Esteemed Writer Dinaw Mengestu to Join Bard College FacultyANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College announces the appointment of esteemed writer Dinaw Mengestu as professor of written arts and director of the Written Arts Program. Mengestu, who joins the faculty in fall 2016, will teach fiction workshops, among other courses, through the Division of Languages and Literature. In his role as director, Mengestu will provide leadership in the Written Arts Program, whose core faculty comprises distinguished writers of poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction—including Mary Caponegro, Teju Cole, Robert Kelly, Porochista Khakpour, Ann Lauterbach, Joseph O’Neill, Luc Sante, and Mona Simpson, among many others.
“It is a remarkable privilege to join Bard’s distinguished faculty, and to be part of such a socially engaged and intellectually vibrant community of students and scholars,” says Mengestu.
Dinaw Mengestu came to the United States with his family from Ethiopia at the age of two. Since earning his M.F.A. at Columbia University in 2005, he has published three novels, all of them New York Times Notable Books, including How To Read the Air (Riverhead, 2010), The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead, 2007), and his most recent, All Our Names (Knopf, 2014). A 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Mengestu also earned a 2007 National Book Foundation Under 35 Award and was included on The New Yorker “20 Under 40” list in 2010. He is the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, Guardian First Book Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among numerous other awards. His work has been translated into more than 15 languages. Mengestu is also a freelance journalist who has reported from sub-Saharan Africa about life in Darfur, northern Uganda, and eastern Congo, and has had his work published in Harper’s, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. He has taught writing at Brooklyn College and Georgetown University.
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CAPTION INFO: Writer Dinaw Mengestu joins Bard College faculty as professor of written arts and director of the Written Arts Program.
About the Written Arts Program
The purpose of the Written Arts Program is to permit and encourage students to experiment with their own writing in a context sensitive to intellectual, historical, and social realities, as well as past and current literary landscapes. Writing so pursued then becomes part of a humanist education, in which the private effort of the writer addresses and becomes part of the world’s discourse. We expect that our writers are also passionate readers.
The program is staffed exclusively by distinguished writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction who emphasize both innovative, experimental work and work that foregrounds the conventions of writing. Intellectual stress is placed on literary theory and literary history, making students aware of conscious and unconscious influences on their writing, and of the reception their work is likely to find in the world.
In addition to the current faculty, Bard has an impressive legacy of visiting writers and writers in residence, including Chinua Achebe, John Ashbery, Ralph Ellison, William Gaddis, Anthony Hecht, Mary McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Peter Orner, Cynthia Ozick, Salvador Plascencia, Philip Roth, Karen Russell, and Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk, José Saramago, and Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Written Arts conceives of writing as a practice, an energetic private enactment of public language. Self-expression is not part of the job description—any self one happens to have will inevitably come to expression whether it’s summoned or not. http://writtenarts.bard.edu
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard is an independent, nonsectarian, residential, coeducational college offering a four-year B.A. program in the liberal arts and sciences and a five-year B.S./B.A. degree in economics and finance. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a dual degree—a B.Music and a B.A. in a field other than music—and offers an M.Music in vocal arts and in conducting. Bard also bestows M.Music desgree in curatorial, critical, and performance studies through The Orchestra Now, and at Longy School of Music of Bard College. Bard and its affiliated institutions also grant the following degrees: A.A. at Bard High School Early College, a public school with campuses in New York City, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Newark, New Jersey; A.A. and B.A. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and through the Bard Prison Initiative at six correctional institutions in New York State; M.A. in curatorial studies, M.S. in economic theory and policy, and M.S. in environmental policy and in climate science and policy at the Annandale campus; M.F.A. and M.A.T. at multiple campuses; M.B.A. in sustainability in New York City; and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. Internationally, Bard confers dual B.A. degrees at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia (Smolny College); American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan; and Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University; as well as dual B.A. and M.A.T. degrees at Al-Quds University in the West Bank.
Bard offers nearly 50 academic programs in four divisions. Total enrollment for Bard College and its affiliates is approximately 5,500 students. The undergraduate college has an enrollment of more than 1,900 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. In 2016, Bard acquired the Montgomery Place estate, bringing the size of the campus to nearly 1,000 acres. For more information about Bard College, visit www.bard.edu.
Bard Press Contact:Mark Primoff
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