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Clubs, Colloquia, and Workshop News Spring 2024

Creative Writing
The Creative Writing Program had a wonderful Spring 2024, as the faculty continues to earn national and international laurels. Hamilton Holmes Professor Reginald McKnight was selected as a judge for this year's National Book Awards for Fiction, in committee with Jamie Ford, Lauren Groff, Zeyn Joukhadar and Chawa Magaña. Associate Professor Aruni Kashyap was chosen as a Harvard University Radcliffe Fellow for the year 2024 – 2025 that will enable him to spend the upcoming academic year at Harvard University to work on his new novel. Eidson Distinguished Professor LeAnne Howe has received the 2024 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award and will be honored at the 35th Annual Oklahoma Book Awards in May. By winning this honor, Howe joins a distinguished list of authors such as Joy Harjo and N. Scott Momaday. Simultaneously, graduate student Hannah Warren's poetry collection Slaughterhouse for Old Wives' Tales (Sundress Publications) and Nneoma Ike-Njoku sold her novel The Water House to Scribner in the UK, Summit Books in the US, and German rights to btb verlag. 
English Graduate Association
EGA Book Sale
EGO Spring Book Sale
The English Graduate Association (EGO) met for an end of the year picnic at Sandy Creek Park to close out the busy 2024 spring semester. On April 2, the Park Hall community and other passers-by stocked up on a summer’s worth of reading at EGO’s big outdoor book sale. On March 29, graduate students welcomed admitted students to campus for a panel discussion, a downtown social and a reading by our creative writing students. In the fall semester, students gathered for a low stakes social meet up―Lit Salon, to discuss the short stories, “The soul has no skin” by Wendy Erskine and “The Return of the Thin White Duke” by Neil Gaiman. And to kick off Fall Break, EGO held its annual Halloween Party with costume contest at Little Kings Shuffle Club.
Georgia Colloquium in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Literature
In April, the Georgia Colloquium in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Literature hosted Dr. Dustin Stewart (Columbia University), an expert on 18th-century literature and religion. Dr. Stewart’s intriguing lecture, “Somewhere Not to Belong: George Crabbe’s Ecology,” was well-attended and followed by a lively question and answer session. After the lecture, Dr. Stewart visited Dr. Diamond’s Milton course, where students had the opportunity to ask him further questions about his work on Milton’s poetry. The Colloquium in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century British Literature is co-directed by David Diamond and Casie LeGette, and supported by the Willson Center and the Rodney Baine Lecture Fund.
Interdisciplinary Modernisms Workshop
The interdisciplinary modernisms workshop (aka the modsquad), supported by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and co-directed by Susan Rosenbaum (English), Nell Andrew (Art History) and Rielle Navitski (Theater and Film), had a full roster of events this year. In Fall 2023, Dr. Noemi Quagliati, a visiting faculty member from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, sponsored by Dr. Andrew Zawacki, presented her research on World War One photography, "militarized visualities." To celebrate the publication of Dr. Rielle Navitski's book, Transatlantic Cinephilia: Film Culture Between Latin America and France, 1945-1965 (University of California Press), the workshop hosted a screening of Margot Benacerraf's Araya (1959). Dr. Sarah Harrell, Assistant Professor at GA State and former UGA English ph.d., gave a gallery talk “Modernist Women Poets in the South” for GMOA's Southern/Modern exhibition. In Spring 2024, Dr. Amy Elkins of Macalaster College lead a workshop on her book Crafting Feminism: From Literary Modernism to the Multimedia Present (Oxford UP 2022) and Dr. Michelle Clayton of Brown University presented on her book-in-progress, “Articulations: Dancing across Modernities." This year the workshop awarded funding to four graduate students for research and/or conference travel related to modernist studies: Zachary Anderson, Kaitlin Thurlow, Tara Kraft-Ainsworth, and Abinash Dash Choudhury.
Postcolonial Collective

Supported by the Willson Center for Humanities and Art, the Postcolonial Collective at UGA is founded by professors Esra Mirze Santesso, Aruni Kashyap, and Alex Fyfe along with Dr. Jamie McClung. The Collective aims to provide a forum for students and faculty to discuss current trends in postcolonial studies and to think about the intersections between postcolonial literature and other areas of academic inquiry. To this end, the group hosts a series of speakers, who can make connections between various disciplines, modalities, and pedagogies—as they relate to anti-colonial, decolonial, postcolonial probes.

The line-up this year consisted of the following:

Qiana Whitted, Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, gave a lecture on Orrin C. Evans’s 1947 comic book, All-Negro Comics. (October 30)

The Collective supported the Creative Writing Program to bring Bhakti Shringarpure to deliver a talk entitled “Publishing at a Crossroads: Notes on the "D" word” (November 2)

Collaborating with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, the Collective co-sponsored Brett Sterling from the University of Arkansas, who delivered a lecture titled “Holocaust Testimony in Word and Image: The Comics Anthology But I Live” (November 8)

Zahid R. Chaudhary, Associate Professor of English at Princeton University visited UGA to discuss the art of Hardeep Pandhal in a talk entitled “Miscegenation Nation,” or the Dream Logics of Racial History in Hardeep Pandhal’s Art” (March 27)

Matthew Omelsky (University of Rochester) lectured on "Time, Fugitivity, and Global Black Aesthetics” and celebrated the publication of his new book, Fugitive Time: Global Aesthetics and the Black Beyond (April 9)

Jeff Clapp visited from the Education University of Hong Kong to discuss contemporary American literature and explore the relationship between authors and characters in a talk titled “Friendly Strangers and Strange Friends: Writing Relationality Now” (April 18)

PCC Meeting
Postcolonial Collective Meeting
Sigma Tau Delta
Date with a Book
Sigma Tau Delta President Sam Thompson and Vice President Lauren Girod during the Blind Date with a Book event. Photo taken by Christine Lasek-White.

In February, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society hosted “Blind Date with a Book.” Over two days, any students in or around Park Hall were encouraged to stop by and grab a book, which had been wrapped with a brief description of genre and story details pasted to the front. And while students were not required to give a book in order to participate, many brought books to swap. The event was a huge success with over 70 books given/traded.

Sigma Tau Delta President Sam Thompson and Vice President Lauren Girod graduated in May 2024. We thank them for their leadership and service and know they will continue to do great things!

Sigma Tau Delta leadership for the 2024-2025 school year include:

President - Ellie Mercer

Vice President – Sabrina Jones

Treasurer – Shelby Williams

Secretary – Audrey Kirkland

Sigma Tau Delta will accept new members in September 2024. Keep an eye on Instagram and the English Major listserv in the fall for more info.

Undergraduate English Association

This spring semester was one of renewal for the Undergraduate English Association (UEA). The UEA welcomed two new co-presidents: Dani Garcia Pozo and Kristina Durkin. Dani previously served as the UEA’s vice president in fall 2023, and felt that what they wanted was a true partner in leadership. Kristina, who was previously the UEA’s secretary, was more than qualified to step into the role. 

UEA Picnic
UEA Picnic at the Founders Garden

The spring focused on retaining and sustaining community, and expanding their events into Athens. For example, members took to the road for a trip to Athens-Clarke County Library to encourage library membership and engagement, and to the Georgia Museum of Art. There were also events that encouraged members to give back to the Athens community, such as a book drive and book exchange. As usual, they made it a priority to have useful speakers, such as UGA alumni Anna Forester, who currently serves as the Assistant Director for the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and the English department’s lovely Dr. Lindsay Harding, who recently published her first novel, Pilgrims 2.0. The Spring semester is busy and difficult for many, especially graduating seniors, and the board worked hard to make the UEA a refuge at times and a serene workspace at others. 

Sadly, the UEA had to say goodbye to many board members this semester, who are graduating and on to do amazing things. Kristen Locke (High Lady of Park Hall), Kristina Durkin (ghost of Park Hall), Sarah Reck (resident NYT crossword solver), Sam Thompson (Elle Woods incoming), and Katie Burdett (badminton champion) have all said goodbye to the Undergraduate English Association.

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