Welcome to the blog for the Villanova English department! Visit often for updates on department events, guest speakers, faculty and student accomplishments, and reviews and musings from professors and undergraduates alike.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

ENG 4001 / Spring 2014

Dr. Jill Karn, who took over Dr. Kirschke’s two American literature courses this fall, will also be teaching the spring American literature course for which Dr. Kirschke was scheduled: English 4001 (Major American Writers I).

We are lucky to have such a highly qualified professor as Dr. Karn, who is a published scholar (her specialty is American literature) with extensive teaching experience.
Major American Writer Ralph Waldo Emerson

BRIDGE Society

You're invited to the BRIDGE Society "All Industry" Mentoring & Networking Event on Wednesday, November 6, at 6:00 p.m. in the Garey Hall Cafe. Meet alumni and professionals from across industries. Talk to them about networking, interviewing, interning successfully, and, of course, obtaining full-time positions. Hear their advice on all of the professional development questions that you have! Find out what our alumni studied, where they interned, how they obtained their jobs, what they enjoy about their work, and more. Walk away with insight about your future and a list of potential mentors to assist you. Understand the value of the Villanova network and your LAS degree.

*Alumni and professionals from GlaxoSmithKline, Vanguard, Bank of America, Turner Broadcasting, City Year, DuPont, Bloomberg, American Express, QVC, Devereux, and more will be attending.

RSVP Required: https://sp.artsci.villanova.edu/ous/Lists/BRIDGE%20Events/NewForm.aspx
Space is limited! RSVP early!

Dress: Business dress required. (After you register, you will receive an email regarding appropriate dress for this event.) We will not be reviewing resumes at this event.
Questions: aslp@villanova.edu

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Registration Information

From Prof. Radcliffe:
As the time to register approaches, I wanted to let you know about some things and remind you of some others.

1)  The booklet of English courses, with full descriptions, is available on our main English page (click here).   You will also be able to find individual course descriptions by clicking on the Syllabus Available link which is below each course number in Novasis (you can also reach them via the syllabus link in Schedulr).  English requirements are described here.

2)  Be aware that you are supposed to take English 2250, Ways of Reading, before your senior year: it is the course that fulfills the college’s Junior Research Requirement.

3)  English 2101, The British Literary Tradition I, is not a required course for English majors, but we recommend that you take it, and take it early, since it will introduce you to writers, texts, and issues that are crucial to most subsequent courses.

4)  As you may know, there is “A Guide to Advising for English Majors,” which is available here.  It includes a wealth of information (it applies to all classes even if its title on the web says “Class of 2014 and earlier”).
5)  I hope you’ve checked in with your advisor or have set up an appointment.  If you haven’t, you run the risk of missing your registration time because you don’t have your PIN (normally we don’t give out PIN numbers to students who haven’t talked to an advisor) or of ending up with courses that aren’t the right ones for you.

6)  To try to avoid any problems, it makes sense to test your semester PIN number ahead of time (which also enables you to find out whether there are any holds that would prevent you from registering).
Whether you register from myNova or directly from Novasis, what you do is to click on the Login to Register link, even it’s before the time when you’re supposed to register, and enter your PIN.  If you have the wrong PIN, you’ll get an Authorization Failure message, and you should check your number with your advisor.  But if you have the correct PIN, you’ll see your registration time come up, and it’s all good.  The Registrar’s office has created a short video about registration, which also includes a section about checking for holds.  It lives here. (The segment on checking your PIN starts at about 2:10.)

7)  Your advisor can best help you if you have prepared ahead of time.  Before you see your advisor, remind yourself about your requirements, review the requirements you have already taken care of, and think about what courses you want to take next semester; you’re the one who finally is responsible for choosing the right courses for you.  Since you probably have the choice of taking some electives, think about things like what excites you and what you wish you knew more about.  Don’t be afraid to explore.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Valerie Miner - Friday, Nov. 8

Co-sponsored by English, Gender & Women's Studies, Global Studies!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dr. Alice Dailey in England

From Prof. Dailey:
Over the fall break, I traveled to England to give a scholarly talk and to pursue new research.  My first stop was Christ’s College, Cambridge, where I shared my current work on corporeality and real presence with the Medieval-Renaissance Faculty Colloquium of Cambridge University.  I was treated to a wonderful tour of Christ’s College, alma mater of John Milton and Charles Darwin.  There I saw the hall where Milton lived and sat in the beautiful room in which senior fellows of the college, like Darwin, have for centuries drunk wine, talked, made friendly wagers, and kept hand-written accounts of their consumption.  These bound ledgers, some including Darwin’s hand writing, are still stored in the room and brought out for nightly record-keeping.

Dr. Dailey in front of Fellows' Hall, where John Milton lived when he was a student at Christ's College, Cambridge.
The ledger of the Senior Combination Room, Christ's College, Cambridge.  A wager between Charles Darwin and a Mr. Baines is noted on February 23, 1837.  The two men bet a bottle of wine over the height of the room's ceiling, and Darwin lost.  His name was crossed out when he settled the bet.
After my time in Cambridge, I spent three days in London studying Michael Landy’s Saints Alive, an exhibit of contemporary collage and sculpture at the National Gallery of Art.  The exhibit features 14-foot-tall automata of well-known Christian saints and martyrs that Landy has constructed from old machinery and from body parts copied out of the National Gallery's vast collection of Renaissance religious paintings.  When set into motion, these mechanized sculptures enact their own persecutions repeatedly, some of them gradually deteriorating as the exhibit has progressed.  Landy’s sculptures are complimented by a stunning group of collages that reconfigure heads, hands, wounds, and weapons out of saint and martyr art into fantastical contraptions of penitential suffering.  My favorite piece in Saints Alive was a large pencil and paper drawing called Saint Catherine Wheels found dumped outside the National Gallery, drawn from a collage of the Gallery’s 36 partial images of Saint Catherine’s emblem, a spiked torture wheel.
Michael Landy, Saint Catherine Wheels found dumped outside the National Gallery (2013).  Pencil on paper.  National Gallery of Art, London.
Michael Landy, Saint Jerome Beats himself while contemplating Christ's Suffering (2012).  Photographic paper and watercolor pencil on paper.  National Gallery of Art, London.
My trip concluded with two other exhibits.  I saw the life-sized wax and wood funeral effigies of English monarchs collected in the Westminster Abbey museum.  The effigies date from the 14th to the 18th century and include both the original 1603 effigy of Queen Elizabeth I and the ornate wax remake dating from 1760.   Lastly, I visited the recently opened exhibit on Elizabeth I and Her People at the National Portrait Gallery, which features royal portraits; Elizabethan coins, jewelry, and artifacts; and paintings of aristocrats and subjects from Sir Walter Raleigh to John Donne.  The exhibit included three fascinating portraits that my Elizabethan Literature students have studied this semester: the full-length Ditchley Portrait, the Ermine Portrait, and the Procession Portrait.
Funeral effigies of Queen Elizabeth I, 1603 (left) and 1760 (right).  Westminster Abbey Museum.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Job Possibility

The Communications office of the College of Engineering is looking for a paid Communications Assistant.  See the information below about the job and how to apply.

Communications Assistant
Positions Available: 1
Wage: $7.55
Hours/Week: 10
Description: Research, proof-reading publications & external communications; smaller writing assignments for web site, social media outlets, or e-newsletter. Fact-checking/make edits to stories; photography organization.
Requirements: Based on specific nature of tasks assigned, this position may be a good fit for a student pursuing studies in communication, English, journalism or a related field. Interested candidates should send their resume and a writing sample via email. (Kimberly.shimer@villanova.edu)
Contact: Kim Shimer, CEER, x94607

Department Reception - Friday, October 25

Internship with Penumbra Literary

Penumbra Literary LLC, a literary agency, is looking for English majors for internships.  Gain hands-on editorial experience. Work one-on-one with literary agents to field queries, evaluate manuscripts, work on book proposals, marketing strategy, and grow and maintain social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, blogging). You will receive consistent feedback and do substantive work.  For details about the internship, click here.

Remember that to receive credit for an internship, you must apply at our Internship Office: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/undergrad/ous/internship.html.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dr. Lauren Shohet essay on Christopher Cook

Dr. Lauren Shohet's reflective essay "The Unruly Pearl" is included in the catalogue for the show "Christopher Cook: A Sign of Things To Come," on exhibit at the Ryan Lee Gallery in Chelsea (527 W. 26th St) Oct 10-Nov 16. This English artist currently works mostly in graphite, a medium he describes as between painting and drawing. Dr. Shohet's essay considers relationships between Cook's work and the Baroque.

Cook, Paradigm Shift
Cook, At the Opera

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Modern British Novel" at the Barnes

Prof. Megan Quigley's "Modern British Novel" courses visited the Barnes Foundation at its new location downtown in Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 4th.  Seeing works by Matisse, Picasso, Soutine, Modigliani and many others helped to bring home the parallel stylistic experimentalism in fiction in the early twentieth-century.  What a great resource nearby!
Prof. Quigley's students at the Barnes

Literary Fiction and Enhanced Social Skills

After reading literary fiction (as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction), people "performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence."  Researchers say "the reason is that literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity." Click here to read more about the study.
One of the pieces of "literary fiction" cited in the study

Saturday, October 5, 2013

English Table at 2013 Majors Fair

This year's poster
Nkiruka Umegbolu, Danielle Sekerak, Nelson Rice
Mary Grace Mangano, Lily Suh, Jenny Lee
Talking to prospective majors

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Wildcat in the Rye Experience

The following was written by Maria MacGeary, a student in one Prof. Jody Ross' fall classes, who attended the Catcher event.

More than seventy-five students gathered in the common room of Good Counsel on October 3rd to participate in a reading and discussion of J.D. Salinger's timeless novel, The Catcher in the Rye. The crowd spread across chairs and floorspace, even overflowing into the balcony above, to be a part of this event put on by the Villanova English Department.
Prof. Kamran Javadizadeh addressing the gathering. 
Professor Kamran Javadizadeh opened the evening with a short reading in which the novel's main character, Holden Caulfield, visits a museum. Reading The Catcher in the Rye again and again, according to Javadizadeh, is much like Holden's description of visiting the same museum displays; they remain unchanging, the same as always, despite the constant change experienced by the visitor. Each visit, each reading, offers opportunity for new interpretation, new perspective.

Following this brief introduction, the floor was handed to the six readers, students representing the Villanova English Department. The lectors alternated, reading chapter thirteen of the novel, one of the more provocative scenes in which Holden interacts with a prostitute in his hotel room.
The reading.
After the reading, the student leaders organized the crowd into discussion groups, posing questions about Holden as a character, symbolism, thematic elements, and Salinger's writing style.  Junior English major Emily Crooker, a lover of Salinger, told her group that the best thing about The Catcher in the Rye is the discovery of “a new meaning with every reading, whenever you return to it.”
Group discussion.
Crooker also said that the Department hopes to host more of these events in the future, discussing novels with widespread influence, such as The Great Gatsby. The intention is to make English more accessible to freshman, as well as promote information about the English Department and Major at Villanova.
Freshman Julie Piscina's copy of Catcher, which she has read more than 20 times!

Dr. Lauren Shohet at the International Conference on the Book

At the International Conference on the Book in Regensburg, Germany, Dr. Lauren Shohet gave a paper on artwork in southern-German churches that represents one medium (such as books, music, or pens) within another (such as paintings or sculptures). Her paper was entitled "Ink into Stone: Re-Mediation in Architectural Decoration of the Upper-Swabian Baroque."
One of the images Dr. Shohet discussed, a rococo statue of St. Elizabeth with a book