Program for Junior Faculty Leave

When new faculty arrive at the University of Wisconsin on the tenure track, they know that they have to finish a book in five years. And not just any book. It has to make a serious contribution to knowledge, passing through a rigorous process of peer review and earning acceptance at one of the top-ranked university presses. These books allow the English Department to maintain our world-class research profile. This past year’s annual fund paid for two of our star new faculty to make progress in their research. And they did some absolutely fabulous work!

  • Christa Olson completed her first book, Constitutive Visions, which will be published by Pennsylvania State University Press this coming January ( Christa is an expert in the emerging field called “visual rhetoric,” which considers images as acts of persuasion. Constitutive Visions sketches a history of visual culture and national identity in Ecuador from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century and uses that history to better understand how people (even when they are in conflict with one another) become invested in and identified with their nation. Christa writes: “Many thanks for the gifts you’ve given to help make this work happen!”
  • Kate Vieira studies the social history of literacy. Her most recent research focuses on U.S. migrant groups. For many immigrants, she discovers, literacy is not about upward mobility or assimilation but rather about the papers that enter into their lives. Literacy to them means regulation, bureaucracy, and having (or not having) the right document to go where you want to go. Kate used her semester of leave to complete her book, Literacy and Legality in Immigrant America, which is being considered for publication by a university press right now. Kate sends this note: “Thank you so much for supporting this project with a crucial resource–time to write. I am deeply grateful.”

We have ten untenured faculty in the Department who are eligible for these junior faculty leaves. We have raised $180,000–almost where we need to be to cover the whole cost of $200,000!

Could you pitch in some more? We’re almost there!