Who's Who in 1922?
After several requests to identify members of the Department in this 1922 photograph, we headed to the Archives to see what we could dig up.
A Memorable Field TripIn the fall of 2012, the English Department’s annual fund subsidized a group of undergraduates to see a play they had studied, August Wilson’s Jitney, at the Court Theatre
Program for Junior Faculty LeaveWhen new faculty arrive at the University of Wisconsin on the tenure track, they know that
they have to finish a book in five years. And not just any book.
Building Undergraduate Community
Undergraduates and The Department work together to create a space for the English major community.
English Department Board of Visitors member Tom Johnson (B.A. '73; MBA '80) reflects on what motivates him to give to the English Department.
Letter from the Chair
Dear English Badgers,
Welcome to our alumni page! We hope that you'll come back and visit us in person. And we'd always love to hear from you. What are you doing these days? How do you use your English major now that you've graduated? And what are your fondest memories of the UW? Please send us your news and your reminiscences! http://go.wisc.edu/457x9g.
I am thrilled to be taking on my new position as Department Chair. It is a magnificent privilege to be part of English at the University of Wisconsin. Our students are intensely smart and curious, bursting with ideas and insights. They work hard every semester at developing high-level skills of reading, writing, and critical thinking, and increasingly, they work in new media--putting words, sound, and images together in compelling new ways. They are a joy to know, and it is an honor to watch them grow. Meanwhile, English Department faculty are producing thought-provoking new contributions to knowledge, often working at the cross-roads of traditions of thought.
Some recent books by faculty:
- Rob Nixon's Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor is about how difficult it is to pay attention to the long, slow process of environmental devastation in a media context that is typically driven by sensational, spectacle-driven messaging. A winner of multiple prizes, including the 2012 American Book Award, Slow Violence asks us to think critically about the non-fiction genres we use to represent our world's crises.
- Jesse Lee Kercheval's "provocative and playful" new novel, My Life as a Silent Movie, is about a woman who discovers she's the daughter of a White Russian film star of the 1920s and a French Stalinist. According to Kirkus Reviews, this novel "delves deeply into the rawest of emotions and the most wrenching of choices, richly detailing each twist and turn with grace."
- Theresa Kelley's prize-winning Clandestine Marriage looks into the fascinating and subtle ways that botanical science intersected with poetry and philosophy in the Romantic period.
While it is incredibly exciting to be here in Madison, always buzzing with ideas, lately it's been a tough time to be a public university. The UW used to receive most of its budget from the State of Wisconsin, but now our total grant from the state is hovering around 17%. The Legislature has also frozen tuition, which of course makes sense--it's not fair simply to pass costs onto hard-working students and their struggling families. But with rising costs, including health care and the federal sequester--which is hitting the sciences hard--the UW has to try to keep up our world-class standards on a shrinking budget.
English graduate students recently wrote a spoof called Lord of the Reams, making fun of the fact that we have cut our paper budget by more than 50%. They were very witty about it, but it's also a serious matter! We just don't have enough to cover the cost of day-to-day business.
And all of this means that we are increasingly grateful for the extraordinary generosity of Wisconsin alumni--the best and smartest alumni anywhere! To support UW English, click here.
Please click through for the articles in the slideshow above to observe the meaningful experiences your generous gifts made possible in the past year. I hope these will give you a sense of some of the excitement around here. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, please keep in touch with us! Send us a note, or come and see us at Helen C. White. And thank you, as always, for your extraordinary support!
Professor and Chair of the English Department