U-M Department of English
U-M English Home

News & Events

RSS Feed

Recent News

Buzz Alexander wins U.S. honors

Posted: 11/28/2005
English professor wins U.S. honors
U-M's Buzz Alexander started creative arts project in prisons

Ann Arbor News
News Staff Reporter

A University of Michigan professor who developed a program that brings arts workshops into prisons has been named one of four Professors of the Year by two national education-related organizations.

Buzz Alexander, a professor in the English department, was selected for the honor by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Alexander accepted his award Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The organizations named four professors, one each from a community college, baccalaureate college, master's university or college and doctorate and research university, for the award. The award includes a $5,000 prize for each professor.

In 1990, Alexander started the Prison Creative Arts Project at U-M. The project conducts theater and poetry workshops in Michigan prisons, juvenile facilities and at some high schools. At U-M, Alexander teaches a course called Literature and Social Change, in which students work in the prison art workshops. The program also sponsors annual exhibitions of prisoners' art.

The program has conducted workshops in 20 Michigan prisons, Alexander said.

The fact that the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world motivated him to found the program, Alexander said.

"I believe in social justice,'' he said. "When something like this happens, (I) want to be there.''

Alexander himself continues to work in prisons along with his students.

"It's just a very, very rich place to work because people are ready to learn,'' Alexander said.

Emily Harris, one of Alexander's former students, is one of three people who nominated him for the award. The U-M provost office made the official nomination.

"For me, he was the first educator that I had who really trusted me to make up my own mind about what I believe,'' Harris said.

Rae Goldsmith, vice president for communication and marketing at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, said Alexander's ability to get students involved in the prison arts program was part of the reason he got the award.

"It is the innovative approach he uses to engage students,'' Goldsmith said.

John Mulcahy can be reached at jmulcahy@annarbornews.com or (734) 994-6858.


Multimedia on the English Website

Posted: 10/20/2005
A new and, what we expect to be, rapidly expanding multimedia section has just been added to our website. Here you will be able to listen to a wide range of authors and speakers being interviewed, reading from their work, and more. Visit the link below for more information:

Recent Publications

Posted: 10/20/2005
Anne Curzan’s textbook, How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction, co-written with Michael Adams (a Michigan B.A. and Ph.D.), has just been published by Pearson Longman.

Ifeoma Nwankwo’s Black Cosmopolitanism: Racial Consciousness, National Identity, and Transnational Ideology in the Americas has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in its Rethinking the Americas Series.

Alisse Portnoy’s Their Right to Speak: Women, Removal, Colonization, Abolition has just been published by Harvard University Press.

Xiomara Santamarina’s Belabored Professions: Autobiography and Black Women's Labor has just been published by the University of North Carolina Press.

For more recent publications follow the link below:

Fall Kudos

Posted: 10/5/2005
We have much to celebrate at the start this year!

Geoffrey Bankowski won the 2005 Matthews Underclass Teaching Award for "the curiosity, commitment, and passion you inspire in teaching English 124 and 125."

Enoch Brater’s book, Arthur Miller: A Playwright’s Life and Works has just appeared from Thames & Hudson, in time for the October 14th Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the Arthur Miller Theater and the Walgreen Drama Center at 10:00AM in the Rackham Amphitheater.

Anne Carson has been appointed a recipient of the Order of Canada

Jeremy Chamberlin has received an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award.

Anne Curzan, Alisse Portnoy, Jennifer Lutman, Chris Palmer, and Donna K. Johnston applied for and received $6000 from Rackham to support the Language & Rhetorical Studies Group.

David Halperin received $2700 from LS&A to support the "Neil Bartlett Residency."

John Kucich has been awarded the Donald Gray Prize for best essay of the year on Victorian studies by the North American Victorian Studies Association, for his essay "Sadomasochism and the Magical Group: Kipling's Middle-Class Imperialism." The prize carries a stipend of $1000.

Jill Lamberton has received an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award.

Susan Najita received a $3500 Publication Subvention from OVPR for her book, Decolonizing Cultures: Reading History, Trauma, and Fiction in the Contemporary Pacific Islands.

Scotti Parrish has been awarded the Jamestown Prize "for an exceptional book-length manuscript pertaining to the early history and culture of the Atlantic World" for her book American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World. This prize is given jointly by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the University of North Carolina Press, and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. The prize has been awarded since 1957. Scotti has the distinction of being the first non-"historian" to win the prize and the first woman to receive this honor.

Alisse Portnoy has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award, given by National Communication Association for her "outstanding scholarly accomplishment." This award is given "to foster and promote philosophical, historical, or critical scholarship in rhetoric and public discourse" and is awarded to people who have earned the doctorate within the past ten years.

Alisse has also received $1500 from LS&A to supplement her $1500 CRLT Multimedia Grant to digitize video clips for her large civil rights course.

Eric Rabkin’s book Mars: A Tour of the Human Imagination has been published by Praeger.

Eric also received a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for 2004-2005 for his exceptional contributions in scholarship, teaching, mentorship and service. The award carries an honorarium of $1500.

Kathy Sanok has been chosen one of University of Michigan's two nominees to apply for the NEH summer stipend.

Congratulations to all!!

Spring Kudos

Posted: 4/27/2005
It is a great pleasure to announce the recipients of the first annual English Department Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award:

Professor Adela Pinch (faculty award)
Chad Thomas (GSI award)

This award is sponsored by both the Undergraduate Studies Program and the Undergraduate English Association and recognizes these instructors' creativity, passion, and dedication as educators. Please join me in congratulating them on receiving this honor.

Two of our instructors in First and Second Year Studies have also received the Rackham Outstanding GSI Award:

Jeremiah Chamberlin
Jill Lamberton.

Buzz Alexander has been awarded the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award. The award recognizes faculty whose service contributes to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community. The award comes with a $5000 stipend.

Buzz has also been informed that he is being put forward as one of the three University of Michigan nominees for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Professor of the Year Award. (Winners will be announced in November.)

Buzz has also received $7867 from OVPR and $3933 from the LSA Dean’s office to support his project entitled "Art and Writing by Incarcerated Youth and Adults."

Anne Curzan and Robin Queen (in Linguistics) have received a $10,000 Interdisciplinary Faculty Associates grant to develop and co-teach a course on "Language and Gender" in the 2005-2006 academic year.

Anne also received a significant grant from the Gilbert Whitaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching and from LSA for some exciting new initiatives she is undertaking in First and Second Year Studies.

Nick Delbanco has received $5000 from OVPR for a subvention of "The Hopwood Awards Program 75th Anniversary Anthology."

Jackie Livesay and Aric Knuth have been awarded a $10,000 grant as Faculty Associates for Multicultural Innovation from CRLT. The grant involves innovations in the curriculum for NELP.

David Porter will be the Acting Director of the College Honors Program for 2005-2006.

David has also been selected to participate in the 2005 Teaching with Technology Institute sponsored by CRLT.

David has also received significant funding from the OVPR Faculty Grants and Awards Program, LSA, and Rackham to support his upcoming conference entitled "Gender and Popular Culture 1650-1750."

Nancy Reisman’s novel, The First Desire, has received the 2005 Samuel Goldberg Jewish Fiction Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. The award will be presented in New York in June. Nancy and her partner Rick Hilles will be in residency at the Fundacion Valparaiso, an art colony in Andalucia, during the month of May.

Richard Tillinghast has received funding from the OVPR Grants and Awards Program for travel associated with his project entitled "Translating Turkish Poetry into English: Cross-Cultural Dialogues."

Jennifer Wenzel received two fellowship offers for this coming year, one from the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University and one from the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. She’ll be spending the 2005-6 academic year at Princeton.

Showing 226 to 230 of 281 entries.

Dept. of English Language and Literature

home mission statement sitemap contact

U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on iTunes U
U-M English on YouTube

435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Phone: (734) 764-6330 Fax: (734) 763-3128