Lynda Jessup leaves her post as director of cultural studies for one year knowing she has helped build something special.
“The graduate program is exciting because it was instituted all at once and came into being from nothing. The program didn’t grow out of an undergraduate program in cultural studies,” says Dr. Jessup, who moves to New York in September to become a Fulbright Scholar.
The response has been encouraging a year after Queen’s launched the program.
“I think the students and faculty are enjoying it. It has been a really positive experience for everybody,” she says.
The program steering committee brought together 65 faculty members across campus to create an interdisciplinary space where they could work together creatively.
“The program created a rich intellectual base that wasn’t there before,” says Dr. Jessup. “As the students developed their research projects, they became a reason for those faculty members to come together.”
Dr. Jessup values her work with graduate students. She won the excellence in graduate student supervision award last year. Her philosophy is that a professor supervises a student not a thesis, preparing them to communicate their research and to teach.
“As a supervisor you are a graduate student’s cheering section,” she says.
In turn graduate students push Dr. Jessup intellectually and force her to think creatively about her own research on museum representation. Her next project in that field is the role art exhibitions play in Canadian foreign and domestic policy in the middle decades of the 20th century.
Dr. Jessup will do much of that research over the next year at the Rockefeller Archive Center in New York State as a Fulbright Scholar. The Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program, one of the most prestigious in the world, enhances understanding between the two countries.
Dr. Jessup and her partner Jeffrey Brison, a Queen’s history professor, are busy preparing for the move. They hope four days in August is enough time to find a place to live near the archive centre in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. Dr. Brison begins a Rockefeller fellowship at the archive centre in December.