Veteran Indiana educator now leading MSU English department

Contact: Addison Arledge

Daniel Punday (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Daniel Punday is the new head of Mississippi State’s English department.

He succeeds Richard C. “Rich” Raymond, department head since 2004 who retired from the university in July.

Prior to recently assuming his new duties in Starkville, Punday led the English and philosophy department for six years at Purdue University Calumet. He also was a faculty member at the Northwest Indiana institution for nearly two decades.

“I’m excited to join the English department here at Mississippi State because I feel that it has achieved a remarkably balanced culture of teaching, scholarship and service,” Punday said.

“This is a department that takes a tremendous amount of pride in its students, and the students in turn feel a tremendous attachment and respect for their teachers,” he added.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh, Punday holds master’s and doctoral degrees in the major from Pennsylvania State University.

Earlier this year, he was elected to the top leadership of the International Society for the Study of Narrative. For several years, he has been a member of the editorial board for The Electronic Book Review.

Punday is the author of “Writing at the Limit: Searching for the Vocation of the Novel in the Contemporary Media Ecology” (University of Nebraska Press, 2012) and “Five Strands of Fictionality: The Institutional Construction of Contemporary American Writing” (Ohio State University Press, 2010). “Computing as Writing,” his latest work, will be published later this year by University of Minnesota Press. For more biographical information, visit

“A lot of things attracted me to Mississippi State, but it is the culture of support among faculty for each other and their students that really stood out when I visited,” Punday said. “I’m excited to contribute to that,” he added.

Rick Travis, interim dean of MSU's College of Arts and Sciences, welcomed Punday, saying his wealth of administrative experience will make him a beneficial addition to the English department’s dynamic faculty.

“One of the things that impressed us the most about Dan was his understanding of the technology-driven changes that were occurring in writing and communication,” Travis said. “We believe that he will be an excellent guide as the English department and our college stay abreast of these changes.”

“We anticipate that, with Dan’s leadership, the English department will continue on its very strong trajectory,” he said.

For more on MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit; its English department,

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