ISU announces winner of 2019 Teaching Literature Book Award
September 13, 2019
POCATELLO – The Idaho State University Department of English and Philosophy has announced “Jews in Medieval England: Teaching Representations of the Other,” edited by Miriamne Ara Krummel (University of Dayton) and Tison Pugh (University of Central Florida) as the winner of the 2019 Teaching Literature Book Award.
The Teaching Literature Book Award is an international prize for the best book on teaching literature at the college level. The award is presented biennially by the faculty in the graduate programs in English at Idaho State University. The winning books are judged by a committee of external reviewers.
Jessica Winston, ISU professor of English and chair of the award committee, said that “the prize committee sought out books that offered timely and effective approaches to teaching literature at the college level today.”
The winning book examines the teaching of Jewishness within the context of medieval England, she explained. “But the chapters also bring out the relevance of this past to contemporary concerns around attributions of otherness and anti-Semitism.”
Members of the award committee praised the book for its presentation of a “a range of creative approaches” to help students to “grapple with the archaic language and distant cultural norms of the medieval past, while also discerning how the medieval world shaped the intolerance and distrust that led to the Holocaust and continue to this day.”
According to Winston, “The essays are informed by rigorous historical and literary analysis, even as they present a range of practical ideas that are transferable to a variety of texts and historical contexts.” In particular, she continued, “The book has much to offer teachers of multicultural literature and religious studies who want to explore the historical roots of prejudice with their students.”
Another strength of the book is that it “covers teaching at a variety of institutions and lessons for a wide range of students,” Winston said. The book “offers ways for students from diverse background to connect modern experiences of cultural difference to the study of the past.”
Editors Krummel and Pugh jointly said, they are honored to be selected for the award.
“In a time of rising antisemitism, this award acknowledges the meaningfulness of our efforts to encourage teachers and professors to intervene in antisemitic and racist behavior through the power and allure of the humanities,” they said.
The winning book was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. The Award committee also gave an honorable mention to “Teaching
Modern Arabic Literature in Translation,” edited by Michelle Hartman (McGill University) and published by the Modern Language Association in 2018.
“Teaching Modern Arabic Literature” was noteworthy, Winston said, for its “helpful orientation to non-specialists.”
“The book makes a persuasive case for teaching modern Arabic literature in translation,” she said. “Each essay offers enough background on the politics and cultural contexts of modern Arabic literary works to allow both new and experienced instructors who are not experts in the field to teach these texts.”
This year’s committee included: Ben Gunsberg, Associate Professor of English, Utah State University; Roberta Rosenberg, Professor Emerita, Christopher Newport University and Member, Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement; and Tara Williams, Associate Dean, Honors College, and Associate Professor of English, Oregon State University. Jessica Winston and Susan Goslee, associate professor of English, also served on the committee at ISU.
More information about the Teaching Literature Book Award is available at www.isu.edu/english/.
Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral high research activity university and teaching institution founded in 1901, attracts students from around the world to its Idaho campuses. At the main campus in Pocatello, and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, ISU has nine Colleges, a Graduate School and a Division of Health Sciences that together offer more than 250 certificate and degree programs. More than 12,000 students attend ISU. Idaho State University is the state's designated lead institution in health professions.