Dean of Faculty Report, February 2005

At every monthly faculty meeting during the school year, the Dean of Faculty presents brief overviews of recent publications and other achievements by the Mount Holyoke faculty. Here are excerpts from the February 2005 report of Penny Gill, Acting Dean of Faculty:

I hope everyone has had a restful and productive January. I have good news to report about projects recently brought to completion and new projects receiving funding. But first, a stunning award to LITS. The Association of College and Research Libraries has awarded LITS the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award to recognize academic libraries which are most successful at furthering the educational mission of their institutions. They cite “creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of their academic community, leadership in developing and implementing exemplary programs that other libraries can emulate, and substantial and productive relationships with classroom faculty and students.” We congratulate Pat Albanese, Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of Library, Information, and Technology Services on the Katherine Johnson Hatcher Endowment, for her leadership, and the outstanding LITS staff on this superb accomplishment. We are so grateful for the central role you play in every dimension of teaching and learning at Mount Holyoke.

  • Publications
  • Awards


The fifth edition of The Norton Anthology of Poetry has arrived, edited by Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities, and Jon Stallworthy. It is a splendid collection, as I am sure many of you know. Three Mount Holyoke poets are included: Gjertrud Schnackenberg ’75, Brad Leithauser, husband of Mary Jo and fellow Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities, and of course, Emily Dickinson. Many of the contemporary poets have read at Mount Holyoke, in part through the good offices of the Glascock poetry competition each spring.

Tom Wartenberg, Professor and chair of Philosophy, has returned from giving an invited paper in Moscow, where he also demonstrated his new CD about teaching children philosophy. Along with Angela Curran, a former member of our philosophy department, Tom has edited a new book to be published by Blackwell: The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Text and Readings.

Joe Ellis, Professor of History, has returned from a fall of book tours; at last count, he visited 21 cities with five or six stops in each one. TV watchers might have seen him talking with Dan Rather about the inauguration or with Charlie Rose. Ellis’s latest book, His Excellency George Washington, continues to receive critical praise.


Being dean of faculty must stimulate one’s creative juices. A new piece by Peter Berek, professor of English and former dean of faculty at MHC, “Cross-Dressing, Gender, and Absolutism in the Beaumont and Fletcher Plays,” which appeared in Studies in English Literature last spring, received the Monroe Kirk Spears Award. The editors described the essay as “marked by clarity, economy, and felicity of expression and by elegant and discerning interpretation.”

Dan Czitrom, Professor of History, has been awarded a very competitive NEH fellowship for next year for his new book, Mysteries of the City: Politics, Culture, and New York’s Underworld in Turn-of-the-Century America.

Siraj Ahmed, Assistant Professor of English, has also received a NEH for next year to finish his new book The Stillbirth of Capital: Enlightenment, British India, and Empire's Origin on the first century of British rule in India.

Darby Dyar, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Geology and chair of Astronomy, has received $76,939 from the National Science Foundation for “RUI: Collaborative Research: Improvements in the Application of the Mossbauer Effect to Studies of Minerals,” a collaborative project with Louisiana State University.

Submitted by Penny Gill
February 2005