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An Interview with Dr. Joyce Kelley

by Keyonte’ Croom

Dr. Joyce Kelley, professor at Auburn University at Montgomery, recently allowed me to interview her about her passion for Literature and her career as an English/Literature professor.

Q: What’s your educational background as far as colleges you attended and level of completion?

A: I received a B.A. at Haverford College in Philadelphia for English and Music. I received a M.A. at the University of Iowa and I received a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Joyce Kelley
Dr. Joyce Kelley

Q: Wow. Well, how many years have you been teaching?

A: Well, I’ve been teaching since Grad School. I started in Chicago. So, all together eleven years and ten right here at AUM.

Q: So, AUM ended up being your home. What area do you specialize in within the English and Literature department? You teach so many different classes here.

A: *laughs* Well, I specialize in nineteenth and twentieth century literature as well as British Literature. Some other areas I teach in are Modernism, Virginia Wolf, Poetry, Women’s Rights, and Children and Adult Literature.

Q: If someone were to ask “Why is Literature important,” what would tell them?

A: Well, I think that through Literature you can teach a number of other important things such as History and Human relationships. Even children can learn those things. I think as college students, you are starting to really learn about the world and Literature is an important part of that.

Q: I can tell that you really enjoy Literature. So, what is your favorite thing about teaching it?

A: Getting students to come up with their own ideas. As time passes, more and more online creations make it harder to get students to think on their own. It becomes easier to cheat, but when I’m able to make students use their own ideas, it becomes rewarding.

Q: Do you have any advice for students who will take your class in the future?

A: I would tell them to just believe in themselves and to feel like your own ideas are good enough. Also, I would like to tell them to think of college as an awakening in life and not just a set up for a future career.

Q: What about advice for anyone looking to pursue a career as a Literature professor?

A: All I can tell them is to take as many college classes as you can and don’t be afraid to relocate or travel. Keep an open-mind…

Q: Thank you for this privilege, Dr. Kelley.

A: No, thank you!

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