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Academic Dean

Dr. Victor Luftig

Victor Luftig is Professor, Director of the Center for the Liberal Arts, and the Academic  Coordinator for Semester at the University of Virginia.  He served as Academic Dean on Semester at Sea’s Spring 2012 voyage. Professor Luftig holds a BA summa cum laude from Colgate University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD from Stanford University, all in English.  Luftig teaches and writes about  twentieth century Irish and English writers, including James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Seamus Heaney.  He is the author of Seeing Together: Friendship Between the Sexes in English Writing (Stanford, 1993) and co-editor of Joyce and the Subject History (Michigan, 1996) as well as of dozens of articles, reviews, and conference papers.  He has lectured  throughout the United States, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to Beverly Hills High School.  Luftig teaches high school teachers each summer at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, where he was awarded the Marino Chair in 1998 and the Robert Frost Chair in 2009.  In addition to courses on World Anglophone Literature, Modern Irish Literature, Modernist English Fiction, and the like, he has also taught undergraduate seminars on subjects as varied as Organized Crime, Environmental Writing, and Bruce Springsteen.  For the last decade, he and his wife, Professor Elizabeth Fowler, have taken student groups to Ireland during UVA’s January term.  Luftig has authored and co-authored successful grant proposals to public and private organizations totaling millions of dollars, most which have been used to improve the preparation of K-12 teachers.  From 2002 to 2008 he directed UVA’s “Teachers for a New Era” grant, a $5.5 million reformation of the University’s K-12 teacher education programs, funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the Annenberg and Ford foundations.  For more than twenty years he has taught graduate courses in pedagogy, particularly on the teaching of writing.  He served on the Test Development Committee for the Advanced Placement Exam  in English from 1995 to 1998, and he directed the expository writing programs of Yale University from 1989 to 1994 and then of Brandeis University from 1994 to 1999.  Luftig roots for the New York Mets, the football Giants, and for the survival of nature and joke-telling.