Notre Dame Creative Writing Program director and poet Joyelle McSweeney has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in recognition of her creative ability in the arts and potential in future endeavors. McSweeney, who is also a playwright, novelist, translator, critic, and English professor, is in extremely good company — Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Ken Burns, Rachel Carson, and Zora Neale Hurston are previous fellows — and 19 Arts & Letters faculty have won Guggenheims in the last 22 years. “I’m still taking it in, to be honest,” she said. “It’s a spectacular show of confidence from the universe.”
Essaka Joshua, associate professor of English, has been elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, an international educational organization that promotes understanding of the human past. She earned the accolade because of her expertise in myth and folklore, but her understanding of and appreciation for the human past has transformed and significantly deepened since her introduction to disability studies, which she’s researched for the past 20 years. The evolving discipline of disability studies centers the experiences of people with physical, psychological and/or psychiatric differences who, like other oppressed groups, are marginalized because of exclusionary social structures and prejudices.
It’s been five years since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. The grief, trauma, and political ramifications of this seismic event in the island’s history are skillfully rendered in Xavier Navarro Aquino’s new novel, Velorio. It’s a powerful debut for Navarro Aquino, a professor of creative writing at the University of Notre Dame and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies.
Ernest Morrell, the associate dean for the humanities and equity in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the director of the Center for Literacy Education, has been elected to the National Academy of Education. The Academy advances high-quality research that improves education quality and practice. Members are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship related to education.
The University of Notre Dame’s award-winning “What Would You Fight For?” series showcases the work, scholarly achievements, and global impact of Notre Dame faculty, students, and alumni. These two-minute segments, each originally aired during a home football game broadcast on NBC, highlight the University’s proud moniker, the Fighting Irish, and tell the stories of the members of the Notre Dame family who fight to bring solutions to a world in need.…
Program of Liberal Studies assistant professor Katie Bugyis’ served as Groff’s historical consultant on her latest novel, offering a wealth of information about the topic and era and later reviewing a draft and providing feedback.
The Department of English is delighted to welcome five new faculty to our ranks in fall 2021. These appointments represent groundbreaking partnerships with the Initiative on Race and Resilience and with Notre Dame’s Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society. The new faculty will complement our existing strengths and help us to build in new areas of research, writing, and teaching. We are excited to expand our offerings in postcolonial and transnational literature, African American literature and culture, Caribbean studies, science fiction, the digital humanities, and the history of science and technology. We warmly welcome our new colleagues to South Bend and Notre Dame. …
Jay David Miller, who received his Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame in spring 2020, has been awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for his project, Quaker Jeremiad. Miller, currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, focuses his research on early American literature. His dissertation traces the development of Quaker rhetoric on agrarian labor and justice, examining the ways that rhetoric shifts from the beginnings of the Quaker movement in 17th-century England as it moves across the Atlantic and confronts agrarian issues like enslavement and indigenous dispossession.
Congratulations to our 2021 English Graduates!
Please watch the following Senior Tribute video for words from our Department Chair, Jesse Lander and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Laura Betz. The video shares all the names of our graduates with awards and special designations noted, as well as clips from a few of our amazing seniors, and a picture of some of our graduates on one of their final days together on campus! …
Julian Bonds loves helping young people, so it’s only natural that the English and history major would seek a career in education. Through his interdisciplinary Arts & Letters courses, research, and interests outside of the classroom, Bonds has developed his knowledge of the education system, its benefits and flaws, and his potential role in it. “Three things have been embedded in almost all of my Arts and Letters classes — creativity, passion, and a relentless drive to learn more about a subject,” he said. “Regardless of the career path I ultimately choose, I hope to always remain willing to be creative, eager to engage with things I am passionate about, and relentless in learning more about everything in order to better help the young people I work with.”
Joyelle McSweeney, a Notre Dame professor of English and Creative Writing Program faculty member, has been named a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, a prominent prize honoring work by a mid-career poet. The honor comes in recognition of McSweeney’s double poetry collection Toxicon and Arachne (Nightboat Books, 2020) — the first part written in the years leading up to the birth of her third daughter, Arachne; and the second part written in the spring following Arachne’s brief life and death.
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is an associate professor in the Department of English, director of the Creative Writing Program, and the author of the novel Call Me Zebra, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In this interview, she discusses how her writing examines how patterns of migration have shaped literature, how history imprints itself on physical landscapes, and her new novel, Savage Tongues, which looks at questions of nationhood, identity, memory.
When Veronica Mansour landed her first role in musical theater as Marcie in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at age 8, she never imagined she would one day write a musical of her own. She still has trouble believing it now. A senior English and music major with a minor in musical theatre, Mansour spent last semester workshopping her original musical, An Old Family Recipe, which will be filmed over the course of a few weeks and released to the public in a live-streamed opening night this spring.
What do Stephen Colbert and an ancient Greek political satirist have in common? After taking the advice of a professor to pursue any topic that interested her, junior Ella Wisniewski decided to answer that question in a research project on political comedy. That simple suggestion from Collin Meissner, an assistant dean for undergraduate studies, during a Glynn Family Honors Program seminar set her on a path that included a trip to New York, adding a second major, and embracing learning for the sake of learning.
The University of Notre Dame has launched the Initiative on Race and Resilience, a new interdisciplinary program focused on the redress of systemic racism and the support of communities of color both within and beyond the Notre Dame campus. Led by the College of Arts & Letters with additional support from the Office of the Provost, the initiative will bring together scholars and students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and other disciplines to challenge systemic racism and promote racial equity through research, education, and community empowerment.
The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with six partners from across the University of Notre Dame campus, has launched the next in the London Book Club series, an interactive, educational enrichment program featuring Notre Dame’s expert faculty. The program, entitled “London in Song,” is led by Ian Newman, Assistant Professor of English and Fellow of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.
“As one of the central nodes of the global entertainment industry, London has a long and complex relationship to song, and much can be learned about the cultural life of the city through its song cultures,” said Newman. “‘London In Song’ explores the history of London by examining the popular music that it inspired.”