William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellows

Academic Year 2009-2010

Spring 2010

Abdourahman A. Waberi is a novelist, essayist, poet and short story writer. He was born in French Somaliland, present-day Djibouti, and spent his youth there. He was particularly affected by the upheavals in Africa as Djibouti declared its independence from France in 1977, describing a sense of “companionship” and literary obligation to his homeland. Waberi's literature is rich in metaphor and memories of his life in the Horn of Africa. He is the author of numerous works that have been published by themselves or in international magazines and newspapers.

His short story collections Le Pays Sans Ombre (1994) and Cahier nomade (1996) earned great acclaim, including the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire. Waberi has worked as a literary critic for French publications and served as a member of the International Jury for the Lettre/Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage in Berlin and the Impac Dubin International Literary Prize. He has received numerous French honors including being named among the “50 Writers of Future” by the French literary magazine Lire. Before coming to Claremont McKenna College, he was a Donald and Susan Newhouse Center Humanities Fellow at Wellesley College. His Athenaeum lecture during the Spring semester was titled “A Nomadic Soul.”

Angus Fletcher is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School at the City University of New York. His research interests include theory of literature, comparative literature, allegory, the literature of nature, Edmund Spenser, and postmodernisms. Professor Fletcher is the author of several works, including Time, Space, and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare (2007) and A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination (2006). In 2005 he was awarded the Truman Capote Prize in Literary Criticism, recognizing his A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination(2006).

Professor Fletcher also is the recipient of a 2007 Senior Fellowship from the Endowment of the Humanities. A previous Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, Professor Fletcher was the recipient of a 2007 Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2008-2009 he was the Getty Professor at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He spoke during the Spring semester on “The Tipping Point: How do Humanistic Studies Count” and “Poetic Wisdom and the Barbarism of Civilization.”