Orson Scott Card Joins The Faculty of SVU
Buena Vista, VA, May 9, 2005
Novelist Orson Scott Card will become a distinguished professor of English at Southern Virginia University starting in the fall of 2005, President Rodney K. Smith announced on May 9th. Card, the author of the internationally popular novel Ender's Game and the Women of Genesis series, will teach writing and literature courses at the predominantly Latter-day Saint university in Buena Vista, Virginia.
"At SVU we are committed to excellence, and the appointment of Orson Scott Card to the SVU faculty underscores that commitment," said President Smith. "He has inspired so many with his writing, and we are confident that he will be able to draw the best out of our students."
With SVU Theatre Program Coordinator Robert Stoddard, Card's frequent collaborator on musical plays, Card co-taught two writing courses at SVU in the 2003-2004 academic year.
Card has taught professional writing workshops at Pepperdine University, Utah Valley State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Southern Virginia University (in the summer of 2004).
Dr. Randall Cluff, the English Program Coordinator at SVU, attended Card's workshop and Literary Boot Camp, where he decided to pursue Card's permanent appointment to the SVU faculty.
"I saw not only a talented and proven writer share the wisdom of the writing craft," said Cluff, "but also a gifted teacher who could explain process with precision, and provide toughly honest and astute critiques with tact and detailed clarity that motivated higher performance among the participants."
Cluff decided at the workshop that Card, who holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Utah, should be invited to teach literature as well as writing courses.
"I was also impressed by the range of his reading and his broad intellectual grasp of period styles and genres of literature," Cluff explained.
"He used literary works as examples representing a wide range of texts from both classic and modern literature, as well as popular titles. I knew almost immediately that not only was he a great teacher of writing, but of literature as well."
Cluff stated that he looks forward to the contributions Card will make to the English major and to the teaching of professional writing at SVU. SVU also hopes to develop workshops for adults beyond the college level aspiring to be professional writers.
Cluff said, "I firmly believe time will reveal the significance of Card's appointment at SVU as we watch a greater number of rising LDS literary artists achieve distinction."
"We are part of a distinct culture with a significant history that has compelling stories to tell, and Card will help our LDS writers learn to tell those stories in ways that audiences both within and without LDS culture will find convincing, rewarding, and even inspiring."
According to Cluff, Orson Scott Card will continue his professional writing as well as conducting his summer writing workshops and Literary Boot Camps.
Card is the author of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, which both won Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novel. Ender's Game is currently under option to Warner Brothers, which is developing it as a feature film.
Card's most recent novel, The Shadow of the Giant, was a New York Times Bestseller, and a new contemporary novel, Magic Street, will be released at the end of June 2005.
Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, the former Kristine Allen, and their youngest child, Zina. He writes a weekly review column for the Greensboro Rhinoceros Times, which also appears online at www.rhinotimes.com and at Card's authorial website, www.hatrack.com.
His essays on national and world affairs also appear at www.ornery.org, Card's public affairs website.
Orson Scott Card holds a bachelor of arts in theatre from Brigham Young University. His most recent musical, commissioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was Barefoot to Zion, in collaboration with his brother, composer Arlen Card. Card also directed Posing As People in Los Angeles in the fall of 2004.