News

Elizabeth DeLoughrey publishes new book “Allegories of the Anthropocene”

June 19, 2019

Congratulations to Elizabeth DeLoughrey on the publication of her new monograph, Allegories of the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2019). The book traces how indigenous and postcolonial peoples in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands grapple with the enormity of colonialism and anthropogenic climate change through art, poetry, and literature. In these works, authors and artists use allegory as a means to understand the multiscalar complexities of the Anthropocene and to critique the violence of capitalism, militarism, and the postcolonial state.

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Dear UCLA English Majors

June 16, 2019
A Note to our Graduating Class

Dear UCLA English Majors, You’ve done it.  You’re graduating and you’ve earned every honor and experience you’ve achieved at UCLA — many many congratulations!  I hope you stay in touch with the friends you made here, and you should know that you’re always welcome to drop in at the department.  Your professors and advisors, and particularly Janel Munguia and Stephanie Bundy, would love to hear from you as you open into the next adventure.  All the best wishes and good luck in the world to you, graduating class of 2019!  Chris Chism Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies

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Radical Optimism: Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself Marathon Reading at UCLA Centennial Kickoff

May 18, 2019
A celebration of Walt Whitman's 200th birthday alongside UCLA's centennial

Amber West, a lecturer for UCLA Writing Programs, is the event organizer. In an article in the Daily Bruin, Amber shared that she hopes the marathon reading will be “…the embodiment of the spirit of (Whitman’s) work. He was so ahead of his time, not only stylistically, but in terms of content.” West said these events are meant to highlight Whitman’s legacy and idea of radical optimism, which is often misunderstood. The term “radical” is typically used as a political put-down, but the definition refers to the fundamental nature of something – the root of a given issue or concept, West said. Optimism is the sense of what is good and possible in all people, so Whitman’s concept is ultimately about organic connection between human beings, she said. “When I think about UCLA, … when we are at our best … we are embodying that same kind of radical optimism,” West said. “He was always about those connections and the power of art and expression to help embody that.”

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Dickens in South LA: UCLA Graduate Student Explores Riot Narratives in High School Class

May 14, 2019
English graduate student Jacqueline Barrios connects Dickens and South LA

In “Barnaby Rudge” Charles Dickens depicts the 1780 anti-catholic riots, described by historian Linda Colley as the “largest, deadliest and most protracted urban riots in British history.” Jacqueline Barrios, a graduate student in the English department, uses the novel to shed light on and explore the impact of  the Los Angeles riots of 1992 with high school students from south LA in her class at the James A. Foshay Learning Center.

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Professor Arvind Thomas publishes new book, “Piers Plowman and the Reinvention of Church Law in the Late Middle Ages”

April 23, 2019

Professor Arvind Thomas’s book, Piers Plowman and the Reinvention of Church Law in the Late Middle Ages, has been published with University of Toronto Press. It is a medieval truism that the poet meddles with words, the lawyer with the world. But are the poet’s words and the lawyer’s world really so far apart? To what extent does the art of making poems share in the craft of making laws, and vice versa? Framed by such questions, Piers Plowman and the Reinvention of Church Law in the Late Middle Ages examines the mutually productive interaction between literary and legal “makyngs” in England’s great Middle English poem by William Langland.

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Marissa López, English Associate Professor, named one of first-ever Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society Fellow

April 18, 2019
Professor López's project is a collaboration between UCLA and the Los Angeles Public Library to bring Mexican America to life.

Associate Professor Marissa López is one of the recipients of the inaugural 2019 American Council of Learned Society(ACLS)/Mellon Scholars & Society Fellowship. The fellowship provides faculty, who work with and advise graduate students, the opportunity to usher projects in the humanities beyond the academy as well as to work within their campuses to strengthen doctoral curricular innovation.

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English Department establishes new undergraduate essay prize

April 16, 2019

We are happy to announce the establishment of a new annual honor, the Barbara Bellow Watson prize (including the award of $300) for the best essay on Shakespeare in the Department’s undergraduate courses. Robert N. Watson, Distinguished Professor of English and renowned scholar of Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature, has established the prize in honor of his mother, who has published books and articles on modern Irish and American literature and society from a feminist perspective, founded one of the first Women’s Studies programs in the United States (at City College of New York), published poetry in major literary journals, and has been a lifelong campaigner for world peace and social justice.

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