Alice Dunbar Nelson–Poet of Harrisburg

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve gotten more interested in the specific connections of the “New Negro Renaissance” that I took up in my book to my own specific location in Harrisburg.  While we tend to think of cultural movements as emanating and developing only in the major metropolitan centers (and so we […]

Gwendolyn Bennett of Harrisburg

Although I’ve published my book on the Harlem Renaissance, it remains one of the pleasures of the scholarly life to continue to learn and discover yet more about things I feel I know quite well.  One thing that has continued to interest me is the ways in which the “Harlem” Renaissance extended and had connections […]

Esther Popel Shaw, Poet of Harrisburg

I didn’t really look into the poetry and other writings of Esther Popel Shaw while working on Goodbye Christ?, but digging around for the ways the Harlem Renaissance may connect to the City of Harrisburg for a presentation I’m doing at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, I discovered her biographical connection to the region.  Born in Harrisburg […]

Presentation–St. Stephen’s Cathedral–12/2 & 12/9 2018

I had the great good pleasure of presenting on Goodbye Christ? the past couple of Sundays at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. My slides used in the presentation are embedded below, though I offer them mostly as a demonstration of my astonishingly limited visual imagination. Some of the slides don’t stand easily on their own and require […]


PETER KERRY POWERS PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT Messiah College. Dean, School of the Humanities, July 2008 to present (Interim 2008-10) Chair of English, 2001-08. Director, Writing Across the Curriculum, 2005-08. Professor of English, 2007 to present. Associate Professor of English, 2000-07. Assistant Professor of English, 1997-2000. Hampden-Sydney College. Visiting Assistant Professor, 1992-93. Duke University. Graduate Tutor, 1986-91. […]

Professional Bio

Peter Kerry Powers, Ph.D.   Peter Kerry Powers is the founding dean of the School of Arts, Culture, and Society at Messiah University. His leadership has been characterized by three primary areas of concern:  advocacy for global engagement and inclusive excellence, engagement of the liberal arts with the sciences and emerging technologies, and enlarging our […]

What is a liberal art: Elizabeth Stone on the vocation vs. vocational in higher education

This summer I’m working sporadically on what I hope will turn in to a paper on Critical Vocationalism for the NEMLA session that I hope will be draw some substantial proposals for next year’s conference in Harrisburg. Trying to get my brain around exactly what Gerald Graff and Paul Jay might mean by Critical Vocationalism […]

A teacher’s work

As professors we often make the mistake of asking each other in the hallway whether we are getting time “for our own work,”  as if whatever it is that we are doing everyday in class and in our offices is not our own work but some alien thing forced upon us that belongs to others. […]

Giving students what they want whether they want it or not

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that one study shows that in some cases e-textbooks are saving students the grand total of one greenback per course. Figuring in the costs of hardware, tech support, infrastructure, and etcetera that are adding immensely to the cost of tuition anyway—not to mention the disappearance of a secondary […]

More signs that the world as we know it has come to an end

Old news, I know, but I thought I shouldn’t let pass the passing of the Washington Post Book World.  All the old arguments are to be made:  newspapers are cutting their own throats by cutting books since, after all, who reads newspapers anymore other than the people who read books.  On the other hand, my […]