First Friday


Updated your links to the new English Faculty Forum.


First Friday is a continuation of a long tradition that goes back almost to the beginning of VCU’s English Department. A year after RPI merged with MCV in 1968, Ann Woodlief, now retired, began a departmental newsletter called The English Exchange. This became the first in a long line of public exchanges in which members of the department began sharing their ongoing research and writing—and sharing ideas about what they were doing in the classroom.

When Richard Priebe came to VCU in 1973 he initiated an informal series of exchanges that were known as Brown Bag Lunches. This symposium went on to become university-wide in scope, and fifteen to twenty-five members of the department participated in it regularly. When the College of Humanities and Sciences Symposium ended there was an informal continuation of it, organized around a central theme each year.

During the late 1980s another group in the department began a symposium on Composition Theory; and in 1990 Marcel Cornis-Pope and Bill Griffin put together a faculty discussion group called Theory Across the Curriculum, which met until 1994. In 1994 Terry Oggel initiated the Faculty Symposium to give faculty an opportunity to discuss their research and writing through presentations that were open to the public. It met during the lunch hour and followed the format of the earlier Brown Bag lunches. This was an active and successful endeavor that involved participation of at least two-thirds of the English Faculty for a decade.

Faculty Symposium Archive | 19942000.

First Friday Archive | 20072010.

First Friday embodies the tradition of exchange of ideas on research, teaching, and writing of the Faculty Symposium that Terry Oggel started more than a decade ago. We will have three presentations each semester to be given in the departmental conference room, Hibbs 308. Everyone in the department, the university, and the community at large is invited to attend; and all in the department are invited to volunteer to make a presentation.

Bryant Mangum