diversity, feminist theory
By JILL MAXBAUER
At Saint Mary's this year, Professor Alexis Brooks-DeVita joins the English department teaching African American Women's Autobiographical Writings, African American Women in Literature, and a first year Language and Literature W class entitled Women Writing About Ethnicity, Equality and Education.
Brooks-DeVita is the first full-time black female professor in the history of Saint Mary's. The idea of increased diversity on campus is a goal that both the college and Brooks-DeVita share. She has both personal and academic goals for diversity and hopes that the desire to diversify seeps into the classroom.
"I am impressed by the school's desire to create more diversity. The students' desire to learn and my desire to teach will bring us together," Brooks-DeVita said.
Brooks-DeVita received a Masters' degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado-Boulder and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Reading Literature by Women of African Descent, where she analyzes English, Spanish, Italian and French literature for roots from the African culture.
Before coming to Saint Mary's, Brooks-DeVita taught English and Women's Studies at the University of Southern Colorado. In the market for a new position, Brooks DeVita considered Saint Mary's. Following her visit and guest teaching at Saint Mary's in the spring of 2001, DeVita made a decision to come to Saint Mary's.
"I was very impressed by the women and the learning atmosphere," Brooks-DeVita said "I love the idealism of the students I have been meeting."
Through the combined effort of the English and Women's Studies department another new professor joins Saint Mary's faculty this semester. Professor Astrid Henry, a joint professor, will teach for in both the English Department and the Women's Studies Department. Her fall curriculum teaching the first year Language and Literature W class, Introduction to Women's Studies, as well as a course called Feminist Generation.
Henry previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Granell College in Iowa. Given the opportunity to shop for a new college and position, Henry interviewed with Saint Mary's and accepted the offer.
"Although I was considering several positions, Saint Mary's made the most appealing offer," Henry said.
Henry earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence in New York; Henry received Masters from the New School for Social Research also located in New York focusing her disortation in US feminist theory. She then moved to Wisconsin to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin also with a concentration in US. feminist theory. She received this degree in English with a concentration in Modern Studies. With her emphasis in feminist theory, Henry hopes to expand Saint Mary's curriculum. Although it is early in the year, Henry is already looking into becoming involved with various groups on campus.
"I want to create a greater presence of Women's Studies on campus by bringing younger feminist concerns into the curriculum to help move more students into the Women's Studies program," Henry said.
All News Stories for Wednesday, August 29, 2001