The English Department sponsors a variety of lectures, talks, and discussions each year. The English Lecture Series began in the 2010-2011 academic year, while the Majors Talk Series began in 2011-2012 as the brainchild of the Majors Committee. Various panels and discussions have included English major alums discussing the importance of the English major in their careers, as well as faculty describing their interest in the field of literature. Listed here are events past and present.



Mar 27

A Celebration of Richard Wilbur, Poet for All Seasons

07:00 pm

A remembrance of former U.S. Poet Laureate RichardWilburand a performance of his work, for which he received the National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes. It is most fitting that this celebration should take place at Wesleyan, where RichardWilburtaught for twenty years (1957-1977) while living in Portland, CT. Among the speakers at the celebration will be Robert and Mary Bagg, authors of the recent RichardWilburbiography; Suzanna Tamminen, editor of the Wesleyan University Press; formerWilburstudent William Blakemore; Clare Rossini, award-winning poet; and two Connecticut poet laureates, Marilyn Nelson and Rennie McQuilkin. Rare video footage and photographs will be projected during the celebration, and a reception will follow. The event is organized by CT Poet Laureate, Rennie McQuilkin, and Prof.AnneGreene, University Professor of English at Wesleyan and Director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference. For more information, contact either of them at or

Mar 28

Lecture: NICK PAIGE, Professor of French, Berkeley

04:30 pm

Title: "The First Person Novel in Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-century France: A Sign of Change, or a Change of Technologies?" Nicholas Paige is Chair of the French Department at UC Berkeley. He is currently completing Technologies of the Novel: Literary History from Small Data . This project, which was supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, aims to be the first quantitative history of the novel: it traces the incubation, development, and subsequent abandonment of a variety of formal devices via a systematic sampling of the production of French-language novels over the years 1601-1830. Drawing from studies of the evolution of technological artifacts, Paige argues that the novel is not one evolving (or rising) entity, but rather a system composed of discrete forms in constant but patterned flux.

Apr 5

Africonnect 2018

11:50 am

This is an afternoon of panels in which African literature scholars from regional universities (Yale, UConn, and Brown) will meet to discuss works in progress. The events will culminate in an evening reading by Chuma Nwokolo from his new book The Extinction of Menai which is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and opened to the wider Wesleyan community.