Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Brit Lit and Race

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Brit Lit and Race

Article excerpt

With the publication of his forthcoming book in April, the University of New Hampshire profis bringing the "theological account of race and racialization" in early modern England to a wider audience.

With the publication of his first book, set for April 2014, Dr. Dennis Austin Britton is poised to bring the English literature research that he has labored on since graduate school to a wider public audience. The book, Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance, has been described as "an exciting study that offers a theological account of race and racialization" in early modern England.

"In the book I was able to draw together many of my previous interests in a more precise way," says Britton, a University of New Hampshire associate professor of English. "I've always been interested in issues of race and religion, and in theology."

For Britton, the publication of Becoming Christian will mark the latest in a series of noteworthy early career achievements by the recently tenured scholar. Since gaining tenure during the 2012-13 academic year, the scholar has reached new heights by winning an Excellence in Teaching award from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) this past fall

In addition, Britton recently completed a year-long National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The fellowship helped him finish the research for his forthcoming book.

Without a doubt, years of hard work and persistence have positioned Britton as a bright star in the highly competitive and crowded ranks of English literature scholars. Nonetheless, he credits his journey as a scholar to the guidance he received from one of his undergraduate professors at the University of Southern California.

As a youngster growing up in a middleclass suburban community just east of Los Angeles, Britton had been a good student whose parents had naturally expected him to complete college and become a professional. "I had grown up with a love of reading and learning," he says, noting that he is the oldest of three sons in his family. The idea, however, of becoming a university English professor was something Britton had neither considered nor even imagined, he says.

Britton recalls enrolling at USC with an interest in earning a degree in architecture. He eventually gravitated to the English department while studying under Dr. …

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