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

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Semester

Classes are still a week away, but the hum of a new semester has definitely begun. I'd like to use this space to welcome students and faculty back to the halls of the English Building, and also to say hello to any alums who may stumble upon this blog or surf over after reading my piece in our annual newsletter. For those of you who may have checked in here periodically over the summer, I promise to update more regularly once again now that the pace of things is picking up on campus.

It is always nice to start a new year with some good news, so let me also use this space to congratulate the English Department faculty members who were promoted during last year's review and promotion cycle and who, therefore, begin this academic year with sparkling new titles.

*Jim Hansen is now Associate Professor of English and Criticism and Interpretive Theory.

*LeAnne Howe is now Professor of English (with an emphasis on Creative Writing) and
American Indian Studies.

*Paul Prior is now Professor of English and Writing Studies.

*Michael Rothberg is now Professor of English (with many other cross-disciplinary affiliations)
and Director of a new Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.

*Gillen D'Arcy Wood is now Professor of English as well as a member of the University's new
Environmental Change Institute.

For those of you who are not faculty members who may read this, the promotion of faculty members is always a Big Deal. On the one hand, the distinction reflected by each new rank reflects hard-won achievement in our profession. On the other, faculty members, as they move up in ranks, have the opportunity to play an increasingly important leadership role in the department, the university, and the profession as a whole.

For those readers of this blog who are faculty members, you probably already know about these promotions. But it never hurts to say congratulations to your colleagues one more time!

Congratulations to all, and welcome to the start of another academic year!

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