While a few professors are on leave this semester, the English Department is home to three new visiting professors. Jolena Zabel '16 sat down with them recently to find out more about these professors and their first impressions of Macalester.
Lesley Goodman: Goodman was raised outside Washington, D.C., earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Swarthmore College, and attended graduate school at Harvard University. Her main interests are 19th century British literature and the theories and histories of reading. “It’s always interesting to see what grabs people’s interest; every group is different,” she says. This semester Goodman is teaching Jane Austen, which looks at the literary works and continuing relevance of Austen’s writing, and Tearjerkers, which asks what causes emotion in writing. Of the English Department Goodman notes, “It’s amazing how close the relationships are between faculty and students.”
Megan Atwood: Atwood has bachelor’s degrees in English and anthropology from the University of Iowa, but has spent the last 15 years in the Twin Cities. She has an MFA from Hamline in writing for children’s and young adult fiction and her office is full of YA favorites such as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and the Uglies series. She’s especially interested in what makes young adult novels appealing to such a broad audience, how they tackle tough issues, and why they remain popular for generations. Atwood is teaching Creative Writing: Young Adult Fiction this semester. She says she is thoroughly enjoying teaching such a passionate and engaging group of students.
Nick Dybek: Dybek, originally from Kalamazoo, Mich., has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MFA in fiction writing from the Iowa Writers Workshop. This semester he is teaching Introduction to Creative Writing and Crafts of Writing: Fiction. The kindness and receptiveness of Macalester students has impressed him. He says he’s “loving teaching here” and is optimistic about the coming year.