Frederic Ives Carpenter (1861-1925) was for many years an eminent professor of medieval and Renaissance literature in the Department of English. The Carpenter lectureship was endowed in 1925 to memorialize Professor Carpenter's personal commitment to the highest excellence in scholarship and teaching and to perpetuate that commitment in a broader way. The Carpenter lecturer generally spends a week at the University, with the centerpiece of the visit being a series of three lectures. The lecturer will, in addition, visit graduate workshops, hold office hours, and spend time informally engaged with faculty and students. Previous Carpenter Lecturers include Edward Said, Stanley Cavell, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Judith Butler, Catherine Gallagher, Michael Warner, Susan Buck-Morss, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Franco Moretti, and Jacqueline Rose, Elizabeth Grosz, and Rey Chow.
- Rey Chow: "Acousmatic Sound and the Writing Voice in Cinema: A Preliminary Discussion" (Autumn 2015)
- Elizabeth Grosz: "The Incorporeal" (Spring 2015)
- Bruno Latour: "Facing Gaia: American and European Perspective" and "The New Body Politik Requires a New Body" (October 2017)
- Maureen N. McLane: (Monday, April 20, 2020) "Conditional Poetics: Instruments, Elements, Plurality, Parameter;" (Wednesday, April 22, 2020) "Toward a Notational Poetics: Or, Now;" (Thursday, April 23, 2020) "A Reading of Poems and Divigations." Talks and reading will be held at 5:00 in the third-floor lecture hall of Swift Hall and are free and open to the public. Receptions on Monday and Thursday will follow.
Annual Graduate Student Conference
In recent years, the graduate students in the Department of English have held an autumn conference. Students organize the entire conference. A student committee decides on the conference topic, invites the keynote speaker, selects the papers for the conference, and runs the conference itself. Past conferences have included Visiting and Revisiting: Literature as a Special Form of Knowledge (2006), The Elements of Style (2007), Strange Reading: Practice, Audience, Theory (2008), Captive Senses and Aesthetic Habits (2009), Communicating Forms: Aesthetics, Relationality, Collaboration (2010), Exile on Main Street: Fascism, Emigration, and the European Imagination in America (2011), States of Suspension: Politics and Histories, Aesthetics and Affects (2012), Whole Worlds: Systems of Affect, Capital, Aesthetics (2013), Concussions, Commotions, and Other Aesthetic Disorders (2014), Words Unofficial: Gossip, Circulation, Mediation (2015), and Not Reading (2017).