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Press Release for Wednesday, May 30, 2012

UNF English Professor Receives ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 




The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) awarded Dr. Laura Heffernan, assistant professor of English at the University of North Florida, an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for $90,000 to be used towards research in her field. 


The ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship provides support to small teams of scholars to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project that results in a tangible research product. Projects demonstrate the range and value of collaborative research in the humanities and related social sciences.  


Heffernan, who has been at UNF since 2011, will use the fellowship to study “The Historical Classroom: Disciplinary History for the 21st Century,” which returns to the archives of key literary scholars in order to reconstruct the material histories of their 20th-century classrooms. 


“Existing disciplinary histories tend to depict the discipline of English as torn apart by a series of conflicting imperatives—teaching versus research, appreciating literature versus producing historical knowledge about it, addressing wider publics versus scholarly colleagues—we show how the classroom work of well-known literary scholars dissolved such stark divides,” said Heffernan. 


Heffernan received her doctorate in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching and research focus is on late 19th and 20th century literature and the history of literary criticism. Before coming to UNF, she taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Tulane University and Brown University.  


 In addition to her university teaching, Heffernan shares her interest in literary modernism with wider publics. She has curated exhibits on James Joyce at the Rosenbach Museum and Library and has discussed modernist visual art with secondary school educators at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Additionally, she has authored a reader’s guide to Joyce’s “Ulysses.” 


 Heffernan has also received a fellowship from the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University. Her article, “The Common Reader and the Archival Classroom: Disciplinary History for the 21st Century,” co-authored with Rachel Buurma, won the 2011 Ralph Cohen Prize. 


ACLS, a private, non-profit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. This year, ACLS will award more than $15 million to over 320 scholars worldwide working in the humanities and related social sciences. Since 1957, more than 9,200 scholars have held ACLS fellowships and grants.