By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com May 01 2014 3:00 PM ET
GLAAD cochair and New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Finney Boylan has been named Barnard College's inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence, the school announced today. As such, Boylan will helm two creative writing courses during the school year and work with the school to further enhance its reputation for turning out talented writers.
Boylan joins Barnard after having taught at Maine's Colby College for more than 25 years, authoring 13 books, and contributing to The New York Times' op-ed page.
"The English Department is overjoyed to be welcoming Jenny Finney Boylan to Barnard," Peter Platt, chair of the school's English department, said in a release announcing Boylan's appointment. "A terrific writer, a compelling speaker, and a gifted teacher, she will be an asset to both our students and the department. Her many books — in particular her narratives about gender and parenting — and her engaging op-ed pieces provide her with a profile that can only prove advantageous to the college."
Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College make up the "Seven Sisters," a collection of liberal arts schools in the northeast. With the exception of Radcliffe and Vassar, these are women-only schools. Boylan's presence as a transgender professor at Barnard comes in contrast to Smith College's controversial and reportedly under-review trans-exclusionary admissions policy.
"We change the world through the stories we tell," Boylan said. "This new appointment will allow me to help Barnard students change the culture through the telling of their own stories; it also honors the magnificent life and work of a great Barnard alumna, Anna Quindlen, who has served as an inspiration to a generation of women writers — including me."