Grace Towery's Spenserian Discovery to be Published

In her work for English 120 with Professor Reid Barbour, UNC sophomore Grace Towery discovered in the Rare Book Collection a manuscript poem written on the flyleaf of a 1617 print edition of Edmund Spenser's poetry. Through careful research, she went on to discover that this poem is hitherto unknown by scholars. The poem is an especially interesting and complex response to the execution to the Earl of Strafford at the outset of the English Civil War in the 1640s. What started as a paper for English 120 is now a forthcoming article in Notes & Queries (publication date September 2017), an esteemed and longstanding journal published by Oxford University Press. In her article Grace provides both an edition and an analysis of the poem; and she also offers thoughts on what this poem may have been doing in a collection of Spenser's poetry.

You can read more about Grace's discovery and publication in The Daily Tar Heel.


Professor Dore Organizes Novel Sounds II Conference











On March 3, 2017, the National Humanities Center will host Novel Sounds II, its second conference on the relationship between literature and rock and roll (click here for a write-up on the first Novel Sounds conference). Organized by Professor Florence Dore, a current NHC fellow, the conference will include a keynote roundtable with music critic Peter Guralnick, novelist Roddy Doyle, and Grammy award-winning musician Steve Earle. To conclude the conference, Earle will give an 8 PM performance at UNC's Memorial Hall. Registration is $50 for general admission and $30 for students and senior citizens; tickets for Earle's performance must be purchased separately. For more information and to register, please visit the conference webpage.

Professor Floyd-Wilson Interviewed for NHC Podcast Series

Professor Mary Floyd-Wilson was recently interviewed in a podcast for the National Humanities Center. A current NHC Fellow, Professor Floyd-Wilson discusses her research on the role of the supernatural and the demonic in Shakespeare's plays and how this connects to larger Elizabethan debates about mind, religion, and causal forces. You can listen here to Floyd-Wilson's interview with Robert Newman, director of the National Humanities Center.

Professor Wolfe Elected Editor of Renaissance Quarterly

Jessica Wolfe (Professor, English and Comparative Literature and Director of UNC's Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies) has been elected by the Board of the Renaissance Society of America to serve as the next articles editor of Renaissance Quarterly (​). She will begin her first term as editor in January 2018.

Renaissance Quarterly is the leading American journal of Renaissance studies, encouraging connections between different scholarly approaches to bring together material spanning the period from 1300 to 1650 in Western history.

The official journal of the Renaissance Society of America, Renaissance Quarterly presents around twenty articles and around 500 reviews per year, engaging the following disciplines: Americas, art and architecture, book history, classical tradition, comparative literature, digital humanities, emblems, English literature, French literature, Germanic literature, Hebraica, Hispanic literature, history, humanism, Islamic world, Italian literature, legal and political thought, medicine and science, music, Neo-Latin literature, performing arts and theater, philosophy, rhetoric, and women and gender.

Since 1954, Renaissance Quarterly has provided an important forum for articles of original and significant research and interpretation, as well as surveys of the field, forums, and colloquia that benefit the ongoing development of Renaissance scholarship.

A Statement

We, the undersigned faculty and staff in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, strongly endorse Chancellor Folt’s recently published statements on inclusion and diversity.  Likewise, we emphatically reaffirm University policy on discrimination, academic freedom, and social justice. We also support similar statements from other departments and units on our campus, as well as others from across the nation.

We believe that a liberal arts education in general and the study of literature and writing in particular foster social sensitivity, ethical discernment, professional capability, and more humane and just families and communities.  This is why, like Chancellor Folt, we take this occasion in the wake of recent contentious and potentially divisive national and international political events to reaffirm the University’s humanistic values and to reassure our students that the classes we lead and support will continue to be places where all thoughtful perspectives are valued and all student voices are included.

We are deeply concerned that recent statements and 
actions not only by national and international political leaders, but also by everyday citizens, have regularly targeted non-white and/or marginalized communities such as women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, recent immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, sexual-assault survivors, the disabled, and both Muslim and Jewish people -- and this list is by no means exhaustive.  Such statements and actions do not accord with University policy.   They threaten the very principles of inclusion, diversity, and academic freedom that Carolina and the Department of English & Comparative Literature hold dear.  We are disturbed in particular by recent reports of hate speech, violence, vandalism, and discrimination within our campus community in the wake of the November 8th, 2016, elections. 
In response, we pledge to continue to uphold the law and University policy by insisting that our classes and community include everyone and do not discriminate against anyone.
Daniel Anderson
William Andrews
GerShun Avilez
David Baker
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Marc Cohen
James Coleman
Pamela Cooper
Taylor Cowdery
Elyse Crystall
Tyler Curtain
Jane Danielewicz
Maria DeGuzman
Florence Dore
Eric Downing
Pam Durban
Connie Eble
Gregory Flaxman
Mary Floyd-Wilson
Leslie Frost
Stephanie Griest
Karen Griffin
Philip Gura
Michael Gutierrez
Minrose Gwin
Patrick Horn
Susan Irons
Joy Kasson
Randall Kenan
Heidi Kim
Jennifer Larson
April Lawson
Ted Leinbaugh
Hilary Lithgow
John McGowan
David Monje
Jeanne Moskal
Thomas Reinert
Eliza Richards
Courtney Rivard
Ruth Salvaggio
Alan Shapiro
Bland Simpson
Kimberly Stern
Matthew Taylor
Todd Taylor
Jane Thrailkill
Whitney Trettien
Stewart Vaughn
Joseph Viscomi
Daniel Wallace
Rick Warner
Wendy Weber
Ross White
Joe Wittig
Jessica Wolfe

The Department of English & Comparative Literature
UNC Chapel Hill

The Department of English & Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill


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January 2018