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, February 2, 2010

Happy birthday to Hughes.

I spent a lovely hour yesterday afternoon at an informal group reading of Langston Hughes's writings organized, in honor of his birthday (Feb 1, 1902), by Alice Deck. It was a treat to hear friends and colleagues read from Hughes's work (mostly poetry, but one memorable piece of prose), and to participate in an event that drew faculty, grad students, undergrads, and some people from the local community.

The event was kicked off with a lovely, unaffected reading of "Let America Be America Again," and then featured all the different kinds of Hughes poem: the politically intense, the vernacular and comic, the musical, the deftly satirical, and so on. Oh and: if you are ever have the chance to hear Janice Harrington read aloud, just do it. Seriously. You can thank me later.

Thanks, Alice, for taking the initiative to make this happen!

1 comment:

Du said...

Glad you remembered Hughes! I loved studying him in college, what an academic and great mind.

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