Following a competitive national search, Associate Professor Jerald Walker has been named chair of Emerson’s Writing, Literature and Publishing Department (WLP). He had been serving as interim chair since August 15, 2011.
“We are delighted to have a professor of Jerald’s depth and administrative skill assume the permanent role to chair our distinguished writing, literature and publishing department,” said Linda Moore, vice president for academic affairs.
“Our writing program is one of Emerson’s many treasurers and I am sure the department will continue to flourish under Jerald’s able stewardship,” said President Lee Pelton. “The search committee should be commended for their service and for this superb outcome,” he said.
Walker has taught at Emerson since 2010. He received his doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Iowa, combining the fields of African American literature, African American history, and creative writing. Before arriving at Emerson, he was an associate professor of English at Bridgewater State University.
“I am honored to have been selected to lead this extraordinarily talented department,” said Walker. “I look forward to the weeks and months ahead as we work together to attract even greater attention to our programs from the most talented prospects available.”
A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Walker has published in magazines such as Creative Nonfiction, The Missouri Review, The Harvard Review, Mother Jones, The Iowa Review, and The Oxford American, and he has been widely anthologized, including several times in The Best American Essays. Walker is the author of Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption, the recipient of the 2011 PEN New England/L.L. Winship Award for Nonfiction and a Best Memoir of the Year by Kirkus Reviews.
Walker has been a visiting professor in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT and in the MFA in Nonfiction Program at the University of Iowa. His teaching honors include the Favorite Faculty Award and the Martha D. Jones Award for Most Outstanding Dedication to Students.