Dr. Vicki Mahaffey, Professor of English and a member of the University since 1979, has been named Ombudsman of the University. She succeeds Dr. David DeLaura, also Professor of English, who returns to full -time faculty service.
Dr. Mahaffey, a 1992 Guggenheim Fellow and winner of both the Lilly Award and the Ira Abrams Award for her teaching, took her B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Texas in 1973, then enrolled at Princeton for the M.A. and Ph.D., which she received in 1980. She taught at Princeton before joining Penn, and was a visiting assistant professor at Michigan in 1988.
At Penn she has recently been graduate chair in English, and her all-University service has included the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility; University Planning and Budget Committee; Women's Studies Executive Committee; Advisory Board of WXPN; Phi Beta Kappa selection committee; and many others.
A leading scholar of James Joyce, she is the author of dozens of articles and papers on Joyce and his milieu, as well as the 1988 Reauthorizing Joyce (Cambridge University Press) reissued in paper in 1995 as part of the Joyce series at the University of Florida Press. A forthcoming book from Oxford University Press is States of Desire: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and the Irish Experiment , and two additional books are in preparationA Feminist Introduction to Modernism (Blackwells) and De-Siring Women: Female Acculturation and the Fairy Tale. She is also on the editorial team for the hypertext edition of Joyce's Ulysses that is being prepared for Michael Groden, and for many years she has been co-chair of the Bloomsday Committee of the Rosenbach Museum and Library.
"To have Vicki Mahaffey as Ombudsman is a wonderful asset to the University," said President Judith Rodin. "She is a distinguished scholar, and the thoughtfulness she brings to her academic work is demonstrative of the qualities she brings to her new role. I am delighted to have her in such a key position."