*Alex Shakar, a novelist who teaches in our Creative Writing program. It is a treat for me be able to trumpet Shakar's writing here because--as a recreational, non-specialist reader of smart contemporary fiction--I love his work. His collection of short stories, City in Love, was first printed in 1996 and then re-issued as a Harper Perennial Paperback, and his first novel, The Savage Girl, was published to considerable acclaim in 2001. His most recent novel, Luminarium, is not out yet, but will be published by Soho books. The Savage Girl is a wonderful, thought-provoking novel, and Luminarium--which I had the pleasure of reading in a penultimate draft--is (in my view) even better: one of the best novels I have read in some time. I will of course post about it here when it is printed.
*Renée Trilling, an Anglo-Saxonist, who teaches a range of courses for us including courses in Old English language and literature, the early British literature survey, and our required introduction to literary theory. Trilling's 2009 book The Aesthetics of Nostalgia: Historical Representation in Old English Verse examines the ways that historical consciousness is encoded in Anglo-Saxon poetry. It is well known that Anglo-Saxon verse is suffused with images of a lost past; what Trilling's book does is to demonstrate that this body of literature is also engaged in a complex kind of negotiation over the meaning of the past for its present, and that this is carried on with a level of sophistication that makes these texts answerable to modes of critical analysis more typically associated with modern theorists of formalism and historical representation. In this project, and in her current projects, Trilling is establishing for herself a central, ambassadorial role linking the philological rigors of Old English literary scholarship to theoretical concerns at the leading edge of humanistic study.
Each of these scholars, as is probably clear even from these thumbnail sketches, has richly earned this promotion; by granting each of them tenure we have taken an important step toward securing a healthy future for the department and its students.