Department of English

News & Events

Recent News

Exhibition Honors Late Poet Galway Kinnell, ‘49

November 14, 2014

Remembering poet Galway KinnellA new exhibition in Rush Rhees Library highlights the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and University of Rochester alumnus, Galway Kinnell, who died October 28. Kinnell earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Rochester and frequently returned to campus as a reader at the Plutzik Poetry Reading Series.

Learn more...

Foundation Seeks Student Reaction Statements to Plutzik Series Readings – for a $50 Honorarium, each

November 5, 2014

Become a literary critic & get paid for it!The Plutzik Foundation is offering to pay up to three students a $50 honorarium for selected written reflections on any of the Plutzik Series readings this academic year, beginning with Susan Choi’s reading on November 11th, and continuing to Katherine Larson’s appearance on January 27th, Stuart Dybek’s reading on February 12th, and including Terrance Hayes’ reading on April 9th. The foundation seeks students’ personal accounts describing the reading from their perspective and giving their thoughts about the impact of the reading. Selected writings will be posted on the Hyam Plutzik /Poet blog, “A Fistful of Words,” and will ultimately become part of the permanent collection of the Plutzik Archives, located in Rush Rhees Library.

Learn more...

Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Susan Choi

November 4, 2014

Author Susan ChoiThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes author Susan Choi on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The public reading will be held in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library, at 5:00pm.

Susan Choi is the author of four novels. Her first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. Her most recent novel, My Education, received a 2014 Lambda Award. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Pete Wells, and their sons.

Learn more...

Jeffrey Tucker honored at 2014 Goergen Awards for Excellence in Teaching

October 23, 2014

2014 Goergen Award recipientsIn acknowledgement of their contributions to undergraduate education, professors Julie Bentley, Jeffrey Tucker, and Jonathan Pakianathan were honored with the University of Rochester’s 2014 Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Learn more...

What the Butler Saw opens October 16th

October 16, 2014

Event Poster ImageThe International Theatre Program’s production of What the Butler Saw opens on Thursday, October 16th and will run through October 25th.

Learn more...

New Faculty Publication: Joanna Scott, "De Potter's Grand Tour"

September 17, 2014

De Potter's Grand Tour coverAs a child, University of Rochester professor and noted author Joanna Scott played with figurines collected by her great-grandfather, Armand de Potter. He was believed to have disappeared off the coast of Greece in 1905, leaving behind a family on the brink of financial ruin. But after unearthing a trunk filled with diaries and documents from de Potter and his wife, Scott realized her great-grandfather wasn’t the man that he seemed. This disquieting discovery became the basis for her new novel, De Potter’s Grand Tour.

Learn more...

Registration Still Open for Theatre in England, January 2015!

August 20, 2014

Theatre in England group photoA few spots still remain for this year's four-credit intersession course, conducted in the theatre capital of the world (with a day in Stratford-upon-Avon as well). Students will attend, discuss, and write about approximately 20 productions over a stretch of 11 full days of theatre-going. Venues range from intimate theatres-in-the-round to the grand auditoriums of the National Theatre; plays include Elizabethan, Jacobean, Victorian, and Contemporary drama, as well as musicals and other non-classical forms. For more information, please see the course's website, which describes the program in greater detail and contains syllabi and student journals from the past 25 years, as well as information about fees. Modest need-based financial aid is available.

Learn more...

New Faculty Publication: Stephen Schottenfeld, "Bluff City Pawn"

August 11, 2014

Bluff City Pawn coverTough economic times can bring out the worst in people, especially when you mix in family, desperation, and the drive to get ahead in business. This is one of the messages in Bluff City Pawn, a new novel by University of Rochester Professor Stephen Schottenfeld, which hits bookstores this week.

Learn more...

Registration closes June 1st for the 3rd International Congress of the John Gower Society

May 27, 2014

Gower archerThe John Gower Society will hold its third International Congress at the University of Rochester from June 30–July 3, 2014. Over one hundred participants plan to attend.

Learn more...

Steven Rozenski selected as NEH Summer Scholar

May 8, 2014

Steve RozenskiSteven Rozenski has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 30 seminars and institutes supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment is a federal agency that, each summer, supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions, so that faculty can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Learn more...

Richard Dillio, English Department alum, published in The War Writer's Campaign

May 8, 2014

War is Hell coverRichard Dillio, an alum of the UR English Department, has just published a story in The War Writer's Campaign, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans. Rich wrote the story in Joanna Scott's fiction workshop.

Learn more...

Honors Presentations in Robbins Library on May 2nd

May 1, 2014

Honors presentations imagePlease join the 2013-2014 English Honors students as they present their theses on Friday, May 2nd at 2:00pm in Robbins Library. Pizza will be provided!

Learn more...

"English Night at Todd Theatre: Madame de Sade" planned for April 30th

April 28, 2014

Event Poster ImageEnglish Night at Todd Theatre: Madame de Sade will take place on Wednesday, April 30. Theatregoers may book discount tickets for English Night by calling the English Department at 275-4092, or by mentioning UEC at the box office. English Night is sponsored by the Undergraduate English Council and the Department of English. After the show, there will be an opportunity to meet the cast over refreshments in Todd Lobby.

Learn more...

Attention All Undergraduates: Stratford Trip Registration Now Open

April 25, 2014

Stratford Festival logoATTENTION: Registration and payment must be completed by 4pm on Tuesday, September 16th. There will be a session at the Drama House on Tuesday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m., to discuss the plays in anticipation of seeing them, and a second session at Drama House Monday evening, September 22, for a final discussion.

Learn more...

Madame de Sade opens April 24th

April 23, 2014

Event Poster ImageThe International Theatre Program’s production of Madame de Sade opens on Thursday, April 24th and will run through May 3rd.

Learn more...

New Faculty Publication: Jason Middleton, “Documentary's Awkward Turn”

April 17, 2014

Cover of Despite the prominence of "awkwardness" as cultural buzzword and descriptor of a sub-genre of contemporary film and television comedy, it has yet to be adequately theorized in academic film and media studies. Documentary’s Awkward Turn contributes a new critical paradigm to the field by presenting an analysis of awkward moments in documentary film and other reality-based media formats.

Learn more...

Kenneth Gross named recipient of 2014-2015 fellowship at Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers

April 16, 2014

Professor Kenneth GrossProfessor Kenneth Gross has been selected as a recipient of a 2014-2015 fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library.

Learn more...

Jennifer Grotz named co-recipient of the 2014 Poetry International C.P. Cavafy Award

April 15, 2014

Professor Jen GrotzProfessor Jennifer Grotz has been named a co-winner of the 2014 Poetry International C.P. Cavafy Award for her poem “Watchmaker," found in her forthcoming manuscript The Window Left Open.

Learn more...

Joel Burges named recipient of 2014-2015 fellowship at Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities

April 15, 2014

Professor Joel BurgesProfessor Joel Burges has been selected as a recipient of a 2014-2015 fellowship at the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College.

Learn more...

Faculty Spotlight on Melissa Balmain, author of "Walking in on People"

April 14, 2014

Walking in on People book coverAdjunct Instructor Melissa Balmain will be featured in this evening’s Faculty Spotlight, part of English Week 2014. Melissa will be sharing some of her most recent poems at 5:00pm in Robbins Library. Balmain is the author of the recent book of poems Walking in on People, now available for pre-order with Able Muse Press.

Learn more...

Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Yiyun Li

April 11, 2014

Author Yiyun LiThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes author Yiyun Li on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

Learn more...

English Week 2014 runs April 14–17

April 11, 2014

English Week posterEnglish Week 2014 will run from April 14–17. Events include:

Learn more...

Scholar Kenneth Gross Named First Holder of Alan F. Hilfiker Distinguished Professorship in English

April 8, 2014

Ken Gross headshotKenneth Gross, a Renaissance scholar and professor of English at the University of Rochester, became the inaugural holder of the Alan F. Hilfiker Distinguished Professorship in English on Friday, April 4.

Learn more...

Curtis Teaching Prize awarded to Nikolaus Wasmoen

April 2, 2014

Nikolaus Wasmoen headshotSixth-year PhD student Nikolaus Wasmoen has been awarded the University's 2014 Edward Peck Curtis Prize for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. Currently serving as a Dean's Teaching Fellow in two of Professor Morris Eaves' courses on the concept of "The Digital Page," while also assisting in a course taught by Professor Bette London on the Twentieth-Century British Novel, Wasmoen has continually found dynamic and eye-opening ways of sharing with students a set of unique skills garnered while writing his ambitious, highly interdisciplinary dissertation on the role of the author-editor in the construction of literary modernism.

Learn more...

Tanenbaum Award applications due April 4th

March 28, 2014

Tanenbaum deadline imageIn 2004 University alumnus John Tanenbaum ’85 began a funded internship to help English majors subsidize their housing, transportation, and other expenses in a summer independent study. Since 2006 the Tanenbaum Scholarship has helped make internships possible at an academic publishing house in Pittsburgh, a TV production team in Los Angeles, the American Red Cross, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. For more information, contact

Learn more...

Undergraduates awarded Discover grant

March 26, 2014

Blake imageUndergraduates Margaret Speer and Megan Wilson have been awarded a Discover grant to work with the William Blake Archive research group during the summer of 2014. The Archive group at UR produces scholarly editions of Blake’s manuscripts and typographic works for a worldwide audience. The Archive draws on more than thirty major collections of Blake’s work.  For more, see

Learn more...

James Longenbach receives Arts and Letters Award in Literature

March 20, 2014

Professor James LongenbachThe American Academy of Arts and Letters announced the names of 20 writers who will receive its 2014 awards in literature. The awards will be presented in New York in May at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial. The literature prizes, totaling $230,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The Academy’s 250 members nominate candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners.

Learn more...

Hollis Robbins to give George Ford Lecture

March 13, 2014

Hollis RobbinsHollis Robbins, Chair of the Humanities Department at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins, will give the talk "The African American Sonnet Tradition." The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 5:00pm in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library. It is free and open to the public.

Learn more...

Russell and Ruth Peck Artistic Directorship Installed, Nigel Maister Named First Recipient

March 7, 2014

Nigel MaisterNigel Maister, artistic director of the International Theatre Program at the University of Rochester, was installed as the inaugural holder of the Russell and Ruth Peck Artistic Directorship on Friday, February 28.

Learn more...

An Enemy of the People

February 24, 2014

Event Poster ImageThe International Theatre Program’s production An Enemy of the People runs from February 27-March 8.


Plutzik Reading Series welcomes Ken Kalfus

February 12, 2014

Author Ken KalfusThe Plutzik Reading Series welcomes author Ken Kalfus on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

Learn more...

New Blake Archive Publication

January 31, 2014

Songs of Innocence coverThe William Blake Archive has published an electronic edition of Songs of Innocence copy L.


Cary Peppermint receives 2013 Lillian Fairchild Award

January 23, 2014

Cary PeppermintCary Peppermint has been named the recipient of the 2013 Lillian Fairchild Memorial Award, administered by the University of Rochester.

Learn more...

Theatre in England

January 2, 2014

Theater in England PosterSpaces are still available for the upcoming winter intersession trip “Theatre in England.” Please email Professor Mannheimer with questions and download the flier for more information.

Learn more...

A Bright Room Called Day

December 5, 2013

Event Poster ImageThe International Theatre Program’s production A Bright Room Called Day runs from December 5-14.


Advanced Studies in England with Professor Tucker, Summer 2014

November 14, 2013

Study in England PosterA new summer program in Bath addresses the philosophical and political issues pertinent to a selection of literary works about ideal and hellish societies. An information session will be held 2 to 3 p.m. November 14 in Dewey Hall 2-110C.


Website Launched in Honor of Russell Peck

August 1, 2013

Help establish an endowed University position in the names of Russell and Ruth Peck—a fund that would bear their names in perpetuity. A new website celebrates Professor Peck's half century of dedication to the University.


New Blake Archive Publication

May 30, 2013

The William Blake Archive has published an electronic edition of Europe a Prophecy copy A.