Department of English

Upcoming Events


graphic of two faces
Say My Name Workshop

January 27, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm
Ridgewood Commons

How do we say our names, or better yet, what do our names say about us?

Join Angelica Maria Aguilera for a spoken word presentation, poetry workshop, and open mic night focusing on topics surrounding Latinidad, machismo, womanhood, and immigration.

Hosted by the Brandeis Latinx Student Organization and cosponsored by creative writing, among others.

Sashi James on Incarcerated Women

February 3, 2023

12:45 - 2:00 pm
Mandel G03

Everyone is welcome to this open session of Literature in the Age of Mass Incarceration (ENG 121b), featuring Sashi James of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. For more information, contact Prof. David Sherman.

banner showing back of tee shirt with #FreeHer on it, and the words on the banner, "Ending incarceration of women and girls"

Sophia Hsu
White Orientations in Late Victorian Slum Fiction

February 3, 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm
Zoom registration

Professor Sophia Hsu, Lehman College (CUNY)

Part of the Challenging Anti-Blackness in Literary Studies series.

Creative Writing Reading Series: Gabrielle Calvocoressi

February 7, 2023

Calvocoressibook cover5:30 pm
Harlan Chapel

“A dance of self-discovery, subverting our assumptions of gender and the body. . . . Both innovative and sensual.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, Apocalyptic Swing (a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and their poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous magazines and journals including The New York Times, POETRY, Boston Review, and The New Yorker. Currently the Beatrice Shepherd Blane Fellow at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute, Calvocoressi teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Old East Durham, NC, where joy, compassion, and social justice are at the center of their personal and poetic practice. 

This event is made possible by the Grossbardt Memorial Fund.

Public Scholarship at Brandeis: New Directions

February 10, 2023

2:20 - 3:50 pm
Schwartz 103 - refreshments served

Professor Émilie Diouf (English), Professor Elizabeth Ferry (Anthropology), Professor Sara Shostak (Sociology), and Gowthaman Ranganathan (Anthropology), with Angel Queentus.

Co-sponsored by Mandel Center for the Humanities, COMPACT and the Department of Anthropology.

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Transitional States: Exploring and Experiencing Sand, Clouds and Other "In Betweens"

February 28, 2023

Note: This Critical Conversation will first be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, and will repeat on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

5:30 - 6:30 pm
Levin Ballroom, Usdan

Some objects are simple, such as a block of ice or a glass of water. One is a solid that holds its shape, and the other is a liquid that flows. But other in-between objects force the question: “What is it, exactly?” Scientists and artists ask this question in different ways, using diverse methods and seeking distinctive results to unravel their mystery. This conversation focuses on how scholars from different disciplines engage the puzzle of “transitional states.” Beginning with things that are neither liquid nor solid — or perhaps both — we will use interactive exercises that enable students to participate in the workings of such transitional states. We will explore how the “in between” cannot be neatly categorized. Making use of professor Chakraborty’s work on sand, poetry by Yeats and immersive sculptures by artists such as Yayoi Kusama and James Turrell, we will invite students to reflect on how poets, artists and physicists may all approach such in-between objects with wonder and curiosity.

Bulbul Chakraborty, Enid and Nate Ancell Professor of Physics
Tory Fair, professor of sculpture

John Plotz, professor of English and Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities

View the full schedule of Critical Conversations

Cassander Smith
Teaching to Learn: The Stakes of Anti-Racist Pedagogy for Literary Studies

March 3, 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm
Zoom registration

Professor Cassander Smith, University of Alabama

Part of the Challenging Anti-Blackness in Literary Studies series.

Dark Fictions of Blood: A Conversation about Blackness and Vampires

March 6, 2023

12:00 - 1:30 pm
Zoom (register here for link)

Dark Fictions of Blood: A Conversation about Blackness and Vampires with Tananarive Due, Brandon Massey, and Lisa Marie Wood

Moderated by Professor Brandon Callender

Hosted by the Mandel Center for the Humanities

Creative Writing Reading Series: Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

March 16, 2023

Meccabook cover5:30 pm
Harlan Chapel

“Mecca Jamilah Sullivan gives voice to girls and women with unruly bodies who dare to take up space in a world that shames them for being hungry for more. A tender and sumptuous offering of beauty.” ―Janet Mock

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s fiction explores the intellectual, emotional, and bodily lives of young black women through voice, music, and hip-hop inflected magical realist techniques. She is the author of the short story collection Blue Talk and Love, winner of the Judith Markowitz Award for Fiction from Lambda Literary; The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora; and the highly anticipated debut novel Big Girl, which was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. 

This event is made possible by the Dafna Zamarripa-Gesundheit Endowment.

Kyle Grady
"Better to the Commonwealth": Merchant, Mixedness, and Demographic Revision

March 24, 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm EST
Zoom registration

Professor Kyle Grady, University of California, Irvine

Part of the Challenging Anti-Blackness in Literary Studies series.

70 years banner with 6 photos of people's faces
Graduate Student Presentations: GSAS 70th Anniversary

March 29, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm
Zoom (register here for link)

This event will be hosted by Director of Graduate Studies in English Dave Sherman and Dean Wendy Cadge. PhD candidates Miranda Peery and Sungkyung Cho will speak about their research.

Hosted by English and GSAS. Part of the GSAS 70th anniversary

'If A Lion Could Talk': Knowing Animals, Knowing Ourselves

March 31, 2023

2023 Brandeis English Graduate Conference

9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

“If a lion could talk, we wouldn’t be able to understand it,” Wittgenstein famously remarked. This conference will ask, why not? What would be required to understand a lion? What does it mean to ‘understand’ another? Is shared language necessary for understanding? What kind of understanding is possible in the absence of language? What kind of understanding do literary representations of animal subjectivity (of non-human consciousness) offer? Are they merely anthropomorphic projections?—the fantasy of illuminability belying an unbridgeable chasm? Or does imaginative work foster genuine insight?

The conference will be held in person at Brandeis University on March 31, 2023. Our keynote speaker will be Professor Kari Weil of Wesleyan University. Please check back soon for a registration link.

Morning refreshments and an afternoon lunch will be provided.

More information and registration.

Snorton headshot
A lecture by Professor C. Riley Snorton

April 21, 2023

1:00 - 2:30 pm
Olin-Sang 101

Moderated by Professor V. Chaudhry

Hosted by the Mandel Center for the Humanities

Manu Chander
Medii Homines: Toward a Critical Ontology of Brownness

April 28, 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm EST
Zoom registration

Professor Manu Chander, Rutgers University

Part of the Challenging Anti-Blackness in Literary Studies series.

Creative Writing Honors Reading and Reception

May 4, 2023

5:30 pm
Women's Studies Research Center (515 South Street)

Creative writing honors students Autumn Bellan (poetry) and Lindsey Odorizzi (fiction) will read from their work, and then we'll celebrate over delicious refreshments. All are welcome!