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National prize for best book on teaching literature at college level announced by Idaho State University Department of English and Philosophy

January 5, 2015
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Idaho State University Department of English and Philosophy announces a new, national prize for the best book-length work on teaching literature at the college level.

The “Teaching Literature Book Award” is the first and only prize that recognizes books specifically about teaching literature to post-secondary students. The nationally juried prize is conferred biennially by the faculty in the Ph.D. Program in English and the Teaching of English at Idaho State University.

Nominations for the inaugural 2015 competition are due March 15.

Jessica Winston, ISU English professor and director of graduate studies, said that the department developed the award to encourage and recognize excellence in research about teaching literature.

“The ISU faculty values good teaching, and our ISU English Master of Arts and Ph.D. programs emphasize both literary research and pedagogical training,” Winston said. “Moreover, our Ph.D. program has a distinctive mission, which is to train students for teaching careers at two- and four-year schools, especially at community colleges.”

“In our teaching of undergraduates and graduate students, our faculty benefits a lot from foundational and new publications on pedagogy,” continued Winston. “One day it occurred to us that we should do more to promote and acknowledge pedagogical publication.”

Although numerous books, book series and general and specialized journals, such as Pedagogy or This Rough Magic, focus on teaching, Winston said, “We realized that there was no award specifically for books about teaching literature.”

Department Chair Jennifer Eastman Attebery added that the award is an excellent fit for the department’s focus on college pedagogy.

“We are very excited to launch the award this year at the same time that we move forward with fundraising for a permanent book award endowment,” Attebery said.

The award is housed in the Department of English and Philosophy at Idaho State University, but it is juried by a national committee of professors with strong credentials in literary studies and pedagogy. The 2015 committee includes Steven Lynn, University of South Carolina, author of “Samuel Johnson after Deconstruction,” “Texts and Contexts” and “Literature: Reading and Writing with Critical Strategies”; Tanya Agathocleous, Hunter College, CUNY, author of “Urban Realism and the Cosmopolitan Imagination” and “Teaching Literature: A Companion”; and Jennifer Holberg, Calvin College, founding co-editor of the journal Pedagogy.

The prize winner will receive a certificate, a cash prize of $1,000, and an invitation to give a public lecture and teaching workshop at ISU’s Pocatello campus.

More information about eligibility, nominations and donating to the endowment fund is available under the “prizes and scholarships” link at www.isu.edu/english/.

For more information, contact Attebery at attejenn@isu.edu or 208-282-2478, or Winston at winsjess@isu.edu or 208-282-2895.


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