Faculty Profile: Barrie Jean Borich

Faculty Profile:
Barrie Jean Borich, Assistant Professor

 Written/Edited by: Emily Todd & Kelly Przytulski

The DePaul English Department welcomes its newest faculty member, Professor Barrie Jean Borich. Professor Borich comes from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, where she taught classes in Creative Non-Fiction, Literary Magazine, and Publishing. Professor Borich has a strong background in teaching and writing: in addition to sixteen years of university experience (the University of Minnesota, Minnesota College of Art and Design, and St. Olaf College), she has also taught community-based writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Having grown up in the Calumet region southeast of Chicago, Professor Borich is excited to be back in Illinois, looks forward getting to know first-generation college students, and working with DePaul students from a variety of backgrounds.

Professor Borich holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She is the author of Restoring the Color of Roses, a memoir of her experiences growing up on the southeast side of Chicago, and My Lesbian Husband: Landscapes of a Marriage, about living in a long-term lesbian marriage written before the current gay marriage debate. My Lesbian Husband won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award in 2000 and was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award that same year. Her third book, Body Geographic, is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press in March 2013.

At DePaul, Professor Borich will be teaching such courses as Creative Writing, Memoirs, Creative Non-Fiction of Place, and Geography of Memory. Her style is collaborative – she prefers engaging discussion with her students and workshop-style classes over lecture. She is especially interested in the current and future trends of publishing, and incorporates technology like Touch Press’s “The Sonnets of William Shakespeare” application in her teaching whenever possible.

Outside of teaching, Professor Borich loves to bike. She was an avid biker in Minneapolis where she cycled on an urban green pathway called, Midtown Greenway—built on a former railroad corridor; as a biker, she is interested in ways that cities reclaim former industrial sites for environmentally-friendly purposes like urban biking. Along with city biking, Professor Borich enjoys walking along the lakefront, spending time with her dog, and exploring the wide variety of restaurants Chicago has to offer. She enjoys memoirs and experimental non-fiction from authors such as Lidia Yuknavitch, Bernard Cooper, Ander Monson, Alison Bechdel, John Edgar Wideman, Lauren Slater, and Annie Dillard.

Welcome to DePaul, Professor Borich!

Profile and Farewell for Prof. Dinius

picture of Marcy Dinius, depaulunderground.wordpress.com

By Brianna Low 

Prof. Marcy Dinius is a new addition to the English faculty this year. Prof. Dinius specializes in Pre-Civil War American literature and culture, African-American literature, and the history of print culture.

Originally from southern California, Prof. Dinius moved to the Midwest where she completed her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Notre Dame. Dinius went on receive her PhD from Northwestern University in 2003. Before arriving at DePaul, she taught at the University of Delaware for five years.

Dinius’ first book, The Camera and the Press: American Visual and Print Culture in the Age of the Daguerreotype, is forthcoming in spring 2012 and focuses on the invention of photography and its effects on American literature and vice-versa.

In discussing what initially motivated her academic interests, Prof. Dinius mentions reading authors like Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and Ralph Waldo Emerson as a high school and undergraduate student.  She maintains that she was impacted by the realization that the issues these authors were discussing–issues such as class, race,  gender, and the environment–are just as relevant now as they were when these authors were producing their works.

When she isn’t teaching, Dinius enjoys watching the HBO television series The Wire, but she’s afraid she may end up writing an article about it. And, while it isn’t her favorite, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a book Prof. Dinius consistently comes back to, finding something new with every reread.

Be sure  to wish Prof. Dinius luck as she heads out on research leave to complete a fellowship for her next book project at the Library Company of Philadelphia from January-May 2012.