President's Scholar Award 2008-2009

April 8, 2009


TO: Campus Community

FROM: President Jon Whitmore

It is my distinct pleasure to announce that the President's Scholar Selection Committee and I have selected Dr. Paul Douglass, Professor of English and Comparative Literature in the College of Humanities and the Arts, as the recipient of the 2008-2009 President's Scholar Award. This award recognizes a faculty member who has achieved widespread recognition based on the quality of scholarship, performances, or creative activities.

Professor Douglass came to San José State University in 1990, recognized as a promising young scholar. Throughout his SJSU career, now close to two decades, we have witnessed how this promising young scholar has become, within literary and academic circles, widely recognized as a leading scholar in the areas of American Modernism, Literary Theory, Music and Literature, Philosophy and Literature and particularly in the area of British Romantic Literature.

Professor Douglass' remarkable scholarly achievements include over twenty-five articles and essays in refereed journals and edited volumes, nearly twenty reviews in highly respected venues, and close to 50 presentations and lectures at professional gatherings. He has authored two books on literary modernism and two on Lady Caroline Lamb, both published by Palgrave-Macmillan, which have brought him wide recognition as a leading scholar of the life and work of Lamb, a writer herself and lover of poet Lord Byron. In 2007, Professor Douglass received the Elma Dangerfield Award of the International Byron Society for his publication of "new and original work related to the life, works and times of the poet." He followed that recognition with this year's publication of three volumes: The Collected Works of Lady Caroline Lamb, which he co-edited, published by Pickering and Chatto in London. Professor Douglass has developed three scholarly websites: The Steinbeck Bibliography (www.steinbeckbibliography.org), where he serves as executive editor; the Lady Caroline Website (www.sjsu.edu/faculty/doublass/caro/; and Romantic Era Songs (www.sjsu.edu/faculty/douglass/music/, which features theatre and popular songs, catches, airs, and art songs of the romantic period.

The most remarkable thing about Professor Douglass' scholarly achievements is that he has accomplished them while serving in leadership positions within his department and the university. He has served as Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature; Principal Investigator for the California Literature Project, a four-county teacher professional development program with grants totaling over $2.3 million; and Director of the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, where he gained praise for editing and combining the journal Steinbeck Studies with the new Steinbeck Review for publication by Blackwell, which enhanced the profile of scholarship produced through the Steinbeck Center. He currently serves as a member of the College of Humanities and the Arts Curriculum Committee and Center for Literary Arts Board; chairs the M.H. Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies Advisory Board; and the Graduate English and Comparative Literature Graduate Committee.

Professor Douglass currently is working on two books and two articles: T.S. Eliot, Dante, and the European Tradition, Ed. Stefano Maria Casella and Paul Douglass, scheduled for release in 2011; The Claremont Graduate School: A History of its Early Development, to be submitted to the Claremont Graduate University in 2010. The latter is a personal undertaking, as Professor Douglass is revising and editing this manuscript left unfinished by his father at his death.

Nothing indicates that Professor Douglass plans to slow down any time soon. We are fortunate that he began his career at San José State University as a young promising scholar. Eighteen years later, his remarkable scholarly accomplishments, coupled with his extraordinary service to the university, have earned him the 2008-2009 San José State University President's Scholar Award.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Paul Douglass. I look forward to presenting the award to him at the 10th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 14, 11:45 a.m., in the Student Union Barrett Ballroom.