Month: March 2017

Twelfth Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing

The University of Connecticut’s First-Year Writing Program will host its Twelfth Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing on Friday, April 7, 2017. Our theme for this year is “Humility and Conviction,” and we’re honored to have John Duffy, Francis O’Malley Director of the Notre Dame University Writing Program, as our keynote speaker.

Regularly updated information about this year’s conference is available at

Please send questions to

Lisa Blansett Workshop on Fake News

English Department faculty member Lisa Blansett gave a presentation “Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News and Alternative Facts” on March 23 to determine the credibility of today’s news sources. In the workshop, Blansett demonstrated how easy it is to fabricate a story and present it as real and accurate information, and she encouraged her students to be critical of the available news sources.

Gina Barreca elected to Mark Twain House and Museum Board of Trustees

Professor Gina Barreca elected to Mark Twain House and Museum Board of Trustees.

Dr. Barreca earned her BA from Dartmouth College, where she was the first woman to be named an Alumni Scholar. She went on to receive her MA from Cambridge University as a Reynold’s Fellow and her PhD from the City University of New York. She is a professor of English and Feminist Theory at UConn, where she has been recognized for her excellence in teaching.

Barreca has also appeared on such television programs as The Today ShowCNN, and Oprah to discuss her views on gender, power, politics, and humor. Barreca is a syndicated columnist; her weekly columns for The Hartford Courant have been published in major newspapers across the country and globe, including The New York TimesCosmopolitan, and The Independent of London. Comedian Rachel Dratch says Barreca’s latest book, “If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?”: Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times, “contains everything a good friend would provide: honesty, insight, female camaraderie, and a lot of laughs.”

“We are thrilled to have Gina Barreca serve on our Board of Trustees,” said Joel Freedman, President of The Mark Twain House & Museum’s board. “She brings a welcome energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, and good humor to the museum. My fellow board members and I look forward to working with her and know The Mark Twain House & Museum will benefit greatly from her input and presence.”

EGSA outside speaker Kevin Ohi

Kevin Ohi will present “‘The Make-Believe of a Beginning’: The Novel and Questions of Inception” on April 3 at 4pm in the Stern Lounge. Ohi is a professor of English at Boston College.


“Looking at a series of openings of novels by Sterne, Austen, Dickens, George Eliot, Flaubert, and Proust, the paper will ask whether the “beginning of the novel” might mark a crisis as definitional for the genre as that which, in poetics, Giorgio Agamben calls “the end of the poem.” Turning, perhaps, to the curiously self-grounding gestures of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and to Henry James’s theorization of the novel through the complex, contradictory, often baffled search for particular novels’ “germs,” it will attempt to explore some of the consequences of what Eliot calls  “the make-believe of a beginning,” in which the novel as a genre confronts a fundamental structure of writing.”


Contact for questions about the presentations.

The Connecticut Writing Project-Storrs Celebrating 35th Anniversary

The Connecticut Writing Project-Storrs is celebrating its 35th Anniversary!

More than 500 teachers have attended a Summer Institute in Storrs since 1982, and thousands more teachers have been impacted by the work of those 500+ teachers over the last three and a half decades!  Come join your colleagues this summer for an evening of writing, music, and memories.

Rome Ballroom, South Campus, UConn.

When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 4:00-8:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Lynn Bloom Distinguished Professor of English Emerita, former Aetna Chair of Writing

Schedule of Events:

Writing Marathon: 4:30-5:30

Cash Bar Social: 5:30-6:00

Dinner: 6:00-8:00

Buffet Menu includes Mesclun salad with candied pecans and dried cranberries with a balsamic vinaigrette; lemon pepper chicken with lemon sauce or penne pasta with spinach, tomatoes, and garlic; seasonal vegetables and potato; rolls with butter; double chocolate layer cake for dessert; coffee, decaf, and tea. Cash bar open from 4 to 8 pm.

Entertainment provided by The Quiet Corner Fiddlers

Ticket Prices:

$35 for Teacher-Consultants of the CWP-Storrs ($35 for 35!)

$25 for guests—spouses, partners, children, colleagues, etc.

Register online here:

Or by mail.

Make checks payable to Connecticut Writing Project.

Mail to 215 Glenbrook Rd. Unit 4025, Storrs CT 06269-4025.

When registering, please indicate if you will be participating in the writing marathon.

Deadline for Registration:  June 1, 2017.cwp-35th-ann-flier

Contact Information:

Jason Courtmanche at or

Phone 860-486-2328 or 860-486-5772


Congratulations to Sara Austin and Amanda Greenwell

Sara Austin has been awarded the Children’s Literature Association’s Hannah Beiter Graduate Student Research Grant for archival research at University of California, Riverside. She will explore the Eaton Collection for her dissertation project, “The Evolution of Monsters in Contemporary American Children’s and Young Adult Culture.”

Amanda Greenwell is the winner of Children’s Literature Association’s Graduate Student Essay Award for Jessie Willcox Smith’s Critique of Teleological Girlhood in ‘The Seven Ages of Childhood.”

Sean Forbes wins first place in poetry contest

Poem “Double Dutch Champion” won first-place prize of $100 in the 2017 Al Savard Poetry Contest of the Connecticut Poetry Society. About the poem, the judge wrote: Deceptively simple, this gem of a poem juggles the athleticism of rope-jumping with the exigencies of an orphan’s life. It’s as if the whirring cadences of the poem and of double Dutch itself are meant to hide and assuage Dickensian sorrows, but can’t. The sorrows, the hard facts of loss, never go away. As a winning poem, it will be posted on the Connecticut Poetry Society (CPS) website.

Miss Collegiality: A Round table on Colleagues, Community, and the Work of our Work

April 3rd from 12-1 in room 240 (American Studies Library) Miss Collegiality: A Round table on Colleagues, Community, and the Work of our Work. The goal of the round table is to demystify some of the unspoken obligations graduate students have when participating in an English department, as well as talking through some of the expectations and experiences in preparation to become junior faculty.

Laura Wright, Micah Goodrich, Dr. Steve Mollmann, and Dr. Patrick Lawrence will be speaking for a bit, and then we hope to have a lot of time for audience questions and discussions. While our speakers will have some topics prepared, others may write down some questions, concerns, and topics you’d like to hear about on the shared GoogleDoc.

Careers for English Majors: Strategies, Options, and Ideas

March 27 4-6 p.m. in Austin 217 (Stern Room) the Writing Internship Program’s annual panel presentation and discussion for English majors: “Careers for English Majors: Strategies, Options, and Ideas.”  Students have found this event highly informative, practical, and inspiring.

Despite job market concerns and the pessimism English majors confront about their choice of major, job options open to the specific skills of English majors are now quite varied, and English majors are increasingly in demand.  The panelists below are testimony to the creative ways in which English majors are shaping careers for themselves.

Four UConn English majors (see below) will present information about their own careers and job search strategies.  Given their experiences and professions, they have valuable advice and will answer questions about job market realities as well as the logistics and anxieties of job searches and interviews. The panelists will discuss the value of the English major and other concerns about professional life after graduation.

  • As everyone knows, the current job market poses numerous challenges for job applicants.
  • These panelists will speak to those challenges and offer both practical advice and encouragement.

The panelists below bring a broad range of internship and post-undergraduate experience:

Carla Calandra (’16), Publisher Support and Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press, New York City

Mary Malley (’16), Assistant Editor, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, New York City

Myles Udland (’12), Business News Reporter, Yahoo Finance, New York City

Eric Vo (’13), Health News Reporter and Editor, Aetna, Hartford, CT

Refreshments will be served.

If you have questions, please e-mail


Irish Studies Reading by Brenda Murphy

11:00am March 23 (Tues.), BUSN 204

Brenda Murphy is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at UConn.  She is the author of twenty books, the most recent being Eugene O’Neill Remembered (2017), a biography in documents. The subject of her talk will be After the Voyage: An Irish American Story (2016), historical fiction based on the experience of her immigrant family in the Boston area from 1870 until the 1930s.