Herman Beavers Named Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt President’s Distinguished Professor of English and Africana Studies

Herman Beavers

Herman Beavers, Professor of English and Africana Studies, has been appointed Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt President’s Distinguished Professor of English and Africana Studies. Beavers is a distinguished poet and a widely published scholar of 20th-century American and African American literature, especially the novels of Toni Morrison, the traditions of jazz and jazz writing, and the work of 20th-century Southern writers. His chapbook, Obsidian Blues (Agape Editions) was published in 2018 and a second chapbook, The Vernell Poems (Moonstone Press) was published in 2019. His latest monograph, Geography and the Political Imaginary in the Novels of Toni Morrison was published in 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Beavers received the School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research in 2017, and he has served in many roles at Penn, including graduate and undergraduate chair of Africana Studies and director of the English Department Honors Program. He was recently appointed as faculty director of Civic House and the Civic Scholars Program.

Julie Beren Platt, C’79 and Marc E. Platt, C’79, parents, established the Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt President’s Distinguished Professorship in 2019. Julie Beren Platt is a University of Pennsylvania Trustee and past president of the Penn Alumni Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women. Her husband, Marc, is a film, theatre, and tv producer. At Penn, Marc served on the Board of Advisors at the Katz Center, and both Marc and Julie serve on the Parent Leadership Committee. Three of their five children are Penn graduates (Samantha C’05, Jonah C’08, and Hannah C’12). Their son, Henry, is a member of the College Class of 2021. They generously support initiatives at Penn, including establishing the Platt Student Performing Arts House and the Julie Beren Platt and Marc Platt Rehearsal Room in Houston Hall, along with endowed undergraduate scholarships, professorships, and the Katz Center.

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