The Romance Languages and Literature Department has offered a tenure appointment to Tom Conley, a 16th-century French literature expert. Conley is expected to accept the offer, Mary M. Gaylord, the chair of the department, said in an interview yesterday.
"We have made the offer to him and we expect an answer from him very soon," Gaylord said. "Actually, we are expecting Professor Conley to formally accept. We have every reason to believe he will."
Gaylord said she thought Conley would respond fairly soon.
If Conley accepts, the appointment would be the second one in the French section of the department in the last two months.
Naomi Schor, a Duke University professor specializing in 19th-century French literature, was appointed senior professor in March and will begin teaching in September.
Gaylord also said the French section of the department hopes to bring in a joint appointment with the African American Studies Department.
"That is in progress and we can't speak of names yet," she said.
The French section currently has four senior professors and three junior professors, Gaylord said. Schor's appointment makes her the fifth tenured professor and Conley would be the sixth.
Conley is currently a professor at the University of Minnesota. He did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.
Conley "is interested in 16th-century French literature and its relation to the graphic imagination," Gaylord said. "He is also the author of a book on modern film."
Gaylord said in addition to teaching classes in 16th-century literature, Conley would probably teach a course in modern film and a course in map-making.
"Since he is interested in early modern cartography--map-making--he will very likely also give courses in literature and the mapping of the world in the 16th-century," Gaylord said.
Gaylord said Conley would be a great addition to the department.
"He has enormous energy and intellectual excitement [and] he cares passionately about teaching," Gaylord said. "We are eager to welcome him here."