Fall Semester of 2006 the English Department received a $500,000 endowment from the Gallagher Family Fund supporting an initiative to develop Cultural Journalism within the Journalism program. This initiative builds upon the presence in the English Department of Maureen Corrigan, Georgetown’s Critic-in-Residence, and NPR’s distinguished reviewer on Fresh Air, author of the critically acclaimed Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading, as well as numerous book reviews and articles in The Washington Post, Newsday, and The Nation. Her reviews and essays have also appeared in The Village Voice, The New York Times, The New York Observer and The Philadelphia Inquirer. A co-editor and contributor to the two volume “Mystery and Suspense Writers,” (Scribners) she won the coveted Edgar Award in 1999. She is also currently on the Usage Panel for the American Heritage Dictionary. Professor Corrigan has developed new courses in cultural journalism, including a course on “Public Intellectuals,” together with affiliated lectures and in-class appearances by prominent intellectuals and cultural journalists from Washington and other areas including David Frum, Aviva Kempner, Ezra Klein, Kitty Eisele, Ron Charles and Margaret Talbot. The Gallagher Initiative also makes possible the New York Walking Tour, in which Professor Corrigan takes her “New York Stories” students on a day-long walking tour of Manhattan. This initiative has also complemented some of the other initiatives that have come out of the Department in recent years, such as the Humanities Initiative and the Lannan Center programs. Additionally, Professor Corrigan often participates in events sponsored by the Library Associates, a Georgetown University Library program.
Made possible by the Gallagher Family Fund Initiative, Professor Corrigan organized and hosted a 2007 conference marking the 40th anniversary of Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History that focused on the historical meaning of the march, lessons for the modern day, and the cultural and literary significance of The Armies of the Night, author Norman Mailer’s first-person account of his participation in the march. The book won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The one-day symposium included a film screening and panel discussions with essayist and critic Katha Politt, cultural historian and critic Morris Dickstein, novelist and poet Todd Gitlin, historian Michael Kazin, and Mailer’s biographer Mike Lennon.