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May appointed chair of College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Council

June 18, 2008

Judy Holmes

Judy Holmes

Vivian May, associate professor of women's and gender studies in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed chair of the college's Humanities Council. The council supports the teaching of humanities and engages the campus community in an intellectual discovery and exchange across humanities disciplines. The council also reviews proposals for the college's Ray Smith Symposium series, participates in the selection process for the William P. Tolley Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, and assists in the selection of the Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities.

"Having served as program/departmental representative to the Humanities Council for the past six years, I have found it to be a dynamic and engaged group of humanities scholars," May says. "As the new chair of the Humanities Council, I see its role as working in a collaborative and synergistic manner with the new Humanities Center director, Gregg Lambert, and his staff while continuing to focus on ensuring the vibrancy and strength of scholarship, teaching and symposia in the college's humanities division."

May's appointment in 2002 was the first full-time faculty appointment in the women's studies program, which formally became the Department of Women's and Gender Studies earlier this year. She earned a Ph.D. in 1997 in women's studies at Emory University and previously earned a bachelor's degree in humanistic studies at McGill University. She teaches feminist theory, literature narrative and introduction to women's studies.

May is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work focuses on feminist theory, African American literature and epistemology. She is the author of "Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist" (Routledge, 2007) and has published numerous articles in such journals as Callaloo, Southern Quarterly, Hypatia and NSWA Journal. She also serves on the scholars' board of the National Women's Studies Association, a Ford Foundation initiative.

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