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English department welcomes new co-chairs


Mance is a new English co-chair. (Courtesy of Ajuan Mance)

On Oct. 1, Dr. Ajuan Mance sent an email to undergraduate and graduate English students stating that she and Dr. Patricia Powell would be serving as the English department’s new co-chairs.

Mance, who has been at Mills since 1999, teaches courses in American and African-American literature; Mance is also a writer and artist. Mance has served as the Wert Chair in American Literature at Mills as well as the Aurelia Reinhardt Chair in American Literature, and has received several research grants through the College. According to the email, she will be the co-chair in charge of the undergraduate and graduate MA programs.

Powell, who came to the College in 2009, teaches courses in fiction, non-fiction and African literature; she previously taught creative writing at Stanford University,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens College. Powell has also written several novels including The Fullness of Everything, The Pagoda, and Me Dying Trial. She will be the co-chair of the MFA creative writing program.

“We are both well-versed in all our courses and degree programs, so feel free to approach either of us with questions,” Mance said in an email to the English department.

Previuosly heading the department were Dr. Diane Cady and Dr. Juliana Sphar. Both Cady and Sphar resigned from their positions over the summer in response to the budget and staff cuts made during Mills’ restructuring .

“We are excited about working with you in the coming year, and we welcome you to… visit us with any questions or concerns, or simply to say hello,” Mance said in
the email.