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Community Outreach

“Expanding the Audience for Literature”

The Department of English sponsors a wide variety of outreach programs that provide both formal and informal instruction to the greater Knoxville community on topics related to literature and writing.

Many of these efforts are made possible in part through the generous support of the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, established by Professor John C. Hodges before his death in 1967, to enhance the offerings of the department. Many are also co-sponsored by other departments and programs on campus, by community-based institutions such as the Knoxville Museum of Art and the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, and by local public schools.

Brian M. Conley Young Writers’ Institute

For the past twenty years, UT students and faculty members have inspired area high school students and their teachers to write prose and poetry. More than 1,300 students have attended the annual daylong writing workshop.

Locally and nationally recognized writers lead workshops for students in poetry, fiction, songwriting, screenwriting, journalism, and performance poetry; and peer-oriented workshops for teachers of writing. Writing instructors from Knoxville and surrounding areas are invited to exchange ideas while gaining instruction from a lineup of accomplished and published writers.

Formerly known as the Young Writers’ Institute, the program was renamed to honor UT alumnus and former Metro Pulse owner Brian M. Conley, who gave an endowment to the program a decade ago, ensuring it will continue for many years to come.

Faculty Radio Interviews

Our faculty participate in local, national, and international radio programs on their areas of expertise, and the programs they participate in are sometimes archived.

Amy Elias, a specialist in contemporary fiction and author of Sublime Desires: History and Post-1960s Fiction, discusses the meaning of “postmodernism” on a National Public Radio program, “To the Best of our Knowledge.” CLICK HERE to listen to the August 3, 2008, broadcast at noon (the one which also includes an interview with Salman Rushdie). Amy’s interview begins around 16:30 minutes into the broadcast.


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