The Annual Milton Fellow Reading at SPU

January 5th, 2016 § 0

Join the English faculty and Image journal for a reading and Q&A with the English Department’s 2015-16 Milton Fellow, Camellia Freeman, next Monday, January 11 at 7:00pm in the SPU Art Center Gallery.

Freeman’s manuscript of essays integrates personal experience, memory, and imagination with larger histories of American science, violence, and racial politics. Through these essays, she seeks to identify her own shortcomings and complicities as a means to explore the complicities and limitations of the broader national, diasporic, and faith communities she inhabits.

This reading is free and open to the public. Free dessert will follow.

English Majors as Employment Superstars?

December 18th, 2015 § 0

“English majors are making strides toward becoming the superstar employees of the future.” Say what? Campus News, an independent student newspaper published online and in traditional print form, claims the “sudden desire for English majors may be reflecting the change in contemporary work environments.” Read all about it by following this link:

http://cccnews.info/2015/12/07/oh-the-humanities-in-defense-of-the-english-major/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=WeeklyLE_18dec15&utm_campaign=WeeklyLE_18dec15

Great holiday news!

Spring Break Opportunity in Washington DC

December 3rd, 2015 § 0

Kimberly Petersen, SPU Career Counselor, recently sent news of this spring-break opportunity:

Friends Committee on National Legislation holds an annual event for young adults (ages 18-35) in Washington D.C. each year during spring break (in 2016 the dates are March 12-15) and FCNL’s local meeting is looking for college- age adults who might want to attend under its financial sponsorship. The event, which brings together over 300 young adults, involves some training in lobbying Congress, actual lobbying, and a lot of interaction with others who share a passion for action on social justice.

See flyer here:
SLW Advertisement_3 (3) (4)

Gregory Wolfe to Read at Elliot Bay Books

November 30th, 2015 § 0

Gregory Wolfe, English Department Editor-in-Residence, will read from his new book, The Operation of Grace, which collects a decade’s worth of insightful essays first published in the pages of Image, a journal of spirituality and the arts.

Saturday, December 5, 7:00 p.m.
Elliot Bay Book Company

This reading is free and open to the public.

About The Operation of Grace: Wolfe’s explorations are located in the sometimes fraught, always fruitful intersection of art and faith—with a profound openness to divine mystery. “Mystery lies in the borderland between the knowable and the unknowable,” Wolfe writes. Whether his subject is ancient cave painting, the writing of Samuel Johnson, Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmography, or childhood asthma, he strides toward this “borderland” and shows us it is teeming with life.

The Operation of Grace represents a decade of Wolfe’s gentle insistence that art and religion offer illuminating analogies to one another: art deepens faith through the empathetic reach of the imagination and faith anchors art in a vision beyond the artist’s ego. This volume demonstrates once again why novelist Ron Hansen has spoken of Wolfe as “one of the most incisive and persuasive voices of our generation.”

Heading Towards Thanksgiving Break

November 19th, 2015 § 0

Week Eight of autumn quarter is wrapping up, and in the English Department students and instructors alike are heading into the final push of the term. Fall quarter is a curious creature because the winter holidays begin before the term actually ends. We may be ready for a holiday break all right, exhausted as we all are by the pace of the quarter system. But the holidays come too early nevertheless, because work—and sometimes the most important work of the quarter—still needs to be done.

We’re talking here about the intrusion, into the tail-end of autumn quarter, of Thanksgiving, which happens just before the big, final push of the quarter: the concluding week of classes right after the holiday, then final exams the following Monday through Wednesday.

This seasonal mini-break can provide time for everyone to catch a breath and some extra time for completing assignments and papers (writing them or grading them) and to celebrate briefly with family and friends before the onslaught of final exams. But Thanksgiving break can also put us in the holiday mood long before we should be—that is, if we want to finish the quarter without the distraction of a holiday warmth and excitement that somehow feels un-earned by the satisfying completion of yet another quarter.

And here is what is truly curious about this odd rhythm of fall quarter. A holiday so central to our acknowledgment of Providence’s work in our lives tugs us toward gratitude at the same time as, in the back of our minds and hearts, we feel reluctant to give ourselves fully over to it, for all the above reasons. It’s as if, being good sons and daughters of the Pilgrims whose tentative beginnings on this continent we celebrate on Thanksgiving, we must hold back on our acceptance of grace because we may not feel totally entitled to it. Not yet. There’s more work to be done to make us worthy, to allow us rest.

How can we acknowledge fully the gifts of grace while also persevering in our academic expression of what powers these gifts have stirred within us? Maybe Thanksgiving’s quirky intrusion into our academic lives can teach us to acknowledge a well-provided grace that comes un-earned, that cannot be earned, and simply to keep going. We’re allowed to catch a breath when we can, then rest when we can rest.

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