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2015 News Archive


Elizabeth Scheuerman, Class of 2018, Curates Exhibit on Author Maud Casey

December 7, 2015

Maud Casey exhibitElizabeth Scheuerman, UR ’18 (English: Literature, History, and Art History), in conjunction with Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, curated an exhibit on recent Plutzik Reading Series author Maud Casey. The exhibit features Casey's work as well as a reflection by Scheuerman, found below. The exhibit will be viewable through Friday, December 18th, and is located in the hallway just outside Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library 225.


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Maud Casey

November 17, 2015

Maud CaseyThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Maud Casey on Thursday, November 19th, 2015. The reading will be held in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library at 5:00pm.


Professor Jeffrey Tucker featured in Futurity article on science fiction's obsession with Mars

November 16, 2015

Mars AttacksExcerpt from Why is science fiction so obsessed with Mars?
by Scott-Hauser via, November 9, 2015


Professor Stephen Schottenfeld to be Honored at Big Pencil Awards Night

November 12, 2015

Bluff City PawnProfessor Stephen Schottenfeld will be honored on Saturday, November 14th at the Writers & Books Big Pencil Awards Night for his book Bluff City Pawn. Professor Schottenfeld won the 2015 Writers & Books Big Pencil Award for "a writer who has had an impact on Rochester readers." The award is one of five that is being presented to individuals that have contributed significantly in the advancement, creation, and understanding of literature in the Rochester community.


Approval of NEH Grant Continues Work of Professor Emeritus Russell Peck

November 11, 2015

Russell PeckProfessor Emeritus of English and John H. Deane Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Poetry Russell Peck has been awarded a new Scholarly Editions grant for the Middle English Text Series.


Brigid Hogan, Class of 2016, Curates Exhibit on Poet Mary Jo Bang

November 10, 2015

Mary Jo Bang, c Matt ValentineBrigid Hogan, UR ’16 (English: Creative Writing, and Anthropology), in conjunction with Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, curated an exhibit on poet and recent Plutzik Reading Series author Mary Jo Bang. The exhibit features Bang's work as well as a reflection by Hogan, found below. The exhibit will be viewable through Saturday, November 14th, and is located in the hallway just outside Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library 225.


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Mary Jo Bang

October 23, 2015

Mary Jo Bang, c Matt ValentineThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes poet Mary Jo Bang on Thursday, October 29th, 2015. A lecture on Mary Jo Bang's translation of Dante's Inferno will be held a day earlier, on Wednesday, October 28th. Both events take place at 5:00pm in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library.


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Denis Johnson

October 5, 2015

Denis JohnsonThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Denis Johnson on Friday, October 9th, 2015. The Meliora Weekend reading will be held in Dewey 1-101 at 5:00pm.


New Faculty Publication: Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters

September 29, 2015

Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox SistersThe Fox Sisters grew up outside of Rochester, NY, in a house with a reputation for being haunted, due to a series of strange “knockings” that plagued its inhabitants. Fed up with the sounds, the youngest of the sisters (aged twelve) challenged their ghost and ended up communicating with a spirit who had been murdered in the house and buried in the cellar.


Enrollment still open for Theatre in England

August 27, 2015

Image by Doug Chayka


Professor Joanna Scott on "The Virtues of Difficult Fiction"

August 17, 2015

Image by Doug ChaykaJoanna Scott, the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English, responds to the query: Who needs fiction? Read full article in The Nation


Professor Jennifer Grotz receives fellowship for literary translation studies

August 4, 2015

Jennifer Grotz, professor of English and the director of the University of Rochester’s translation studies program, has been awarded a Literary Translation Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Grotz is one of 20 fellows awarded an arts grant for a translation project by the NEA in 2016, selected from a pool of more than 90 applicants. Her fellowship will support the English translation of several poems by the Polish writer Jerzy Ficowski as part of a collaboration with poet and translator Piotr Sommer.


Exhibition "All the School's a Stage," curated by David Bates (2014, T5), now online

June 22, 2015

GraphicFrom September 2014 – August 2015, the exhibition “All the School’s a Stage” presented programs, photographs, and other materials documenting the history of theater at the University of Rochester. It was curated by English major David Bates (UR 2014, Take 5). All the items came from collections in the University Archives in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation.

The online version of the exhibition was designed by Sean Morris (Web User Interface Designer, Information Discovery Team) and created Travis Johansen (Exhibitions Manager, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation).


Emily Widra, English major ’15, Named to Capital One Academic All-America Team

June 9, 2015

When you are an All-American athlete and a superior student, hard work is just another part of your success. 


Emeritus Appointments for Russell Peck

June 2, 2015

We are pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees voted that Russell Peck be appointed Professor Emeritus of English and John H. Deane Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Poetry, effective on July 1, 2015.   Professor Peck will retire on June 30, 2015; the emeritus appointments recognize Professor Peck’s 53 years of service to the university and his continuing contributions to the academic life of the English Department and the College.


Interested in a Fall 2015 English Internship?

April 17, 2015

Student Jennifer Hansler at News 8 WROC-TVJoin the Undergraduate English Council on Wednesday, 4/22 from 11:00am-1:00pm for a Faculty Meet & Greet lunch, a regular part of the Department's annual English Week. At 12:00pm, Professor Curt Smith will present on the English Internship Program; two current English seniors  both interning locally this semester  will join Professor Smith and share their internship experiences. If you're curious about how an English Internship could fit into your program of study, please stop by! Lunch provided.


Ferrari Humanities Symposia lecture with Lynn Enterline scheduled for April 23rd

April 16, 2015

Enterline lecture flierLynn Enterline, Nancy Perot Mulford Professor of English at Vanderbilt University will present "Against Teleology: On the Passions of Nymphs and Barbarians" on Thursday, April 23rd, at 5:00PM in the Welles-Brown Room.


Supritha Rajan accepts 2015 ACLS Fellowship

April 13, 2015

Supritha RajanThe American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship Program awards fellowships to individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences. Institutions and individuals contribute to the ACLS Fellowship Program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Council's college and university Associates, and former Fellows and individual friends of ACLS.


Deadline announced for 2015 University Literary Competition

April 10, 2015

Competition flierThe deadline for the 2015 University Literary Competition is Monday, April 27, 2015.


English Week 2015 runs April 20–24

April 9, 2015

English Week 2015 posterEnglish Week 2015 will run from April 20–24. Events include:


Register now for Theatre in England

April 8, 2015

Burning Pestle promotional imageThis 4-credit intersession course will be conducted in London, UK, from December 30, 2015 – January 10, 2016. Attending two plays per day with a seminar discussion each morning, students in this course are exposed to a full range of theatre experiences, from intimate theatre-in-the-round to grand productions at the National Theatre, and from experimental performances in former industrial spaces to spectacular musicals in the West End. See the Theatre in England website, which describes the program in greater detail and contains syllabi and student journals from the past 25 years, as well as information about fees.


Tanenbaum Award applications due April 13th

April 6, 2015

Tanenbaum deadline imageIn 2004 University alumnus John Tanenbaum ’85 began a funded internship to help English majors subsidize their housing, transportation, and other expenses in a summer independent study. Since 2006 the Tanenbaum Scholarship has helped make internships possible at an academic publishing house in Pittsburgh, a TV production team in Los Angeles, the American Red Cross, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. For more information, contact


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Terrance Hayes

April 3, 2015

Terrance HayesThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes poet Terrance Hayes on Thursday, April 9th, 2015. The public reading will be held in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library, at 5:00pm.


Stephen Burger Wins Curtis Teaching Award

March 31, 2015

Fifth-year PhD student Stephen Burger has received the University's 2015 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student.  The award recognizes Steve's teaching both in the English Department — where he has been working as a teaching fellow alongside Professor Ezra Tawil in his Early American Novel course — and in the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program, where Steve has been teaching for three years. The Curtis Award comes with a $1,000.00 prize, and will be presented to Steve formally by Dean Margaret Kearney at an upcoming reception (exact date to be announced). Congratulations, Steve!


Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew opens April 9th

March 30, 2015

Event Poster ImageThe UR International Theatre Program presents award-winning guest artist, Matthew Earnest’s raucous and scintillating production of Shakespeare’s brilliant comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. With a largely all-male cast, Earnest’s version of play explores and challenges ideas about sex, marriage, identity, social roles, and freedom in revolutionary ways. Performances start on Thursday, April 9 and run through April 25.  English Night (where you can meet the cast, enjoy free refreshments, and get reduced ticket prices if you book through the English Department) is Wednesday, April 22.  Evening performances are at 8pm, with the exception of closing night, April 25, which starts at 7pm. There are 2pm matinees on Sunday, April 12, Saturday, April 18, and Saturday, April 25. 


Professors Scott and Grotz featured in City Newspaper "Annual Manual 2015"

March 27, 2015

Joanna ScottProfessor Joanna Scott and Professor Jennifer Grotz of the Department of English were both featured in the March 25, 2015 issue of City Newspaper's Annual Manual 2015. Professors Scott and Grotz were featured alongside three other local authors: "City spoke with five of Rochester's need-to-know authors to find out how the city has affected their work." Read the full article in City Newspaper here.


One Act Play Festival Runs March 19-21

March 16, 2015

Honors deadline imageOne of the most exciting events of the Spring Theatre Program calendar is the annual One Act Play Festival. New plays are written, directed, acted and designed by students. This year we feature plays by Jahnavi Iyer, Emily Scarpulla, Karl Smith, and Saad Usmani.


Honors Program applications due February 27th

February 20, 2015

Honors deadline imageJunior English Majors are invited to apply for the 2015-2016 English Honors Program. Applications are due Friday, February 27th, 2015. For more information about the program, the application process and the Fall 2015 Honors Seminar, visit the Honors Program page.


Russell Peck to receive award from Medieval Academy of America

February 17, 2015

Russell PeckRussell Peck, the John Hall Deane Professor of English, will be presented with the 2015 Medieval Academy’s Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies, on Friday, March 13, at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.


David Bleich Wins 2015 CCCC Outstanding Book Award

February 12, 2015

Book coverDavid Bleich, professor of English, has been named recipient of the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication Outstanding Book Award in the Monograph category for his book, The Materiality of Language: Gender, Politics, and the University.


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Stuart Dybek

February 10, 2015

Stuart DybekThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes author Stuart Dybek on Thursday, February 12, 2015. The public reading will be held in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library, at 5:00pm.


Rochester choreographers receive Lillian Fairchild Award for commitment to community

February 2, 2015

Guy Thorne and N'Jelle GageThe Department of English at the University of Rochester named N’jelle Gage and Guy Thorne of FuturPointe Dance the recipients of the 2014 Lillian Fairchild Memorial Award, during a ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 29.


"To Travel is to Live" Exhibit Opening and Reception planned for February 3rd

January 30, 2015

To Travel is To Live postcard imageJoanna Scott, the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English at the University of Rochester, will offer reflections and take questions about her new novel, DePotter's Grand Tour, during this exhibition opening and reception. The opening reception will be held in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (Room 225) in Rush Rhees Library on February 3, 2015 5:00pm-6:30pm. The exhibit will be up through May 3rd, 2015.


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Katherine Larson

January 22, 2015

Poet Katherine LarsonThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes poet Katherine Larson on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. The public reading will be held in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library, at 5:00pm.


A lecture with Gordon Hutner, "The 21st-Century American Novel: A Brief History”

January 20, 2015

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core coverTuesday, January 20th at 5:00pm, in the Hawkins-Carlson Reading Room, visiting speaker Gordon Hutner will give a lecture on "The 21st-Century American Novel: A Brief History." Hutner is Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the author of What America Read: Taste, Class, and the Novel, 1920-1960 (2009), American Literature, American Culture (1998), and Secrets and Sympathy: Forms of Disclosure in Hawthorne's Novels (1988).  Hutner is also the founding editor of American Literary History, now in its 27th year.


Curt Smith Discusses George H. W. Bush Legacy

January 15, 2015

George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core coverPresident George H. W. Bush’s time in office – marked by major events including the invasion of Panama, the first Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union – will be explored at a free library issues forum on Jan. 15, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University.


English Department Faculty honored at 2014 Celebration of Authorship

January 7, 2015

The Provost’s annual celebration honors faculty and staff from throughout the University who have authored a book, or recording, or its equivalent, within the past year. Honorees may be members of the tenured, tenure-track, clinical, adjunct, or part-time faculty, or staff.  Book copies are available for sale, and authors speak about their work.