Department of English Language and Literature

English Department Newsletter

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Posted 16 August 2019

Just a reminder of the astonishing list of "Points of Pride" collected about the English Department during Spring 2019.  See here for news about faculty members Parama Sarkar, Christina Fitzgerald, Russell Reising, Tim Geiger, Kim Mack, Andrew Mattison, Suzanne Smith, Ben Stroud, Tyler Branson, Yerra Sugarman, and Bashar-Al-Hariri.  And for news about students: Isabel Abu-Absi, Evan Sennett, Ryleigh Wann, Olivia Clark, Benjamin Steingass, Jessie Aberl, Bryce Bullins, Lydia Ratteree, and Cheyenne Haymond.   

faculty group


Professor Emeritus Douglas Coleman presented "Pejoratives, Accidental Pejoratives, and 'Accidental' Pejoratives" at the annual conference of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States. July 23-26, University of Waterloo, Ontario. The analysis looked not only at problems with the basic definition of "pejorative," but also at how people unintentionally say things that are understood by another person as pejorative, and how people sometimes pretend they "accidentally" produced something that sounded like a pejorative when in fact they wanted to make the other person hear the pejorative. It also showed that conventional views of words and grammar fail to be able to account for these kinds of complexity in how people communicate.


Posted 14 August 2019

“Strange Reading”:  Andrew Mattison’s book Solitude and Speechlessness: Renaissance Writing and Reading in Isolation has been published by The University of Toronto Press. The Press writes:  “The figure of the isolated, misunderstood, or misjudged poet is a preoccupation that relies on imagining the lives of wandering and complaining youths, eloquent melancholics, exemplary hermits, homeless orphans, and retiring stoics; such figures acknowledge the isolation in literary experience. As a response to this isolation of literary connection, Solitude and Speechlessness proposes an interpretive mode it defines as strange reading: a reading that merges comprehension with indeterminacy and the imaginative work of interpretation with the recognition of historical difference.” 

Gordon Braden (University of Virginia) writes: "Solitude and Speechlessness is a serious, sophisticated, and well-informed discussion of a series of English poets from the late-sixteenth to the late-seventeenth-century, centered on the relations between authorial self-consciousness and literary history."

More here

  Mattison Book

Christina Fitzgerald was interviewed by the British Podcast Beyond Shakespeare about her edition of the York Corpus Christi play and about medieval drama in general.  You can listen here:

The edition was also very favorably reviewed in The Medieval Review,

“With its balancing of an accessible text with a rich variety of resources for understanding the York Play's cultural contexts and history of performance, this convenient and thoughtfully put together book will undoubtedly become the new standard classroom edition of the York Play.”   -- Emma Lipton

The York Corpus Christi Play: Selected Pageants edited by Christina M. Fitzgerald.  Broadview Press, 2018.
Fitzgerald Pic2


Faziani cover

English MA (2012) Pete Faziani has published his second book of poems, The City as Modern Mausoleum, from Finishing Line Press. His first book, Warning Shots, came out in 2017.    “'There’s a city beneath the city,' writes Peter Faziani... in poem after poem he pushes relentlessly past the phony façades to expose the brutalities and inequities of modern urban life. Here, citizens must '[feign] a middle-class salary' and their lives become 'habitual / motion sans meaning.' Like city noise reverberating off glass buildings and concrete, these poems echo with tense, energetic, layered music where word sounds ricochet and suddenly morph—'a bludgeon' becomes in the next line 'a glutton,' 'boozie' becomes 'boujie,' and 'channels' become 'charnels.  This startling wordplay makes Faziani’s stark vision of our world feel palpably present. 'The city hides the skeletons / under the bridge,' writes Faziani, and in this fierce chapbook he digs them up, refusing to forget."  Jeffrey Bean – Author of Woman Putting on Pearls.

More here.  And pre-order here
Pete Faziani
Posted 16 July 2019

This summer, Bashar Al-Hariri ran a Reading Camp and Contest for refugee kids at US Together. He coordinated with Phi Kappa Phi who donated books to the contest.   US Together writes:  "We are so proud of our students’ hard work during this week and their drive to improve their English skills. This camp was all about empowering our refugee youth to gain confidence in English, allowing them to talk about their ideas and inspirations, and grow into their bright futures as New Americans."

Read more here.

Bashar Al-Hariri

Yerra SugarmanYerra Sugarman has a hybrid poem in the new issue of Tupelo Quarterly. The poem is in five parts, and it’s from a manuscript titled Aunt Bird. Here’s the link: . She also has poems forthcoming in the Colorado Review, Cherry Tree, and in the American Literary Review.




Announcing:  Weatherbox: Poems by Timothy Geiger.
Published by Cloudbank Books, Weatherbox was awarded the Vern Rutsala Book Prize in 2019.

Cover Praise from Marcus Jackson:  "Weatherbox, Timothy Geiger’s moving new poetry collection, captures the undulations and the ruminations that occur when humans reckon with the shrewd lawmakers that are memory and mortality. Geiger’s descriptive sharpness paves the way for many occurrences of realization and wonder. The poems in this book deftly survey the intersections between the natural world and the factors of modern civilization that usher complex conditions into our species’ psyche."
Read the press release here.


 Tim Geiger

Posted 15 July 2019
InterludeTwo English Majors have been funded through the Office of Undergraduate Research for their Fall 2019 research projects.
Emily Wemple will be working on “Spectacle, Staging, and Meaning in the York Corpus Christi Play”; Deidra Buenger will be working on “Not Yet Fit to Lead: Anxieties Concerning the License of Aristocratic Masculinity in the Interlude of Youth.”   Both projects are being directed by Dr. Christina Fitzgerald.  Congratulations to all!

 Elegy Class
 Yerra Sugarman's course, Spring 2019: ENGL 4980:

“More Crazy Mourning, More Howl”: The Elegy, Poem of Grieving and Resistance

Posted 8 July 2019


Reichelt bookMelinda Reichelt’s book, co-edited with Nur Yiğitoğlu, has been published.  It is titled L2 Writing Beyond English. Multilingual Matters, 2019.  “The chapters in this book focus on languages other than English, and explore such topics as curricular issues and student attitudes toward pedagogical practices.”  Read more.        (7/19)

For his work in visual poetry Joel Lipman has garnered an entry in the Oxford University Press “English A: Literature Course Companion, Oxford 1B Diploma Programme,” (eds. Anna Androulaki, Brent Whitted), quoting Geof Huth from Poetry (November 2008).


Posted 6 July 2019

LaVelle and TinaChristina Fitzgerald and UT MA Alumna and University of Michigan PhD candidate LaVelle Ridley met at the 2019 Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago, January 2019.
LaVelle delivered her paper “‘Reading Is Fundamental, Darling’: Reading the Black Canon While Trans”; Tina delivered her paper “Compiling Mercantile Manhood in Richard Hill’s Book (Oxford Balliol College MS 354).” 

Anthony Franklin

Alumni Anthony Franklin (MA 2016) has accepted a full-time Lecturer position at Penn State, University Park campus teaching undergraduate courses in the Program of Writing and Rhetoric.


Last Updated: 10/22/20