Welcome Back! Fall 2022

Dear English Department students,

     Welcome back to campus, and a special welcome to first-year and newly declared English majors just joining us for the first time!  The English Department faculty are excited to have you back to our classrooms. Please do ramble up to our suite on the 6th Floor of Phillips Hall to visit us there too.

     This fall we will be welcoming into our fold two new visiting professors. Johannes Licthman is this year’s Jenny McKean Moore Visiting Professor and will be teaching fiction courses. Thea Brown, who some of you know through her wonderful poetry courses in our Creative Program will join us as a visiting professor this year as well. In the spring we will welcome another new faculty member, the talented poet Chet’la Sebree, to the Creative Writing faculty.

     We have already on the docket a series of readings that are part of the Jenny McKean Moore Reading Series program, that you’ll want to put on your calendars. All will be offered via zoom, something that we learned these past two years makes it easier for more people to attend. This series brings incredibly talented writers to our community for readings and vibrant conversation. Please do join us! Here is the line-up for Fall 2022. Times will be announced soon, but they are generally in the very early evening.

Sept. 22 — Johannes Lichtman, fiction reading

Oct. 13 — Achy Obejas, poetry reading

Oct. 27 — Virginia Hartman, Aaron Hamburger, Vinod Busjeet, fiction readings

Nov. 17 — A. J. Verdelle, creative nonfiction reading

     We are also in the midst of planning a community event around a screening of the 2019 film Ophelia, a feminist retelling of the famous character from Hamlet. Directed by Claire McCarthy, the film is based on Lisa Klein’s novel and stars Daisy Ridley (of Star Wars fame).

     We will host this event live, have an array of snacks, and orchestrate conversation between students and faculty about the film after it ends.

     Please put October 4th, from 1:00 – 3:30 pm in Corcoran 103, on your calendars for this event and be on the lookout for more info in the coming weeks as our plans take shape.

     Finally, we are hoping this year to channel some of our anger about the rise in book banning across this country!

     Be on the lookout on our Instagram page for a regular series where we promote books appearing on “banned book” lists. We are also hoping to develop a book club organized around communal reading and discussion of books that have been banned. I welcome your ideas on this emerging plan!   

     We will use many tools available to us to communicate to share information, but we rely on you to check your email regularly and, if possible, to follow us on our blog (https://gwenglish.blogspot.com/), on twitter (@gwengl), on facebook (@GWUEnglish) and on Instagram (gwuenglish). I am always available the old-fashioned way, too! Contact me at mfrawley@gwu.edu with any questions or concerns or to schedule a phone call or meeting, whether face-to-face or via zoom.

     We are grateful to work at an institution that has taken the pandemic seriously. Please continue to follow the guidance to wear masks indoors and to monitor your health carefully. Last year Provost Christopher Bracey issued a a call that we at GWU work together to foster a diverse and inclusive environment and “to work together to provide space and support for each other as we fight for justice and accountability.” It seems worth repeating his call this year. I am proud that the Department of English is a leader in this effort.

All the very best for a safe and rewarding academic year.


     Maria Frawley

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