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, August 29, 2013

New Arrivals, New Promotions

One of the my favorite on-campus events is the annual New Faculty and Newly Promoted Faculty Reception organized by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This the occasion when we get to meet some of the newly hired colleagues from across the college and celebrate the accomplishments of some of those who have been around for a few years. It was very gratifying to see so many new faces joining the university—there was a healthy amount of hiring last year and we’re looking forward to more in the coming year. (I’m pleased to say that our department has two searches just getting under way—one in Writing Studies and one in Modern and Contemporary African American Literature.)

The Department of English was well represented at the reception last Tuesday at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. We had the opportunity to celebrate the promotions of three very deserving colleagues, all of whom you’ve read about before in this blog. Christopher Freeburg and Andrea Stevens were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure and Lauren Goodlad was promoted to full Professor of English. These are real landmark moments in any career. Hearty congratulations to Chris, Andrea, and Lauren!

We also had the opportunity to welcome two new tenure-stream colleagues. Kelly Ritter joins us from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a full Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program. Kelly is an accomplished scholar, a seasoned administrator, and the editor of an important journal, College English (about which I’ll have more to say soon). Also joining English is Sandra Ruiz, whose primary appointment will be in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies. Sandra received a PhD in Performance Studies from NYU in 2011 and came to Illinois last year as a postdoctoral fellow before starting as an Assistant Professor this year. We’re thrilled to have both of these scholars joining us. Welcome, Kelly and Sandra!

I didn’t see Sandra at the reception the other evening, but here’s an iPhone photo I snapped of Lauren, Chris, Andrea, and Kelly.

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