English Matters

English Matters Newsletter Fall 2020

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ENGLISH MATTERS QU EEN S COLLEGE • DE PARTMENT OF ENGLI SH • FALL 2020 Welcome back to English Matters! I am returning as chair of the department this year after a two-year absence to take up the position of interim dean of graduate studies. I want to thank Karen Weingarten for her two years serving as acting chair. She has done an amazing job, and I am fortunate indeed to come back to a strong and vibrant department. Karen isn't leaving administration completely; she will serve as associate chair during my term, and I'm very much looking forward to working with her again. I enjoyed my time as dean. It was fascinating to learn more about graduate programs across the college and about how different disciplines conducted research and trained graduate students. I was happy to participate in several initiatives that increased online accessibility (including one new fully online program in Family and Consumer Science Education), provided greater opportunities for Queens College undergrads to progress seamlessly to graduate study (through Accelerated Master's programs that allow exceptional undergrads to begin taking graduate courses while still in the BA), and worked to stem the decline in graduate enrollment that has occurred at the college over the past decade. But I am very happy to be returning to the English Department and the chance to work again more directly with undergraduate and graduate students and to interact again on a daily basis with my wonderful colleagues. This past year we bid goodbye to two colleagues, Professors Joe Cuomo and Rich McCoy, who retired after many years of service in the department. In addition, Professors Eunjeong Lee, Natalie Léger, and Andrea Walkden left us to teach in other locations. Despite budget uncertainty, we have two new colleagues joining us this fall: Lindsey Albracht, a specialist in composition/rhetoric and online teaching of writing, and Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, a specialist in Latinx and Caribbean literature. This has also been a bumper year for two of our creative writing professors. Maaza Mengiste's new book, The Shadow King, is in the short-list for the Booker Prize; and John Weir was awarded The Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction from the Association of Writers From the Desk of the Chair Glenn Burger continued on page 2 Congratulations, again, to our valiant graduates of Spring 2020!

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