Thursday, February 13, 2014

Departmental Meeting for Majors

There will be a departmental meeting for all English majors today at 11:30 am in DS 222.  Please join us for pizza and see your email for an agenda of topics to be discussed.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Classroom Grace

Kristen Case, professor of English at the University of Maine-Farmington, argues for the value of classroom moments when the humanities provoke "confrontations with things we thought we knew."

She continues, "I want to make a plea for a very unsexy kind of public humanities, the kind that involves a classroom, and desks in a circle, and books....we need real places, real walls, inside of which relationships and trust can be built."

Read the entire article, The Other Public Humanities, in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Purloined E-Mail?

How does technology affect fiction writing?  Margaret Atwood challenges you to rewrite Poe's story "using present day communications technology."

As Marisha Pessl points out, "Marlow’s voyage up the uncharted Congo in “Heart of Darkness,” the shocking truth of Rochester’s past in “Jane Eyre,” the mysterious gentleman caller in “The Glass Menagerie” — none of these tales could take place today because access to a smartphone would reveal mysterious whereabouts, mad first wives and marital status in seconds without the hero ever needing to leave his living room couch."   

Read "Writing Bytes" from The New York Times Sunday Book Review, 31 October

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

English: "It's what we call civilization."

In his post for The New Yorker, journalist Adam Gopnik argues that "No civilization we think worth studying, or whose relics we think worth visiting, existed without what amounts to an English department—texts that mattered, people who argued about them as if they mattered, and a sense of shame among the wealthy if they couldn’t talk about them, at least a little, too." 

Read his essay: Gopnik, "Why Teach English?"

Monday, September 16, 2013


The INSIGHT online student newspaper meets Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. in 116 Wick. We meet for about an hour  though no one has to stay for the full hour; it's whatever your personal schedule allows.

We discuss story ideas, get assignments from the editor, and talk about anything and everything related to publishing The INSIGHT. We're always in need of additional reporters, photographers, cartoonists, essayists, humor columnists, even people interested in the business (ad-selling) side of a newspaper.

We're not just looking for people to "cover campus news." We're also interested in people who'd like to express personal views and opinions via columns. The "news" can—and more than likely will be—human interest feature stuff. Things that are not really time-sensitive. We simply don't have enough staff—nor the frequency of publication—to focus much on "breaking news."

Instead, The INSIGHT is more about human interest features: fun, interesting, "Gee, I didn't know that!" kinds of things about virtually anything to do with life within the Daemen College community. By the same token, we don't shrink from important "hard" or "straight" news, nor controversy, if it happens to be on the radar.

Contact Editor Anne Marie Rose at:; faculty adviser Paul Chimera can be reached at: 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Faculty Member Charlie Wesley Attends Harvard Institute

Dr. Charlie Wesley in Munich
The English Department proudly welcomes Charlie Wesley (Ph.D. Binghamton University, 2012), recently hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor. This summer he had the opportunity to attend the Institute for World Literature (IWL) summer school at Harvard University with the support of Daemen College.
The IWL focuses on intensive courses with experts in world literature and lectures by major figures in the field such as Homi Bhabha. Participants are also encouraged to workshop their in-progress academic work. “I am currently revising a paper on Joseph Conrad,” Wesley stated, “so it was really helpful to get feedback from colleagues that helped me to sharpen my essay and prepare it for submission to academic journals.”

Charlie Wesley (r.) on Harvard panel
For Wesley, one of the most enjoyable parts of the Institute was representing Daemen College on a panel focused on pedagogy. “I was delighted to be contacted by [IWL director and Harvard professor] David Damrosh and chosen to be part of a panel focused on pedagogy,” said Wesley. “My experience teaching at Daemen allowed me to speak authoritatively on the topics of promoting strong study skills, facilitating productive classroom conversations, and doing assessment.”

Wesley also had the opportunity to conduct research in Harvard’s extensive library collections. His trip wasn’t completely focused on academic work, however. He also went on a whale watch (he saw a humpback whale named Nile), toured the historic downtown Boston area, and biked the Minuteman trail. The Institute for World Literature capped its month-long intensive sessions with a dinner cruise on Boston Harbor. Reflecting on his time at Harvard, Wesley said, “I made friends with many wonderful, talented people from all over the world and deepened my knowledge of the field, so it was quite an enlightening experience.”

“Silence in teaching has multiple meanings,” writes Wesley in a recent column for The Chronicle of Higher Education.  “It is a complex and interesting phenomenon that, properly managed, can enrich our classrooms.”  Read his article, "Sanctioning Silence in the Classroom"

Monday, September 2, 2013

Why Major in English?

Mark Edmundson, English professor at the University of Virginia, thinks that all students should seriously consider becoming English majors: “An English major? To me an English major is someone who has decided, against all kinds of pious, prudent advice and all kinds of fears and resistances, to major, quite simply, in becoming a person.”  

Read the article: "The Ideal English Major" in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 29 July 2013.