The appointment is for both Colgate faculty and leading scholars in and/or on the Upstate New York region. The Burke Chair teaches two courses during his or her appointment and provides lectures open to the campus and the community. Established in 2006 by Stephen Burke '80 and Gretchen Hoadley Burke '81, this chair is supported by an endowment fund created to support and recognize outstanding scholars whose research interests focus on Upstate New York.
Kyle Bass, Associate Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage and instructor in playwriting at Syracuse University, has been named Gretchen Hoadley Burke '81 Endowed Chair for Regional Studies for the 2018-2019 academic year. Bass is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (for fiction in 1998 and playwriting in 2010), a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference, and Pushcart Prize nominee. His new play Possessing Harriet, commissioned by the Onondaga Historical Association, will have its world premiere at Syracuse Stage in October, directed by Tazewell Thompson. Bass is the co-author of the original screenplay for the film Day of Days, which stars award-winning veteran actor Tom Skerritt (Alien, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias, A River Runs Through It) and was released by Broad Green Pictures in 2017. He is currently writing the screenplay adaptation of the novel Milk by Darcy Steinke and has been commissioned by the Society for New Music to write the libretto for an opera based on the life and music of legendry folk singer and guitarist Libba Cotten. Bass is the co-author (with Ping Chong) of Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo, which had its world premiere at Syracuse Stage and was subsequently produced at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York City. He worked with acclaimed visual artist Carrie Mae Weems on her theatre piece Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, and was subsequently produced at Yale Rep and the Kennedy Center. Bass’s Separated, a piece of documentary theatre about the student military veterans at Syracuse University, was first presented at Syracuse Stage in 2017, directed by Robert Hupp. His prose and other writings have appeared in the journals Folio and Stone Canoe, among others, and in the anthology Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk about Writing and he has appeared as a guest on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More,” discussing race in American theatre. and is Drama Editor for the journal Stone Canoe. Bass has taught in the M.F.A. Creative Writing program at Goddard College since 2006. He also teaches theatre courses in Syracuse University's Department of African American Studies, and in addition to teaching at Colgate University, Bass has taught playwriting at Hobart & William Smith College.
Bass holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College and is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.
Past Chairs Elizabeth Marlowe
Associate Professor of Art and Art History Read more Andrew Pattison 2016-2017
Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Read more about Andy Pattison Randy Fuller 2015-2016
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies. Read more about Randy Fuller Wyatt Galusky 2014-2015
Associate Professor of Humanities at Morrisville State College. Read more about Wyatt Galusky Christopher Henke 2013-2014
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Colgate University. Read more about Christopher Henke Judith Wellman 2012-2013
Professor Emerita at State University of New York at Oswego and Principal Investigator at Historical New York Research Associates. READ MORE about Judith Wellmen Nicole Simpson 2011-2012
Associate Professor of Economics at Colgate.