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English Department

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Welcome by the Department Chair, Joseph Bartolomeo

This is my final message to you as chair of the department, as I am scheduled to complete my second term in the spring. While the job has had its challenges, particularly during some difficult economic times, it has been an honor and a pleasure to serve such a vibrant community of scholars, teachers, students, alumni, and friends. I look back to my tenure as chair with fondness, and I look forward to returning full time to teaching and research.

Read the full Chair's welcome.

Junot Díaz — Troy Lecture

On Thursday, November 1, Pulitzer Prize recipient and MacArthur Fellow Junot Díaz gave our annual Troy Lecture. Mr. Diaz read from his new work This is How You Lose Her and engaged the audience in a lively question-and-answer session on contemporary events and his philosophy of writing. Mr. Díaz also held special writing workshops attended by our undergraduate majors and students in the MFA program. It was a terrific evening for the entire Five Colleges community.

See pictures from the event

Welcome Professor Rebecca Lorimer Leonard

The newest addition to our faculty, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard holds a Ph.D. in English from the program in composition and rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in literacy studies, multilingual writing, intercultural rhetoric, community literacies, and writing across the curriculum / writing in the disciplines. Professor Lorimer Leonard is currently working on a book-length project that traces the writing practices of 25 multilingual immigrants across their languages and the places they have lived around the world. A chapter based on this project, Writing across Languages: Developing Rhetorical Attunement by Negotiating Difference, will be published in a collection by Routledge in 2012. At UMass, she directs the Writing Ccenter and teaches undergraduate courses on writing and multilingual literacies.

From UMass Amherst to an M.A. at Oxford

Yesterday I spent eight hours or so watching Doctor Who. Sitting at my desk I can look out into the well-manicured, beautiful green lawn hemmed in by a brick wall in the backyard of my residence at Oxford, where an old aspen tree sways almost with caricatured British-gusto. As I was watching Doctor Who I’d look out occasionally at the lawn and aspen, and I would wonder how I came to this place. There seemed to be a mismatch between what I conceived I should do and a sense of total inertia. If the world was filling with smells and sounds and a melancholic autumn breeze wandering like a stray cat through the streets, I wouldn’t know; I was too busy watching the Doctor save the world.

Read the full Alumni Article

Give To English!

The English Department depends on the contributions and support of its alumni to create a vibrant English Department for our students. Your contributions allow us to offer student scholarships, innovative courses, special community events, and to host visits by internationally renowned writers and scholars. Please consider making a contribution, thereby enriching the lives of our students while also investing in our common future.
Thank you for your generosity!

Contributions may be made by mail using the form below or online at:

Make checks payable to the UMass Amherst Annual Fund with the English Department specified on the memo line of the check and mail to: UMass Amherst Annual Fund, Development Office, Memorial Hall, 134 Hicks Way, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003-9270.

More news , including faculty publications, What We're Reading, MFA, WMWP, PWTC updates, Oxford, awards and donors.

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