Dr. Maura Grady, Director of Composition and the University Writing Center, has published a book on the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption. The book, titled The Shawshank Experience: Tracking the History of the World's Favorite Movie, features an in-depth analysis of the film and the Stephen King novella which inspired it, as well as the local Ohio tourism industry that has sprung up to cater to the thousands fans of the film visiting the area. The book also traces the history of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, which served as the film's central location.
The book had its origins as a collaboration with former AU Associate Professor of Hospitality, Dr. Richard "Robby" Roberson, Jr. (now of Coastal College of Georgia) in 2013. Drs. Grady and Roberson conducted two studies (in 2013 and 2014) of fans of the film visiting Ashland, Richland and Wyandot Counties (OH). Dozens of Ashland University students served as data collectors for the surveys. An article using the 2013 data was later published in the peer-reviewed Almatourism: Journal of Tourism, Culture and Territorial Development in a 2015 special issue on Film Induced Tourism. In 2014, Dr. Grady invited Dr. Tony Magistrale to Ashland University to speak as part of the area's 20th anniversary celebration of the release of the film. Magistrale, a scholar of Gothic literature and the work of Stephen King, became a collaborator on the project and is listed as second author, with Dr. Roberson noted for research contributions. Full details on the book can be found at the publisher's website: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137532138#otherversion=9781137531650
Dr. Grady joined the English Department at Ashland University in 2011.