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LAURELS: Scholar of women's literature wins lifetime achievement award

2.15.2013

By Dateline staff

Photo: Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, pictured around 1980

'Giants of the feminist movement': Gilbert, left, and Gubar, pictured around 1980, about a year after publication of The Madwoman in the Attic.

Photo: Professor Emeritus Sandra M. Gilbert

Gilbert

The National Book Critics Circle announced that it will present its Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award to two scholars of women's literature: UC Davis English professor emeritus Sandra M. Gilbert and her frequent co-author and co-editor.

The critics circle board recognized Gilbert and English professor emeritus Susan Gubar of Indiana University “for their pioneering work in feminist thought, which revolutionized criticism.”

The Washington Post concurred, labeling Gilbert and Gubar “giants of the feminist movement” whose books, particularly The Madwoman in the Attic and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, “changed the shape of literary criticism and influenced generations of students and scholars.”

Gilbert and Gubar co-authored The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (1979), described by the National Book Critics Circle as “a groundbreaking and nuanced study of the tenuous position of women writers and women characters within a patriarchal culture; and No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, a three-volume work (1989-94), “a sophisticated and encyclopedic survey of modern women’s literature.”

They co-edited The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Traditions in English (first published in 1985 and updated twice since then) described by the book critics circle as “a landmark attempt to establish a canon of women’s writing but also, by implication, to insist on the integral place of women within the canon of English literature.”

The award, named after a founding member and first president of the National Book Critics Circle, is due to be presented Feb. 28 in New York City, at the organization’s annual awards program.

Read or listen to the recent National Public Radio story, “How a ‘Madwoman’ Upended a Literary Boys Club.”

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The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Bonn, Germany, announced psychology professor Jeffrey W. Sherman as the recipient of one of the foundation’s Anneliese Maier Research Awards, each worth 250,000 Euro, or $336,375.

The awards are going to seven humanities-social sciences scholars from around the world, to pay for them to work with colleagues in Germany during a five-year time frame.

The foundation describes Sherman as an internationally leading social psychologist who develops innovative mathematical models to measure and analyze prejudice and stereotyping that people are unwilling or unable to reveal. At the University of Freiburg, he will also be involved in training young graduate researchers.

Maier (1905-71), the awards’ namesake, was an internationally acclaimed German philosopher and historian of science.

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Six physics professors are newly elected fellows of the American Physical Society, recognized by their peers for contributions to the physics enterprise. The new fellows and why they have been recognized:

Nemanja Kaloper, for numerous and imaginative contributions to theoretical cosmology, particularly for his pioneering work in the physics and cosmology of “braneworlds,” or theories involving extra dimensions of the universe. Kaloper also has made important contributions to theories of early universe inflation and dark energy.

• Lloyd Knox, for his work on studying the cosmic microwave background. Knox leads the U.S. team for the Planck observatory, a space telescope launched in 2009 to study microwave radiation that dates back to the beginning of the universe. He also works with the South Pole Telescope team measuring signals that he predicted over the past 15 years.

• Kai Liu, for his work on magnetic effects in nanomaterials, including contributions to the understanding of magnetoresistance effects, exchange bias and magnetization reversal in magnetic nanostructures.

• Sergej Savrasov, for his innovative design and implementation of electronic structure algorithms and software, and for his many contributions to a microscopic understanding of superconductors, magnetic materials and strongly correlated electron systems.

• Robert Svoboda, for his numerous contributions to the study of the neutrino and the development of technologies for neutrino detection. He was the first to observe neutrinos from the supernova SN1987A, and he contributed to the development of large underground neutrino detectors such as the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven detector in the United States and the Super-Kamikande and Kamland experiments in Japan, which have resulted in the definitive discovery of neutrino oscillations.

• Gergely Zimanyi, for contributions to the theory of strongly correlated systems, vortices and magnetic hysteresis in materials.

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Chemistry professor Xi Chen has been named the winner of the Carbohydrate Research journal’s 2013 Award for Creativity in Carbohydrate Chemistry. Established in 2001, the award has been given every two years since then.

Chen receives a $1,000 prize; a complimentary, two-year subscription to Carbohydrate Research; and a spot as a plenary speaker at the 17th European Carbohydrate Symposium (EuroCarb 17) to be held July 11-17 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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A paper by Edward “Ned” Spang, program manager at the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, emerged with top honors in a Global Water Forum awards program for “emerging scholars”: Ph.D. recipients or candidates under 36 years old.

Each of the some 800 entrants from around the world submitted a brief article, and the judges selected Spang’s as the best. He received the first-prize Emerging Scholars Award of $500 for “A Thirst for Power: A Global Analysis of Water Consumption for Energy Production” — about his development and application of the first water consumption indicator for national-level energy systems.

Spang has degrees from Dartmouth College (Bachelor of Arts, geography with a focus on environmental studies) and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where he studied international environment and resource policy, and development economics. His Fletcher degrees: Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, and doctorate in international relations.

The Global Water Forum is an initiative of the UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance.

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The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers announced that three of its highest honors this year will go to UC Davis professors:

R. Paul Singh — Recipient of the Massey-Ferguson Educational Gold Medal, for dedication to the spirit of learning and teaching in agricultural engineering. Singh is a Distinguished Professor of food engineering who holds a dual appointment in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and the Department of Food Science and Technology.

His research today centers on gastric wall motility and fluid flow in the human stomach, with applications to the next generation of foods for health. He also has studied energy conservation, freezing preservation, post-harvest technology and mass transfer in food processing.

• Shrinivasa Upadhyaya — Recipient of the John Deere Gold Medal, for the improved manipulation, use and conservation of soil-water resources, through engineering; and whose work has resulted in the application of new concepts, products, art or science that advanced agricultural development.

Upadhyaya is a soil dynamics expert in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. His research activities are focused today in the area of sensor and instrumentation development for precision agriculture, soil dynamics, mathematical modeling and surface irrigation management.

Wesley Wallender — Recipient of the ADS/Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award, for contributions to the advancement of soil and water engineering in teaching, research, planning, design construction or management, or the development of materials.

Wallender, who holds a dual appointment in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, conducts research on modeling and measurement of precipitation and irrigation-driven watersheds from meter to kilometer scales. His interests extend to water and energy conservation and to protection of the environment.

The society’s 2013 meeting is scheduled from July 21 to 24 in Kansas City, Mo.

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Veterinarian Mike Cranfield, co-director of the UC Davis-based Gorilla Doctors, recently received the Maryland Zoo’s Michael D. Hankin Award for Conservation.

The award is named after a former chairman of the Baltimore zoo’s board of trustees and honors people who epitomize his legacy of conservation, volunteerism and philanthropy. 

Cranfield has been a Maryland Zoo veterinarian for 30 years (he has consultant status today). In 1998, he became executive director of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, which provides direct, hands-on care to endangered mountain and Grauer’s gorillas in Africa.

In partnership with UC Davis’ Wildlife Health Center, part of the School of Veterinary Medicine, since 2009, the project now goes by the name Gorilla Doctors, with Cranfield and Kirsten Gilardi as co-directors.

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Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to dateline@ucdavis.edu.

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