English Language and Literature

Patrick Jagoda on Digital Storytelling and Video Games as Texts

Patrick Jagoda, Assistant Professor in English Language and Literature, was profiled in the Winter 2013 issue of Grey City. Jagoda, who has been teaching at UChicago since 2010, is affiliated with one of the eighteen inaugural faculty research projects sponsored by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. In the interview, Jagoda explains how the project "uses digital storytelling and game design to work through various health issues with youth, especially high-school aged youth...co-creating digital stories that have to do with everything from sexually transmitted infections to sexual violence to gender issues."

Jagoda also describes the importance of viewing video games as types of texts, stating that video games held as much importance as novels did during the late 20th and early 21st century. He also points out how receptive UChicago faculty members have been to his research, saying, "People want to share in the work and experience games that they might not otherwise be playing, or think about how categories central to a discipline such as English, like narrative or aesthetics, might help us think about this new form."

Read the entire interview here.

PhD Candidate Paul Durica's Historical Tours and Reenactments Highlighted in the 'Chicago Tribune'

Paul Durica, PhD candidate in English Language and Literature, was featured in The Chicago Tribune, discussing his company Pocket Guide to Hell and how his engagement with Chicago history has informed his scholarly work (and vice versa). On his motivation for founding Pocket Guide to Hell, which regularly sponsors events such as reenactments of the 1886 Haymarket Riot, Durica explains, "As I was doing research for my dissertation (about tramps, hobos and transients in American literature), I kept coming upon all of this good material that didn't fit into my academic work. I wanted to share what I was learning with the broader public.” On Sunday, March 17, Pocket Guide to Hell will recreate "Bathhouse" John Coughlin and Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna’s 1908 First Ward Ball at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.) at 8 p.m. According to the article, "Coughlin and Kenna conceived the First Ward Ball as a way of further stuffing their pockets, already bulging with graft, through imposed ticket and liquor sales...by 1908 it attracted 20,000 drunken, yelling, brawling revelers to the Coliseum on South Wabash Avenue. The guests slopped up 10,000 quarts of champagne and 30,000 quarts of beer. It was very messy." Durica will portray Kenna. Learn more about Pocket Guide to Hell here.

Three Faculty Members Recognized With Named Professorships

Thirteen University of Chicago faculty members were recognized for their outstanding service with named professorships, including three from the Division of the Humanities.

  • Frances Ferguson was named the Ann L. and Lawrence B. Buttenwieser Professor in English Language and Literature and the College. Her research interests include 18th- and 19th-century literature, as well as 20th- and 21st-century literary theory. Ferguson, who comes to the University from Johns Hopkins University, is currently at work on a project that explores the rise of mass education and how it affects our conception of both individuals and society.
  • David J. Levin has been appointed the Addie Clark Harding Professor in Germanic Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College. His latest book, Unsettling Opera: Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Zemlinksy, (University of Chicago Press, 2007), explores how radical stagings impact one’s understanding of classic operas. Levin, an expert on German opera, theater, cinema and performance theory, serves as executive editor of Opera Quarterly and as the director of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.
  • Eric Santner, was named the Philip and Ida Romberg Distinguished Service Professor in Germanic Studies and the College. Santner is a leading scholar of German literature, history and culture, and works at the intersection of literature, political theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis and religious thought. His most recent book, The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2011.

Read faculty biographies and learn about all of the named professorships here.