Rutgers English Department News

Chair's Message July 1, 2021

Summer 2021

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.

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2021 Undergraduate Research Writing Conference Launches May 13th!

Flyer for URWC 2021The 2021 URWC launches Thursday, May 13th as a permanent site through Rutgers Libraries and showcases the outstanding work completed by research writing students in the Rutgers Writing Program. Organized into 9 panels ranging in topics from psychology and mental health, to feminism, environmental justice, politics, the arts, education, and more, the 90 presentations represent the many disciplines and programs at the University, as well as the contemporary issues that our students are passionate about.

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Two English faculty win 2020 Awards for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education

Congratulations to Douglas Jones and Eagan Dean who were honored with 2020 Awards for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Each year, these awards are given to professors and teaching assistants in the School of Arts and Sciences to recognize their outstanding achievements in and beyond the classroom, their engagement with their students and pedagogic communities, and their overall commitment to the undergraduate education mission

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Family of Cheryl Wall Donates Personal Library to Paul Robeson Cultural Center

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The personal library of the late Cheryl Wall, a scholar recognized for advancing the conversation about African American literature, will be available for a new generation of research and examination at Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s Paul Robeson Cultural Center following a donation from her family. This gift is meant to encourage student analysis and appreciation of Black writers.

Read the full article in Rutgers Today

Cheryl A. Wall's Faculty Profile »

Staff Recipients of SAS Awards

The English Department congratulates Leandra Cain, Courtney Borack, and Cheryl Robinson, recipients of Staff COVID-19 Response Awards and Aimee LaBrie, recipient of a 2020 Staff Excellence Award.

Leandra Cain, Department of English
With the hiring freeze leaving the department unable to replace a staff member who left just as the pandemic hit, Leandra took up the slack in order to keep the administrative operations humming. The transition to remote learning in English, as for everyone, involved a great deal of administrative juggling – but the sheer number of courses that had to be reimagined for remote instruction was daunting. Leandra managed to coordinate the transition for well over eighty classes with fifty different instructors. Quietly, meticulously, compassionately – all while doing the work of two people -- she has simply made undergraduate instruction during COVID possible in the department.

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Lynn Festa Wins Lowell Award

Lynn FestaThe Modern Language Association of America has awarded its fifty-first annual James Russell Lowell Prize to Lynn Festa for her book Fiction without Humanity: Person, Animal, Thing in Early Enlightenment Literature and Culture, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding book—a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography—written by a member of the association.

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Cheryl Wall Named Hubbell Medal Winner

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The late Cheryl Wall, Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, was selected as this year’s winner of the American Literature Society’s highest honor, the Jay B. Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement in American Literary Studies. The medal is sponsored by the American Literature Society, an allied organization of the Modern Language Association, and is awarded annually to one “scholar whose lifetime of scholarly work has significantly advanced the study of American literature.”

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Congratulations to RELI Director Nicole Houser for Rutgers Global 2020 International Collaborative Research Grant

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Congratulations to Dr. Nicole Houser, Rutgers English Language Institute Director and Faculty, who was awarded a Rutgers Global 2020 International Collaborative Research Grant. Grant funds will support Dr. Houser's research titled, Neurodiversity and English Language Learners: Creating a Pedagogy of Inclusion for the Global Classroom, an international project between Rutgers English Language Institute (RELI) and the Language School at San Miguel de Allende, ENES León, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

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English Department Statement in Support of August 31 Letter by BIPOC Faculty to President Holloway

We, the members of the English department, collectively express our support for the 31 August 2020 letter to the university’s President and Chancellor authored by Black/Indigenous/Person of Color faculty specializing in race at Rutgers University, in this department and beyond it. We understand and value the necessity of designing institutional structures, programs, and inquiries for the study of race as a means of addressing the systemic inequities that persist within our institution. 

Understanding the Fall 2020 Class Schedule

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Greetings SAS Students!

 We are a month away from the start of the Fall 2020 semester – we hope you’re enjoying the summer! We know that students are anxious about the new, remote semester format, so we’re writing to you early to help you plan for a successful term.

There are quite a few changes to the registration deadlines and policies for the fall 2020 term, all designed to facilitate a smooth transition into your remote classes, as well as assure continued success throughout the term. Here is some guidance from SAS that you can refer to it for information as we approach the first day of classes (Tuesday September 1).

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Statement Regarding International Students

To our students and colleagues,

Most of you will by now have heard about the Trump administration’s most recent outrage: a change to immigration policy that makes it more difficult for F-1 visa-holders to retain their immigration status at universities that have decided to go primarily or fully online this coming semester.

We denounce this cynical and abhorrent attempt to force universities into line with the administration’s destructive down-playing of the epidemic, and the xenophobia that stands so transparently behind the policy. We reiterate our support for the international students who are a central component of our community and our excellence.

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Chair's Message July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues, Staff, Students, and Friends,

Today marks the first day of a new academic year, and I write to you with gratitude and admiration for your ingenuity, your dedication, and your good will. It’s been a very challenging time. It continues to be challenging with every new announcement. I am proud of how our students, our staff, and our colleagues have stood and acted together: for social justice, economic security, anti-racist education, institutional change, and health equity.

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