A Note for English Majors

As you know, award winning author Edward P Jones is our first Wang Professor of Contemporary Literature. He will be in residence in the English Department during the entire spring semester. Mr. Jones is a quirky, brilliant man. His novels and short stories are destined to be read for many years into the future. We are privileged to have him here.

I hope that you will attend his inaugural reading in the Jack Morton Auditorium on Thursday January 29 at 5 PM. Mr. Jones will be introduced by President Knapp, who holds a PhD in English. The event offers public recognition of the value of the humanities at GW — a university that I love, but that is too often overly enamored of science buildings and the study of policy permutations. Actually, I think it is the most important moment for the humanities in the fifteen years I have been teaching at GW. Please don’t miss it … otherwise your kids will someday taunt you for having failed to absorb the awesomeness of an author that they are studying in their AP English class.

A few seats remain in the four week “Book Club” (Studies in Contemporary Literature) that Mr Jones will lead on Monday evenings in February. You will have the chance to read and discuss four of his favorite novels with him … and also have the opportunity to get to know him well with a few other students (we are limiting enrollment to ten). We’ll ask you to compose a short reflection paper afterwards, and you will receive one credit. Please let me know via email (jjcohen@gwu.edu) right away if you are interested.

Best wishes for a good semester,

Jeffrey Cohen

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