School of Liberal Arts, English

Students are always sharing their work with their professors. At the English department’s February 3 colloquium, the tables were turned, and professors presented their most recent writing efforts to their students.

Karin Lin-Greenberg, MFA, associate professor of English, and Christi Spain-Savage, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, organized the annual event, which was held via Zoom and attended virtually by several English students and alumni.

“We decided that instead of having our usual two readers, we'd invite as many members of the English department who were interested in presenting to be involved,” said Lin-Greenberg. “As a way to engage with our students over break, we thought it would be interesting for them to hear briefly about the work their professors are doing.”

Spain-Savage said the department revived the colloquia series back in 2017 to give department faculty an opportunity to share their literary research and creative projects. 

“This event gives our students the opportunity to learn about our work and see that we also write and research, just as they do. It's been fun to share our projects and interact with English and writing students."

Lin-Greenberg shared her illustrated flash fiction story “When We Were Detectives,” a graphic narrative that is an ode to childhood and the rich imagination of children. Spain-Savage presented a new chapter from her book-in-progress Hucksters, Hags and Bawds: Gendering Place in Early Modern London, which examines the topic of women laborers and consumers associated with the English capital in 16th and 17th century British literature through a cluster of representative strategies. 

Keith Wilhite, Ph.D., department chair and associate professor of English, presented "Serious Fiction: White Noise, The Twenty-Seventh City, and the Postmetropolis" based on research for his book manuscript Contested Terrain: Suburbia, US Literature, and the Ends of Regionalism, which explores the concept of literary America through the fiction of Jonathan Franzen and Don DeLillo. Todd Snyder Ph.D., associate professor of English, spoke about his recently published book “Bundini: Don’t Believe the Hype, about legendary boxing trainer Drew “Bundini” Brown, and his upcoming book Beat Boxing, about 32 hip-hop artists and their love of boxing. Lara Whelan, Ph.D., associate professor of English presented “Cead Mile Failte: Contested Hospitality in the Rhetoric of Irish Nationalism,” which explored the concept of hospitality as a core tenet of Irish identity, the home rule movement and survival strategies in an occupied land in the 19th century.  

William Pattee ’21 said, “The colloquium was an engaging extension of the passion that the English faculty already makes evident in their classes. It was both interesting and refreshing to see faculty members present on topics that they are actively pursuing and writing about."

Kelsey Baron ’21 also enjoyed hearing about what faculty are working on outside of the classroom. 

“I enjoyed it partially because it is simply impressive how much they accomplish, and partially because it is so fun to celebrate their success like they do for their students each semester.”

Zariyah Fowler ’21 said, "As an English major, I enjoyed seeing how their outside work ties into their curriculum. Each presentation brought its own uniqueness, and it was great to see them discuss what they're passionate about!"