English Department Annual Events
Skidmore's annual Frances Steloff Lecture honors the work of a major literary figure. The Steloff Lecture series was established in 1967 at Skidmore by Frances Steloff, a native of Saratoga Springs, founder of the Gotham Book Mart in New York City, and well-known patron of writers. She endowed the lecture series as a way to bring outstanding literary and artistic talent to the college. Notable Steloff speakers have including five Nobel Prize winners and dozens of the world’s most important writers. Previous Steloff honorees include Mario Vargas Llosa, Nadine Gordimer, Seamus Heaney, J.M. Coetzee, Saul Bellow, Arthur Miller, Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, Colm Toibin, Don DeLillo, Marilynne Robinson, John Banville, and Joyce Carol Oates, among many others.
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The Fox-Adler Lecture series was founded in 1991 and commemorates Skidmore’s Norman M. Fox Collection, which features approximately 400 books by prominent Victorian authors and illustrators.
Housed in Special Collections in the Lucy Scribner Library, the Fox Collection has
fostered scholarship and played an integral part in students’ learning in courses and independent academic work. This annual lecture features a distinguished scholar
or practicing artist, and focuses on the creation, history, culture, and/or theoretical
significance of illustrated works, ranging from books and magazines for adults to
children’s literature. Notably Fox-Adler speakers include Françoise Mouly, George
Landow, Barry Moser, Scott McCloud, Jonathan Bate, and Michael Kimmelman.
The 2019 Fox-Adler Lecture, “The Art of Distillation: The Unlikely Road to Making Books,” will be delivered by William Grill on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. More information is available here.
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Every year the English faculty host a “Critical Futures” event, in which members of the department synthesize for students (and their colleagues) the most exciting and innovative developments within the field of literary studies. Centering on the research of faculty members, recent Critical Futures events have focused on disability studies, ecocriticism, and thing theory.
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“Why Read Aloud?” is an annual event that began in 2001 in order to bring students and faculty together to share their love of literature. The program celebrates the experience of communal listening and the spoken word. Since 2006 the program has been called “Why Read Aloud?: The Megan Rogers Annual Festival” in honor of the life of the 2003 graduate, who died of leukemia shortly after graduating. Megan Rogers was a beloved student, who majored in English and enjoyed all the aspects of this annual event. In recent years, the “Why Read Aloud?” program has focused on marathon readings of single literary texts, such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost and James Joyce’s Ulysses.