"Jessica Richard" Archive

WFU digital humanities project receives NEH grant

Wake Forest University has received a $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for The Maria Edgeworth Letters Project, a collaborative digital edition of letters written by Maria Edgeworth and shared by over 30 archives worldwide.

The project is led by English professor Jessica Richard in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Texas A & M; and Xavier University.

The Anglo-Irish author Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) was the most commercially successful novelist of her age, yet a comparatively small number of her letters have been published. Correspondences of her literary contemporaries and predecessors – Jane Austen, Frances Burney, William Godwin, Samuel Richardson, and Horace Walpole – have been published or are in progress with major university presses. 

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Categories: Faculty News

Franco awarded the new 'Palmer Professorship in Literature'

Dean Franco, Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University, has been awarded the new Winifred W. Palmer Professorship in Literature.

Arnold Palmer’s Trust funded the professorship in memory of Palmer’s late wife. Her passion for literature will be remembered through this generous gift.

Dean of the College Michele Gillespie chose Franco for his outstanding excellence within the English Department and his tireless pursuit of scholarship, mentorship and leadership.

“Dean Franco is a superb example of the consummate teacher-scholar at Wake Forest. He is a dedicated, demanding teacher; a senior scholar who has shaped his field of 20th century American Literature, and especially American Ethnic Studies; and deeply committed to the equity and wellbeing of our community and the broader community we live in,” Gillespie said.

Franco, who joined the English Department in 2001, has served in a variety of roles, including associate chair from 2010 to 2016. His third book, “The Border and the Line: Race, Literature, and Los Angeles,” was published in January; and he continues to draft, edit and peer review essays and journal submissions. He co-authored the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for the Engaged Liberal Arts awarded in 2018. He serves as a noted scholar on panels and as a guest lecturer on topics involving race and literature. Most recently, he presented the lecture, “On Race, Scale and Literary History,” at Indiana University Oct. 10.

Inside the classroom, Franco devotes his attention to his students, from their first year through graduation. His first-year seminars on such topics as “Inauthentic, Abnormal and Queer: Social Values in Art, Literature and Film,” “The Sacred and Secular in Public Life,” and “Uncertainty” have expanded the worldview for incoming students and provided an introduction to the Pro Humanitate motto that all Wake Forest students strive to achieve. He continues to mentor and guide English majors through their intellectual pursuits while also serving as the founding director for the Jewish Studies minor that began in 2014. Franco also contributes to the campus community through his role as the director of the Humanities Institute, which establishes programs and provides funding for University faculty in the humanities and other fields of study engaging in humanistic inquiry and scholarship.

Jessica Richard, chair of the English department, calls Franco an invaluable colleague and an exceptional contributor to the department, College and University.

“In his most recent book, Dean Franco examines ‘how we all live in relational proximity to our neighbors,’ and his commitment to understanding what divides and unites us is also the bedrock of his work at Wake Forest,” Richard said. “From his role as a co-founder and current director of the Humanities Institute to his department leadership and his classroom teaching, Dean models how literary study enables us to connect across difference. We’re thrilled to see his nationally recognized scholarship and his outstanding campus leadership and teaching recognized with this professorship.”

August 2012 faculty milestones

See a list of employment milestones reached by faculty in August 2012: Read more

Categories: Faculty News

Faculty House Calls program a success

Professor Jessica Richard (left) greets a student.A few days after classes began, as orientation activities were winding down, new students were made to feel especially welcome in the Wake Forest community by a very important group to them — their faculty members!

A number of faculty responded to an invitation for Residence Life & Housing’s Faculty House Calls program. Faculty spent a few hours in the residence halls welcoming new students, making a number of personal connections along the way. After saying hello and showing off their own spaces a bit, many first-year residents seized the opportunity to ask questions about life at Wake Forest, to seek out advice about the transition from high school to college and to just share a few laughs as fellow Wake Foresters. Read more

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