(May 11, 2011)--Jeanne Campbell Reesman, UTSA professor of English, spent 18 days this semester in France as a Fulbright scholar. The national expert on and late 19th and early 20th century American literature shared her ideas with students and faculty at the Universite de Provence-Aix-Marseilles I, in Provence, France.
Lecturing as a Fulbright senior specialist, much of her time was devoted to working with the university's LERMA, a laboratory for studies of the Anglophone world. She met with faculty and graduate students to discuss American literature, intellectual history and cultural studies, and the importance of creating accurately translated copies of famous works of literature.
Reesman lectured on naturalism and modernism in American literature in relation to her specialty in Jack London studies, as well as the American New Woman in the 19th and 20th centuries including discussions of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Kate Chopin, Sarah Orne Jewett, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James and others. She also taught two classes on Toni Morrison's "Beloved."
"Jack London and American literature in general, especially certain authors, are very, very popular in France," said Reesman. "And, the interested readers there tend to know our literature well."
This is Reesman's second Fulbright trip. Her first was in fall 2006, when she was a Fulbright professor and lecturer at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She took her son, John, and the two spent part of the semester exploring the ancient world of mainland Greece, the Peloponnese and Crete.
"We had a wonderful time together; it was a lifetime experience," she said. "Fulbrights build amazing new networks. Also, while abroad, you can speak about Fulbright opportunities and encourage students to attend UTSA for graduate programs, and of course, back home, you can encourage UTSA students to apply for Fulbright awards."
Those networks assist students and faculty members in both universities.
"Fulbrights provide wonderful opportunities for faculty to enrich their scholarly careers," said Dan Gelo, dean of the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts. "Awardees get to share their work with eager new audiences. They rethink their work, expand their network of collaborators, and explore new directions, and ultimately students -- both in the host country and here at UTSA -- benefit from these experiences. A Fulbright award is also a powerful international endorsement about the significance of a scholar's work. Dr. Reesman is a campus leader in research, and we are all proud of her renewed Fulbright activity."
Reesman is well known in France. She is co-editor of a series of 30 books for the Paris publisher Editions Phebus, which has translated London's works into French. The coeditor and translator of that series, Noel Mauberret, of Lycee Paul Cezanne in Aix, will with work with Reesman to discuss his translation of her latest work, "Jack London, Photographer" (with Sara S. Hodson and Philip Adam), as well as the French editions of London's work.
Reesman and Hodson worked for more than 10 years to research the original negatives from London's body of work. Their idea for "Jack London, Photographer" came when they curated a show of London's photography in Nevers, in Burgundy, France.
"It is the most demanding publication and most deeply rewarding that I've ever done," Reesman said of "Jack London, Photographer." "For one thing, I had to try to educate myself on the history of the period's photography and especially the beginnings of photojournalism, 100 years ago. What were London's differences from contemporary photographers and photojournalists? It turns out there were many very interesting ones."
"Jack London, Photographer" features 200 of London's nearly 12,000 images from his years as a photojournalist documenting East End of London, Russo-Japanese War refugees and South Sea Islanders. London was a photographer for the Hearst Syndicate, the New York Herald, Collier's and others.
The Fulbright program is an international educational exchange fostered by the U.S. government to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas established the program in 1946.
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