Professor Alan Filreis
Home Page Professor Alan Filreis
About Dr. Filreis: The new Class of 1942 Professor is an award-winning teacher (of the Lindback in 1992, the Ira Abrams in 1995, and, last year, the designation Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation/CASE). He is also called "one of his generation's most important scholars and critics of American modernist poetry of the period from the 1920s through the Cold War," in Dean Preston's nomination--which cites particularly his books on Wallace Stevens that have overturned previous scholarship to show Stevens to be deeply engaged in the political issues of his time. Dean Preston also says, "In his integration of brilliant scholarship with unstinting devotion to teaching and educational reform, Professor Filreis is without peer."
Dr. Filreis came to Penn in 1985, a 1978 alumnus of Colgate with his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He was named the Esther K. & N. Mark Watkins Assistant Professor in the Humanities in 1988, and was promoted to tenure in 1991 and to full professor in 1995. In 1993-96, as undergraduate chair of English, he led a restructuring of the major that was widely praised by faculty and students alike, while also pioneering the use of listservs to extend discussion outside the classroom. Becoming master of Van Pelt College House in 1995 and chair of the Residential Faculty Council in 1996, he introduced programs using technology to provide academic services to students around-the-clock in their dorms--a major amenity of the College House System as now structured. As he left the mastership of Van Pelt, Dr. Filreis embarked on still another form of learning in action, as founding director of the Kelly Writers House, the first of Penn's two "hubs" organized around a common interest as a home base for residential and nonresidential students, faculty and staff. (The other is Civic House, organized around community service and led by Dr. Peter Conn.)
Borrowed from the University of Pennsylvania Almanac, Tuesday April 27, 1999 Volume 45, Number 30