English at UGA
The English Department at the University of Georgia is a diverse scholarly community of more than 40 faculty, 100 graduate students, and more than 600 undergraduate majors and minors held together by a common commitment to preserving, transmitting, and extending the rich cultural legacy of the English language. At the core of our discipline lie the complex skills of reading and writing, and though these can be productively applied to a wide range of professional goals our own work as scholars and teachers strives to deepen our understanding of the critical and creative imagination. A sympathetic participation in the verbal worlds of other times and places, drawing on the full range of linguistic tools, historical knowledge, and interpretive experience at our disposal, allows our students to enhance their appreciation for expressive possibility. The diversity of the faculty's interests and research methods helps ensure that an English major at the University of Georgia develops a sophisticated, practical grasp of the central role that language plays in the preservation of human institutions.
English 4642: “Films about the American South”
Hugh Ruppersburg, MLC 267, 11:00 Tues/Thurs.
This class examines great and often iconic films about the American South. Films may include Jezebel, Wild River, To Kill a Mockingbird, Deliverance, Look Back in Anger, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Junebug, Mud, Beasts of the Southern Wild, 12 Years a Slave, and others. We will seek to understand and appreciate these films as cinema and for the perspectives they offer on the American South. We will look especially at their literary sources. The required viewing session is each Monday, 3:35, in MLC.
English 4300: Elizabethan Poetry: Shakespeare's Poetry in Context
Professor Iyengar, Fall 2016, T/Th 2-3:15.
No, Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth did not have a love-affair, nor can we document a personal reading such as the one fancifully depicted in the above painting by John James Chalon. But in this special Shakespeare quatercentenary year (the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death) and the Fall semester visit of a Shakespeare First Folio to Georgia, the course "Elizabethan Poetry" will include Shakespeare's Sonnets, longer poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece as well his shorter lyric "The Phoenix and Turtle." We'll also read some of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I and featuring her in two guises, as Gloriana the Elfin Princess and as Britomart the cross-dressed woman warrior; some of Queen Elizabeth's own poetry; and a range of lyrics and songs from the era.
ENGL3050: Introduction to Poetry: Book, Ink, Paper
Professor Jacobson: MWF 11
How is a poem like a machine? What is the relationship between a poem and the various material forms it takes? What makes a text a poem, an epic, sonnet, sonnet sequence, sestina, villanelle, oulipo? This course examines poetry written in English in all its forms, through a variety of historical periods, paying particular attention to the relationship poetry has to its tangible, material shape (faded brown pen ink on rag paper, sticky printer's ink, fibre paper, gold and lapis on vellum, cut strips of paper, embroidery on sampler, etc). Over the semester, we will read our way through the Norton Anthology of Poetry, learning not only to understand poetic style, form, elements and diction, but how to interpret a poem, to imagine the impetus behind it, to connect it to its cultural milieu, and to think of it three dimensionally, as an object. Our assignments emphasize the inter-connectedness of reading, writing, and thinking.
ENGL 4510: Nineteenth-Century British Prose: Bodies of Writing; Bodies and Writing
Lootens, T/Th, 3:30-4:45
From prefaces to Parliamentary reports; from travel writing to war reporting, to parodies, to literary criticism, to political polemics; from journal entries and private letters, this class will consider how controversies over the claims of physicality help shape the revolutionary transformations of a great era of prose writing. Nonfiction prose by distinguished writers of fiction, including Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Eliot, and Wilde; notorious literary debates. So, too, however, may others: prose by poets such as the Brownings, the Rossettis, or Hopkins, for example; scientific writings by figures including Lyell, Darwin, and Huxley; resonant political arguments including Carlyle, Mill, Newman, Nightingale, and Morris; and writing by Victorians whose achievements have nearly been forgotten. (Image from Internet Archive and the University of Toronto library. Text and formatting by George P. Landow )
ENGL 4830W Re-Writing: Remix, Remediation, and Revision
Dr. Sara Steger, MWF 9:05
In this course, we will consider forms of appropriation, focusing on texts that appropriate, adapt, remix, transform, transpose, sample, parody, or re-write other texts. We will also use media theory as a lens for thinking about appropriation as creation, for learning about "remix culture," and for thinking through issues of copyright and originality. Students in the course will engage in rewriting through:
- An appropriation of a text - a creative re-writing of a piece of literature or other text (i.e. fanfiction).
- A remix/mashup, where students collect primary "texts" and present through remixing them a clear argument about a social issue of their choice.
- A research-based analytical essay on the topic of re-writing that students will remediate using any form, genre, or platform (video, collage, digital text, etc.).
Critical Approaches to Literature
Fall 2016 • T/Th 9:30-10:45 • Dr. Richard Menke
New course! Learn to write more interesting papers • Interpret challenging texts • Join a critical conversation • Revise your essays for style and argument
The literary works we’ll read will include
Shakespeare, Measure for Measure • Shelley, Frankenstein • Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde • Conrad, Heart of Darkness • Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway • Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Masande Ntshanga Reading
The University of Georgia Creative Writing Program, in conjunction with the Avid Poetry Series, is pleased to present writer Masande Ntshanga for a reading at Ciné (234 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601). Ntshanga is the winner of the inaugural PEN International New Voices Award in 2013, and a finalist for the Caine Prize in 2015. His novel, The Reactive, is a clear-eyed and compassionate depiction of a young HIV+ man grappling with the sudden death of his younger brother, for which he feels unduly responsible. Reading with Ntshanga will be CWP Ph.D. student Gabrielle Hovendon, whose writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, and the Cincinnati Review. This event is free and open to the public.
Fall Lit Ball Opening Ceremony Featuring Poets Stacy Szymaszek and Simone White
The Creative Writing Program is pleased to present poets Stacy Szymaszek and Simone White for a reading of their work. This reading is the opening ceremony of the Fall Lit Ball, a two-day collaborative literary celebration sponsored by The Georgia Review, the Georgia Press, and the UGA Creative Writing Program. The opening ceremony will take place at The Foundry (295 E Dougherty St, Athens, GA 30601) in Galleria I and is free and open to the public.
Fall Lit Ball Talk: The Poetry Project
As part of the Fall Lit Ball, the Creative Writing Program is pleased to present Stacy Szymaszek and Simone White for a talk about the 50th anniversary of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery in New York. Szymaszek and White are the Director and Program Director, respectively, of The Poetry Project. The Fall Lit Ball is an two-day festival of readings and literary talks and activities sponsored by The Georgia Review, the Georgia Press, and the UGA Creative Writing Program. The Poetry Project Talk and all Fall Lit Ball events will take place at The Foundry (295 E Dougherty St, Athens, GA 30601) and are free and open to the public.
The annual commencement and awards ceremony of the Department of English is always an exhilarating experience. The happy faces of family members in attendance, along with the gratified countenances of the graduates and the award recipients, just seem to make everything glow. Not to mention the weather, perfect as usual in early May in Athens. Also perfect was our keynote speaker. The English department’s class of 2016 was honored by the presence of alumnus Jack Bauerle, whose memories of Park Hall as an English major forty-some years ago were a vivid reminder of just how hallowed a place it is. Those in attendance were thrilled to share the memorable occasion with Coach Bauerle, who was head coach of the women’s swim team at the 2008 Olympics and whose stewardship of the UGA swim team has netted many national and SEC championships, (As I write this he is at the swim trials in Omaha in preparation for the Olympics in Rio di Janeiro.) Thank you, Coach Bauerle, for inspiring our graduating class this year!
This year we have much to celebrate. For the second year in a row, an English professor was recipient of the Michael F. Adams Early-Career Scholarship Award. This year it was Cody Marrs. Ed Pavlic was recognized with the Christ-Janer Creative Research Award, the fourth time this has been granted to a faculty member from our department (out of fifteen total). Ed also entered the ranks of Distinguished Research Professor, one of the highest distinctions at the University of Georgia; he is its first recipient from our department in the long history of this award, which began in 1983. Dr. Pavlic has had a banner year. His poetry collection, Let’s Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno was published as a winner of the National Poetry Series and on the scholarly front, his book Who Can Afford to Improvise? James Baldwin, Black Music, and the Listeners came out almost at the same time. As returning director of the Creative Writing Program, Ed’s bifocal and multilateral interests and accomplishments are indicative of the ingredients that make our doctoral program in Creative Writing one of the top in the nation. Adding kudos to Creative Writing faculty, Magdalena Zurawski’s book Companion Animal was recently awarded the Norman Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Another highlight of the commencement ceremony was the generosity of English alumnus Mary Hutcherson, whose H. Grady Hutcherson Memorial Scholarship Fund provided awards to four deserving undergraduates. With the decline of state funding for public universities in Georgia and across the country, the role played by the munificence of benefactors is more urgent—and appreciated—than ever. The Department of English thrives with the support of its various endowed professorships and other endowments. This year, for example, the British Women Writers Conference received support from the Lanier, the Sterling-Goodman, and the Eidson chairs.
On a concluding note, I want to salute another benefactor whose generosity will bring significant opportunities for students, faculty, and programs, both now and in the future. Mary Anne Hale has created the Paul Douglas (Doug) Hale Learning Enhancement Fund in memory of her husband. In recognition of this endowment, Park 265, the large lecture hall, will be named in commemoration of Doug Hale, who earned both a BA and MA in English and taught English literature in several colleges and universities before embarking on a stellar career in television and film. A loyal and consistent donor, Doug stayed in touch with his alma mater. A decade ago Doug returned to Park Hall on one of his annual trips here (he was a native Athenian) and gave a memorable talk in that very room, one soon to be named the Hale Lecture Hall. He was a raconteur who would have made Mark Twain proud, and he possessed an outsized curiosity about everything under the sun. It is always a pleasure to meet veterans of Park Hall, but Doug was one of a kind. Those of us who knew him will miss his wit, his appetite for life, and his booming voice, but thanks to Mary Anne Hale’s generous memorial gift, he will continue to have a positive impact on the Department of English.
For more, please read the latest version of the Park Hall Monitor, the department's newsletter.
Distinguished Research Professor 2016
Creative Research Award 2016
Ed Pavlić, professor of English and creative writing, is an extraordinarily productive researcher and a gifted poet. Capping an unprecedented decade of creative and scholarly activity, his monograph on the great African-American writer and social critic James Baldwin titled Who Can Afford to Improvise? was published in 2015 by Fordham University Press. In it, Pavlić examines the life, writings and legacy of Baldwin and their relationship to the lyric tradition of black music, from gospel and blues to jazz and R&B. Pavlić also recently published his latest collection of poetry, Let’s Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno, a winner of the prestigious National Poetry Series open competition. This is the fifth title of poetry he has published since joining the faculty at the University of Georgia in 2006. During the same period, he has published more than a dozen scholarly articles and had several earlier essays reprinted in scholarly compendia.
Michael F. Adams Early Career Scholar Award 2016
Cody Marrs, assistant professor of English, is an accomplished junior scholar and author of the recently published book Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War. In it, Marrs analyzes the writings of four major authors—Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson—whose careers spanned both sides of the conflict. He argues against the traditional division of 19th century literature into either antebellum or postbellum categories, describing these authors as “transbellum.” Marrs is currently working on several related projects, including a second book titled The Civil War: A Literary History. This wide-ranging book is about the war’s cultural afterlife, from the 19th century to the 21st. He is editing a special issue of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies on Melville’s late works. He is also co-editing Timelines of American Literature, a collection of essays that seek to reimagine American literature.Tweets by @UGAEnglish