Prof. Joanne JacobsonThe Honors Program recently hosted another installment of our Honors Roundtable series, an event in which faculty members reflect on their career and trajectory, their interests and the path that brought them to become the scholars they are today.  For our weekly Wednesday luncheon on October 28, Professor Joanne Jacobson of the English department joined us to talk about writing, change, and the element of surprise in her unfolding life in the academy.
Prof. Jacobson, who has taught in the English Department at YU since 1990, is serving her second term now as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  She has published two books—Authority and Alliance in the Letters of Henry Adams and Hunger Artist: A Suburban Childhood—and is currently completing a volume of literary nonfiction on chronic illness, Every Last Breath.  
 
She began with her upbringing, and went on to discuss her doctoral thesis, which became her first book, and the themes of immigration and industrialization.  After a brief talk, Prof. Jacobson read three of her essays on the topic of illness for the audience, which was very poignant since she read about the illnesses of her mother, her father and herself.  After the reading, Prof. Jacobson opened up the floor for questions.  In response to one of the questions, Prof. Jacobson discussed the tension between creative writing and academia, pointing out that academia provides a safe place so that people can be creative while still making a living.
 

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