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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Greetings from Seattle

I have been remiss of late about updating this site, largely because of a wave of end-of-semester administrative work and then holiday-season travel. But I'm writing now to wish all of you the best of good fortune in 2012!

As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel room in downtown Seattle, where the annual conference of the Modern Language Association (MLA) is being held this year. Our department is conducting two Assistant Professor searches this year, and (as is customary for English departments) that means interviewing candidates at MLA. I'll be sitting in on one set of interviews for much of the next three days. These are long days, but I'm very excited that we have the opportunity to hire. When I think of the impact our new hires can have--on the scholarship in their respective fields and on the intellectual lives of generations of future students--it seems very momentous indeed. These are important days, in other words, not just for a good 2012 but for the long-term future of our department.

In the meantime, let me take this moment to thank everyone--students, faculty, staff-members, alums--for your contributions to a successful 2011 for the department. And, again, happy new year!

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