2009 Lindberg Award Recipient
Douglas Lanier, Professor of English
Award Announced March 6, 2009
Douglas Lanier, Professor of English, has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Lindberg Award, given annually to the outstanding Teacher-Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts.
Professor Lanier earned his Ph.D. from Duke University and was appointed to the UNH faculty in 1990. He has since built a distinguished career characterized by his rising profile nationally and internationally in the field of Shakespeare and modern popular culture, his strong record of publication and frequent presentations, his enormous influence on the minds and hearts of the students he teaches, and his generosity of time and spirit to his department and the university. Both colleagues and students alike find in him a perfect melding of the active scholar and the passionate teacher, an academic who, as Gary Lindberg himself did, inspires students to achieve at their highest levels by modeling the exciting and rigorous process of creating knowledge.
Professor Lanier is recognized as one of the foundational figures in the field of Shakespeare and performance. His more recent exploration of the role of Shakespeare (both man and work) in modern popular culture, from myriad film adaptations to comic books, has been groundbreaking. His 2002 publication, Shakespeare in Modern Popular Culture (Oxford UP), has been identified twice as a best-selling academic trade book by Academia. This book, in addition to over a dozen articles and twice as many professional papers and invited talks since, has positioned Professor Lanier as one of first and preeminent scholars in this sub-field of Shakespeare study. His recent invitation to present at the International Shakespeare Conference attests to his influence: invitations are limited to those whom the Stratford Shakespeare Institute identifies as the top Shakespeareans in the world.
At least as impressive is Professor Lanier’s record as a teacher and mentor. In the wealth of testimony provided by students, the same words surfaced repeatedly to describe his teaching: passionate, exciting, engaging, enthusiastic, encouraging, and challenging. Both graduate and undergraduate students noted his astounding depth of knowledge. They praised his masterful ability to “strike the perfect balance between lecture and discussion” and to encourage students to “develop and express their ideas while asking them to think more critically about the texts.” Many recognized his attentiveness and influence on them personally, noting his thorough and thoughtful feedback on their work or his active support as an advisor or mentor. He was named, variously, “my favorite professor,” “an inspiration,” and “a treasure.” One student seems to sum up the whole of the student feedback in this imperative: “What you must know is that his love for literature and his passion for scholarly research is undeniably present in everything he teaches—what he teaches and how he teaches it.” Teaching a range of courses from 500-level introductory courses to graduate seminars, Professor Lanier has overwhelmingly garnered the respect and admiration of his students.
Professor Lanier has also proven a caring and generous peer. His colleagues—both senior and junior faculty—appreciate him for the attention and support he gives to their scholarly endeavors. Of great importance, too, is his willingness to serve in administrative roles. As Graduate Program Coordinator from 1997 to 2002, he honed curricula and improved organization in the English Graduate Programs; he has more than ably steered the UNH London Program since 2004; and he has cheerfully served on hiring, P&T, and other committees both inside and outside the English Department.
Like the impressive Lindberg scholar-teachers who have come before him, Professor Lanier has demonstrated that he possesses the highest qualities of scholarship and teaching and the marvelous ability to marry the two to perfection. The College is very lucky to have him.