Rutgers English Department News

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

210 5a4be69ce536e a3323August 3, 2020

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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Congratulations to Jackie Miller for the 2020 Dean's Advisory Council Award for the Mentoring of Graduate Students

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The English Department congratulates Jackie Miller, who has won the 2020 Dean's Advisory Council Award for the Mentoring of Graduate Students. 

The citation reads: "Prof. Jacqueline Miller (English) joined Rutgers in 1980.  She has served as a mentor or advisor to more than 20 doctoral students, is author of the book Poetic License: Authority and Authorship in Medieval and Renaissance Contexts (1986) as well as numerous journal publications and reviews, and has an exemplary record of service to the graduate program in English. Her former students include faculty members at the University of Connecticut and Pomona College.  Jackie is known to her students and colleagues for the ways in which she transformed mentoring in the English program. She is valued for the deep and insightful analyses of the students’ work, often leading many to change their approaches or interpretations.  One former student commented:  “The quality of Jackie s feedback is legendary among her current and former graduate students: we’ve sometimes joked that she must read our work with a microscope, because she can find every logical gap in the argument, no matter how small, ...It can be daunting to have your work read so carefully, but it is also an incredible gift.”  


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Department actions in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

June 19, 2020

Dear Staff, Students, and Faculty,

I am writing to you today, Juneteenth, to report on the ongoing and future initiatives the English Department has planned as a way to stand with and respond to the Black Lives Matter movement; to create and promote an anti-racist environment in our workplace, our classes, our department, our university, and our communities; and to contribute to the eradication of the violence and systemic inequities facing black, indigenous, and people of color members of our community, to which the #BLM movement and ongoing protests have drawn our attention in pointed and necessary ways.

This is a very long email, but please make sure to read right away at least the department section, which contains information about workshops that will be required of all Fall 2020 instructors and information about two department-wide teach-ins held remotely in the month of August.

As many of you will know, Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas.  As Dr. Lacey Hunter, a lecturer in the Department of African-American and African Studies at Rutgers-Newark, explains in an interview posted yesterday on the Rutgers-Newark web site, it took two and half years for the news to travel across the territories of the United States.  On this day, 155 years ago, African Americans in Texas learned “that the system of slavery had been legally abolished.” 

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Department of English Statement on the murder of George Floyd, systemic racism, and our community

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,

We write as the leadership of the English Department at Rutgers University and the members of the department's Committee on Bias Awareness and Prevention to strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd, racist police brutality, and other expressions of white supremacy.  We stand in solidarity with the protests calling for transformation in this country and in the full recognition that black, brown, and indigenous citizens and noncitizens (inside and well beyond the department) continue to bear the brunt of this nation’s systemic racism.  We too join calls for a new normal that requires transformative justice.  This means advocating for—now and well into the future—substantive changes in the ways that education, housing, health care, distribution of wealth, policing, and governance function (or fail to function) in this country.

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Luce Foundation Funds Collaboration to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

June 12, 2020

A groups of researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswickand the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS) has won a $150,000 Emergency Grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. Made through Luce’s Theology Program, the grant addresses the problem of housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Titled SHELTER, the project is a unique partnership between Rutgers, the Seminary, and two local non-profits.  75% of grant funds will go directly to families and individuals whose housing and other basic needs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals and families are variously experiencing challenges related to undocumented or immigration status, recent release from parole or incarceration, HIV and other medical needs, and other social services needs that make them especially vulnerable during the COVID crisis. 

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Two English faculty win Year-End University Awards

Congratulations to Richard Dienst and Rebecca Walkowitz who were honored with 2019-2020 Faculty Year-End Awards. These awards honor outstanding members of the Rutgers community selected by their colleagues for exceptional contributions to teaching, research, or public service through a program of eight awards.  For each award, the recipient receives a commemorative certificate and an honorarium. 

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Care and Contingency COVID-19

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 Update April 15, 2020 

Dear Staff, Faculty, and Students,

Things are changing all around us, and I am thinking of you and all that you are managing for yourself and others while heroically continuing to support our mission as educators.  In the coming days and weeks, we are likely to encounter greater difficulties individually and collectively.  We don't need to face those difficulties on our own, and I want to encourage you to ask for relief and support if you need it.

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Cheryl Wall 1948-2020

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Faculty, staff, and students mourn the loss of our beloved colleague Cheryl Wall, Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English, who was a leading voice in the field of African-American literature, a generous mentor to so many, and an institution builder at Rutgers and beyond.

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