MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — As a young woman, J Finley discovered in the stories of Gloria Naylor and Alice Walker a fascination that took her from UC Berkeley to South Africa and eventually to Middlebury College. During her studies she developed an interest in black female stand-up comedians. She now uses the wit and charm she learned from doing stand-up comedy herself to engage and inform her students at Middlebury.

In a new video, Finley describes her own surprise at a career path that led to becoming an assistant professor of American studies at Middlebury. This is the latest in a series of “Faculty Stories,” exploring the diverse and surprising ways that faculty arrive at Middlebury. View more stories here.

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Faculty Stories