On Thursday, March 28, 2013, the English Graduate Student Association, with the support of the English Department and the Graduate Alumni Fund, hosted Prof. Darcy Brandel, a 2006 alumna of our department and currently Associate Professor of English at Marygrove College in Detroit. This was the first of our Graduate Alumni speaker events, and it was a great experience for graduate students in the department to meet a successful alumna and learn about her time at CWRU, her research, and her current position at a small liberal arts college. The events began with a lunch meeting between Darcy and the graduate students. She shared some insight into her experiences as a graduate student, her approach to the job search, and how she transitioned into a tenure-track position at another institution, and then she graciously answered our many questions and offered much useful advice.
Later in the afternoon, Darcy presented a lecture to graduate students and other members of the English Department and community titled “On Contemporary Feminist Poetics: Come Choose the Terrible Choice,” in which she shared some of her research on the contemporary feminist poet Arielle Greenberg. Darcy’s paper was interesting and provocative for all, particularly the many graduate students and faculty whose research interests lie along the same lines as Darcy’s, including women’s literature, American literature, and poetry. In the question-and-answer session, Darcy also shared some of her other recent work on translations of Buddhist poetry as well as on her own poetry manuscript currently in progress. She spoke also about the demographic of students at Marygrove and about the importance of the teaching component to her position there.
Finally, a number of graduate students and a few of the current SAGES lecturers had the opportunity to join Darcy for dinner in Little Italy for further discussion and socializing in a more relaxed setting. Along with enjoying good food and wine, we had a chance to get to know Darcy and some of our classmates in the graduate program better and compare experiences in the department as well as to get additional advice about how to prepare for the future. It was an excellent opportunity for all involved, and we look forward to sponsoring more Graduate Alumni speaker events in the future!