photo of Joan Landis

The Curtis-Bryn Mawr Link

Bryn Mawrters are "busy taking over" Harvard—and also have set their sights on Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.

This fall, Jeanne Minahan McGinn, PhD '99, English, will succeed Joan Landis, PhD '84, English, as chair of Curtis's liberal arts department. McGinn had taught at Curtis previously, from 1994 through 1999, and wrote her dissertation, "The Lyric Moment: Time, Place, Voice," on the works of Spenser, Keats and Yeats. After a national search, she was chosen unanimously from 250 candidates.

"As we look forward, we will certainly be expanding our explorations of cyberspace," says McGinn. "I will be building upon the wonderful foundation Joan Landis established, and I hope to continue to invite artists, writers and scholars into our classrooms. Our students respond to artistic and intellectual vitality, and they are thrilled to learn from people whose commitments mirror their own."

Landis first came to Curtis in 1977 to teach a course on Shakespeare. "I was between prelims and writing my dissertation, and accepted the job over the phone in 'fear and trembling,' " she says. "I had very little knowledge of music when I began at Curtis, but I have been educated over the years and now even know what a cadenza is!" Landis helped to build the liberal arts curriculum and to facilitate the accreditation process in 1990-91, eventually becoming Curtis's first full-time liberal arts faculty member. She retired as chair in May, but will continue teaching this fall.

Additionally, Carla Puppin, PhD '86, history of art, has taught art history courses there since 1991. And Curtis's first Bryn Mawr connection was Emily Mitchell Wallace, PhD '65, English, who taught English there. The Curtis Institute of Music, considered one of the finest conservatories in the world, was founded in 1924 to train gifted young musicians for professional performing careers.

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