Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 18, 2008

Whitworth Professor Receives Award for Contributions to the Study of British Women Writers

Whitworth Associate Professor of English and Department Chair Pamela Corpron Parker was recently selected to receive the inaugural Award for Contributions to the Study of British Women Writers, presented by the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Association (BWWA). Parker is currently president of the BWWA. Cindy LaCom, of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, was also named an award recipient. Award winners were announced at the 16th annual BWWA conference held at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Ind., March 27-30, 2008.

The BWWA board created the award to recognize, honor and celebrate the ways in which its recipients have contributed to the study of British women writers through teaching, mentoring, service and scholarship.

In 1991, Parker and LaCom were among a group of graduate students in the Northwest that was troubled by the lack of scholarship on early women writers at British studies conferences. Further, almost no scholarship on the non-canonical writers was being presented at regional, much less national, conferences. Under Parker and LaCom's leadership, and on a shoestring budget, the first British Women Writers Conference was born a year later.

Since the initial conference, Parker and LaCom have continued to guide and shape the BWWA and its annual conference. They have identified promising graduate students to carry on organizing and sponsoring the conference; they have fielded queries about how to conduct fundraisers and grant writing; and they have established the by-laws of the association and its conference to ensure an ongoing scholarly exchange between senior scholars, junior scholars, and graduate students. Nearly 2,000 scholars have attended the 16 conferences that have been held thus far; countless books, essay collections, special journal issues, and articles have begun as BWWA conference papers.

Parker holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, master's degrees from Middlebury College and Eastern Washington University, and a bachelor's degree from Whitworth. She is the recipient of a 2007-08 Armstrong Browning Fellowship at Baylor University, where, during Jan Term 2009, she will conduct research on Elizabeth Barrett Browning for a forthcoming book, Literary Tourism and the Victorian Woman of Letters.

Parker's other forthcoming publications are "Elizabeth Gaskell's Autograph Collections and the Victorian Cult of Personality" in Women and Things: Gendered Material Practices, 1750-1950 (Ashgate 2009) and "Locating Elizabeth Gaskell: Literary Tourism and Cranford" in Literary Tourism and Nineteenth Century Culture (Palgrave 2008). Her recent presentations include the keynote address, "Nineteenth-Century Literary Tourism," at Open University, in London, England (2007); "Literary Tourism and Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford," at the Nineteenth Century Studies Association's 27th annual conference, "Travel, Tourism, and Resorts" (2006) and "Northern Locations: Elizabeth Gaskell and Literary Tourism," at the Gaskell Society Conference on Elizabeth Gaskell and Manchester, England (2005).

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Pamela Corpron Parker, associate professor of English and department chair, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4204 or pamelaparker@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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