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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Coffee Break This Wednesday!

English Department T-shirt!

The first-ever English department t-shirt has arrived.  Christie Leonard created the artwork for the shirt, based on an idea by Kevin Madden.  Come to this Wednesday's coffee break for the chance to win a shirt!

Photo by Christie Leonard

Sunday, November 15, 2015

James Murphy Reception

Jim Murphy, founder and former Director of Villanova's Irish Studies program, Kathy Murphy, and grandchildren.
Michael Coady's All Souls with dedication to Jim and Kathy--one of the 300 signed, first-edition Irish poetry books Jim has donated to Falvey Library.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Alice in Wonderland Events

Dr. Mary Mullen reports on the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

On July 4, 1862, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) told Alice Liddell and her sisters a story to entertain them as they rowed up the River Thames. Alice liked this story so much that she asked him to write it down.  The result was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a book that has lived many lives in its 150 years.  Even people who haven’t read the narrative are familiar with the story: Alice stumbles down a rabbit hole and encounters food and drink that make her dramatically change size, a White Rabbit who perpetually checks his watch, a Mad Hatter in the midst of a tea party, a Cheshire Cat who disappears, and many other strange creatures and curious events. It’s inspired films, art, even Beatles songs (read here) while also leading to a new category of literature: children’s literature.

This spring, Villanova’s English department will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a tea party (cake included).  But in the Philadelphia area, the celebration has already begun.  The Rosenbach has an exhibit, “Down the Rabbit Hole,” which includes public programs where you can learn more about Alice Liddell, the girl behind the story; consider illustrations of the book; or participate in a reading group (click here). Villanova English professor, Dr. Megan Quigley, was even able to see the original manuscript at the Rosenbach (see photo below).  In turn, this November, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute will show four films that draw on Alice’s adventures (click here).  We look forward to going down the rabbit hole with you!

Dr. Megan Quigley and daughter Penelope at the Rosenbach (Penelope's first rare book exhibit!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Marathon Reading of Dracula

Dr. Alice Dailey at the Blackfriars Conference

Over the Halloween weekend, Dr. Alice Dailey attended the bi-annual Blackfriars Conference at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, where she saw five stage productions, attended workshops and lectures, and gave a paper on theatrical representations of English war heroes titled “I See Dead People: 2 Henry IV and the Corpse of History.”  On Halloween night, the ASC held a Masquerade Ball at which conference participants were dressed as Shakespeare characters.  Dr. Dailey went as Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft who makes a brief appearance in Macbeth.

Dr. Dailey and Rene Thornton, Jr., a lead actor at the American Shakespeare Center.
Dr. Dailey’s handmade Hecate props.  From left to right: tongue of dog, owlet’s wing, and oil of adder.  The labels are written in the Theban Alphabet, a 16th-century alphabet associated with witchcraft.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Villanova English Major Brian Harrington ('85)

On Oct. 22, Brian Harrington, who graduated as an English major in 1985 and was a member of the Villanova basketball team that won the NCAA title the same year, received the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA, Alumni Medallion from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Mr. Harrington is Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, New York, and is the founder and executive director of the each one counts foundation, the first charitable organization in the US devoted entirely to supplementing pain management therapies for children with terminal illness.

In introducing Mr. Harrington at the ceremony, Evan Radcliffe, chair of the Department of English, stated, “Mr. Harrington has said that ‘raising money for pediatric hospice care ranks right up with earning that championship ring.’  He is the founder of the each one counts foundation, which provides complementary pain management therapies to children who are terminally or chronically ill and who are receiving hospice or palliative care.  To quote Mr. Harrington, ‘Every terminally ill youngster counts, and they all deserve to have their pain alleviated in the best way possible.’  Mr. Harrington’s work has several sources: his time with basketball coach Rollie Massimino, who stressed to his players the importance of ‘giving back’ and took them to visit hospitals and schools where they ‘met people who were less fortunate and, in some cases, very ill’; his own experience of almost being on Flight 93, the hijacked flight that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, an experience that led him to want, in his words, ‘to do something more meaningful with my life’; his seeing close friends lose their six-year-old to a terminal illness without being able to ease their child’s pain.  Since 2007, each one counts has helped many many children and their families.”

Here is the full description of Mr. Harrington from the program for the ceremony:
“Brian Harrington received his BA in English the same year that he was a member of the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion team. After graduation, Mr. Harrington spent 15 years in the sports marketing industry before entering the world of philanthropic consulting following the events of September 11, 2001. In 2007, Mr. Harrington established the Each One Counts Foundation. Each One Counts seeks to provide complementary pain management therapies to terminally or chronically ill children receiving hospice or palliative care. Since its founding, Each One Counts has funded more than 25,000 pain management sessions of massage, music, art, hydro and acutonics, as well as distributing more than $750,000 in grants to its pediatric hospice and palliative care partners. In addition to running the charity, Mr. Harrington is Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, a 137 bed specialty pediatric facility, located in Yonkers, New York.”

Dr. Adele Lindenmeyr (Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Brian Harrington, Dr. Evan Radcliffe (English department chair)