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Eric Sundquist Will Give the Winter Shannon-Clark Lecture

Eric J. Sundquist, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and chair, Department of English at Johns Hopkins University, will give the Shannon-Clark Lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of Sundquist’s lecture is “The Historian’s Anvil, the Novelist’s Crucible: What Literature Can Tell Us about the Holocaust.” It is free and open to the public.

Sundquist is the author or editor of 13 books, including “King’s Dream” (2009); “Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America” (2005), which received the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute Book Award; “To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature” (1992), which received the Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa and the James Russell Lowell Award from the Modern Language Association;  and “Home as Found:  Authority and Genealogy in 19th-Century American Literature” (1979), which received the Gustave Arit Award from the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.

He has edited essay collections devoted to Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, Harriet Beecher Stowe and W. E. B. Du Bois and contributed to the “Cambridge History of American Literature” (reprinted as “Empire and Slavery in American Literature, 1820-1865”).

Sundquist has served on the National Council of the American Studies Association and the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association and directed four summer seminars for the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1997, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on its council. In 2007, he was named a recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Shannon-Clark Lectures in English, established by a gift from a Washington and Lee alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous, honor the memories of Edgar Finley Shannon, chairman of Washington and Lee’s Department of English from 1914 until his death in 1938, and Harriet Mabel Fishburn Clark, a grandmother of the donor and a woman vitally interested in liberal education.

Sundquist received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Vanderbilt, UCLA and Northwestern University where he was dean of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences from 1997 to 2002.