15 November 2021

Dear Everyone:

Big thanks to everyone who joined us on Friday for the final seminar related to our search for a consortial appointment in US Latinx studies, with particular appreciation to Nik Valdez for most excellent respondent comments, and Nancy Silverman, for organizing and managing five of these this semester! This search has involved a lot of moving pieces, a lot of people involved, including notably an immensely hardworking Faculty Membership Committee — Cary Fitzgerald, Alexa Punnamkuzhyil, Andre Perez, Tanya Agathocleous, Matt Gold, George Otte, Duncan Faherty, Mary McGlynn, Eric Lott, and Alan Vardy active this semester — as well as everyone who attended and all who acted as respondents — to get us to this point. Given ongoing uncertainties and multiple stressors and commitments pulling in every which way, sustained presence and engagement is particularly notable; thank you to all on all our behalf. Faculty Membership will confer in early December and make its recommendations to the Executive Committee as to how to proceed — current faculty and students, please keep an eye out for a separate appeal for feedback on the candidates.

If you want to know more about the status of the search and other program business, and generally just want to have a chance to hang and debrief about the year thus far, please come to the end of term Open Meeting slated for Friday, 3 December! I’ll share information about goings on in the program, and of course there will be opportunity to ask questions, offer ideas, voice concerns, and so on. The meeting will be followed by Revels, courtesy of ESA! More information and zoom links to follow.

More immediately, please take note of the two student-centered programs scheduled for this Friday, 19 November:

Nancy Silverman has organized a Prospectus Workshop to run from 2p-3:30p. Per Nancy’s description, “We’ll have a panel of students with approved prospectus and a faculty member who has served as a reader (including outside reader) on many prospectus. They will present on their experiences with committee selection, moving from Orals to Prospectus, drafting/writing the prospectus, the approval process, and revising the prospectus for fellowships. There will be plenty of time for your questions. Students in years 4 &5 who do not yet have an approved prospectus are strongly encouraged to attend, as are students in year 3 who expect to submit a prospectus this year. All are welcome to attend (students who have approved prospectus and all faculty are welcome to add advice and encouragement in the chat).” Zoom link:  https://gc-cuny-edu.zoom.us/j/82616368580  (registration not required)  

And, at 4p, organized by Sandra Goldstein Lehnert and Dasharah Green, “Students to the Front: English PhD Students Open Forum.” As they note in the description (the full version of which is below and attached), “The Forum will feature a panel of second- and third-year students in the PhD program, each of whom will honestly discuss their graduate school experiences. Then, the session will open to a Q&A for students to openly or anonymously ask frank questions, give advice, and build community within the program.” Please also see below for the zoom link for this Friday Forum.

I’m hugely regretful and on multiple fronts that I’m unable to attend these Friday events, and/but look forward to getting caught up after the fact from all who do.

A group of trees with colorful leaves

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceI’ll close this message by sharing a picture of the old Japanese maple tree that’s outside my office window at home, that has kept me such steady company through these semesters when we’ve been so concertedly working from home, but otherwise, too. I wait for it to turn this color every year, and thought I might miss it this fall because I’ve been away so much, and then because we’ve had such strong storms moving through. But look! Isn’t it just lovely? It’s lopsided and somewhat gnarly and located in a spot fairly inconvenient to getting in and out of the basement door, and/but it’s perfect and I’m very thankful to witness the magical transformation yet again. Hope you get out among the trees a lot this week.

Abundant well wishes as ever,


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