Friday, December 16, 2016

MA and PhD in English: Application Season

GWU is gearing up to accept new applications to its MA and PhD programs in English. Due dates are early February and early January respectively. Please share with your most valued, prized undergraduate/graduate students looking to take up further research in our key areas of study including: Medieval and Early Modern Literature, British Postcolonialism, American Literature and Culture (particularly with an emphasis on minority literatures), and Crip/Queer Studies. All accepted students receive a full funded Graduate Assistantship package as we commit ourselves to providing the material and intellectual conditions necessary for the full-time immersion of all participants.  Here is a link to get you started:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Call for Papers: EGSA Abstracts Due Friday!

Call for Papers:
 (re)collections: Tracing Power and Community in Cultural Memory
English Graduate Student Association Symposium 2017
Date: Friday, February 24, 2017
Location: 219 Gelman Library (2130 H St NW, Washington, DC 20052)
Keynote Speaker: Samantha Pinto, Georgetown University

The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) at George Washington University is excited to announce our 2017 symposium, (re)collections: Tracing Power and Community in Cultural Memory. (Re)collections hopes to explore the ways in which representation, community, and power collide. That is, how do societies represent themselves within their literature, art, and pop culture? How to they represent subaltern or minority groups, such as colonized, disabled, poor, racialized, or LGBTQ+ subjects? Where are the spaces where these non-dominant groups find ways to represent themselves? Papers might explore examples of a dominant culture’s suppression, representation, or celebration of non-dominant cultures. Inversely, they may also look at how outsiders within various communities position themselves within a larger – and potentially more powerful – group.  
(Re)collections is also about time and history. What are the historical events, movements, and figures that get remembered and celebrated? What gets changed, condemned, or left out of literary and historical recollections? What are the forms of expression that are best suited for recollecting past events or people? Can theory of novels, poetry, or film help inform this question?
Finally, “collection” can also refer to an archive or canon. How does canon formation or exclusion of certain works from a canon or collection, impact literary criticism or historical debates? What role do the digital humanities or social media play within this dynamic?

The keynote address, “Infamous Bodies:  Saartjie Baartman and Corrective Histories of Race,” will be delivered by Georgetown’s Samantha Pinto.

Papers may address (but are not limited to):
Outsider/Insider dynamics
Colonial dynamics
Critical race theory and representations of the Other
Representations of disability
Gender and surveillance
LGBTQ visibility
Representations of historical figures or celebrities
Cultural memory and historical events  
Digital Humanities and archives
Fame and popular imagination
Diasporic longing
Subaltern studies
Theories or depictions of the masses, multitude, crowds, etc

Please submit 300-500 word abstracts (for 15-20 minute papers) to by midnight on Friday, December 16th. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and contact email in your proposal.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Course in Cinema Studies: Bollywood Cinema

The English department announces the launch of an exciting new course in Spring 2017! 

This new course is in film studies: in Spring 2017, students and alumni can learn more about the world’s most widely consumed popular cinema: Bollywood Cinema.  From Coldplay and Beyonce’s music video "Hymn For the Weekend" to the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle film Slumdog Millionaire, Bollywood’s visual aesthetic has captured our imagination globally.  ENG 1712, an introductory discussion-based course “Bollywood Cinema” will meet on Wednesdays 12.45 pm – 3.15 pm, and is taught by Prof. Kavita Daiya. The course aims to study key popular films from the sixties to the present in popular cinema in India, that have shaped dominant ideas about love, gender, family, duty, nationalism, and citizenship. At the same time, we will critically examine the formation of the concept “Bollywood” and explore how it engages both Hollywood cinema and the South Asian American diaspora in its recent avatars. 

Films with subtitles will be e-streamed on Blackboard; there are no prerequisites. The course counts for the English and Creative Writing major and minor, as well as Asian Studies major and minor. See the description below, and contact Prof. Daiya (​  with questions or for more details.  Come and learn about a film archive that, since the 1950s, has been consumed around the world, from India, Pakistan to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, UK and Nor​th America. Films we will watch include “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,” “Om Shanti Om,” “Deewar,” and others.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

English and Honors Students to Hold Public Symposium December 10

The 1992 film Basic Instinct and many
other cultural texts and issues will
be discussed
Professor Robert McRuer taught two courses in the interdisciplinary field lgbt studies this fall, and students in both classes will be coming together on Saturday, December 10, to present their work-in-progress.  Students from both “Transnational Queer Film Studies and LGBTQ Cultures” (English 3980) and "Intro to LGBT Studies" (Honors 2053) will be presenting at this event, which is free and open to the public.  English 3980 is held every fall; this was the eighth instantiation of the class.  It is simultaneously taught in Prague to students from the Czech Republic (and across Europe) by Professor Kateřina Kolářová of the Charles University Gender Studies Program.  For one week each November, Professor McRuer’s students travel to Prague to meet their counterparts and to attend together the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival (Mezipatra means “mezzanine” in Czech, signifying a place in-between, in the middle).  This course is offered in partnership with the Short-Term Study Abroad Program. Honors 2053 fulfills a Humanities requirement for the Honors Program; this Fall 2016 was one of the first courses that the program has offered in LGBT Studies.  Students in Honors 2053 read and viewed a range of material connected to Queer Origins, Queer Spaces, and Queer Bodies.

Students in both classes invite you to attend this public symposium highlighting their work-in-progress.  Three sessions will be held Saturday, December 10, in Phillips Hall 412 (the Dean's Conference Room), from 11:30 AM-5 PM.  The schedule is below.  Come out and support this innovative student work and this unique collaboration between English and Honors.

GW LGBT Studies Symposium

11:30AM-12:45 PM Class Acts: Queer Performance and Its Discontents

Anna Sorensen, "It Gets Better? Music and Queer Critique"

Daniel Morris, "Queer Time and Space for Rent: Exploring Neoliberal Narratives within Jonathan Larson's Musical"

Ann Marie Kernen, "A Class Analysis of Blue Is the Warmest Color"

Abigail Brook, "Dark Matter: Performing Queer Resistance"

12:45 PM-2 PM BREAK

2:00-3:15 PM Queer Values, Queer Icons

Samantha Lemieux, "Harvesting Anti-Queer Sentiments: Exported Values and Public Policy in Uganda"

Amelia Speight, "Queerly Beloved: Abject Nothingness in Toni Morrison's Beloved"

Sarah Fannon, "Bisexual Instinct: In Defense of the Femme Fatale"

Eliza Goren, "Caitlyn Jenner: An Unattainable Icon for the Transgender Community"

3:30-4:45 PM Cultural Locations of Queer Relations

Karli Ring, "Unraveling the Paths of Queer Friendship as Portrayed in Film"

Madison Haley, "Queering the Catholic Church"

Jacob Pavlik, "Gentrified Feelings: Happiness and Affective Spatial (Dis)Comfort"

Emily Gray, "Back to School: A Swedish Experiment in Gender-Neutral Education"