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Please see our department calendar for the
Fall 2014 schedule of lectures and poetry readings


News and Announcements

Blog post from English Major

Use the link below to read a terrific blog post by JHU English major Laura Ewen which appears on the JHU Press Blog today.


Sharon Achinstein to join the department as the Sir William Osler Professor of English on July 1, 2014





Professor Achinstein comes to Johns Hopkins from the University of Oxford (UK) where she is a Professor of Renaissance Literature. In her research and teaching Professor Achinstein has explored the intersection of literature and political communication in the early modern period, specifically focused on questions of toleration, religious dissent, and women's participation. Form and ideology are two abiding concerns. Her two monographs, Milton and the Revolutionary Reader (1994) and Literature and Dissent in Milton's England (2003) and two edited collections, Milton and Toleration (2007) and Literature, Gender and the English Revolution (1994), placed works of literature in relation to the emerging public sphere and challenges to political and religious authority. Building on her scholarship on Milton, she has queried the history of the discipline of Renaissance literary studies, exploring how the economic pressures and values of the post-war University in the USA shaped the study of renaissance literature. Her most recent research faces the history of marriage towards literature, law, politics, and theology, directions pursued in work on her forthcoming edition of Milton's writings on divorce (Oxford University Press, 2014). Through this project Achinstein's current work engages in debates over secularism and early modernity. She is currently studying the history and theory of literary genre as a means to understand the media through which secularity was experienced. She is the recipient of ACLS and NEH Fellowships, has held a Folger fellowship, as well as British Academy and Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Fellowships.

Jeanne-Marie Jackson to join the Department of English on July 1, 2014

Jeanne-Marie Jackson comes to Johns Hopkins via Connecticut College and Yale University, where she received her PhD in Comparative Literature in 2012. Her first book, South African Literature's Russian Soul: Forms of Isolation in the Postcolonial Province, is under contract with Bloomsbury. Though it is immediately concerned with how Russia's nineteenth-century "Golden Age" of literature and ideas provides a model for South African writers both during and after apartheid, the book has a broader investment in realism's maturation through perceived historical pathology and isolation. This affinity between two periods in which narrative forms internalize a widespread sense of disjuncture suggests the limits of the global turn in literary studies, a topic Professor Jackson continues to explore in a planned second book called Landlocked: Regional Writing and the Global Frontier. Through both projects she has maintained an abiding interest in how “conservative” methodologies including hermeneutics and narratology might help us to reimagine the postcolonial literary landscape, bridging the gap between non-European and/or non-Anglophone novelists and the questions of form, periodicity, and epistemology around which Western studies of the novel have evolved.

 Professor Jackson has essays published or forthcoming in Studies in the Novel, English Studies in Africa, Safundi, JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory, and Comparative Literature Studies. She has also contributed essays and literary reviews to a range of magazines and websites both in the U.S. and South Africa, and at Yale, co-founded an event series on African languages and literary studies. In addition to ongoing investments in Russian and Afrikaans, Professor Jackson has recently begun studying Shona for a project on a Zimbabwean poetics of ambivalence.

Announcing the English Senior Essay Award

The Department of English is pleased to announce the establishment of an award of $250 for the best essay by a senior English major. The award will be presented each spring prior to graduation and will be included officially in the university commencement program. Made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous alumni donor, the award will go to a student whose essay is selected from among those nominated by members of the department faculty.

To be eligible for the English Senior Essay Award, students must be seniors when the essay is written, regardless of their actual graduation date. Senior Essays, essays written as part of an independent study, and comparably substantial essays written for any upper-division seminar in the Department of English are eligible for nomination. The nominated essay, accompanied by a brief description and endorsement, must be received by the Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than March 1 of each academic year.

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