Steven White appointed Lewis Professor of Modern Languages

Dr. Steven F. White has recently been appointed Lewis Professor of Modern Languages.   Established in 1902 “to support an outstanding member of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department,” this professorship was previously held by Dr. Gudrun Brokoph who retired from St. Lawrence at the end of the last academic year.

Since his arrival at St. Lawrence in 1987, Dr White has been a very active member of the department and in the last few years his work as a teacher and scholar has earned him the recognition of the campus community.  Alternating with his colleagues, he has headed the Spanish section since 2002, served as department chair from 2003 to 2007, co-founded the Latin American Studies Program at SLU, and directed the SLU Spain program three times.  In 2007 Dr. White received the J. Calvin Keene Award given to faculty members for their “high standards of personal scholarship and effective teaching” and in 2008 he presented the Frank P. Piskor faculty lecture entitled “Trees and Rivers: Poetry and Ecology in Latin America.”The Piskor Lectureship was established  in 1979  “to encourage original and continued research among St. Lawrence faculty members, to recognize and honor distinguished scholarship and to afford the opportunity for faculty to share their learning with the academic community.”  In July of 2007 Dr. White served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua UNAN-Managua and UNAN-León where he conducted a month-long project on the development of academic curricula. He has also worked as a visiting professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianópolis, Brazil and in the Graduate Studies Program at the UNAN-León in Nicaragua.

Dr. White’s publication record is equally impressive.  It includes critical essays, translations of Spanish poetry, bilingual anthologies of poetry from Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil and Cuba as well as editions of his own poetry.  He is the author of El mundo más que humano en la poesía de Pablo Antonio Cuadra: un estudio ecocrítico, and also a volume of his own selected poetry in Spanish, Bajo la palabra de las plantas: poesía selecta: 1979-2009. He co-authored Culture and Customs of Nicaragua along with the Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon´s Sacred Vine. Dr. White has recently added an audio production to his list of publications; in collaboration with Esthela Calderón he published a CD of ecological poetry.  He frequently reads his poetry and his translations at international festivals and universities throughout Latin America, Spain and the United States.  His translations have received international attention by appearing in such well-known publications as World Literature Today, The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry and Callaloo.  In addition Dr. White regularly reviews books for the Handbook of Latin American Literature published by the U. S. Library of Congress.

Notwithstanding his busy publication schedule and frequent off-campus engagements,   Dr. White maintains a close relationship with his student; he says that he “has especially enjoyed working with them on their Honors Projects and Independent Studies” which feature such diverse topics as:

“The Hernández Collection in St. Lawrence University’s Owen D. Young Library: Translating a Transnational Family from Nineteenth Century Cuba”

 “Emiliano Zapata y Augusto C. Sandino como íconos revolucionarios”

“Trabajando: Hispanic Workers on the North Country's Dairy Farms”

“Madrid’s Response to the March 11 Bombings”

Over the years, more than fifty SLU students who have taken Dr. White’s literary translation workshop have published their book reviews in Brazil´s prestigious academic journal Cadernos de Tradução.

We congratulate Dr. White for this well-deserved recognition of his accomplishments at St. Lawrence.