The English Department has numerous events, talks, and workshops throughout the year, for students, alumni, and community members.

The English Department, in collaboration with The Sewanee Review, the Mountain Goat Literary Journalthe Sewanee Literary Society, and the Sewanee Writing House, are pleased to offer lots to do in Sewanee, and remotely! 

Please check at our event calendar and subscribe (Google calendar: english@sewanee.edu): 

CS Shushok (C'24) Opinion Piece Published

CS Shushok (C'24), an English and Geology major, published an opinion piece entitled, "I am a nonbinary young person in Tennessee: My dress is not drag" in the Tennesseanwhich was then picked up by national outlets. 

2023 Aiken Taylor Award: Patricia Smith

Please join the Sewanee Review in celebrating Patricia Smith, recipient of the 2023 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry. Events are scheduled for September 26 and 27. 

The 2023 Haines Lecture: Scott Newstok

This year, our Haines Lecturer will be the professor and critic Scott Newstok. He will deliver the 30th Haines Lecture, entitled "How to Think Like Shakespeare (and Other Humans)," on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 4:30 PM, in Convocation Hall. 

Elyzabeth Wilder Wins Tennessee Art Commission Fellowship

Professor Elyzabeth Wilder has won the prestigious Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship. The Tennessee Arts Commission awards the Individual Artist Fellowship annually to recognize and acknowledge outstanding professional Tennessee artists who add to the state’s cultural vitality. Wilder is one of just five artists named as this year’s fellows.

Flash Songwriting Event with the University Choir

Come to the Social Lodge on Thursday, September 14 at 6:45PM for a flash songwriting session with members of the Writing House and the University Choir.

Professor Engel publishes on "Affect and Invention in Shakespeare's Drama" with Cambridge University Press

Dr. Engel contributed Chapter 10 in Memory and Affect in Shakespeare's England, edited by Jonathan Baldo and Isabel Karremann (Cambridge University Press, 2023). 

Death Arts Roundtable with Dr. Engel (Attend online!)

Attend a virtual version of a roundtable on the Artes Moriendi (Death Arts), an important Medieval and Renaissance cultural practice, featuring Sewanee professor Dr. William Engel, June 22, 2023, 12:30pm-3:00pm CDT (5:30pm-8:00pm GMT). 

Translation Roundtable

Translating between languages is a complex process, but what is it to translate across drastically different cultures? Three Sewanee professors, Paul Holloway (Classics and Ancient Christianity), Juyoun Jang (English), and Stephanie McCarter (Classics), will discuss their translation projects in Naylor Auditorium at 7 PM, April 25. 

Dr. Patrick Elliot Alexander Discusses Prison Education and Advocacy

Dr. Patrick Elliot Alexander, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Mississippi, and Co-founder and Director, University of Mississippi Prison-to-College Pipeline Program, will deliver a lecture on Tuesday, April 11, entitled, "From 'Genuine Solidarity' to Radical Togetherness: Student-Centered and Student-Led Learning Communities at Parchman and Beyond."

The lecture, in Naylor Auditorium in Gailor Hall, is at 7 PM. It is free and open to the public. 

Students Attend Writing Program, One Takes Home Critics Choice

Two Sewanee students in Professor Elyzabeth Wilder's playwriting course, Carson Mendheim ('25) and Sofia Tripoli ('26) attended the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Young Southern Writers Program over Spring Break. Carson won the Critics Choice Award!

Lectures in African American Poetry

Please join Dr. Juyoun Jang's class for Lectures in African-American Poetry throughout the semester.

Open to All Students, Faculty, and Staff

 These are guests lectures in Dr. Juyoun Jang's ENGL402, a course for students at Sewanee and Maury County Jail

Join on Monday or Wednesday, in person or on Zoom

Gailor 110, 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Zoom: https://sewanee-edu.zoom.us/j/85206252086

Careers in Community Organizing for Social Justice

DART will hold a LIVE online info session on February 15th at 7pm EST to discuss careers in community organizing. All Sewanee students and alumni welcome, particularly those graduating before May 2023.

RSVP at www.thedartcenter.org/rsvp

DART trains professional organizers and community organizations how to work for social, economic and racial justice.

Dr. Jafri Quoted in Time Magazine

In an article on 2022 being the "Year of Gossip," Dr. Jafri, an expert on the uses of gossip in Victorian literature, helped explain why Covid-19 intensified the desire for gossip last year: “I’m not surprised that years of social crisis—in a society that barely qualifies as such—have created an audience for low-stakes sensationalism with a human-interest angle.” So...tell your friends! 

Dennis Kezar Lectures on Shakespeare

Dennis Kezar, who has taught Renaissance Literature at both Vanderbilt University and the University of Utah, will give a lecture entitled, Seeing Feelingly - The Alchemy of Shakespeare's Skeptical Empathy, at 4:30 PM, November 9, in Gailor Auditorium. 

Debra Magpie Earling Reading

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red and the forthcoming novel The Lost Journals of Sacajewea, will give a reading in Convocation Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 4:30 p.m. In addition, she will be making classroom, workshop, and other program visits. She has received both a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Dr. Foy Wins Grant

Dr. Anna Foy has received a Sewanee Research Grant to travel to Scotland to examine the extant legal papers of a man named Joseph Knight, an important but mysterious figure from African and Scottish legal history who was granted freedom from enslavement from the Scottish high court in 1788. Born in Guinea, transported as a child to Jamaica, and sold into slavery to John Wedderburn (a Scotsman), Knight eventually met and fell in love with Ann Thompson, a white servant of Wedderburn with whom Knight had a child. After several rounds of appeal, the monumental Knight v. Wedderburn case effectively declared slavery illegal within Scottish borders, even as slavery remained legal in the British colonies. The central goal of Dr. Foy’s project is to examine and transcribe the 40-odd pages of Knight’s legal “memorial” (a kind of autobiographical petition) with an eye to eventual publication. Knight’s case deserves to be better known.

Kevin Wilson Interviewed in the New York Times

Read a new interview with Kevin Wilson in the New York Times Book Review section here!

New Creative Work from English and Creative Writing Faculty

Our English and Creative Writing has been creating fiction, poetry, and drama. Below is some of their most recent work. 

New Research Publications from English Faculty

English faculty have been hard at work writing and editing criticism - here are some of our recent publications! Click to see what has just come out in print. 

PROFESSOR ENGEL PUBLISHES ON "THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW"

English Professor Bill Engel has a chapter in the collection Animals in the American Classics: How Natural History Inspired Great Fiction

The 2022 Aiken Taylor Award

The Sewanee Review presents the 2022 Aiken Taylor Award, October 12-13. Critic Christopher Spaide will lecture on the work of Garrett Hongo, the recipient of the 2022 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, on October 11th at 4:30 PM in Guerry Auditorium; Hongo will receive his award and read from his work on Wednesday, October 12th at 5 PM, in Convocation Hall.

Dr. Jiwei Xiao Lectures on Chinese Literature, 9/26

Dr. Jiwei Xiao, who formerly taught Chinese at Sewanee, will deliver a talk entitled "What is a detail?: Reading Chinese Fiction as World Literature."  In addition to the lecture, Dr. Xiao will be at the Tower Room upstairs in McClurg at noon for a discussion over lunch. 

PROFESSOR ENGEL PUBLISHES AN ANTHOLOGY ON THE RENAISSANCE DEATH ARTS

English Professor Bill Engel has a new book out with Cambridge, The Death Arts in Renaissance England: A Critical Anthology

Lectures in the Environment: George Eliot and Climate Breakdown

On February 15, 2023 at 4:30 PM in the Naylor Auditorium in Gailor Hall, Dr. Nathan Hensley (Georgetown University) will offer a lecture, "George Eliot in the Age of Climate Breakdown." The lecture is free and open to the public.

Novelist Katie Kitamura Reading, August 30

Novelist Katie Kitamura, whose novel Intimacies was a favorite of best-book lists in 2021, will read at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, in Gailor Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Start the semester off with a reading from one of the nation's best novelists! The event will also be livestreamed - click to find out more. 

Reading: Memoirist and Novelist Justin Taylor

Memoirist and novelist Justin Taylor will read from his work on September 29th, at 4:30 PM in Gailor Auditorium. Mr. Taylor is also the Director of the Sewanee School of Letters, and, as a Brown Foundation Fellow, is currently teaching The Beginning Narrative Nonfiction Workshop for Sewanee's Creative Writing Program. The event is free and open to the public. 

PROFESSOR ENGEL PUBLISHES ON RENAISSANCE PRINT CULTURE

English Professor Bill Engel has written a book on The Printer as Author in Early Modern English Book History: John Day and the Fabrication of a Protestant Memory Art.

Ciona Rouse Reads from Her Poetry

Ciona Rouse, a Nashville poet teaching African-American Literary Societies this semester at Sewanee, will read from her poetry at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, April 6, at 4:30 PM in Gailor Auditorium. An award-winning poet, Rouse is also well-known for her electrifying readings. 

Read an Interview with Kevin Wilson about his New Novel

Kevin Wilson's new novel, Now Is Not the Time to Panic, will be published on November 8, by Ecco. A coming-of-age story, the book focuses on two kids named Frankie and Zeke over the course of a summer. 

Professor Macfie Reads from Her Memoir

Dr. Macfie, the Samuel R. Williamson Distinguished University Professor at Sewanee, is working on a memoir, Unlettered, a part of which has been published in the Sewanee Review. Hear her read new material on Thursday, April 7, at 4:30 PM in Gailor Auditorium. 

Jos Charles Poetry Reading

As part of the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, poet Jos Charles will read from her poetry, including from feeld, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The reading will take place April 9, at 1 PM in Gailor Auditorium. Her poems, whose language blend together the ambiguity of Middle English and the punch of text-speak, reckon with youth, desire, and trans experience. In addition to the reading, she will be in conversation with medievalist and trans scholar Dr. Gabriel M.W. Bychowski. This event is co-sponsored by the English Department, the Sewanee Review, and the University Lectures Committee. 

Professor Michael Publishes New Poetry

Dr. Jennifer Michael (also C'89), in addition to teaching Romantic literature at Sewanee, has recently published some new poetry, including a new chapbook from Finishing Line Press. 

Being in Shakespeare's Company: A Lecture/Workshop

On March 23, 2022, at 4:30 PM in Gailor Auditorium, the English Department presents a lecture-workshop with Ralph Cohen, the co-founder of the American Shakespeare Center, a Shakespeare-centered performance group based in Staunton, VA, in the world's only recreation of the Blackfriars Theatre, Shakespeare's indoor performance space. He and actors from ASC will lead students in discussion and performance workshops. No prior acting experience required!

Novelist Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi Reading and Reception

On February 8 at 4:30 in Gailor Auditorium, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novelist Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi will read from her work. The reading will be followed by a reception and book-signing.

Dr. Tucker Publishes a Book: "Unexpected Pleasures"

In February, Clemson University Press will publish Dr. Lauryl Tucker's book, Unexpected Pleasures: Parody, Queerness, and Genre in 20th-Century British Fiction. The book dives into Dr. Tucker's interests in humor, especially the humor that queers conventions both social and literary. You can find the book here, and Dr. Tucker will discuss it at a Dean's Faculty Research Presentation on January 27, from 12:30-1:30 at McGriff Alumni Hall. 

Radney Foster: "The Business of Creativity"

Mr. Radney Foster, C’82, Nashville singer, songwriter, author, and actor (and Sewanee English major) will be the Babson Center’s 2022 Humphreys Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Navigating the fluid nature of the music industry, Mr. Foster will share insights of his journey from West Texas to Sewanee to the Music City and will offer wisdom to his success. 

Nikki Giovanni Reads in Convocation

Celebrated poet and honorary degree recipient Nikki Giovanni will give a reading from her writings at 4 PM in Convocation Hall, January 13; she will receive her honorary degree the next day during Winter Convocation. 

Lectures in the Environment: The 1878 Paris Exhibition and Solar Power

On February 16, 2023 at 4:30 PM in the Naylor Auditorium in Gailor Hall, Dr. Anne O'Neil-Henry (Georgetown University) will offer a lecture, "Solar Power, Algeria, and the 1878 Universal Exhibition of Paris." The lecture is free and open to the public. 

The Mountain Goat's Reading Series Continues February 1

The Mountain Goat is back from break! You can submit online here - and come to their reading every first Tuesday of the month, this month at 6 PM, at the Social Lodge!

Yea! Sewanee Reads

The English Department and the University Bookstore are joining forces to feature our favorite titles, just in time for holiday shopping! Come to the opening, November 4, from 5-7 PM, and get discounts on books and the Blue Chair Tavern!

What Do You Do With an English Degree?

If you've ever wondered (or been asked) what you can do with an English degree (besides being a teacher or a writer), we have answers for you from alumna and English major Caroline Morton Huffman (C'86), who has had a long career in business and is looking forward to helping answer your questions. Come chat at 7 PM, Wednesday, Nov 3 at the Social Lodge. This event is sponsored by the English Department and the Babson Center. 

Kevin Wilson's Fiction Wins Big Awards

Professor Kevin Wilson's most recent novel, Nothing to See Here, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of their Big Read program, where they select 15 books for the year and offer grants to communities to discuss the book that they choose.  His short story, "Biology" was selected by Jesmyn Ward for this year's Best American Short Stories. 

Publishing Roundtable in Gailor Auditorium

Are you interested in publishing your work, or working in publishing? Wondering how publishing works in different ways for fiction, poetry, translations, or academic texts? Come to a roundtable on October 22 at 4 PM at the Writing House, featuring William Engel of the English Department, Stephanie McCarter of the Classics Department, Matthew Mitchell of the History Department, Gwen Kirby of the Sewanee Writers Conference, and Eric Smith of The Sewanee Review. This event is organized by the Writing House!

Japanese Breakfast in Concert

We are very pleased to present Michelle Zauner (aka Japanese Breakfast) in concert and conversation Sunday, April 25 at 4:30 PM. Recording as Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner has released two critically-acclaimed albums, Psychopomp and Soft Sounds from Another Planet; her third album, Jubilee, will be released June 4, 2021. She is also the author of Crying in H-Mart, a memoir that develops her essay of the same name in the New Yorker. You can read more about the memoir here. This concert is presented by The Mountain Goat Literary Journal, the Writing House, the Asian Languages and Culture House, the Wick, Campus Activities, the Sewanee Review/Dakin Fund, and the Departments of English and Music.



Claire Crow Accepted at Yale

Out of over 550 applicants, English major, Claire Crow, was offered (and accepted) one of 3 positions in the Ph.D. Program in English at Yale to continue her work on depictions of race in medieval romance. She was also accepted with full funding into the Ph.D. program in Medieval Studies at Cornell and into the English Ph.D. programs at Indiana University, The Ohio State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Fordham University. In addition, she was offered positions in the M.A. program in English at NYU and at the University of Birmingham (UK), the M.A. program in Comparative Literature at Dartmouth, and the M.A. program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

Knight School - A Medieval Podcast by Claire Crow C'21

A new Sewanee student run podcast bringing you weekly doses of the medieval world with guest appearances from experts and scholars.