Dr. Hall Steps Up as New Lit House Director

By Cassandra Sottile
Elm Staff Writer

Last week, Dr. James Allen Hall was named the official director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House after serving as interim director of the House since June.
“I wanted to see if my strengths, capabilities, as well as my weaknesses would be a good fit for this position, which is why I agreed to come on as interim director,” said Dr. Hall.
A published and award-winning writer, Dr. Hall’s accomplishments include genre editing since 2003, and writing the anticipated, “I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well,” a collection of portrait gallery style personal essays, which will be published in February 2017.

Dr. Hall
Dr. Hall, after serving as interim director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House since June, has now permanently stepped into the role.

Stepping in to fill the position of the previous director, Dr. Jehanne Dubrow, Dr. Hall has already demonstrated his advocacy for literature and his passion to make the Lit House into a space for Washington College students to learn and grow as writers. “The idea is to plan events that will shape conversations about writing that students want to be having to help them find their paths. I want the Lit House to engage in the vibrant sense of creative student energy to inspire experiential learning,” said Dr. Hall.
Administrative Assistant Julie Armstrong and Assistant Director Lindsay Lusby both enjoy working with Dr. Hall. “When our former director left for a new position, Dr. Hall was only appointed interim director. However, the College, upon seeing the work that Dr. Hall has done for the House, decided to forgo a long national search because it was clear to them that he is the best person for the job,” said Lusby.
Armstrong echoed Lusby’s statements, praising the work Dr. Hall has done and the talent he possesses. “Dr. Hall is a fantastic fit for the Literary House,” she said.
Dr. Hall plans to have more movie nights and literary discussions, in addition to collaborations across the board, not just with the English Department or the C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience. Dr. Hall is also planning to continue the legacy his predecessors set and make the Lit House into a space for students to find a community of writers.
“What I love about this job is that I get to meet the students, which is something that is very important to me,” he said. “Students are the heart of what we do, they are the next generation of writing. With that in mind, a personal goal of mine is to carefully consider what speakers we bring to campus and ask ourselves how they will mpact students.”
“I want students to get the same feeling I do whenever I leave the House—that I can’t wait to come back, write and work with the amazing people that I am able to.”

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