College Appoints New Dean of Faculty

  Rena Fraden


Trinity has named Rena Fraden to be dean of faculty, effective July 1, 2006. Currently serving as associate dean of Pomona College in Claremont, California, as well as the Frank S. Jennings Professor of English, Fraden will also hold the titles of vice president for academic affairs and the G. Keith Funston Professor of American Literature and American Studies at Trinity. Reporting to the president, she will be the chief academic officer and the second-ranking officer of the College.

Fraden graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and also received her Ph.D. in English from Yale. She joined Pomona College as assistant professor of English in 1983. During her 23 years at Pomona, she served as the chair of the English Department from 1999 to 2003 and was a member of numerous faculty and administrative committees, including curriculum, faculty personnel, diversity, and affirmative action committees.

In announcing the appointment, President Jones notes that, “Trinity is fortunate to gain such an accomplished teacher and nationally renowned scholar as Rena Fraden. With her diverse inspirations and social perspectives, she will provide thoughtful initiative and strategic leadership, both in representing the faculty’s professional interests and in furthering the College’s distinctive academic program.”

In addition to receiving a Fulbright fellowship in India and being a fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University, Fraden has received several prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. As the author of Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones and Theater for Incarcerated Women and Blueprints for a Black Federal Theater, as well as numerous papers and articles, she focuses her scholarly interest at the intersection between art and social justice.

Remarking on her new role, Fraden says, “I was drawn to Trinity, at least in part, because of its location and the commitment of the faculty to the study of what locations mean, how they matter, and in what ways they connect to each other. In a curriculum that highlights analysis, experiential learning in Hartford and abroad, and the opportunity to do original research, I felt Trinity engages the best of theory and practice, in tension and in dialogue.” Fraden will be moving to Connecticut with her two daughters in the summer.


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