Intellectual cat is here to help with all of your needs.

Howdy y’all! I hope everyone is enjoying the summer months (to the best of our ability to do so). I wanted to say please feel free to reach out, whether you’re an incoming graduate student or a returning grad, if you need anything: someone to talk to, questions about the program or about teaching, and so forth.

February EGO Meeting

Join your fellow grads for an English Graduate Organization meeting!

We’ll be having meetings on Thursday, for a few months at least, from 5-6:30pm. Our February meeting will happen tomorrow in HL 421.

Have concerns or questions about grad-related issues? Want to know more about department policies and procedures? Get bored around 5pm on Thursday? Join us! Everyone is welcome, everyone can attend any meeting and vote on issues that matter to us all.

Theory Group: In the Wake

Our first Theory Group meeting of the semester is rescheduled for 1pm Friday, February 14th in the English Library. Our focus for this meeting will be on Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about Sharpe’s work:

In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the “orthography of the wake.” Activating multiple registers of “wake”—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of “the wake,” “the ship,” “the hold,” and “the weather,” Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and “wake work” as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

When I pitched reading this to the group, it was because the concept of the wake was coming up in different places. Not only in academic setting like one of the colloquia last semester, but also in a podcast discussing generational trauma in the new Watchmen tv series. So, whether you’re interesting in this for your scholarship or just your everyday media and life consumption, it should be a rewarding read.

Since this is a fairly short text, our original idea what to try and read all of it. But, if you can’t read the whole work, Chris F. has posted chapters 1 and 4 to the group’s Google site page (

January EGO Meeting

Happy 2020, y’all! Our first regular meeting of the semester will be held this Friday, January 31st, in Hall of Languages room 102. This will likely be our last Friday meeting of the semester, as we’re moving the meetings to Thursday evenings from now on.

As always, all of our meetings are open to all MAs and PhDs, even if you’ve never been to an EGO meeting before. All MAs and PhDs can vote in EGO and we all have an equal voice within the organization.

Fall Negotiations

It’s time for our semi-annual intra-English graduate student conference, Negotiations! Come to hear other smart people present parts of their seminar papers, conference papers, articles, dissertation chapters, or anything else they might be working on. Or, present your own work in a low stakes, supportive environment.

All are welcome and food will be provided.

This semester’s Negotiations is on Tuesday (10 Dec.) starting at 2pm in 421 HL.

We’ll be hearing Natalie El-Eid present her paper, “No More ‘Isolated Incidents’: The War on Terror in the Arab American Home” and Haejoo Kim present her paper, “The Vaccination Epidemic and the Fiction of the Natural Body in Victorian Anti-Vaccination Rhetoric.”

If you want to present at Negotiations or you have any questions, please contact our MA Facilitator, Cassidy (, who is organizing this academic year’s Negotiations.

Theory Group Meeting

Wow, two wonderful meetings in one afternoon? What luck!

Our first meeting of the Theory Group for the 2019-2020 academic year is this Friday, October 25, at 3pm, in the English Library (401A HL). We’ll be tackling the introduction and third chapter of Alexis Shotwell’s Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. Not having read any of this book, might it be relevant to last season’s discoveries about the point system on The Good Place? Hmmm, something to think about.

Here is a brief blurb on the book from the publisher’s website:

In Against Purity, Alexis Shotwell proposes a powerful new conception of social movements as custodians for the past and incubators for liberated futures. Against Purity undertakes an analysis that draws on theories of race, disability, gender, and animal ethics as a foundation for an innovative approach to the politics and ethics of responding to systemic problems. 

If that sounds interesting to you, why not join us to discuss this book on Friday? You can find the relevant excepts on the group’s Google site here. (If you’re already logged into Google, you might get an error when trying to access this site, you need to log in with your email address.)

If you’ve never been to the Theory Group, it is open to graduate students and faculty, though you shouldn’t be put off by the idea of faculty presence. It is fairly low stakes and a place to come, ask questions, and enjoy as much discussion as you want to. Even if you can only read a bit of the text, it is still interesting to sit in on the discussion (and even contribute!). It was originally conceptualized by Chrises Forster and Eng along with Wil and yours truly as a group where we could come together and discuss interesting recently published theoretical texts, both related and unrelated to our own academic interests. We run off of suggestions, so if Shotwell’s work doesn’t interest you but there is a text you’ve been wanting to tackle, you can always submit it as a suggestion and we’ll likely read it during a future meeting.

October EGO Meeting

It’s time for another EGO meeting! We’re having one this Friday, October 25th, at 1pm in the English Library (401AHL). I’ll be bringing Halloween-themed Oreos for everyone to enjoy during the meeting.

As our PhD Facilitator, Simon, mentioned in his e-mail, we’ll be discussing officer reports, the outcome of the First-Year Representative election, the upcoming Negotiations conference, and future EGO meeting dates. If you have anything else graduate program-related (or you-in-the-graduate-program related), feel free to bring it to the meeting as well!

EGO Meeting Friday

We’re having an EGO meeting this Friday! While elected EGO representatives are obligated to attend, these meetings are for every MA and PhD in the department. Even if you don’t have anything to formally report, you can come and bring up any concerns or questions you have about your graduate school experience.

Also, I will be bringing snacks again this meeting 🙂

Write Now

Write Now has officially started and will be held on Mondays, 5-7pm, in the English Library (in HL 401).

Scholar Cat Image

A b/w drawing of a cat writing with a quill and ink.

If you have never experienced the joys of Write Now, it’s a lovely two hours where we meet to write. Whether you’re working on a dissertation chapter or a BlackBoard post, working around others who are writing can help you to maintain productivity. Also, it is fairly enjoyable to meet up and write with friends and colleagues.

And there is pizza. (Free pizza!)

See y’all there!

If you want more information, you can always contact Patty Roylance or just send your question over the EGO listserv.