Dear English major,
I hope that your semester is off to a good start. Many of you will have noticed that we have two terrific new faculty members this year: the medievalist Jonathan Hsy, and the renowned novelist Herman Carrillo. We’ve also introduced a new course, English 40W: Literature of the Americas. A second version will be taught in the spring, Myths of Britain.
I want to call your attention to an exciting series of events the department will sponsor this fall centered around the monthlong residency of Nadeem Aslam. If you don’t know Aslam’s book Maps for Lost Lovers, I encourage you to stop doing your homework for all your English literature classes, run out, buy and READ it. It’s one of the most moving novels I’ve experienced (but please don’t tell your professor that I recommended not doing assigned work, and don’t blame me when your GPA tumbles).
Here are our planned events. Please mark your calendar; you won’t want to miss any of them. Locations will be announced.
Mon. Oct. 29 — Nadeem Aslam will read from his work (8 pm, Marvin Center)
Thurs. Nov. 1 — Nadeem Aslam in conversation with Kavita Daiya, an intimate interview (5 pm)
Mon. Nov. 5 — Nadeem Aslam & other writers speaking out, a conversational format on urgent topics (aesthetic, political, moral, etc.) (8 pm, MC)
Fri. Nov. 9 — Literature in a global age: an English Dept. panel including Nadeem Aslam and faculty from the English Department. This event is specifically for our English majors (2 PM, Marvin Center)
We will also sponsor a Book Club on Maps for Lost Lovers that will likely meet on October 25. Oprah will not, unfortunately, be attending.
Lastly — and thank you for reading this entire note — we are also sponsoring a one credit reading course in which you will read three novels with Nadeem Aslam and write a very short paper. This is a once in a lifetime chance! Please email me directly if you are interested. The course will meet several times (3-4) over a three week period.
PS If you are an alumnus and reading this blog — or simply an interested member of the public — you are most welcome to attend these events as well. The class, however, is limited to our current majors.