A Year of Celebration in the English Department - Geneva College
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April 3, 2019

A Year of Celebration in the English Department

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –

This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

~ Emily Dickinson

Throughout the ages there have been many literary works that have borne the human soul.  They have spoken to the very nature of what it means to be human and left their mark on the world. 

In our lives, there are people who come and go, who have a similar effect.  They teach us something about what it means to love this world God has given us, and to live in it well.

This year the Geneva College English Department has the privilege of celebrating some of both the literature and the people, which have been instrumental in helping students understand the question of what it means to be human. 

On February 14, we observed the 200th birthday of author and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who wrote the powerful memoir The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The college celebrated this day, by bringing in Dr. Jay Case from Malone University to lecture on who Frederick Douglass was and the significance of his life’s work. 

The English Department also celebrated by putting The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass on the professors’ summer reading lists. Dr. Morton, Assistant Professor of English, also added this book to her Advanced Composition syllabus to give her students the chance to know this great work in a deeper sense.

The English Department is devoted to celebrating works like this and many others. The professors desire to cultivate in their students a love for authors like Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, the Bronte Sisters, Emily Dickinson, C.S. Lewis, and many others. These are loves that generations of faculty and staff have instilled in student after student.

This year, the annual Geneva Reading Series (GRS) celebrates former faculty members by inviting Dr. Ann Paton and Professor Betty Douglas to present their work.  Dr. Paton and Prof. Douglas were two of the three founding members of the humanities curriculum here at Geneva. And they taught some of the current English Department staff like Dr. Shirley Kilpatrick and Dr. Lynda Szabo.

Dr. Paton and Professor Douglas are multi-talented women. Dr. Paton is an ordained minister, while Prof. Douglas is an artist and jazz musician. We do not yet know what to expect from them at the Geneva Reading Series; we could get a sermon, a song, a poem, et cetera. But whatever it is, it sure to be legendary.

Presenting alongside Dr. Paton and Prof. Douglas at the Geneva Reading Series are current students, Ariadne Lewis and Kevin Cochrane. The event is hosted, according to tradition, by Dr. Daniel Williams, and will take place on April 5, 2019 at 7 p.m. in John White Chapel.

Learn more about the Geneva College English Department at https://www.geneva.edu/dept/english_department.

To keep up to date with The Geneva Reading Series Check Out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GenevaReadingSeries/.

If you’d like to learn more about the core values of a biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 800-847-8255 or email admissions@geneva.edu.

-Katharyne Reitsma ‘20