English Matters

English Matters Fall 2014

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ENGLISH MATTERS QU EEN S COLLEGE • DE PARTMENT OF ENGLI SH • FALL 2014 Welcome to the first edition of the Queens College English Department Newsletter! It's our hope that this issue will be an annual series that will help us keep in better touch with our alumni. These are exciting times for the English Department. Over the past five years, we've hired eleven new faculty members in areas ranging from Victorian, rhetoric and composition, twentieth- century American, Asian American, Latino/a, African American, and Caribbean literature. And each year that I've been chair, I've had the pleasure of presenting two or three of our talented junior faculty for tenure and promotion; this year it was Sîan Silyn Roberts (Early American fiction), Andrea Walkden (seventeenth-century English literature), and Ryan Black (creative writing and poetry). This proof that a new generation is carrying on the department's strong tradition of dedicated teacher-scholars helps balance our sense of loss when valued longtime colleagues, such as Fred Buell, Gordon Whatley, and Tom Frosch, decide it is time to retire. Over the past year, the department has undertaken a systematic review of our undergraduate curriculum, especially the requirements of the English major and minor. To that end, we've developed a new set of required courses for the major. While continuing to require English majors to encounter a range of American, British, and global literatures across a variety of historical periods, our new courses also focus on understanding how one does historical research, how genre and literary history develop, and why literary theory matters. In addition, we've begun a discussion about how to incorporate new technologies and the digital humanities into our curriculum and teaching. We believe that these curricular changes will deepen our students' engagement with the literature and cultures they study and develop their skills as critical thinkers and writers. Much is happening in the life of this dynamic and diverse department. I invite you to sample some of this liveliness in the entries below, and to follow our day-to-day activities on the department website, www.english.qc.cuny.edu, a new and improved version of which we expect to launch in January 2015. I would like to thank all of the people who worked so diligently in the develop- ment of this newsletter: Communications, Creative Services, the Development Office, John Rice, Kim Smith, Reprographics, Tiffany Thomas, and Karen Weingarten. From the Desk of the Chair

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