Events and News

Boubacar Boris Diop

Diop observed a longstanding tradition at Dickinson when he posed for a photo, along with students, on the steps of Old West, recreating a 1959 photograph of students and poet Robert Frost. (Photo by Carl Socolow '77)

Every semester, the English department hosts several lectures, readings, or special events. Below are descriptions of our annual series. Most events are free and open to the public: stop by!

Cogan Alumni Fellowship

Eleanor Cogan

Eleanor Cogan

Dickinson English alumni have all sorts of interesting jobs. Each spring, the Cogan Alumni Fellowship brings a graduate to campus to share life experience and career advice with current students. The residency was named in honor of Eleanor Cogan (1909-2011), who took 52 classes at Dickinson, beginning when she was 70. Mrs. Cogan's adventurous spirit and lifelong curiosity inspires our choice of Cogan speakers.

This spring's Cogan Fellow 2021 is Fabiola Cineas 12February 22, 2021. Fabiola  is a staff writer at Vox where she covers race, politics and policy, and culture and is a host of Vox Media Studios Emmy-nominated YouTube series "Glad You Asked." Cineas was previously the senior editor at the Philadelphia magazine, where she led the publication's coverage of the city's innovation scene, from its startups and corporations to its jobs and leaders. Cineas regularly interviewed CEOs through her monthly live event series Secrets From the C-Suite. Before covering the local economy, she covered education in Philadelphia and in her hometown of New York City. And before launching her career in journalism, she taught seventh-graders in Camden, New Jersey through Teach for America. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson College. Go to our Cogan Alumni Fellows page to read more about our past Cogan Fellows.

The Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program

Jean Louise Stellfox ’60 was inspired to become an English teacher after meeting Robert Frost during the poet’s visit to Dickinson in 1959. The Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program, funded by Jean Stellfox’s generous gift and named after her parents, continues to inspire students through literature. Each year, it brings to campus a renowned figure in the arts.

While Stellfox recipients visit campus, their influence weaves through the greater college community throughout the academic year.

Roberto Saviano, stellfox recipient 2019-20
Roberto Saviano (Photo courtesy of Riccardo Ghilardi)

March 3 at 7 PM - Film Screening and Q&A
March 4 at 7 PM - Stellfox Lecture

Through the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program, writer-activist Roberto Saviano serves an on-campus residency March 2-5, which includes a public reading, classroom visits and small-group interactions. During the lecture, the Stellfox Award-winner will read and discuss excerpts from Gomorrah (2006) and Piranhas (2016). An on-campus book signing will also take place (date and place TBA).
Saviano is an advocate for social justice, inclusivity, and human rights. Since 2006, he’s been living under armed guard, after receiving death threats from the Neapolitan Mafia. He continues his fight against crime through his books, public lectures, articles and television appearances.

Previous Stellfox Recipients: The 2018-19 Stellfox Distinguished Writer was Boubacar Boris Diop a prolific, award-winning Senegalese novelist and journalist. He is widely recognized as one of the most artistically and philosophically serious writers of his generation, with works that are characterized by exploration and reflection on the postcolonial condition in Africa. Acclaimed poet Naomi Shihab Nye was the 2017-18 recipient of The Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program. Nye is one of America's leading contemporary poets. She is a Lannan Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and has received a Witter Bynner Fellowship, administered by the Library of Congress. The fall 2016 Stellfox recipient was John Patrick Shanley. He is one of America's foremost playwrights and best known for his 2005 play Doubt, winner of four Tony awards, a Drama Desk award and the Pulitzer Prize; he also is a screenwriter and director of the 2008 film adaptation, starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Shanley wrote the screenplay for the 1987 film Moonstruck, which won three Academy Awards, including best screenplay. The spring 2016 Stellfox recipient was Edwidge Danticat who inspired individuals to "Just seek the truth and write about it." Award-winning creative writer Lorrie Moore was the Stellfox Visiting Scholar recipient in the fall 2014. In the spring of 2014 Stellfox recipient Paul Muldoon delivered a literary call to action during his inspiring residency in the spring of 2014. Ian McEwan, the Man Booker-winning writer and the first Stellfox award recipient returned as a 2015 Commencement speaker. Here is a conversation on his work, free speech, and the role the Internet can play in the evolution of literature.