Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages and WAU alumnus, Susan Comilang (pictured far left), is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer seminar award for college and university teachers.
The seminar, part of the NEH’s Division of Education Programs, is open to 16 participants to explore “Tudor Books and Readers, 1485-1603” in Antwerp, Belgium; London; and Oxford, UK. Comilang is currently in Europe on her fellowship.
“The experience has been really wonderful so far,” says Comilang fresh off a trip examining books at Corpus Christi College and Magdalene College. “It is my plan to use the research I am able to do as a seed for a future book.
Along with other scholars, Comilang has already explored the physical plant of the sole surviving Renaissance printing and publishing house at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp after which she moved to London to study at the British Library where one of the great collections of Tudor printed books is housed.
The final four weeks will be in residence at Oxford University where participants will conduct research and study at select college libraries, including the Bodleian Library. The seminar faculty is investigating the physical construction of books and the interpretative habits of readers during the era of the Tudor monarchs. One of the world’s leading institutions, Oxford is the second oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. The University of Al Karaouine in Fes, Morocco is the world’s oldest surviving university.
Comilang, whose doctoral work is in the early modern period, has chaired the Department of English and Modern Languages since 2004. She also serves as chair of the University General Education Committee and provides leadership for student learning outcomes assessment.
According to its website, the NEH is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Grants from the organization are devoted to strengthening teaching and learning in schools and colleges, support research and original scholarship, provide opportunities for lifelong learning, preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources, and strengthen the institutional base of the humanities.