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.
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With the massive AWP literary conference in town April 8-11, and the just slightly smaller Creative Writing Program Celebration at the Weisman Art Museum 7-9 pm April 10, it seemed the right time to interview Madelon Sprengnether. Twenty years ago, the Regents Professor wrote and shepherded the proposal for the MFA in Creative Writing through various levels of University approval so the Program could begin granting the degree in 1996. What about the MFA Program is she most proud of? "The accomplishments of our graduates," she answers quickly. "The proof is in the pudding." The growing number of alumnae/i publications parallels the feverish output of Creative Writing Program faculty: This spring, Professor Sprengnether publishes (and reads from--see listing below) both a memoir, Great River Road (New Rivers), and a prose poetry collection, Near Solstice (Holy Cow!). What does this all have to do with lab research on memory? Read on.04/01/15
Senior English major Mason Nunemaker is a poetry editor for our annual undergraduate literary arts journal Ivory Tower, created by students in a two-semester English magazine production class. According to Nunemaker, this year's content has just been finalized (from over 600 student submissions!). "I'm very excited to see how the pieces all converse with each other," he reports, "especially across the different genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art." A poet himself, Nunemaker won a poetry award from the University's Steven J. Schochet Endowment for GLBT Studies awards program, and he's also an officer for USlam, the U's spoken word poetry team. How does he see printed and performance poetry differing? Read on.03/10/15
In the last three years, Associate Professor Dan Philippon has researched and taught in Germany, Italy, and France, buoyed by a Fulbright and a fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich. The travel has widened his thinking about food writing and the sustainable food movement, subject of his current research. "Although my specialty will always be American environmental literature, I can't think in isolation anymore," reports Professor Philippon, who serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies. "Now, when I think of American writers, it is always in a global context. And when I think of global processes, like climate change, I think of their effects on particular places and particular people--like the Italian rice grower I met, whose paddies depend on meltwater from the Alps." How does that book-in-progress involve Alice Waters, Wendell Berry . . . and a certain Italian rice grower? Read on.02/04/15