The University Record, October 1, 2001

Sandra Gunning—Faculty Recognition Award

Gunning (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)
Sandra Gunning has been a dynamic force for creative and constructive change in American cultural studies, African-American literature, and American literature nationally and at the University of Michigan. She has helped expand and shape ethnic studies at the University by mentoring students and new faculty and by challenging the paradigm in which American literary studies takes place.

Professor Gunning’s Rape, Race, and Lynching: The Red Record of American Literature, 1890-1912 (Oxford University Press 1996), winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Book and Gustavus Meyers Award, has been lauded as the best historical work on the questions of race and violence in American literature. Her forthcoming book on African-American and Caribbean travel narrative promises to break new ground by analyzing the ways in which 19th-century African-American and Afro-Caribbean travelers often carried abroad with them the ideology of empire and its “civilizing” mission.

A member of the University faculty since 1991, Professor Gunning holds appointments and serves on major committees in the Program in American Culture, the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Department of English Language and Literature, and is affiliated with the Women’s Studies Program. Professor Gunning, who has successfully guided many junior faculty members through the tenure process, also has fostered a strong intellectual community of faculty and graduate students in American Culture.

She has rendered significant service to the profession as a board member of the journal Feminist Studies and as a member of the Modern Language Association committee on late-19th and early 20th-century American literature. She also is active in the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, serves on the editorial advisory board of American Quarterly, and evaluates proposals for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In acknowledgement of her strengths as a scholar and teacher, Professor Gunning has been recognized with the Michigan Humanities Award and the Julia Lockwood Research Fellowship.

For her distinguished and indispensable contributions to the vitality of several intellectual communities at the University, her mentoring of graduate students and junior faculty, and the quality and breadth of her scholarship in American and ethnic literary studies, the University of Michigan proudly presents to Sandra Gunning its Faculty Recognition Award.