What I’m Up To: Jan. 2021 edition

January is always a tough month on my blog. Despite the New Year’s resolutions to post more regularly (that I’ve mostly stopped making), life gets pretty busy. That’s true, even more than usual, this year. Besides the normal start of the semester flurry of getting classes online, getting students in classes, admitting new students, etc., there was, of course, the inauguration and all the news from Washington as a distraction.

Closer to home, the normal tasks of a department chair, like putting together the summer and fall schedules while juggling classes and students for the current semester, were complicated with a major revision to our English major that our department has been working on for the last two years. That meant writing up 17 proposals to revise our major and create five concentrations (instead of 3): Literature, African American Literature, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and English Teacher Ed. We realigned our requirements, added new classes in Digital Writing and Black Women Writers, and modified existing classes to create Professional Writing, Applied Linguistics, and Young Adult Literature. And Spanish and Philosophy got into the act with a few curriculum and course changes, including a new course in Spanish to substitute for study abroad by working with local native-Spanish speakers.

Most of the work to get to this point was done in the Fall and earlier, but writing everything up in proposal format took a fair amount of time. We then had our department meeting to vote on all proposals, and then put it all together to send to the dean and on to the curriculum committee.

In the midst of all this, we had a faculty member resign (for unrelated reasons), so we juggled his classes and I put together a proposal to hire his replacement. That position announcement, for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in English / Creative Writing Fiction is now on our school’s website.

So I apologize for not posting more about the normal subjects on this blog. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to those soon. In the meantime, I have a few last details to figure out for our fall schedule!

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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