I was a member and 2019-20 Chair of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities (2017-20), for whom I organized a roundtable at the 2019 annual convention, “The Uses and Misuses of Academic Freedom” and one at the 2021 convention, “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Library: Access to Research Resources and Academic Freedom.” I have also served as the Twentieth- and Twenty-first-Century American Language, Literature, and Culture Forum representative to MLA’s Delegate Assembly (2017-20). I served from 2014-2017 on the Advisory Committee of PMLA.
I have co-moderated a number of workshops at the Association of Departments of English Summer Seminars over the years, including three Directors of Graduate Study Pre-seminar Workshops, one discussion group, “Responding to Bullying on/of Your Campus: Strategies for Taking Action” and two Pre-seminar Workshops for chairs and directors of undergraduate studies, “Reversing the Decline in Majors and Enrollments,” at ADE-ADFL Summer Seminars.
I was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of English at the University of Missouri from the summer of 2017 to the summer of 2019, when I stepped down in order to take a 2019-20 Research Leave. I worked mostly to steer the ship in the direction established by my predecessors, though I also spent some time sharing pictures of things. I was Director of Graduate Studies for the department from 2010-2014, and Faculty Fellow in the Graduate School from summer 2015 to summer 2016.
Mizzou has a new minor in Missouri Studies, coming into existence at the same time as the new Center for Missouri Studies is being completed. I’m directing it, which means working with people across campus to find and create courses that students can take to earn the minor. I’ve developed a course on Missouri writers; my efforts to learn more about the state I’ve come to call home include giving a paper at a conference on the 200th anniversary of the Missouri Crisis, hosted by The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, and giving talks through the joint Missouri Humanities Council/State Historical Society of Missouri speakers bureau program, Show Me Missouri: Conversations about Missouri’s Past, Present, and Future (go here for more about this).