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, April 23, 2013

Shakespeare's birthday and a return to blogging

This has, I think, been the longest I have ever gone without updating the blog since its inception.  The problem has not been that there is nothing going on--there is ALWAYS plenty going on--the problem has simply been that there have not been enough hours in the day for me to be able to write.  This short post is being composed in a brief window of time before I head off to a faculty meeting (my last as dept Head!), which will be followed by a student-run celebration of Shakespeare's birthday, and then in turn by a campus level Celebration of Teaching Excellence event at which Trish Loughran will be honored.  Whew!

Actually, the English Student Council is holding its Shakespeare's birthday celebration in the English Building later this afternoon, and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library is holding their own Shakespeare's Birthday event at the same time!  Apparently, Shakespeare really loved cake.  We are, however, leaving "Talk Like Shakespeare Day" to the great metropolis up north, at least as far as I know.  Verily.  Shakespeare may or may not have been born on the 23rd, actually: he was baptized, we know, on the 26th.  But custom prevails, and we treat the 23rd as the official birthday.  Shakespeare did die on April 23, 1616, but that may not be quite as festive.

Anyway, this is just my way of re-entering the blog: look for more regular updates from me in the future. 


Kirstin Wilcox said...

Not to toot the horn of the English Department unduly, but there were TWO faculty members from the English Department honored at the campus level Celebration of Teaching Excellence event (as the blog announced last month): Julie Price was also there, receiving an Undergraduate Teaching Award. It's a privilege to be in a department with such excellent colleagues!

Curtis said...


I was asked to write some remarks to introduce Trish, which was why that was on my mind. I sat through the first half of the ceremony in a vague panic that I was supposed to have written remarks for Julie, too, and was relieved when Anna was announced and did such a wonderful job.

Unrelatedly, the introduction for the Classics/Philosophy awardee was wonderful...

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