URI gender and women’s studies professor receives prestigious fellowship to teach at Cal Poly

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KINGSTON, R.I. — July 25, 2013 — Well known for her innovative and inspiring teaching style, University of Rhode Island Gender and Women Studies Program Director and Associate Professor Jody Lisberger has received a special invitation to share that style with students and scholars on the west coast this fall.

She has been awarded the Susan Currier Visiting Professorship for Teaching Excellence at the California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo. The competitive, prestigious fellowship invites a professor to share his/her expertise and passion for teaching, social justice, and the liberal arts by teaching two classes, presenting the annual Susan Currier Memorial Lecture, and participating in activities to promote teaching excellence.

“I am very honored to receive this fellowship. It is one that firmly supports my teaching pedagogy, gender and women’s studies and creative writing all for the benefit of students,” said Lisberger, who lives in Exeter. “I believe my job as a teacher is to encourage students to listen, to see, and to think harder and more deeply than they’ve listened, seen, or thought before. For me, it is an honor to teach. My hope is to offer the encouragement, insight, skills, and incentives for excellence that accompany that honor.”

Lisberger says that she looks forward to gaining a different perspective from the CalPoly students who enroll in one of her two courses: “Critical Issues in Feminist Scholarship” and “Crossing Borders: Women Writing Their Lives.”

Her course on feminist scholarship will provide students with a strong foundation in theory and case studies that show gender power imbalances and will explore the contemporary issue of immigration and gender. The second course on writing will provide models for developing the craft of memoir writing and consider alternative ways to write one’s life story.

An award-winning teacher, scholar and author, Lisberger was named director of URI’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program in 2008 and associate professor in 2012. She started teaching at URI in 2004. She received her doctorate at Boston University, M.F.A., Vermont College; M.A. from Boston College, and B.A. from Smith College.

Her short story collection, Remember Love (Fleur-de-Lis Press, 2008), was nominated for a National Book Award. Her stories have appeared in Fugue, Michigan Quarterly Review, Thema, Confrontation, and The Louisville Review. She has won fiction prizes from American Literary Review and Quarterly West, and her story “Crucible” was nominated for a Pushcart Award.

She is also on the fiction faculty at the brief residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky. She has taught fiction, creative nonfiction, literature, and feminist theory at Brown, Harvard, Tufts, Holy Cross, and Boston University. She has also published creative nonfiction essays on pharmaceutical marketing (“Why Women Should Take Heed”), gender issues in the workplace (“The Politics of Data”), and worked as a journalist, editor, and grant writer.

Pictured above

URI Gender and Women Studies Program Director and Associate Professor Jody Lisberger at the Ocean State Summer Writing Conference. Photo by University Photographer Nora Lewis.