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News and Events

Congrats to Wendy Chen!

The Academy of American Poets announced the recipients of the 2014 American Poets Prizes today, and Syracuse University M.F.A. student Wendy Chen has won the inaugural Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award for her poem, “They Sail Across the Mirrored Sea.”

Established in 2013, the award recognizes a student poet with a cash prize of $1,000. The prize is open to winners of the current year’s University & College Poetry Prizes, also given by the Academy of American Poets, that are twenty-three years old or younger. Submissions are judged by one of the past or current members of the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. This year’s judge was Alberto Ríos.

Launched in 1936, the Academy's annual awards are among the oldest and most generous prizes for poets in the United States. This year we have awarded over $200,000 to poets at various stages of their careers.

Here's the press release with more information: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/stanza/academy-american-poets-announces-recipients-2014-american-poets-prizes


The English Department is delighted to announce that two of our ETS majors, Matthew Fernandes and Alexander Sammartino, were selected over the summer as recipients of the Newell W. Rossman, Jr. Scholarship. The College of Arts and Sciences awards the Rossman Scholarship annually to juniors and seniors majoring in Humanities disciplines who have demonstrated academic and personal excellence.

Please join us in congratulating Matt and Alexander on their accomplishments!


The most rereadable lit magazine in America is nplusonemagazine, co-founded by Syracuse MFA's own Keith Gessen. Farrar Straus just brought out their anthology, "Happiness", with an introduction by Mary Karr. Keith writes about a young writer's money woes, Elif Batuman on Russian lit, Mark Greif against exercise.


Syracuse University will host the annual meeting of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (NEASECS), Sept. 25-27
. This year’s conference is devoted to “Commemoration, Memory, and Posterity” and includes a rich array of panel discussions, paper presentations, and exhibitions on the subject.  - See more at: http://asnews.syr.edu/newsevents_2014/releases/18th_century_scholars_meeting.html#sthash.jL3mLz4O.dpuf


Carol Fadda-Conrey's new book examines 'Citizenship, Belonging' in Arab-American Literature. A news story about the book can be found on the Syracuse University News website.

Congratulations to both Lindsey Frank and Peter Katz on being award the James Elson Teaching Award.

Congratulations goes out to Adam Kozaczka on Mary Hatch Marshall Award for the best essay written by a graduate student in the humanities.  Essay title:  “Macbeth and the Britishing of the Scot: Harnessing Shakespeare for Unification Politics from the Eighteenth and into the Nineteenth Century.”

Congratulations Arthur Flowers! Arthur is one of the two Arts and Sciences Spring 2015 Humanitites Center Faculty Fellows.

Congratulations Steve Cohan! Steve won the 2014 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award.

The English Department is delighted to announce that three outstanding graduating seniors have been awarded prizes for their work in ETS:

Thomas Collins has won the Anthony J. Pietrafesa Prize for the graduating senior with the highest GPA in ETS courses. 

Margaux Deverin has won the Lauretta H. McCaffrey Prize for a graduating senior woman with a high GPA in ETS courses.

Rachel Wakefield has won the Jean Marie Richards Prize for a graduating senior ETS major who demonstrates excellence in English and also gives evidence of distinction in writing.

In addition, the Nu Sigma Nu Essay Contest prize has been awarded to:

Elizabeth Dreeson – “Macbeth’s Usurpation of Plot.”

Honorable mention also goes to Chiara Klein for her essay, “Exploitative Religion.”

Congratulations to all of these students for their exceptional work!  

Erin Mackie.
Rakes, Pirates, and Highwaymen: The Making of the Modern Gentleman in the Eighteenth Century.  The Johns Hopkins University Press.  2009.  Released in paper April 2014.

THE BEATS: A Spring Marathon Reading -
Monday, April 21, 2:30-6:30pm in the Tolley Humanities Center Library; it's open to the public and refreshments will be provided. Check out the Facebook event page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1432662666982513

Mike Goode's book on modern historical thought is reissued in paperback.
For the full story click here.

Thinking about a career in publishing or literary representation?  Wondering how your ETS major might help you get there?

Don’t miss a chance to meet Writers House literary agent Stephen Barr at the English Department’s Career Workshop:

Monday, February 24
5:30 pm
Hall of Languages 500

Stephen will discuss what it’s like to be a literary agent, and participate in a Q&A with attending students.

Stephen started out as an intern for Writers House in 2008 and has now become a senior literary agent for the prestigious agency.  Writers House  represents such international bestsellers as Stephanie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Paolini, Nora Roberts, and Stephen Hawking.  

Peter Mortenson
It is with great sorrow that we report the passing of our colleague Peter Mortenson.  Peter was a professor in our department for forty-four years until his retirement in May 2010.  As Associate Chair in the late 1980s, he helped shepherd the SU English Department's original ETS curriculum through the university's various approval processes.  In addition to his teaching in early modern literature and the Romantics, Peter was also an accomplished jazz pianist, playing local gigs as recently as two years ago.  He died in Ann Arbor, MI, on February 13, 2014, surrounded by his family. 



The English Department is delighted to announce that Thomas Collins has been selected as the recipient of the Margaret Y. Cragg Prize for 2013.  The department awards the Cragg Prize annually to the ETS major who, at the end of the junior year, has compiled the highest GPA average in ETS courses.

Please join us in congratulating Thomas on his accomplishments!

is one of five distinguished alumni to receive Arents Award during Orange Central.

George Saunders G’88 and Rachel Kushner (the latter of whom is a Visiting Writer at SU this fall) have been nominated for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction. The winners will be announced at the NBA ceremony and benefit dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 20, in New York City. National Book Foundation

The English Department is delighted to announce that Camilla Bell and Matthew Fernandes have been selected as recipients of the Joan Garfinkel Scholarship for 2013.  The department awards the Garfinkel Scholarship annually to outstanding ETS majors who have completed their sophomore or junior years. 

Please join us in congratulating Camilla and Matt on their accomplishments!

Students in The Holocaust, Memory and the Visual Arts (JSP 300 / ETS 410) have installed a small but compelling exhibition on the fourth floor of Bird library to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 19 – May 8, 1943), and to remember more generally the millions of victims of the Holocaust.  The exhibit explicitly pays tribute to the many artists who were imprisoned, enslaved, tortured and murdered in ghettos, concentrations camps and death camps by the Nazi regimes between 1939 and 1945.

As part of class assignment students chose artwork created by victims of the Holocaust – many of whom subsequently were killed – to represent different types of spiritual and creative resistance to the Nazi oppression.  The students discovered through the study of the work of imprisoned artists that besides armed uprising, there were many ways in which Jews and other victims confronted and resisted their systematic brutalization and dehumanization.

According to the students, “featured in this exhibition are reproductions of art created by Holocaust victims (mostly Jews) inside camps or in hiding. Their paintings and drawings represent different reasons prisoners made art when inspiration was as elusive as hope. Each work is categorized according to themes introduced by art historian Ziva Amishai-Maisels including official art, art as spiritual resistance, art for the affirmation of life, art as witness, and art as catharsis.  We remember these artists as victims as well as witnesses. They produced much of their work in secret, knowing that if caught, they would likely lose their lives. Most of them were murdered, and only a few survived to personally bear witness to their experiences.

Artists remembered include Dinah Gottliebova/Babbit, Bedrich Fritta, Karel Fleischmann, Malvina Schalkova, Felix Nussbaum, Leo Haas, and Henri Pieck.

The exhibition was created by Colleen Bidwill, Ellen Fitzpatrick, Alise Fisher, David Kay, Mattie Kramer, Kaitlyn Martin, under the supervision of Professor Samuel Gruber .

Congratuations to Professor Dana Spiotta who was awarded a CNY Book Award for Stone Arabia.

The English Department is delighted to announce that Genevieve Payne and Amy Tatnall have been selected as recipients of the Joan Garfinkel Scholarship for 2012.  The department awards the Garfinkel Scholarship annually to outstanding ETS majors who have completed their junior years.

Congratulations, as well, to Darcy Joyce, the 2012 recipient of the Margaret Y. Cragg Prize for the top GPA in ETS courses.

Please join us in congratulating Genevieve, Amy, and Darcy on their accomplishments!

The Creative Writing Program celebrates it's 50th Anniversary!  (click here for a video)

Adam Kozaczka, first-year Ph.D. candidate, has won The Joyce Hemlow Prize for Burney Studies for an essay he wrote for Erin Mackie’s Eighteenth-Century Seminar.  The essay is called, “Burney’s Evelina as Anglo-Scottish Integration Fantasy.  The prize is accompanied by publication in the Burney Journal.

The English department is delighted to announce TWO INTERNSHIP POSSIBILITIES for ETS majors.  Both Salt Hill Literary Journal and Bird Library Special Collections are interested in sponsoring an internship for an ETS major this year.  The Salt Hill internship is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in creative writing and publishing; the Special Collections internship is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in information management, library science, museum studies, and/or archiving.  Please see the announcements below for details on the positions and the application process.  If you have questions, please contact Jolynn Parker at jmpark02@syr.edu.

Intern, Salt Hill Journal

Salt Hill Journal is seeking an ETS major to hire as an intern for the fall semester. Salt Hill is the literary journal associated with the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University. We are looking for an intern to assist with distribution-related tasks (10-15 hours a week, flexible schedule), as well as help us expand and maintain a stronger web presence. To be considered for the internship, please submit a printed resume, a list of two references (at least one of which should be from a professor), and a cover letter detailing your interest and any experience relevant to the position. Applications should be left in Jolynn Parker's mailbox in 401 HL by 5 pm on Thursday, Sept 13.


Curatorial Intern, Special Collections Research Center



The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) welcomes applications for a curatorial intern.  SCRC is Syracuse University’s principal repository for manuscripts and rare books. These collections make SCRC an indispensable resource for Syracuse University students and faculty as well as for the many researchers who visit us from around the world. The curatorial internship provides training in a specific scholarly field through close work with one of the two full-time curators charged with developing collections of rare books, printed materials, archives, and electronic media. In addition to working closely with the curator, the intern will participate in programs and presentations by SCRC and be exposed to the workings of the department as a whole, thereby gaining a broader knowledge of the place of special collections within the university context. The position requires a minimum commitment of nine hours per week; the duration of the internship coincides with the fall semester and may be extended with the approval of the Senior Director of SCRC.


The specific projects undertaken by the intern will be determined in conversation with the curator. In general, the intern will assist in research on a wide range of topics, from items in the collection to subjects for upcoming lectures or exhibitions. The intern may assist in the planning of acquisitions and in the public programs developed by the Special Collections Research Center, including our bi-annual “Research Roundtable.” The ideal candidate will be interested in at least one of the following areas: 19th-century reform, 20th-century radical social movements, architecture and design, illustration and printing history, modern literature and art, photography and photojournalism. The candidate should have experience conducting research for academic and/or museum projects. Experience using scholarly databases and library catalogues is important. The candidate should also know how to operate a digital camera. Strong communication skills and attention to detail are essential.


To apply for this position please submit in hard copy a cover letter that describes your interest in this position, your interest in one or more of the fields listed above, your qualifications, a resume, and the names of two references (one must be a SU professor).  Application materials should be submitted to Jolynn Parker’s mailbox in HL 401, by 5 pm on Thursday, September 13.  Review of applications begins immediately and the position will remain open until filled.


The English department is delighted to announce that three outstanding graduating seniors have been awarded prizes for their work in ETS:
Rachel Weiser has won the Jean Marie Richards Prize for a graduating senior ETS major who demonstrates excellence in English;
Bailey Fitzgerald has won the Anthony J. Pietrafesa Prize for the graduating senior with the highest GPA in ETS courses;
Jamie Greenwood has won the Lauretta H. McCaffrey Prize for a graduating senior woman with a high GPA in ETS courses.
Congratulations to the winners!  The prizes will be listed in the College of Arts and Sciences Convocation program.

Congratulations to Mina Raj, the winner of this year’s Nu Sigma Nu Award for the best essay in ETS.  Mina was selected for her thoughtful, original, and insightful essay, “Creating Masala through Cinematography in a Neorealist Film: Pather Panchali.”

Congratulations to ETS major Bailey Fitzgerald, who has been selected as a 2012 Syracuse University Scholar— the highest academic accolade given to graduating seniors.  The twelve SU Scholars will lead the student processional at Commencement.

Paul Czuprysnki has been selected as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Medieval and Renaissance Studies for 2012.  Congratulations, Paul!

ETS Major Daniel Powell has been named a 2012-2013 Engagement Fellow.  The fellowship includes a graduate tuition scholarship, which Dan will be using to take classes in music and audio engineering.  He’ll also work as a teaching assistant in the Belfer Audio Lab.  Congratulations, Dan!

ETS Major Olivia Rhinehart has been named a 2012-2013 Engagement Fellow.  The fellowship includes a graduate tuition scholarship, which Olivia will be using to pursue a Certificate of Advanced Study in Teaching English as a Second Language.  She’ll also work with the English Language Institute at University College.  Congratulations, Olivia!

ETS Major Rachel Wiser has been named a Judith Greenberg Seingfeld Disctinguised Fellow 2012.  Congratualations!









The Joyce Carol Oates Award in Poetry:  $500.00 for best group of poems by a graduate student.


Erin Mullikin

Poems: "You, Reader, As Freud", "We Twinned Last Night", "What Draws the Horse", "The Braiding", "Full of Cars", "Sewing" "From the mouth of the gold animal", "Shells", "How to Remember What You Have Not Seen"


The Edwin T. Whiffen Poetry Prize:  $50 for best poem by an undergrad.

Kelly Baug “BK Lounge”



The Joyce Carol Oates Award in Fiction:  $500.00 for best short story by a graduate student

Caitlin Hayes for “Rough”


The Stephen Crane Fiction Prize: $50.00 for best story by an undergrad.

Olga Rodriguez for “Noemi and 5th Avenue”



The Joyce Carol Oates Award in Nonfiction: $500.00 for best nonfiction piece by a graduate student.

Rebecca Fishow for “Your Chemical Self”


The Dorothy Burman Award for Outstanding Work in Creative Writing

Awarded by the Creative Writing Committee (Fiction, 2012)

Emma DeMilta

Fiction Judge: Christopher Boucher
Poetry Judge: Kelle Groom
Nonfiction Judge: Kelle Groom


David Yaffe Awarded The Center for Fiction’s Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism 

April 17, 2012, New York, NY – The Center for Fiction will present the 2012 Roger Shattuck Prizes for Criticism to Ruth Franklin and David Yaffe. The annual Roger Shattuck Prizes for Criticism are devoted to the support and encouragement of emerging critics, and were established in honor of Roger Shattuck, the late distinguished scholar, writer and literary critic. Each year, two deserving critics receive this award.

The Hunger Games Controversy: An Open Conversation on Oppression and Liberation
Thursday, April 19th at 7 pm
Noble Room, Hendricks Chapel
What is it about The Hunger Games that has captivated our collective imagination? Is Panem a thinly veiled reflection of our own world? Does the economic injustice of Panem resonate with complaints about the concentration of wealth in the top 1% of our nation? Is the Capitol a parallel polis to repressive regimes around the world and perhaps in our own backyard? What does the story say to us about the intricate relationships between class, gender, age, ethnicity and ability? Are we, too, citizens of Panem?< br/>

Join an open conversation of the controversies and debates The Hunger Games has ignited.
Sponsored by Hendricks Chapel, Office of Multicultural Affairs, the LGBT Resource Center, Department of English, Department of Religion, Department of Teaching and Leadership and the Disability Cultural Center. For more information, please call Hendricks Chapel at (315)443-5044.


April 12th - Thursday’s lecture by Dan Conaway, senior agent at the prestigious Writer’s House in New York City. Please note that his 5:30 p.m. presentation—sponsored by the English Department in The College of Arts and Sciences--has moved from 500 Hall of Languages to 320 HL. As always, the event is free and open to the public, and includes a Q&A. A must for anyone considering a career in publishing or literary representation! Questions: 315-443-5985.

Beyond Empire - English Department Colloquium: April 6th, 3:00 PM, 107 HL AND April 20th, 3:00 PM, HL 107

Jack Halberstam Lecture:  February 17, 7:00 P.M., "Low Theory, Gaga Feminism and The End of Normal."  In Watson Theater.  

Jack Halberstam Seminar:  February 17, 2:00 P.M.  "Queer Theory/Queer Methods."  In HBC 204.

Barbara Klinger Lecture:  February 23, 7:00 P.M., "Mutations or Mutilations?: The Never-Ending Versions of Classic Hollywood Films."  In the Killian Room

Barbara Klinger Seminar:  February 24, 2:00 P.M., "From Cave of Forgotten Dreams to Fright Night: 3D Style and Aesthetics in the 2011 Blockbuster Season.”  In HL 202

Congratulatins Dana Spiotta and Bruce Smith for being named finalists yesterday for the National Book Critics Circle Awards

Dana's Stone Arabia was nominated as a finalist in the fiction category and Bruce's Devotions was named as a finalist in the poetry category.  Here's a link to the AP story:


And here's a video of the announcement:

2011 SU Global Game Jam 1/27-1/29

The School of Education and the iSchool are partnering once again to host a site for the 2012 Global Game Jam (GGJ). This year the College of Arts and Sciences will be joining as a sponsor/partner. GGJ brings together thousands of game enthusiasts participating through many local jams around the world. See GGJ trailer http://vimeo.com/34729381  . The idea is that participants (mostly students, but anyone over 18 can join in) create a game in 48 hours.

Reflecting on the increasing importance of board games in game design classes, the hosts of the event have once again added a board game design track to the traditional video game design track.

Do you have interest in participating?  We had a very successful event last year, and it was valuable to be there to witness firsthand the various design and share ideas with teams.  You don't need technicalexpertise; just a willingness to be engaged with the students and an interest in games.

The event will start in the afternoon at 3pm on Friday January 27th when the theme for the games will be announced.  Teams will develop games over Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday morning. Participants will contribute games to the Global Game Jam project to live alongside all of the other games made over the weekend from other venues around the world. We will come back together on Sunday afternoon and demonstrate what folks have made.

Further information about the event is at:http://globalgamejam.org/sites/2012/su-game-jam

To register for the event go to: http://gamejam.syr.edu/  You can also view last year submission here as well.

Please contact Chris Hanson cphanson@syr.edu  or Alan Foley afoley@syr.edu  if you have any specific questions.

Congratulations to PhD students Elizabeth Stearns and Gohar Siddiqui for winning the James Elson Teaching Award.

Humanities Center Dissertation Fellow Symposium 2012 (February 2 and 3), Syracuse University

Organizer: Soumitree Gupta, 2011-12 HC Dissertation Fellow and PhD Candidate in the Department of English and Women’s and Gender Studies

Intimate Landscapes: Queer Diasporic Re-Visions of the Region

SU professor a National Book Award finalist

Bruce Smith, professor of English and author of “Devotions” (The University of Chicago Press, 2011), has been named a finalist for the National Book Awards. This is not the first time Smith has received such an honor. His book “The Other Lover” (The University of Chicago Press, 2000) made him a finalist for both an NBA and The Pulitzer Prize more than a decade ago. Smith is attending a special ceremony in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 16, hosted by writer, actor, and musician John Lithgow.

Professor Steven Cohan
gave the keynote lecture at the European Association of Dance Historians annual conference, which was held 14-16 October 2011 at Rudolf Steiner House, London, England.  The conference theme was “Not Just Fred and Ginger: Camaraderie, Collusion and Collisions Between Dance and Film,” and Professor Cohan’s talk was a multi-media presentation entitled “The Manic Bodies of Danny Kaye.”

Ph.D. Student Jessica Kuskey awarded The Bruns Essay Prize

The Bruns Graduate Essay Prize, in honor of Edward F. Bruns, is awarded annually to the best essay written by a graduate student member of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Graduate students. Jessica's submission was an essay-length version of the presentation she gave in the spring 2011 for the Syracuse University English Department 19C Conference, titled “Our Mutual Engine: The Economics of Victorian Thermodynamics,” and it is currently under review at Victorian Literature & Culture.