Spring 2020

Valedictorian Message for 2020 Commencement

Anika T Nykanen, Spring 2020 English Department Valedictorian

We are living through a decisive civil rights movement. Black Lives Matter protests have been held daily across the country for over three weeks. A march for Black trans lives in Brooklyn on June 14th drew an estimated 15,000 people to the streets in solidarity.

My valedictorian speech, which will run as part of the English department commencement ceremony on June 20th, does not address this movement. Instead, I talk about Harry Potter.

The department has kindly offered this space for me to share an alternative to the prerecorded original speech, since technical issues prevent me from taking down and redoing the first version.

Online Tutoring for ENG, HC, or AEIS courses

Are you interested in receiving online support over the course of the term for your work in English, Honors College, or AEIS course?  Then you are eligible to access the Writing Associates Online Tutorial services.


Here’s how it works:

• go to our Writing Associates scheduling site: https://writingassociates.uoregon.edu

• click on “Create a new account” and select a username and password

Course Highlight: Thoreau


This Spring, students have the opportunity to learn about “the Thoreau you don’t know,” deep-diving into the works of Thoreau, and exploring the ways in which his remarkable literary career intersected with his famously reclusive personal life. In this course, students will study Thoreau’s twenty-year literary career and his various social and political philosophies.  

Course Highlight: Theories of Literacy

In this course, students will explore the various ways in which reading and writing work in a global, digital world and what that means for local communities. The course covers competing explanations and theories of how literacy works and is valued, and encourages students to critically reflect on how these theories intersect with community experience and propose solutions for improved access to literacy. 

Course Highlight: Living Writers

This Spring, students have the unique opportunity to participate in a special studies course that explores contemporary creative writing and the concepts of ownership and authorship of texts. In Miriam Gershow’s upcoming Living Writers class, students will read and discuss a memoir, a short story collection, a creative nonfiction book, and a graphic novel before bringing their observations an

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