Congratulations are in order to ALSC member Bruce Gans, who has been awarded a $15,000 Enduring Questions grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Enduring Questions grant seeks to encourage both faculty and undergraduates to “grapple with the most fundamental concerns of the humanities.” Gans’ award was given in recognition of his proposed course on the Enduring Question “What is Freedom?” which will draw most of its material from amongst the Encyclopedia Britannica’s list of Great Books. Gans has been working for many years to integrate Great Books curricula into community colleges, and the NEH’s recognition of the viability of Gans’ methodology is encouraging to all Great Books advocates.
The 2009 Lesley University Writers’ Conference runs from Sunday, July 29 through Friday, July 31 on Lesley’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Faculty includes Afaa Michael Weaver and Steven Cramer (Poetry), David Elliot (Children’s Book Writing), Marcie Hershman (Nonfiction), and Rachel Kadish and Michael Lowenthal (Fiction). The guest authors this year are Julia Glass, M.T. Anderson, and Gail Mazur.
For detailed information, visit www.lesley.edu/info/luwc.
The ALSC’s most recent issue of Forum, “The Latest Illiteracy,” has garnered a mention in Mark Bauerlein’s blog on The Chronicle of Higher Education Website. In his piece, Bauerlein assesses the latest debate over William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White’s The Elements of Style, coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of its release. His focal point is the dialog between Geoffrey K. Pullum and Andrew Ferguson regarding EOS’s legitimacy as a pedagogical text. The findings presented in Forum are cited as further confirmation that a decline in the quality of the English language is a very real phenomenon, one that Elements of Style has for a half-century acted against as a minor but dependable force.
The ALSC is exceptionally well-represented in this week’s issue of The New Republic (July 1, 2009). Please turn to page 51 to read Literary Imagination editor Peter Campion’s poem “Gile Mountain,” and flip to the following page to read councilor Rosanna Warren’s review of Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba. We congratulate both of our gifted poet-critics for yet another exceptional set of achievements.
Christopher Ricks, our Immediate Past President, has been knighted for “services to Scholarship” as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Others recognized this year include former British poet laureate Andrew Motion. In responding to this honor “for services to Scholarship,” Christopher Ricks, with characteristic generosity, praises all the services he has received, returning this statement:
“For services to Scholarship.” Thanks, that is, to all the services that have generously been done to me. By Boston University, to which John Silber and Jon Westling brought me 23 years ago; by Oxford (Balliol College, Worcester College); by Bristol University; by Cambridge (Christ’s College); and by the Institute of English Studies, University of London. By Oxford University Press, Longman, Faber, Penguin, and (soon) Yale University Press. By the Mellon Foundation. By the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Tennyson Society, the Housman Society, and the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. By colleagues and friends among whom it would be invidious to select. These have proved to be the indispensable services.
The ALSC warmly congratulates our colleague and friend Sir Christopher on this honor, and itself is honored by his thanks.
The ALSC would like to invite any of its members with the inclination to blog to share their personal sites with fellow ALSC members. We hope to establish a links section soon, either here on WordPress or at the main ALSC site (www.bu.edu/literary). Please post a link to your own blog or any other online forum in which your writing appears in the comments of this post. Alternatively, you may send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a member of ALSC, Rachel Hadas enjoys actively recruiting new members. Professor Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers University’s Newark campus, where she has taught for many years. She especially enjoys teaching courses such as Mythology in Literature, Children’s Literature, and Literature and Medicine, and also teaches in Rutgers-Newark’s new MFA program. Author of numerous books of poetry and essays, including Halfway Down the Hall (1998), Indelible (2001), Laws (2004), and The River of Forgetfulness (2006), she has recently translated Racine’s “Iphigenie en Aulide,” and is currently coediting an anthology of Greek poetry from Homer to the present, to be published by W.W. Norton & Co. at the end of this year. She is also completing a memoir about her husband’s dementia and literature. Her new book of poems, The Ache of Appetite, is due out later this year from Copper Beech Press.