Monday, June 27, 2011

Prof. Chris Sten to Debut New Book at Politics and Prose

Literary Capital, Prof. Chris Sten's collection of "Washington writing" appears from University of Georgia Press later this week. Currently, the book is featured in a two-page spread in the press's spring/summer 2011 catalog!

Hailed as "an indispensable guide to the literature, culture, and history of Washington, DC," Literary Capital gathers historical writing focused on politics and writing about the lives and times of the people of DC with official Washington as the setting. The book also defines a core group of “Washington writers,” native and naturalized authors who focus much of their work on the city: Frederick Douglass, Henry Adams, Jean Toomer, John Dos Passos, Gore Vidal, Ward Just, and Susan Richards Shreve, among others.

Prof. John Stuaffer, Chair of the History of American Civilization and Chair of English at Harvard University, writes:
Here, finally, is a book that captures the nation’s capital in all its glory and tawdriness, revealing why it has long been a ‘magnet for writers,’ as Christopher Sten writes in his superb introduction. With its brilliant selection of writings, it is one of the very best books on the literature of a city.
Readers of this blog are cordially invited to toast Chris and hear him read from and talk about the book at Politics and Prose Bookstore at 6 p.m. on July 16. Autographed copies of the book will be for sale at the event.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Two English Faculty Win Teaching Awards

In May we honored our graduating seniors and MA and PhD students. But we're also please to have two of our faculty member honored for their teaching.

Holly Dugan, assistant professor of English, is the recipient of a Bender Teaching Award for outstanding teaching for the year 2011, in the general recognition category. Endowed by Morton A. Bender, the Bender Awards are presented annually to faculty selected by a committee of their peers in recognition of their efforts as teachers.

Gayle Wald, professor and Chair of English, was chosen as this year's Robert W. Kenny Prize recipient. The prize is offered to a faculty member in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences who is considered to be an outstanding teacher and has inspired students by teaching in creative, innovative ways.

This is nice recognition for Holly and me, but really--virtually all English faculty are wonderful teachers! I'm reminded of that fact as I read through student evaluations of teaching for this year. Truly, it is wonderful to be reminded again and again of how our faculty encourage and push our students, and how our students learn and grow through their coursework. In every stack of evaluations I read, at least one (and usually several) student wrote, "Great course!" "Best I have had at GW!"