Emerging onto the first floor of Quinn Hall out of the wind and rain on Monday, April 22, I entered into a lobby full of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and community members chatting over refreshments. The majority of guests, however, were volleying for entrance into the TMD Department’s gallery space, where the famed quilts of “An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery” were displayed.
The exhibit was inspired by Rachel May, author of the book by the same name and PhD alum who graduated from URI in 2015. While she was earning her PhD in English at URI, May happened to take a Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design class and became fascinated by a pair of quilts made in the 19th century and donated to URI by Franklin Cushman, great-nephew of Susan and Hasell Williams. The Williamses were a slave-owning couple who met in Providence while Hassel was attending medical school at Brown University. Shortly after they were married, they moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where they owned four slaves by the names of Minerva, Eliza, Jane, and Juba.
As the academic year comes to a close again, we would like to recognize the winners of our English Department Awards!
When you walk into the URI Graduate Writing Center you are entering a warm, welcoming space where Master’s and Doctoral students and candidates in any field of study can turn to for help with papers, proposals, dissertation work and so forth. The URI GWC opened in the fall on September 4th, 2018 and in that first semester the center had 169 appointments and 97 event attendees; in a short amount of time, the center was a big hit. I recently had the opportunity to visit the GWC and chat with Coordinator and tutor, Ashton Foley-Schramm to hear about the incredible services available to all URI graduate students.
On Thursday, March 7, 2019, the English department hosted a very special Read/Write session. Vikki Warner, editor, memoirist and nonfiction writer, is an alumna of the English department at URI and was back to share excerpts from her memoir Tenemental: Adventures of a Reluctant Landlady.
Join us on March 7th to hear memoirist, editor, nonfiction writer and URI English alum Vikki Warner!
I recently did an email interview with URI PhD student and co-organizer of the 13th annual Graduate Student Conference at the University of Rhode Island, William Bowden. This year’s conference will be held on Saturday, April 13th, 2019.
Francesca Borrione is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate focusing on film, literature, and adaptations depicting violence against women and her secondary focus is on Italian-Americans. Francesca is from Perugia, Italy and came to URI after meeting Dr. Peter Covino in Calabria while teaching Italian to study abroad students.
The Talent Development (TD) program at URI marked its 50th anniversary this academic year. Founded as a response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the program serves Rhode Island high school graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. The roots of the TD program are in the Civil Rights movement and King’s fight to overturn systemic racism and provide opportunity for all. As we go into the Spring semester and consider the legacy of Dr. King this week, it is worthwhile to learn more about this program at URI that may not directly affect graduate students, but that continues to shape the university culture.
Charles Kell is a PhD candidate at The University of Rhode Island and associate editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, Kestrel, Columbia Journal, The Pinch, and elsewhere. Cage of Lit Glass, chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize, is forthcoming toward the end of 2019. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Heather J. Macpherson: First of all, congratulations on your manuscript, Cage of Lit Glass winning the 2018 Autumn House Poetry Prize judged by Kimiko Hahn! And thank you for participating in an interview for the URI Graduate Blog.
Dr. Christine Mok is the newest faculty member in the English department. After three semesters teaching at the University of Rhode Island, she is able to honestly say that it was the easiest transition that anyone could imagine and that it is wonderful being in our department. Before she joined us, she was a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio for four and a half years. One of the things that made her transition seamless was moving from one state institution to another. However, Mok is quick to point out that our department is extremely collegial and that class sizes tend to be much smaller than other state institutions. One of the few things that was difficult in the transition was this issue of scale. Rather than teaching to a large lecture hall with 150 students and 6 graduate teaching assistants, classes are smaller and offer the chance for meaningful interaction between instructors and students. Though this required Mok to adjust her projection and classroom presence, it was far outweighed by her excitement to return to Rhode Island. Another reason this transition was simple was that Mok completed her PhD at Brown in Theatre and Performance Studies.
If you had asked Christine Mok if she planned to be an academic up until partway through her MFA, her answer would have been no. Continue reading “Faculty Profile: Dr. Christine Mok”