Friday, January 18, 2019
The Profile

What ASC Professors Are Doing on Sabbatical



To students, the word sabbatical may sound foreign and somewhat inconvenient, since it takes away invaluable learning experience with a particular professor. There are many influential professors at Agnes Scott. Each professor brings their knowledge from a variety of subjects,.  The professors contribute so much to the learning of all the students, and even to the Agnes Community, especially if we consider the size of our campus. They have such a big commitment to teaching than other large research institutions, which is why sabbatical opportunities are very useful for them as scholars. Along with knowledge, the vast majority of professors here are more than willing to help their students in the classroom, inside, and as well as outside of their office hours.

Sabbaticals are periods of time where professors are granted a period of paid time off from teaching obligations for the purpose of research or travel.  The duration of these periods of time vary.

Approximately fourteen professors have been approved for a sabbatical leave during the upcoming school year 2018-2019.  The overall size of faculty is about 90, and Agnes will lose nearly ⅙ of its normal teaching capacity. There departments that these professors teach are various, including English, History, Classics, Philosophy, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Biology, and Music.

In the department of English, two professors in this next academic year are taking a sabbatical leave; one of them being the current chair of the department, Professor Charlotte Artese.  She believes that sabbaticals “allow for concentration,” which can help break the day in pieces.

During her sabbatical leave, Artese will be working on her third book, called Shakespeare Legendary Histories; this will involve the discus of three plays: Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear, and studying the treatment of these legends– “what in these stories he keeps, what he changes, and what he leaves out,” Artese explains.  

The Department of Classics consists of two professors, including Dr. Megan Drinkwater, and Dr. K. Scarlet Kingsley. This year marks Drinkwater’s 12th year at Agnes. However, Professor Drinkwater will be taking her sabbatical this 2018-2019 academic year.

Professor Drinkwater has been working on a book since Spring of 2010, which has been seen by Oxford University Press. As they enjoyed it, they would like a few things to be addressed, and they have a few questions.  So during her pre-tenure sabbatical, her focus will be to address those questions.

“I think sabbaticals are for regeneration. Summers are too short; however, with the sabbatical, I can get new info in order to look at antiquity in classics. It also helps me to revise some, and add new information before coming back into the classroom.” says Drinkwater.

As for Prof. Kingsley,  she will be staying, meaning she will be the only professor in the Classical Civilizations department. “Sabbaticals reinvigorate pedagogy and it brings research into the classroom, which is fantastic,” said Kingsley.

In the department of Sociology, the Professor Regine Jackson will also be taking a sabbatical leave. Jackson has been at Agnes since 2013.  She will be on leave during the spring semester.

During her sabbatical, she will be working on many different projects.  The first project will be a book about the development of Haitian community in Boston.  The second project is a book that compares Atlanta and Boston. The last project will be about post-colonial Africa, which involves much traveling and interviews.

“Sabbaticals are like the gift of time,” says Jackson. “It allows you to put some things on the backburner, and helps to get some things started.”

English, Classics, and Sociology are just a few of the many departments that have professors leaving for sabbaticals. Although these professors will be missed, ultimately they will come back with much more research and projects to share with their colleagues and students.

Professor Drinkwater’s empty office on the third floor of Buttrick (Photo by Joann Lee ’20.)

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