Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from GW English


We at GW English hope that your Thanksgiving Break is a restful one surrounded by loved ones ... and perhaps curled up with some of those books you've been wanting to read!  We'll see you next week.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

GWU Department of English


GW Students in Kogan Plaza
November 15, 2016
GW English and Creative Writing affirm that we are absolutely committed to fostering programs that recognize the value of studying all aspects of human experiences. Learning from and alongside student movements across the country that – as signs in Kogan Plaza have recently announced – say no to any form of sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, our department will continue to be a space for thinking deeply, critically, and historically about the rich diversity of the many cultures that have brought us to the moment we inhabit.  Our department offers courses and programming that centralize immigrant or migrant experiences; African American, Latino/a, Asian American, indigenous lives; and the stories and struggles of Muslim, Jewish, and other religious minorities.  We have been at the forefront of developing courses centered on disabled and LGBTQI lives.  We share our students’ concern about the need to end economic injustice and the devastation of the planet we share, and our work as teachers and scholars will continue to reflect that.  We will continue to think about the struggles that unite us across borders and we will not be impeded from carrying out that vital intellectual work. As a faculty, we believe strongly that the Humanities are needed now more than ever.  Our doors are open for study and critical reflection on all of these issues.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Haiku Contest Winners


The GW English Department congratulates the winners of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Haiku contest! All are graduates of Creative Writing courses in this department, which makes us extra proud.

CCAS Haiku Contest Winners (2016)

1st Prize Winner
Alicia Yeung
CCAS Psychology Major

Good morning Lincoln,
Runners greet you at sunrise,
You sit and reflect.

2nd Prize Winner
Sally Schmidt
CCAS Psychology Major

Wandering around
DC for homework, I stop
A tourist blocks me

3rd Place Winner
Sarah Fannon
CCAS Double Major in English and Creative Writing

An English classroom
Is my garden, our faces
Like bright peonies





3rd Place Winner
Benjamin Marks
CCAS Economics Major

I see a number
Floating away, and chase it
At my desk


Honorable Mention
Lindsay Neuberger
CCAS Economics Major

College is flirting
With adventure and new dreams
With weight on my shoulders

Honorable Mention
Kira Hattenback
CCAS Economics Major

Discover a class
Be surprised that you like it
Passion emerges





Honorable Mention
Daniel Cooksey
CCAS Chemistry Major

Chemistry Major.
For Counterterrorism.

I am not pre-med.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Disability and Queer Sexuality in Russia

Professor Alexander Kondakov
A late addition to our calendar!  Next Thursday, Professor Alexander Kondakov of the European University at St. Petersburg will be a special guest in David Mitchell's Literature of the Americas class.  This event is open to the public.  Thursday, November 17, 12:45-2 PM in Phillips Hall B156. 

Disability and Queer-Sexuality in Russia
Public expression of LGBTIQ themes in Russia is dangerous and often persecuted through official channels. At the same time, many adults with disabilities are instutionalized, or continue to live in crowded family apartments, making experiences of disabled sexuality – regardless of orientation – especially suppressed. Urban environments are generally hostile to people with disabilities, but are also aggressive to public expressions of LGBTQ experiences. This empirical study observes that there is a certain gap in our knowledge about simultaneous experience of disability and stigmatized sexuality: how do these two arenas shape the life experiences, social realities, and self-perception of Russians with the intersection of queer/disabled identities? Building on existing sociocultural research with similar populations in other global settings, the study was conducted in summer 2016 to bridge this gap. It is a collection of life histories of people living at the intersection of LGBTIQ experience and disability. Preliminary findings allow us to learn what specific notions trouble the everyday lives of LGBTIQ with disabilities in Russia. This paper’s major task is to give voice to the people with this experience, to tell their stories by connecting them to  larger sociological and anthropological knowledge.


Alexander Kondakov is Assistant Professor at the European University at St. Petesburg. In 2011 he got his MA in the sociology of law from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain), in 2016 he graduated from a PhD-program in Department of Sociology of St. Petersburg University. From 2010 Alexander works as researcher for the Centre of Independent Social Research, and from 2014 as deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Social Policy Studies (HSE, Moscow). He the author of several international publications on human rights for LGBT in Russia. His current research interests include sociology of human rights, sexual citizenship and queer sexualities.