Sharing Ideas Outside the Classroom
English Department Roundtable
The English Department Roundtable is a forum for graduate students in the English Department to share ideas across a wide variety of fields, time periods, and methodologies. Open to students at all stages of the program, the EDR gives graduate students an opportunity to present work in an informal setting to a group of peers, to get feedback about a current project, and to learn about the work being done by colleagues. At a time in which the tremendous diversity of literary study has made it increasingly difficult to grasp the discipline as a whole on one’s own, the purpose of the EDR is to foster a greater sense of intellectual community and cohesion within Cornell’s English Department, and to strengthen graduate work through increased collaboration.
The EDR meets semi-monthly in the English Department Lounge. In order to facilitate discussion by members of the audience (including a large number of graduate students as well as faculty), papers being presented at the EDR are made available one week prior to each meeting; meetings themselves will focus primarily on discussion between the audience and the presenter.
The First-Year MFA Reading Series
The Reading Series is a bi-weekly reading event run by Cornell English graduate students. The reading series showcases the literary stylings of Cornell’s first-year MFA students, and is held at Buffalo Street Books, 215 N Cayuga St. All reading events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For the location, date, time, and featured readers of the next event, please check the schedule on the events page (the schedule will be updated periodically.)
Theory Reading Group
The Theory Reading Group at Cornell University is a group of graduate students and faculty from the departments of English, Comparative Literature, German Studies, and Romance Studies. We have a strong sense of community and a commitment to theoretical inquiry outside the classroom. The Theory Reading Group organizes an annual spring conference around contemporary issues in philosophy, aesthetics, literary theory, and political thought.
» For further information please contact Johannes Wankhammer.
Gender & Sexuality Reading Group
The Gender & Sexuality Reading Group seeks to foster lively discussion and shared knowledge among graduate students and faculty whose work intersects with any aspect of gender and sexuality. The group’s areas of inquiry will include recent and foundational criticism and theory in (and around) feminist, gay and lesbian, and queer studies juxtaposed with readings in 20th century literature and cinema.
19th Century American Reading Group
The Nineteenth Century American Reading Group provides graduate students in the humanities at Cornell with the opportunity to discuss both canonical and lesser-known nineteenth-century texts in a casual scholarly setting. Founded both because of the presence of a growing number of students working on the literary, cultural, and material history of the long American nineteenth century at Cornell and, even more significantly, in order to encourage work in this field, the group meets monthly to discuss a text or set of readings. The group also collaborates with the Victorian Reading Group to host an annual colloquium in the Spring.
Early Modern Reading Group
The Early Modern Reading Group focuses on texts concerned with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with an interdisciplinary approach involving material from literature, history, film, philosophy, and art. We seek to foster a lively and expansive discussion of early modern thought and culture by cooperatively analyzing primary, secondary, and theoretical works. The Early Modern Reading Group also works in conjunction with the Gottschalk Memorial Lecture to host an annual symposium in the fall.
British 18th and 19th Century Reading Group
The British 18th and 19th Century Reading Group welcomes all graduate students and faculty members with an interest in 18th-century, Romantic, and Victorian literature. We meet bi-weekly to discuss primary and critical texts on a wide range of topics.
» For further information please contact David Aichenbaum.
Big Fat Post-War American Novel Reading Group
The Big Fat Post-War American Novel Reading Group reads one big novel, usually of 500 pages or more, per semester. Past novels include William Gaddis’ JR, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon. The group is always open to suggestions of new novels to put on the reading list.
» For further information please contact Dan Sinykin.
Modernist Reading Group
The Modernist Reading Group is aimed at students and faculty who are interested in discussing issues relating to the early twentieth century. The group explores the history, theory, and formal developments of the modernist period by engaging with primary texts and literary criticism.
» For further information please contact Aaron Rosenberg.
Hegel Reading Group
The Hegel Reading Group is an interdisciplinary group (English, German, Comparative Literature, Philosophy) that meets every week to discuss canonical texts in the history of Western philosophy. Texts are read slowly and carefully (e.g., two and a half years were spent on Hegel’s Science of Logic). The group focuses loosely on post-Kantian German idealism, but past readings have ranged from Aristotle to Heidegger.
» For further information please contact Tatiana Sverjensky.