Three English faculty members retire


Three faculty members from English retired during the past academic year: Margaret Jordan (Senior Lecturer), Ellen Barton (Professor), and Michael Scrivener (Distinguished Professor).  Each of them had a long and distinguished career within the department, with many accomplishments worthy of celebration. 

Dr. Jordan, a specialist in African-American Literature, joined the Department of English in 1993, where she taught highly popular courses on African-American literature, Native American literature, and women writers. A beloved instructor whose classes were favorites among our undergraduates, she won the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award. In addition, she published a book entitled African American Servitude and Historical Imaginings: Retrospective Fiction and Representation (Palgrave, 2004) that analyzed the cultural role of Black servants and slaves.  

Professor Barton was hired in 1985 as a specialist in Rhetoric and Composition as well as Linguistics, and her research focuses on medical communication, medical rhetoric, and ethics in health and medicine.  Over the course of her career, she published over fifty articles and book chapters (including four award-winning articles in top journals within her field) as well as one book (Nonsentential Constituents: A Theory of Grammatical Structure and Pragmatic Interpretation, John Benjamins, 1990) and two edited collections.  In addition to earning an international reputation for her cutting-edge research agenda, Professor Barton made important contributions to the department and university by serving as Director of the Linguistics Program (1997-2002), Director of the Rhetoric and Composition Program (2007-2010), Chair of English (2010-2015), and Associate Provost for Academic Personnel (2017-2018).  Furthermore, Professor Barton received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and a Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award for her outstanding teaching and mentorship.  

Professor Scrivener—who specializes in Romantic Literature, Jewish Literary History, and Irish Literature—entered the Department in 1976.  A distinguished and prolific scholar with an international reputation, Professor Scrivener published over forty articles and book chapters, three co-edited volumes, and four monographs: Radical Shelley: The Philosophical Anarchism and Utopian Thought of Percy Bysshe Shelley (Princeton University Press, 1982); Seditious Allegories:  John Thelwall and Jacobin Writing (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001); The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Age of Revolution and Reaction, 1776-1832 (Pickering & Chatto, 2007); and Jewish Representation in British Literature 1780-1840:  After Shylock (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).  At Wayne State, he was honored with numerous awards for his research and teaching: the Liberal Arts Grant for Research and Inquiry (1998, 2000, 2002), the Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award (2002), Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Award (2003), membership in the WSU Academy of Scholars (2008), and the Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship (2013).  Outside the university, he was recognized with the Keats-Shelley Distinguished Scholar Award (2006) and with a Guggenheim Fellowship (2007-8).  In addition to his world-class research career, Professor Scrivener has been a beloved instructor and mentor to students at all levels at Wayne State, teaching popular courses on Romantic poetry, Victorian literature, Irish literature, and Jewish Studies. Professor Scrivener also helped shape graduate education in our Department by serving as the Director of Graduate Studies for three separate terms of appointment. 

Congratuations to all three on their retirement, and best wishes for the future!

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