August 2009

August 1, 2009

From Michael Warner, English Department Chair

– We welcome three new assistant professors to our ladder faculty this fall.  Ian Cornelius, who recently completed his Ph.D. from Penn, is a medievalist specializing in the social dimensions of the alliterative verse revival.  Sam See, who received his degree from UCLA, works on queer ideas of nature in transatlantic modernism.  R. John Williams, from UC-Irvine, studies the way rival conceptions of technology govern American representations of Asia and Asian-Americans, in literature and film.

– Lee Patterson retired from the full-time faculty and is now Frederick W. Hilles Professor Emeritus.  One of the most eminent scholars in medieval literature, he taught at Yale (where he also received his degree) from 1994 to the present.  Among his books are Negotiating the Past: The Historical Understanding of Medieval Literature (1987); Chaucer and the Subject of History (1991); Putting the Wife in Her Place (The Matthews Lectures, 1996); and Temporal Circumstances: Form and History in Chaucer’s Poetry (2006).  He now devotes himself largely to work with the Special Olympics.

Jessica Brantley had a banner year in 2008-9:  she received tenure, completed a research fellowship at the National Humanities Center, and in June gave birth to David Nathaniel Brantley Fulton.

Stefanie Markovits has been promoted to Associate Professor of English.  Her book The Crimean War in the British Imagination is due out in September 2009.

– Tanya Agathocleous has departed our faculty in order to take a tenure-track job at Hunter College in New York.

– Elizabeth Alexander delivered the inaugural poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” at President Barack Obama’s inaugural on January 20.

David Scott Kastan, who joined us from Columbia in the fall of 2008, has been appointed the George M. Bodman Professor of English in recognition of his outstanding record as a scholar and teacher of Shakespeare.

– It was my own honor to be named the Seymour H. Knox Professor of English.

– J. D. McClatchy has been elected to a three-year term as president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He becomes the 55th president of this distinguished institution.  For a full news release, click here:

– Ruth Yeazell has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

– Fred Strebeigh has been chosen by Yale College as the recipient of the Richard H. Brodhead Prize for Teaching Excellence by a non-ladder faculty member.  

– Elliott Visconsi has been chosen by the Graduate School and GSA as one of three recipients of the Graduate Mentor Award.

– Alastair Minnis is spending the fall in China, teaching in the Yale program at Peking University (Beida) in Beijing.

*  Several of our faculty have published new books.  Marc Robinson’s The American Play: 1787-2000 came out from Yale University Press.  Yale has also just released Caleb Smith’s The Prison and the American Imagination.  Fred Strebeigh published Equal:  Women Reshape American Law with Norton.  And Linda Peterson’s Becoming a Woman of Letters: Myths of Authorship and Facts of the Victorian Market appeared from Princeton University Press.

– Sue Penney succeeded the recently retired Diane Repak as the department’s business manager.  After gracefully navigating an eventful year of transition during budget crisis, she has already become indispensable to us all.

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