Sunday, May 14, 2006


Today this space is given over to celebration. (and yes, I did call my mother.) I flew to State College, PA, from California to be with these fine people you see here depicted as they were awarded their Doctorates in English at Penn State University. I wound up spending Friday night at Dulles Airport courtesy of United Airlines, but I did get to town in time for the graduation ceremonies. On the left here you see me with Dr. Chaunda McDavis, a wonderful young scholar who has just completed a dissertation on African American women novelists and their responses to such phenomena as the Black Arts Movement and the Moynihan Report. Chaunda also worked with me editing some uncollected journalism by C.L.R. James. She is a fine teacher and writer and I expect you'll be hearing more from her in the near future. To the right you see Dr. Steven Thomas, who I first came to know through his work in our graduate student organizations at both the local level and at the Modern Language Association. Steven has also been a key member in the Comparative Literature Department's Penn State Americanists group.

And this, for me, is the real point of doing the work that I do. So I hope you will indulge me in a moment of sheer unadulterated pleasure.

And the call to my mother . . . I had to phone her on my sister's cell phone as they were all driving back on Mother's Day from yet another graduation -- My niece, Healey Adams, got her BA from USC this weekend.

Hope your day has been as good as ours. I'm flying back to Santa Barbara in the morning. Here's a photo of Dr. McDavis and her family.

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