Five Wayne State University professors who have distinguished themselves with significant scholarly achievements were recently honored with the 2017 WSU Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Awards.
The awards are offered annually to full-time faculty members who make outstanding contributions to scholarship and learning. Each recipient receives a citation from the board, an engraved wall plaque and a monetary award.
This year's recipients are:
- Simone Chess, associate professor in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was honored for the publication of Male-to-Female Crossdressing in Early Modern English Literature: Gender, Performance, and Queer Relations (Routledge, 2016). This is the first monograph that concentrates exclusively on male-to-female crossdressing, as opposed to female-to-male crossdressing, which has received much more attention. Chess’s monograph not only opens up new perspectives on early modern texts by applying modern concepts, but her work also has the potential to inform contemporary understandings of modern gender performance. The Board of Governors honored Chess for her contributions to early modern literature and cultural studies.
- Francisco Higuero, professor in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was recognized for the publication of two books: Conceptualizaciones discursivas. Nuevo pensamiento español del siglo veintiuno (Discursive Conceptualizations: New Spanish Thought of the 21st Century, 2015) and Desgarramientos existenciales. Nueva narrativa española del siglo veintiuno (Existential Rifts: New Spanish Narrative of the 21st Century, 2016). In both books, Higuero’s commentaries and analysis present a thorough examination of important literary trends and philosophical thought in 21st century Spain. The Board of Governors recognized Higuero for his significant contribution to 20th and 21st century Spanish peninsular literature.
- John Patrick Leary, professor in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was honored for the publication of A Cultural History of Underdevelopment: Latin America in the American Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2016). The book’s breadth extends to original new readings of authors such as Langston Hughes, Nicolás Guillén, Stephen Crane, José Martí, Jack Kerouac and Junot Diaz, among others. In its combination of archival research and transnational cultural analysis, Leary’s book is an important and persuasive account of the place of Latin America in the American imagination. The Board of Governors honored Leary for his persuasive account of the place and function of Latin America in the United States’ cultural imagination.
- Tracy Neumann, associate professor in the Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Neumann was recognized for the publication of Remaking the Rust Belt: The Postindustrial Transformation of North America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). In the book, Neumann shows how the urban experience of deindustrialization was shaped by political choices at the local, state and federal levels that created different outcomes for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Hamilton, Ontario. Deeply engaged with the literatures of urban history, political history and the problem of postindustrialization, Remaking the Rust Belt has and will continue to have a major impact on these fields of studies. The Board of Governors honored Neumann for her insight into urban politics and economic change.
- Sandra Van Burkleo, professor in the Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Van Burkleo was honored for the publication of the book Gender Remade: Citizenship, Suffrage, and Public Power in the New Northwest, 1879-1912 (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Her book is a case of study women’s status, rights, and political participation in the Washington Territory and then in Washington State. Merging the fields of constitutional and women’s histories, Gender Remade reveals that the history of women’s struggle for equality included, but was not limited to, acquiring the right to vote. The Board of Governors recognized Van Burkleo for her extensive scholarship that is matched by a generous commitment to public and professional service.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Left to right) Prof. Kenneth Jackson (standing in for John Patrick Leary), Simone Chess,
Tracy Neumann, Sandra Van Burkleo and Francisco Higuero.
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