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Occasional  
  Newsletter  of  the  English  Department  at  John  Jay  College  CUNY    

ENGLISH MATTERS
 
 
Greetings  from  the  new  Chair  of  the  English   May  2011  
Department,  Professor  Allison  Pease  
  In  English  Matters:  

May  is  awards  season!    Honorees  for  


this  academic  year  were  announced  on  
Friday,  May  20  

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Professor  Margaret  Tabb  goes  on  
sabbatical  next  year,  having  served  for  
four  years  as  the  Chair  of  the  English  
Department.  

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Student  Activities:  
English  students  presented  again  at  the  
annual  Celebrating  Student  R esearch  
and  Creativity  event.    Anamika  Kumari  
presented  on  literature  and  ethics.  

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The  English  Department  faculty   Pease.  “I  see  myself  as  the   Our  first  English  Major  Experience  Swap  
has  elected  Professor  Allison   primary  advocate  for  our   happened  for  the  first  time.  Clyde  
Pease  the  new  Chair.  What  does   students  and  faculty  at  the   Marin,  left,  spoke  about  how  he  
became  a  better  writer  and  reader.  
this  mean  for  the  Department?   college.  I  will  continue  to  help  
“As  Chair  of  the  department  I   English  m ajors  solve  problems   2  
will  now  oversee  all  aspects  of   with  courses,  registration,  and  
the  department's  work  at  the   graduation.    Feel  free  to  come  see  
Keep  up  with  the    
college,  including  but  not  limited   me.”  Prof.  Pease  can  be  reached  
English  Major  on  Facebook  
to  the  English  Major,”  says  Prof.   at  apease@jjay.cuny.edu.    

Professor  Caroline  Reitz  is  the  new  Major  Coordinator!  


The  Major  Coordinator  and  advisor  is  the  first  point   Next  year  w e  will  have  a  team  of  10  professors  with  
of  contact  for  students  in  the  English  major.    Of  her   open  advising  schedules  each  week,  so  I  won't  be  your  
new  role  Prof.  Reitz  says,  “As  Program  Coordinator   only  option  when  it  comes  to  advising,  but  I  am  always  
and  M ajor  Advisor,  I  w ill  be  responsible  for  choosing   here  to  help.”  
which  courses  we  teach  and  when,  assigning  faculty  
to  teach  those  courses,  and  advising  students  as   Professor  Reitz  can  be  reached  at  creitz@jjay.cuny.edu.  
they  pursue  the  B.A.  in  English.    
 
 
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 English  Department  at  John  Jay  College  CUNY   English  Matters,  May  2011  
 

Celebrating  Student  Research  and  Creativity  2011:  English  shines!  


It  is  becoming  a  great  tradition  for   Potpourri.”    
English  majors  and  minors  to  
When  the  time  came  for  Rashida  
present  at  the  annual  Celebrating  
Davis,  Jayelle  Dorsainville,    
Student  Research  and  Creativity  
and  Christopher  McConnell  to  
event  at  John  Jay.  This  year  there  
present  on  their  English  Honors  
were  three  full  panels  of  
Theses,  you  could  see  a  lot  of  
presentations  related  to  research  in  
English  Department  faculty  
English  literature,  writing  and  
members  and  students  in  the  room.    
journalism  courses.    
All  were  paying  close  attention  to  
Adriana  Beach,  Anamika  Kumari,  
the  presentations  by  these  
Benjamin  Passikoff,  Tiffany  
graduating  seniors.  Honors  theses  
Patterson,  Javon  Taylor,  and  
are  special  research  and  writing  
Anthony  Thomas  presented  on  the   Students  presented  on  
projects  taken  on  by  students  who  
panel  on  literature  and  ethics.  
wish  to  pursue  a  B.A.  with  Honors.   multiple  panels  at  the  
Javier  Cotto,  Desiree  Mathurin,     All  who  attended  these  talks   research  event,  including  
Alexandria  Morris,  John  Sodaro  and   relished  in  the  opportunity  to  enjoy  
Sean  Whetstone  discussed  critical   a  spirited  discussion  about  literary  
one  on  Literature  and  
perspectives  and  contexts  for  Toni   and  historical  research  and  their   Ethics  (above).  Others  
Morrison's  writing  on  “Navigating   impact  on  our  understanding  of   spoke  on  digital  
Toni  Morrison's  Paradise.”   present-­‐day  problems  and   journalism,  Toni  
questions.    
Anu  Jaswal,  Kamar-­‐Jay  Foster,     Morrison’s  novels  and  
John  Sodaro  and  Amanda  Aponte-­‐ other  related  topics  
Moses  presented  on  the  “English  

First  Ever:  English  Majors  Experience  Swap  


For  the  first  time  ever,  the  English  Department  has  
organized  an  English  Majors  Experience  Swap.  The  
goal  of  the  event  is  to  put  students  who  are  going  
through  the  program  in  touch  with  graduating  seniors  
who  have  experience  navigating  the  choppy  waters  of  
undergraduate  study  in  English.  Graduating  seniors  
Clyde  Marin,  Jayelle  Dorsainville,  and  Stefan  
Seecharran  spoke  about  their  experiences  as  pioneers  
in  the  major.  They  advised  students  to  take  more  
writing  courses,  to  make  use  of  the  resources  available  
on  campus  (visit  the  Writing  Center!)  and  to  take  no  
more  than  three  literature  courses  in  a  semester.  To  
build  career  contacts,  make  sure  you  participate  in  an  
internship!  
Clyde  Marin,  Jayelle  Dorsainville    
and    Stefan  Seecharran  spoke  
at  English  Majors  Experience  Swap  
 
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English  
  Department  at  John  Jay  College  CUNY   May  2011  

Tis the award season again:


Rashida Davis is this year’s Outstanding Graduate
It  is  now  a  tradition  that,  come  the  month  of  May,  the  English  
Department  faculty  members  recognize  several  students  in  the  English  
Major  for  their  outstanding  achievement  in  coursework,  writing  and  
leadership.  This  Spring  is  no  different:  the  Annual  English  Luncheon  and  
Awards  Ceremony  on  Friday,  May  20th  was  the  festive  occasion  when  this  
year’s  award  recipients  were  announced.  Rashida  Davis  (far  left,  with  
Professor  Jonathan  Gray)  was  named  the  Outstanding  Graduate  for  
2010-­‐11  academic  year.    

David  Holder  (far  left,  w ith  Prof.  Adam  


McKible)  won  for  the  best  essay  in  a  200-­‐
level  course,  “An  Explication  of  Paul  
Lawrence  Dunbar’s  ‘We  Wear  The  Mask’  
(LIT  260).  Jennifer  Thomas  (right,  with  
Prof.  Alexander  Long)  won  for  the  best  
poem,  “Rainy  Season”  (LIT  290)  

Irina  Panjkovic  (left,  with  Prof.  Bettina  


Carbonell)  won  the  Ed  Davenport  
Award  for  Best  Essay  in  a  300-­‐level  
course  for  “Sexuality  and  Race  in  
Faulkner’s  Absalom,  Absalom!”  (LIT  300)  
Stacey  Ann  McAllister  (right)  won  for  
Best  Fiction,  “Chopped”  (ENG  397)  

Chad  Infante  (far  left,  with  Prof.  Baz  


Dreisinger)  won  for  the  best  essay  in  a  
400-­‐level  course,  “‘For  the  wages  of  sin  is  
death;  but  the  gift  of  God  is  eternal  life:’  
Salvation  and  the  Prison  System”  (LIT  405)  
Stephanie  Rojas  (right,  with  Prof.  Caroline  
Reitz)  won  the  Classroom  Leadership  
Award.  

Professor  Alexander  
Long  read  a  poem  in  
honor  of  the  award  
recipients.  

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 English  Department  at  John  Jay  College  CUNY   English  Matters,  May  2011  
   
Professor  Margaret  Tabb:  
A  Valediction  from  the  outgoing  chair   English  Department    
at  John  Jay    

Where  to  find  us:  


Academic  Annex  
Seventh  Floor  
619  W  54th  St  
New  York,  NY  10019  
I  have  had  the  privilege  of  chairing  our  department  during  a  momentous    
four  years.  The  years  were  punctuated  by  our  move  from  North  Hall  to  
Alicia  Kelly  is  the  
54th  Street  even  as  we  monitored  the  construction  of  our  new  quarters,  
which  we  hope  to  occupy  next  year;  by  the  implementation  of  our  English  
Department  Administrator  
Major  after  its  lengthy  preparation,  begun  during  the  terms  of  prior  chairs;   and  can  be  reached  at    
by  the  establishment  of  journalism  and  writing  minors;  and  most  recently   azayatz@jjay.cuny.edu  
by  our  preparation  of  a  writing  track  for  our  major.      
 
During  this  time  I  have  headed  a  lively  and  populous  community  -­‐-­‐  over  130  
full-­‐  and  part-­‐time  faculty,  upwards  of  300  English  and  250  Humanities  and  
Justice  majors,  and  an  untold  number  of  student  minors.  As  chair  I  have  
spoken  with  many  of  you,  more  students  that  I  can  count—my  own  
students  of  course  but  also  those  of  many  of  my  colleagues,  who  have  
come  to  praise,  to  complain,  and  most  often  for  help  resolving  seemingly  
intractable  bureaucratic  problems.    
 
Working  with  so  many  of  you  on  such  a  variety  of  issues  has  taught  me  
more  about  our  department  and  college  than  I  learned  in  all  my  previous   About  English  Matters  
decades  as  a  professor,  and  it  has  vitally  connected  me  with  other  
departments  and  many  administrative  offices.  This  has  been  as  richly   English  Matters  is  an  
rewarding  an  experience  in  its  own  way  as  my  deeper  acquaintance  with   occasional  newsletter  
so  many  of  my  English  colleagues  and  the  books  they  teach.     produced  by  the  English  
  Department  of  John  Jay  
I  hand  over  my  beloved  department  to  my  able  and  altogether  wonderful   College,  for  the  
successor,  Professor  Allison  Pease,  as  I  head  off  for  a  sabbatical  (a  year’s   enlightenment  and  
leave  for  research)  where  I  get  to  spend  my  time  with  Hamlet,  Ophelia,   entertainment  of  students,  
Gertrude  and  an  abundance  of  early  modern  books  on  conduct  and  ruling.   faculty,  staff  and  an  
I’ll  spend  my  time  holed  up  in  the  Research  Branch  of  the  New  York  Public  
occasional  unaffiliated  fan.  
Library  where  the  16th  and  17th  centuries  and  I  will  be  in  lively  
conversation.  I  hope  to  see  some  of  you  there!  

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