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 3440: Literature and Philosophy
Spring 2017, 3:30 TTh, Dr. Kraft
What is the best way to live? How and why do we pursue happiness? How do literature and philosophy address these questions differently? How do they do so in conversation with one another? Our focus in this class will be on Ethics in literary works by authors such as Laurence Sterne, J.M. Coetzee, Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, William Wycherley, and Aphra Behn and in philosophical works by authors including Kierkegaard, Emmanuel Levinas, Stanley Cavell, Martha Nussbaum, Judith Butler, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. We will also view three films in pursuit of our topic: Stephen Spielberg's Schindler's List, a Hollywood comedy of remarriage, The Philadelphia Story, and a Hollywood melodrama of the unknown woman, Gaslight.
Study Abroad in Cortona, Italy
Since 1970, the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy has been a leader in international arts education. This Program provides a challenging opportunity for the serious art student who wishes to combine international travel with an intensive studio and classroom experience. The medieval hilltown of Cortona offers a rich historical environment where students can easily integrate with the lifestyle of a typical Italian community.
This coming Spring semester, if enough students apply, we’ll be offering Creative Writing, Victorian Literature and Culture, Victorian Poetry, and a 4000-level special topics course. What's more, thanks to the program’s new "Foundations Experience,” we’ll also be offering a section of 1102, as part of a larger move to open the program’s resources to students at virtually any stage of their academic careers.
Pizzino, Arresting Development Book Launch
Avid Bookshop (293 Prince Ave) is hosting a book launch for Chris Pizzino's newly released book, Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature (University of Texas Press) on Friday, October 28, at 6:30 p.m. There is no admission charge.
From the jacket: "Mainstream narratives of the graphic novel’s development describe the form’s 'coming of age,' its maturation from pulp infancy to literary adulthood. In Arresting Development, Christopher Pizzino questions these established narratives, arguing that the medium’s history of censorship and marginalization endures in the minds of its present-day readers and, crucially, its authors. Comics and their writers remain burdened by the stigma of literary illegitimacy and the struggles for status that marked their earlier history."
Reading and Talk with Pamela Uschuk, Cutthroat Founding Editor
LeAnne Howe, Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature at the University of Georgia, presents a reading and talk with Pamela Uschuk, poet and founding editor of Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts (now in its eleventh year), on Thursday November 3rd at 4:30 p.m. in the Zell B. Miller Learning Center room 0350. Called by The Bloomsbury Review "one of the most insightful and spirited poets today," Uschuk is the author of six volumes of award-wining poetry, including Blood Flower and Crazy Love, for which she received the 2010 American Book Award. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and appears in over 300 journals and anthologies world-wide. This event is free and open to the public.
Spotlight on the Arts Reading Featuring Gabrielle Fuentes and Magdalena Zurawski
Coinciding with UGA’s 2016 Spotlight on the Arts celebration, the Creative Writing Program is hosting a reading featuring one current Ph.D. student and one faculty member. Ph.D. student Gabrielle Fuentes' first novel, The Sleeping World, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster. Faculty member Dr. Magdalena Zurawski’s poetry collection Companion Animal was awarded the 2016 Norma Farber First Book Award by the Poetry Society of America. This event will take place at Ciné (234 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601) and will be free and open to the public.
SPOTLIGHT: 1616/1916/2016: A Commemoration
This one-day Symposium supported by the Willson Center, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, and the UGA Graduate School, "1616/1916/2016," commemorates the anniversaries of Shakespeare's death in 1616 and the Easter Rising in 1916 and showcases the vibrant and lively theatrical and cinematic traditions in Ireland at the present time.
Events include talks by Professor Nicholas Grene and the film-maker and director Tom Magill; a staged reading of two short plays by Augusta, Lady Gregory, performed by Dr. Fran Teague's "How to Read a Play" students; and a buffet evening reception after Nicholas Grene's talk in the late afternoon.
1.30pm-6.30pm, UGA Special Collections Libraries; for info contact iyengar [at] uga.edu
Further information is available at this link.
SPOTLIGHT: "Irish Shakespeares: 1916 to 2016" (talk by Nicholas Grene)
UGA Special Collections Libraries
Nicholas Grene is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Trinity College Dublin, where he taught for 36 years. His books include Shakespeare’s Tragic Imagination (Macmillan, 1992), The Politics of Irish Drama (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Shakespeare’s Serial History Plays (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Yeats's Poetic Codes (Oxford University Press, 2008). His most recent book is Home on the Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
His talk, "Irish Shakespeares: 1916 to 2016," recounts the uneasy history of Irish Shakespeares from 1916 to 2016. In April 1916 the British Empire Shakespeare Society staged Hamlet as part of the Shakespeare Tercentenary celebrations. In the period since 1922, Shakespeare, the canonical writer of the former colonial power, has been an uneasy presence in Irish theatre. For many years, Anew McMaster continued the tradition of touring the plays round Ireland, initially with those pretend Irishmen Hilton Edwards and Micheal Mac Liammóir in his company. An adventurously modernist King Lear was staged at the Abbey in 1928, directed by the playwright Denis Johnston. There have been some successful productions of the comedies with a specifically Irish dimension, such as the 1990s musical Comedy of Errors, or the 2006 Taming of the Shrew given a contemporary Irish setting. But many Irish productions have struggled to find an appropriate idiom for Shakespeare. Professor Grene's paper will explore a range of Irish stagings of the plays down to the award-winning Druid Shakespeare of 2015 and the Abbey’s 2016 production of Othello.
Read more about Professor Grene, his talk, and the 1616/1916/2016 Symposium here at the Willson Center's website.
This event is sponsored by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the Departments of English, Theatre, and Comparative Literature, and the University of Georgia Graduate School. Special Thanks to Nicholas Allen and Winnie Smith of the Willson Center for administration.
"Revenge or Reconciliation? Creating a Film Adaptation of The Tempest in Northern Ireland" (Talk by Tom Magill)
UGA Special Collections Libraries Auditorium
Tom Magill is an ex-prisoner who transformed his life through arts education while in prison for violence. While incarcerated he met his enemy, an IRA Volunteer — and his enemy became his teacher. In 2007 he directed Mickey B, an award-winning feature film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, cast with prisoners from Maghaberry maximum-security prison in Northern Ireland.
Today's talk, part of the all-day Shakespeare in Ireland Symposium, treats his current work-in-progress, adapting The Tempest within Northern Ireland. For more information, please see the Willson Center website.
This event is free and open to the public.
Lady Augusta Gregory: A Staged Reading
UGA Special Collections Library Auditorium
Lady Augusta Gregory was an early 20th c. Irish playwright, a central figure in the Irish Literary Revival that also included Wiliam Butler Yeats. Dr Fran Teague's "How To Read A Play" class will present a staged reading of Lady Gregory's plays Spreading the News and The Rising of the Moon as part of the all-day Shakespeare in Ireland Symposium.
For more information, please see the Willson Center website.
This event is free and open to the public.
Performance by Dutch Avant-Garde Composer and Performance Artist Jaap Blonk
Jed Rasula, English Department Head and Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor of English, presents a performance by Jaap Blonk, composer, performer, and poet, on Monday, November 14th at 7 p.m. Blonk has been composing and performing since the 1970s and has released over 22 recordings on his record label, Kontrans. In addition, Blonk's work for radio and television includes several commissioned radio plays and he also makes larger-scale drawings of his scores, which are being exhibited. This even will take place at Cine (234 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601) and is free and open to the public.
Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert
Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert, presented by Dr Elizabeth Kraft's First-Year Odyssey Seminar (Tower of Song: The Poetry of Leonard Cohen)
6-7:30 at the Cine Lab
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