Monday, August 26, 2013

Scenes from a Welcome Reception

Welcome to Fall Semester 2013!  On the Sunday before classes, members of the GW Faculty gathered at Department Chair Robert McRuer's building downtown to kick things off and to welcome our new members: Professors Ayanna Thompson, David Mitchell, Jennifer Chang, and our Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Residence Molly McCloskey.


Director of Creative Writing Professor Lisa Page
and Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Residence Molly McCloskey


Professor Tony López, Professor Jonathan Hsy, Colin Warner

Senior Secretary Linda Terry

Professor David Mitchell

Professor Jennifer Chang, Professor Gayle Wald,
Professor Ayanna Thompson, Derek Thompson

Professor Pati Griffith and Professor Faye Moskowitz


Professor Tony López, Professor Holly Dugan, and Maria


Professor Jeffrey Cohen and Department Operations Manager
Connie Kibler

Professor Maria Frawley, Jack Moskowitz, and
Professor Jennifer Green-Lewis


Professor Daniel DeWispelare

The sunset was rather stunning.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Cohen

Your Hosts: Department Chair Robert McRuer
and Cristhian Soto-Arévalo
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hsy

There was no swimming.  Photo Credit: Alexa Huang

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Margaret Soltan in Poets and Writers Magazine

The debates about Massive Open Online Courses continues, and Professor Margaret Soltan continues to be sought after for her thoughts on the subject.  She was recently featured talking about her Poetry MOOC in Poets and Writers Magazine: 

Soltan, who teaches a course through Udemy titled Poetry: What It Is, and How to Understand It, says that MOOCs can offer information about literature and writing to people who may not otherwise have access to it.
“The thing about MOOCs is that they reach a large general public,” Soltan says. She notes that a significant number of students in her course live outside the United States. “It’s so gratifying to hear from people in China who say they are grateful that this exists, that they can learn about poetry from a native English speaker.”
Read the whole story here.  And on campus, you can sign up to take Margaret Soltan's James Joyce course, which starts this week!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library to Deliver Inaugural Digital Humanities Institute Lecture/2013 Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Lecture

We are very pleased to announce the launch of a new Digital Humanities Institute, co-founded and co-directed by Alexa Huang and Jonathan Hsy. The inaugural Digital Humanities Institute lecture will be delivered by Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, whose work on data-mining and literary analysis will provide an entry point into a discussion of some of the possibilities -- and potential limitations -- of large scale digitization projects. 

Focusing on digital culture and library research, Dr. Witmore's talk promises to be very entertaining and accessible.

Addressing the Text: Reflections on Shakespeare, Digital Access, and Libraries
3 pm on Friday September 6 in Post Hall on Mt Vernon.

The talk will explore the ways in which large scale digitization projects have created new access problems while solving old ones; it will also show some underlying similarities between the physical codex and the digital surrogates that we are now creating for printed books: both are "massively addressable objects," simply at a different scale. The plays of Shakespeare are only one place where this convergence can be explored; they will serve as a point of departure in this talk.

"Addressing the Text" is co-sponsored by the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (GW MEMSI), the Digital Humanities Institute, the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare, the Department of English, the Department of History, and the Gelman LIbrary.

Dr. Michael Witmore is Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and author, most recently, of Shakespearean Metaphysics and Landscapes of the Passing Strange: Reflections from Shakespeare (with Rosamond Purcell). He is part of the Mellon funded digital research initiative Visualizing English Print, 1470-1800 and maintains a blog on digital approaches to literary studies.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Digital Scholarship and Careers in the Humanities

In addition to the September 12 discussion with Marilee Lindemann and Ann Romines (4-6 PM, Marvin Center 301), Andrew Jewell will engage students and faculty in conversation about Digital Scholarship and Careers in the Humanities: Rome Hall 771, September 12, 2-3 PM.

Sponsored by the new GW Digital Humanities Institute and GW English; mark your calendars!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

No Longer Secret: Willa Cather's Letters. A Conversation with Andrew Jewell and Marilee Lindemann

The Department of English is very happy to announce one of our first events for the Fall 2013 Semester.  On September 12, 2013, from 4-6 PM, please join us in Marvin Center 301 for "No Longer Secret: Willa Cather's Letters. A Conversation with Andrew Jewell and Marilee Lindemann."  This event will be moderated by our own Professor Ann Romines, and is one of the first events of 2013-2014 made possible by the Wang Family Endowment.

The much-celebrated recent publication of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather has given us a much more nuanced and varied, up-close picture of this important American writer, illuminating both her professional and private lives.  Jewell will discuss his experience editing the letters and reflect on some of the significant revelations they offer.  Lindemann, whose book Willa Cather:  Queering America worked closely with Cather letters but was prohibited from quoting them, will discuss how the newly-available access to the letters is likely to transform Cather scholarship, particularly in the context of LGBT studies.  Both Jewell and Lindemann will include readings from pertinent Cather letters and will reflect, more generally, on the importance of letters to literary study.  They will welcome questions from their audience.

Andrew Jewell is Associate Professor of Digital Projects at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He's designer and editor of the Willa Cather Archive.  With Janis Stout, he edited the recently published and widely-acclaimed Selected Letters of Willa Cather (Knopf, April 2013)He's also  the co-editor of Scholarly Editing:  the Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing and The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, and an active member of the Board of Directors of the Willa Cather Foundation.

Marilee Lindemann is Director of LGBT Studies and Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland.  Her first book, Willa Cather:  Queering America (Columbia 1999), importantly brought the resources of queer studies to Cather studies.  Lindemann is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Willa Cather and the Oxford UP edition of O Pioneers!  She recently received the 2013 Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award from the University of Maryland, for excellence in teaching, mentoring, and building the LGBT program.