Steve ScarpaApril 19, 202313min
Merve Emre, scholar, critic, and contributing writer for The New Yorker, had no expectation as an undergraduate that she would have a literary career. An academic one, perhaps, but a life working in letters didn’t seem to be in her future. As a government major at Harvard, Emre expected to go to graduate school to study international relations. She’d done the appropriate coursework but found herself disengaged from her own field of study. It was literature that captured her attention. “(Literature and criticism) is a process of endless intellectual renewal and gratification. It’s a constant act of communing with the…

Steve ScarpaMay 10, 202211min
A new residency will bring a trio of noteworthy writers to Wesleyan for the 2022-23 academic year as the University looks to augment its already robust writing programs. Mahogany L. Browne, poet, curator and author of “Black Girl Magic”; Merve Emre, Oxford professor and New Yorker critic; and Yuri Herrera, an acclaimed Mexican novelist and Tulane professor, will be the first to join the newly established Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program. “The Shapiro-Silverberg program will bring to campus writers whose work is already having an impact on a variety of audiences around the world. The initiative builds on a…

Steve ScarpaApril 22, 20226min
Maaza Mengiste, professor of English, has found that sometimes the scariest thing a writer can do is start over. It’s a hard-earned lesson she had to experience herself, but a vital one that she passes on to her students. Mengiste believes that the benefits of a fresh start are immeasurable. It can be a period where ideas coalesce and, perhaps more importantly, experimentation begins. When asking her students to start over, “They would look at me with sheer terror,” she said. But eventually “they would come back with these spectacular pieces of writing. It was hard to convince them sometimes,…

Steve ScarpaMarch 25, 20226min
Author Amy Bloom’s home office overlooks a lovely section of Long Island Sound, with rocky islands in the distance, boats drifting by, and sunlight playing off the harbor. When the time comes to put pen to paper, she has a magnificent view from her window. The great view doesn’t make the work any easier. “The job is, you’ve got to go to the office. You have to sit in the chair. You’ve got to make the effort. These things don’t sprout by themselves. It’s not magic and it’s not the muse. The muse shows up when she will but my…

Editorial StaffMay 26, 20213min
Every spring, Wesleyan recognizes outstanding teaching with three Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the University’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education. Recommendations are solicited from alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, as well as current juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee of faculty and members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee. This year, Wesleyan honors the following faculty members for their excellence in teaching:…

Rachel Wachman '24May 14, 20212min
This month, five students were recognized with the First-Year Seminar Writing Prize for essays they wrote in their first-year seminars throughout 2020. A total of 137 first-year students submitted to the contest this year. Each winner will receive a $100 prize, and each honorable mention will receive a $50 prize. These students will have their work published online along with an audio recording of them reading their essays aloud. The First-Year Seminar Writing Prize celebrates the work of first-year writers at Wesleyan. The three winners are: Nathan Foote ’24, for “Anti-Gospel,” written for Anne Greene’s Place, Character, and Design. Gissel…

Olivia DrakeApril 29, 20193min
Two Wesleyan students are the recipients of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library's third annual Undergraduate Research Prize. Emma Leuchten '19, an anthropology and religion double major, received the first place prize for her senior essay, "Anthropology Beyond Belief: Navigating Dreams and Reality in the Burmese Weikza Tradition." Leuchten based the paper on fieldwork she conducted in Myanmar during a semester abroad. Her advisor was Elizabeth Traube, professor of anthropology. The essay explores quests for power and knowledge in a contemporary Burmese wizardry tradition. Drawing from personal interviews with weikza (wizard-saints), devotees, and skeptics, Leuchten examines the tensions that have arisen between this…

Olivia DrakeFebruary 18, 20191min
Six Wesleyan students were recently honored by Creative Writing at Wesleyan and the English Department. Caridad Cruz '21 is the recipient of the Sophie and Anne Reed Prize. Established by Leon Reed; his sons, S. Chadwick ’41 and Dr. Victor Reed; and his grandson Ted Reed ’70, the prize is named in memory of Sophie Reed and Anne Reed, for the best poem or group of poems. (more…)

Lauren RubensteinJune 5, 20183min
Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline, “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.”  In a new article, Charles Barber, visiting writer at Wesleyan, and Michael Rowe, professor of psychiatry at Yale University, write about a citizenship intervention program they developed over the past 20 years in New Haven to help homeless individuals reintegrate into society. Not just a place to live: From homelessness to citizenship Twenty years ago, Jim lived under a highway bridge in New Haven, Connecticut. He was in his 50s and had once been in the Army. After…

Olivia DrakeMarch 1, 20181min
On Feb. 27, Wesleyan celebrated the success of students in the Endeavor Foundation First-Year Seminar Essay Contest. Winners received $200 awards and a book, selected by their course instructor. A three-year, $225,000 grant from the Endeavor Foundation of New York has supported an expansion of the First Year Seminar Program. These seminars are writing intensive courses that introduce students to a variety of topics and writing associated with various disciplines. Students learn the methods used to collect, interpret, analyze and present evidence as part of a scholarly argument. Faculty teaching these classes highlight the type of writing associated with their respective…

Olivia DrakeJune 1, 20162min
Readers and writers are invited to a day of mystery, workshops and intrigue during Wesleyan's inaugural Mysterium: The Mystery Novel Conference on Oct. 8. The conference is hosted by Amy Bloom, the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing, and taught by New York publishers, publicists and nationally-known agents, and well-known writers. New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman headlines, followed by Master Classes in writing with best-selling authors Stephen Carter and Barbara Ross. Learn more about the Mysterium speakers here. "One of the great pleasures of mysteries—of all wonderful fiction—is that it allows the reader to slip into another life, another time, a different being," says Bloom.…

Lauren RubensteinFebruary 9, 20162min
Wesleyan will present the first-ever creative writing specialization on the Coursera platform, beginning Feb. 9. Taught by four award-winning authors, the specialization is open to anyone with a love of reading or a drive to invent a story or tell their own. Titled “Creative Writing: The Craft of Story,” the specialization will include four courses, plus a capstone.