Studio portrait of new English faculty Emily James. Taken August 20, 2012.

Luann Dummer Center for Women Names Dr. Emily James New Director

Dr. Emily James, associate professor of English at St. Thomas, has been appointed to serve as Director of the Luann Dummer Center for Women (LDCW), to begin July 1, 2019. She succeeds Dr. Young-ok An, also associate professor of English, who is completing her seventh year as LDCW director.

James, who notes that the “Dummer Center has been crucial to my sense of belonging and community” at St. Thomas has been here since 2012. Her scholarship focuses mainly on women writers and artists such as Virginia Woolf and Anna Atkins, and she serves as a research mentor to many students who focus on topics related to women and gender. James’s mentoring work was recognized in a 2014 TommieMedia article celebrating “Influential Women at St. Thomas.”

As LDCW director, James hopes to bring influential women thinkers and writers to campus, noting the important impact on students of the opportunity to meet and interact with women leaders. She is also excited about promoting interdisciplinary research and finding ways to support projects about women and gender that reach across departments.

Dr. Ann Johnson, who led the search committee for the new director, said “Dr. James brings a wealth of talent, skill and administrative experience to the role. The advisory board was impressed with her broad scholarship and mentoring accomplishments as well as her articulate expression of the center’s mission and how it might be carried out. We have always had strong and effective women leaders at the center, and I know Emily will continue that tradition.”

Dr. An, current director of the LDCW, states that her experience as the fifth director of the LDCW has been “an incredible opportunity and honor.”

“The Center, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is hailed as a hub for feminist discourse and activism for the entire St. Thomas community through its sponsorship of countless events and programs, and through its partnerships with many branches across the campus. As the campus climate changes, the Center has always provided support and leadership, particularly in affirming the rights and voices of marginalized groups.”

“I’m looking forward to Dr. James, an esteemed colleague in the English department, taking the helm as the new director," An added. "As the new chapter begins, the Center will continue to flourish, with its strong foundation laid out by the late Dr. Luann Dummer.”