All Upcoming Events
Tuesday, February 03 8:00 PM

A Lesson Before Dying

The wrenching and inspiring story of an innocent man condemned to death by electric chair in 1948 Louisiana. His failed defense portrayed him as less than human—but he must learn to die like a man. Seney-Stovall Chapel, Feb. 3-8 @ 8pm & Feb. 8 @ 2:30pm. Tickets $12, $7 for students. More information:

Tuesday, February 03 4:30 PM

Lecture by Andrew Stauffer (UVA), “Traces in the Stacks: Digitization and the Future of Nineteenth-Century Print”

The Georgia Colloquium in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century British Literature presents a talk by Andrew Stauffer, to be held in Park Hall, Room 265. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Book Traces Project engages the question of the future of the print record in the wake of wide-scale digitization. College and university libraries increasingly reconfigure access to nineteenth-century texts through public-domain versions via repositories such as Google Books on the assumption that copies of any given nineteenth-century edition are identical. Book Traces argues otherwise, focusing attention on the customizations made by original owners in personal copies of books to be found in the open stacks of university libraries, and showing that these books constitute a massive, distributed archive of the history of reading. Marginalia, inscriptions, photos, original manuscripts, letters, drawings, and many other unique pieces of historical data can be found in individual copies, many of them associated with the history of the institution that collected the books. In this talk, Andrew Stauffer will talk about the genesis of this project in the library stacks at the University of Virginia and discuss what he's learned since bringing the project to other campuses.

Andrew Stauffer is Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Anger, Revolution, and Romanticism (Cambridge, 2005), and is also a prolific writer and speaker on the current state of digital humanities and academic publishing. He directs the NINES website for nineteenth-century electronic scholarship.

This event is sponsored by the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts, the Center for Virtual History, and the Rodney Baine Lecture Fund.

Monday, February 09 12:15 PM

Graduate Committee meeting

Admissions.  261 Park Hall.

Monday, February 16 7:00 PM

VOX Reading Series Presents Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, was educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1971, and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. She gave her first reading at CBGB's, and then gravitated to St. Mark's church where she studied with Ted BerriganAlice Notley and Bill Zavatsky. She has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and fiction including Not Me (1991), Chelsea Girls (1994), Cool for You (2000), and Skies(2001). Recent books include Sorry, Tree (2007), The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009), and Inferno: a poet's novel (2010). Eileen has also written for the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet. 


"Painted Clear, Painted Black," The Volta


Friday, February 27 7:00 PM

CWP presents poet CAConrad at Cine

CAConrad’s PACE The Nation Project is touring the U.S. to ask poets how we can repair our war-obsessed nation.  He is the author of seven books including ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books, 2014), A BEAUTIFUL MARSUPIAL AFTERNOON (Wave Books, 2012) and The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010).  A 2015 Headlands Fellow, he has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell, Banff, Ucross, and the Pew Center for the Arts.  Visit him online at

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!