Outstanding Digital Media Project Awards

Written by Prof. Caroline Levine, Department Chair: The UW-Madison English Department has an unusual new strength. We boast a number of faculty working in the cutting-edge world of “Digital Humanities.” These professors invite students to think about writing as a kind of “design-thinking”; they ask them to think critically about the history of media, and they work with them to develop new media fluencies. In recognition of this departmental strength, we have established two prizes, both of which have been made possible by alumni gifts: outstanding digital media projects by an undergraduate and a graduate student.

Program for Junior Faculty Leave

Written by Prof. Caroline Levine, Department Chair: When new faculty arrive at the University of Wisconsin on the tenure track, they know that they have to finish a book in five years. And not just any book. It has to make a serious contribution to knowledge, passing through a rigorous process of peer review and earning acceptance at one of the top-ranked university presses. These books allow the English Department to maintain our world-class research profile. This past year’s annual fund paid for two of our star new faculty to make progress in their research.

A Memorable Field Trip

Written by Prof. Caroline Levine, Department Chair: In the fall of 2012, the English Department’s Annual Fund subsidized a group of undergraduates to see a play they had studied, August Wilson’s Jitney, at the Court Theatre in Chicago.

Building Undergraduate Community

Written by Prof. Caroline Levine, Department Chair: Since the English major is huge and doesn’t always feel like a cohesive community, MUSE is a really important vehicle for building undergraduate community. And MUSE has been just terrific.

Anticipating “The Great Gatsby” with David Zimmerman

“The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is one of English professor David Zimmerman’s favorite novels. In advance of the May 10 release of Baz Luhrmann’s new film, Zimmerman shares insights about the book and its characters, as well as the song (see below) he plays to his students about the beautiful illusions of the infamous Jay Gatsby.

Prof. Kelley: On writing about the remarkable intersection of literature and science

Written by Prof. Theresa Kelley, Department Chair: Writing Clandestine Marriage was fascinating for me. It was challenging, too, but above all, working on this book sharpened my interest in how literature meets, or sidles up to, science. Here I want to talk about two examples from the book that present literature at work in ways that tell a good deal about the permeability between forms of thought, even those that seem so evidently distinct, like literature and science.

Milestones: Odyssey Project celebrates tenth year

A student who was born in prison is now a prison chaplain. A student who immigrated to the United States is now on track to become an immigration lawyer. Students who struggled in school are now teacher’s aides, or even teachers themselves. The Odyssey Project, now celebrating its tenth year at UW-Madison, is the source of many such stories of transformation.