Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thanks, thanks, thanks!

Spring has sprung. Well, not really—it is still pretty wintry here—but Spring semester classes started today and so there has been a certain amount of bustle and business here in the English Building after a period of dormancy. Things did get quiet in the late morning, as everyone not actively busy with their classes tuned into the inauguration, but now the Xerox machine is whirring again with last-minute syllabi and the office has been full of cheerful talk.

Amy Rumsey and I are now in the process of sending out thank-you notes to all the alumni and friends of the English Department who made donations to the department in the last quarter of 2008. If you are one of our wonderful donors and you're reading this now, let me again express my thanks for your generosity. I've said this before here and will almost certainly say it again: I'm very moved to be reminded that I'm part of something that has meant a great deal to so many people for such a long time. I wish I had the opportunity to thank each of you face to face (though, since our thank you letters are going out to addresses from one end of the country to the other, that prospect seems a bit daunting, too!).

If there are any alumni out there who read this blog, I'd love to hear from you. And if there are alumni who read this and would enjoy having more robust opportunities to reconnect with the department, I'd really love to hear from you about that in particular. That last sentence is a bit of a teaser, I suppose, since I do not have anything fully worked-out in mind. But I'd like to start some kind of alumni network or association over the next few years and my own feeling is that this should entail being as responsive as possible to the interests and ideas of those alums who might be most interested in reconnecting. Let me know!

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