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English Professor to Deliver Lindberg Lecture on Othello April 29

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
April 21, 2010

Doug Lanier, professor of English and recipient of the 2009 Lindberg Award, will deliver the Lindberg Lecture Thursday, April 29, 2010. The highest award of the College of Liberal Arts, the Lindberg Award is given annually to an outstanding teacher and scholar in the college.

The 2009 Lindberg Award winner, Lanier's lecture, "Post-Racial Othello," begins at 1 p.m. in 110 Murkland Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Lanier’s lecture will focus on the direction that global film adaptation of Shakespeare's play Othello has taken in the past five years, a direction that decidedly downplays issues of race (the subject traditionally most closely associated with Othello) and plays up other issues of identity politics--class, gender, sexuality, cosmopolitanism, religion, and the like. Lanier will survey five films from around the globe that adapt Othello and end with some speculations about why this "post-racialization" of Othello is so closely related to the globalization of Shakespeare's adaptation to film.

Lanier is recognized as one of the foundational scholars in the field of Shakespeare and performance. Most recently, he has looked at the role of Shakespeare, both man and work, in modern popular culture. His 2002 publication, “Shakespeare in Modern Popular Culture,” has been identified twice as a best-selling academic trade book.

His students praise his ability to “strike the perfect balance between lecture and discussion” and to encourage students to “develop and express their ideas while asking them to think critically about the texts.” Many recognize his attentiveness and influence on them personally, noting his thorough and thoughtful feedback on their work or his active support as their advisor or mentor.

“Like the impressive Lindberg scholar-teachers who have come before him, Professor Lanier has demonstrated that he possesses the highest qualities of scholarship and teaching and the marvelous ability to marry the two to perfection. We are very lucky to have him,” said Ken Fuld, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Lanier holds a bachelor’s from Stetson University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Duke University.

In keeping with tradition, the Lindberg Award celebration will include the announcement of the 2010 winner, who is Tom Newkirk, professor of English. Newkirk holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, a master’s from Boston State College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He was appointed to the UNH faculty in 1977.

Newkirk researches literacy, composition, and the teaching of writing. He has authored four books, including the recent “Holding on to Good Ideas in Times of Bad Ones: Six Literacy Principles worth Fighting For,” in which he defends the skills and judgment of teachers against the “cult of efficiency” represented by top-down mandates and prescribed testing.

Newkirk designed UNH’s Ph.D. program in composition and developed and administers three innovative programs that advance literacy: The New Hampshire Literacy Institutes, The Writer’s Academy, and the Learning Through Teaching Program.

“Professor Newkirk is an equally committed and accomplished teacher. His courses are integral to the graduate composition program, and he keeps his connections to undergraduate students alive by regularly teaching first-year and other writing courses, and instructing senior English teaching majors in composition pedagogy,” Fuld said.

“Professor Newkirk has demonstrated that he is most deserving of the Lindberg Award. The college is proud to count him as one of its own,” he said.


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