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Kim McLarin Named Interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies

Dear members of the Emerson community:

I am pleased to announce that Kim McLarin, Professor of Creative Writing and Graduate Program Director of the MFA in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing at Emerson, has accepted my invitation to serve in an interim role as the College’s Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, beginning January 1, 2022. 

Professor McLarin will succeed Jan Roberts-Breslin, who recently was appointed Interim Provost at Emerson. It is expected that Professor McLarin will serve in the interim position until a permanent provost is named.

As interim dean, she will work with deans and faculty across disciplines to strengthen existing graduate programs and establish new ones, as well as focusing on the advancement of Professional Studies programming. She will also be the primary contact for graduate student government and graduate student development.

Professor McLarin holds the position of Professor of Creative Writing and has served as the Graduate Program Director of the MFA in Writing and Publishing Popular Fiction program since 2016. A critically-acclaimed novelist, essayist and playwright, she has been on the Emerson faculty since 2003. Prior to Emerson, she was a faculty member in the MFA program at Fairfield University, and taught journalism at Northeastern University.

Professor McLarin is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels, several essay collections and the bibilomemoir James Baldwin’s Another Country: Bookmarked.  She is co-author of Growing Up X by Ilyasah Shabazz. Her latest essay collection, Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life, was published in January 2019. Her forthcoming collection, Countersteering, will be published in 2022. 

Her nonfiction work has appeared in the New England Review, The Sewanee Review, The Sun Magazine, The Root, Slate, The Washington Post, The New York Times and many other publications. Her short fiction has appeared in Confrontation, Solstice, Callaloo and other publications. She is a former staff writer for The Associated Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. 

Professor McLarin also has regularly appeared on the Emmy-Award winning show Basic Black, Boston’s long-running television program devoted to African-American themes, which airs weekly on WGBH-TV. She was recently awarded a Live Arts Boston grant from The Boston Foundation. She holds a BA from Duke University and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy.

She is well positioned to continue the important work ahead of us in Graduate and Professional Studies.

Please join me in congratulating Professor McLarin and welcoming her to this interim role as dean.

William P. Gilligan, EdD
Interim President

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