New English Professor Is Also a Humor Columnist

David Galef, professor of English, is a regular contributor to Inside Higher Ed and other publications

Photo: Mike Peters

David Galef

New to Montclair State this year, David Galef, professor of English, not only teaches creative writing and literature courses but is also a prolific author of everything from novels, poetry, and short stories to scholarly essays, reviews, and a regular humor column for Inside Higher Ed, the popular online higher education news source.

“I like making people laugh,” says Galef about his column, which delves into the foibles of the faculty and staff, and the myriad questionable administrative decisions made at the fictional university he calls U of All People. Poking fun at everything from academic conferences and university credos to study abroad programs and, in his most recent column, course codes, Galef chooses topics easily recognizable to anyone who has ever been associated with higher education.

“People always tell you to write about what you know, and I've spent over twenty years in academia,” explains Galef. “Given what goes on in most universities, I don't see how my approach could be anything other than humorous.”

In addition to Inside Higher Ed, Galef also contributes regularly to The Yale Review and The Common Review, an arm of the Great Books Foundation in Chicago. He has also contributed to The New York Times, and his light verse regularly appears in the magazine, Light. A professor who practices what he teaches, Galef has a list of publications that includes 15 books, 10 book-chapters, 37 scholarly essays, 82 short stories, more than 100 poems, and much more.

Prior to his arrival at Montclair State, Galef was Professor of English at the University of Mississippi and a co-founder of the M.F.A. program in creative writing there. He has also taught at Columbia University and in England and Japan. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, PEN, and the Academy of American Poets, and has had residencies at the Yaddo and Ragdale Artists Colonies.  He is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A. and Ph.D.).