Monday, June 28, 2010

Our New Website


Our new departmental website is being rolled out as I write. At the moment, it's a work in progress, so please be patient with us as the kinks get worked out and various aspects of the website become operational. But we're thrilled to be the first humanities department in Columbian College to have our website redesigned by the fabulous web developers at CCAS. Thank you to University Web Developer Ryan Dellolio and others in CCAS who have been so helpful in facilitating the process. And thanks also to grad student Desirea Harris, who has been helping to coordinate things from the inside.

Right now, the website has a link to this blog, which will also soon be reskinned (so it matches the look of the website) and migrated to WordPress (from Blogspot, our current host). We hope soon to have an RSS feed from the blog to the website, so that when you navigate to the website you'll also be able to keep in touch with the latest department news.

As the summer progresses, we'll also be adding new and updated content, including more information for undergraduates and better information about our graduate students. Look for those and other new features soon.

Even in its infancy, this new site is cleaner looking with better navigation. We hope you find it easier to use. One regret we have, however, is that we're losing our old URL. It's still operational. When you type "www.gwu.edu/~english" into your browser, you'll be redirected to the new website. (Same thing for individual faculty pages, etc.) That said, our old URL,

www. gwu.edu/~english,

was so elegant and concise. Don't you just love the tilda, aka the "squiggle"? I love just saying the word: tilda, tilda, tilda. Sadly, our new URL forfeits that brilliance for something serviceable but unwieldy:

http://columbian.gwu.edu/departmentsprograms/english

What's with "departmentsprograms"? I just returned from a scholarly conference in Berlin, and that phrase sounds and looks a lot like some of the phrases Mark Twain satirized in his wonderfully funny 1880 essay That Awful German Language. "These things are not words, they're alphabetical processions," wrote Twain, in response to meandering German coinages like Alterthumswissenschaften. Maybe CCAS will find a way around departmentsprograms. Until then, we will pine over the loss of our old URL, complete with that aesthetically satisfying tilda, even as we celebrate the arrival of our sleek new look.

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