Month: October 2017

Pam Brown: “Who’s It? Acting the Actress in ‘Twelfth Night’ or ‘What You Will'”

Pam Brown is an associate professor of English at UConn Stamford, and her talk explores how the famed actresses of Italian touring companies influenced and inspired the Shakespearean stage. Brown will be presenting at the UConn Humanities Institute on the fourth floor of Babbidge Library on Monday, November 6, at 5:00pm. Snacks and refreshments will be served at 4:30pm.

Tara Harney-Mahajan on Irish Women’s Literature

“The Politics of Illegitimacy in McKeon’s Solace” at 12:30 pm, November 2nd, in Austin 445

“Contextualizing Irish Women’s Writing and O’Brien’s Country Girls Trilogy: Revision and Resistance” at 3:30 pm, November 2nd, in Austin 217

Tara Harney-Mahajan received her PhD in English from UConn in 2016 and is currently the co-editor of LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory. Her research interests include 20th- and 21st-century Irish and South Asian literature, with a focus on women writers. Her scholarship has been published in Women’s StudiesNew Hibernia Review, and the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her talks will consider contemporary Irish novelist Belinda McKeon and canonical twentieth-century Irish writer Enda O’Brien.

Contact for details.

Aetna Writer-in-Residence Tara Betts

Wednesday, November 1

Tara Betts/Aetna Writer-in-Residence and Creative Sustenance Event

Barnes & Noble College Bookstore, Storrs Center, 6:3 0 pm

**This event is a benefit for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Audience members are invited to make a donation after the reading.

Co-sponsored with the Aetna Chair of Writing and the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore


Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit (2016) and Arc & Hue (2009). She is also one of the editors of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2017). Betts has self-published small runs of several chapbooks: “Can I Hang?” (1999), “Switch” (2003), “Break the Habit” (2012), and “Circling Unexpectedly” (2013). Her most recent chapbook 7 x 7: kwansabas was published by Backbone Press in 2015. Her work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Essence Magazine, NYLON, and numerous anthologies. Betts was commissioned by the Peggy Choy Dance Company to write a series of poems and monologues for “THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali” in 2011 and 2013. These writings were published on Winged City Press in April 2013 and were mentioned in the New York Times. In 2010, Essence named her as one of their “40 Favorite Poets.” After winning the 1999 Guild Complex’s Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, she represented Chicago twice at the National Poetry Slam in 1999 and 2000. A Cave Canem graduate, she has had residencies from the Ragdale Foundation, Centrum and Caldera, and an Illinois Arts Council Artist fellowship. She holds a PhD in English from Binghamton University and a MFA in Creative Writing from New England College. She teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Career Panel Presentation and Discussion

Concerned about jobs for English majors? The upcoming Career Panel presentation and discussion will provide a way to address these concerns.

Scheduled for Wednesday, November 1, 4:00-5:45pm in the Stern Room, Austin 217, this panel will allay concerns about the value of the major and career directions open to English majors. Job options specific to the skills of English majors are now quite varied, and despite a worrying job market, English majors are increasingly in demand. Four UConn English majors, all fairly recent graduates, will present information about their own career and job search strategies. Given their experiences and professions, they have valuable advice and will answer questions that students anticipating the job market have about the logistics and anxieties of job searches and interviews. The panelists below are testimony to the creative ways in which English majors are shaping careers for themselves, and will offer both practical advice and encouragement.

Rachel Craine (‘17), Client Solutions Assistant, AdviceOne, LLC, Glastonbury

Karelyn Kuzcenski (‘16), Ipsos, Research Analyst, Norwalk

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

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


Refreshments will be served. If you have questions, please e-mail

Caroline Levine to Speak

Caroline Levine, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of the Humanities at Cornell University, will give a talk at 4pm on Wednesday, November 1, in the Class of 1947 Room in Homer Babbidge Library.

Caroline Levine is  the author of three books: The Serious Pleasures of Suspense: Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt (2003), Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (2007), and Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015). Forms recently won James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association. As her Cornell webpage explains, Professor Levine has spent her career “asking how and why the humanities and the arts matter, especially in democratic societies. She argues for the understanding of forms and structures as crucial to understanding links between art and society.” Professor Levine will be giving a lecture from her current project on the role of generalization in the humanities, presenting “Reading for the Common Good: Sustainability, Routine, Infrastructure.”

This event is sponsored by the English Graduate Student Association and the Graduate Student Senate. Refreshments will be provided.

Halloween’s Celtic Roots

UConn IRISH STUDIES presents 2 TALKS ON HALLOWE’EN’s CELTIC ROOTS on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Breann Leake and Joseph Leake       

11am in Austin 202–Breann Leake and Joseph Leake are PhD candidates in Medieval Studies working (respectively) on translation, adaptation, authorship, sedimented histories and etymologies, place-names, and Welsh literature in early medieval sources. Their talk, “Networks of Halloween’s Cultural and Devotional Pasts,” will provide an overview of how and why different cultural practices/traditions (Celtic, Roman, early Christian Catholicism and later Protestantism) become sedimented and lead to modern iterations of Hallowe’en. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes!


Eileen Moore Quinn (by Skype)       

12:30pm in Austin 445

Eileen Moore Quinn (center) will present “‘With my Back to the Moon’: Halloween Customs in America after the Great Irish Famine.” Quinn is Professor of Anthropology at the College of Charleston, SC, where she teaches Anthropology, Folklore, and Irish and Irish American Studies. She is author of Irish American Folklore in New England (Academica P, 2009), and edited “Texts and Textures of Irish America,” a special issue of Irish Studies Review in 2015. Her work on the lore of post-Famine Irish-American women in New England appeared in Women and the Great Irish Famine (Quinnipiac UP, 2017).

Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes! for details

6 English Majors Win Sophomore Honors

Sophomore Honors are awarded to students enrolled in the Honors Program in recognition of their academic achievement, completion of Honors courses, and participation in Honors events during their freshman and sophomore years.

Two hundred and thirty-four students from across UConn received the 2017 Sophomore Honors Certificate at the Fall Honors Ceremony on Tuesday, October 10. Six of these were English majors:

Nicole Gerardin (also majoring in Education)

Kathrine Grant (also majoring in Education)

Alexandra Oliveira (also majoring in Chemical Engineering)

Bailey Shea (also majoring in Communication)

Anna Stachura (also majoring in Journalism)

Clarissa Tan (also majoring in Education)