GW Arts & Sciences
November 2015

A Message from the Chair

Robert McRuer in the late night sun of Copenhagen, Denmark

This has been an exciting year. If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll attend some of the department events that your generosity has helped to support. Check out the English Department blog for listings. Please feel free to let us know if you’re working on something that might be of interest to our English majors. We truly appreciate that many of you were inspired by previous newsletters to make a gift to our department, and we want you to know that your contributions really make a difference to our students.
Keep in touch—and let us know if there’s something you think we should be reading!

Robert McRuer
Chair, Department of English

Photo: Robert McRuer in the late night sun of Copenhagen, Denmark

Department Spotlights

Professor James A. Miller in his English Department office

In Memoriam: Jim Miller

The English Department is mourning the loss of Professor Jim Miller, our colleague, teacher, mentor and friend, who died on June 19, after a year-long battle with cancer. Jim was a highly-respected scholar and beloved teacher in English, American studies and Africana studies whose work focused on African American literary and cultural studies across the 20th and 21st centuries, often with a specific focus on the Washington, D.C., area.

Click here to read GW Today's tribute to Professor Jim Miller, and here to hear him speak on the Scottsboro Case. Read More.

Photo: Professor James A. Miller in his English Department office

Professor Ann Romines with GW English PhD Charmion Gustke. Professor Romines retired this year after 43 years of service to the department.

A Celebration: Song, Quilts, Cather, and the Work of Ann Romines

On October 2, the English Department hosted an afternoon focused on the multi-faceted work of Professor Ann Romines, who retired this year after 43 years of service to our department, attended by Professor Romines and many friends, colleagues and students. To see photos from the celebration, visit the GW English BlogRead More.

Photo: Professor Ann Romines with GW English PhD Charmion Gustke. Professor Romines retired this year after 43 years of service to the department.

Roz Chast, cartoonist and author of Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Jewish Literature Live

Jewish Literature Live, the course that brings Jewish writers to campus to talk about their work in person with GW English students, will be held again in spring 2016. Leading the roster are Aryeh Lev Stollman, author of The Far Euphrates; Judy Viorst, author of Necessary Losses; and Roz Chast, author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Other authors will be announced soon on our department website. Read More

Photo: Roz Chast, cartoonist and author of Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Faculty Kudos

Professor Jeffrey Jerome Cohen published Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

Professor Tom Mallon published Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years. New York: Pantheon, 2015.

Professors David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder published The Biopolitics of Disability: Neoliberalism, Ablenationalism, and Peripheral Embodiment, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2015.

Professor Gayle Wald published It's Been Beautiful: "Soul!" and Black Power Television, Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

Department News

Please see our blog for event listings.

Alumni Updates and Class Notes

Rebecca Boylan, PhD ’07, is beginning her eleventh year teaching in Georgetown University’s Department of English. She also mentors English masters and Library studies PhD theses and is curriculum director for masters students teaching in College Prep. Her book on Time, via Hardy and Woolf, is forthcoming.

Jordan Coggins, BA ’15, is currently living and working in Los Angeles as the assistant to the COO of Amazon Studios, the new television and film production arm of

Joanna Falk, BA ’13, is pursuing a masters in English literature at the University of Maryland College Park and is interested in global modernism, feminist criticism and poetry and poetics. She also works full time as an office manager of a small law firm in D.C.

» Read More

Donor Recognition


The English Department would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the school from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.

David Bruce Smith Family Foundation 
Nevada Community Foundation
Robert H. Smith Family Foundation
Yolande L. Allen, BA ’70
Daniel M. Atwood, MA ’67 
Linda N. Blair, PhD ’95
Zachariah G. Brewer, BA ’14
Richard P. Brown, MA ’90, BA ’84
Vinod Busjeet *
Barry Cardin, BA ’05
Jordan M. Coggins, BA ’15
Susan C. Comilang, PhD ’02
Kathryn P. Cusma, BA ’10
Susan T. David *
Patricia A. Del Grosso, BA ’01
Kristina A. DiMaggio, BA ’13 
Megan E. Finney, BA ’09 
Heather M. Fix, BA ’04 
Richard M. Flynn, PhD ’87, MPhil ’84 
Hannah J. Freedman, BA ’14 
Marissa A. Fretes, BA ’15
Jennifer H. Fried, BA ’15

Adam M. Katz, BA ’13
Miriam A. Keil, BA ’09
Anne C. Kerby, BA ’65
Katherine R. Klaben, BA ’13
Catherine E. Kushan, BA ’15
Karissa S. Lake, BA ’11, MA ’12
Duncan R. Lee #
Irene J. Lee  #
Stanley R. McKie, BA ’85
Marshall C. McMurry, BA ’15
Taylor F. Miller, BA ’83
Brenda J. Montague, BA ’78
Faye S. Moskowitz, BA ’70, MA ’79
Laura T. Nichols, BA ’12
Timothy K. Nixon, PhD ’05
John S. O'Leary, BA ’12
Gail Orgelfinger, BA ’72
Randall K. Packer +
Jeanne M. Rose, BA ’95
Sharyn H. Rosenblum, BA ’86
Daniel M. Shapiro, BA ’14
Susan K. Shaw, BA ’81

Jessica J. Shniderman, BA ’05
Natasha A. Simons, BA ’09
Clarice R. Smith, BA ’76, MFA ’79
David Bruce Smith, BA ’79
Robert H. Smith #
Sharon Soloway, BA ’83
Christopher W. Sten  +
Kelley C. Stokes, BA ’10, MA ’12
John G. Sussek, III, BA ’79, MA ’10
Alanna K. Thornton, BA ’05
Rosemary K. Tonoff, BA ’09
Danielle T. Smerecznski, BA ’99
William G. Turner, MS ’11
Kaitlin M. Vignali, BA ’10
Jennifer L. Wagner, BA ’90
George W. Williams, MA ’49

+ Faculty/Staff
# Parent
~ Student
* Friend

Support the Department

Donate to the English Department

Gifts to the English Department allow us to provide support for faculty and student research and travel, graduate student fellowships, and academic enrichment activities including guest speakers, visiting faculty, and symposia. Each gift, no matter how large or small, makes a positive impact on our educational mission and furthers our standing as one of the nation's preeminent liberal arts colleges at one of the world's preeminent universities. Please consider making a gift before June 30th.

You can make your gift to the department in a number of ways:

  • Securely online at Just choose “other” under designation and type in the name of the department.
  •  By mailing your check, made out to The George Washington University and with the name of the department in the memo line, to:

The George Washington University
2033 K Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC  20052

  • By phone by calling the GW Annual Fund at 1-800-789-2611

Stay Connected

Volunteer with GW

Volunteer with GW!

Whether you are looking to engage fellow alumni, connect with students or support an academic program, we have an opportunity for you.

To learn more about available volunteer opportunities that meet your interest, experience and schedule and to get involved, click here.

Alumni Travel Program

Experience it. Learning is a lifelong adventure and the GW Alumni Travel Program makes it a global event. As a GW graduate, you have access to this world-class program that specializes in cultural immersion and educational experiences. Your diploma is your passport to a lifetime of discovery.

To learn more about the GW Alumni Travel Program and see where your next journey may take you, please click here.

Virtual Networking

Join fellow GWAA LinkedIn group members for this unique opportunity to share your experiences, exchange career tips and build your professional network! Online networking enables you to speed-network from wherever you are: home, office, library, even on the road. Come build real relationships and connections in a purposeful, exciting way!

Click here for information on our next event!

GW Arts & Sciences