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News and Events

Departmental News:

  • The East Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication hosted the 27th Practical Conference on Communication on October 26—27. The conference offered participants an opportunity to network with communication professionals from a variety of fields and offer workshops on writing, style, and design.
  • On October 5—6, the annual meeting of the Southeastern Renaissance Conference, a regional division of the Renaissance Society of America, was held in Knoxville at the downtown Hilton. The conference was sponsored by the Department of English and the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The conference featured a special collections exhibit of rare early modern books conference and panels on such topics as “Religious and Philosophical Persuasions,” “Cultures of the Book,” “Staging Commodities and Commerce,” and “Gender and Genre.”
  • Recent Speakers: The Department of English hosted numerous speakers this fall, from Michael Bérubé, president of MLA, to Kwame Anthony Appiah and Duncan Wu. Anne Beaufort, author of College Writing and Beyond, gave a keynote speech and conducted a workshop at our first-year writing instructor workshops in August. Creative Writer Bobbie Ann Mason read from her new novel in September, and four of our undergraduate creative writers read from their own poetry in the library.
  • Michelle Commander was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to spend the 2012—13 academic year in Ghana. Michelle will teach and conduct research on the subject of her current book project that examines the complex interplay between traditional conceptualizations of the imagined homeland, Africa, and the formation of Black American diasporan identities.
  • Doctoral student Katie Burnett was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council for Learned Societies dissertation fellowship for the 2012—2013 year. Burnett is writing a dissertation entitled “The Dixie Plantation State: Antebellum Fiction and Global Capitalism.”
  • The English Department’s First-Year Composition Program and Writing Center have been awarded the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s (CCCC) Writing Program Certificate of Excellence. Among the criteria for this highly prestigious award are the following: that the program imaginatively addresses the needs and opportunities of its students, instructors, institution, and locale; that it offer exemplary ongoing professional development for faculty of all ranks, including adjunct/contingent faculty; that it uses current best practices in the field; and that it models diversity and/or serves diverse communities. For more details, watch this video.
  • Creative Writing Program News: Poets & Writers magazine (September/October 2011) ranked the department’s doctoral program with creative dissertation fifteenth in the nation (eighth in terms of job placement for students and fifth in funding for doctoral students).

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