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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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TO: CAS Faculty and Staff

FROM: Virginia Sapiro, Dean of Arts & Sciences

February 11, 2014

I am very pleased to announce that Professor Gene A. Jarrett of the Department of English and African American Studies Program will become CAS Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Humanities this summer, succeeding Pat Johnson, who has decided to return full-time to her faculty role.

Gene earned his A.B. in English from Princeton and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Brown University, also in English. He then joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park as an Assistant Professor and was later promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure before joining the Department of English at Boston University in 2007. He was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2012. He has gained considerable administrative and leadership experience during his years at Boston University. He has served as Acting Director of the African American Studies Program and is completing a term as Chair of the Department of English. Gene has been exemplary in both capacities, demonstrating great skill in leading and navigating colleagues through sometimes challenging circumstances. He has also served on a wide range of governance committees at the College and University level. Beside his experience and skill, he brings to the Office of the Dean the requisite sense of humor to do his new job well.

Gene Jarrett is a distinguished scholar and teacher. He is a specialist in African American literary history; U.S. literary history between the Civil War and World War II; race, ethnic, and cultural studies; and theories of literature, aesthetics, and intellectual historiography. He is author of Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature (2007) and Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature (2011) as well as many scholarly articles, and he has edited eight volumes including, most recently, two volumes of the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature. He is currently at work on a book on Paul Laurence Dunbar, which is under contract with Princeton University Press. He has won numerous awards and recognition from his professional colleagues, and was recently elected Chair of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association, its largest section.

He succeeds Professor Pat Johnson of the Department of Classical Studies in this position. Pat has done an extraordinary job as the inaugural Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Humanities. It has been a pleasure to work with her, and she has filled this role with skill, wisdom, and generosity. We will have time to thank her properly at a later date. She will work closely with Gene to ensure a smooth transition.

The CAS Associate Deans of the Faculty tend to all manner of work related to ensuring that we recruit the best faculty and nurture their careers in a manner that will support BU as a pre-eminent research and education university. For more about the CAS Office of Faculty Actions, see . The Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Humanities works closely with humanities departments, programs, and faculty, and is charged to help lead a vision for the humanities that puts us in a leadership position nationally and internationally, and that links the humanities with our other fields of strength in the natural and social sciences and professional fields.

The decanal changeover will take place this summer.