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Happy Holidays from Miami OH English!
Madelyn Detloff
Dear Alumni and Friends:
Greetings from the corner office in 356 Bachelor Hall, which I am pleased to occupy this year while our Chair, LuMing Mao, is on a well-deserved leave.
As some of you may know, I happen to be a scholar of Virginia Woolf. It should not surprise you then, that when I was asked to provide a greeting for this newsletter, my thought hearkened back to Woolf, who eloquently equivocated when she was asked to speak to Newnham and Girton Colleges on “Women and Fiction” (her lecture later evolved into A Room of One’s Own). Like Woolf, I am caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of genre expectations and limited space for expression. If I am to fulfill my duty as Acting Chair and newsletter greeter, I must begin with warm wishes for a happy holiday season and joyous New Year. This I can do unreservedly – I wish you peace and joy, not to mention love and honor, this season and for all of 2018. I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you over my 15 years here at Miami University, and you never cease to amaze me with your talent, good will, and good ideas. The University community was treated to a small sampling of your virtuosity this fall when three English Department alumni were honored with prestigious “18 of the Last 9” alumni awards.
To fulfill my second duty – to give you a sense of all of the good work the English Department has done since Dr. Mao last greeted you in June – I would need the rhetorical gifts of Woolf and the bandwidth of a state-of- the-art server worthy of our new colleagues, Dr. Adam Strantz (who specializes in visual rhetorics and professional writing), and Dr. Collin Jennings (who specializes in digital humanities, the long 18th Century, and computational linguistics). My last sentence should alert you to how deep into the 21st century we are evolving as a department, while continuing to carefully attend to the language, culture, and creative worldmaking that have shaped us over the centuries. In addition to doing what we do best – teaching, researching, and writing with passion and commitment – the English Department has embarked on a year-long process of self-reflection led by professors Cathy Wagner, Elizabeth Wardle, Katie Johnson, and Gwen Etter-Lewis. Our goal is to is to discuss and articulate our values so that our teaching and scholarly practices are aligned with our vision and goals for the future of English studies at Miami University. For this, we ask for your help – your input, your experience, your insights – as we move forward. I am not asking you for money here (although my friends in University Advancement would not turn away a year-end donation). I am asking for your ambassadorship. We know, and you know because you are our proud graduates, that students majoring in Literature, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Linguistics go on to successful careers and enriching lives. There are plenty of data to prove that, but the power of example is even more persuasive.
On that note, please do spread the word about English at Miami University and English studies in general. And please keep in touch with your ideas. We are proud of the leaders, thinkers, artists, path-breakers, and humanitarians who have graced our hallways and classrooms since 1809. Pride is a virtue according to Aristotle. So in 2018, I’m asking you to flaunt your English major pride just a little more so that the next generations know what English has to offer.
Love and Honor, Peace and Joy,
Madelyn Detloff
Interim Chair and Professor
18 of the Last 9 Alums
James Earl Cox III, Sami Schalk, Kimberly Forster
James Earl Cox III, Sami Schalk, and Kimberly Forster
This year’s “18 of the Last 9” exceptional young alumni honorees included three with English degrees. Find out about their careers and accomplishments: 
Students at Folger Shakespeare Library
Tammy Atha receiving her diploma from Dr. LuMing Mao
Tammy Atha receiving her diploma from Dr. LuMing Mao
Where Are They Now?
Tammy Atha Alumni Spotlight
Catch up with Tammy Atha, who graduated with an MFA in creative writing and pedagogy this year and now teaches composition and literacy courses as an English Instructor at Southeast Community College.
“I could potentially see someone go from building their skills level all the way to 15 page papers. That’s exciting for me –– that I get to help someone build a literacy level that they didn’t even know they were capable of building."
Faculty News
Gwendolyn Etter-Lewis Liquid Landscape by Michele Navakas
Check out the spectacular work scholarly and creative work from our faculty this year: 
Listen In: Radio Interview with assistant professor of literature Michele Navakas about her new book, Liquid Landscape
Professor Gwendolyn Etter-Lewis (pictured above) was recognized for her continued leadership as co-founder and director of the Dream Keepers program. Now celebrating 10 years, Dream Keepers expands college readiness in the area by pairing Miami University student mentors with local high schoolers.
Looking Ahead
356 Bachelor Hall • 301 S. Patterson Ave.
Oxford, OH 45056 
513-529-5221 • Email: english@MiamiOH.edu
© 2017 Miami University
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