Ashland University Professor Receives Award to Participate in Summer Institute

Ashland University Professor Receives Award to Participate in Summer Institute

4/10/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Jayne E. Waterman, associate professor of English, has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Award to be a participant in the NEH Summer Institute on Paul Laurence Dunbar and American Literary History. This program, which will be held in Columbus from July 13-31, will consider Dunbar’s literary work, life and legacy.

In the three-week long Institute, Summer Scholars work with the Project Scholars and participate in a wide-range of activities that are designed to help “develop strategies to engage the historical complexities of race and dialect” in Dunbar’s texts, and “enhance classroom pedagogy as well as future research projects” on Dunbar. 

Dr. Waterman plans to build on the scholarship she has already completed on Dunbar, which includes an essay, “‘With Myriad Subtleties’: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Constructions of Social Identity in The Sport of the Gods,” that was selected for Willie J. Harrell Jr.’s collection, We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality (Kent State University Press).

She also presented a paper at the M/MLA Conference in Cleveland titled “An Implicit and Explicit Analysis of Race and Region: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Ohio and The Uncalled.”

In the summer of 2010, Dr. Waterman was invited to participate as a scholar at the Teacher Institute on Ohio’s Early Twentieth Century Authors, which was funded through an Ohio Humanities Award Grant. This event hosted panels, presentations and roundtable discussions that debated the most effective ways to develop the legacies of Ohio authors such as Jim Tully, James Thurber, Dawn Powell, Louis Bromfield and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Dr. Waterman hopes to add to this debate with her work for the NEH Dunbar Institute program this summer. She has always been encouraged by AU students’ responses to Dunbar’s work in a range of classes from Composition II, and African American Literature, to the American Literature III: Realism to Modernism course, and, following her tenure at the NEH Summer Institute, she looks forward to developing students’ interest and engagement in Dunbar’s work even more.

Additional information on this program can be found at the following NEH website:

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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