Monday, September 12, 2022

Greetings all, 

We first want to welcome our new cohort of MFA candidates and Certificate students to the UICB. Seven MFA and ten Graduate Certificate students join us this fall. We are inspired and enthused by our new and continuing students, and will share their work and accomplishments with you throughout the year.  

As many of you know, thanks to your support, we completed an ambitious fund-raising challenge in January of 2022, raising five million dollars in endowment and spendable income. Along with ongoing support from the Graduate College, we are now in a position to hire faculty, support student education, and provide professional development opportunities to faculty, staff, and students.   

We are excited to officially welcome our highly respected colleague, historian Elizabeth Yale, who has been teaching at the Center for a number of years. She will now join the program with a 25% appointment alongside a faculty appointment in History. Eric Ensley, curator of Rare Books in Special Collections taught his first book course for the UICB this past spring and will continue to offer UICB courses on a regular basis.      

Professors Karen Carcia and Nick Cladis have renewed teaching contracts, increasing their commitment to 75%. Nick will continue to oversee the papermaking area with the enthusiasm and expertise he has brought to that role. Karen adds taking up oversight of the Material Analysis area of the program to her many contributions to the UICB.  

In internal changes to personnel, Matt Brown, after many years holding positions in both English and the Center for the Book, has joined the English Department full time. Matt has been integral to the development of the Center as a place for both research and teaching over the last 20 years. He supported the distinct nature of a program engaged in both scholarly and studio-based research, built and nurtured UICB's scholarly programming and served as Director from 2006-2012 and again in 2020-22. Matt has been a valued colleague throughout. We are grateful that he will continue in his role in English to teach courses relevant to and for the UICB. We thank Matt for his many contributions and his years of dedicated service, both invaluable to the growth of the program.   

Professors Julia Leonard and Sara Langworthy take up the positions of Director and Associate Director. We look forward to our new roles and to working with staff members Kathleen Tandy and Craig Kelchen, and all the faculty associated with the Center for the Book. 


Visitors on the calendar this fall include Printer and Publisher Russell Maret and Yasmeen Khan, Senior Rare Book Conservator, Library of Congress. Russell will be working in the print shop and Yasmeen will give the William Anthony Lecture through the UI Libraries Conservation Lab and offer a workshop to UICB students and faculty. Both visits are supported in part by the Nadia Sophie Seiler Fund.  

Russell's dates are October 10-14 and will give a public talk on Tuesday, October 11 at 5:30 pm 

Yasmeen will give a public lecture Thursday evening, Nov. 3, & will offer a hands-on workshop Saturday & Sunday November 5th & 6th.

We will hold our annual fall Open House on Friday, December 9 in North Hall and hope to see many of you there. 

We will keep you up to date on details and any new additions as we have them. Wishing everyone a great fall semester. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.   

Julie, Sara, Kathleen, & Craig