Reading Speaking Writing

Click for larger imageIn about a month, on August 9, 2011, a number of department and college mergers will take place here at Angelo State.  As part of these organizational changes, the Departments of English and Modern Languages will join into the Department of English and Modern Languages.  I will be the head of this new department of 28 faculty, including 2 graduate teaching assistants, 2 part-time faculty, 1 new visiting assistant professor in Spanish, 6 instructors, and 19 tenured and tenure-track faculty.  We will be adding additional part-time faculty soon, and perhaps 1 more lecturer, and that would take us up to 30 or more.  Multidisciplinary departments are not uncommon in universities our size, and as departments of English expand into creative writing, technical writing, linguistics, and in some cases into teaching English as a second language, the disciplinary breadth and distinctions can expand fairly dramatically.  Add to that diversity a variety of modern languages and literatures (in our case, Spanish, German, French, and Russian), and the range and fault lines can grow even further.  Some departments under these circumstances change their names to “Language and Literature” to acknowledge what these disciplines share.  I don’t know if we’ll change our name, but it helps me to think of other more basic things we share in common, like reading, speaking, and writing.