Claudia Rankine Reading at Cine
Author and former English department faculty member, Claudia Rankine, returns to Athens to read from her work. The event, sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and part of the graduate-student led VOX Reading Series, is free and open to the public.
Rankine has published several collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), a finalist for the National Book Award; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004); and Nothing in Nature is Private (1994), which won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize.
Rankine has coedited American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language(2002), American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (2007), and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (2014). Her poems have been included in the anthologies Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present (2003), Best American Poetry (2001), and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry (1996). Her play Detour/South Bronx premiered in 2009 at New York’s Foundry Theater.
Rankine has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation. In 2013, she was elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2014 she received a Lannan Literary Award. She has taught at the University of Houston, Barnard College, and Pomona College.
As usual, the English department has been productive this year.
For the past few years, Assistant Professor Miriam Jacobson has organized a major seminar for faculty and graduate students on the “History of the Book”. Run with the support of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, this seminar examines books as material objects. In the fall of 2013, she taught a graduate class related to this seminar in which her graduate students curated projects at the Hargrett Library, emphasizing Renaissance books that served useful roles in their cultural milieus. Called “Books in Action: What Books Allow Us to Do”, the student exhibits were installed in the rotunda of the Russell Special Collections Library.
Another scholar in the department who made an important contribution to the Hargrett is Dr. Elizabeth Kraft. She has been editing the novels of Samuel Richardson, one of the early novelists of eighteenth-century England, for the prestigious Cambridge University Press’s Complete Works of Samuel Richardson. This work required her to examine all editions of the novels, including editions of Sir Charles Grandison, Richardson’s famous attempt to produce a novel exploring the nature of male virtue. Professor Kraft found a rare copy of the third edition of this work online, and she needed to examine the book to determine what changes had been made from the previous edition. The department was able to purchase the novel and, when Professor Kraft had completed her analysis, to donate it to the Hargrett to make it available to all future students and scholars of Richardson’s work.
Associate Professor Charles Doyle has spent a professional lifetime studying the intersections among the areas of linguistics, folklore, and literature – what is known as philology, one of the earliest professional areas of study in English. His work has recently led to the publication of the Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (Yale University Press), which collects proverbs coined from 1900 to the present. Professor Doyle’s work often tracks down the origins of contemporary proverbs, tracing them back to previous centuries and unexpected groups of writers.
This will be my last introduction to the newsletter. I am stepping down as head and retiring from UGA. The newsletter, which we revived in 2011, has, I hope, found in you an interested audience in the goings on at Park Hall. Many thanks go to the first editors Drs. Chloe Wigston Smith and Barbara McCaskill, both of whom stepped down this year, and to Drs. Esra Santesso and Cynthia Turner Camp, who have taken over the editorial duties. Thanks, too, to Carmen Comeaux for her proofreading skills.
Please, keep in touch! In addition to the event listings on the department's webpage, you can now follow the English department on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep tabs on departmental kudos and items of literary interest. If you find yourself in Athens, we would be pleased to see you at the lively lectures, readings, discussions, and symposia that our faculty organizes each semester.
Michael G. Moran, Head
For more, please read the latest version of the Park Hall Monitor, the department's newsletter.
New book by Assistant Professor of English, Miriam Jacobson.
Miriam Jacobson’s book Barbarous Antiquity: Reorienting the Past in the Poetry of Early Modern England has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press this Fall, 2014. The book explores the role of poetry in negotiating and transposing England’s newly established mercantile relationship with the East, and its vexed relationship to the classical past. It is the first full length scholarly book to examine the engagement of Renaissance English poetry (as opposed to drama and prose) with the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and it does this by focusing on the roles Eastern imported objects and ideas—sugar, zero, Arabian horses, Turkish bulbs, oriental pearls, dyes, and ink—play in poetry by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, and their contemporaries. Central to Jacobson’s argument is the transformative power of newly minted English words to describe these imported things, words that instigate change within the cultural and poetic landscape of early modern England.
Professor Ed Pavlić is one of our most accomplished faculty members, and even as a star among many, his sterling accomplishments as a poet, critic and cultural interlocutor stand out. His impressive resume recently received another bolded line as a winner of the Open Competition from the NPS for 2014:
The National Poetry Series recently announced the five winners of its 2014 Open Competition, which included "Let's Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno" by the University of Georgia's Ed Pavlić, a professor of English and creative writing in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.Tweets by @UGAEnglish