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Welcome from the Chair

Jenny Spencer“Ch…ch…ch…changes!” Yes, you guessed it: David Bowie’s 1971 hit has become our unofficial theme song. But the changes coming down the pike for the UMass English department definitely promise an exciting few years ahead.

In your hands (or on your screen), you can see our first change. In addition to a new look, the departmental newsletter has earned a new name and publication schedule. Look for The Ink Pot once each term to stay up to date on the exciting things going on in the English Department. Read More


2014 Troy Lecture:
A Conversation with Orhan Pamuk

Thursday, Oct. 30 | 4:30 p.m. | Bowker Auditorium


“A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him,” wrote Orhan Pamuk in his magnificent Nobel lecture. Upon close reading of his books, one could easily rewrite this confession as: “An Orhan is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the Pamuk inside him.” Of course Orhan Pamuk is not the first Turkish author to deal with inner dualities. But no other fiction writer has spent so much energy exploring the connections between his own internal fissures and Turkey’s fraught national identity. Read More


Reflections on Life Post-Graduation

by Monica Sweeney, BA 2010

Fifty Shades of Pain? That’s the reputation of the job market for English majors. Okay, so I might not have felt pain. But I did feel Fifty Shades of Impatience when it took much longer to find a job in publishing than I thought after graduation.

But then it happened: about 15 months after graduation I landed my dream job. And you know how? First off, it was networking. Turns out that networking is not just for those in the Isenberg School of Management, and my own UMass relationships and experiences set me up for success. Read More


Kaplan Lecture: Jacqueline Goldsby

Tuesday, Nov. 18 | 4:30 p.m. | Campus Center 911-915


On November 18, Jacqueline Goldsby will give the 14th annual Kaplan Memorial Lecture on “A Salon for the Masses: Black Reading Circles during the Chicago Renaissance.” Goldsby is professor of English and African American Studies at Yale University and was recently named acting chair of the department of African American studies. She is the author of A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (2006), and with it won the MLA’s William S. Scarborough Prize. Her book also earned a spot as a finalist for the Lora Romero First Book Prize of the American Studies Association. Read More


University of Massachusetts Department of English
170 Bartlett Hall, Amherst, MA 01003 | umass.edu/english | 413-545-4339