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One of UConn’s largest and most vibrant departments, English is represented at five of our campuses. Approximately 400 undergraduates major in English alone, and our double majors also work with biology, economics, and psychology. More than 50 full-time faculty and 75 graduate students research the full global range of literature written in English from c.800 to the present. [. ]

Why Study English?

“Heads up, business majors: Employers are newly hot on the trail of hires with liberal arts and humanities degrees.
Class of 2015 graduates from those disciplines are employed at higher rates than their cohorts in the class of 2014, and starting salaries rose significantly, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ annual first-destination survey of recent graduates in the workforce.”
Read this article and see more arguments for studying English .

Guest Lecture by Anita Mannur of Miami University at Oxford, OH

“The Tiffin Box, Epistolarity and Intimate Failures”

In this presentation Professor ANITA MANNUR will examine the value of turning to visual culture to examine how gender roles are being reimagined within the context of gendered household economy. She focuses her analysis on Ritesh Batra’s film The Lunchbox, a surprising hit in late 2013 and contender for India’s official nomination to the Oscar foreign film award.

Batra’s feature-length film is one of the few to structure its story around the “failure” of the dabbawalla (India’s lunchbox delivery system). When a lunchbox is delivered to the wrong address, Saajan the office worker who receives the unintended epistle (the meal) responds in kind with his own epistle—in his case a letter written in English. Over a series of weeks, the erroneous exchanges of epistles continue. The sender, Ila sends her “culinary” messages in the form of delicious meals packed into a tiffin, accompanied by a letter written in Marathi, and Saajan responds with his own epistle written in English, enclosed in the empty dabba. Through this serendipitous error, these two strangers build a relationship that develops entirely through the exchange of written and culinary epistles.

Prof. Mannur’s talk asks what productive intimacies might emerge in the spaces through which human error and fallibility fail to secure the kinds of intimacies that the dabbawalla system is designed to broker, and ultimately focuses on reinserting the place of the female in the domestic space in understanding how to think through the narrative of the dabbawalla.

Anita Mannur is Associate Professor of English and Asian/Asian American Studies at Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. Editor in Chief of the Journal of Asian American Studies, her books include Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture, Eating Asian America: A Reader, and Theorizing Diaspora. She is also Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

04:30 PM – 06:00 PM

Storrs Campus, Storrs Campus Stern Lounge AUSTIN 217

Author Reading and Talkback with Stephen Clingman of University Massachusetts at Amherst

“Birthmark: Divided Vision & the Coming of Perspective”

Professor STEPHEN CLINGMAN will read from Birthmark (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016), a memoir of divided vision in the divided world of apartheid South Africa. When Stephen was two, he underwent an operation to remove a birthmark under his right eye. The operation failed, and the birthmark returned. Clingman takes the fact of that mark — its appearance, disappearance, and return — as a guiding motif of memory. In a beguiling narrative set on three continents, this is a story that is personal, painful, comic, and ultimately uplifting: a book not so much of the coming of age but the coming of perspective.

Stephen Clingman is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts. He is also the author of Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary, which won the Alan Paton Award, South Africa’s premier prize for non-fiction.


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