Two faculty members in the Department of English, Associate Professor Mary Quade, and Professor Joyce Dyer, recently earned 2014 Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council.
Each year, the Ohio Arts Council awards grants to creative artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community. These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.
Quade was awarded for three essays, “Steel: Products of Cleveland,” “The Collection” and “In the Classroom,” all of which concern awareness to damage in the world.
“We seem comfortable analyzing the roots of current situations, believing we know why things happened in the past, but we’re less comfortable accepting responsibility for future sacrifices,” she said. “The essays consider where we can use imagination to help us to find antidotes to our damaging appetites and where imagination falls short.”
Of each individual essay, Quade writes:
Dyer submitted and was awarded for an excerpt from a book she has been working on about John Brown, the abolitionist famous for the Harper’s Ferry raid during the Civil War.
“It’s a memoir — an attempt to struggle with the place of John Brown in my own life, and in the lives of my readers,” she said. “Who is he today, and what knowledge does our response to him yield about the American character, and about ourselves?”
Dyer lives in Hudson, the same Ohio town that Brown’s family settled in in 1805, and her book draws on that connection.
“His house was around the corner from mine, and he took his first public vow to destroy slavery in 1837 in a church that stood just catty-corner from my own,” she said. “Would it be possible to have such a man as a neighbor? What would that be like?”