News and Events

Bartlett to Bookmill Bike Ride

Join the English Graduate Organization for a bike ride through the scenic Pioneer Valley to a local favorite, the Bookmill (& Lady Killigrew Cafe). We will meet in front of Bartlett at 1:30 pm and leave at 2 pm.

The ride is approximately 12-15 miles between Bartlett and the Bookmill. There is a crew of people who will be returning to Northampton. Car rides back are available, too.

If you don't bike, we'd love to see you via other modes of transportation at the Bookmill by say 3:30 pm.

No spandex required (though it won't be turned away). Spare tubes and inflation devices (compact pump or CO2 cartridges) are recommended, but if "CO2 cartridges" sounds too MacGyver for your leisurely Friday afternoon, no worries: folks will be ready to help with flats. Helmets are strongly encouraged.

This ride is open to English grad students, faculty and staff, their lovers, friends, and frenemies.

Check out the route. Email EGO with any questions.

2011 ISHA Residency

Smulyan, Drummond, & Washington in Concert
Saturday, 9 April
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College
Free and open to the public, seating by general admission


This April, ISHA will host three remarkable jazz musicians, Gary Smulyan, Ray Drummond, and Kenny Washington in collaboration with the UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance and Amherst College for the ‘Beyond Borders’ Residency Program. The Residency will feature a Master Class with the musicians on Friday, April 8th from 4:30-6:30pm at UMass Amherst in Room 44 of the Fine Arts Center, as well as a concert on Saturday, April 9th at 8pm in the Amherst College Buckely Recital Hall, followed by a discussion with the audience. For more information, visit

ISHA Annual Lecture 2011

“The Evolution Wars: Why Do They Matter? Why Do They Continue?”
Kenneth Miller, Brown University
Thursday, March 31
Campus Center 165-69


Eighty years after the notorious Scopes Monkey Trial, the powerful Intelligent Design movement continues to claim that evolution is ‘only a theory.’ The ensuing debates go to the heart of what counts as rational and scientific in the public arena. Professor Kenneth Miller was the lead witness in the historic Dover Trial, where his testimony proved instrumental in the judge’s ruling that the local school board had no right to require teachers to offer Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution. Professor Miller is a bestselling author and repeat guest on The Colbert Report; his books include Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. The topic of the Annual Lecture coincides with the ISHA theme for the year, on ‘(Ir)rationality and Public Discourse.’

Lecture: Who Made English the Global Language?

A Public Lecture by Professor David Northrup
Thursday, March 24
Herter Hall 601

Professor David Northrup, an historian of Africa at Boston College, will give a public lecture, "Who Made English the Global Language?" on Thursday, March 24th at 5pm in 601 Herter Hall. Professor Northrup's work on Africa encompasses economics, labor and culture, and his several books include Beyond the Bend in the River: A Labor History of Eastern Zaire, 1870-1940; Indentured Labor in the Age of Imperialism, 1834-1922; Africa’s Discovery of Europe, 1450-1850; and Crosscurrents in the Black Atlantic, 1770-1965: A Brief History with Documents.

Interested faculty and graduate students are further invited to participate in Professor Northrup's Five-College seminar the following day, Friday, March 25, from 2-4pm in Bartlett Hall 316 University of Massachusetts. Seminar participants will read and discuss Professor Northrup's work on Africans in Atlantic world cities, including nineteenth-century Freetown, Sierra Leone, with background reading from his Africa's Discovery of Europe.

Umass Grad Conference Extended Deadline

Real Worlds: (dis)Locating Realities
April 16, 2011

“Reality”—as a state of mind or as an embodied experience—is not a unified or universal plane; from surrealism to social networks to the “real” housewives of New Jersey, we are constantly constructing, confronting, and negotiating diverse realities. These varied and often contending sites of reality are sometimes socially accepted and sometimes labeled “alternative,” but they are always central to our sense of self and our place in the world. What, then, does it mean to locate, or dislocate, a particular kind of “reality”? What are the implications of deeming some realities alternate, or altered? What are the different realities enacted within and through, for example, cybercommunities, the space of the theater, dream states, discourses of identity politics? What are the boundaries of these realities, and what are their purposes?

The English Graduate Organization of the University of Massachusetts Amherst invites submissions to the 2011 graduate interdisciplinary conference. This year's conference will explore multiple realities, how they are formed and demarcated, and the problems inherent in this practice. At question are states of mind, lived experiences, and subcultures that complicate or challenge traditional notions of reality and perceived states of normalcy. We urge submitters to consider the multiplicity of realities and how cultural phenomena impact our experience of those realities.

We invite submissions from a diverse range of disciplines and critical perspectives. Projects may include papers and/or panel presentations, performance pieces, and multi-media approaches.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
-Film and television
-The stage, theatricality, theater production
-Literary worlds (dystopias/utopias, science fiction, realism, and fantasy)
-Constructions of gender
-Social spaces and institutions (academia, the classroom, politics)
-Representations of madness
-Digital spaces (gaming communities, social networks, internet sex-industry)
-Drug culture and altered consciousness
-Rhetorical spaces, notions of audience, meaning-making
-National boundaries (globalism, postcolonialism, and migrant communities)
-Visual and performance arts
-Theoretical approaches to reality

We accept three different types of submissions:
1. Individual papers/projects: please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. Include your name, paper title, institution, and email address.
2. Panels: please submit an 800 word proposal for an entire panel of presentations (3-4 presenters). Included in this proposal should be abstracts of all presentations, an abstract of the panel itself, title of the panel, and information for each presenter (name, paper title, institution, and email address). If you are forming your own panel, you have the option of providing your own chair.
3. Performances and creative presentations/panels: we welcome submission of creative works, including creative writing, visual art, and dramatic performance. Please include a brief description of your project, as well as your name, project title, institution, and email address.

Email submissions to moc.liamg|fnocgnessamu#moc.liamg|fnocgnessamu no later than January 31st, 2011.

We do our best to make the Event Calendar as accurate as possible. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the calendar. If you notice a mistake, please let us know. Thanks!

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