20 Questions with English and film professor Stacey Peebles
April 4, 2013
Assistant Professor of English and Director of Film Studies.
2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
In Corpus Christi, Texas, right on the Gulf Coast. My house was five minutes from the bay and fifteen minutes from the ocean, so I was pretty marinated from the beginning.
3. What are your hobbies?
Right now? Sleeping. (I have a six-month-old daughter.) But given the chance, I also like hiking, yoga and dancing to zydeco.
4. What is your dream vacation?
Some years ago my husband Richard and I visited Cinque Terre, a chain of five small towns on the Italian coast. Then in 2011, the town we stayed in, Vernazza, was hit by a devastating flood, and so my dream vacation would be to go back to that beautiful place after it’s fully recovered.
5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
I appreciate a lot of artists, but my favorite works of art are the ones that you have a personal relationship with, that are a part of your daily life. My aunt makes gorgeous quilts. I have a couple of pieces by my friend Peter Josyph, who makes art related to my favorite author. Richard and I have collected New Mexican pottery from the pueblos we’ve visited. Museum art is great, but the kind you live with is even better.
6. Favorite novel or poem?
Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian,” hands down. That’s the best of the best.
7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
8. Favorite TV show?
“Deadwood” had some of the best writing I’ve ever seen on television, including my favorite line of all time (which I can’t repeat here). But “Treme,” which is currently running on HBO, is so good that it might steal the top spot.
9. Favorite album?
Probably Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” Also partial to “The Last Waltz” by The Band, and that recent expanded release of the Stones’ “Exile on Main Street.”
10. Favorite holiday?
Día de los Muertos.
11. Favorite food?
Anything by Chez Panisse. And cookies.
12. Most prized possession?
When I used to have to evacuate for hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, I’d take my grandmother’s locket, our wedding photos and my first edition of “Blood Meridian.”
13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
Ann Richards, Jack White and Harpo Marx.
14. Favorite aspect of your job?
This is a place where it’s impossible to just phone it in. Centre students really keep you on your toes. That makes for great colleagues, too!
15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
Hurricane Allen stands out. We stayed for that one.
16. What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Centre?
I’d probably be doing some combination of freelance writing and teaching yoga.
17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
In college, I took a Shakespeare class with Leah Marcus, who gave us a series of one-page paper assignments. We had to write about three plays in one—just one—double-spaced page. Every word counted; you couldn’t waste anything. It was the toughest writing I ever did, and taught me clarity and concision. An awful lot of writing is just fluff.
18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
Doctor Who, for sure. He gets around, and sometimes wears Converse.
19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
The Vahlkamp Theatre is such a terrific place to show films. I love turning down the lights and showing something like “Casablanca” to students who are seeing it for the first time.
20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Many years ago now, I heard a college senior tell a group of first-years that at some point in the next year, they would fall behind on their work—that it will happen. And that they could tell a lot about how their college experience was going to go by how they chose to deal with that. Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to recognize a problem, hunker down and really work.
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Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.