William & Mary

English Faculty Members Win Top Honors

Three English faculty members were recently recognized for their outstanding contributions to scholarship and teaching. Professors Suzanne Raitt and Adam Potkay received Plumeri Faculty Excellence Awards. Professor Deborah Morse was the first recipient of the Jennifer and Devin Murphy Faculty Award.

Raitt imageProfessor Suzanne Raitt joined the faculty in 2000 after teaching at the University of Michigan and the University of London. She has a B.A. and Ph.D. from Cambridge University and an M.A. from Yale.  Her monographs include a celebrated biography of Mary Sinclair (Oxford UP, 2000), the groundbreaking Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (Oxford UP, 1993) and Virginia Woolf's 'To The Lighthouse' (St. Martin's, 1990). Her edited or co-edited volumes include Women's Fiction and the Great War (with Trudi Tate, Oxford UP, 1997), Volcanoes and Pearl Divers: Essays in Lesbian Feminist Studies (Haworth P, 1995) and three major editions of twentieth-century British fiction. She is currently at work on a book for Oxford University Press entitled Waste and Efficiency in British Culture, 1864-1922 and is co-editing an edition of Virginia Woolf's Orlando. Her teaching scores place her at the top of a department that cherishes fine teaching, and she continues to challenge herself by innovating such courses as Psychoanalysis and Modern Culture, Ice and the English Imagination, and Lesbian Fictions. She has in addition served on many important committees and for three years directed the Women's Studies Program.

Potkay imageProfessor Adam Potkay joined the faculty in 1990 after receiving a B.A. from Cornell, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He has published three monographs: The Fate of Eloquence in the Age of Hume (Cornell UP, 1994), The Passion for Happiness: Samuel Johnson and David Hume (Cornell UP, 2000), and his most recent work, The Story of Joy from the Bible to Late Romanticism (Cambridge UP, 2007). His edited or co-edited volumes include Black Atlantic Writers of the Eighteenth-Century: Living the New Exodus in England and the Americas (with Sandra Burr, St. Martin's, 1995) and Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews (Longman, 2007). He has published over 35 scholarly articles and review essays in some of the most prestigious journals in literary studies, and in addition edited two special volumes of the journal Eighteenth-Century Life. He serves on the editorial board of several journals, including PMLA.  He is currently on the Faculty Assembly and chairs the Academic Affairs Committee.

Morse imageProfessor Deborah Morse received her B.A. from Stanford and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She joined the faculty in 1988 after teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for five years. Her books include Women in Trollope's Palliser Novels (UMI, 1987), The Erotics of Instruction (co-edited with Regina Barreca, UP of New England, 1997), and Victorian Animal Dreams: Representations in Literature and Culture (co-edited with Martin Danahay, Ashgate, 2007). She currently has a work under contract entitled Narrative and Tolerance in the Novels of Anthony Trollope (co-edited with Margaret Markwick and Regenia Gagnier) and has been at work on another volume, From Hearth to Street: Elizabeth Gaskell and Characters on the Margins (co-edited with Deirdre d'Albertis). Professor Morse's passion is her teaching, though, and where she is most distinctive is in nurturing and mentoring undergraduate research. In the last ten years alone she has advised or co-advised fourteen Honors theses. In addition, several of her students have received prestigous awards: one won the Dean's Prize for Women's Studies, and in 2006, and again in 2007, two students she mentored won substantial monetary prizes for essays on Anthony Trollope.  Other students she has mentored have earned scholarships for graduate studies in Victorian literature at Tufts, Princeton, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Indiana University.

The Plumeri Award was established through the generosity of Joe Plumeri '66 and aims to help the College retain its very best faculty. The Jennifer and Devin Murphy Faculty Award was designed to recognize outstanding integration of faculty research with teaching. We are very proud of the achievements of our faculty.