English Matters

English Matters Newsletter Fall 2019

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ENGLISH MATTERS QU EEN S COLLEGE • DE PARTMENT OF ENGLI SH • FALL 2019 Welcome back to English Matters! As you can see, I've been elected to represent the English Department as acting chair for another year. Glenn Burger continues to serve as interim dean of Graduate Studies, where he's doing amazing work. I had an eventful year as acting chair last year; there was a steep learning curve as I discovered how to run a department as big as ours. Do you know we serve more students than any other department at Queens College? That's because many students come through our doors not only as English majors and minors but as students enrolled in composition and general education literature courses. That means our department oversees a lot of students and a lot of faculty! I'll start by describing all the new and exciting projects we worked on this past year. Professors William Orchard and Caroline Hong, directors of our MA program, spearheaded a major revision to the MA course offerings. Starting next year, you'll find that the courses in the Graduate Bulletin reflect the diversity of our faculty and our students, and more accurately represent the kinds of classes we actually teach. We've added courses like Studies in Comics and Graphic Narratives, Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Studies in Science Fiction. Our strongest English majors now also have the option of doing an accelerated BA/ MA that allows them to take master-level courses during the last two years of their undergraduate education. As we grow our MA program, we're looking forward to attracting students who are interested in graduate-level work in English for all kinds of reasons, to advance their career or to pursue an academic passion. We've also been revising our undergraduate English major curriculum. Professors Duncan Faherty and Andrea Walkden worked hard with the Curriculum Committee last year to re- think the structure of our English major. We're always thinking of new ways to make our major more relevant, rigorous, and appealing to students who love to read and write. A group of us also began developing a writing minor, proposing several new writing courses that our department will offer for students who are interested in such a minor—or who are interested in improving their writing and learning more about writing practices. Stay tuned for announcements about those changes soon! From the Desk of the Acting Chair Karen Weingarten continued on page 2

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