January 23, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

TPS Report 2022

These TPS Reports seem to get longer each year. We in the School of Arts and Letters even have an additional form to fill out for some reason. I think sending an annotated CV should be fine, really, as the admins already have access to the quantifiable data that they want to see. I’m uncertain that my additional narrative is even necessary, but it seems necessary to justify (or is that vindicate) my ways to them.

At this point in my career—20 years at this institution (longer than any admin above me)—I would really like to concentrate on my scholarship, but teaching remains the primary (only?) focus the administration. As a consequence, more duties are added to teaching every semester. It’s not enough for me to teach and evaluate any more. All classes now have additional stuff (assignments, forms, rubrics, SLOs, goals, policies, etc. etc.) that goes along with them that give the administration another all-important data point to put on a report. Syllabi now read like end-user agreements with all of the additional content we’re required to include.

Maybe I’m being overly critical. I am getting older. However, it seems that the politics of living in a red state and working at a state university are more about producing graduates for the workforce than teaching critical social engagement. 2022 saw a controversial new chancellor installed and the subsequent weakening of tenure—testament to the process of making faculty more akin to a clock-punching workforce than an integral group of highly trained and skilled professionals who have a say in governance. At least we’re not Florida. Yet. I think this situation could have been remedied with the election of Stacy Abrams, but voters said no in double digits. While Georgia might be ready for a black democrat to represent them in the US Senate, they are very much not ready for a black woman in the state’s highest elected position.[1]

Teaching

...

ENGL 1101 was a relatively new class for me, but one that the Powers-that-Be have decided all faculty must teach, or that’s at least what I was told. According to my records, I hadn’t taught it since the fall of 2008. That meant I really had to design the course from scratch.

Created a new online section of ENGL 3700, the Postmodern Novel.

Publications

  • Co-editor/writer (with J. Michael Lennon and Susan Mailer), “Saint and Psychopath,” an excerpt from Norman Mailer’s unpublished “marijuana journal.” Times Literary Supplement, August 18, 2022. Featured in the editor’s introduction to this issue.
  • Co-editor (with J. Michael Lennon and Susan Mailer) of Norman Mailer’s Lipton’s Journal, forthcoming fall 2023 by Skyhorse. Much of the work remediating from a DH project and editing this over-100K-word volume happened this year.
  • “Teaching Mailer.” The Norman Mailer Society Conference, Long Branch, NJ, Jun 2022.
  • “Mailer’s Transitional Short Fiction.” The Norman Mailer Society Conference, Long Branch, NJ, Jun 2022.
  • Wrote a blurb for A Mysterious Country, by Norman Mailer, Edited by J. Michael Lennon and John Buffalo Mailer. Forthcoming January 2023.

Service

  • Chair, Graduate Studies Council
  • Member, Academic Affairs
  • Chair, Tenure and Promotion Subcommittee, Elaina Behounek
  • Member, Admissions Committee, Graduate Program in Technical Writing
  • Conference Co-Organizer, 19th Annual Norman Mailer Society Conference, June 2022
  • Volunteer, Writing Center, Spring 2022
  • Editor, Project Mailer, the Digital Humanities initiative of the NMS
  • Associate (Digital) Editor, The Mailer Review, since 2007
  • Vice President, Norman Mailer Society, since 2018
  • Member, Executive Board, Norman Mailer Society, since 2006
  • Member, Editorial Board, The Mailer Review, since 2021
  • Mentor, Wikipedia Education, spring and fall 2022



notes

  1. This result is not surprising based on Georgia’s voter suppression laws that went into effect after the Republican defeats in 2020 and democratic election fatigue (see “Georgia’s Turnout Boss, Stacey Abrams, Had a Turnout Problem”). There might even be a bit of misogyny in there, too. Say good-bye to higher-ed reform, cannabis legalization, Medicaid expansion, responsible gun reform, etc. We even elected an election denier as lieutenant governor. If anything, things are going to get worse.