Greetings from the Department Chair!
Please join me in thanking the students working with Prof. Cedric Burrows for putting together this
newsletter. As chair of the English department, I am grateful for their efforts, and I am delighted to inform all of you (students, faculty, alumni/ae, FAME members) of the many exciting events that have happened this semester and that are upcoming in the next few months.
The English Department has moved! We now reside in Marquette Hall. Faculty, lecturers, and teaching assistants are all housed together, and we have space for FAME events, speakers, and department meetings. True, we are still waiting on some furniture and bookshelves…but our new offices are up and running.
FAME (Friends and Alumni/ae of Marquette English) held a “What To Do With An English Major” session on Oct. 23, 2014. At the meeting, FAME supporters spoke about their career trajectories and then fielded questions from a full room of students. The FAME supporters included:
In spring 2015, FAME will hold its two annual spring events. The FAME Book Swap will be held on the Sunday before the Super Bowl in the AMU commons area on the second floor. Bring two books and take home one! Thus far, FAME has donated more than 1500 books to local institutions, such as the Sojourner Truth House and the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. And to celebrate the Bard’s birthday, the annual Shakespeare's Birthday event will take place on April 16, 2015, from 5-7 pm. Last year’s Sonnet Slam was so successful that we had calls for a second one. I only hope this year’s line-up will equal last year’s. Please browse the FAME page to learn more about these events.
I’m most excited about our revised undergraduate curriculum, which was implemented this semester with new and familiar courses offered. Students wanting to major in English now have 3 options: ENGL (Literature), ENGW (Writing-Intensive), and ENGA (Language Arts). These majors include more choices for students and sequence their learning via three required courses: a 2000-level introduction to literature courses (either ENGL 2000 and 2010), a 3000-level introduction to the major course (ENGL 3000), and a capstone course for ENGL and ENGW (ENGL 4997). Built to emphasize transferable skills as well as content, these majors usher students into 21st-century critical thinking, problem-solving, and clear communication—three of the most commonly-cited skills that employers demand.
English faculty continue to contribute to university-wide student learning. Professor Rebecca Nowacek directs the Ott Memorial Writing Center. Professor John Su directs the University Core of Common Studies, and Professor Amelia Zurcher directs the Honors Program. Professor Jenn Fishman is working with students to establish a local chapter of NCTE.
English faculty continue producing scholarly knowledge. Read our online faculty profiles to see all the books and articles, which our very productive faculty have published. Five professors (Professors Blair, Curran, Hoeveler, Ratcliffe, and Rivero) edit scholarly journals or book series.
And of course, undergraduate student research is being conducted in the Ott Memorial Writing Center as well as in individual faculty members’ classes.
To discover more about the English Department at Marquette University, please visit the FAME page of the newsletter or our department website. And don’t forget to “Like” us on our FAME Facebook page.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
Kris Ratcliffe, Chair (Fall 2014)