Monday, July 27, 2015
July 27, 2015: Scholars on Fire: Luke Dietrich
[As we near the dog days of summer, a series on a handful of AmericanStudies scholars bringing the fire through their work and voices. I’d love to hear in comments about scholars whose work lights a fire under you!]
Three of the many reasons to keep an eye on Lucas Dietrich.
1) His organizational service: While still a graduate student at UNH, Luke contributed significantly to one of my favorite scholarly organizations, the New England American Studies Association (NEASA) Council. He’s also brought a lot to conferences for the Northeast MLA (NeMLA), the American Literature Association (ALA), and THATCamp, among other work. Now that Luke has received his PhD and moved into the next stage of his career (with a gig at Lesley University), I look for him to add his voice to these and other organizations even more fully.
2) His online scholarship: I first met Luke through Twitter, where he’s one of the many young scholars turning that social media site into a nuanced, thoughtful, evolving, communal conversation. He’s also written for a number of other websites and spaces, as illustrated by this wonderful piece for the Humor in America blog. In these and other ways, Luke is modeling what 21st century public scholarship can be and offer, and I look forward to seeing where he takes his online writing and voice next.
3) His dissertation project: Those first two arenas would be meaningful even if Luke didn’t have a first book in the works that seems destined to blow everyone away. But he does—that recently defended dissertation, on the role that turn of the 20th century publishing and print culture played in the careers of ethnic authors such as Charles Chesnutt and Sui Sin Far, promises to become a truly ground-breaking, innovative, important book project. I’ve spent a good part of the last decade thinking about Chesnutt, Far, and their contemporaries, and every time I’ve heard Luke share elements of his work, he has added immeasurably to my perspective and knowledge. Can’t wait for the book!
Next scholar tomorrow,
PS. Scholars you’d share?