by Craig Layne
Claire Seiler, associate professor of English and chair of the American studies department, has been named the 2019 recipient of Dickinson’s Constance & Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for Inspirational Teaching. She accepted the award at Commencement on Sunday, May 19.
Voted on annually by graduating seniors and announced by the graduating class president during Commencement, the Ganoe award is the only student-bestowed faculty accolade at Dickinson. The award was established in 1969 with a bequest from the late William A. Ganoe, class of 1902.
“I got to know the extraordinary class of 2019 both in and out of the classroom,” said Seiler. “I’m humbled to receive this award from such an intellectually curious, academically accomplished and deeply community-minded group of Dickinsonians.”
Seiler’s research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary U.S., British, and Irish literature, poetry and poetics as well as the history and politics of literacy. Seiler’s first book, Midcentury Suspension, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. The book offers a new, transatlantic literary and cultural history of the immediate aftermath of World War II. Seiler’s recent courses include Celtic Revival/Harlem Renaissance, Women Write War and Introduction to Literary Studies.
This year, Seiler said she had the “unusual and wonderful experience” of teaching a First-Year Seminar and an English senior seminar at the same time. “Working closely with first-year students and seniors all year, I got to witness how Dickinson’s rigorous approach to the liberal arts consistently meets and challenges students where they are. That education enables them to pursue bold, meaningful futures for themselves and their communities,” said Seiler. “To offer a few examples of those futures from my senior thesis workshop, these new alumni are hitting the post-grad ground running as graduate students in education and psychology, teachers, editors, journalists, a Fulbright scholar in Spain and a Beinecke Scholar in the arts and humanities.”
Seiler’s many contributions to campus life center on justice, feminism, intellectual culture, and faculty and student mentoring. She has chaired three academic departments—American studies, English and women’s, gender & sexuality studies—in the last three years, and recently co-chaired, with Assistant Professor of English Sheela Jane Menon, an interdisciplinary faculty seminar on the theme of “Citizen/Refugee.”
Seiler earned her B.A. from Middlebury College, M.Phil. from Trinity College, Dublin, and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
The Ganoe award winner receives a cash honorarium plus the opportunity to use funds to purchase books for the library or educational equipment for departmental or college-wide purposes.
Published May 31, 2019