2012 Alden Dissertation Prize
The Alden Dissertation Prize of $2,500 is awarded each year to the Ph.D. student in English whose dissertation shows the greatest promise of scholarly achievement. The joint winners this year for dissertations finished between June 2011 and March 2012 are Ed Finn and Kenny Ligda.
Ed’s dissertation, written under the direction of Ursula Heise, is entitled " The Social Lives of Books: Literary Networks in Contemporary American Fiction”. Ed is currently an assistant professor at Arizona State University with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media & Engineering as well as English. He is also the director of the new Center for Science and the Imagination.
Kenny’s dissertation, written under the direction of Alex Woloch, is entitled “Serious Comedy: British Modernist Humor and Political Crisis”. Kenny is about to start his second year as the Course Coordinator of the Literary History sequence here in the English department at Stanford.
Congratulations to both Ed and Kenny!
Careers in Teaching Conference
On December 2nd, the English Department welcomed guest speakers to “Careers in Teaching,” a conference designed to inform graduate students about career possibilities in independent high schools and community colleges. The day was attended by more than 60 people from 15 different Stanford departments, including English, the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL), biology, anthropology, the school of education, and earth sciences. The occasion was full of energy and optimism. Capturing in a word the spirit of the event, Eric Chandler of the Kent Denver School described it as "inspiring."
The panelists came from some of the best private schools and community colleges in the country, including the Branson School in Marin County, the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Horace Mann in New York, Kent Denver in Colorado, and the Menlo School in Menlo Park. They also included the president of the Association of Departments of English, Tom Hurley, and Jonathan Ball, the director of school services for the leading independent school recruitment firm, Carney, Sandoe, & Associates in Boston.
In the first session, Stanford Ph.D. alumni spoke frankly about the deliberations that led them to their current positions. In the second, four panelists, all with Ph.D.s in the humanities, explained the day-to-day experience of teaching in an independent school or community college. The third session focused on logistical matters, providing insight into how to apply and make oneself competitive for such positions. All of the panels involved full and vibrant discussion sessions. The participants were also able to speak with the panelists at greater length during the afternoon “breakout” session.
"Careers in Teaching" was funded by a SCORE grant from the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
Video of the conference is available on the conference website under the "Pages" section of the right sidebar: http://careersinteaching.stanford.edu