Note to Reporters: A video and high-resolution photo are available at http://col.st/cYhX0.
Dan Beachy-Quick, the first Colorado State University faculty member in the humanities to receive a Monfort Professorship, is fascinated with silence. So much so that he is writing a book-length essay on the topic.
The associate professor of English will discuss the subject in an April 1 lecture about poetry, ancient Greek language, and “the strange difficulty of quietness.”
The lecture, at 4 p.m. in CSU’s Pathology Building, Room 101, will cover the topics that Beachy-Quick has been focusing on during his two-year professorship, which ends after this semester. “Considering the Made-Thing: Thoughts on Poetry, Ancient Greek, and the Strange Difficulty of Quietness” will include readings from his essay on silence, as well as the important role the humanities plays in the way society deals with current events and pressing issues. Beachy-Quick said he is concerned that the humanities have fallen to the wayside of central conversations at universities across the country.
“I want to bring to light some of the larger ecological and philosophical concerns about humanities in a STEM-based university,” Beachy-Quick said. “The university system arose from the humanities. We need as multi-faceted of an approach to the problems we are facing as possible.”
Monfort professors receive $75,000 a year for two years to support research projects and teaching efforts. The award was established in 2002 through a gift from the Monfort Family Foundation.
As he nears the end of his Monfort Professorship, Beachy-Quick reflects on the benefits he has received from the experience.
“Without it, I wouldn’t be nearing completion of a novel,” he said. “I might not have even started a novel. It has given me opportunities at every level of my creative and intellectual life that I wouldn’t have had without the support.”
The funding has allowed him to further his study of ancient Greek, work on independent creative projects such as the novel, essays and a book of poetry, and organize a three-day symposium titled “Crisis in Creativity,” to take place this July at CSU. The symposium, involving scholars and artists from various disciplines around the country, will focus on the theme of crisis — and how the humanities, not just the hard sciences, are needed to address it successfully.
Beachy-Quick said that he was honored to be named the first Monfort Professor from the humanities in 2013.
“It was a really wonderful thing, not just for me but for the College of Liberal Arts,” he said.
Beachy-Quick teaches graduate seminars, poetry workshops and an array of undergraduate literature courses in the English department at CSU. He was born in Chicago and grew up in the Denver area. He attended the University of Denver and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he earned his master’s degree in fine arts. He also taught writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving back to Colorado to take his current job at CSU.