I have been asked to be a guest contributor to the Association of American Colleges and Universities’s (AACU) blog called liberal.education nation. Here’s my little ditty about the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award and looking forward to the AACU conference:
I am deeply honored to be selected as one of the 2011 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recipients. I am humbled to be counted among such esteemed and talented peers, past and present, who represent a wide range of disciplines and institutions. It is a heartful and hopeful feeling to be recognized for not only what we have accomplished but what promise we hold for the future.
The start of the New Year has always been for me a time of reflection, of recounting, and of prospection. And the start of this year has been particularly conflicted, both amazing and sobering. I am entering my last year, ostensibly, of my dissertation and looking ahead to going “on the market” this coming autumn. I am watching friends and peers of my cohort going through that process right now, freshly returned from the Modern Language Association’s annual conference in Los Angeles. And I am witnessing a country, a culture, deeply embattled over minds, bodies, resources, even history itself—a struggle that continues to cut deeply into the very domains I have dedicated myself to keeping vital and inviting. I think about years to come, about the now-average multiyear job search for PhD English grads, about the political and economic climate I will enter, and I can genuinely say that I look forward to the challenge. After all, these challenges are the very things that the arts and humanities, liberal education, and teachers and activists hope to transform and overcome.