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Welcoming New English & Philosophy Department Head J. Roger Kurtz, PhD


September 26, 2017

Drexel University Professor and Department Head of English and Philosophy, J. Roger Kurtz, PhD

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that J. Roger Kurtz, PhD, has been appointed Professor and Head of the Department of English and Philosophy.

Kurtz, who received his PhD in comparative literature from the University of Iowa, previously served as a tenure-track professor at Idaho State University and The College at Brockport, State University of New York. While at Brockport, Kurtz assumed many leadership roles, among them Chair of the Department of English, Interim Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Interim (and then permanent) Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, as well as Director of the Center for Scholarship and Creative Activity. In addition, he has received awards in recognition of his teaching and has published four books and numerous articles, numerous essays and book reviews in the areas of trauma theory, postcolonial and world literatures, and African literature and culture.

With this diverse experience, Kurtz is well equipped to lead the department to its next level of excellence.

This new chapter would not have been possible without the support of many others. In particular, the College is exceedingly grateful to Abioseh Porter, PhD, for his 13 years of service as department head. The College would also like to thank Ira Taffer, PhD, and Richard Astro, PhD, for co-leading the department in the interim, and would especially like to recognize and thank Taffer for his continued leadership over the past year. The groundwork this collective has laid will serve Kurtz well as he begins his tenure at Drexel.

Last but not least, the College recognizes and thanks the members of this year’s search committee (Rob D’Ovidio, PhD, Steve Mandell, PhD, Scott Warnock, PhD, Naomi Goldstein, PhD, Flavia Padovani, PhD, Christopher Nielson, PhD, and Connie Perry, PhD). We are grateful for their dedication to this search and determination to recruit an exceptional leader to the Department of English and Philosophy.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Professor Kurtz, and recognizing those who helped him find his way to Drexel.