As he nears the end of his first year as chair of the Department of Literature and Language at East Tennessee State University, Dr. Daniel Westover is pleased with what the department has been able to accomplish despite the challenges of the pandemic.

These accomplishments include bringing online a new technical and professional writing minor, a new Japanese major concentration, and updates to both the English major and minor. The department is also nearing the launch of a fully online B.A. in English, and there are developments in the works that will make Spanish language instruction available to more students.

“It was a challenging time to take over as chair, but I am so pleased to be back full time among students and colleagues in the Department of Literature and Language. I know I am biased, but what we call the ‘LiLa Familia’ is very special. It is a community that champions inclusivity, diversity, creativity and excellence through exchanges that seek to be transformative rather than transactional. I look forward to working with colleagues and students as we continue to grow and develop together in ways that are consistent with our core values.”

Westover joined the ETSU faculty in 2010 as an assistant professor after teaching at Utah Valley University, Westminster College and Salt Lake Community College in Utah, as well as the University of Wales, where he received his Ph.D. He also earned both his MFA and M.A. degrees at McNeese State University in Louisiana and his B.A. from Brigham Young University. Westover was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2014 and to the rank of professor in 2020, and he became department chair last June after former chair Katherine Weiss accepted a position as an associate dean at California State University-Los Angeles.

Westover’s research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century British poetry and fiction; Welsh, Scottish and Irish poetry; late-Victorian poetry; and the dystopian novel.

Many of Westover’s publications have focused on poets who were also priests. He has recently published two books on the Victorian priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, most recently “The Fire that Breaks: Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poetic Legacies” (2020), which he co-edited with his colleague Dr. Alan Holmes. He is also a biographer of the Welsh priest-poet R.S. Thomas. His poems were published alongside photographs by New Jersey artist Vincent Serbin in “Toward Omega” (21st Editions), and he has published many other poems, nonfiction pieces and scholarly articles.

Contributed to the Press