From Langdon Hammer, English Department Chair
—-Alastair Minnis, philologist, intellectual historian, and Medievalist par excellence joins our faculty following appointments at Ohio State University, where Alastair was Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, and the University of York, where he was Department Head. His books include The Medieval Theory of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages, Magister Amoris: The ‘Roman de la Rose’ and Vernacular Hermeneutics, and, just completed, Fallible Authors: Chaucer’s Pardoner and Wife of Bath.
—-Our colleague Joseph Roach has won a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will enable him to create a vibrant research program in “World Performance” at Yale. The Mellon Distinguished Achievement Awards, which honor a small number of scholars each year who have made significant contributions to the humanities, include a three-year, $1.5 million grant supporting programs to enhance humanistic scholarship and teaching at their home institutions.
—-This spring President Levin named both David Bromwich and David Quint Sterling Professors of English. This is Yale’s highest faculty distinction, and it recognizes their extraordinary scholarly achievements and their intellectual leadership in the university and beyond.
—-Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling Professor Emeritus, has been awarded the 2006 Truman Capote Award in literary criticism to The Geoffrey Hartman Reader edited by Geoffrey and Daniel T. O’Hara. The award, which carries prize money of $30,000, is the largest annual cash prize for literary criticism in the language. This year’s judges were Terry Castle, Garrett Stewart, Michael Wood, Elaine Scarry, James Wood, and John Kerrigan.
—-Jessica Brantley and William Deresiewicz have both won the 2006 Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for the best book by a junior faculty member in the humanities at Yale. Jessica’s Reading in the Wilderness: Devotional Performances in a Carthusian Miscellany will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. Bill’s Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets appeared from Columbia University Press in 2005.
—-This fall Lukas Erne joins us for one semester as a visiting professor from the University of Geneva. Lukas will teach graduate and undergraduate seminars in Shakespeare. He is the author of Beyond the Spanish Tragedy: A Study of the Works of Thomas Kyd and the important, much-debated monograph Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist.
—-Brian Walsh, who did his Ph.D. at Cornell, and who has been for the past two years an assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, begins his appointment as an assistant professor on our faculty. Brian writes on the performance of history in Shakespeare, and he will be teaching a junior seminar on Shakespeare.
—–Our introductory courses will be strengthened this year by the addition of three full-time lecturers with special strength in the teaching of expository writing. They are Karin Gosselink, a PhD from Rutgers who writes on contemporary fiction; Allyson Polsky-McCabe, who comes to us from the teacher training program at Johns Hopkins and who is a veteran instructor of English 114; and Aaron Ritzenberg, who has just completed a PhD in American literature at Brandeis.