Medieval Studies Workshop

Suzanne Akbari to produce a workshop on teaching medieval studies in a world literature frame on February 16. This event is part of Medieval Studies’ Methodologies of Difference Colloquium.

Suzanne Conklin Akbari is professor of English and Medieval Studies, and was educated at Johns Hopkins and Columbia. Her research focuses on the intersection of English and Comparative Literature with intellectual history and philosophy, ranging from neo-platonism and science in the twelfth century to national identity and religious conflict in the fifteenth century. Akbari’s books are on optics and allegory (Seeing Through the Veil), European views of Islam and the Orient (Idols in the East), and travel literature (Marco Polo); she is currently at work on Small Change: Metaphor and Metamorphosis in Chaucer and Christine de Pizan. She is volume editor for the Norton Anthology of World Literature (Volume B: 100-1500), co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Western Literature, and editor of The Oxford Handbook to Chaucer.

Timothy F. Moriarty Award in Irish Literature.

Timothy F. Moriarty Award in Irish Literature


The Department of English seeks applications for the Timothy F. Moriarty Award in Irish Literature. This award is a scholarship given to graduate students to enhance the University’s Irish Literature programs and activities. This year (2018) we expect the award to be $800.00. The eligible applicant must meet the following requirements:


  • Full-time enrollment as a continuing graduate student in the English program at UConn.
  • Demonstrated academic achievement.
  • Demonstrated focal interest in Irish Literature.


Applications must be signed, dated, and submitted to the main office of the Department of English, Austin 208, by noon on Friday, March 23, 2018.


Application Form



Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the

2017-18 Creative Writing Awards!


The Edward R. and Frances Schreiber Collins Literary Prizes

Prose Winner/$2,000: Jasmine Smith, “Canaan”

Honorable Mention: Rebecca Hill, “Watering Flowers”


Poetry Winner/$2,000: Amanda McCarthy, “A Story”

Honorable Mention: Raeann Veronesi for “Fifth of the Four”


The Jennie Hackman Memorial Prize for Fiction

First place/$1,000: Lucie Turkel,“Fourth of July”

Second place/$300: Rebecca Hill, “Watering Flowers”

Third Place/$200: Benjamin Eng, “Summer’s End”


Wallace Stevens Poetry Contest

First place/$1,000: Erin Lynn

Second place/$500: Matthew Ryan Shelton

Third place/$250: Ricardo Alvelo

Honorable Mention: Christiana Ares-Christian


The Aetna Children’s Literature Award

Winner/$250: Kristina Reardon, “Nina’s Wall”


The Aetna Translation Award

Winner/$250: Robyn Lerebours for “The Waterwheel”

Honorable Mentions: Kristina Reardon, “The Unicorn” and Alexandra Yang, “In Our Home in Palestine”


The Aetna Creative Nonfiction Awards

Undergraduate First prize/$150: Kaylee Thurlow, “Spinning Mind but with a Small Body”

Honorable Mentions/$50 each: Brianna McNish, “Notes on Violet” and Kimberly Yrayta, “All American Cheeseburger”


Graduate First Prize, /$250: Brian Sneeden,“Inconvenient Magic”


Long River Graduate Writing Award

Winner/$250: Kristina Reardon, “When Frank Sinatra Came to Town”

Honorable Mentions: Kathryn Warrender, “The Naming Ritual” and

Mollie Kervick, “Falling in Love is Fattening”

IDEA Grants Awarded

The English Department is proud to announce that four English majors have received IDEA grants for their thought-provoking project proposals.
The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support student-designed and student-led projects, including creative endeavors, community service initiatives, entrepreneurial ventures, research projects, and other original and innovative projects.

Below are the names of the four English majors receiving IDEA grants this year:

Amelia Bowman ’20
Bringing Diversity to the Teenage Post-Apocalypse 
Amelia will write a post-apocalyptic young adult novel that defies the standard narrative. This novel will feature diverse characters who explore topical issues such as social paranoia.


Arianna Diaz, Dec ’18 (English/Global Studies)
Combating Xenophobia: Bridging the Gap Between the Public and the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Process Using Data Visualization 
To decrease xenophobia towards refugees in America, Arianna will collect data and narratives from scholarly materials and interviews with actors in the resettlement process that dispel misconceptions, and will display her findings using data visualization tools.


 Taylore Grunert ’19 (English/Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
“Catharsis Theory”: A Graphic Novel Exploring LGBT Subjectivity and Coming of Age 
 Taylore will write a fictional graphic novel, based on personal experience, exploring LGBT adolescence.


Carly Martin ’20
The Great Forest Beast 
Carly will write and illustrate a children’s book that addresses environmental degradation in a way that is accessible to children.

Fiction Reading With Susanne Davis

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: UConn Bookstore, Storrs Center

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the UConn Bookstore.

Susanne Davis comes from six generations of dairy farmers in Connecticut. Her short stories have been published in American Short Fiction, Notre Dame Review, descant, St. Petersburg Review, Zone 3, Carve and numerous other journals, while Harvard MagazineHarvard Law BulletinMothers Always Write, and others have published her nonfiction. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches creative writing at Trinity College and the University of Connecticut and conducts writing workshops at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT, as well as privately. She will be reading from her short story collection The Appointed Hour (2017).

“The Hospital and the State in Nuruddin Farah’s Maps”

Eleni Coundouriotis will present “The Hospital and the State in Nuruddin Farah’s Maps,” in the UCHI Seminar Room, Homer Babbidge Library. Feb 14, 4-5:30pm.

Eleni Coundouriotis is Professor of English and a faculty affiliate for the program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies. Her work has focused on issues of genre and literary history in anglophone and francophone literatures from Africa and the Caribbean, and across the tradition of the realist novel in nineteenth-century Europe. Her first book, Claiming History: Colonialism, Ethnography and the Novel (Columbia UP 1999), places the emergence of the postcolonial novel in Africa within the context of ethnographic discourse and argues that the novel’s engagement with history through realism provided a model of critique of ethnographic discourse for African writers. Most importantly, realism as an aesthetic enabled African writers to ironize their position as authentic subjects.  Her engagement with ethnography led to other publications: essays on the African short story and its relation to folktales, on Melville Herskovits and the idea of history, and on Bessie Head’s ethnography of the Botswana village of Serowe. Furthermore, she has published a number of essays on African women writers (Nadine Gordimer, Yvonne Vera, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Bessie Head). Her work on human rights has focused on victims’ narratives in South Africa, child soldier narratives, rape and testimony (with specific attention to Rwanda), and on the emerging genre of human rights history. Her second book, The People’s Right to the Novel: War Fiction in the Postcolony, was published in 2014 by Fordham University Press. This study of the war novel as a genre situates the African war novel at the convergence of two sensibilities: the naturalist aesthetic and the discourse of humanitarianism. Both these sensibilities are present in culturally hybrid forms in the African war novel, reflecting its syncretism as a narrative practice engaged with the colonial and postcolonial history of the continent. The war novel stakes claims to collective rights and the genre is analyzed as a form of people’s history that participates in a political struggle for the rights of the dispossessed. Her current project, “Making It Real,” examines the realist aesthetics of various types of testimonial narratives that attain canonical status as human rights narratives.

This event is sponsored by the UConn Humanities Institute.