All Upcoming Events
Thursday, January 26 7:00 PM

Dean Rader reading

LeAnne Howe, Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature at the University of Georgia, in conjunction with the Creative Writing Program, is thrilled to present a reading by writer and poet Dean Rader. Rader has published widely in the fields of poetry, American Indian studies, and popular culture, and his newest collection of poems, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. This event is will take place at Ciné (234 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601) and is free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 09 5:00 PM

Editing Richardson's _The History of Sir Charles Grandison_; or, A Good Man is Hard to Find

Professor E. Derek Taylor (Longwood University), with Professor Elizabeth Kraft, will present a discussion of their experiences editing The History of Sir Charles Grandison for Cambridge University Press. This event will take place at the Special Collections Library, Room 277. It is supported by the English Department's Rodney Baine Lecture Fund and the Willson Center.

Monday, February 13 10:30 AM

Teaching, Assigning, and Assessing Writing in Large Classes

In this workshop, participants will learn about writing-intensive practices (e.g., peer review, workshops, research papers, reflective writing, and others) that can be implemented in classes across the curriculum with enrollments ranging from 30 to 300. This workshop will report on research from a wide variety of fields that recognizes successful approaches to incorporating writing while minimizing boosts to faculty workload. Participants will discuss the advantages and troubleshoot the challenges of a writing-intensive pedagogy, and they will have the opportunity to consider and customize research-based strategies and assignments. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to develop instructional materials and plans for their own large-enrollment, writing-intensive courses.

Register Here:

Tuesday, February 14 4:00 PM

Interdisciplinary Modernisms Workshop: Graduate Student Work-in-Progress

Please join us at the Willson Center House for a discussion of dissertation chapters by Sarah Harrell, Ph.D. candidate in English at UGA, and Lauro Iglesias Quadrado, Fulbright Scholar and Ph.D. candidate at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), in Porto Alegre, Brazil. We will pre-circulate the chapters: please contact Susan Rosenbaum ( or Nell Andrew ( if you would like to receive the chapters or to be added to the workshop ELC page. 

Willson Center House, Tuesday February 14th, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

In Memoriam: Judith Ortíz Cofer
In Memoriam: Judith Ortíz Cofer

The University of Georgia English Department mourns the passing of our colleague and friend, Judith Ortíz Cofer. Judith was a member of the UGA English Department from 1984-2013. She passed away on Friday, December 30th after a long battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held in the University Chapel on Friday, January 27 at 3 p.m., with a reception following in Demosthenian Hall.

Describing the scope and importance of her work and career, Director of the Creative Writing Program and UGA Distinguished Research Professor Dr. Ed Pavlić said, “Nationally and internationally known during the 1990s and into the 21st century, Judith Ortiz Cofer’s work made a very visible and important contribution to the expansion of the American literary cannon in ways that reflected the actual diversity, which is the reality, of the nation. Equally important is her tireless work, over decades, supporting women writers and writers of color. As a result, there are dozens of writers in the U.S. and abroad whose careers have been aided by Judith’s active support and by the diversifying and democratizing affect her work and career had on contemporary American literature.”

Judith was a prolific writer, penning over 20 books of poetry and prose, six of which were published by the University of Georgia Press. Her novel, The Line of the Sun, and her multi-gene work The Latin Deli, were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She was also the first Hispanic writer to receive an O. Henry Prize, for The Latin Deli, in 1994. In 2010, Judith was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

Dr. Barbara McCaskill, UGA Professor and Co-Director of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative, has said, “Judith Ortiz Cofer is the rare writer who mastered every genre she touched—the essay, the short story, poetry, and the novel. As a disciplined writer and challenging teacher, she set very high standards for her students and colleagues to attain. Her works examine such universal and enduring themes as belonging and exile, love and longing, and identity and community, and always with a clear and confident voice that pulsates effortlessly between English and Spanish.”

During her 29 year career at UGA, Judith was recognized with several awards and accolades, including: University of Georgia’s J. Hatten Howard III award, which recognizes faculty members who demonstrate notable potential in teaching Honors courses early in their teaching careers; University of Georgia's Albert Christ-Janer Award for an outstanding body of nationally and internationally recognized scholarly or creative activities in the arts and humanities; and University of Georgia's 2013 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award. At the time of her retirement, she held both the Franklin Professorship and a Regents Professorship in recognition of her accomplishments.

Of her contribution to UGA, Emeritus University Professor of English and Senior Associate Dean Dr. Hugh Ruppersburg said, “Judith brought to the English department an energetic vitality, an example of fierce dedication and hard work, and a belief in the importance of expressing and developing the self through writing. She was a superb teacher whose students will testify to her lasting impact on them. She was incredibly productive, always trying to extend her limits, to try out new forms of writing, to extend her audience of readers. Her love of creativity and literature was infectious. She was one of several faculty members who helped to expand and enrich the courses and the list of writers that students study in the department. She helped diversify the curriculum and in this she helped transform the department.”

Judith was born in Puerto Rico in 1952. She and her family immigrated to the Unites States in 1956 and settled in Paterson, New Jersey, but eventually relocated to Augusta, Georgia. Judith spent extended periods of her childhood at her grandmother’s house in Puerto Rico, and her negotiation of two cultures was an important theme in her fiction and poetry. After graduating from Augusta College (now Augusta State University), she moved to Florida to pursue an M.A. at Florida Atlantic University, but she returned to Georgia and began teaching at UGA in 1984.

Judith is survived by her husband, Charles John Cofer; her daughter, Tanya Cofer; her brother, Rolando Ortiz; her grandson, Elias John Ruderfer; and her son in law, Isidor F. Ruderfer.

Her full obituary is here:

Judith is listed in the New Georgia Encyclopedia: