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Deane Receives All-University Horace T. Morse Award

Posted by Jenna Ray on Monday, Apr. 21, 2014


Bradley Deane, associate professor of English, is a 2014 recipient of the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Deane is one of eight recipients systemwide and the only recipient not from the Twin Cities campus.

According to Bart Finzel, vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean, Deane’s contributions to Morris include founding a chapter of the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta, coordinating and teaching in the Honors Program, mentoring colleagues, and serving in campus governance.

“Deane has an excellent record of challenging and imaginative teaching and published scholarship,” says Finzel. “As a teacher-scholar, advisor, colleague, and advocate for the liberal arts, he is an invaluable member of the campus community.”

Deane describes his classroom methodology as “a ‘tried-and-true’ approach that [he’s] put a lot of work into getting right.” It involves engaging students as actively as possible, inviting them “to pull up a chair to a longstanding conversation” about literature and humanity. “They’re welcome at the table,” he says, “but only if they’re willing to put in the work of listening to what others have been saying.”

Deane admits to being humbled by his receipt of the Morse award. He sees this time as an opportunity to continue his professional development.

“At first I looked at it as the culmination of a lot of effort, but now I think of it as the beginning of a new reinvigoration of what I’m trying to do in the classroom,” he says.

Deane envisions this “reinvigoration” as a renewed commitment to several of his primary objectives, namely, fostering community across the campus environment. Having encouraged community inside the classroom through conversation and dialogue and outside the classroom through his work with Sigma Tau Delta and the Honors Program, Deane believes this work to be one of his distinguishing contributions to the University, one he plans to continue emphasizing.

“The idea of Morris as a learning community is really important to me,” he says. “It always seemed to me that the appeal of Morris, and the way to make it stronger, is to try to find ways of enhancing the sense of community that we already have.”

Deane’s renewed commitment to teaching and community-building is not likely to detract from his robust research agenda, however. His second book, Masculinity and the New Imperialism: Rewriting Manhood in British Popular Literature, 1870-1914, will be released by Cambridge University Press later this summer. He also is undertaking a new project exploring frauds and hoaxes in popular Victorian literature.

Deane is the forty-first Morris faculty member to receive the Horace T. Morse Award. As a recipient, he will be named to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, which provides leadership to the University community as mentors, advisers, and spokespersons for the University’s teaching mission. Additional information is available at academic.umn.edu/provost/awards/morsealumni.html.