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Serving the UMN community since 1900

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“Challengers” releases in theaters on April 26.
Review: “Challengers”
Published April 13, 2024

Literature department is vast and colorful

The writer of âÄúMake English one for the books (Op-Ed 11/16/11) claims that the English Department doesnâÄôt engage the community and contemporary literature.   The facts donâÄôt support the claims.

 

Our award-winning Public Engagement program includes popular undergraduate courses and literacy internships at several dozen sites throughout the Twin Cities.  Our film course, Reviewing Feminist Cinema, is in progress right now at the Walker.  In residence for three years are two internationally acclaimed writers, Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah, who collaborates with local theaters, and Minnesota author Charles Baxter, whose work has appeared as a major motion picture and a PBS feature film. 

 

Each year, Creative Writing mounts a Hunger Benefit to raise money for Second Harvest Heartland food shelves and sponsors First Books, featuring authors from the Twin Cities and elsewhere.  Each year, Introduction to Creative Writing brings several performance artists, graphic novelists, and short story writers to class, and ArtWords, cosponsored with the Weisman Museum, showcases student writing.

 

Recent conferences include last springâÄôs âÄúShared Cultural SpacesâÄù on the Islamic and Western worlds, and this fallâÄôs âÄúMy Letter to the WorldâÄù on writing for human rights.  The Institute for Advanced Study is now hosting the Digital Humanities, a collaborative effort of English and several other university programs.

 

Innovative literary and popular coursesâÄîno shortage here.  How about the Ivory Tower course where undergraduates produce this literary magazine?  Or this years offerings: Literature of Public Life, Literacy and American Cultural Diversity, Poetry as Cultural Critique, Our Monsters/Ourselves, The American Food Revolution in Literature and TV, Alphabet to Internet, From Goddesses to Google Earth, Hip Hop, The Western, and America in Crisis?  How about past courses on the Coen Brothers, Film Noir, Literary Utopias, Midwestern Literature, Coming to Terms with the Environment, Consumer Culture, Rock & Roll, Apocalypse Literature, and Humor Writing?

 

These and many other activities are posted on the department web site and publicized elsewhere.  Perhaps the Op-Ed writer just needs to get out a little more and sample what we offer.

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