The department holds a biennial symposium focused on literature, race, ethnicity, and other topics. Each symposium features a variety of distinguished guests — writers, professors, journalists, and others well recognized in their fields — who speak and lead discussions during the course of the three-day event.
Coal Royalty and Bankhead Visiting Writers Series
Every semester the Coal Royalty and Bankhead Visiting Writers Series bring established and emerging writers to campus for readings and workshops with students. Past readers include Charles Simic, Alice McDermott, Kevin Young, Andre Dubus, Robert Pinsky, Alice Walker and George Saunders. Podcasts from the Bankhead Series can be found on iTunesU.
In an effort to keep performance alive in our community, graduate students Nicholas Helms and Alaina Jobe Pangburn founded Improbable Fictions in 2010 to produce a number of staged readings each semester. Students and faculty across several departments cut, direct, and act in adaptations of Shakespeare’s works. Find out about upcoming performances on the Improbable Fictions website.
MFA Reading Series
Another regular event is the MFA Reading Series, where graduate students in the creative writing program present their work to their peers and professors throughout the year.
Pure Products Reading & Lecture Series
Hosted by UA English instructors, Pure Products brings together writers and artists from the University community for bi-monthly readings and open mic nights. Visit the Pure Products Facebook page for information about upcoming events.
The Rude Mechanicals
The Rude Mechanicals, Tuscaloosa’s free Shakespeare in the park company, is a local group of amateurs consisting of UA faculty, staff, former students, and current graduate and undergraduate students, as well as local actors. The Rude Mechanicals’ Facebook page offers information about upcoming and past events.
Strode Program Events
The Strode Program hosts a variety of events, including symposia, workshops, conferences, and lectures by both established and emerging scholars. Students are afforded the opportunity to meet informally with guest speakers, discuss works in progress, as well as attend and respond to formal presentations. The program also hosts the Shakespeare Film Series at the historic Bama Theatre.