Tag Archives: Abelove

Henry Abelove to Fill Nation’s First LGBTQ Faculty Position

Wilbur Fisk Osborne Professor of English Henry Abelove retired from Wesleyan in 2011 after thirty-something years, but he’s not done teaching yet. The intensely beloved (err, abeloved) faculty member (whose revered Walden FYI BZOD was lucky enough to take) will instead be making history at Harvard—his alma mater—where he will fill the first endowed faculty position for LGBTQ studies in the United States. A one-semester position, the F.O. Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality will be tasked with teaching courses on LGBTQ issues. As the Harvard Crimson reports, it was made possible by a $1.5 million endowment raised by the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus:

Lecturer on History and Literature Timothy P. McCarthy ‘93, who has served on the HGLC board since 2006, coordinated the event that honored Abelove as the first Matthiessen visiting professor.

“Since the HGLC took part in the fundraising for the creation of the Matthiessen Chair, I thought it was really important that we have something to welcome professor Abelove back to Harvard after all these years,” McCarthy said. “It’s a big achievement to have raised $1.5 million to endow a chaired professorship.”

Student Forum: Reading Walden — Spots Available

In fall of my freshman year, I took an FYI with Professor Henry Abelove simply called “Thoreau.” The syllabus of the class consisted of Thoreau’s famous book Walden and nothing else. The class was not only one of the best ones I’ve taken at Wesleyan, but also one of the most eye-opening. I was inspired enough that I’ve gone to Walden twice with classmates since taking the class and almost always have the book on hand to reread.

Though Henry Abelove’s semester with my class was his last teaching at Wesleyan, I’m excited to announce that two of my classmates, Leonid Liu ’14 and Oren Finard ’14, are teaching a student forum modeled after Abelove’s legendary class—with Abelove’s approval, of course. If I weren’t abroad, I’d definitely be taking this, and if you’re at Wes, you should add it to your list. It sounds cheesy, but I probably learned more about myself from reading Walden than I have at any other moment in my life. Description after the jump: