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.”