Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Keen’s Book in the Running for Phi Beta Kappa Award

Congratulations to Suzanne Keen, dean of the College and the Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee University. Her 2014 book “Thomas Hardy’s Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy’s Imagination” (Ohio State University Press) has landed on the short list for the prestigious Christian Gauss Award, given by the Phi Beta Kappa Society to books of literary scholarship or criticism.

Suzanne’s book joins four other titles up for the Gauss Award; we find out the winner — who receives a $10,000 prize — on Oct. 1.

Suzanne joined the W&L faculty in 1995. She teaches and conducts research in contemporary British fiction, Victorian novels, postcolonial literature, narrative theory, the novel in English, psychological approaches to literary study and digital humanities. In 2008, she received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. She became the dean of the College in 2013.

Her other books are “Empathy and the Novel,” “Narrative Form,” “Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction,” “Victorian Renovations of the Novel” and a volume of poetry, “Milk Glass Mermaid.”

The Phi Beta Kappa Senate established the Gauss award in 1950 to honor the late Christian Gauss, a distinguished Princeton University scholar, teacher and dean who served as president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest and best known academic honor society in the U.S.

Read more about the awards, which also include the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, at The American Scholar and on the Phi Beta Kappa website.

If you know a W&L faculty member who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.