All Upcoming Events
Thursday, March 05 4:30 PM

Lo! The Poor Indian, No More

The Trans-Atlantic Choctaw Irish Exchange from 1848-1995

A Colloquium

On March 5, 2015, 4:30- 6:30 p.m. Irish, Choctaw and Cherokee scholars gather on the University of Georgia campus to consider the Trans-Atlantic Choctaw-Irish Exchange that occurred 168 years ago. Irish Consul Peter Gleeson will open the proceedings beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries, Room 285 (Banquet Room) 300 S. Hull Street, Athens, GA 30602.

Jace Weaver, Franklin Professor of Native American Studies and the Director of the Institute of Native American Studies at the University of Georgia. 

Jacki Thompson Rand (citizen, Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma), associate professor of history at the University of Iowa teaches courses in American Indian studies, museum studies, and public history. 

Padraig Kirwan, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. 

Peter D. O’Neill, Assistant professor in the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Georgia. 

LeAnne Howe, (citizen, Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma), Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature in the Department of English at University of Georgia.

Sponsored by the Eidson Foundation Funds, Department of English, University of Georgia with support from the Willson Center For the Humanities and Arts. 

Thursday, March 19 7:00 PM

VOX Reading Series Presents Joshua Cohen

Friday, March 20 12:20 PM

Looking Everywhere For (Fore)Mothers: Writing Women's History in Medieval Nunneries

Institute for Women's Studies, Friday Speaker Series talk by Cynthia Turner Camp, MLC room 148


How do we talk about women's writing in the Middle Ages? Did medieval women write history? If so, what kinds of history did they write? Cynthia Turner Camp's talk will examine the primary kind of women's history-writing in medieval England, the "foundress narratives" produced by many nunneries, to argue for these narratives as a form of women's writing and history. These foundation narratives, emphasizing female agency and often explaining related legal documents, offer a distinctive female slant on institutional history that parallels but differs from similar kinds of historical narrative produced in male monasteries.

Thursday, March 26 4:30 PM

Lecture Reading: Susan Power: Indigenous Process in Writing Novels -- Writing as Ceremony

Author Susan Power will read from her work, Sacred Wilderness. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program. 4:30-6 p.m. North Psychology-Journalism Auditorium, reception to follow

Indigenous Process in Writing Novels -- Writing as Ceremony

Power will be reading from her new work, including Sacred Wilderness (2014) and discussing how characters from a variety of eras and backgrounds "tap her" to work with them and discover their stories

Susan Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a native Chicagoan. She is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the author of three books, The Grass Dancer (a novel), Roofwalker (a story collection), and the recently released novel, Sacred Wilderness. The Grass Dancer was awarded a PEN/Hemingway prize in 1995 and Roofwalker a Milkweed National Fiction Prize in 2002. Her short stories and essays have been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies including: The Best American Short Stories of 1993, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Southern Review and Granta. Her fellowships include an Iowa Arts Fellowship, James Michener Fellowship, Radcliffe Bunting Institute Fellowship, Princeton Hodder Fellowship, and USA Artists Fellowship. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Thursday, April 02 7:00 PM

Creative Writing Program -- Spring Faculty Reading


The faculty of the Creative Writing Program cordially invites you to a reading of new and recent work on Thursday, April 2, at 7pm at Cine in Downtown Athens. Featured Readers: LeAnne Howe, Reginald McKnight, Ed Pavlic, Andrew Zawacki, Magdalena Zurawski



Park Hall Monitor

Park Hall Monitor

There are many changes in the Department of English, and dramatic changes in Park Hall as well.

First, new faces: When Mike Moran retired in June, I became head of the department—not a new face, really, since I arrived at UGA as the Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor in 2001. I’m delighted to welcome the department’s first associate chair, Esra Santesso, who barely had time to savor her promotion to associate professor before being plunged into tackling her new administrative duties. Esra is a native of Turkey and a scholar of postcolonial literature. Finally, Richard Menke succeeded Aidan Wasley as undergraduate coordinator. Richard teaches Victorian literature, with a special focus on the modern communications technologies that arose during the nineteenth century and continue to serve as the broad backdrop of all communications today, literary and otherwise. Accompanying Mike Moran into retirement this year was linguistics professor Don McCreary, whose Dawgspeak provided a savvy summation of this institution’s unique contribution to the English language.

Now, the new place: This summer the original wing of Park Hall was a hardhat zone, swarming with construction workers, engineers, and electricians laboring under a deadline to complete renovations before classes resumed in August. They met the deadline, leaving staff and cleaning crews one long weekend to transform a worksite into some semblance of Park Hall as generations had come to know it. The gains are immediately apparent. Thanks to university-wide green initiatives in infrastructure, we now have motion-sensitive lights in all the classrooms and offices (in the “old” wing), as well as a completely new cooling/heating system. Gone are the days of opening windows in winter to cool off an overheated classroom, and wearing a parka to class in fall term to compensate for the arctic blast from an ancient AC system. (Gone, too, are the days before air conditioning, when faculty competed for 8 a.m. teaching slots in the basement to avoid the standing temperature of 115 degrees on the second floor. This astonishing historical anecdote comes from Mary Hutcherson, an alumna whose generous gift to the department is profiled below.) Please stop by the newly renovated Park Hall if you’re on campus. It’s an iconic landmark of UGA with newly tweaked innards and a configuration of offices that offers, among other bonuses, an undergraduate lounge.

It’s my pleasure now to turn to another topic, one as consequential as Park Hall itself. It is thanks to the vision and generosity of donors that the Department of English encompasses such a wide range of dedicated teachers, sterling scholars, and inspiring students. I want to briefly profile a few of the endowments that continue to contribute so much to Park Hall.

The Martha Munn Bedingfield Teaching Award, established by English alum Laura Bedingfield Herakovich in honor of her grandmother, was presented to Dr. Barbara McCaskill last spring.  The award gave her a vital opportunity to conduct archival research for her latest book. The Bedingfield award, writes Barbara, “is special to me because it recognizes the value of my teaching from my colleagues, whose own excellence in the classroom I have sought to emulate over the years.” Previous recipients of the award are Susan Rosenbaum and Roxanne Eberle.

The Jane McMullan Academic Support Fund was established in 2006 by John and Marilyn McMullan in loving memory of sister Jane (AB ’53; MA ’58); Jane joined the staff of Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr., who appointed her to the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. This endowment has provided critical support to the professional development of both undergraduate and graduate students, including conference travel and funding for innovative projects benefiting the department at large.

I also want to express gratitude for two new funds that greatly enhance our ability to attract, recruit, and support talented, ambitious English students.  

In spring of 2014, the Alice C. Langdale Graduate Award in English was established. Alice received her bachelor’s degree in English in 1940. She and her husband, Dr. Noah N. Langdale, Jr. were lifelong champions of higher education in their roles as the first lady and president, respectively, of Georgia State University from 1957 to 1988. An apt tribute named for a remarkable student and campus leader, the Alice C. Langdale award will recognize outstanding graduate students in the department of English.

In December  of 2013, Mary Denmark Hutcherson (AB ’52 magna cum laude) established the H. Grady Hutcherson Memorial Georgia Access Scholarship in English.  One of the largest endowments to the department, this need-based scholarship opens the door to education at UGA. It also honors Mary’s late husband Grady (BSED ’49, MA ’51) who served the English Department for decades as a dedicated teacher and undergraduate advisor.

The Langdale and the Hutcherson awards will be presented for the first time in 2015, and I look forward to sharing news of the inaugural recipients in the next newsletter. The generous loyalty of alumni like these and other benefactors is essential to the continued excellence of our department and the caliber of our students. We all benefit — teachers and students alike — from such magnanimity. To those of you who are not yet benefactors, let me inspire you in closing with these lines from William Butler Yeats:


Look up in the sun’s eye and give

What the exultant heart calls good

That some new day may breed the best

Because you gave ...

… the right twigs for an eagle’s nest!


From assorted twigs to a whole trunk, please consider the greater good that a culture of giving can attain. Please come see me in Park 134: I would be glad to welcome anyone who cherishes memories of this “eagle’s nest.”

- Jed Rasula

For more, please read the latest version of the Park Hall Monitor, the department's newsletter.

Third Annual Methvin Lecture
Third Annual Methvin Lecture

The Third Annual Barbara Methvin Lecture will be presented by Professor Eric J. Sundquist at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19th, in the auditorium of the Richard Russell Library. His topic will be

Ralph Ellison in His Labyrinth”

Eric J. Sundquist is Andrew W. Mellon Professor, and Chair of the Department of English at The John Hopkins University. He has previously taught at Berkeley, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern, where he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Sundquist’s books include King’s Dream (2009); Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America (2005), which received the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute Book Award; To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (1992), which received the Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa and the James Russell Lowell Award from the Modern Language Association; The Hammers of Creation: Folk Culture in Modern African American Literature (1993); Faulkner: The House Divided (1985); and Home as Found: Authority and Genealogy in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (1979), which received the Gustave Arlt Award from the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. He has edited essay collections devoted to Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and contributed to the Cambridge History of American Literature (reprinted as Empire and Slavery in American Literature, 1820-1865)

29th Annual MELUS Conference
29th Annual MELUS Conference

UGA is hosting the 29th Annual MELUS Conference (Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States) April 9-12. The conference theme is “Arrivals and Departures in U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literatures.” Most sessions will take place in the Classic Center. Keynote speakers will be Harvard Professor Werner Sollors; the novelist Cristina García; and the former Poet Laureate of the United States and alumna of UGA's English department, Emory Professor Natasha Trethewey (AB '89). You can access the conference webpage at Numerous UGA faculty and graduate students will be presenting papers, and we urge all of you to attend as many sessions as possible. Mark your calendars now!