and Barry Qualls celebrate the publication of Levine's lates book Darwin Loves You Ann Jurecic and Kurt Spellmeyer share a laugh at the Plangere Writing Center's fifth anniversary reception

Jay Wright

Writers at Rutgers Reading Series » JAY WRIGHT by Brent Hayes Edwards I first encountered the work of Jay Wright when I was a freshman in college. One chilly winter day, I was poking around the periodical room in the library and came across a journal of African diasporic arts and letters called Callaloo. The particular issue I picked up contained an essay by Jay Wright, a writer Id never heard of, called Desires Design, Visions Resonance: Black Poetrys Ritual and Historical Voice. It was a fortuitous find. The voice of the essay dazzled me: it was critical and scholarly but also idiosyncratic and arresting, magisterial and unapologetic in its referential range and its demands on the reader. The essay did not deign to explain who or what Obatala was. It did not pause to translate its quotation of Ramón Xirau: Todo poesía se acerca a lo sagrado. I liked the idea that black poetry was something this capaciousan ocean this wide and treacherousand so I didnt mind the extra homework that sent me to the stacks. In fact, Im still there, in Wrights bibliography, with Wilson Harris, Christopher Okigbo, Marcel Griaule, Suzanne Langer, J. B. Danquah. Along with another essay in the same issue, Nathaniel Mackeys Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbol, Wrights essay completely exploded my notions of what it meant to write about literature. Right from its very first lines: Ancestors enjoy the disturbances they create in us. They have special ways of twisting the spirit and inhibiting contrary desire. I sat with those words for weeks. The fact that Wright and Mackey were both poets and critics, that conjunctionbetween a poetry that reflects on its own form, and a criticism that attends to its own aestheticswas to me an anchor and a starting point, rather than a distant ideal. There is too much to say about the dimensions in Jay Wrights work (to describe it with one of its own key structural metaphors) and what it has meant to me over the years. I am daunted by the prospect of even attempting to catalogue its range, and the voices that inhabit it: penitent, postulant, correspondent, initiate, seeker, lover. So Ill confine myself to the facts. Jay Wright was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After playing minor league baseball in the San Diego Padres organization and serving in the military, he earned a bachelors degree in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and a masters degree in the same subject here at Rutgers. So I suppose that in a sense I can invoke the title of Wrights first book and say that I am a certain kind of homecoming singer this evening, welcoming him back to campus. He also studied music, and I think is still very much a bass player, an activity that reverberates in his remarkable, vocalese-inflected poetic tributes to jazz musicians. In one interview he comments that, for me, the multicultural is the fundamental process of human history, and you can take that as a certain kind of autobiographical statement as well, from a poet who has lived for extended periods in Mexico and Scotland in addition to the many places in the United States he has called home, including Vermont, where he has resided for many years now. He has taught regularly at universities too numerous to mention, but has mainly devoted himself to his writing, above all poetry and drama. His books include The Homecoming Singer, Soothsayers and Omens, Dimensions of History, The Double Invention of Komo, Explications/Interpretations, Elaines Book, Boleros, and Transformations. In case you thought you already knew the complete Wright, I should mention that he has a few books on the way, including one called Musics Mask and Measure. His awards are too many to mention, but Ill list a few: a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Merrill Foundation Award, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Literary Award, a MacArthur Fellowship in 1986. He was named a fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 1996, and in 2005 won one of the major prizes in American poetry, the Bollingen Prize from Yale University, which celebrates lifetime achievement. Most recently he received another lifetime achievement award from the Before Columbus Foundation. These honors recognize the poetry that discovers in myth a mode of knowledge rather than a suitcase or a badge, that takes the earth not as property or foundation but as parchment and intention. Like the pianist Art Tatum in one poem in Boleros, this verse tunnels through the dark, stealthy and patient, to come out of the right side of the song. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Jay Wright lauched last years Writers at Rutgers Reading Series on September 20, 2006. Held at the Zimmerli Art Museum, the reading drew and captivated a crowd of over 125 people. Brent Edwards delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Amitav Ghosh

Writers at Rutgers Reading Series » AMITAV GHOSH by Sonali Perera How do we think how many are we? outside the cold calculations of the state and its officiating bureaucratsoutside internalized racism and the partitioning of the mind? How do we develop an historical imagination over and against the mechanical conveniences of map-makinglines drawn in the sand by dominant history? Good writers compel us to confront such questions. When you pick up any one of Amitav Ghoshs textshis meticulously researched historical novels; his mixed genre works combining travelogue, slave narrative, contemporary history, and ethnography; or his activist journalismyou are immersed in his processthe process of developing an historical imagination. According to Meenakshi Mukherjee, each of Amitav Ghoshs books . . . invariably focuses on themes in history and connections across geography that have seldom been explored before, and does so with imagination supported by archival research. The ethics implicit in such acts of writing (and also reading) allow us to touch the distant and the unfamiliar through acts of literature. Ghoshs novel The Hungry Tide moves its readers by creating these encounters. Set in the Sunderbans (beautiful forests), an archipelago of islands between the sea and the plains of Bengal, on the easternmost coast of India, his most recent book is a beautifully complex novel which pits ecologists and conservationists against refugeespolitics against ethics. The passage below brings home the question how many are we? Nirmal, a disillusioned revolutionary tired of sloganeering politics, strains to connect to a cause that makes sense to him. He witnesses firsthand the defiance of refugee-settlers who refuse to move even as armed state officials seek to evict them from the tide-country island (now designated a protected area for the Bengal tiger): Amra Kara? Bastuhara. Who are we? We are the dispossessed. How strange it was to hear this plaintive cry wafting across the water. It seemed at that moment not to be a shout of defiance but rather a question being addressed to the very heavens, not just for themselves but on behalf of a bewildered humankind. Who, indeed, are we? Where do we belong? And as I listened to the sound of those syllables, it was as if I were hearing the deepest uncertainties of my heart being spoken to the rivers and the tides. Who was I? Where did I belong? In Calcutta or in the tide-country? In India or across the border? In prose or poetry? Then we heard the settlers shouting a refrain, answering the questions they themselves had posed: Morichjhapi Charbona. Well not leave Morichjhapi, do what you may. Standing on the deck of the bhotbhoti, I was struck by the beauty of this. Where else could you belong, except in the place you refused to leave. In his essay Beyond Human Rights, Giorgio Agamben postulates that the refugee (not asylum seeker) is the paradigmatic figure of our age. To be sure, in the aftermath of so many wars, so many tsunamis, so many Katrinas, his generalization seems aptand, sadly, only too familiar. Ghosh imagines a way of connecting with this standpoint in his portrait of refugee-settlers in contemporary India. He draws upon the specifics of South Asian history in order to draw us out of ourselves to consider the meaning of belonging. Ive long admired Ghoshs ability to present us simultaneously with a sense of South Asias particularity and its universality. He manages this to different ends in works like Shadowlines, The Circle of Reason, The Calcutta Chromosome, and The Glass Palace. The Glass Palace was nominated for the Commonwealth Book Awarda prize that he refused. Ghosh withdrew his name from consideration, maintaining that it would betray the spirit of [his] book if he were to allow it to be incorporated within that particular memorialization of Empire that passes under the rubric of commonwealth, adding that the ways in which we remember the past are not determined solely by the brute facts of time. They are also open to choice, reflection, and judgment. In my postcolonial studies classes, I like to call my students attention to these statements and to the rationale behind this principled refusal of recognition and validation. But I also wonder if his expansive and generous vision of South Asia might have something to do with all the South Asian spaces he has called home. Ghosh was born in 1956 in Calcutta, India. He has lived in Dhaka, Sri Lanka, New Delhi, Kolkota, and Brooklyn. Besides calling these places home, he remains deeply committed to the intellectual life, communities of thought, and social justice organizations found there. In the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami, he traveled to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and reported from the refugee camps of Port Blair. In his reportage and commentary he called our attention to a place hard-hit but somehow overlooked in the scheme of crisis management photo opportunities. Professor Ghoshs ethical commitments are rooted in his global education. He received his bachelors and masters degrees from Delhi University and his doctoral degree in social anthropology from Oxford University. He has taught classes worldwide, in departments as varied as English, comparative literature, sociology, and anthropology. While continuing to write and publish in English, he remains committed to promoting literary works composed in South Asian languages as well. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Amitav Ghosh was a plenary speaker for Being and Becoming: Perspectives on Global South Asia, a conference that took place on November 10, 2006. The English department co-sponsored this lecture; Sonali Perera delivered a version of these remarks.  

Gulf Coast Poets Read for Katrina Relief

Writers at Rutgers Reading Series » GULF COAST POETS READ FOR KATRINA RELIEF by Evie Shockley   November 15, 2006 We are just a couple of months past the anniversary of one of the most devastating catastrophes in American historyHurricane Katrina and its aftermathand our gathering this evening shows that we have not forgotten so quickly what this nation lost. We are here to remember a region demolished, a city destroyed. We are here to remember that the floods washed away thousands of lives and, whats more, a way of life. The Gulf Coast may not be in the headlines every day anymore, but we know thats not because theres no news. There is a lot of work to be done to recreate New Orleans, to put the people of that city and the Gulf Coast region back on both feet. But before we do that, we are going to feed our souls and our brains with some of the best writing that the Gulf Coast has to offerand, given the creatively charged gumbo of African, French, Spanish, and Anglo cultures that has stewed in the bayous and deltas under steamy southern suns for the last couple hundred years, thats saying a lot! So prepare your minds for literary languagewords that are ramped up, shaken up, amplified, inverted, dressed in costume or stripped to the bone, and told to go play. Words intended to make you feel something, to make you see something, to make you think something, to re-make you. Im going to get things started by reading a few poems from my new book, a half-red sea, so that when our guestsSelah Saterstrom, Kalamu ya Salaam, and Brenda Marie Osbeycome up to the microphone, youll be ready to go wherever they take you! Now, dont be misledIm not a Gulf Coast poet, as much as I might wish Id had the pleasure of living in New Orleans somewhere along the road that brought me here to New Jersey. But I claim kin with the spirit of New Orleans and its people, and I hope my voice wont sound too out of place among these others. The poems Ive selected to read are not all about the Gulf Coast or the hurricane, though one is. Rather, Ive selected poems that relate thematically to the things I think about when I think about New Orleans and Katrina. The first is a meditation on race and cities: elocation (or, exit us) the city is american, so she can map it. train tracks, highways slice through, bleed only to one side. like a half-red sea permanently parted, the middle shed pass through, like the rest, in a wheeling rush, afraid the divide would not hold and all would drowncity as almighty ambush beneath the crashing waves of human hell. the citys infra(red)structure sweats her, a land(e)scape she cant make, though she knows the way. shes got great heart, but that gets her where? egypts always on her right (it goes where she goes), canaans always just a-head, and to her left, land of the bloodless dead. Salah Saterstrom I was introduced to Selah Saterstrom and her work about a year ago, at the North Carolina Writers conference. I had the pleasure of hearing her read from her book The Pink Institution. In a deceptively quiet voice, she gave us a tale about a young girl, an eraser, and God. I wont try to explain the relationship between these threeI cant do it justice and I hope youll seek out the story yourselfbut what I came away with was a real sense of awe. Saterstrom took a fairly mundane item and a fairly uneventful plot and, by using stunningly precise language to capture this little moment in the world through the eyes of a young girl, somehow produced a powerful meditation on the meaning and location of God that left me reeling. The pressure she puts on language makes diamonds out of coal. Saterstrom is also the author of The Meat & Spirit Plan. Her work has appeared in Cranbrook Magazine, 14 Hills, Tarpaulin Sky, and The American Book Review. Her education at the undergraduate and masters level was in theology, which she studied in her native Mississippi and at the University of Glasgow. She went on to earn an MFA from Goddard College (which makes her the perfect person to write a captivating story about an eraser and God). She has been the Case Writer-In-Residence for Western Illinois University and Artist-In-Residence at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She currently lives in Denver where she is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at the University of Denver. Kalamu ya Salaam Kalamu ya Salaam is not simply a writer, but an arts institution in himself. A native New Orleanian, he was a key player in the Black Arts Movements southern incarnation, along with his mentor, the late Tom Dent. Following Dents lead, Salaam has been founding and nurturing arts organizations in the black community for years. He is a co-founder (with Kysha Brown) of Runagate Multimedia publishing company, the founder and director of the Neo-Griot Workshop, a New Orleans-based black writers workshop, and the moderator of e-drum, a listserv of over 1600 black writers and supporters of literature. He and his son Mtume ya Salaam operate Breath of Life, a website devoted to black music. He is co-director of Students at the Center, a writing program in the New Orleans public schools. The list of places he has traveled with his workfrom Korea to Ghana, from Guadeloupe to Germany, from Cuba to Chinais staggering. His most recent publications include the anthologies From a Bend in the River: 100 New Orleans Poets and 360: A Revolution of Black Poets, and the spoken word CD My Story, My Song. I had a chance to hear him read his poetry at the Furious Flower Poetry Festival a couple of years ago, and was deeply invigorated not only by the power of his voice, but also by the quality of thinking that his language displays. In his Katrina Reports, essays that he sends out on e-drum to chronicle life in post-Katrina New Orleans, he consistently probes at the most sensitive issues. He has written about how we define love across religious difference, about not taking our nearest and dearest people for granted when the world has turned upside down, and about the need to nurture ourselves in times of crisis so that we can maintain the energy to do for others all that we want to do. Brenda Marie Osbey Brenda Marie Osbey is the Poet Laureate of Louisiana and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets Loring-Williams Prize, and the Associated Writing Programs Poetry Award. Most recently, she held a fellowship from the Camargo Foundation, which enabled her to spend the spring of 2004 in Cassis, France working on what will be the first Afro-francophone book by a New Orleanian since 1845. She has taught literature and creative writing at Tulane University and UCLA, and was on the faculty of Dillard University at the time of the flood. She has since taught at Louisiana State University. Her books include In These Houses, Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman, and All Saints: New and Selected Poems, winner of the 1998 American Book Award. Osbey has an incredibly resonant and musical voice; she can create a mental picture, a mood, a scene so vivid that youd imagine you could touch it; she is a historian of New Orleans culture. But Osbeys poems walk the line of danger. They recall dangerous people; they wield dangerous words. Her work will speak to you of the familiar in ways that make it strange; it will speak to you of the unfamiliar in terms that you know youve heard before. She inhabits the figures in her poems, and makes the phenomenally distant Nina Simone as knowable as the supposedly ordinary women who inhabited the streets of the Faubourg Trémé. Take nothing for granted, her poems teach us, and mind your rituals. Reading Osbeys work, we learn how to mourn New Orleans properly and how to keep it alive. January 3, 2007 I find it difficult, now, to recap what our guests presented, in part because I generally dont believe in treating poetry as if it can be paraphrased, and in part because the event was so powerful that it was, in a sense, ineffable. But if I were to gesture toward what stood out for me about each of their readings, in a word, I would say of Selah Saterstrom: repetitionthe repetition of words and phrases in her text reminding us of the painful redundancy of water in the Gulf Coast, historically and during the crisis, and the repetition of empty promises made by the government to the people who survived Katrina; of Kalamu ya Salaam: bodyhis highly embodied performance style insisting that we think not only of the loss of property and opportunity caused by Katrina, but also of the very psychosomatic trauma of living through the hurricane and its aftermath; and of Brenda Marie Osbey: memoryher words sounding an incantation designed to etch into our minds the scenes, people, and rituals of the New Orleans that dissolved in Katrinas floodwaters, because we cannot afford to let them also sink into the mud of forgetfulness. Im deeply grateful to the English departmentespecially Carolyn Williams, who coordinates the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series with great vision and Rick H. Lee, who makes it all actually happen. The support of the Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes (represented by Cheryl Clarke) and the Rutgers College Office of Student Development and College Affairs (represented by Lori Smith) helped to bring this very important event to fruition. Not only did we raise hundreds of dollars for the Twenty-First Century Foundation, which will distribute our donations along with those of many others to grassroots organizations working to rebuild the Gulf Coast and the lives of its people, but we also raised awareness on campus of the continuing importance of this situation. It is far from resolved and we still have not learned the lessons it has to offer us. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: This benefit reading took place on November 15, 2006. Held in the Rutgers Student Center, the reading drew a crowd of 100 people and raised close to $800 for the Twenty-First Century Foundations Hurricane Katrina relief fund. Evie Shockley delivered a version of these introductory remarks at the reading and appended some reflections earlier this year.

Russell Banks

Writers at Rutgers Reading Series » RUSSELL BANKS by John A. McClure   When The Darling, Russell Banks most recent novel, came out in 2004, The Nation described its author as one of Americas most important living writers, one of a handful with the daring and the talent to plumb our history and the human heart for their deepest meanings. As readers we are indebted to writers across the centuries for their gifts of vision and art. But surely we owe a special debt of gratitude to our contemporary writers, for they enable us to see our own times, which we inhabit but mostly do not understand, with greater social and moral clarity. When I was a young reader encountering the great writers of the past for the first time, I remember pausing to wonder whether any writer could render the world I inhabited. Given the turbulence of things, the visceral power of all sorts of events, and my bottomless bafflement at their significance, it seemed highly unlikely. And it seemed even less likely that any writer would choose to chronicle the lives of the communities and people I knew: working class and lower middle class communities, unglamorous and anonymous people subject to ordinary forms of anger, confusion, and desire. Then the books began to emerge. I read Banks Continental Drift shortly after it appeared and was elated. It is a novel in the great American mode of epic romance: Michiko Kakutani called it, in the New York Times, a visionary epic about innocence and evil and a shattering dissection of American life; anyone who has read it will concur. But Continental Drift is also a visionary treatment of present, mostly quotidian, American realities; not the realities of Manhattan and Hollywood and their privileged suburbs, but of the rural Rust Belt towns of the Northeast and the new strip towns of Florida. Middle and working class towns, working class anger and despair, working class dreams and migrations (continental drift). I knew these worlds firsthand, but in the haphazard, unfocused, and deeply conflicted way that we often know the places closest to us, the ones we are struggling to escape. In an utterly unnostalgic way, Banks brought these worlds into focus, mapped the powers and passions that shape them, endowed the lives they foster with moral significance and stark beauty. He did not make me want to stay at home in these worlds, but he kept me from dismissing as worthless the ways of being I thought I could not endure. Banks works a similar magic again and again in his fiction. One set of his novelsContinental Drift, Rule of the Bone, The Darling, and Cloudsplitterconsists of big, epic works that track human movement across America or from American zones of threadbare sufficiency to starkly desperate places such as Haiti, Jamaica, and Liberia. A second set, including Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, are sharply focused, emotionally intense studies of local lives in ruinous small town America. But I dont mean to create a false dichotomy here. Banks global imagination is grounded in local settings and psyches. And his local worlds open onto other, larger realms. His novels are political in the best sense of the word: they trace the registration of contemporary social forces on human minds and hearts. And they are utterly persuasive. I trust [Russell Banks] portrait of America more than any other, writes Michael Ondaatje, adding that You will read America differently after these books. Many of us know that two of Banks novels have been made into films. The Sweet Hereafter, directed by Atom Egoyan, won the Grand Prize at Cannes in 1997; Affliction, directed by Paul Schrader with Nick Nolte in the lead, won an Academy Award in 1999. These are terrific films, true to the psychological and visual intensities of the novels themselves. But if you are just discovering Banks work, by all means read the novels first. Because Russell Banks is a splendid writer. The magic is in his words. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Russell Banks read in the Rutgers Student Center on February 19, 2007. John McClure delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Susanna Moore

Writers at Rutgers Reading Series » SUSANNA MOORE by Carolyn Williams   Susanna Moores fiction is sexy and violent, yet also subtle, funny, and compassionate. In all her novels, she asks why peopleincluding, and perhaps even especially, highly intelligent people are often compelled to step into dangerously self-destructive scenarios. As Time Out New York put it, Moore has a penchant for lurking around the darker alleys of human psychology. At Rutgers, Moore read from The Big Girls, a work that was then in proofs but has since been published. The narration intertwines four vivid voices: Helen Nash, a psychotic inmate at Sloatsburg womens prison, incarcerated for killing her children; Dr. Louise Forrest, the newly-appointed chief of psychiatry at Sloatsburg, a recently divorced mother of an eight-year old son; Angie Mills, an aspiring Hollywood starlet and Louises ex-husbands girlfriend, whom Helen believes is her own long-lost sister; and Captain Henry (Ike) Bradshaw, a corrections officer, formerly a New York City narcotics detective, with whom Louise becomes involved. Moore was assisted in her reading by Andrea Kuhar, a Rutgers English honors student specializing in creative writing, who read the part of Helen. This new novel is getting fabulous reviews. In Publishers Weekly, the reviewer notes that reading The Big Girls is like watching a train wreck while dialing for help on your cellphone. You cant turn away. Early in her career, Moore published three novels set in her native Hawaii, sometimes called her Hawaiian trilogy: My Old Sweetheart, The Whiteness of Bones, and Sleeping Beauties. These novels lovingly evoke their locale, while exposing the complexities of family function and dysfunction. They are also semi-autobiographical, as Moores readers discovered when she recently published a nonfiction travelogue, I Myself Have Seen It: The Myth of Hawaii. With the publication of In the Cut, Moores fame increased dramatically. Set in New York City, this novel features an English teacher who accidentally witnesses a woman engaged in a sexual act in a sleazy bar, only to find later that the woman has been murdered and disarticulated, or pulled apart at the joints. Thus the novel links languagethe perils and pleasures of education; the disparate languages of street slang, police lingo, and standard English; the desperate effort to master a reality too complex to be articulatedwith sexual violence and detection to produce a very unsettling mixture. In the Cut was later made into a film directed by Jane Campion and starring Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo. One Last Look is Moores first historical novel, set in colonial India during the early nineteenth century. Narrated through the diaries of Lady Eleanor, who travels to India along with her sister Harriet and her brother Henry, the newly-appointed Governor General, this novel details the vicissitudes of attraction and repulsion that mark their early days in their new culture. Those crude early feelings are replaced by more complex ones as the siblings try to understand their involvement with colonial inequality and attempt various modes of assimilation. Like The Big Girlsand, in fact, like all Moores workOne Last Look explores the primal violence within families, the determining force of psychological realities, and the disparities of power and access that arise within the field of sexual and cultural difference. ................................................................................................................................................................................ Editors Note: Susanna Moore read on March 28, 2007, to an intimate and engaged audience of 100 people. Moore interacted warmly with our undergraduates: she not only invited Andrea Kuhar to assist her during the reading, but she also gave away her galley proofs of The Big Girls to Alex Kasavin. Carolyn Williams delivered a version of these remarks at the reading.  

Writers from Rutgers Reading Series

  WRITERS FROM RUTGERS READING SERIES Purvi Shah and Lara Tupper     Building on the continuing success of the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series, the English department launched the new Writers from Rutgers Reading Series in spring 2007. This new series will feature writers who teach or study at Rutgers and those who have taught or studied at Rutgers in the past. Purvi Shah and Lara Tupper were our first guest speakers. Shahs first book of poetry, Terrain Tracks, won the 2005 Many Voices Project Prize. Her poetry focuses on migration and multicultural belongingas well as the longing they produce. Her poems conjure trains, travel, and the many forms of bodily motion that result in loss, but also in future potential; they are sensual and intellectually rich, offering a number of lenses through which to see, feel, and imagine the immigrant experience. Born in Ahmadabad, India, Shah moved to Chicago with her family when she was two, and grew up in Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and Virginia. She currently lives in New York, where she is the executive director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a community-based organization that suppports survivors of domestic violence. She holds a masters degree from the Rutgers Graduate Program of Literatures in English. In Tuppers debut novel, A Thousand and One Nights, protagonist Karla takes a job as an entertainer on board a cruise ship, where she meets Jack. Together they form a duo. When Karla leaves the ship to travel with him on land, singing in the United Arab Emirates and Shanghai, she feels herself more and more at sea. Thus, the novels title refers to the nights Karla and Jack spend on stage as their storyand especially hersunfolds. A former lounge singer, Tupper has performed at sea in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and on land in Thailand, Japan, China, and the UAE. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Warren Wilson College, Tupper teaches in the writing and creative writing programs at Rutgers, New Brunswick. She lives in New York and is a frequent reviewer for The Believer. She has published many short stories and is currently working on a second novel, written from the point of view of Mette, Paul Gaugins wife.  

Honor Roll

HONOR ROLL Faculty News Award-Winning Faculty Scholarship Graduate Program Placement Graduate Program Fellowships & Awards Undergraduate Program Awards Alumni News  

Faculty News

Honor Roll » FACULTY NEWS   John Belton spent the past year on a Guggenheim Fellowship presenting papers from his book project on digital filmmaking. He lectured at the Nice Observatory, the University of Zurich, Cologne University, Bochum University, Bauhaus University, the University of Hamburg, and the Free University of Berlin. Matthew S. Buckley published Tragedy Walks the Streets: The French Revolution in the Making of Modern Drama and was promoted to associate professor of English with tenure in spring 2007. Abena P. A. Busia served as acting director of the Rutgers Center for African Studies during the 2006-07 academic year. Marianne DeKoven published an article on contemporary feminist criticism in PMLA and co-edited, with Hillary Chute, a special issue on graphic narratives for Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies. Elin Diamond delivered a paper on J. L. Austin and Zora Neale Hurston at the University of Texas at Austin in April 2006. She participated in the plenary panel on performance and temporality at the American Society of Theater Research meeting in November. She recently published work on Caryl Churchill in The Blackwell Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama, on Adrienne Kennedy, Freud, and Brecht in Twentieth Century American Drama, and on Hurston and Brecht in Against Theatre: Creative Destructions on the Modernist Stage. She sits on the executive committee of the MLAs drama division. Brad Evans published an essay on Franz Boas and the Harlem Renaissance in Central Sites, Peripheral Visions: Cultural and Institutional Crossings. This April, he gave an invited lecture on ephemera and the little magazines of the 1890s for an ELH colloquium at Johns Hopkins University. He is an advisory member of the Modernist Journals Project, an online resource for early twentieth century periodical literature. Sandy Flitterman-Lewis recently published work on the French film Army of Shadows in Cineaste, on feminism and media studies in Camera Obscura, and on feminist film theory in 1895. William H. Galperin published an article on Jane Austen in ELH. He will direct the Center for Cultural Analysis next year. Christopher P. Iannini gave an invited lecture at the College of William and Marys Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in March 2006 and another for Brown Universitys Americanist lecture series in October. Gregory S. Jackson published an article on Charles Sheldons novel In His Steps in PMLA and organized a conference on aesthetics in American literary history for the Huntington Library in May 2007. Colin Jager published The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era and was promoted to associate professor of English with tenure in spring 2007. He also published articles on secularism and romanticism in Public Culture and on the poetics of dissent in Theory & Event. Ann Jurecic published articles on autism and writing instruction in College English and Literature and Medicine. A fellow at the Rutgers Institute for Research on Women, she delivered the keynote lecture at this springs New Jersey Writing Alliance conference, was recently appointed for a three-year term to the board of the journal Pedagogy, and serves as the book review editor for Literature and Medicine. Stacy S. Klein won the 2005 International Society of Anglo-Saxonists publication prize for her article on Cynewulfs Elene in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Jonathan Brody Kramnick has an article on empiricism, cognitive science, and the novel forthcoming in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. John Kucich published Imperial Masochism: British Fiction, Fantasy, and Social Class. He is organizing a conference on master narratives to be held at Rutgers in March 2008, which will feature plenary lectures by Nancy Armstrong, Catherine Hull, Suvir Kaul, and Dror Wahrman. John A. McClure received the 2006 Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching. His book, Partial Faiths: Postsecular Fiction in the Age of Pynchon and Morrison, is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press. Meredith L. McGill organized a symposium on the poetry of Sterling Brown for the Center for Cultural Analysis in March 2007; it featured papers by Joanne Gabbin, Robert OMeally, James Smethurst, and Robert Stepto, as well as by Rutgers faculty Brent Edwards, Brad Evans, Evie Shockley, and Cheryl A. Wall. Michael McKeon published a review essay on recent scholarship in the long eighteenth century in SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Last year, he was invited to discuss his book The Secret History of Domesticity at Carleton University, the University of Toronto, the University of Lyon, and the Sorbonne. Richard E. Miller delivered the keynote lecture entitled Worlds End and Worlds Begin: The Future of the Humanities in Our Apocalyptic Age at Clemson Universitys Celebration of the Humanities conference in February 2007. This July, he will deliver keynote lectures at the Literacies of Hope conference in Beijing and at the Renewals: Refiguring University English in the Twenty-first Century conference at the Royal Holloway, University of London. Barry V. Qualls was named the New Jersey Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Evie Shockley published the poetry collection a half-red sea. She participated in a symposium on poetry and the law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigns College of Law in February 2006. Awarded fellowships by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and by the American Council of Learned Societies, she will continue work on a book project on aesthetics and formal innovation in African American poetry next year. Her essay on Kincaids Lucy and Brontës Villette appeared in Jamaica Kincaids Caribbean Double Crossings. Jonah Siegel was elected president of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association in 2006. Last October, he gave an invited lecture on the Brownings and Italy for the Browning Society. Cheryl A. Wall was named Board of Governors Professor of English in December 2006. This April, she was awarded a Rutgers University Human Dignity Award for her commitment to promoting the value and importance of diversity at Rutgers and in society. She delivered keynote lectures for black history month at Lafayette College and for a James Baldwin conference at the Queen Mary, University of London, in June 2007. Carolyn Williams organized the International Walter Pater Society conference at Rutgers last July. She directed the session on the genre of public lectures for the English Institute last October and organized the panel on theorist autobiographers at the MLA convention. This past spring, she organized, with graduate student Sarah Kennedy, the Dickens Project conference at Rutgers. She is overseeing the creation of Writers House in Murray Hall. Edlie L. Wong recently published work on Julia Collins novel The Curse of Caste in the African American Review, on Doris Salcedos art installation in The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory, and Visual Culture, and on Nellie Bly in American Literary Geographies: Spatial Practice and Cultural Production.   RETIREMENT NEWS Carol H. Smith retired from Rutgers University this past spring after more than three decades of teaching and service. A specialist in modernism and womens writing, Professor Smith is the author of T. S. Eliots Dramatic Theory and Practice. A key figure at Douglass College, she served as chair of that campuss English department from 1974 to 1979, as acting dean of the college in 1985, and as the director of the Institute for Research on Women from 1986 to 1992. More recently she served as the director of the Graduate Program of Literatures in English from 1998 to 2001. Professor Smith says she will remain active as a scholar and teacher after her retirement. She has a new article on Eliot forthcoming in A Companion to T. S. Eliot due out by Blackwell Publishing in 2008, and she will continue to teach courses for the English department as a professor emerita for the next three years. Rutgers English is delighted to have Professor Smith stay on in this capacity.   DEPARTURES Brent Hayes Edwards, a specialist in African American and African diaspora literature, will join the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Marc Manganaro has been appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Gonzaga University. Paula McDowell, a specialist in eighteenth-century womens writing, will join the Department of English at New York University. María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, a specialist in Latino studies, will join the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Mary Sheridan-Rabideau will join the faculty at the University of Wyoming as an associate professor of English with tenure. Michael Warner will join the Department of English at Yale University.   IN MEMORIAM James Guetti passed away at the age of 69 on January 11, 2007 at the Leverett, Massachusetts home he shared with his wife Laura. Professor Guetti taught at Rutgers from 1964 until his retirement in 2000. He is the author of several academic booksThe Limits of Metaphor: A Study of Melville, Conrad, and Faulkner, Word-Music: The Aesthetic Aspect of Narrative Fiction, and Wittgenstein and the Grammar of Literary Experienceas well as the novel Action and the memoir Silver Kings. Nicholas Howe, who taught as an assistant professor of English at Rutgers from 1978 to 1985, died of complications from leukemia on September 27, 2006 in Oakland, California. He was 53. After leaving Rutgers, Professor Howe went to teach at the University of Oklahoma, the Ohio State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Migration and Mythmaking in Anglo-Saxon England, Home and Homelessness in the Medieval and Renaissance World, and the autobiographical travelogue Across an Inland Sea: Writing in Place from Buffalo to Berlin.

Award Winning Faculty Scholarship

Honor Roll » AWARD-WINNING FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP   MATTHEW S. BUCKLEY A Dream of Murder: The Fall of Robespierre and the Tragic Imagination Studies in Romanticism 44.4 (Winter 2005) Keats-Shelley Association of America Award for the Best Essay in the Area of the Godwin Circle and Later British Romanticism (2007) MARIANNE DeKOVEN Utopia Limited: The Sixties and the Emergence of the Postmodern Duke University Press (2004) Society for the Study of Narrative Literature Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Award (2005) JOHN KUCICH Sadomasochism and the Magical Group: Kiplings Middle-Class Imperialism Victorian Studies 46.1 (January 2004) North American Victorian Studies Association Donald Gray Prize for the Best Essay in the Field of Victorian Studies (2005) MICHAEL McKEON The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge Johns Hopkins University Press (2005) Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award in Communication and Cultural Studies (2005) RICHARD E. MILLER Writing at the End of the World University of Pittsburgh Press (2005) National Council of Teachers of English James N. Britton Award for Inquiry within the English Language Arts (2006) CHERYL A. WALL Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition University of North Carolina Press (2005) Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Nominee, Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction (2006) New Jersey Council for the Humanities Honor Book (2006) Association of College and Research Libraries Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2005)  

Graduate Program Fellowships and Awards

Honor Roll » GRADUATE PROGRAM FELLOWSHIPS & AWARDS   ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION DISSERTATION FELLOWS Paul Benzon Dissertation: Spaces, Cuts, Codes: Postwar Technology and the Mediation of Writing Director: Richard Dienst Cornelius Collins Dissertation: Uncertain Ends: Contemporary Narratives of Political Decline, Social Failure, and Survival Director: John A. McClure Anannya Dasgupta Dissertation: Right Spelling and Rent Bodies: The Discourse of Magic in Renaissance Drama Director: Ann Baynes Coiro Jennifer Garrison Dissertation: Eucharistic Theology in Middle English Devotional Literature Director: Larry Scanlon Miriam Jaffe-Foger Dissertation: Cross-Ethnic Mediums and the Rhetoric of Individuality in American Fiction Director: Brent Hayes Edwards Regina Masiello Dissertation: Rooms of Invention: The Prison Poems of Wyatt, Surrey, and Ralegh Director: Ann Baynes Coiro Piia Mustamaki Dissertation: Redefining Political Theater: Masochism and the Problem of Identity Director: Elin Diamond Jacob Nellickal Dissertation: Histories of the Visual Image in Nineteenth Century Literature Director: William H. Galperin Megan Ward Dissertation: The Sensing Subject: Sensory Perception in Victorian Literature and Culture Madhvi Zutshi Dissertation: Virtue, Sensibility, and The Man of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century Director: Michael McKeon ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION RESEARCH FELLOWS Sonali Barua The National Library of India and the Sangeet Research Academy Library Tyler Bradway School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University Sonia Di Loreto Houghton Library, Harvard University Jennifer Garrison The British Library Carrie Hyde School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University Sarah Kennedy Houghton Library, Harvard University Michael Masiello Department of Latin Letters, The Vatican Rachel Smith Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory, University of California Humanities Research Institute Katherine Snead Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto Sunny Stalter John Hay Library, Brown University Scott Trudell The British Library OTHER FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS Candice Amich Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2006-2009) Sarah Balkin The Dickens Universe, University of California, Santa Cruz Tyler Bradway Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2007-2010) Riccardo Capoferro Lane Cooper Fellowship Ja Yun Choi Samsung Fellowship Christopher Crosbie " Honorable Mention, Catherine Moynahan Prize (for the best essay on a literary topic) " Honorable Mention, Spencer L. Eddy Prize (for the best literary essay accepted in a professional journal): "Fixing Moderation: Titus Andronicus and the Aristotelian Determination of Value," in Shakespeare Quarterly Vera Eliasova Spencer L. Eddy Prize (for the best literary essay accepted in a professional journal): "A Cab of Her Own: Immigration and Mobility in Iva Pekarkova's Gimme the Money," in Contemporary Literature Michael Gavin Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Special Study Award Devin Griffiths Middlebury College Summer Immersion Program for Intermediate French Patrick Jehle The Dickens Universe, University of California, Santa Cruz Meghan Lau Daniel Francis Howard Travel Fellowship Carrie Malcolm Marius Bewley Prize (for the best essay written in coursework) Jacob Nellickal Catherine Moynahan Prize (for the best essay on a literary topic) Beth Perry Barry V. Qualls Dissertation Fellowship Debapriya Sarkar Honorable Mention, Marius Bewley Prize (for the best essay written in coursework) Erick Sierra Catherine Musello Cantalupo Prize (for the best essay on literature and religion) Benjamin Singer Point Foundation Scholarship Elliott Souder Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Writing Program by a Teaching Assistant Paul Yeoh Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Dissertation Teaching Award GRADUATE PROGRAM STAFF NEWS Eileen Faherty and Cheryl Robinson received this years Graduate SchoolNew Brunswick Staff Excellence Award. The faculty and students in the Graduate Program of Literatures in English salute and thank them for their extraordinary commitment to the programand congratulate them on winning this well-deserved award! Eileen retired from Rutgers this past spring after twenty-five years of dedicated service to the university. This award thus came at an auspicious time, marking the culmination of decades of professional and personable service. Equally generous dispensing treats as she was with giving advice, Eileen provided consistent and patient assistance to faculty and students alike. Having joined the English department in December 2002, she worked with Myra Jehlen, Meredith L. McGill, and Marianne DeKoven during their tenure as directors of the graduate program. Everyone in Murray Hall will miss Eileen, and we bid her fond adieu and send our best wishes for her retirement.

Undergraduate Program Awards

Honor Roll » UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM AWARDS   Nick Bujak " Irving D. Blum Prize (for the best essay written in coursework) " Jamima Dingus Qualls Prize (for the best essay on women writers or feminist issues in British or American literature) Zach Bushnell Enid Dame Memorial Poetry Prize Carolyn Foley Mitchell Adelman Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writing Sara Grossman Irving D. Blum Prize (for the best essay written in coursework) Ching Wen Rebecca Hu John and Katherine Kinsella Prize (to support honors thesis research) Andrea Kuhar Edna N. Herzberg Prize (for an outstanding original composition) Janet LaBelle " Edna N. Herzberg Prize (for an outstanding original composition) " Ernest W. Thomas Memorial Prize (for the best essay on Shakespeare) Dan Marchalik John and Katherine Kinsella Prize (to support honors thesis research) Greta Nelson Jordan Lee Flyer Honors Award (for outstanding promise and achievement in the study of language and literature) Samantha Plasencia Toni Cade Bambara Prize (for outstanding accomplishment in African American literature courses) Anna Pokazanyeva Jaroslav M. Burian and Grayce Susan Burian Achievement Award in English Meagan Ratini " Julia Carley Poetry Prize " Honorable Mention, Enid Dame Memorial Poetry Prize Malya Schulman Mitchell Adelman Memorial Scholarship for Creative Writing Kellie Walsh John and Katherine Kinsella Prize (to support honors thesis research) Victoria Whitfield Edna N. Herzberg Prize (for an outstanding original composition) Grant Wythoff Jordan Lee Flyer Honors Award (for outstanding promise and achievement in the study of language and literature)  

Alumni News

Honor Roll » ALUMNI NEWS   Tanya Agathocleous (PhD 2003), an assistant professor of English at Yale University, published an article on teaching world literature in Pedagogy with Karin Gosselink (PhD 2006). Eric Gary Anderson (PhD 1994), an associate professor of English at George Mason University, published an article on the Atlanta child murders in a PMLA special issue on cities. Vinessa Anthony (BA 1995) published her short story Detour in the January 2006 issue of Void magazine. Alex Bain (PhD 2004) will join the faculty at the University of Oklahoma as an assistant professor of English. David Bartholomae (PhD 1975), professor and chair of the English department at the University of Pittsburgh, won the 2006 Examplar Award given by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). His book Writing on the Margins: Essays on Composition and Teaching received the 2005 Mina Shaughnessy Prize given by the Modern Language Association. Danielle Bobker (PhD 2007) will join the faculty at Concordia University as an assistant professor of English. Max Cavitch (PhD 2001) published American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman and was promoted to associate professor of English with tenure at the University of Pennsylvania. He will be a fellow at Cornell Universitys Society for the Humanities during the next academic year. Barbara Crooker (BA 1967) published her poetry collection, Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press first book competition, and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize. Ann C. Dean (PhD 2000), an assistant professor of English and the director of the college writing program at the University of Southern Maine, published an article on newspapers and court culture in eighteenth century London in ELH. Soyica Diggs (PhD 2006), after a year of postdoctoral work at Stanford University, will join the faculty at Dartmouth University as an assistant professor of English. Joshua Fausty (PhD 2004), an assistant professor of English at New Jersey City University, received tenure in 2006. As assistant chair of English, he coordinates the composition program; he also serves on the editorial board of Transformations. Karin Gosselink (PhD 2006), a lecturer in English at Yale University, published an article on teaching world literature in Pedagogy with Tanya Agathocleous (PhD 2003). Natasha Hurley (PhD 2007) has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta. Andrew Krivak (PhD 2003) will return to Rutgers in March 2008 as part of the Writers from Rutgers Reading Series to read from his forthcoming memoir A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life. Marie T. Logue (PhD 1983) has been appointed Assistant Vice President for Academic Engagement and Programming at Rutgers University. Kathleen Lubey (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at St. Johns University, published articles on Eliza Haywood in Eighteenth-Century Studies and on pornography in differences. Katherine Lynes (PhD 2004) will join the faculty at Union College as an assistant professor of English. Saikat Majumdar (PhD 2005) will join the faculty at Stanford University as an assistant professor of English. Brian Norman (PhD 2004), an assistant professor of English and the co-director of the womens studies program at Idaho State University, has published articles on James Baldwin in the African American Review, Womens Studies, and MELUS; on Helen Hunt Jackson in the Canadian Review of American Studies; and on feminist anthologies in Frontiers. His book The American Protest Essay and National Belonging: Addressing Division is forthcoming from SUNY Press in October. He will be a visiting research fellow at Wesleyan Universitys Center for the Humanities in spring 2008. Martin Joseph Ponce (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at The Ohio State University, published articles on Carlos Bulosan in the Journal of Asian American Studies and on Langston Hughes in Modern Language Quarterly. Last July, he gave an invited lecture on the Filipino diaspora at the University of Washington-Seattle. As the coordinator of OSUs Asian American studies program, he organized the national East of California conference last November. Raymond Ricketts (PhD 2006) has accepted a visiting lectureship at Bryn Mawr College. Chanette Romero (PhD 2004) will join the faculty at the University of Georgia as an assistant professor of English. Jason Rudy (PhD 2004), an assistant professor of English at the University of Maryland, published an article on Mathilde Blind in Victorian Literature and Culture. His article on spasmodic poetry, which appeared in Victorian Poetry in 2004, received an honorable mention for the North American Victorian Studies Associations 2006 Donald Gray Prize for the best essay in Victorian studies. Purvi Shah (MA 2000), published her poetry collection Terrain Tracks and inaugurated the Writers from Rutgers Reading Series last spring. Nicole D. Smith (PhD 2005), an assistant professor of English at the University of North Texas, published an article on The Parsons Tale in Studies in the Age of Chaucer. Ken Urban (PhD 2006), a preceptor in expository writing at Harvard University, published an acting edition of his play I "Heart" Kant. His play 2 Husbands opened in April 2007; two othersMushroom and The Private Lives of Eskimoswill open in September. Alexander G. Weheliye (PhD 1999), an associate professor of English and African American studies at Northwestern University, published Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity, which was awarded the MLAs 2005 William Sanders Scarborough Prize for an outstanding scholarly study of black American literature and culture.  

Looking Back

  LOOKING BACK: Rutgers in the 1960s   Professor Richard Poirier Poirier's A World Elsewhere Scott Hall Ralph Ellison Professor Paul Fussell   1960 1960 - 1963: The Rutgers English graduate programs popularity skyrockets; the number of enrolled students nearly doubles to 156. 1962 1962 - 1964: Ralph Ellison joins Rutgers English as a visiting professor of creative writing. 1963 Professor Richard Poirier joins Rutgers English as chair of the department, aspiring to build a curriculum in literary history. William Phillips, co-founder of The Partisan Review, joins the English department and makes Rutgers the journals new home. Leaving Morrell Street, Rutgers English moves to Scott Hall. 1964 1964 - 1965: Frederick Seidel, Susan Sontag, and Muriel Spark teach honors seminars in the English department. Thomas R. Edwards joins the English department as an associate professor from the University of Califormia, Riverside. For the first time English honors students can enroll in junior and senior honors seminars that the university now offers as part of its honors program. 1965 Professor Paul Fussell publishes Rhetorical World of Augustan Humanism, which wins the Phelan Prize. Rutgers English hosts a summer institute funded through a United States Office of Education grant secured by Professor Thomas R. Edwards. 1966 1966 - 1967: Film studies courses are introduced into the curriculum and prove an instant hit with students. Richard Poirier publishes A World Elsewhere: The Place of Style in American Literature. The Association of American University Professors bestows the Meiklejohn Award on Rutgers President Mason W. Gross for his defense of academic freedom at the university. 1967 In his annual report on the English department, Professor Richard Poirier praises the faculty for participating in the creation and maintenance of a first-rate organization. 1968 1968 - 1969: The New Brunswick Department of English is formed to improve communication between each colleges English department.  

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS   Poetry Trifecta Evie Shockley, a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006) Purvi Shah, Terrain Tracks (New Rivers Press, 2006) John DeLaurentis, The Worthy Pursuit: Poems of Body, Soul, and Spirit (PublishAmerica, 2005) Reviewed by Harriet Davidson Calming the Inner Storm Dawn M. Skorczewski, Teaching One Moment at a Time: Disruption and Repair in the Classroom (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005) Reviewed by Richard E. Miller  
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