Category: News


Coming Soon to the Department of English

Each day, Morgan Hall welcomes students and professors from all corners of UA’s diverse campus, from First-Year composition students to sophomores fulfilling survey requirements to English and Creative Writing majors and minors. Theater and Dance students often occupy Morgan’s first floor auditorium. While this bright array of people will remain constant, changes are underway for the Department’s English major. The English faculty have updated the Department’s foreign language requirement, allowing students to take computer science in place of a language. […]

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Meet The University of Alabama’s Outstanding Dissertation Recipient

An old king wishes to leave his kingdom to his three daughters whom he loves dearly, yet his generous wish leads to the death of his entire family.  This dark and twisted tragedy centers on  manipulation and power struggles, but what else can we expect from the Bard? Dr. Nicholas Helms, an instructor at The University of Alabama, first found his passion for Shakespeare after studying the carefully crafted plot of King Lear. “I felt like they were such deep […]

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Nathan Parker’s The Locust Diagrams

“I feel really lucky,” admits Nathan Parker, an English instructor at The University of Alabama and author of The Locust Diagrams, as he sits outside Starbucks, his multicolored beanie making him stand out from the crowd on a spring day.  “After The Locust Diagrams came out, I did a reading tour up the East Coast with one of my dear friends. We did readings, slept on people’s floors, sold a few books, and met some new people,” Parker recalls. “My […]

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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

In Hunting Season, Beau Taplin’s collection of poetry and prose, Taplin asserts that “Sunsets are proof that endings can often be beautiful too.”  Beautiful endings are a fitting goodbye to one of our beloved professors, Sharon O’Dair, who retired after the spring semester of 2016. O’Dair was a Hudson Strode Professor of English and the Director of the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies for The University of Alabama.  She organized both of the 2016 Shakespeare Symposia to honor the […]

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From the Chair

To the English Department Community, Greetings from Morgan Hall! I welcome this opportunity to share with you the current situation of the Department and our accomplishments over the past year. In 2015-2016 the English Department had 39 tenure-track faculty (12 Assistant Professors, 14 Associate Professors, and 13 Professors, 2 NTRC Assistant Professors, 46 Full-time Instructors and 27 Part-time Instructors. We hired two new Assistant Professors (L. Lamar Wilson in Creative Writing and Dorothy Worden in Linguistics), one new Associate Professor […]

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What We’re Reading

Shanti Weiland I recently read Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff. This book provides both a biography of the personal and political aspects of Cleopatra’s life, and an exploration of the numerous historians, poets, and actresses who have portrayed her in writing, literature, and film. Schiff never completely commits to one interpretation of some of Cleopatra’s actions. Rather, she suggests that a patriarchal history has painted her as an irresistible siren, or even a demonic evil genius. That history, she argues, has […]

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What We’re Reading

John Burke Since I have been in the process of developing ideas about the representation of the East in western literature, I determined it was time for me to take a close look at Edward Saïd’s Orientalism (1979; rpt. 2004).  It’s a very famous book, I know, but (blush) I never succeeded in finding the time to give it a careful look.  I’m very glad that I finally did. As I suspected, Saïd’s argument is an incisive deconstruction of western […]

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Interview with Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson is an instructor of English at The University of Alabama, specializing in African American Literature. How long have you been teaching?  What made you want to teach your subject? I’ve been teaching for about six years now.  When I tell people what I do for a living, they always say, “Oh, I hate writing! I’m terrible at it.” I had the same experience—my high school teachers told me my writing skills were weak at best. I went into […]

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An Interview with Dr. Bonnie Whitener

Dr. Bonnie Whitener began teaching at The University of Alabama as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in 2003 and became an Instructor in fall 2010. Her academic interest is American Gothic Literature, and she is also known for the yoga classes she offers to faculty in the Department of English. The darkness of American Gothic Literature and the spirituality of yoga may seem like two contrasting interests. Yet, Dr. Whitener finds that both disciplines demand that the students face their fears […]

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Interview with Emily Pitts Donahoe

“Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, Did my heart fly at your service” Shakespeare has a secret admirer and her name is Emily Pitts Donahoe, an M.A. student at The University of Alabama. From studying Shakespeare to participating in the Shakespearean Staged Reading Series at UA, Donahoe’s love for Shakespeare and the Renaissance is apparent. Donahoe has recently accepted an offer from the English program at Notre Dame, where she’ll be pursuing her PhD […]

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