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MISSOULA - A professor of English has been chosen the next executive director of Humanities Montana, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ken Egan, a professor at Missouri's Drury University, will succeed the retiring Mark Sherhouse. The Humanities Montana trustees expect Egan to start work on Feb. 1.

He is a previous Humanities Montana board member and taught at Rocky Mountain College in Billings from 1985 to 2002. Egan was born in Polson, graduated from high school in Great Falls and holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His academic specialty is the literature of the West.

Egan wrote "Hope and Dread in Montana Literature," published by the University of Nevada Press in 2003, and "The Riven Home: Narrative Rivalry in the American Renaissance," published by Susquehanna University Press/Associated University Presses in 1997.

He is the co-editor of "Writers Under the Rims: A Yellowstone County Anthology," published by the Parmly Billings Library Foundation in 2001.

Humanities Montana has provided services and grants to Montana organizations since 1972. Programs assisted by Humanities Montana include the Montana Festival of the Book, billed as "two days and three nights of events highlighting the incredible richness of Montana's literary landscape," and the Governor's Humanities Awards.

A March reception for Egan and Sherhouse is planned.

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