Newly appointed endowed chairs: Lydia Hamessley, Doran Larson, Tina May Hall, Quincy Newell

President David Wippman recently announced the appointment of four Hamilton faculty members to endowed chairs. All will be effective July 1, 2021.

Tina Hall was appointed the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Teaching Excellence; Lydia Hamessley was awarded the Eugene R. Tobin Distinguished Professorship; Doran Larson was named the Edward North Chair of Greek and Greek Literature; and Quincy Newell was appointed the Walcott-Bartlett Chair of Ethics and Christian Evidences.

The Faculty Handbook states that the appointment to a named chair or professorship “is an honor reflecting the special distinction that the holder of the chair brings to the College and his or her profession. Many chairs serve specific functions stipulated in the endowment or will of the donor, but several are without restriction. Appointments are normally for a fixed term, but they may be renewed.” 

Tina Hall
Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Tina May Hall

Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Tina May Hall in 2020 published The Snow Collectors (Dzanc Books), a novel described by the publisher as the story of a woman who is “plunged into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding one of the most famous stories of Arctic exploration — the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in 1845.”  

Having joined the Hamilton faculty in 2001, Hall is interested in topics that include monsters, the gothic, technology’s relationship with the body, contemporary fiction, and experimental women writers. She earned a master’s degree in fiction from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri. She won the 2010 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for a book of short stories, for The Physics of Imaginary Objects. Hall’s fiction has appeared in many literary journals, and she has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize.

Lydia Hamessley
Professor of Music Lydia Hamessley

Professor of Music Lydia Hamessley was recently recognized with a Notable Year Achievement award at Hamilton’s Class & Charter Day. In 2020, she published Unlikely Angel - The Songs of Dolly Parton (University of Illinois Press), which focuses on Parton’s songwriting with an emphasis on its connection to her Appalachian Mountain heritage.

Hamessley, who joined the Hamilton faculty in 1991, is a clawhammer banjo player and scholar of Appalachian old-time and bluegrass music that focuses on women. She has published numerous articles and is the co-editor of Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, and Music (1999). Currently she is preparing an article on the music of Paul Green’s 1937 symphonic drama The Lost Colony. She received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota and has won several teaching awards and fellowships.

Doran Larson
Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Doran Larson

Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Doran Larson teaches courses in prison writing and the history of the novel, among other subjects. He taught creative writing at the Attica Correctional Facility from 2006 through 2016. Larson initiated and continues to teach classes in the Hamilton-Herkimer College-in-Prison Program at the Mohawk Correctional Facility near Utica. He is also founder of the American Prison Writing Archive.

Larson, who came to Hamilton in 1998, has written op-eds on the value of prison education and was the subject of an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education in February. The writer John J. Lennon, a contributing editor for Esquire magazine, pointed to Larson as the man to whom he owed his career. Lennon, who is incarcerated in New York’s Sullivan Correctional Facility, wrote about Larson’s Attica Prison-based writing workshop and its impact.

Larson is the editor of The Beautiful Prison, a 2014 special issue of the legal journal Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, and author of Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America (Michigan State University Press, 2014). He holds his master’s degree and Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo.

Quincy Newell
Professor of Religious Studies Quincy Newell 

Professor of Religious Studies Quincy Newell studies American religious history, focusing on the construction of racial, gender, and religious identities in the 19th-century American West. She joined the Hamilton faculty in 2015 and holds a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2019, Newell published Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon (Oxford University Press). Described by the publisher as “the first scholarly biography of Jane Manning James or, for that matter, any black Mormon,” [the book] chronicles the life of a largely unknown free black woman from Connecticut who became a central figure in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Newell’s first book Constructing Lives at Mission San Francisco: Native Californians and Hispanic Colonists, 1776- 1821 (University of New Mexico Press, 2009) examines the ways Native Americans around the San Francisco Bay adapted, adopted, and rejected Catholicism during the Spanish colonial period.

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