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Terrible News

Posted: 7/28/2014 4:18:42 PM

Professor Patricia YaegerIt is with great sorrow that we write to tell you that our brilliant, sweet colleague and friend, Patsy Yaeger, died on Friday, July 25, at home with her family, after struggling with ovarian cancer for a year and a half. As you all know, Patsy lit up every room she ever entered, and the world is a darker place now without her.

There will be no formal funeral, though the department does plan to honor her impressive career during the Fall. Her husband, Dr. Richard Miller, asks that colleagues and friends who wish to make a contribution to a charity in her memory consider one of the four below that Patsy named in her will:




  • Juvenile Law Center, 1315 Walnut St #400, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Planned Parenthood Federation, 434 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011
  • Solar Electric Light Fund, 1612 K Street NW, Suite 300. Washington, DC 20006

The family has also asked that, in lieu of flowers or gifts, those who feel so inclined should send notes to the family, sharing your memories and good wishes: Rich, Kiri, and Noah Miller, 3383 River Pines Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

When an official obituary is available it will be shared on this website.

Spring Kudos

Posted: 5/9/2014 10:16:01 AM
As we exit another academic year, it gives me great pleasure to announce the following wonders that have been accomplished by the members of this amazing department:

o   Amy Carroll was presented with the 2013 Louis I. Bredvold Prize for Scholarly or Creative Publication.

o   Natalie Bakopoulos was presented with the 2014 Louis I. Bredvold Prize for Scholarly or Creative Publication.

o   Lorna Goodison was awarded the Commander of the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for her service to literature. Lorna was also featured on the PBS Newshour this year where she gave a reading of her poetry. Lorna is one of three nominees for the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

o   Laura Kasischke is the winner of the 2013 Michigan Author Award, and her novel Bird in a Blizzard has been adapted to a film which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

o   Eileen Pollack’s essay “Pigeons” was selected for inclusion in the The Best American Essays 2013.

o   Khaled Mattawa was appointed one of two new chancellors to the Academy of American Poets.

o   Michael Byers received Rackham’s Master’s Mentoring Award.

o   Enoch Brater was on BBC-Radio to talk about his two-volume work, The Private Notebooks and Diaries of Arthur Miller.

o   Jessica Young’s collection of narrative poetry, Alice’s Sister, was published this year.

o   Gina Brandolino’s ENG290 Horror Course was featured in Concentrate, an online magazine. http://www.concentratemedia.com/features/ginabrandolino0259.aspx

o   Bill Ingram’s essay “John Cholmley on the Bankside” won Honorable Mention for the Best Essay on Theatre History from the Journal Early Theatre.

o   Van Jordan’s The Cineaste has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

o   Michael Awkward was interviewed on PCNtv about his new book Philadelphia Freedoms.

o   David Porter has won a prize for best app in the Teaching and Learning category of the 2014 Mobile Apps Challenge, an annual UM app development competition sponsored by Computer Science and Engineering, Information and Technology Services, the Office of Technology Transfer, and Apple.  David's app helps students of Chinese learn to read, write, translate, and recite a selection of poems from the Tang Dynasty.  It is available for free download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

o   Linda Gregerson has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

o   Megan Levad, along with composer Tucker Fuller, have created a song cycle, LABOR: Songs for Unmaking a Living, which the New Resonance Orchestra will be premiering this Spring at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans.

o   Melanie Yergeau’s co-authored article “Multimodality in Motion: Disability and Kairotic Spaces” in Kairos has received the Accessibility and Digital Composition Award from Computers and Composition Digital Press.

37th Annual Conference of Midwest Victorian Studies Association

Posted: 5/2/2014 5:18:37 PM
The 37th annual conference of the Midwest Victorian Studies Association was held from April 11th to April 13th at the University of Michigan.  Co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Departments of English and History and the Nineteenth Century Forum along with the University of Detroit Mercy Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Education, and Office of Academic Affairs, the 3-day conference featured lectures, panels, and seminars on the topic of "Victorian Violence."  115 scholars in the fields of History, Literature, Art History, and Musicology joined the conference from across the US and Canada as well as England, Scotland, Australia, and India.  
Highlights of the conference included panels on topics including “Violence in Industrial Fiction,” “Violence in the Age of Separate Spheres,” and “Violence in the Age of Empires”; scholarly seminars on the topics of “Colonial Violence,” “Sensational Violence,” and “Political Violence”; and a plenary panel on the “Visual Afterlives of Victorian Violence” featuring talks about nineteenth-century visual representations of Ancient Egypt, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and the Benin Punitive Expedition of 1897.  The 2014 Jane Stedman Plenary Lecture, “Graceful Exits: War Cemeteries, Violent Legacies, and the Afterlife of the Crimean War,” was given by Lara Kriegel, Associate Professor of English and History and Director of the Victorian Studies Program at Indiana University.
Also featured were performances by the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society, a special concert on the Charles Baird Carillon, an exhibit of nineteenth-century prints and photographs on the conference theme sponsored by the University of Michigan Museum of Art, an exhibit of nineteenth-century manuscripts on the theme of "Violence as Entertainment" organized by the University of Michigan Library Special Collections, and a docented tour of "An Eye on the Empire: Photographs of Colonial India and Egypt” at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
Ruth McAdams, doctoral candidate in the University of Michigan English Department, was and the winner of the William and Mary Burgan Prize for best graduate student paper presented at MVSA and the runner-up for the Walter Arnstein Prize for Dissertation Research.
The complete conference program can be seen at this link.  Pictures from the conference can be seen here.


Gregerson Elected to AAAS Class of 2014

Posted: 4/24/2014 11:17:11 PM

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects its 2014 Class of Members

The American Academy has announced its 2014 class of new members, which includes leaders in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector. A press release announcing the election of the class is below. The complete list of new members is located at https://www.amacad.org/members.


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. | April 23, 2014 – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the election of 204 new members. They include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. 

The list of the new members is located at https://www.amacad.org/members

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts, and education. 

“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “The knowledge and expertise of our members give the Academy a unique capacity – and responsibility – to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.” 

Members of the 2014 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; the Wolf Prize; the Pulitzer Prize; National Medal of the Arts; MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. 

Scientists in the new class include: astrophysicist Neta A. Bahcall, who combines observational data from large-scale surveys to determine the structure in the universe; theoretical computer scientist Jennifer Tour Chayes, known for her work on phase transitions; Jerry F. Franklin, leading visionary in forest ecology and conservation; author of the influential book Langlands Correspondence for Loop GroupsEdward FrenkelTamás F. Freund, who discovered new molecular pathways in nerve cell communication; epigenetics researcher Shiv Grewal; computer scientist Daphne Koller, cofounder of Coursera; Stephen Quake, whose research seeks to improve biological measurement techniques; Dan Shechtman, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Richard Silverman, inventor of Lyrica™; epidemiologist Jaime Sepulveda; and theoretical physicist Anthony Zee, a leader in particle theory. 

Social scientists in the new class include: Deborah Loewenberg Ball, a leader in teacher education development with a focus on mathematics teaching; University of California, Berkeley’s former Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George W. Breslauer, a scholar in Soviet and post-Soviet studies; Raj Chetty, among the most cited young economists in the world, who works on tax policy, social insurance, and education policy; Timothy Earle, an archaeologist who specializes in the study of chiefly societies and ancient kingdoms; Michael Greenstone, former Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers; political scientist Paula D. McClain, the recognized authority on race and racism in America; Judge Lee Rosenthal, leader in civil justice reform; sociologist Sherry Turkle, who explores human relationships with technology; and Janet Werker, a psychologist who focuses on understanding the roots of language acquisition. 

In the humanities and the arts, new members include: Pulitzer Prize winners Jules Feiffer andAnnie Proulx; scholar of American religious history Catherine L. Albanese; artist Chris Burden;James Chandler, a scholar of British literature; philosopher John B. Cobb; Renaissance literature scholar Margaret W. Ferguson; poet Linda Gregerson; curator Maxwell K. Hearn; novelist and screenwriter John Irving; U.S. historian and The New Yorker writer Jill Lepore; choreographerTere O'Connor; Jeffersonian scholar Peter S. Onuf; director and actor Al Pacino; short story writer George Saunders; science historian Londa Schiebinger; musician-composer Ralph Stanley; and novelist and English and comparative literature scholar Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Elected in public affairs and journalism are: former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and current U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestine Negotiations Martin S. IndykWilliam Kling, Founder and President Emeritus of American Public Media Group; Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ann Marie Lipinski; former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich; and Chief Judge Patti B. Saris, Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. 

Philanthropists and business leaders in the 2014 class include: Charles F. Feeney, Founding Chair of Atlantic Philanthropies; Sherry Lansing, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; Susan Woods Paine, patron of the arts and education in the Boston area;John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Ariel Investments; andJerry I. Speyer, Chairman and Co-Executive Officer of Tishman Speyer, a global real estate firm. 

The new class also includes leaders of educational, cultural, and philanthropic organizations, among them: Anthony K. Cheetham, Treasurer and Vice President of the Royal Society; Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley; Christopher L. Eisgruber, President of Princeton University; Adam Gamoran, President of the William T. Grant Foundation; Nathan O. Hatch, President of Wake Forest University; Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Michael S. McPherson, President of the Spencer Foundation. 

The Academy elected 16 Foreign Honorary Members from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They include: artist El Anatsui, economist Manuel Arellano, writer A. S. Byatt, and chemist Peter P. Edwards

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 11, 2014, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.


Curzan at TEDxUofM

Posted: 4/17/2014 7:38:22 AM

Anne Curzan was a recent presenter at TEDxUofM. You can watch the talk below:


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Dept. of English Language and Literature

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