Lance Larsen Announced as New Chair of English Department

The College of Humanities will appoint Lance Larsen as the new chair of the Department of English.

PROVO, Utah (May 22, 2017)—Lance Larsen will be the new chair of the Department of English, effective July 1. He will be replacing Phil Snyder, who has served as department chair since 2012. Larsen, a professor and poet, has served as a graduate coordinator, college chair of rank and status, and associate chair, in addition to serving as Utah’s poet laureate from 2012-2017.

“I am grateful for the hands-on and strategic leadership Prof. Synder has provided to the largest department at BYU during five years of service,” said Dean Scott Miller. “He and his associate chairs Kim Johnson, Trent Hickman and Leslie Thorne-Murphy have overseen several major initiatives, and have added strength and distinction to the department.”

Commenting on Larsen’s appointment, Miller said, “We are fortunate to have Professor Larsen’s skill and experience to further shape the department. He will continue a legacy of strong leadership.”

Of his new appointment Larsen said, “I look forward to the chance to work more closely not only with full-time faculty but adjunct faculty, graduate instructors, and an excellent support staff.  The department is in excellent shape right now. The words of Friar Laurence—I’ve been teaching Romeo and Juliet of late—seem especially apropos in suggesting both a method and governing philosophy: ‘Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.’”

Larsen has taught at BYU since 1993. His teaching interests include poetry, creative writing, American literature, and Shakespeare. He has published four poetry collections, with a fifth, What the Body Knows, forthcoming in 2017. His poetry and prose appear widely in such venues as New York Review of Books, Poetry, APR, Best American Poetry 2009, Brevity, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere. He has won a number of awards, including a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently co-directing a theatre study abroad program in London.

Larsen would also like to announce the members of the new DEC: Brett McInelly, Jill Rudy, and Steve Tuttle.

“Collectively, they bring to the table wide-ranging administrative experience in graduate studies, rank and status, composition and rhetoric, hiring, the faculty advisory council, etc., as well as sectional commitments in British and American literature, creative writing, and folklore,” Larsen said. “I thank them for their selflessness in accepting this demanding three-year appointment.”

Brett C. McInelly joined the English department in 2000 after completing a PhD at the University of Cincinnati. His teaching interests include eighteenth-century British literature, the novel, drama, and composition. He served as the coordinator of University Writing for eight years and also fulfilled a five-year term on the Faculty General Education Council. Dr. McInelly also served two terms as the president of the South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, most recently from 2016-17. His research focuses on the literary reception of Methodism in the eighteenth-century; he is the author of Textual Warfare and the Making of Methodism (Oxford UP, 2014).

 Jill Terry Rudy has a PhD in Folklore from Indiana University-Bloomington and has taught at BYU since 1996. She teaches courses in folklore, writing literary criticism, applied English, and myth, legend, and folktale. She directed the BYU American studies program and served on the Faculty Advisory Council. She leads the digital humanities mentored-research project Fairy Tales on Television (FTTV) and has published articles and co-edited collections on American folklore scholarship, foodways, and fairy tales and media.

 Stephen Tuttle received his PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah and joined the English faculty at BYU in 2006. He teaches courses in fiction writing, creative writing theory, and American Literature. He has directed the creative writing MFA program, coordinated the English Reading Series, and served on the Faculty Advisory Council. As a fiction writer, he has published work in a number of national literary journals. This spring, he is directing the British Literature and Landscape study abroad program in the United Kingdom.    

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