Professor of English and Former Dean of the Faculty/Acting Provost

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising four children who now have independent, interesting lives and who love to read and travel.

What do you believe CC does best?

Offers smart and curious students an excellent liberal arts education.

If there was one thing you would change about CC, what would it be?

More office, learning, and lab spaces!

What is your greatest fear?

Missing out.

Which person, living or dead, do you most admire?

Zora Neale Hurston.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

The writers Jessie Redmon Fauset and Alexandre Dumas, the painters Eugène Delacroix and Jordan Casteel, and the filmmakers Ava DuVernay and Michael Powell.

Where do you most want to visit?

India is the country that I’m most curious about but haven’t visited.

If you could hang out in one spot on campus, where would it be?

Tutt Library: I love how the building is such a hive of activity of many different kinds. I especially love how it looks at night from afar.

What memory about CC really sticks in your head?

The student town hall in Winter 2020 when hundreds of students announced that they were holding the college accountable for living up to our antiracist and DEI commitments.

What was your most memorable block break or block?

The first time I taught the class Black Writers in Paris, in Paris with Professor of French Ibrahima Wade, Block 4, 2005.

What is your motto?

“‘Isn’t life,’ she stammered, ‘isn’t life—’ But what life was she couldn’t explain. No matter. He quite understood. ‘Isn’t it, darling?’” (Katherine Mansfield, “The Garden Party.”)

What is one non-dominant and/or non-visible identity you would like to share about yourself?

I’m visually impaired.

If you didn’t work in your current profession, what other job would you most like to have?

I’d be a professional writer.

On what occasion do you do a “happy dance?”

When I see our granddaughters.

What is a talent you have that very few know about?

I can always beat the daily Angry Birds challenge.

What would be the last line in your biography?