Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lan Dong named the Schewe Endowed Professor at UIS

University of Illinois Springfield faculty member Lan Dong has been named the Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. The endowed professorship will give Dong additional support to conduct research and other scholarly activities.

“Lan Dong has established a reputation as a ground breaking and prolific researcher in Asian American literature,” said James Ermatinger, dean of the UIS College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “She has emerged as an expert in comparative literature and has become a recognized scholar in studies of comics and graphic narratives.”

As part of the professorship, Dong looks forward to completing several projects, enhancing the reputation of Department of English and Modern Languages and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and further integrating research into teaching and mentoring students at UIS.

“It is a great honor,” Dong said, “and brings added responsibilities as well.”

Dong came to UIS in 2006 as an assistant professor of English. In 2012, she was named a University Scholar by the University of Illinois for her excellence in teaching and scholarship. She also received the Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2011 and the Pearson Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence at UIS in 2012.

In her teaching, Dong specializes in world literature and graphic narratives, which use sequential art to tell stories. “The juxtaposition of textual and visual elements provides a sense of immediacy and helps shorten the difference between the characters and readers,” Dong said. “The reader’s experience of being a ‘witness’ makes the books and topics particularly relevant.”

As a result, students develop more interests in world culture, tradition and events and what they can do personally to help others, thus becoming engaged citizens.

Dong also teaches Asian American literature and children’s and young adult literature at UIS.

Dong’s research focuses on Asian American literature and more specifically on women. She has published a book on Mulan entitled “Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States.” She has also written “Reading Amy Tan,” part of the Pop Lit Book Club series published by Libraries Unlimited, and edited the multi-contributor books “Transnationalism and the Asian American Heroine: Essays on Literature, Film, Myth and Media” and “Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice.” Most recently, she edited “Asian American Culture: From Anime to Tiger Moms,” a two-volume comprehensive study of Asian American cultural forms.

Dong came from China to the United States in 2000 for graduate school. After earning a master’s degree in comparative literature from Dartmouth College, she earned her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, also in comparative literature.

A bequest from Louise Hartman Schewe created the Louis Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Louise was a teacher and active civic leader in Springfield and Karl was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and A.G. Edwards and Sons, Springfield.

Endowed professorships at UIS create a lasting tribute to the donors who create them and are crucial for recruiting and retaining the high quality of faculty who are a hallmark of the University of Illinois Springfield.

No comments: