The scholarship and other creative work and teaching of English faculty cover a broad range that includes literature, language, creative writing, literacy and rhetorical studies, linguistics and cultural inquiry, as well as the theories and documents that inform and critique these disciplines. Based on the study and practice of writing and speech, the explorations of histories and cultures, and the examination of languages, literatures, and aesthetics, our scope is international and our approach is interdisciplinary.
"English professors now study everything except English," argues Professor Andrew Elfenbein in his 2009 book Romanticism and the Rise of English (2009). By "English" he means the history of the English language--and how its particular forms at any one time influence how writers write. That volume, which won Outstanding Academic Book Award from Choice, sets out to brush off contemporary literary criticism's blind spot, specifically looking at how literary authors responded to new usage rules in the 18th century. In the book's afterward, Elfenbein confesses that his examinations of Romantic English are leading him into psychology "as a means of investigating language production, reading comprehension, and writing strategies." Sure enough, this spring he won an American Council of Leaned Societies Fellowship for 2013-14 to work on a project that brings together cognitive science and literary criticism. (Elfenbein also received a Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry & Scholarship this spring from the U's Office of the Vice President for Research.) How did he get interested in that topic? Where does he see literary criticism going? What does he love about teaching large survey courses? Read on. . . .06/05/13
Ellen Boschwitz may have taken the long road to a BA in English, starting out at Brown University, with stops at Barnard in New York City and Lawrence in Wisconsin, but she met an important deadline: She earned her degree before any of her four kids got to college (in 1976, the same year her oldest graduated from high school). Her favorite teacher at the U? Political science professor Mulford Q. Sibley, a controversial pacifist and socialist--and a surprising choice for the wife of former U.S. Senator (and Republican) Rudy Boschwitz. But Ellen has led an extraordinary life: from World War II refugee to early activist for children with learning disabilities to business manager and marketer. Read on . . . .05/30/13
The Department of English is pleased to announce the promotion of two of our faculty members: Peter Campion to Associate Professor with tenure, and Katherine Scheil to Professor. Campion will publish his third collection of poetry, El Dorado, this October with the University of Chicago Press. Scheil published her second monograph, She Hath Been Reading: Women and Shakespeare Clubs in America (Cornell University Press) last fall, and has a third, The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway, in progress. Congratulations!05/20/13